Accutone Pisces HD - Reviews
Pros: Excellent mid-centric sound signature, polite and shaped bass, detachable cables, included genuine Comply
Cons: Proprietary MMCX implementation, cable feels cheap, average tip selection

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Accutone Pisces HD Review: Everything The Pisces Should Have Been[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]This is another entry into my Accutone IEM marathon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Accutone, they are a Chinese audio company who has been in the business for over ten years. They started out producing business devices and have since moved into the consumer audio space. The Pisces HD is the second high-performance IEM to feature Accutone’s unique geometry.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]You can find the Pisces HD for sale here, on Accutone’s official website, for $90.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Accutone beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Source: The Pisces HD was powered like so:[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Nexus 6P -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]or[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Sound Signature[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Treble: Songs used: In One EarMidnight CityOutlandsSatisfy[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Treble is excellently tuned on the Pisces HD. It seems that Accutone had learned their lesson when tuning the standard Pisces. Treble now extends fully and noticeably. High-hats and cymbals sound really good and are very clear throughout the entirety of songs like In One Ear. In fact, it sounds like the Pisces HD effortlessly resolves them with almost perfect timbre.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The electric synths in M83’s song Midnight City were really well articulated and, despite being moved to the background, didn’t loose their separation during the bridge and chorus of the song. This is precisely what I expect from an Accutone IEM and is evidence of the skill they have back in R&D.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Depending on your setup the Pisces HD can sound a bit sibilant. For example, when played off my 9018 Sabre DAC, the Pisces HD had a bit of an edge while playing back Nero’s single Satisfy. However, all my other sources played very nicely with the Pisces HD and I had no other sibilance-based complaints.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayDreams[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The Pisces HD has a very well-tuned mid section. While it is on the lighter and nimbler side, it doesn’t feel shallow or hot. Guitars and drums are fully articulated and have good separation from each-other.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Pianos sound great in the upper mids, but lack some body in the lower mids. While some people really enjoy this tuning decision, my personal preference is that the lower-mids be a bit warmer then they currently are.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Vocals sound pretty darn good, male voices especially. Whether I’m listening deeper voices like those from Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin, or higher ones from Weezer and Audioslave, the Pisces HD performed well, weighting them effortlessly and articulating them well. This results in an almost balanced armature-like timbre, as articulation is well above average at this price point.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Bass: Songs used: MothGold DustIn For The Kill (Skream Remix)Leave Me[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Bass signature has changed dramatically from the Pisces to the Pisces HD. No longer must one wade through the warm, yet still very enjoyable, mid and sub-bass of the standard Pisces. It appears that the 50–250Hz range has lost some considerable weight, making it far more fit and nimble. Shaping is better, though impact and rumble are both less pronounced than they were before.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Gold Dust, while quite clear and articulate, lacked impact. While bass wetness was decent, it didn’t really matter too much since the bass’s emphasis was small. I found the sub-bass rumble to be quite good, if not a bit reserved for my tastes.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Packaging / Unboxing[/color]


[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Build[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Construction Quality[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The Pisces HD and the Pisces BA are almost identical in terms of exterior construction. The Pisces HD’s body is made from plastic, but has a small protrusion where the custom MMCX cable connects to it. The actual driver housing is made from a metal that is cool to the the touch. It must be dense, because the Pisces HD, like the Pisces BA, has some weight to it.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The cable is MMCX, but is a custom implementation of it, making it almost useless as a universal standard. Expect to be able to only use Accutone cables with this IEM, as all other ones won’t work correctly.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The shells of the MMCX connector are metal, though the rest of the cable, controls included, is made from a basic plastic. The cable seems a bit thin, and the controls feel cheap in the hand. It terminates as a right-angled 3.5mm jack. For $90, I generally expect something more substantial than this.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Comfort[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The Pisces HD, like the standard Pisces and the Pisces BA, is quite comfortable and works well with the included genuine Comply eartips. Insertion depth is average, but fits me really well. Isolation is above average, but not quite up to the level of some other IEMs in this price range due to its form factor.[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Accessories[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The Pisces HD, while better stocked than some other Accutone offerings, could still be better in terms of accessories. I would like to have seen the inclusion of another cable and some extra silicone eartips.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Summary[/color]

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The Pisces HD is exactly what the Pisces should have been. Unlike it’s cheaper sibling, the Pisces HD actually earns the right to be classified as a “Tuned For Clarity” IEM. For only $10 more than the standard Pisces, the Pisces HD offers significantly better sound and detachable cables, making it a much better offer. However, due to the lack-luster materials that the Pisces HD is made from and the frail nature of the cable, I can’t unilaterally recommend it. If you like the way its shaped and are looking for a high-detail and cohesive IEM in this price range, take a look. If you need something more substantial, then look elsewhere.[/color]
Pros: Sound quality, ergonomics, value for money, excellent Android microphone
Cons: Design may not be for everyone, proprietary MMCX connectors/cable
This is a review of the Accutone Pisces HD IEM’s.
The Accutone Pisces HD was sent to me from Accutone for the purpose of me reviewing it. I’d like to grab the opportunity to say thank you to Angus at Accutone for letting me try them out, THANK YOU!
The Accutone Pisces HD is on sale at the Accutone web store and the price at the time of this review was $89:
I’m not in any way affiliated with Accutone.
About Accutone Audio:
Accutone Audio has been around for over 40 years but it’s only the last couple years they’ve started to produce consumer oriented in ear monitors. Before that they were fully focused on making speakers and professional equipment for call-centers and other similar business. This is what they say about themselves on their homepage:
“We love music. Sometimes it feels like music is the only thing that really unites us. It is the medium which truly transcends culture, race, gender and age. Music is the most effective means to bring people closer. Although this may be good enough of a reason why we build headsets, it is definitely not the reason why we are able to build excellent headsets.
Accutone has been making some of the world's best headsets for decades, and our goal has always been about bringing people closer. In the past, our focus was on providing the best communication tools for businesses in the form of telecommunication headsets for call centers and corporations. We know that in order to really bring people closer, we have to build headsets with great sound quality, reliability and durability. We are able to do so, because we are passionate about what we do, and we have the knowledge and experience of how to make the best headset.
But we haven't forgotten why we started everything in the first place. We love music, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy music in the most accurate form as our beloved musicians intended. If we are able to do that, we will have achieved our goal of bringing the world closer.”
About me:
I’m a 44 year old music and sound lover that changed my focus from speakers to headphones and IEM’s about five years ago. At that time I realized that it wasn’t realistic for me to have all the different setups that I wanted and still house a family of four children and a wife so my interest turned first to full sized headphones and later also IEM’s.
My preferences are towards full sized open headphones and I believe that also says something about what kind of sound signature I prefer (large soundstage in all directions, balanced and organic sound).
My music preferences are pretty much all over the place (only excluding classical music, jazz and really heavy metal). My all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode although I also listen to a lot of grunge/indie, singer/songwriter/acoustical stuff as well as the typical top 40 music.
I do not use EQ, ever.
I tend to value function over form within reasonable limits.
I’m a sucker for value for money on most things in life Head-Fi related stuff is no exception.
Built and accessories:
The Accutone Pisces HD is an in-ear monitor featuring one 8mm beryllium coated dynamic driver.
AFAIK it comes only in one flavor: in the color black with a microphone for Android.
The detachable cable is round and flexible but still feels a bit on the cheap side. Although they’re possible to wear over the ears this doesn’t feel very natural to me so I’ve been using them straight down. Microphonic are present when moving around but it’s not any worse than on your average pair of IEM’s so not a big deal but it’s still there. Unfortunately they’re also missing a chin slider which is a shame to me since I love my chin slider, as usually I ade my own though (see picture below). The strain reliefs are in place but neither the housing nor the cable has any left/right markings so the location of the microphone is the only way to tell which side is which.
The cable uses MMCX connectors but unfortunately Accutone has opted for a proprietary version of it and this makes getting replacement cables a challenge. The location of the connectors on the side of the houses does also makes me a bit worried about long term usage. The cable includes a microphone for Android products. Both the answer/end call (combined with the pause/play feature) works great as does the volume control. The quality of the microphone seems to be very good and the way that the microphone unit is shaped like a old style phone is a nice detail. 
The build in general seem pretty solid despite being a bit plastic fantastic. The housings are all plastic but still feel fairly well made and very solid and the Y-split is also solid despite being quite small. In total I’d say that the build quality is fine for the price but nothing spectacular.
The retail package is very nice for the price point but unfortunately the accessories are quite spare and include the following:
2 pairs Comply foam tips
2 pairs of silicone tips (S/M, L)
1 pouch to store them in when not in use
The Accutone Pisces HD is slightly harder than average to drive but still worked very well with all the sources I’ve tried it with including cellphones. I don’t find them to benefit significantly from a more powerful amplifier and they seem to work well with all the sources that I’ve tried them with
The specs:
Driver Unit
8mm dynamic driver
Frequenzy range
10 g
Cable lenght
Fit and ergonomics:
The design of the Pisces HD is certainly unique and I’ve got to admit that they look pretty slick. Despite being quite large, especially for a single dynamic, the all plastic built makes them very lightweight. The “bow” on the housings makes them fit only with shallow insertion for me this may not be true for everyone though. The Pisces HD are really comfortable for me to wear and I hardly even notice that they’re there.
Both the included foam and silicone tips works well for me but the Pisces HD are quite sensitive on tips and fit (especially for bass reproduction) and I ended up using them with some RHA silicone tips for best combination of sound and comfort with my ear anatomy:
Isolation is about average, maybe slightly over if using the included foam tips. With music playing I wouldn’t say that isolation is a big issue with them though.
I’ve used them back and forward in the last month and they’ve played for well over 100 hours. I’ve used them both around the house and when out and about and I haven’t really found any significant weaknesses in the way they’re designed.
I’ve used them mostly with my LG G5 phone and the bit Opus #11 but I’ve tried them with a number of other sources as well and they’ve worked very well with all of them.
As already mentioned I enjoy the Accutone Pisces HD the most with RHA silicone tips.
Demo list:
Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
Røyksopp (Feat.Susanne Sundfør) – Save Me
Ane Brun – These Days
Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana
Metallica – Die Die My Darling
The Peter Malick Group – Immigrant
Eva Cassidy – Songbird
Thomas Dybdahl – A Lovestory
Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
Celldweller – Unshakeable
Jack Johnson – Better Together
Seinabo Sey – Younger (Kygo remix)
Dire Straits- So Far Away
Passenger – Let Her Go
Lupe Fiasco - Deliver
Morrissey – Earth Is the Loneliest Planet
The overall sound signature on the Accutone Pisces HD is a bit v-shaped with great clarity and resolution without ever getting fatiguing.
The sub-bass extension is quite good and although there’s some roll off on the deepest notes there’s definitely enough depth and presence to give a good fundament will all kind of music. The layering in the lower bass is also good. Mid-and upper bass is also fairly well present without being too noticeable with bass bleed happening only on occasionally tracks. The quality of the bass is really good, especially for an IEM at this price point.
The midrange is slightly recessed and feels very well balanced and controlled. The characteristic of the midrange is clean, natural and airy. Male vocals and string instruments has enough weight to feel natural and female vocals are very enjoyable and non-fatiguing. In total the midrange has great clarity and transparency and feels very enjoyable despite being a bit further back in the mix than I ideally prefer.  
The treble extension is pretty good and has it has enough richness that it manages to never get harsh or fatiguing. The charcter of the treble is neither fulla and lush nor thin and fatiguing but balance really good between the two making it very enjoyable and mixing in perfectly with the midrange. 
Clarity and micro details are very good for a single dynamic sub $100 offering and transparency is among the best I’ve ever heard I a single dynamic. Soundstage width is really great while depth and height is good.
Please note that the comments in the comparison section are not in absolute terms but in comparison between subject A and B. This means (as an example) that if subject A is found to be brighter than subject B it does not necessarily mean that subject A is bright sounding in absolute terms. I hope this makes sense.
These comparisons were done listening from my phone through the LG G5 with the Hifi Pus module installed.
SIMGOT EN700 ($99) vs Accutone Pisces HD:
These two are actually not too different in the overall signature. The bass on the SIMGOT EN700 reaches about as deep and has about the same impact as on the Pisces HD while bass quality is also quite similar. Mid-bass is slightly more present on the HD’s and they’re also over all a bit fuller sounding making their presentation more similar across the frequencies. The midrange on the EN700’s is more forward but the HD’s have fuller presentation and vocals sound more natural with them. The EN700 has a lift in the upper midrange making them more hollow and shouty sounding in comparison.
Treble extension is also pretty similar with a slight advantage to the Accutone’s, and once again the presentation is fuller on the HD’s. The soundstage width is a bit better on the HD’s and it also has the upper hand in height, depth, timbre to the notes and 3D presentation.
I find the Pisces HD more comfortable, partly due to the memory wire on the EN700.
I like the angled connector better on the Accutone’s but apart from that they both feel fairly well built with the cable being the worse part on both.
They EN700 are easier to drive.
Isolation is slightly better on the HD’s.
Dunu Titan 1 ($115) vs Accutone Pisces HD:
These two does actually also sound quite similar. Both are pretty much equally v-shaped and have about the same amount of deep bass. The Titan 1’s has more mid-bass though making bass bleed more common with them. The midrange is also quite similar in characteristic on both but male voices a bit fuller on the Accutone’s while female vocals are brighter and potentially more strident on the Titans. The treble extension is also quite similar on both bot the HD’s are fuller and does never sound sibilant to me. The Titan’s are actually even slightly more detailed and has better clarity but they’re also more peaky with their exaggerated mid bass and upper treble so the HD’s sounds more relaxed and natural in comparison. The Titan’s does also have a more airy presentation and a touch wider soundstage while depth and width are quite similar, in total the HS’s feels better balanced and natural.
Fit is excellent for me with both of these.
Build quality is good on both but the Titan’s pulls ahead with their metal housings and better cable.
The Titan 1 is slightly easier to drive.
Isolation is better on the Pisces HD.
Magaosi K1 ($85) vs Accutone Pisces HD:
I used the K1’s with the gun metal filters (most balanced) in this comparison. The bass on the K1’s reaches deeper and has more impact in comparison with the Pisces HD but it’s also a bit looser in its character. Mid-bass is also more present on the K1 but it’s still on the boomy side making bass blead a god deal more common with them than with the HD’s. Both have a slightly recessed midrange but the midrange on the HD’s blends more naturally with the rest of the frequencies making its overall presentation feel much more coherent. The K1 has a lift in the upper midrange making them more hollow and shouty sounding in comparison, to be honest I find the overall balance of the K1’s a bit off.
Treble extension is also pretty similar with a slight advantage to the Accutone’s, and once again the presentation is more natural on the HD’s, none of them are prone to sibilance for me though. The soundstage width is a bit better on the HD’s and it also has the upper hand in height, depth, timbre to the notes and 3D presentation.
I find the Pisces HD slightly more comfortable.
The K1’s is definitely better built and it also uses standard MMCX connectors, which I find preferable.
The K1 are easier to drive.
Isolation is pretty similar on both.
The Accutone Pisces HD is a very good single dynamic offering, I’d even go as far as to say that it’s the best sub $100 single dynamic I’ve heard so far. I would have preferred a more forward midrange but the overall presentation is still highly enjoyable to me. It has a great amount of clarity and transparency without ever getting fatiguing.
So to sum things up we’ve got a combination of great sound, excellent ergonomics, acceptable isolation and a great Android remote control/mic unit combined with a design that stands out in the crowd. In total this sums up to a great IEM to use when out and about to me.
Pros: Focused, Clear, Neutral Sound, Wide Soundstage, Lightweight, Interesting Design, Detachable Cables, Android & IOS Versions Available
Cons: Bass Light, Plastic Build, Different Design for Fit, Thin Cable
You've seen it a million times, "Bass Boost, Mega Bass, Extreme Bass".  But what if you just want clarity? 

Meet the Accutone Pisces HD:!blank/uegwh/f7f5ba12-23f3-179b-907e-90a2995c3552
All photos were taken by me and no stock pictures were used from Accutone.

Accutone starts things off on the right foot.  The packaging for the Pisces HD also happens to be a supple carrying case as well.  The black plastic box is surprisingly soft and has a premium feel.
P1050376.jpg  P1050377.jpg
- Small Carrying Pouch
- 1 (Extra) Pair Comply Foam Tips
- 2 Pairs of Silicon Tips
The little pouch is quite nice and firm.  There is a little magnet that snaps the flap shut, keeping your Pisces HD nice and safe inside.
While it is nice to have a few extra sets of Silicon tips, the best part is the two pairs of Comply tips that are included.
Accutone really did something special with the Pisces HD.  It looks and feels quite different than ANY other earphone I have ever seen.  The housing is made entirely out of a very light weight and long piece of plastic.  The overall design is interesting and will definitely stand out from other products out there.  They almost look like earings, well, coming out of your ear. 
As far as quality goes, even though they are all plastic, they feel well put together.  Strain reliefs are sufficient throughout the earphones.
The detachable cable is a premium item to have at this price point.  The cable itself is on the thinner side, but shows no signs of microphonics. 
There are two versions of the MMCX cable.  One for IOS and the Android version you see here for this review.  Having two choices is something I am VERY happy about.  Not a lot of earphones are designed just for Android.  I think it is great that there is a cable for both types of output/input.

The in-line remote works fantastic.  Again, I feel so spoiled using controls specifically designed for Android.  Controlling the volume and start/stop is a breeze.  Microphone is quick to answer calls at a very high quality level. 
This is one interesting area for the Pisces HD, the fit.  With the long, rectangle shaped housings, with slightly edged tips, it can sometimes cause a bit of discomfort when inserting and moving around.  I would not suggest these for any activity, best to be sitting still when using these.  I think if there was ever to be an update to these, making the housings a little more rounded off at the edges would help a lot. 

As mentioned, these are VERY light weight earphones for their size.  Once inserted you will not notice any weight and they can be quite comfortable.  Plus, as mentioned from the accessories, the Comply tips help a lot. 
One of the impressive features of the MMCX connection is its ability to rotate, thus allowing the cable to be worn either under ear or over ear.
Bass - As the title would lead you to believe, these are not bass heavy earphones.  The Pisces HD is bass light, but not anemic.  There is bass, it is just not forward or stressed.  Instead it sits way in the background, it lets you know it is there without making a fuss.
Mids - Oh, the wonderful, fantastically clear mids.  I think this is why I like these earphones so much.  The middle is is the clearest I have ever heard of any headphone/earphone.  I swear you could hear a pin drop between the music.  It is truly amazing.  One of those things you have to hear to believe. 
Highs - With this kind of sound signature, you might expect the highs to be sibilant, but they are not.  Instead, just a hint of sparkle, along with clarity that would rival headphones 10x its price.  This is some impressive tunnng at work by Accutone.
Isolation - These isolate fairly well, though there are many others who do it better.  I think the thin housing does allow a little sound to creep its way in.  Though there is little to no sound bleed out.

Soundstage - HUGE, huge soundstage.  It is amazing the distance that the Pisces HD can produce while staying controlled and accurate.  The clarity of the instrument separation is just Mind-blowingly good. 
*Overall Thoughts*

The Pisces HD is hands down one of the best listening earphone/headphones I have heard.  Its crystal clear sound signature is like nothing else.  With the toned down bass and perfectly tuned highs, these are the least exhausting earphones I've ever used.  I used this for almost 4 hours straight with NO fatigue to speak of, it is just unbelievable. 
Now those with a thirst for the bass, you will leave wanting more.  Accutone did not design these for bassheads.  Instead, they completely succeeded in making these so remarkable clear that my words can not fully describe the cleanliness of its presentation.  These are an earphone you really need to hear for yourself.