with the plate off. the nozzle is not covered, so the driver grill is visible inside the body when looking through the nozzle.
just got these from jaben for $98 singapore dollars with a fiio 3 thrown in. i have a feeling it is from crossroads or a spinoff, since it uses a 10mm 'mylar driver'.
some brief initial impressions.
made of metal, nozzle is plastic. 3 screw-on plates are provided for screwing on to the butt of the buds to alter for more bass or for more treble. the bassiest plate make the sound pretty dark and narrow down the sound stage. the 'treblest' plate sounds more airy and more pronounced highs but less bass. i prefer the middle plate. the nozzle has nothing to cover it, so looking through the nozzle, you will see the driver grill inside the body.
the cable is the standard stuff for consumer grade phones. 3 sizes of silicone sleeves comes with it plus a circular semi hard case to hold the earphones.
sound is dependent on which plate is used. the plates used give pretty stark difference to the sound signature. it can range from dark and bassy to airy and bright.
i'm using the middle plate. overall i would say the sound tends to the warm side, not the cold analytical stuff like etys. bass is layered and not mashed up like poorer offerings. treble is good, cymbals sounds clear, maybe just lacking that bit of crystal sharpness. mids are present without overpowering or underwhelming. i guess i need to burn in more for a more accurate review. but its sounding pretty good out of the box so far.
the hippo vb is very good value for its price, probably the best one can buy in this price bracket.