Gigantic soundstage, Pristine construction

rikfictif  |  July 21, 2020

SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 8.5/10

THE PLUS: Gigantic Soundstage, Decent imaging, forwards vocal, Good transparency, Fun immersive sound, mind-blowing construction, extremely generous accessories, Good Overall Value
THE SO-SO: Unbalanced bass with strange resonance, not the fullest mids, slightly shouty treble, very big housing for a single-dynamic IEM

HIDIZS has been around since 2009, but begin to gain success with there best selling DAP the Hidizs AP80. Mostly known for making portable music players and DAC-AMP, Hidizs decide to expand their horizons and create their own earphones.

In 2019, they make the audacious move to launch a flagship Hybrid IEM as their first IEM attempt. The Mermaid MS4 quad hybrid drivers were born and get good reception among curious audiophiles. Soon later, they use very same housing to create a more budget-minded IEM with a single 10.2mm dynamic driver using a bio-diaphragm moving coil.

This one is called Mermaid MS1, which has a flagship construction and an affordable price tag of 100$. It seems that they even push value boundaries by using the same driver for MS1-Rainbow which is priced 65$ but has cheaper plastic housing.

Today, I will review the Mermaid MS1. Let’s see if this TOTL looking IEM is more than just a beautiful piece of engineering.

You can buy the Mermaid MS1 from trustable HIFIGO STORE HERE.

Did the Mermaid is a pricey flagship earphone or a 100$ one? Well, if you look at the whole package and don’t know it’s budget price, you will surely think the Mermaid is a luxurious IEM selling in 300$ price range. In fact, the whole packaging presentation reminds me a lot of FIIO FH7. When you open the box, the beautifully crafted IEM are put in valor in the front panel. Under it you have 12 pairs of quality ear tips in a display that explain the type of sound they deliver. You have as well a small pelican case and a carrying pouch. The pelican case is well built with a nice metal plate with Hidizs loge on the top. But packaging presentation and accessories are irreproachable and surpass any expectation a consumer could have. No doubt about it, the Mermaid MS1 offers the most generous and luxurious product package I ever encounter in its price range.

If you read some FIIO FH7 review, you surely notice how people praise it’s high-end CONSTRUCTION. Well let me tell you straight up, the Mermaid MS1 have as good construction as the FH7 and use very same high-density CNC alloy material and sandblasting coating. You just can’t expect this type of construction quality at this price range and when I have the MS1 in hands I get overly excited about how refined shapes and finish is as well as how incredibly solid and durable it feels. Whole housing is made of metal apart 2pin connector which is plastic. The housing is VERY big, bigger than most of my IEM including the FH7, it’S quite heavy too but not to the point of creating discomfort. It’s very thick and has an ”universal ear mold” shape. The finish is very smooth and does not get hot or cold fastly like a lot of other all-metal IEM I have. Even if I take a magnifying glass to try to find micro imperfection, I just can’t, all pieces are perfectly assembled with great care for proper quality check.

The cable is very nice too. It’s a 4 strand silver-plated OFC cable that has a very sturdy 2pin connector and a very nice metal jack. It promises durability and doesn’t justify you to rush buying an upgrade cable because it pairs well with MS1 tonality.

Why the housing need to be this gigantic? My guess is that Hidizs decide to use MS4 housing and don’t want to invest in a new costly manufacturing process. Sure, the DESIGN is nicely done and for somebody with big ears like me the chunky metal body doesn’t create a fitting issue, but for people with small ears it’s hard to imagine how they would fit this in their ears. The nozzle being short, whole housing tends to create a rather strange protuberance which is a shame because of how beautiful is the whole esthetic….its like wearing a luxurious hat that makes you look awkwardly oversized. So, the Mermaid MS1 needs the help of an ear hook cable to stay perfectly in place, otherwise, it will perhaps slowly fall. Apart from the big size and slightly heavy housing, I find the design smoothly comfortable, free of any problematic asperity.

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