Pros: build, comfort, price, sub-bass, mids
Cons: bass can be too much, highs, lack of carry pouch
HiSound POP Review
Firstly I would like to thank Jack at HiSound for sending me this review sample, I have promised to write as honest a review as I can, and I shall try my best. I am by no means an audiophile, I love my music and I like to enjoy it through good headphones and speakers.
This IEM has recently been renamed POP and it is no longer called POPO
These received over 100 hours of burn-in as is suggested for these, some minor changes were noted.
I do not really like the sound sig of these, i prefer a more balanced/bright sound, but these are very fun to listen to sometimes.
iPod Classic 7G 160gb (rockboxed) > HiSound POP (using small triple flanges)
No EQ used
Driver: 9mm Dynamic
Rated impedance: 16Ω
Frequency Response: 16kHZ-23kHZ
Channel Balance: ≤127dB (@1kHz)
Plug size: 3.5mm
Cord length: 126cm
Packaging and Build Quality:
The packaging resembles that of some iPod models, it has a square plastic box, with a window which gives you a view of the IEM’s. The packaging has specifications in Chinese and English on the back, i like the red and black colour scheme.
Build quality feels very good, the IEM itself is made of wood, which is a nice change from the conventional plastic or metal.
It uses Rosewood for the housing which gives it great timbre, the tip is plastic.
The cable is Bright Red (which stands out nicely and looks good for those fashion concious), quite thick and feels very strong, quite stiff, HiSound claim that the cable will not loose its red colour. It has a straight jack, which feels very well built, and the strain relief feels like it should hold up very well. The y-split is quite big, but of good quality, and strain relief into the IEM is very tough rubber, not flexible, but should not cause any problems. the L, R is located on the top of the IEM's.
Accessories, Fit, Isolation, Microphonics and Driver Flex:
The POP comes with 9 pairs of silicone tips, S, M, L single flange (plus the ones already on the IEM which are medium single flange), S, M, L bi-flanges and S, M, L triple-flanges. I am impressed with the variety of tips included, with all these anyone will be able to get a good fit. They also include a cable clip, warranty card and that’s it. There is a lack of just a simple carry pouch which is very disappointing for an IEM at this price point, and also it has no chin slider on the cable, which is a bit of a letdown, but not a deal breaker in my eyes.
The shape of these, and size, contributes to make a very comfy IEM, once you have achieved a good seal you do not feel these in, they are small and do not stick out too much. I am very pleased with the ergonomics of this little IEM.
Isolation is above average and block out enough for public transport, especially for a vented IEM.
The cable has some very bad microphonics which I am disappointed with, it distracts from the music, so they are not a good choice if you’re a fairly active person. Although I wear these Over Ear and it eliminates the problem, but the cable does not like to stay behind my ear.
These also suffer from Driver flex, but I don’t see it as a big problem as it is only whist putting them in or re-adjusting them, so not a big problem IMO.
I shall split this into the 3 usual categories and also give an overall impression at the end. The wooden housing gives them a very nice natural timbre.
The first time you put these in, the bass is the first thing you will notice, these have a huge amount of bass. They have sub-bass in spades, and good mid-bass punch, I think it is a very good mixture, a change from your typical mid-bass hump. I have never head an IEM or Full-size Headphone rumble like these do, it is quite subwoofer like, and extends excellently.
This kind of bass is brilliant for EDM and listening to Dubstep on these is pure bliss. You hear every note and the rumble is tremendous.
First off I will say that I like forward mids, and the huge bass on these does make the mids suffer, not to the point of recession, but they sound very warm and loose some detail. I must say the mids are fairly well placed on these, they are not exactly recessed, I would say just slightly veiled. Although when listening to certain vocal tracks the detail retrieval is actually very good, you can hear every breath the singer takes, and vocals can sound very articulate.
I was listening to them the other day, and an Evanescence song came on, and I was left with my mouth open, Amy’s voice just sounded so natural, so smooth, yet so detailed. Female vocals do excel on these, also Deolinda No Coliseu Dos Recreios sound amazing.
I cannot detect any sibilance on these.
Ok, here’s where these fail a bit, they don’t lack sparkle so much as presence, they extend well and have some very nice sparkle but are too far back to really shine. They have good detail retrieval just that they sound too laid back for my liking. Cymbals don’t shimmer as they should, and get left behind in the mix. (But this highly depends on the song)
Soundstage, Instrument Separation and Imaging:
These have a very good soundstage, best I have heard so far from an IEM, they really envelop you in a room of sound, and you can hear sounds from the sides and front and back, a quite convincing 3D sound.
Instrument separation is also very good, but they lack air around each instrument.
Imaging is also very well done, and at no point has it felt detached, the left right panning works very well.
These will satisfy any bass-head, they fall into the consumer sound signature, but the mids actually fair well compared to similar priced IEM’s. They have plenty of sub-bass which on certain track sound really good. These are NOT aggressive sounding, and cause no listening fatigue.
These are not good all-rounder’s, they will shine on certain tracks, but will leave you very unsatisfied on others, there have been a few track come up where I have been amazed and the highs suddenly come out and sound great, but then there are others where the highs just get left behind and your left with a bassy mess.
If you’re looking for an IEM for EDM, dubstep, rap, hip-hop and calmer alternative rock/indie then these will work very well and I will recommend them because of the sound/build quality and price.
If you’re looking for a balanced sig, Steer well clear.
I boost them at 7 kHz and 12 kHz for the treble to sparkle more, and these do respond well to EQing.
Funeral For A Friend - Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (apple lossless)
Bauhaus - Terror Couple Killed Colonel (apple lossless)
Black Uhuru - Utterance (apple lossless)
The Cure - Lovesong (apple lossless)
Eat Static - Survivors (apple lossless)
Eminem - When I'm Gone (apple lossless)
A Hero A Fake - Swallowed By The Sea (320kbps mp3)
Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line (320kbps mp3)
Lady Gaga - Starstruck (320kbps mp3)
Lights - Saviour (320kbps mp3)
The Prodigy - Voodoo People (Pendulum Mix) (apple lossless)
Paramore - Misery Business (320kbps mp3)
The Scene Aesthetic - Beauty In The Breakdown (320kbps mp3)
Vivaldi - Spring-Allegro (apple lossless)
hope you enjoyed.