New Head-Fier
Sounds so good, built so wrong
Pros: - Great sound, a genuine left jab to the right hook of the Blessing 2
- Warm and musical, with great tuning. Perfect for acoustic music
- Very mild bass emphasis, with tasteful light touch of treble, best midrange on an IEM I've tried
Cons: - Pentaconn "pseudo-MMCX" connector is just looser than standard MMCX, and nowhere near as firm as a 2-pin connector
- Rather large, may not fit smaller ears (slightly smaller than the Blessing 2)
- A visit to an IEM re-cabler is pretty much necessary to make this usable (SGAudioHive)

Acoustune HS1300SS Review: Sounds so good, chokes everywhere else

The HS1300SS is Acoustune's budget offering (at the time) in the brand's lineup alongside the HS1657CU, HS1677SS and 1679TI. The latest budget model is the Acoustune RS1, which less than half the price of the HS1300SS at SGD 165.

I bought this with my own money (goddamn it! SGD 450) in search of a HD600-esque IEM to take on the go. The source gear chain is as follows:

Samsung S20 FE > Rocket Music Player, no EQ > Wavelet system wide EQ app > Samsung dongle > HS1300SS

Spoiler alert: I can't recommend it

I auditioned this for about 20 hours, tugged on the propreitary Pentaconn connectors, tugged on the cables before committing to this purchase. Build quality would fail me in the end, unfortunately.

What this IEM does right:
The HS1300SS is a single dynamic driver IEM with a wonderful, musical tuning.

  • It is WARM, mildly v-shaped and has a tasteful tiny amount of treble zing to keep things exciting.
  • It is tonally spot on for acoustic music and singing, with both male and female vocals being rendered wonderfully.
  • This is a warm sounding IEM, with decent resolution.
  • It does not sound anything like the more nimble Chinese stuff such as the Moondrop Kato which has lighter bass and a less engaging midrange.
I enjoyed it with my favorite musicians in Rhys Lewis, Noah Kahan, Bruno Major, Rex Orange Country, Thinh Suy and James Smith. I also listened to some female artists while completing the review. This IEM is a superb performer for any singer with a guitar and backing drums. Any intimate pub performance is rendered beautifully.

The narrow soundstage made this headphone passable for movies. It performs well on a noisy train with decent isolation, for finishing a Netflix episode. Just don't expect it to capture a movie like Dune or Interstellar correctly. For movies in a small room or any narrow spaces, it performs decently.

This IEM is also head and shoulders above stuff like the Moondrop Aria and Kato. It trades blows with IEMs in the Blessing 2's price bracket and should be compared within this range.

What this IEM fails in:
  • The WORST connector I've encountered in an IEM. Loose, comes off the wire on it's own
  • Heavy stock cable that cuts into earlobes
  • Difficult to replace cable
  • Problem may not be solved except through a connector replacement or custom cable with lock
  • Poor soundstage, may not have enough detail retrieval for some
  • Favors some genres heavily over others
I used this IEM extensively for about 6-8 months in tandem with my R70x. Sound quality wise, there is no contest. An IEM just can't replace the soundstage of a decent HD600 and R70x.

Sadly the HD600 and R70x are also much better than the HS1300SS in every conceivable way, with a more musical midrange, better treble and better detailed bass albeit in lesser quantity. For anyone looking for a HD600 in IEM form, this isn't it.

It's not the fairest comparison, with the larger headphones having more space around the ear to help with bass, and the open backed headphones allowing for wider soundstage. But this info is here, for anyone choosing between a similarly priced IEM and headphone, and wondering which is better. Go for the HD600 every, single time.

The HS1300SS has narrow soundstage, which made it unpleasant for competitive games like Counter Strike GO and Overwatch. It is harder to pinpoint objects or team fights, with only left and right sounds to guide you. There is not enough depth relative to an open backed HD600 or even a cheap gaming headset like the Arctis 3.

How much anger has this IEM illicted from me?
The worst thing about this IEM however, is just how easily the IEM comes loose from it's cable. It is almost as if the IEM is actively trying to escape from me. The cable also periodically cuts off sound on both it's left and right sides as the connector is so loose. It has come loose multiple times in my carrying case, and in my ears when I am asleep during a nap. I was tempted to super glue the IEM to it's frustrating Pentaconn connector.

I have not lost my temper at audio equipment in a long while. The HS1300SS has tempted me on more than one occasion, to hurl it against a wall and snap it in half. I HATE this thing.

It genuinely sounds good, even if the price isn't particuarly competitive. But what it does right, in acoustic music, it just does it so well. I WANTED to love it. Which makes my hatred for this IEM just that much deeper.

I even debated buying a cheaper RS1 just to get a new cable in hopes of salvaging the HS1300SS but it's just not worth it. The connector on the IEM is just not built to lock a cable in tightly.

I have also tried to RMA-ed this unit in shop. And tried other IEMs in the Acoustune lineup. This brand... uses this horrendous connector on all their IEMs.

To add bodyslam to injury, replacement cables for this obscure connector are not easy to find, and not every re-cabling shop or balanced cable online shop will work around this unit.

Closing Thoughts
I can't recommend this IEM. Even if I ignore the poorly made cable, this unit is priced a little too highly against the behemoth champion of the 500-dollar region in the Blessing 2.

Factor in the poor build quality, the countless dents and chips the unit gets just from being in it's carrying case. And the way the IEM tries it's best to cut off sound from it's connector...

It's a failed grade from me. It doesn't matter how good it sounds, how aesthetic and steampunk it looks, if you can't get your basics right, the product will fail at it's launchpad. Much less soar into popularity.


1. Preamble on my approach towards the audio hobby:

I'm not a firm believer in summit-fi pricing despite my workplace being a short walk from an audiophile shop. I do feel that headphones above 2 to 5 grand are a luxury product and not for average consumers. It's a rich people's hobby at that price point.

That being said if you can afford it, I will always endorse the ZMF Aeolus and ADX5000 as my dream headphones. Try them out if you can! (I have over 200 hours on both headphones, visiting the audiophile shop during off peak hours)

2. I do not think you should save up for months to buy any luxury product you cannot afford.

For the rest, mid-fi is more than capable. You just lose lambskin, full metal builds, bulletproof headphone cases and DACs encased in stainless steel.

A HD600, DT770, FiiO K5 Pro will be sufficent for any gamer, musician and movie enthusiast. Better gear will not make you play the piano better, mix better or game harder.

If it is a hobby, collect responsibly and sell gear in good condition when you are done for your next upgrade. Never hold on to too much gear that you cannot reasonably use often. Rotate between 2 or 3 sound signatures for when you get bored and crave something more (v-shaped, flat, warm, treble focused, bassy).

3. Snake oil and myths

While I use a balanced cable on my trusty HD600, I have yet to hear a cable that IMPROVED sound. If there's a cable like that out there, it eludes me to this day. I have also used a a balanced cable between the Zen Dac V1 and Zen Can to no discernable differences.

I do believe in pad swaps for headphones however, with the R70x being receptive to new materials, and a larger pad providing a change in bass and soundstage.

There are no definite upgrades, there is no RTX 3080 to upgrade to from a GTX 1060. You are free to like what you like, and hate what you hate.

4. Don't neglect the basics

There's no excuse for poor build quality no matter how wonderful a product sounds. Audio products should last for years, decades even, with proper care. Just like the receivers and speakers of old. They should also have replacable modular parts such as earpads, headbands, cables and yokes.

Trust brands with good build and sound quality, never trust them when they break that trust.

You can find a list of items I have personally tried and will happily recommend for great build quality. Some items are admittedly outdated, such as the Final E4000 but have lasted for years and years through washing machines and rain with nary a scratch.

MMCX, 2 pin cables, Pentaconn connectors, what matters most is if they can last the test of time and durability.

I firmly believe you should never buy chi-fi if you cannot afford the financial hit when it stops functioning as planned.

I will purchase a good replacement cable, replacement headbands and earpads for products that are worth keeping for years on end. Said products include the HD600 (2 years of ownership), Final E4000 (5 years, washing machines, army and exercise) and Zen Dac (2.5 years of ownership).

Brands/Products I will happily endorse for now:

IEMS: FiiO FH3, Final Audio E4000 & E5000, Shozy Rouge (with new cable), Moondrop Kato
Headphones: Sennheiser HD600 & HD6XX, Beyerdynamic DT770, Audio Technica R-70X & ADX5000, ZMF Aeolus
DAC/Amp: ifi Zen Dac & Zen Can, FiiO K5 Pro, FiiO BTR5, FiiO K3
Speakers: Edifier R2000DB, Edifier Luna E25HD, Creative Katana

Brands/Products I will never touch again:

IEMs: Acoustune HS1300SS
Headphones: NAD Viso HP50, V-Moda XS, Sennheiser Momentum On-ear, Razer Kraken, Audio Technica M50x and M40x
DAC/Amp: Audirect Beam 3 Plus
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100+ Head-Fier
Correctly colored
Pros: Warm, pleasant signature
Decent upper treble boost which creates an airy sensation
Bass has good slam and texture
Detailed lower midrange
Competitive technical performance
Cons: Average imaging and soundstage
Fit might be an issue
Airy for sure, but might be a little bit zingy
Acoustune HS1300 1080p.png

Despite being quite popular in Japan, Acoustune doesn't have that much reputation in the Vietnamese community. That doesn't come as a surprise though, since I understand that there are more risks for local storefront introducing this brand into the market, hence demoing sources are sacred.

Though, since the beginning of this year, I have moved to Japan for personal study so I decided to try out the brand just to see how it goes. Hence, I bought the Acoustune HS1300SS since it's a recent release (at the time of this writing) and also it's affordable with my money. Let's see how it goes

This review is a copy-paste from my blog, you can check it for more information:


The Acoustune HS1300SS was a self-purchased unit.

Build and Accessories:​

  • 3 pairs of Acoustune AET07 tips (S/M/L)
  • 3 pairs of Acoustune AET08 tips (S/M/L)
  • 2 pairs of Acoustune AET06 tips (S/M)
  • 1 pair of Acoustune AET02 foam tips
  • Warranty card/Instruction paper
  • 2 cable tighteners
  • 1 Soft case
  • 1 IEM briefcase
  • Unbalanced 3.5mm cable with proprietary PentaconnEar connection
  • The IEM itself
One thing I can't guarantee with the HS1300SS packaging is the briefcase since when I bought this at e-earphone, the staff included it with the IEM box. And, I am not sure if this would apply to other stores outside of Japan or not.

Regardless, I find myself satisfied with the HS1300 accessories. The soft-case is ok: it's nice to hold but I feel like the lid is too flexible, if it is a little bit harder then it would be nicer to use. The cable has some rubbery texture which isn't something that I prefer. Though, I really like Acoustune proprietary connection here, it's easy to apply the cable to the IEM as well as taking it out, the connections are tight which leave me with no problem in using it. That said, this would hinder a lot in terms of finding replacement cables since it is not following the usual standard like MMCX or 2-pin which is plenty in the market nowadays.

That said, the Acoustune HS1300SS features a unique design with a stainless steel frame and cylinder chamber inside. It's a weird design where weird edges are sticking, posing concern in terms of comfort. Since my ear canal is short and my pinna is flat, I don't have trouble fitting it. But, when I asked my friend (who has bigger ears) to try it, he said one of the edges of the HS1300 touched his ear, causing discomfort after 30 - 45 minutes of wearing.
Others who happen to buy the IEM around the time I got it reported that they are fine with the fit (with one claiming it is one of the most comfortable IEM they have tried). So it boils down to how sensitive your ears are and the shape of them.

Caveat emptor if you are planning to buy the HS1300SS, I highly recommend you to make sure that you are comfortable with the fit before buying.



The Acoustune HS1300 SS has a "Warm V-Shaped" signature which is evident by the bass/midrange boost and the upper-mid + treble focus.


While the IEM might not be the most balanced thing in the world, It is one of the cases where I consider the coloration that is going on within this IEM helps a lot on its sound presentation: it's warm, one can even call it pleasant, yet has a lot of energy when the song calls for it.

Scanning through the frequency response and you can see some possible explanations:
  • The pinna raise at ~2.2kHz
  • The ~5dB peak at ~5kHz
These push a lot of instruments forward, maybe too into your face for some people who prefer a relaxed listening. That said, instruments like electronic guitars greatly benefit from this type of tuning - lots of energy and bite, which makes the HS1300 an ideal partner for Rock, Metal...
On top of it, the HS1300 also has decent upper-treble boost which results in an airy presentation in a lot of track that I throw it into. This would be what I considered as a pro in this IEM if not for one thing: The 13kHz peak.

Yes, I know that I always said that graphs over 10kHz are not to be trusted hence I have to use sine sweep to confirm this on my own. This results in a sound presentation that is slightly zingy when it comes to instruments like cymbals and acoustic guitars... Some vocal recordings do show this too, for example, Mameko's vocal in Mamyukka - 深海図鑑 or Aitsuki Nakuru's in AcuticNotes - Sherras...

That said, I am not someone who particularly too sensitive about it unless it is something like the Tin Hifi P1 (and P2), not to mention you would only pick this up in some "badly mastered" recordings anyway. What irks me more in terms of vocals presentation is that it can often come out as slightly shouty and nasally to my ears. Hence, it won't be my utmost pick when it comes to J-Pop (or K-Pop) when it comes to recommendation unless you can forgo this issue.

Technical performance:​

While it won't be the top performer in the price bracket that it belongs to. The HS1300 is still quite competitive. Most notable to me is the lower midrange, where the IEM managed to provide good transient and detailing. The bass is decent too, a bit bloat to my ear but overall providing good slam and texture.

That aside, what tanks this IEM down is in its average imaging and soundstage. Instrument layering on the HS1300 lacks some depth, the soundstage is still contained rather than having an "over the ear" sensation. Not only that, there are also some sense of the notes smearing into each other which hinders its resolution by a bit.
Though, it's definitely better than a lot of IEM I have listened in this regard. And not really a surprise regarding imaging/soundstage since not a lot of IEMs can achieve this anyway.

Choice comparisons:​

vs Moondrop Blessing 2:


People might feel this comparison unfair considering Moondrop Blessing 2's reputation in its sound performance but I reckon a lot of people reading this article will have this IEM (or at least have heard about it a lot) so it's a good reference point.

That said, no sugar coating here, the Blessing 2 trumps the HS1300 in any way imaginable in terms of technical performances. Wider soundstage and better in terms of instrumental position accuracy. Detail retrievals is even out of the question.

Were if there is anything that giving the HS1300SS the edge over. It would be its colored presentation that can be appealing to some people. Not only that, it has better bass performance - more quantity and better texturing. HS1300SS also has thicker notes, which can be one of the factors that you would consider over the Blessing 2.

vs DUNU DK-3001 Pro:


With the Moondrop Blessing 2 as the benchmark for my recommendation in this price range, the DUNU DK-3001 Pro usually served as one of my alternate recommendations were if one doesn't like Blessing 2's tonal performance.
Hence, I put these on comparison because I feel HS1300 deserves the same spot as the DK-3001 Pro.

Comparison wise, DK-3001 Pro flash out trumps HS1300 on bass transient, a little bit better in terms of detail retrievals and on top of it all, is a more balanced tuning. Yet, the HS1300 is more colored, airier and has more bass quantity - it is more engaging to listen to.

And then when I think about the similarities: The sharp lower-treble, average imaging... Then the HS1300 sounds like the opposite side of the same coin with the DK-3001 Pro - it fills in what the DK-3001 doesn't have with some small sacrifice in resolutions.

Of course, in terms of pricing, one could say that the HS1300 will be better for your wallet and I would not argue. Though, if I were to have a ranking page like a lot of people have nowadays, I would put the HS1300 at the same spot as the DK-3001 for these reasons.

vs DUNU DM-480:

This comparison serves as an upgrade recommendation rather than just the usual "comparing which is better in the same price bracket".

Anyway, it's not hard to understand the reason why if you are familiar with graphs. While both have similar tuning style, the HS1300SS is more balanced than the DM-480 by having less aggressive mid and less bass quantity - resulting in less bloat.
That said, what is on the graph isn't always reflected when it comes to subjective impression, so, what about it? Resolution wise, the HS1300's note decay is more natural, better detail retrieval, airier, soundstage is more open than the DM-480...

Overall, just better sound quality which is not a surprise considering the price difference. But still, the reason why I dubbed this as "upgrade recommendation" comes from the tuning style of both which are similar to each other: throwing any instruments that I am familiar with from the DM-480 to the HS1300, then I will find the latter presenting it similarly, albeit with some improvements.


All in all, the Acoustune HS1300SS is not something that one would find it amazing in this price bracket like the Moondrop Blessing 2, nor it is a "jack of all trade, master of none" due to its colored signature. But, it has decent technical technicalities to back it up and a tuning that not just doesn't break the bank, but also has some of its own twists without going too far.
Hence, I will give it my recommendation. Quite a unique IEM that I got the chance to try once in a while :thumbsup:.


1000+ Head-Fier
Acoustune HS1300ss - New Experience
Pros: -Good Imaging capability for a single DD
-Great dynamic
-Open & surround soundstage
-Thicker vocal
-Good quality bass & airy treble
-Natural timbre
-Plenty of good accessories included
Cons: -Vocal can be too forward sometimes
-Bass can be a tiny bit bloated for some
-Proprietary connector
-Can't really stand out from competitors with the tuning nor technicalities

Disclaimer: The unit reviewed is a self-acquired unit from a local store, so this review will come purely from my experience with the IEM.

This review was originally posted on my site

Acoustune is a Japanese audio company that was founded in 2013 under the umbrella of Nippon Dics Co. LTD/NDics, the same company that developed Pentaconn connectors. But unlike other audio company, Acoustune developed a unique technology to produce the best high-resolution dynamic earphone for their IEMs, the Myrinx Diaphragm and Modular Metal Structure.

The Myrinx diaphragm was made of a synthetic medical grade material used for artificial skin, and when used as diaphragm material, it was able to reproduce music in high resolution and wider dynamic range with excellent transient compared to the conventional dynamic drivers. And when it was stored inside of their Modular metal body, an acoustic chamber to separate the driver from the housing mechanism, not only it will prevent mutual interference from the connector storage (housing mechanism), but the Myrinx will also achieve higher responsiveness.

I actually never try any offerings from Acoustune, so HS1300ss is my first experience with them.

Price: $300-$350 (depending on the store)

Housing: Stainless steel cabinet made of CNC technology with stainless steel inner casing
Connector: Pentaconn Ear
Driver: 10mm D3.5 generation 10mm Myrinx dynamic driver
Frequency response: 10Hz – 25kHz
Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
Maximum input: 100mW
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Weight (including cable): 52 g

100% made in Japan


For the full unboxing photos of HS1300ss, you can check it out here.

Sound Analysis:

Set up used:
DAP: Shanling M6
Cable: Stock ARC61
Tips: AET07/AET06 (Retail version)

Acoustune HS1300ss is a single dynamic driver IEM that is using an improved version of their 3rd generation Myrinx driver that they used on their HS1500 series.

Although I never try any Acoustune's IEMs, I had known that their house sound being in between the mild V to V-shaped and HS1300ss is no different. Here the IEM can be categorized as a warm V-shaped with boosted bass and treble. Though, it also has some upper mid boost unlike the traditional V shape IEM, which some calling it the W-shape tuning.

Yes, the bass here can be a little bloated. But in my case, I only notice it when I listen to some tracks with mediocre to bad mastering. And since the driver has a pretty snappy, it's still quite minimal. So they didn't really have that irritating murky veil-like any warm IEMs I have tried so far.

In terms of the bass quality, I find them to be satisfactory as well. I wouldn't say they are the best in the price range, but they are still pretty much in the group of decent IEMs. I really enjoyed them myself because they have meaty impacts but not too overpowering, decent texturing and the sub-bass also can go as low as you want without making you nauseous.

Quick update
: after I swap the acoustune tips to Black Sedna Earfit Short, it seems like it able to reduce the bloatedness to almost none. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation as me, I would also recommend getting a sedna eartips.

HS1300ss has a fairly thick and smooth sounding mid range. There is no shoutiness or harshness despite the peaks and most importantly, their presentation also very natural. Whether it was male or female vocal playing or even the instruments, they all sound lively and liquid here. The positioning between the male & female vocal is also pretty balanced since no range is more recessed or forward than the other. But the only problem I have with them is they sometimes can be a bit too forward/intimate on some tracks.

The treble can sparkle well without causing any fatigue or sibilant (to me at least), maybe can pretty aggressive for some, but it still has good clarity and tons of air from their upward extension.

So far the technicalities on HS1300ss is pretty on par with its price for me. There is no metallicness issue on the timbre, soundstage feels spacious and airy, the imaging capabilities is in the above-average category, the instrument positioning and layering also on point. Resolution wise, they are also not bad either since I didn't hear much note get mixed. Just that, don't expect them in the TOTLs level.


Moondrop Blessing 2


Ahh yes, the 2020's sub $500 benchmark IEM and my go-to IEM for almost a year now, the Blessing 2. From the tuning, they have been sitting on the opposite side of the spectrum. B2 is neutral sounding IEM, while the HS1300ss is a more fun-sounding IEM.

The first most obvious difference between the two is the quality of the bass and treble. B2 bass is much leaner and faster in speed but doesn't have much lower extensions and texture. B2 also lacked some sparkles and treble extension that caused them not as airy and clean as the HS1300ss.

Both IEMs have a forward mid-range presentation and they are equally good with it. But unlike HS1300ss, B2 is more laid back and thinner sounding, which made them shine more with female vocals or weeb music. The only problem people will have with B2 here is maybe the hints of BA timbre and driver in-coherency for those who are sensitive enough to feel it.

In terms of the technicalities, both also very capable IEMs. But I do feel the soundstage is much more open and surround on the HS1300ss compared to B2. Imaging, sometimes I also feel HS1300ss does a bit better as it has much deeper depth and taller dimensions, which reminded me a bit of Sony's IER-M7. To explain what I meant, B2 is like when you are sitting in front of a stage, while HS1300ss put you in the middle of a music hall. For the resolution, they are pretty on par with each other, so I can't really say which one is better or not.


So, do they worth their price tag? For me, I would say yes. Even though I know their tuning is not so special like the Moondrop Blessing 2 nor they are a very technical set, but at least they didn't have any major issue that can make you hate them. They still tonally pleasing with an arguably better dynamics than those in the same price range and set up. While out of the box, you'll also get plenty of good quality accessories and unique in-house designed IEM (If you care about the aesthetic of your IEM). So if you are bored with the Chi-fi's cycle of IEM, I think HS1300ss can be a good alternative for you.
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I never understood how an cheap Vision Ears copy (aka Blessing 2) could get an Benchmark.

The Blessing 2 sounds broken alltogether. The Bass is thin, lifeless and makes a lot of instruments just sound wrong and off. The Soundstage is all over the place, the imaging is wrong.

There is pretty much nothing good with the Blessing 2 i never understood how it could become an Benchmark for anyone.

Nor is it really sold for a good price. The production cost is below 80$, its just sold for a high price because it looks like Vision Ears.

But at least, the Blessing 2 makes it easy to know what review you can trust it. People who also own the Blessing 2 obviously have no idea how Instruments sound, how Music is supposed to sound and what good Earphone Tunings are.