I will keep the intro short to keep it real. I am not a paid reviewer as I don’t get paid or any crap like that. I am not a professional reviewer so don’t expect fancy graph or any technical analysis at all. Hmmm then what the hell am I going to write? Well… I am going to give my own personal opinion on the earbud and hopefully it helps others in choosing their right earbud. My impression of the bud could be not accurate because everybody hears thing differently. If you are old and have tinnitus, don’t expect everyone to hear the same thing as you. I am a treble sensitive guy, so any sibilance earphone, iem or headphone will go straight to the cold storage box. BTW I am a gamer too despite my lousy skill.
I have to admit the main reason I get this earbud from NICEHCK is because of the rave review it is getting on forums and facebook. Most of the people vouch for this. Of course they are negative feedbacks but most of the feedback is positive. Being a curious guy, I jump the gun and order one from AE. And don’t screw me for mentioning the word NICEHCK. I have to because there are many DIY MX500 variant out there. Each variant of build will have an impact on the sound. Ok enough of the logical explanation on why I am getting the earbud. The reality of it is I am impulsive buyer who keeps on buying new earbuds/iem and I am a sucker for all white theme of this earbud
The NICEHCK DIY MX500 PKI Earbud build quality is good, simple but elegant. I bought the clear shell model because I like transparent shell. The Shell is identical to the one used in Monk SPC version. The cable unlike the other variant is not braided. It looks like SPC type and it is prone to microphonic. It is ok for me because I usually use earbud in quiet environment with little to no movement at all. The 3.5mm plug is made of metal and it looks good. It ain’t Oyaide but it looks good enough for this price point.
Overall, I like the build of this all white SPC transparent Shell variant of the DIY MX500.
Right out of the box, this guy nail it! I usually test most of my earbud with Gundam! I mean Hiroyuki Sawano Gundam OST. Gundam Unicorn soundtrack especially 1ST MOV:BANSHEE is very busy with lots of instrument playing behind it. Is a god damn huge orchestra. Most of the bad earphone, iem or even headphone would fail this test. I tried with Monster Beats headphone before and omg What and the sound is congested, narrow and it feels like everything is mesh up into a fark up sound. All I hear is noise not music. Good music means I can hear every independent instruments, decent soundstage, good mid/vocal and enough bass/sub bass when the music demands it. So this lil earbud pass the first test.
Ok sorry I lied I don’t know about others but good music to me does not mean accurate sound or anything like that. Music mean a lot to me. Every time I suffer hardship, joy, success, failure, depression or any other events in my life, I will turn to music. Each specific music would remind me of a certain events in my life. In short, music bring backs memory. It is hard to explain but the same song played from different player or earbud will send different emotion to me if I listen to it. The sound I am looking for is not neutral, analytical nor accurate but more towards warm sound signature. Neutral with a hint of warm (slightly V shape) would be ideal. This earbud falls into this criteria. It don’t have a huge soundstage like Wong’s Blur earbud nor does it have super fine details like Beyerdynamic T1 mk2 / T90 but it is engaging enough to bring back memories to me.
This little guy has a soul!
In this review, I decided to pair it with AK Kann and the new Sony A45. Why not other DAP like Onkyo DP-X1 , Opus #1 which is still in my dry box? Well because new gadget always get all the attention. AK KANN and Sony A45 is the 2 new DAP which I have bought recently.
AK KANN is really a good all-rounder. Support micro SD and SD card, powerful amp but …it is freaking huge. Which is why I get the Sony A45. I don’t intend to bring the KANN when I am on the go. Eg jogging, going out for any active activities where I know I will not be doing any critical listening. Sorry I lie again. The real reason is because Sony is giving a good bundle promotion when you buy the new Sony WI-1000x noise cancelling hyrid IEM! Damn it why am I confessing to the entire world. Something is not right with me today.
No sibilance. Which is good news to me. I really really really hate sibilance sound. When pair with AK KANN I don’t expect harsh treble or anything like that. KANN is warm, therefore any treble happy earbud you pair with it will be tame. But don’t let this statement confuse you. The treble is smooth with enough extension.
Sony A45 is definitely a brighter player compare to KANN. But still you don’t get sibilance sound with you pair it with MX500.
This is all I ask for in treble. My requirement is bloody low right? One important thing to note is if you are the kind of person who like the “s” sound in every vocal track and love those bright treble then this earbud is not the bud for you.
Sony A45, the mid is definitely the forward type. It kind of give you the on stage feel.
(Aimer – Egao) Forward mid and engaging sound, you can hear the separate musical instrument, decent soundstage.
(Emi Fujita – Imagine) sound similar. Imagine all the people, living for good music…
On my AK KANN it sounds similar too. Definitely the forward mid type. Just to be sure I tried another song Rick Astley – When I Fall in Love. Damn it bring backs memory.
This earbud gives you enough bass but it is not a bass-head earbud. To be honest due to the design of earbud I don’t expect any miracle here. But this earbud is performing way beyond my expectation.
It does not matter if I pair this with A45 or KANN, the result is similar. The bass is control, sufficient not bleeding into the mid region. Bass do roll off significantly. If you are a headbanger, you are better off with Monster Beats.
(Linkin Park - Numb) Yes you hear bass on this earbud but it is not the thumping type. It ain’t weak but just nice.
(Madonna – Erotica) I don’t expect the same amount of bass compare to my JVC FX850 but like I say it is enough. Control bass it is….. ( imagine this words coming out from Master Yoda)
Wait, that’s all? No more analysis on the sound from MX500? Yes no more. I just point out the stuff which I think is important and I don’t intend to go and google all the nice bombastic jargon and put in this review to make it look professional but confusing at the same time.
To be honest , at the given price point, there is not much to complaint really. You get smooth treble, forward mid, decent bass and soundstage. Build quality is excellent too. It is good for various genre of sound due to the neutral warm or V-shape sound signature. Will I recommend it to others? Yes definitely.