Hisoundaudio Popo Review
Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample
First impressions: Okay I have to say it, just what the F is with the name? Popo, I mean really where do they get these. What’s weirder is I’m told in Chinese it means grandmother! Words fail me. That aside it’s a nice looking little product, I like the red cable on them and it feels great. The buds too look fantastic in their woodiness, looks and feels very much like a quality product.
First listen and these are pretty apparently about the bass. The bass is big and powerful, seriously powerful. I can see this pleasing many but I can also see it irritating me after a while. Still all round they sound pretty good so far. Burn in time.
Source mostly FiiO E9 and 1G Ipod Shuffle with 75 Ohms added.
Lows: Big and heavy. Listening to Madge’s “Mother and Father” the bass is huge and has massive slam. It lends itself very well to the electronic punchy nature of the song. I can’t deny it’s a little fun but dear god it’s not something I’d want all the time. The bass is slamming, slamming into your delicate little ears and for me it’s way too much. For the quantity here it holds together really well but there is just no escaping that there is just so much. The bass is utterly dominant and I really don’t care how good they are I frankly want them out of my ears. Shifting to lighter music and still that low end is present but it does hide a little if you really force it to. Honestly I really can’t fault the quality of its low end behaviour but there is just too much. Its real shame as if it was dialled down it would be really fun, it has great authority and power yet so cleanly delivered.
Mids: So so. Vocals are pretty nice, liquid and warm and do really quite well given all that bass but for me I want to hear the vocals and they are so over shadowed by that mammoth low end. They do come through clearly but get a bit of a warming and bit of a reduction of air. All in all it’s a bit meh.
Highs: They can be a bit hard but on the whole they are very warm and pretty rolled off. That not entirely a bad thing it’s just a sound signature choice. It’s a pretty popular one particularly in the Far East and has helped Sony sell truck loads of stuff over the years. Don’t do a lot of it but have a spike in there to dish out enough detail. For me though combined with the big powerful bass it’s overshadowed a touch more than it should. Make no mistake this IEM is not aimed at audiophiles but squarely at the “mainstream” market. I’m sure it will be popular there.
Soundstage: Biggish. There is actually pretty good instrument separation here too.
Fit: Fine. I did get a touch of driver flex but it wasn’t really much of a bother.
Comfort: Absolutely fine, any happy to be worn up or down
Cable: I really like the cable, its a great looking cable and it feels really nice too.
Microphonics: If you wear them down you get quite a bit and there is no chin slider to help. However if you wear them up then there is pretty much none.
Accessories: There is a pretty substantial assortment of tips and it came with another nice case. It didn’t come in the box as the cases wouldn’t fit but I do believe frogbeats are supplying it with the case. I cannot comment for elsewhere. It really is a nice case.
Amped/Unamped: Yes they improved but I really wouldn’t bother doing so.
Isolation: Pretty good for a dynamic. Yes it’s at the potential cost of having venting issues but for me it just falls on the right side of that edge. Easily enough to get your run over id say.
Value: Hmm, £38 I wouldn’t buy them but if you want this kind of bass then yeah. The bass is super powerful and controlled. Punchy and an agility that it shouldn’t given how much there is. There is just sooo much.
Conclusion: My reviews often vary in length and if one is super short then it pretty much means one thing. I didn’t like it. When I write I have what I’m writing about in my ears and honestly I want these out. I don’t like them. They are so bassy I find them unpleasant. That’s a shame as they look just wonderful. I mean they look fantastic but their massive powerful bass I don’t like. It’s uncomfortable to my ears.
If you like crazy bass then you could do worse as the quality of it here is pretty good. It’s got fantastic impact and agility but oh god there is too much of it. Love ‘em or loath them there is no two ways about it, this right here is a great big, hard hitting bass monster and frankly I’d much rather have something calmer. Listening to the Popo is like having your head in a sub woofer cranked to full and I really don’t like it, however if you love that sort of thing you’ll probably love these.