Thanks again to Mr Fu for sending me review sample of Hisound Living (149USD).
Hisound Living is currently as highest end earbud in Hisound Audio current line-up. I will be focused on sound quality in this review, because this is the reason making Living so seductive.
Design and Ergonomic
There is really nothing fancy or outstanding in terms of designation of the Living, it is of coz better looking than the apple ‘plain water’ earbud, and to be frank it is one of the best looking earbud in the market, I know the Sennheiser MX is cool as well, but I like the mature and darkish looks of the living.
Ergonomic wise, I can’t really say Living had hit the spot. I have to slightly tilted the living to get the best sound, it won’t be sticking on your ears as IEMs do, but once you have get used to it, this is not a big problem. But until now, I will not describe Living as something that is really comfortable.
While ear shell is nothing that is really spectacular, it is well built and quite durable. Cable is not flat cable design so will be tangled sometimes, this is something that is normal and not that disturbing for me. However, I really hope Hisound can improve the comfort level of Living.
Living’s performance is something that is really seductive!
Living is not something that is really special until you put on the music. Generally, Living has somehow cold and blunt at the time when I received it, I have burning it in for about 300 hours, now sound is more texture and ‘come out’. All I can tell you is that Living is an uncoloured plain water, it is something that I will really called it as ‘studio monitoring’, not forward sounding not backward sounding, it is flat. I even heard Gary Chao is a little bit off pitch in his song <谁来陪我唱完这首歌>.
If you do not like your sound to be as pure as this, you will not like Living. Living has a good bass response which I am really surprising to hear this in an ear bud. I never find the bass of Living is lacking or too much, it is just has good presentation and quantity, which is really just nice. For example when I played the sound Crazy in love (Beyonce) for fun, I don’t think the bass is insufficient, it has a fast decay and not rumbling much, this is what make Living is not a bass focused or ear bud for bass head. Bass quality is good, when I played Avocado (Jesse Cook), bass has good impact and has respectable presentation. It is not that kind of super big body bass but it is definitely an enjoyable and 'hi-fi' one, being punchy and fast.
Mid is natural and airy, vocal is quite expressive, however it does not have the warmth that most of us like. Living has neutral sound signature that lacks warmth although stay true to the music but will make long session music listening session tiring at time. Sound is 'stiff' and 'hard' that lack 'round-off' might be too direct to ears for long session, maybe this is just me though.
Treble response is natural, but I will not surprise if some saying that it is a bright sounding ear bud. I personally don’t think it is bright, it has good presentation.
Instrument separation and imaging ability still, is one of the Hisound best game, including the Living, excellent instrument separation capability do really keep the sound aligned nicely all the time. However, despite of its ear bud’s nature, Living does not have soundstage as big as I am expecting, although it is not too bad that I will described as focus soundstage.
Hisound Living stayed true to the source, I will recommended a warm sounding DAC/Amp for getting the best out of it.
For 149USD, I am surprised at how Living present itself to the listeners. Living is clearly not tuned for everyone and will not making majority of listener feel ‘WOW’ from the very first time they listened to Living. I just want to clarify that, it is not because of Living does not have good sound, instead, Living has good audio quality if you spent time with it. But this kind of sound signature is really toward ‘Studio monitoring’ purpose rather than adding coloration that making music sounds euphonic to ears, I found myself spent at least 3 songs everyday with Hisound Living, let music tell me what it want to let me know.