MS1 Review - Headpie
Hidizs MS1 Earphone Review
ExpatinJapan | March 3, 2019
Pros: Excellent build and fit, advanced kickstarter options have an array of cables on offer, smooth and neutral type sound, price
Cons: A bit more upper bass and lower mids would be welcome, treble can be peaky on some tracks, needs some burn in, coherency is lost at times
The new earphone series from Hidizs is quite a surprise production from this dap company.
Earlier products such as the AP60 and the later AP200 and AP80 built upon earlier builds and improved the sonics experience as is to be expected.
Hidizs has finally gone into the earphone arena with a well received pair (MS1 and MS4) by reviewers that was available for mainly early review, feedback and development purposes.
Hidizs has taken a jump into the lower mid fi end with their MS4 model (1 DD, 3BA) and also the entry level end with the MS1 with their new DD earphone.
Placed at US $99 - $129 on Kickstarter (Later increasing to $149 - $268). The Hidizs MS1 when combined with a decent dap certainly emerges as an earphone that produces a pleasant performance.
Coming with a durable oxygen-free copper cables which are composed of 4 strands two pin standard single ended 3.5mm for starters. There is also the option to add more cables as perks, Such as a 5.0 bluetooth receiver or a Type-C DAC cable , or a 2.5mm balanced cable. And there is also a 4.4mm option upon request.
Various Daps, volume matched with a SPL meter, and FLAC tracks were used in the listening and testing).
I used the Stock Balanced tips for most of my listening (thick silicone and with a small bore)
The Hidizs MS1 dynamic driver earphone is certainly a decent first effort. My expectations were admittedly low, this being their first earphone (that I know of).
The Hidizs MS1 takes a turn from the earlier favored V shapes of late 2017/early 2018 of other brands to a more neutral, linear and bright sound, echoing to some degree the ever popular DD sound that one enjoys to listen to.
Vocals are sweet and not too forward and complement the music rather than overwhelm it.
The sub bass is present but not overcoming, the bass being a main feature whilst complementing the mids and highs. The response is fast and aggressive. Typical of most dynamic drivers.
The mids have a nice bump in their lower regions to please and complement the vocals, especially female vocals.
The highs are refined and are generally ok. Some sibilance or over extension on the odd rock track.
They generally have a nice reach without becoming fatiguing with the right pairing of music.
Overall it is :
The fit is comfortable and I could easily get a good seal. I did not really need to change to any after market tips and achieved excellent isolation and increased body overall from the stock offerings.
I did sample my recent favorites such as the Symbio Peel W and JVC Spiral tips and enjoyed the more controlled overall sonics, clean delivery and tamed highs of the JVC versus the stock balanced tips.
The balanced tips are good overall and fairly even.
The Vocal tips are bit more sedated on the lows and highs, creating a more emphasis on upper mids and vocals.
The Bass tips do not seem to produce huge bass, but its adequate and they seem to have a more airy effect due to their larger bore and thin silicone.
The Balanced tips or the Foam tips appear to be the stock winner here. Solid sound, nice lows and vocals, usual drop in the highs of course.
Imaging is above average and I could enjoy the instrument placement, and the sound stage is as like in a medium hall.
The performance is a varied range as can be seen below. Dependent on the music listened to and the tips paired i suppose. Some time is does not seem coherent, or maybe lacking some low end, or treble and bit sharp (bear in mind this is only with the Balanced tips).
I found changing the gain from low to mid improved the performance overall, and would recommend it.
Bear in mind this a US100 earphone at its roots, the build is excellent and the sound fits within and above that price bracket.
With stock balanced tips:
Norah Jones, Massive Attack, The Fugees, Daft Punk, Beethoven, Jeff Buckley, Kruder and Dorfmeister, David Bowie, Neil Young, Gnarls Barkley, Joy Division, Velvet Underground, Mazzy star are a good match,... The Pixies, Morcheeba, Ramones, Portishead, The Jesus and Marychain, Hole are ok,.... Slayer so-so,.... Richard Ashcroft, Blur, lana Del Rey is not.
With a bit of gain added I felt there to be some improvements as the dynamic driver had more power to satisfy it.
Take the above with a grain of salt, Lana del Rey for example was ok with the JVC Spiral Tip.
Overall it is not an all rounder at low gain, but moves closer to it when more gain is added. I would also recommend playing around with the tips a bit to get the right sonic experience for yourself and to do some tip rolling with whatever tips you have lying around. Have a play.
Its a generally, smooth, easy listening experience and enjoyable earphone.