Bumpity bump where is everyone today
Hisoundaudio is famous for their DAP range especially the now discontinued Rocoo A and Rocoo AB and also some of their earphone range such as PAA 1. Lately, they have been coming out with lots of IEM to cater the market needs and the Hisoundaudio PoPo that is reviewed here is one of their latest IEM that uses woods instead of traditional metal or plastic to give a more natural presentation.
Type: Dynamic, In-Ear
Size of driver: 9mm
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Maximum SPL (Sound pressure level): 127db(1khz, 1 Vrms)
Frequency response: 16-23khz
Earphone jack: 3.5mm
Cable length: 126cm
The red cable on PoPo is really attractive and it does looks like you are wearing a beats from afar. For those who are looking into fashion as well, I think you should invest in PoPo as I believe they will be better sounding than the beats. (Never try one before)
The cable is also thicker and less microphonic than my Woody 2. The strain relieve also seems to be better than my woody 2 as well. The cable is less prone to tangle due to the thicker size and the material used in it. You can basically put it into your pocket and unwrap it in a shorter amount of time as compared to Crossroads Woody 2 and other IEM that are prone to tangle.
The PoPo is made of African Rosewood while the Crossroads Woody 2 does not states the material used. The housing is not only smaller in size but also has a ported vent to help improve the bass. However, the isolation is still very good and almost as good as my Woody 2 with comply foam. This means the Hisoundaudio PoPo IEM is a better IEM for outdoor use while the woody 2 is only meant for use at home or office settings.
The moment that you put it in, bass is the first thing that you will noticed. They have the thunderous bass punch and earth shattering vibration which many IEM and even headphones lacks of. You are not only getting punch but enough vibration to make the bass feeling complete. While the impacts is fixed, the low-end rumble will change from linear bass response to EQ either up or down on the sub bass part with different DAC and Amp. On my system, I’m getting a linear bass response most of the time.
The decay on the bass note is quite long as well but this might be a nature of the woods as my Woody 2 also does has this long decay. On some songs it does overpower a bit but on some others songs the decays is kind of addicting such as when you are playing an acoustic tune where the bass is not as strong.
The mids is laidback and recessed or veiled or whatever terms you may want to use. They are hidden by the bass especially in the mids to lower mids section. This makes the mids not only darker but also lost clarity in those areas. This is the part which I hope will improve after few months of burn in and if they don’t change then the manufacturer should try to make improvement in here.
I’m not sure is it because of the tuning or is it because they use woods in the designs. The highs is really smooth. Not yet reaches the level of liquid smooth mids on the Crossroads HR1 but it is smoother than my other headphones and also smoother than another woody headphone, the Crossroads Woody 2. They will still bring out the sharp tone on the songs if they do have it. But most of the time they don’t . The treble is also darker sounding than even my JH16PRO. In short, the treble is smooth and dark sounding.
The soundstage is spacious with sufficient amount of width and height. They are not extremely wide but they do share the same kind of soundstage as a full size headphone where it is rounded instead of panning to the left and right. This helps filled out the ambience in a hall when listening to live songs. However it is like the Crossroads Woody 2 where the depth does suffer and the separation is not as clean. Using the triple flange could help improve the depth by a small margin if you do care about the depth.
I’m not sure how many people is successful in getting it to work on Rock and Pop song as it was originally intended to but I still can’t get it to works on those genre. On the other hand I find it to have enough low bass, bass punch, treble, speed and attack to handle the dubstep and electronica in which many of my headphones failed to. While my JH16PRO handles well in terms of speed and just about every part but they don’t feel like a match because of the lacks of proper attacks. On the other hand, DT880 has attacks and speeds but it takes a brighter tone than the warmer PoPo. Both PoPo and DT880 handles nicely for those genre but on a different tone while others have failed.
Choices of Tips
Choosing the right tips is also very important in this IEM. You are given a range of single, double and triple flange with three pair of size each for small, medium and large which adds up to 9 pairs of tips and an extra medium size single flange. That is quite good since you are not only able to find the one that fits you the most, you might even be able tune the sounds if all the types of flanges fits your ears. However, choose them wisely as each tips will give different sound under different system as well. On the single flange, I’m hearing stronger bass impact and treble while the triple flange will give cleaner bass and treble with improvement depth as well. I think most likely audiophile will prefer the triple flange instead of the single because it brings a cleaner sound and the improvement in depth over the single flange.
When it comes to amplification it is very straight forward. You don’t even need to spend a whole load of money on high end amplifier to power this IEM. I can even power it with a Fiio E5 with canare L4E6S cable to great authority. What is important is the tuning of the amplifier and DAC that are towards the faster side with good amount of mids and treble to help boost its weakness.
I think the PoPo has a very noticeable problem here. I did read quite a lot of reviewer are hearing clarity in here. But the problem is that my ears doesn’t share the same impression as others have heard. I have even alternating between different DAP, DAC and Amp. On certain songs the clarity is lost and covered up by the heavy bass but on certain songs such as electronica and dubstep and the Chinese classical that I tried does have lots of clarity. Testing on random songs through my iPod also found some does delivers great clarity while some songs lose clarity. I believe this is because of the recessed mids which causes the lacks of clarity in the mids to lower mids registry while songs that have clarity in the upper mids and highs will show up clearly. So what you get is a treble boosted clarity.
Comparison In a Nutshell
POPO VS Crossroads Woody 2
Stronger impact and weightier bass
Smoother highs but darker sounding
Faster and more suited for dubstep, electronica, cello, double bass and other instrument focused on lower ends frequencies and also Chinese classical songs. (I wonder is it because they are from a Chinese company)
Refine and more natural bass
Clearer highs and mids
Slower but more natural, suited for wind, brass, woods instruments, audiophile title, female vocals, Jazz.
POPO VS DT880 Premium 250ohm
Sufficient speed to handle electronica and dubstep but with more emphasis on lower tone with warmer tone.
More subwoofer like sound.
Faster than popo in electronica and dubstep but with more emphasis on treble to give better clarity and details.
More refine and smoother.
POPO and Crossroads Woody 2 VS Just about everything else
Woody!!!!! Yes both sounded more wood like than other plastic material used on most headphones.
POPO and Crossroads Woody 2 VS JH16PRO
Better physical feeling on low ends. (More dynamic)
Other than that JH16PRO smokes them in just about every corner.
Most of the equipment I included here is not a fair fight for the PoPo but I just included them to let you get a general understanding of how it sounded against other headphones.
Do I recommend them? The earth shattering bass does a great job in electronica and dubstep and some random songs. (Unrelated to genre but how they are EQ) But it does comes with a cost in which they are not as technically proficient as what the audiophile will seeks. I’m still pretty sure that this kind of tuning still will have their own markets. The Aiaiai TMA1 that cost around US$ 275 still have loves in the audiophile community even when they have the same problem as PoPo. Anyway my advice is that don’t always falls prey for audiophile sounds as most of them are unable to convey the fun in the music the way the mainstream or lower ends are able to provide. For street price of just around 60-70, you should give it a try especially when you are a die hard fans of electronica and dubstep or even some instrumental songs.
Choosing a less warmer DAC and Amp for a brighter and more solid state sound will match better in here and at the same time helps bring out a cleaner sound. Most of my reviews are based on the single flange rather than the triple flange so it may not sound the same as those wearing different tips.
This review is only based on one week of burn-in so it may not be the same as the final outcome. My Crossroads Woody 2 and JH16PRO also takes a few month of burn-in for the bass to calm down.
After one week of use, the mids does clear up a little but still retains the warm and dark sound signature that I heard from the start.
Source: Govibe DAC, Hifiman HM-602, iPod Classic
Amplifier: JdsLabs cMoyBB, SPL Auditor, Fiio E5
Headphones: Superlux HD668B, Superlux HD681, JH16PRO, DT880, Shure SE535, Crossroads Woody 2, Crossroads HR1
Site URL: http://www.geeksreviews.net/
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.
First thing that's very likeable about this IEM is the plush wooden housings joined meticulously with front metal nozzle end. These have over 200+ hours of burn-in. Let's start with the basics:
Packaging and Accessories : Housed in a plastic case. Sure to stand some rough handling. It comes with a shirt clip and plethora of eartips to select from, ensuring that you get the perfect fit and tuning of sound you are looking for. Pleasant surprise that the number of tips are same as what I got with Golden Crystal, plus a few more EPH-100 type eartips which I will be using for testing as it doesn't accentuate bass as much as others and bring out a fair bit of sparkle.
Build Quality : Aesthetically, red cable matches with the overall design. And the thickness betrays the confidence in build quality. Paint job on metallic nozzle piece is pretty fine without any graininess. There are no rough or jagged edges. Filter mesh job reminds me of some of the top end IEMs in my collection.
Unlike non-L-shaped 3.5mm jack, strain reliefs on ear pieces are not as limber. Similar to RE-0 in stiffness. Vent placed at the bottom, towards metal nozzle piece, just beside the strain relief could have had better finish. Rear filed ends of each housings are different in size but that's probably because they were hand filed.
Comfort and Isolation: These are pretty light and the housings are small comparatively (smaller in diameter compared to RE-0). Getting a proper fit with Xears XE200PRO was a bity tricky but not with these. One can get a deeper seal with bi-flanges for good isolation. I'll be using EPH-100 type bi-flanges for testing these.
Lows: Quite an intimidating beast it is at the low end. Packs good rumble at the sun bass frequencies. Let me be frank here that I don't quite like the mid bass hump in lows. But HiSoundAudio team has pulled out the right combination here that I couldn't fault much. Bass is not as fast as e-Q5's and impact is softer comparatively but the texture is quite similar to e-Q5 and quantity higher than XE200PRO. Not boomy and not crammed up. It's like one can actually feel the layers. I personally liked the texture reproduction.
Mids: Weighty, warm and smooth. Slightly recessed compared to RE272 and similar to FXT90. Despite of the bass proclivity, vocals still stand out without any noticeable bass bleed. They have this lush warmish reverberating tinge, quite the signature of wooden housing IEMs. Unlike FXT90, these do lose out on detailing, esp on complex passages. No sibilance in appreciable amount noticed.
Highs: Crisp highs but not as bright as e-Q5 or RE-0 or XE200PRO. That actually leads to an easy non fatiguing listening time if you are sensitive to highs. I would have asked for more here as I like my IEMs sparkly. Compromises on some of the liveliness here. A little dark sounding to say.
Presentation: Slightly on warmer and lush side. More suited for certain genres like Dubstep, Electronica and similar genres. But I do like listening to some of the songs in other genres too for fun. However bass overwhelmed the spectrum in Post-Rock genre.
Soundstage: It's good to have great deal of bass with decent soundstage (wider than RE-0). Out of head sound enhances the listening experience.
Instrument Separation: Another plus point garnered here for good instrument separation at this price point except for extremely complex passages where bass overwhelms by strides. Comparatively, RE-0 excels at complex passages because of it's neutral sound signature and better detail retrieval.
Imaging: I was able to pick up the spatial locations of instruments without any concentrated effort. Really well done for this sound signature.
Final Thoughts: For a fun experience, these do prove to be a great sidekick to e-Q5. If you are looking for fun IEMs with good bass response then these, in all probability, will not disappoint you. Of course, if you are strictly an analytical listener then look somewhere else, plenty of other options.
Couple of songs which sounded better with these:
1. A Smaller God - Darling Violetta 320kbps (lows starting at 00.13 are kind of eargasmic with these)
2. The Poet and The Muse - The Poets of Fall 320kbps (good synergy here)
3. Walk to Regents Park - John Murphy 192kbps (1.33 onwards bass texture reproduced is simply inexplicable)
4. Breathing Again - Icicle Feat. Proxima 320kbps (prepare for the rumble)
5. Undisclosed Desires - Muse FLAC (one the songs that sounded better with these)
6. My Only Swerving - El Ten Eleven 192kbps (good beats there)
Source: Asus Xonar STX > Fiio E17 (12dB gain) at 30 > Foobar ASIO
I like the review, I agree on all points, i have bthe XE200Pro aswell and the TD-III which i will be doing an in depth comparison to, and it has the most bass by far, and the best imho, but the others aren't too far off in quality. anyway, i also agree, the mids are recessed (or is it veiled?) it becomes apparent when you EQ it, and I always ended up dropping the highs aswell, but I suspect I dropped the bass too much and increased the mids too little.
Hello to everyone! After about 3 weeks of testing now I definitely have my impression of these headphones. In time of testing I have some difficulties (about this I will write later), but I still continue to test them.
Technical specifications (take from email that sends me Mr. Jack FU)
Size of the driver：9 mm
Frequency response：16 - 23 000 Hz
Length of the cable: 126 cm
Packaging and Accessories: Headphones packed in plastic box, that looks cheap but when you take, you have a little confidence that in the unlikely case of delivery, to them nothing happen(knowing how working Ukrainian mail, then all can be happen). All inside packed in black with red colors paper, with little window for headphones on front and technical specifications (a little different than I got on my email) on the back. After opening box you can find inside: the headphones POPO or now correctly will be the POP, shirt clip, 10 pairs of Ear-tips (a little bit too much, but still more of them the greater the probability of finding the most suitable for the comfort and isolation of ear-tips), plastic VIP card and that’s all, where the pouch, it’s bad that it’s not included. I hope that in future complectation will be included carrying case. The rating is 7/10.
Design and Build Quality: The POP are build from African Rosewood, looks very nice with red cable, a little remember me Monster, and such a body from a wood betray the high cost of headphones. Rubber cord, very light as well as the headphones themselves. Going down the cable has a hard plastic Y split and it the bottom goes small or better say mini 3.5 mm jack. I better like L-shaped plug, but looking on this say mini 3.5 mm jack I think that all he does not get destroyed so fast. The rating is 9/10.
Comfort and Isolation: I have tried almost everything ear-tips and still don’t find for me the most appropriate isolation and comfort. At first I tried Small Bi-Flange tips, but after a week of using my right ear was a little pain and I had made a small break in the listening headphones. In the end I had to change the ear tips for others. I tried to Triple-Flanged Tips are Small and Large, as the average does not come, but for me they are located too deep for me, and it’s uncomfortable. I finally settled on small single flanged ear-tips, but still, they don’t quite comfortable to use, since they are a little big to my ears. Though not all ear-tips I came up, but in those that came, the isolation is very good. I often ride in the subway, and using these headphones on the subway, isolation allowed me to hear the sound of the train, but acceptable norm which is not greatly interfere with the music listening. Cable has a small microphonics when it under your clothes, but when on top of clothes and a good clip to fix it’s less. Most smaller when the headset over the ear. For the producer I would recommend to do redesign ear-tips, that they are more versatile. The rating is 6/10.
Sound: Before start to listen headphones, I did burn in 50 hours. The first thing you notice after the first listening is bass and the bass again. He is an incredible, big and deep and it's sounding headphones that you can’t be confused with other. I started listening to all that is on my iPod, since I'm more like melodic death metal, I started with him and continued the rest of all, in order to find out that most of these sounds better on headphones, and what will be the bass on my favorite songs. I wanted to see whether they are suitable for the metal listener like me.
After a short audition, I was slightly disappointed, as some of the songs I listened was with quick rhythm bass and it was combined with vocal, electric guitar and bass guitar, and the bass could not cope with all this abundance of sounds that sounded like a bass choking. But in any case, I continued to listen to them. While I listened to them, probably took another 50 hours of burn in. I noticed that the sound in some songs have changed for the better. Bass became more warm and soft, and in those places where he drowned his guitar and other music is gone. I really liked them sound in pop music, rock and electronics. I think that they are best suited for listening in these styles. I would like to provide vocals, he are always very clearly and distinctly audible voice, no matter what song to choose any really. Sound of female vocals, it is very pronounced, especially when it sounds enjoyable listening of Japanese music, you can clearly hear every word. I can’t say the same about male vocals, though sometimes it is slightly muffled, as if the headphones do not have enough frequencies to play it, but it happens very rarely and depends on the song. But in contrast to this they have a bass, such as if you have in each earpiece for the subwoofer, and it all give you a good 3D sound.
The rating is 6.5/10.
Conclusion: First of all, these headphones are designed for those who like bass, unfortunately I can not go to their number. For future users, I would recommend doing burn in at least 100 hours. Yes, they have a problem with middle frequencies, and they are not always expressive, but still this is a great product .
Overall rating is 7/10.
At the end: At this point, I do not have much experience writing reviews, but I hope that you liked my review.
P.S. I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Jack FU for providing a sample for testing.
This is my personal thoughts on the POPO IEM from Hisoundaudio.
Now lets get to the review.
Sound Quality : 7/10
Bass Quality : 7/10
Bass Impact : 10/10
Mids : 6/10
Highs : 8/10
Sound Stage : 9/10
Build Quality : 7/10
Leakage : a lot for an IEM
Accesories : 8/10
The most important factor when it comes to equipment like IEM's and headphones.
I am very supprised of the sound quality for its price($89)
. Has a broad sound stage but has a lot of punch to it as well.
You cant go wrong for this price. But I would say that these IEM's are for bassheads. (which I am)
The quality and clarity of the bass is not that high, but I can say that it has a lot of impact. Sounds like you have a subwoofer in your ears. So I would say that these are for fun listening rather than detailed listening. I assume the venting is causing this bass to boom but is also lowering that clarity at the same time.
The mids are nothing special because it is more of a bass emphasized IEM. (which goes the same for most bass heavy IEMS) But there is enough clarity and quantity for me.
The highs are preatty decent. Has a decent amount of quality and shines.
Sound stage is preatty broad for an IEM and a IEM in its price range. Its probably because it is vented on the bottom of the IEM.
Not sure how much these IEM will hold up because I have only used it for a few weeks, but it seems to be ok so far. But since it is lite, I have a feeling that it may break if you use it too roughly.
This is an important factor in Japan. Because people tend to start fights if your sound is leaking on the train or some sort of local transportation. This is what sucks about Japan, so I don't like IEMS that leak a lot, and the POPO IEMs tend to leak because it is vented. Due to the vent, the isolation is not that good as well, even with Comply foam tips
It comes with a lot of eartips which is preatty standard for any IEM now. So Its OK. It also comes with a shirt clip. But it would of been great if they included a case. It says "option" on the package so you might be able to get one if you ask for it.
These IEMs are great for its price which is $89. If your a bass head and like to have an IEM with a broad soundstage. this is for you.
I'll concede that I'm new to the headphone game. I'm no savant claiming erudition on the subject of headphones nor am I a charlatan. Hisound Audio has made a name for themselves for offering relatively wallet friendly digital audio players with a price to performance ratio that is astounding. Starting with a relatively small demographic of full-sized high impedance portable headphone users to reducing hiss and fixing problems indicated by consumers, they've branched out into the headphone market. Targeting a relatively budget-friendly (comparatively), money conscious audience, they've hit the jackpot with a series of great sound for the value IEM's.
In addition, I'd like to thank Jack of Hisound Audio for providing the review sample and kindly conversing with me and answering all my questions.
The Hisound Audio Popo is a single, vented 9 mm dynamic driver with a frequency response of 16Hz - 23KHz. With a relatively standard impedance of 16 ohms and a sensitivity of 110 dB, it is only moderately responsive to volume adjustment unlike other highly sensitive IEMs like the SM3. It is prone to picking up hiss and that isn't an issue with the headphones but rather the source. The barreled design allows for over the ear and under the ear usage although the lack of a cable cinch leaves the cable likely to fall off the ear. This issue is slightly augmented by the relatively annoying microphonics yet is no major problem when listening to music. The isolation provided by all tips are good drowning out voices and moderate level noises and the comfort level is top-notch with the size of the housing causing no pain.
The finished product is done very well besides some minor chips on the wood housing and sadly a disconnect of the wooden housing from the metal frame of the headphone easily fixed with a touch of glue. With sturdy strain reliefs at the exit of each wooden housing, the y-split and the straight 3.5mm jack it seems very well-made without any fears of cable damage. The cable sport a red rubberized finish with a nice smooth feeling. The thickness of the cable is neither too thin nor overly thick leading to easy use with length that nicely spans the distance from my ears to my pocket. The choice of a straight 3.5mm plug is not as well appreciated but that's just preference and the strain relief on the 3.5mm jack seems resistant enough preventing any future problems. Now, this may be due to my compulsive nature, but a slight observation that did not in any way hinder the finished product was that from the y-split up the cable to the left side was slightly longer by about 1/2 an inch. Hardly noticed, and hard to notice it is just a slight qualm that I wished to express. The small indicators of L and R on each headphone was a nice touch giving the user easy access and no confusions to which to put in which ear. The vent for the driver was placed directly below the wooden housing in an obscure and discrete location. Now on the meat of the product. The wooden housing gorgeous. Made out of African Rosewood, the choice of material was exquisite drawing envious looks and expressions from my friends and all alike. The Hisound Popo is a well designed and quaint little IEM with the use of wood gaining my props.
The Popo comes packaged nicely in a hardshell plastic case with the color scheme of the packaging neatly matching the color scheme of the ear phones themselves. With the headphones you receive a user manual in Chinese with a VIP Card (it is apparently used for possible discounts and I believe warranty although some clarification would be nice). A variety of tips (a plethora that'll make sure you achieve a secure fit for the optimal sound quality from the ear phone) and a shirt clip (that handily reduces microphonics) is included. Although there is no carrying case I am not too bothered by that while others may be. Overall, I thought the packaging was quite nice for the price point with the variety of tips topping it all off.
For this review, I was quite nicely provided the RoCoo BA, a new product specifically designed for highly sensitive balanced armature and dynamic IEM's. It utilizes 50mW of power, a nice compromise between power and the hiss provided by any more gain.
Furthermore I used several laptops to test the difference in SQ by use of different sources and the hiss emanating from each.
One word. Bass.
Targeted at a more modern demographic with a preference of pop and alternative music, the Popo as derived from what I'm guessing to be Pop, is what you would think it would be. It delivers a satisfying bass that is able to extend pretty low. After burn-in mentally and physically, the overbearing presence of it subsides slightly giving a slightly more controlled and tight bass. Again, there is no withholding the fact that it targets a general audience of bassheads. With pretty good depth and impact the lower frequencies become the driving force of a song (except those without bass of course). The bass bleeds a little bit into the mid-range warming up tracks, a little too much at times, yet is not necessarily unwanted. The attack and speed isn't the quickest I have heard yet the decay and texture is natural and satisfying if not a little too much.
The midrange is lush, rich and smooth. Although it seems recessed in comparison to the bass, it still is there presenting a moderate quantity and quality of details. As a preferential vocals lover, the usage of this IEM was a sharp contrast from other IEM's. I didn't realize the lush and colored tonality of the midrange until I switched back to the previous IEM that I was using and it sounded cold and stale in comparison. Sadly, at the expense of a lush sonic quality, the Popo loses out on transparency and clarity seeming a little too thick, augmented by the mid-bass. This is not to say that it is bad in any way, it is merely a preference and vocals sounded smooth with a slight grain analogue-like sound.
The weakness of this IEM is the treble. The dynamic drive although competent in the lower and middle frequencies is rolled and smooth in the highs with a lack of detail. Yet it still maintains a little bit of sparkle and the smoothness of it makes it unoffensive and complimentary to the other frequencies presented by this ear phone giving an overall pleasant experience. Treble lovers will want to stay away.
A final note, the soundstage is quite a nice addition is such a small barreled IEM. It is able to produce nice width giving a sense of air within each instrument and gives an intimate and up-front presentation. Definitely a plus in terms of helping to level out the bass of the headphone and for cinematic movies.
In summary, priced at under 100 dollars, the Popo is a great buy and a high value IEM that I would not hesitate to buy if my preferences were to more bass-oriented genres.