KingSound are a Hong Kong based company who like ENIGMAcoustics we mentioned in the last report, are big fans of using electrostatic technology, however, these guys don’t just use them for the high frequencies and go the more traditional route of using only electrostatic drivers and requiring a traditional energiser for their headphones like Stax do. While these guys do a range of speakers, CD players and integrated amps, they were concentrating on the headphone part of their portfolio at the show. While their products work like Stax, KingSound have always tried to offer Electrostatic products at a much cheaper price and with them coming thick and fast with new models, they seem to really be experimenting with what they are capable of.
The Munich show was their platform for two new unveilings, the KS-H4 headphones ($900) and a new type of product for them, a portable amp in the M-03 ($450). The H4 is funnily enough their fourth headphone model and also their most expensive, with the H3 coming in just cheaper at $875. I found the sound to be VERY electrostatic, lightning fast, lean, detailed and hella resolving, a sound certainly not for everyone but one that technically, people can easily fall for. That being said Josh did point out the obvious and that was Stax’s exsistence. We are more familiar with the higher end models and I think the 007/009 are a step up from any of Kingsounds models but these are certainly comparable to some of the entry level Stax, obviously I have not done direct comparisons so cant give much more than that as an insight as it stands.
We must mention we did find one problem with the new H4 and that was the fact they didn’t properly fit my larger or Josh’s smaller head, with the pads not sealing under our ears on either, no matter how we adjusted the headband. The H3 did fit much better, like any other headphone sealing completely around the ear, that being said, even with the misfit, I preferred the sound of the H4.
The M-03 is actually a hybrid of sorts having both a ESL output for their electrostatic models and a 3.5mm output for all your traditional IEMs and headphones, making this a very versatile product. It was quite cool to allow you to driver electrostatics on the go from a tiny battery powered box but when we changed to the more expensive valve based desktop amp from them, the M-20($1800), the sound did get obviously better. I actually found the M-20s sound to really merge well with the usual electrostatic traits and at $2700 for the H4/M-20 combo, it still isn’t near as crazy as some electrostatic set ups and was clearly a majestic sound.
I am glad I got to finally try some KingSound stuff and I really do hope to give them a proper evaluation because these are a company that certainly deserve a little more presence.