Ostry KC06A

REVIEW: Ostry KC06A






Specifications:


Accessories:

  • 3 pairs (S/M/L) of single narrow bore tips
  • 3 pairs (S/M/L) of single wide bore tips
  • 3 pairs (S/M/L) of new single narrow bore tips with a screen/filter at the top
  • Earguides                                                                   
  • Soft carrying pouch (slightly larger than the KC06's)



Build & Design:

Ostry decided to keep the exact same cool design and good overall build quality of the previous first KC06 model, but with a more fancy red color on it. The housings are made of some titanium material, very lightweight. The plug and Y-split are exactly the same, still lacking the chin slider (which should have been added as the earphone seems to work best in over-ear configuration). The cable is of same material as well, but with the translucent plastic cover it's possible to see the red strings inside. The logo at the housings was changed too. Overall, it's quite good, same as the KC06 and could be improved, but again no complains considering its high sound quality.






Fit, Comfort, Isolation:

Same as before, easy fit in both configurations, straight down or over-ear. Personally, I find them much more comfortable in the over-ear wear as the earpieces are more ergonomic this way and sit more securely with lower profile.
Isolation is the same, low to very average at best. With the new included special tips it may improve a bit more, or with some aftermarket tips.



Sound:

Here's the best part. The KC06 model became quickly (world) widely known and well appreciated by its incredibly sound quality performance at its relatively affordable sub $100 price.  It could compete with some of the best sets that cost much more and even beat some of them when the right setup was used.
Ostry decided to keep the solid sonic characteristics of the original KC06 when designed this newer KC06A model, but tuned it in a different flavored sound which is slightly, but noticeable, towards a warmer signature that might attract a wider market.
Like the previous KC06, the whole sound on the KC06A is highly detailed, clean and very articulated. They both feature an unheard openness and coherence with amazing clarity in each frequency that'd easily rank them among the best $150 IEMs. On its own, the KC06A model features a warmer and more importantly richer and fuller sound, adding a nicer weight to the midrange freq. It's probably more linear through the whole mids and for some, will show a better balance between low and high mids in a A/B test against the KC06 which is more lean and a bit thinner sounding. Anyway, none of them will really classify as mid-centered or vocal focused IEM, like something as the similar priced Fidue A63.  Even so, they easily outperform most of the sub $100 competition in 'pure' vocals quality and detail without losing balance like those mid-centered ones might do. While the KC06 simply shines in female/upper vocals with its extra energy and more upper mids emphasis, the KC06A doesn't lose either, but just give a higher priority in keeping the mids and general balance.

The bass and treble dept. is where the KC06A, arguably, differs from the previous one. The bass has more weight and some extra strength, the necessary to add some fun factor, while keeping the great tightness and control. Extension is similar, which is good, with more felt sub-bass presence and slightly thicker in the mid-bass region. Regarding the included new tips, not only they improve isolation a bit, but will add more bass without the need of extra EQ.

Treble, on the contrary, takes the opposite role. Well extended and very present, no doubt, but sounds smoother. For those who found the original KC06 too bright or even splashy, the new 06A version might be the answer to that. Don't get it wrong, the KC06A doesn't lack in the treble quality or quantity, or sounds less energetic either, simply not as pronounced or calling the attention.
Stage, imaging and dynamics are really good, and just improve even more with the better source. It's the same characteristic that the KC06 has, easiest to drive but closed and limited presentation with a simple budget DAP like SanDisk Clip or Apple iPod series, but scale much higher to 'epic' levels with the better players like Hifiman HM-700 or portable amplifiers like the FSA Fireye HDB.

If the KC06 competed with the amazing RE-400 in SQ matters, it's more interesting to see the new KC06A Vs the newer balanced RE-400B when both driven through the HM-700. Both improve highly from the Hifiman DAP, showing much more extension, air and space. The RE-400B will sound wider and more airy, and a tad brighter, while the Ostry stronger in bass department and even richer in midrange.


Final thoughts:

It hasn't been too long since Ostry appeared in the earphone world scene. With their just first model, the KC06, they already made a great hit with a sound quality that was simply amazing for nowadays standards at its price point. This following KC06A model is not just a remake of the original but a different flavored sounding one. The first model was an epic sounding earphone and so it's the new KC06A version. While the design could still be easily improved, the SQ is no joke. There's no doubt we have another winner from Ostry.