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My review of the Hippo 10, Hippo Groove and Hippo White

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hippo 10

 

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Specs.
Single dynamic driver, 10mm
Frequency range: 20Hz – 23KHz
Impedance: 16Ohm
Sensitivity:110dB/mW
RRP: $70

 


Build quality and accessories.
Build quality is good. The housing is made of high quality plastic and the cable is 130cm, with a 90 degree jack. The cable is very nice and one of the best I have seen and used, especially the jack is excellent.
The included accessories are, different sized silicone sleeves (S, M, L) in red/blue, a clip and a soft pouch. The red/blue sleeves are very good, as they make the right/left channel so easily recognisable.

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Comfort and fit.
The 10’s are light and above average sized. They are to be worn with the cable running straight down, even if they can be used over the ear too, but the design is for straight down use only. They are a combination of IEM’s and an earbud, the sleeve is inside the earcanal, while the rest of the earphone rests in the outer ear. This gives a very good comfort and a isolation that is so much better than normal earbuds. Microphonics can be reduced with the clip.

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Sound quality.
As a dynamic IEM they require time to settle (burn in) to sound their best.

The 10’s offer a natural and neutral sound. The high quality bass is very natural and more of a sub-bass than a thumping mid-bass, mids are detailed and smooth, the highs are natural and very nice. The soundstage is big and expansive. The natural and neutral sound reminds me of the Hippo VB, they share the same deep bass and natural presentation.

My test tracks sound very natural and true to life, without becoming boring or flat, the 10’s bring out the dynamics of the music in a way that not many IEM’s can.


To sum up.
The good: very good and natural sound with real sub-bass, red/blue sleeves, great cable.
The bad: the half IEM/half earbud style may not fit everyone, not easily available to buy.

Verdict: excellent sound. Highly recommended.

 

 

Hippo Groove

 

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Specs.
Single dynamic driver, 10mm
Frequency range: 20Hz – 20KHz
Impedance: 18Ohm
Sensitivity:88dB/mW
RRP: $38

 


Build quality and accessories.
Build quality is good. The housing is made of plastic and what appears to be a metal compound, the cable is 135cm, with a straight jack. The cable is quite plasticky and it suffers slightly from microphonic noise.
The included accessories are, different sized silicone sleeves (S, M, L) in red/blue and black, and a soft pouch. The red/blue sleeves are very good, as they make the right/left channel so easily recognisable.


Comfort and fit.
The Groove’s are very light and about average size. They can be worn with the cable running over the ear as well as straight down. Comfort and isolation from ambient noise is very good and microphonic noise can be minimized by running the cable over the ear.

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Sound quality.

As a dynamic IEM they require time to settle (burn in) to sound their best.

The Groove’s are bass driven and offer a very powerful sound. The bass is very dominant yet well behaved, mids are fairly detailed and smooth even if they are a little in the background, the highs are also put in the background and they don’t really sparkle, but that also means that they never become sibilant or harsh. The soundstage is bigger than average. While the Groove is not for everyone, with the prominent bass and recessed mids and highs, I really like the relaxed and powerful sound they produce.

As expected my test tracks sound very beefy and engaging to listen to, fun, is the word to describe the sound qualities of the Hippo Groove.



To sum up.
The good: very powerful, relaxed and great sound for the price, red/blue sleeves.
The bad: somewhat plasticky cable, not easily available to buy.

Verdict: warm and fun sound, to a very good price. Recommended.

 

 

Hippo White

 

DSCF1669.JPG

Specs.
Single dynamic driver, 9mm
Frequency range: 20Hz – 23KHz
Impedance: 16Ohm
Sensitivity:108dB/mW
RRP: $45

 


Build quality and accessories.
Build quality is very good. The housing is made of metal, the cable is 135cm, with a straight jack. The cable seems to be the same as on the Groove, i.e. quite plasticky and also slightly suffering from microphonic noise.
The included accessories are, different sized silicone sleeves (S, M, L) in red/blue and white, and a soft pouch. The red/blue sleeves are very good, as they make the right/left channel so easily recognisable.


Comfort and fit.
The Whites are very light and about average size. They can be worn with the cable running over the ear as well as straight down. They are very comfortable to wear, even for longer listening sessions. Isolation from ambient noise is very good and microphonic noise can be minimized by wearing the cable over the ear.

DSCF1680.JPG

Sound quality.

As a dynamic IEM they require time to settle (burn in) to sound their best.

The Whites offer a warm and powerful analogue sound. The bass is strong with good quality, mids are fairly detailed and smooth and naturally audible, the highs are slightly in the background but still very nice and clear. The soundstage is open and nicely layered. The pleasing analogue warmth sounds very nice and involving. I can listen to them for hours on end without any fatigue, or without wanting or needing anything more, they seem to have a very good balance of fun and detail retrieval in their presentation.

My test tracks sound very lively and nice, the analogue and wam sound is soothing for the ears and I can fully enjoy the music.



To sum up.
The good: pleasing analogue sound, design and build quality, red/blue sleeves.
The bad: somewhat plasticky cable, not easily available to buy.

Verdict: very nice sound and well built. Highly recommended.

 

 

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post #2 of 19

hearing ur reviews over here..

i cant help but think that you only have about 50 hr (or less) on the groove, or both white and groove.

u'll need about 200hr for the sound to settle in on both hippo white and groove. I own both of them, and the groove is actually vocal driven.. it'll take about 150 hr for the vocals to come out beautiful.

the white is more balanced sounding, but initially with forward bass, until also after about 150hr.

i have not heard the 10.

 

i do find the groove to be quite a good performer for it's price.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

You're right, I'm on around 50-60h on all of them. Your description of them sounds very interesting and promising. Even with the sound sig they now have, all of them are very good for their price.

post #4 of 19

Thanks for the writeup, MP3. I have all of those Hippo IEMs as well, and I agree with pretty much everything you wrote - except the treble of the Hippo White, which is extremely forward and hot on the pair I have, often quite sibilant. I wouldn't call them "warm" at all. I wonder what could cause such a different perception of a pair of phones? Product manufacturing tolerances? It sure can't have anything to do with the minor effect that burn-in might or might not have on their drivers, especially since I got about as much hours on them as you do.

 

Here's my take on them, if anyone's interested: http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57881

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks dfkt, I just had a read through your review of them. I have never heard any sibilance on mine, don't know what could be the explanation to the different sound sig on them, to me they don't sound V shaped in any way, but fairly neutral and as said, never sibilant or too hot on the treble but quite warm and analogue. Maybe we hear things that differently, or have different preferences when it comes to describing sound?

 

Then again, I read about someone finding sound differences on different UM-3X's, so I suppose it could be possible on these too.


Edited by mp3 - 9/26/10 at 9:58am
post #6 of 19

Just bought a pair of the 10's off of the for/sale section. Just needed a cheap going to work pari of small phones. Looking forward to them. 

post #7 of 19

I was tempted to buy them too, but the form factor didn't seem the greatest for gym use. Let us know what you think of them smily_headphones1.gif!

post #8 of 19

Yeah, I don't think that they'd be great for the gym, but I'm getting them more for subway use. 

 

I see that you have a sparrow. What do you think of it? I had one that I just sold and am already kind of regretting it!

post #9 of 19

I love the Sparrow. For the price, I think it's one of the greatest small-form-factor desktop DAC/amps. It has loads of power and the reproduction of the sound is just so much clearer and transparent. Compared to my Chaintech AV-710 (Wolfson DAC) it's leagues better, and the AV-710 is a pretty darn good soundcard. When I have it connected up to my Oppo 980H via toslink to listen to my CDs, it's just eargasm after eargasm.

 

Did you have a particular reason for selling it?

post #10 of 19

I sold it because I had the chance to get a Millet amp pretty cheaply. I like the Millet (it needed a little bit of work) and it sounds great, but it doesn't have a built in DAC and there is some hassle involved. I'm not sure how much better it sounds than the Sparrow. And the sparrow is pretty much plug and play. No need to bias tubes or hook up a seperate DAC. I just didn't think I needed to have 2 amps around, but ultimately maybe I should have kept the Sparrow. 

post #11 of 19
I have a pair of Hippo 10 EB from the jaben deal.

They are great at the price you purchased them for, I would definitely use mine more if I can get a better seal and if they were more efficient.
post #12 of 19

Is there anything that you would compare them to? 

 

Why can't you get a good seal? Too big/small? Weird shape? 

post #13 of 19
There really isn't anything I would compare them to. They don't really have a sound signature, but they do meet all the parts where you would want when amped well. The overall sound signature is extremely smooth and relaxing, very good for easy listening songs and some slower recordings. However, it would sound slightly too warm it they're not amped that well.

I usually have trouble with angled housing, the shape of my ears makes it a bit tough to use my regular tips, I usually go one size smaller, which would make it not sealed up as well.

For reference, I wear them over the ears like in dfkt's review, and I use a mini3 as the main amp that drives them (Which also drive my full-sizes as well, it should give you a reference of how much power is needed).

They make one of the best sleeping IEMs though, especially when you have to hear the alarm in the morning. wink.gif
post #14 of 19

I just received the Hippo 10 today along with the cable from Jaben. The sound out of the box is a good sounding IEM considering it was "free" with the cable deal. I think they have more clarity, better midrange, and just the right amount of highs and sparkle compared to the M6. Bass is less impactful/extended as the M6 but they are definitely higher quality sounding.

 

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by aZn_plyR View Post

I just received the Hippo 10 today along with the cable from Jaben. The sound out of the box is a good sounding IEM considering it was "free" with the cable deal. I think they have more clarity, better midrange, and just the right amount of highs and sparkle compared to the M6. Bass is less impactful/extended as the M6 but they are definitely higher quality sounding.

 

That's kind of how I see it, they do everything right, but don't really impress.

I also think they are better than M6, but I'm not a big fan of M6 in the first place.
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