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Hisoundaudio Popo reviews thread - Post your reviews here!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

img_2487.jpg?w=300&h=225

 

Prior to the review, I would like to thank Mr. Jack Fu for the review sample.

 

Hisoundaudio is a Chinese DAP (Digital Audio Player), IEMs and earbuds manufacturer, highly praised by audiophile communities all over the world for their Studio V and Rocoo DAPs. In 2011, Hisound has begun to push their earphones and earbuds more and more into the international market. Now, they get recognized not just for their DAP offerings, but also for their high end "Golden Crystal" IEMs. Too bad, their other IEM offerings are quite overlooked. Today I'll review their "Popo", a wooden IEM, with a bassy and fun sound signature.

 

Before we start, here are the Hisoundaudio Popo technical specifications (taken from Frogbeats):

 

 

Impedance: 16 Ohm
Cable Length: 124cm
Sensitivity: 110dB

Frequency Range:

16 – 23,000 Hz

Driver:

9mm dynamic driver

 

img_2276.jpg?w=300&h=225

 

Packaging: The Popo is packaged in a small transparent plastic box, which in my opinion, looks quite similar to the iPod Touch's 3rd Generation's package. The package looks quite cheap and unprofessional, but it means absolutely nothing about its content. There's a small window, which you can see the Popo through.  On the package there are some Dancer images printed, and specifications in Chinese on its rare side.

 

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All of the included accessories

 

 

Accessories: The Popo comes with a shirt clip, 10 pairs of Eartips: 4 single flanged tip pairs (Small/Medium/Large, Extra Large), 3 pairs of Bi-Flange tips (Small/Medium/Large) and 3 pairs of Triple-Flanged Tips (Small/Medium/Large). Too bad, a case isn't included, and without it, it would be pretty hard to carry the huge tips amount that comes with the Popo. In my opinion, the lack of a case is very bad, because almost all of the Popo's competitors do come with a one. The rating is 7.5/10.

 

img_2469.jpg?w=220&h=300

 

 

Building Quality and Design: Hisound states that the Popo is made of African Rosewood wood. It feels and looks like real wood, not in its raw shape, but its real wood for sure. The wood is solid and strong, and it seems like it had been brushed with some kind of a wood protection material. Near to the sound vents there's a tiny venting hole. The sound vents are covered by thin cellophane filters, which come on almost all of the IEMs in this price range. The strain reliefs are pretty hard, even too hard, which makes them not really flexible. The pretty rubbery red cable is pretty thick and strong; Hisound even claims that it should resist even with 150 kilograms of weight on it, a thing which I didn't manage to check yet.  The cable ends with a straight 3.5mm jack. Most of the people would've probably preferred an L shaped plug, as it's more durable. A missing thing is a chin slider, but I don't think that if it would've been there I would've had to use it. The Popo feels like a very well built IEM, which can resist a very long time without any problems. The rating is 9/10.

 

Comfort/Fit: I didn't manage check all of the tips due to the huge tips amount, but I did test a few of them. The most comfortable tips for me were the Medium single flanged ones, and the most uncomfortable were the medium Bi-Flanges. With the medium sized single flanges, the insertion is quite deep, with almost no pressure. The housings are pretty small, so they do not pop out of the ears. In the comfort section, these are one of the best IEMs I've ever tried, you just got to find the right tips, and you'll get heavenly comfort. The rating is 9.5/10.

 

Isolation and Microphonics: The isolation is good enough for a vented IEM; In fact, it's a lot better than many other vented IEMs' isolation, maybe because the vent is very tiny. The microphonics amount is quite average. It can be decreased by wearing the Popo over the ear. The rating is 8.5/10.

 

Sound Quality: Prior to the review, the Hisoundaudio Popo was burned in for at least 50 hours. No noticeable changes were detected.

 

The Bass: Bass,Bass and even more Bass. That's the best way to describe the Popo's sound signature. The Popo's bass is monstrous and giant. It's very punchy, and Hisoundaudio described it the best: "The Popo's bass is the kind of bass that you can hear only in the disco" It's punchy, powerful, heavy and contains enough texture. It's clear and clean and well presented, it gives the songs a fun and energetic feeling. The only problem with it is that it's a bit too dominant, which causes overpowering of the other frequencies.

 

The Mids are liquid and warm, but overshadowed by the bass, causing some of the instruments to feel a bit far from the listener's ears. The mids aren't forward but not laid back either; they're pretty much in the middle.

 

The Treble has a nice extension, and it's quite crisp, lush and smooth. It tends to be backwards to the Mids and to the Bass, falling behind them.

 

The Sound-Stage is quite big, very airy and has that kind of special reverberation that wooden housings use to provide. The instruments separation is pretty impressive, and it does help the imaging a lot.

 

The sound is overall bass biased, although it does not mean that the other frequencies were deprived at all, actually, they perform very well too.

 

The rating for this section is 9.5/10 in ratio to the Popo's price.

 

In conclusion, The Hisoundaudio Popo is a great contender to the crown of the sub-100$ IEMs market. I believe that it'll be a Bass-Heads favorite in Head-Fi for sure. Not just bass-heads would love the Popo, I'm not a one and I absolutely fell in love with it, due to its fun and energetic, disco-like bass. The overall rating is 9.5/10. The Popo gives an awesome value for the price.

 

Pros: Great energetic and fun bass, Comfortable, Good Cable, Great Design.

 

Cons: Bass can be too much for some, No carrying case included.

 

 

img_2484.jpg?w=300&h=179

 

The Hisoundaudio Popo is officialy retailed for 89$, but it can be purchased for around 60$ via various resellers, like: Frogbeats , the top-rated eBay seller, bigbaragainonline or through Hisoundaudio themselves. You should check all of the retailers, as some of them provide with the Popo some extra accessories like cases, adapters, etc.

 

 

This review has been reposted from my blog, It's a Headphones Thing.

 

 


Edited by ItsMeHere - 2/27/12 at 7:17am
post #2 of 40

I wouldn't call popo bass heavy earphones.

post #3 of 40

Thanks for the review.

POPO implys the earphone for Pop music styles. We target to design a pair of earphone have huge soundstage just like the outdoor concert or at the disco hall. Which require the earphone has punch bass and good mids and highs.

 

 We hope to realize the clear bass, but at the same time, the  mids and highs still keep in high quality,for we think the listeners not only prefer the bass, but also perfer the extended highs. It is a hard to get them balanced, but we think we have got it down.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipit View Post

I wouldn't call popo bass heavy earphones.



 

post #4 of 40

Well... Everyone hears things differently. But I will agree that these are not bad earphones after all.

post #5 of 40

The POPO's you've linked are probably the older version? The build details are different.

For instance there is no "hi" at the back of the housing and the cable connection to the earphone is also different.

So I don't know if these are really still $60 but the $89 unit from hisound's official page is bundled with a AMP3 M Player. Good deal imho.

 

 

 

**Review Below**

 

First off, I'd also like to thank Jack for allowing me to review a sample.

From the email he sent back to me, the specifications are as such:

Quote:

Type:Dynamic,in ear
Size of the driver:@9mm
impedance:16 OHM
Sensitivity:110db
Maximum SPL (Sound pressure level):127db(1khz,1 Vrms)
Frequency response:16-23khz
earphone jack :3.5mm
Length of the cable 126CM

 

Secondly, take note that this review is based on personal observations and contain personal opinions.

Lastly, I will be comparing these to the re0 very often in this review, as they are in the same price range and are (or were once?) one of the popular recommendations on Head-Fi for it's amazing sound for the buck.

Without further mention, here are my appreciations:

 

 

Visuals: With red cables, one thing people may ask you is "are those Beats?", and we can't blame them. These are built quite visually appealing, though opinions could differ by the individual.

 

Accessories: I was truly surprised when I opened the box to find so many tips! The hisoundaudio POPO comes with a medium single flange pre-fitted like most IEM, and sports a pair of S, M, and L of single, bi, and triple flange in the accessory bag. Yes, this means you have a total of two pairs M single flange tips, which is very much appreciated if that is the size you wear. Also included is a clip.

 

The large variety of tips should provide you with at least one proper fit: to me these were the single flange and the hybrids (bi-flange) in M. The type of tips used will affect the way it sounds and how well it stays in your ears, so unless you are traveling with all of them, try them out before choosing your to-go set. Note that these tips are pretty standard size, so they will fit a wide range of IEMs and the use of other brand tips will also be possible (I've had IEMs in the past where this was not the case). As for the build, there is not much to say as these things are pretty standard. I have, however, found some tips where the flange silicone has not been properly trimmed off and small bits of the excess still remain.

 

These earphones come with a shirt clip that doubles as slider. No, the earphones do not have a built-in slider on the Y-split, which was a first to me. Since I almost never use the slider, this is not a big issue; for those that do use slider, using the clip may be obstructive and may look slightly ridiculous as they're pretty big. The clips on the other hand, are quite solid and grips well on thinner fabric, compared to the similar looking clip from the HiFiMAN re0 which do not.

 

Sadly there is no carrying case for these, nor any form of pouch. These may possibly be available optionally...? I am making this assumption based on the box the sample POPO were sent from; the PAA-1 box shows optional features such as carrying case and cable extension for that specific model, which may mean the same could be possible with the POPO.

Isolation: If you get a nice fit, the isolation is quite good. If ljokerl placed re0's at a 3.5/5, it would be safe to say that these will score higher. At 3 bars volume on my iphone4S I can barely hear the treadmill I am running on!

 

Cables and Microphonics: The red cable is nice and springy. I did find it's texture to have changed from a rubbery feel to being somewhat drier and rougher. The same applies to the rubber Y-split and the rubber covered 3.5mm plug. While the cable does have minor case of memory (after over 2 weeks they still retain their original packaging folds), the cables are not one that will instill you with the fear of it failing. It is very solid and will stand abuse.

 

In terms of microphonics, I found them to be minute at first. After the surface hardening, the microphonics have increased substantially. Wearing them over the ears reduces microphonics significantly, although not completely eliminating it; in fact there is a bigger issue when wearing over ear... read on.

 

(There can be multiple causes to the hardening of the cable and rubber. Do not forget that these have been sampled with everyday use, which includes using them outdoors in winter. Montreal is also significantly drier than Asia, and ever more so in winter. These have proved to at least retain better cable flexibility in the cold compared to my other earphones/headphones; in fact they fare better in the cold than all of my other gears.)

 

Fit and Comfort: These IEMs have a smaller girth, and the comfort will depend on the tip. When wearing them I can barely feel anything other than the tips and are definitely on the comfortable side. I can wear them for hours and not feel discomfort. Notice I do not mention feeling the cables at all, which is a plus in terms of comfort, but can be problematic on the fit.

 

No matter how well the tips fit, these have been giving me comfort issues related to the fit. Since these earphones have a smaller diameter but a longer barrel, it means that the cables are hanging off further from your ears. Many have mentioned 'deep insertion design', but at the deepest even with a smaller tip size, the barrel will still stick out quite far. Put this in very simple analogy, the length of the barrel gives the cables very good leverage to pop the earphones out of your ears, or at least destroying the seal to your ears. If you are wearing a jacket, know that these will pull out even with a very good silicone tip fit.

 

The other issue regarding the fit is wearing over ears. Fitting them over-ear is not much of an issue, but the earphones become more sensitive to being pulled off. Having the cables far from where your ears are sealed not only provides leverage for cables to pull off the IEMs, but also makes it very hard to keep the cables wrapped around your ears due to its distance and because the cables are very springy.

 

Due to these fitting limitations, note that these will not be suitable for use with a lot of moving around, needless to say exercising. Commuting is borderline. For those that sleep with their earphones on, please do not try with these, especially if you are a side sleeper.

 

The sound is not fatiguing to listen to, although I would recommend listening to them without a proper seal from time to time since the bass can be overwhelming.

 

Build Quality and Design: The finish and the overall build quality of the earphones are very good. No issues with that. The POPO also does not use felt filters like the re0, and after 2 weeks+ of use, there has been no problems regarding the filter getting even a tiny bit dirty. I cannot go over 12 days without changing filters on the re0...

 

As for the design, aside from the ones causing fitting issues, these are very well suited for use with modern portable sources. While many do prefer an angled plug, these are straight and very small. With that said, the plug will fit virtually any case you may have for whatever portable device used. Naturally, those with cellphones that output their earphones from the side, these will be very obstructive. I would suggest an angled adapter. The Y-split is covered in a pretty large section of rubber, which will provide frankly a good deal of protection against anything getting hooked. As for the strain relief on the connector, while it may not seem very safe, it works very well with these cables.

 

As for durability, I believe that these can last for a fairly long time with minimal care. All remains to see is whether the wood will experience cracking problems. So far, going from the cold and dry exterior to a hot and humid interior, such as in buses and metros, has not caused any problems in this regard.

 

Drive-ability: Okay, not sure if that's a word, but these are definitely on the easy side to drive. Definitely no amp required to drive, and I can achieve my commuting listening volume at 1~3 bar on my iphone. Since these also have very high sensitivity, be ready to hear background noise you normally don't notice, depending on your setup.

 

Sound: The POPO is not a neutral earphone, but a fun one. The first impression right out of the box was that it sounds... okay. Before any burn-in has been done, the first things I’ve noticed is that the sound is warm, bass oriented, and that voices sound hollow. Depending on the type of music you listen to, this may have huge effects on your enjoyment. While deeper male voices sound very good, higher pitched voices suffer from two hints of tin-can syndrome. Fortunately, after only 30 minutes of listening, the sound changes for the better. These changes are very small. After over 100 hours of burn-in, the overall impression of the sound is roughly the same: warm. The voices no longer sound hollow, but it is then clear that these are dark. I know that hisoundaudio purposed these earphones for pop and the likes, but without being able to fully portray normal to high pitched voices, I cannot call these for "pop" (strictly pop). Maybe other forms of popular music, but pop and rock are not at their best here. In the case of rock, the voices are fine but the guitars may suffer a bit. BUT! if you like listening to the basslines rather than the guitar, you will be very pleased with these!

 

Dark and warm. If you can withstand this sound signature, they definitely sound very good. Though depending on what kind of music you listen to, once again, things change a lot. Now since these are bass oriented phones (the only ones I own where I can actually hear some sub-bass while commuting!), let's talk about bass. The bass is not to the point of being bloated, but there is definitely more in quality than in quality. Perhaps even a tad bit too much in quantity for my liking; these IEMs rumble in my ears! The bass is controlled, but definitely not tight. This also leads me to talk about decay. The sound, especially the low frequencies, do not decay fast enough and that makes the bass and sub bass muddy. Listening to some club/dance music, you can notice that the whole lower end becomes chaos. On slower songs, or songs without too much different low frequency sounds, there is no such problem.

 

Now with all that said, it may sound as if the bass on these is horrible. No, they’re not. The sub bass is not controlled enough, but in this price range that is a definitive asking for too much. With most types of songs I’ve listened to, there is no issue with the bass not keeping up. The bass is very prominent, however, and those not seeking for bass heavy IEMs should definitely look elsewhere.

 

Now in terms of midrange, there is a bit of bass bleed. As mentioned previously, the midrange is nice and warm, but seems to have a drop approximated around 700Hz~1.2kHz, which explains why the voices do not sound full. If you hit YouTube and seach for Sam Tsui, that will give you a pretty good idea of what kind of voice will suffers from this. The overall listening experience will still be pretty good however. As for treble, it definitely is there, though not full enough to give the impression of lots of clarity and detail.

 

Ideally, these IMO are best suited for songs without too much voices (as in, too much different sounds), or songs of slower tempo. While the instrument separation isn’t the culprit, in fact it is quite acceptable; the problem lies with the reverberation time as discussed previously. Genres like orchestra and choir music, which tend to have extended notes, will sound fair. Acoustic guitar sound nice and warm, and are perhaps some of the best portrayed voices. For those familiar with guitars, the POPO will represent choosing a mellow set of strings while the re0's would represent choosing steel strings. Though I should emphasize that not all fast(er) songs will sound bad. I am a huge fan of Falcom (Japanese game company) and their JDK band, and their music sounds really good on the POPO. Part of it is because their music often incorporates violin, and the bass part is well written. Search YouTube for “falcom jdk super arrange” for a taste of it, and know that these music mostly do not have problems with the slower sub bass of the POPO, nor with human voices since there are none.

 

These have been recognized to have very good soundstage for the price range. Since I normally wear closed headphones, I will say that I did not particularly feel the soundstage. If this does not tell you heaps about it, then I will rephrase: the soundstage is comparable to some closed full-size headphones. Naturally, I mean the ones with smaller headstage, but that is still very good for an IEM of this price range.

 

And for those wondering, these definitely can hit 16Hz as listed in the specs. I cannot hear it very well but the vibration and pressure level change in my ears when I generate the tone on Audacity is definitely felt. If anything, 18Hz is still audible for me and I can definitely hear it rumble in the POPO!

 

Equalizing: These react very well to equalizing. For those that do not mind using equalizers, most of the issues with the slightly lackluster treble and the sometimes overpowering bass can be solved. I have found that equalizing on my e17 with -4 bass & +4 treble balances it out pretty well for me. In fact, the problem I stated previously about the lack of body in voices is improved if not mostly fixed.

 

Value: In all honesty, these are pretty good for, say, $60. Now how much the final pricing will be for the earphones alone, I do not know yet. But as mentioned at the top of this post, at $89 including an amped MP3 player, I'd say it is very good, especially if you need a portable source. [EDIT: Put this into perspective: The bundle is $89 and the AMP3 M is listed for $59. This means the POPO is actually $30! If this is 'pretty good' for $60, it is quite the value at $30, or even say $40.] Whether or not I would recommend these would depend on a few factors: if you do not mind darker sounding phones; if you like warm sounding phones; and if you like bass. Also, if the music you listen to tends to have more male voices than female, since the mids are not full. If none of these are you, the re0 will probably still satisfy your needs better. The POPO ,however, seem likely to outlive several pairs of re0's based on reliability and build quality (bias based on the lengthy reports of broken re0's)… All in all, I have to say I enjoy these very much. Note that I do play electric bass so I like to be able to hear basslines, I enjoy warm sounds and I do not mind slightly dark sound signatures. Listening to anything from bass to upright or even cellos will sound very good with these.

 

I've also asked my brother to give me a short impression of these. His conclusions were very similar to mines: the highs do not come out very much (you should know that he usually uses a AKG Q701 which have a lot of treble),and the sound is definitely warm and bassy. If it really is around 60$, they're not bad as long as the user does not mind dark sound.

 

Extra:

For those interested, I've also tested the POPO against the similarly priced re0's with some CDs out of a Pioneer CLD-1190 CD CVD LD player, and a Realistic STA-2000 AM/FM Stereo Receiver. The previous mentions are cumulative observation from the CDs and the various listening done with MP3s, FLACs and WAV from my Acer Aspire laptop or iphone4S.

Many of these CDs are very old. The ones I have chosen have very clean recordings (gotta love EMI), with the exception of the Soviet Army Chorus & Band, which has some background hiss.

 

From Luigi Alberto Bianchi & Maurizio Preda – Paganini - Sonate inedite per violino e chitarra (Dynamic digital, 1985): Violins sound very good, but compared to re0's they sound like comparing a good violin vs. an high quality aged violin (I do have some background with violinists and have had the chance to listen to world class violins loaned from museums) since the POPO does not portray the highs bright enough for violins. The guitars have their pros and cons on both units.

 

From The King’s Singers – A La Francaise (EMI Records, 1987): These CDs feature a lot of male voices, as well as orchestrated music. As expected, the POPO cannot bring out the full body of tenor voices, but fares better at bringing out the bass singer's voice. On fast piano rolls, the POPO is not fast enough to keep up without slightly muddying the notes.

 

From Shikata Akiko – Harmonia (avex, 2009): One of my favorite songs in this CD is 'Aoiro Kandume'. The song's two most important voices Shikata Akiko's voice and the accompanying electric bass which complements it. From the re0's, this is exactly how it sounds. On the other hand, the POPO manages to put the electric bass alongside Shikata Akiko's voice as a main voice without drowning it. Having loved the song's bassline, this is definitely a pleasent surprise! Both earphones manage to capture all the other instruments' parts very well. On other tracks in this CD where there were lots of sub bass synths (actually slightly higher than being sub bass), the re0 can barely make out those notes while the POPO was drowning in sub bass.

 

From Soviet Army Chorus & Band, conducted by Colonel Boris Alexandrov (EMI Records, 1986): The voices are all male, and with much less higher pitched voices like in The King Singers. All I can say is that the POPO sounded absolutely fantastic for this. It really manages to bring out the power of their voices.

 

Personally I also find these very good for movies and dramatic music biggrin.gif

 

 

For now I will continue burning them in!

 

 

Changelog (Click to show)

Edit 06/03/12 11:50PM -- added equalizing.

 


Edited by kalbee - 3/6/12 at 8:51pm
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post

The POPO's you've linked are probably the older version? The build details are different.

For instance there is no "hi" at the back of the housing and the cable connection to the earphone is also different.

So I don't know if these are really still $60 but the $89 unit from hisound's official page is bundled with a AMP3 M Player. Good deal imho.



The pictures in the stroes which I linked to may be of the older batch, but I believe that now, only the new batch is sold.

Yeah, the 89$ deal is really good!

post #7 of 40

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipit View Post

I wouldn't call popo bass heavy earphones.



confused_face(1).gif

 

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

 



confused_face(1).gif

 



What's wrong? Everyone hears things differently ;)

post #9 of 40

I got Standard version of Popo. I guess there are two versions- one is bass heavy and other touch not.

 

 

post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

As requested by various members, the thread title is now changed and this will be the Popo Reviews thread. Everyone that had got the Popo through the reviewing actvity, post your reviews here.

post #11 of 40

Tks for the support I will write my review about these ASAP :D

post #12 of 40

 

Introduction

Hisoundaudio is a company who’s widely known for their DAP, being their most widely known models the Rocco Dap’s and the Studio V. Lately (2011), they have been trying to enter the IEM and the earbud market with a wide array of offers, being the crystals their model who has got more attention between the community. The IEM which I’ll be analyzing is the Popo, which has a wooden housing and a bassy and relaxed Sound signature.

 

 

 

Technical Data

 

Hisoundaudio Popo

 

§  Type: Dynamic, In-Ear

§  Size of driver: 9mm

§  Impedance: 16 Ohm

§  Sensitivity: 110db

§  Maximum SPL (Sound pressure level): 127db(1khz, 1 Vrms)

§  Frequency response: 16-23khz

§  Earphone jack: 3.5mm

§  Cable length: 126cm

 

Packaging

For the packaging, HisoundAudio chose a budget approach, and used a plastic container alongside some printed carboard to use as the product case. If this grants a superior product for a budget price, I have nothing against it, since most of the cases go to storage after I open the IEM, but if you need to have an appealing case to display the product on your store, this may not be the right choice, although these are for more experienced users, who already know what they want, and shouldn’t have their expectations built on the packaging. All-in-all, nothing fancy, but it does it’s job.

 

 

 

Accessories

The accessories are great – in quantity though. They come with a plethora of different eartips of different sizes (10 pairs of different tips!!!, 3 kinds of tri-flanges – S/M/L, 3 types of bi-flanges S/M/L, and 4 pairs of normal tips SS/S/M/L) and a shirt clip. I think the accessory package could have been a little bit better designed because if instead of providing so many tips, that will be rendered useless (since we only use 2), foam tips could have been provided (although I don’t know if they’re the best for the tonal balance of these). Also a huge miss in these is the lack of a carrying case, since almost every of its competitor has one in it’s accessory pack. I seriously think that the accessory pack needs to be redesigned, to a much more economical (less tips) but more useful, accessory pack.

 

Build Quality

 

Just after you get to see and touch (since you can see the IEM through the packaging) the IEM, you get a feel of a very sturdy build quality. Let me begin from below. The jack itself isn’t very big, but it has a what it seems, a very reliable stress relief on the jack. Going up through the well-build and flashy red cable, we stop at the Y-splitter. The splitter also has a stress relief on the base, and is made from black plastic, being a bit big, but if it means bigger durability, no problem. Once again, climbing through the cable, we get a sight of the housings. They also have a stress relief (although not as good as the formerly). The housing itself, the part which support the driver, is made from post processed wood, which has a very nice weight to it and nice touch. The part of the housing, which has the nozzle, is made from plastic and has engraved in it hisoundaudio and the side indicator. Overall I think Hisoundaudio has done right either in the color scheme of these (the red alongside the wooden housings is a killer look for me), either on the build quality, since these seem sturdy, and have one of the best cables I have come across. As always, only time will tell if they sustain daily usage, and if they succumb to the usage, I will surely update this point.

 

Comfort/Isolation

 

Finding the right eartips in the middle of the many they have sent is something that while it will take time, it will assure you get the best comfort/isolation ratio. For me, I have settled on the medium bi-flanges, since it was the best compromise in sound/comfort. Once you get the right eartip size, you’ll get a very comfortable IEM, despite the housing size, just don’t hope for a very deep insertion, but at all, they’re very comfortable.

 

These have a great isolation for vented dynamics (although not a very big vent), since I have used these on noisy places without any problem, while the outside noisy was muffled. But these have definitively an above average isolation for dynamics (above, for example, SoundMAGIC E30).

Overall, these should suit you if you need an IEM which has a very good isolation and doesn’t make any compromise on the comfort department.

 

Sound

Source – Rockboxed Sansa Fuze,  laptop (LG R400), TMN A1 (Huawei Pulse)

 

Files Used –  256 to 320 kbps and FLAC

 

When I first received these, these were very bass-heavy, but the bass was bloated. After hearing a bit, I let them burn-in on my burn in rig.

 

 

Burn-in

 

My burn-in consists in pink noise along with a playlist that is composed of the songs I usually hear on my daily basis.

 

After burn-in, I have seen that the bass has tightened substantially, while still dominating the spectrum. While this might have been something I would like for main IEM sometime ago, now I would prefer something more refined. More details on their soundsignature below.

 

I’ll start by the focus of these, the bass. I personally think that is it excessively overpowering. If it could be tamed down just a bit it would be perfect. Anyway, the bass of these is on a class of its own. The wooden housings produce a characteristic bass, due to reverberation, and these have an immense sense of air. The bass is one of the best (in quantity) while being good in quality (nice texture). Of course it could be a little bit more tight and detail, but for the type of music which these will probably be more suited for it won’t be needed. Although they still don’t possess the rank of “mighty subs” (quantity-wise FA Genesis, best IEM I have tried), they have a sense of uniqueness to its bass. Unfortunately, while the bass makes these IEM very enjoyable on bass heavy songs (dubstep for example), when the bass isn’t there, you can still feel a bump on the frequency spectrum, but this won’t probably matter since no one would buy an IEM of this kind to make an analytical listen. Overall, excellent bass (quantity wise and great quality wise) which suit a bass head needs.

 

The mids have a very lush but relaxed feeling to it, but they are recessed (or is it the lower range that is too proeminent?), which is unfortunate since these have a great detail on the mids. If more forward, these would be almost perfect for the kind of IEM these are. These put out good vocals (watch out for those who like vocal dubstep), which blend well with the full bodied lower end, but I still feel the mid-range could be a little bit more forward.

 

The high range, is good, crisp cymbals, although, once again, a little bit shadowed by the overpowering lower end. The treble won’t fatigue you, even on songs with harsh treble, since the higher end seems a bit tamed.

 

The wooden housing of these provides an amazing soundstage for an IEM alongside an immense sense of air, making these the IEM with one of the largest of soundstages I have ever tried on (perhaps on top, tied with the SoundMAGIC EH11). The instrument position and accuracy is relatively decent, but nothing to write home about.

 

To sum up, IEM with a fun Sound signature with loads of bass, that won’t fatigue you and won’t fail on you if you once or twice want to hear a song that is more technically more demanding.  

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Hisoundaudio has set the target market for these., which are those who are looking for a fun disco-like sound. And, for that market, I think that these may be their best bet for the price. They will also suit as a primary IEM for a bass head, and a nice alternative for a second IEM with a more relaxed sound signature. Whenever you need something that rattles your skull, the POPO is there for you.

While I wouldn’t use these as a main IEM (I think there are better options for the same price), I can see easily these being a bass head best friend and a complementary pair for an high end IEM owner.

That being said, I think Hisoundaudio could have done a better job with the accessory pack, alongside a little less pronounced lower-end. But, in what concerns to the sound, they have probably have done it for fun’s sake. And they have done it well!

All in all, I undoubtedly recommend these for those looking for an higher end, very good all-rounder, that will handle anything they might throw at these.

 

References

Hisoundaudio Popo

Price: RRP (89$) can be got at around 60$ from various distributers like Frogbeats

Site: Link

 

Will post pics later ;)

 

Meanwhile tell me what you think :D


Edited by kiler - 2/27/12 at 2:53pm
post #13 of 40

Reserved

post #14 of 40

 

Hi All,

First of all I’d like to thank Mr. Jack Fu from Hisoundaudio for choosing me with these IEMs to review. Hopefully this review will be able to shed some light on the IEMs from a company known for its DAP. The POPO IEMs have a great mix of value and fun factor.

Now down to the actual review:

 

The case packaging is a little plain and feels a bit cheap for IEMs of this price, especially compared to the elaborate and well-presented packaging of the DUNU IEMs. The plastic case is quite reminiscent of the case that iPods used to come in. Then again packaging doesn’t have much to do with sound quality so it’s not a big deal to me.2012-03-01 10.19.07.jpg

 

Accessories: The packaging comes with the IEMs themselves, a shirt clip, and a whole array of different eartips. There are 3 sets of regular eartips (S,M,L), 3 sets of bi-flange tips, and 3 sets of triple-flange tips. The assorted mix is very nice although the build quality on them isn’t fantastic. However, I did enjoy trying different ones as IEMs that I bought in the past did not have as extensive of a mix as the POPO IEMs do. The one thing I think should be included (and is pretty much standard for any IEM this price) is a carrying case. (8/10)

 

 

Build Quality: I love the red wiring on the IEMs and the wood housings do look very classy. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that my unit at least already has some small chips on the edge of the wood. However, the housings themselves are very sturdy and built very well. There are strain reliefs both on the housings and the plug although the plug has me worrying a bit; the strain relief seems a bit flimsy and the plug itself isn’t very well protected. The cable itself feels fantastic, relatively rubbery with almost no memory and relatively tangle-free as well. Overall, I really like the build but the actual plug has me a little concerned (8/10)

 

Isolation: I actually do get a very good seal with just the standard Medium eartip. With the bi-flanges it’s even better but not quite as comfortable for me. For a vented IEM, the isolation is fantastic. I can easily block out sounds on campus, on a bus, or even in a room next to a common room with people drinking and playing games (9/10)

 

Comfort: Between the ergonomic shape of these IEMs and the giant variety of tips provided, comfort is top notch for me. Unfortunately I must note that with a few of the eartips (particularly the Medium single flanged ones) do lead to some annoying driver flex. (9/10)

 

Microphonics: Pretty standard. The material that the wire is made out of seems to attract a bit of noise from rubbing however. Microphonics could be reduced by wearing them over-the-ear but with the shape of the housings, it doesn’t really work out for these IEMs (7.5/10)

 

Sound Quality: The most important part. Right off the bat when I first got these IEMs and plugged them in for a first impression, I felt that the bass was too much and the sound was congested. So I let them burn in for about 50 hours (I almost return my TF10 after a horrible first impression but let them burn in and now I love them) and here is my actual opinion:

 

Starting with the low end, which is definitely the most impressive part of these IEMs, the bass is the first thing any listener would notice. Both boomy and punchy, the bass has great quality and even greater quantity. The sub-bass is also superb, very likely the best on any sub-$100 IEMs that I’ve ever heard. As a person who used to be a bit of a basshead, the low end is definitely enough to bring a smile to the faces of bass lovers. However, for people seeking more balance, many will find the bass to be a bit too much. Personally, the bass is just a bit too much and does bleed into the mids a bit and overshadows the rest of the sound range as well. The bass is relatively fast as well but could be a little tighter (however, the fact that the bass isn’t as tight as it could be contributes to the fun factor that these IEMs bring)

 

The mids are very respectable as well. Vocals sound very natural and warm but tend to be a bit overshadowed by the low end as previously mentioned. While not quite that lively or sparkly, vocals do manage to sound relatively full and smooth. Vocals with piano or acoustic instruments actually have a very intimate sound, bringing the listener right up front to the sound.

The highs are definitely possibly the least competent mainly because they are eclipse by the massive low end. However, when listening to songs that don’t have as much bass present, the highs tdo come out quite nicely. The highs are crisp but lack the sparkle that some other more balanced IEMs might have.

 

I wish the soundstage were a bit wider as it is pretty average. At first they sounded a bit congested, especially since I’m used to listening to my TF10s but after spending 2 weeks with them, I am learning to appreciate this pair of IEMs more. I catch myself bobbing my head to the beat often. Vocals sound warm and sweet and the bass impact is fantastic for pop, house, electric, and dubstep. I have to note that there is moderate driver flex with some of the tips included.

 

Overall, the POPO IEMs present themselves as a pair of IEMs with great fun factor. With a very natural, warm, and intimate sound, I must admit they are not for everyone, especially those who are lovers of analytical sound. But for those who like the kick from the low end, these IEMs are a fantastic bargain and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with them. EQing can help those looking (8/10)

 

Value:  These IEMs can presently be found for $59.99 on eBay. Four years ago, I bought a pair of Sony’s extra bass IEMs for $40. There is absolutely no competition. The POPO IEMs blow away the Sony’s in every aspect and the extra $20 is easily justifiable. With a killer low end, warm and smooth mids, and crisp highs, these IEMs provide fantastic sound and fun for the price they ask for. For the audience they are targeting, Hisoundaudio definitely got it right! (8.5/10)

 

Thanks again to Hisoundaudio for the opportunity to review these IEMs!

 


Edited by rushofmusic - 3/16/12 at 2:31pm
post #15 of 40

the first page should be reviews only, if the mod could clean out the extra it would help keep things organised, that way from the second page on people can discuss (that also means removing this post)

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