Pros: Its Technology: Dynamic, balanced armature, and electrostatic drivers in a three-way configuration to create a wide range of sounds that can please a lot of different audio tastes.
Enhanced Electrostatic Driver: Having an enhanced electrostatic driver adds a level of sophistication to the sound by making the treble performance more refined and clear.
High-Quality Construction: The titanium alloy housings, fine CNC machinery, and ergonomic earpiece design show a dedication to fine craftsmanship, making sure that the headphones will last and be comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Spatial Harmonic Enhancement Structure: Setting up a spatial harmonic enhancement structure makes the sound more immersive, making for an interesting listening experience.
Advanced Acoustic Design: The five-way independent acoustic chambers and five-way electronic crossover help create a well-tuned and balanced sound profile that makes each driver work at its best.
Quality Cable: This earphone cable has an 8-core high-purity OCC copper fully-balanced litz wire, a true 4.4mm balanced connector, and a 0.78 two-pin standard socket. This makes sure that the connection and signal transmission are reliable.
Cons: Limited Soundstage Width: Some users may feel that the soundstage width isn't as wide as it is with other high-end IEMs, which could affect how spacious the sound is.
Lower Treble with a Veil: There is a veil in the lower treble that may make things a little less clear, especially in tracks with a lot of bass.
Disclaimer: This review reflects my personal, subjective preferences and is solely based on my own experiences with the product. It's important to note that this review is not influenced by HiBy in any way, and I have not received any compensation for it. As always, I highly recommend testing the product yourself before making a purchase decision. I'd like to express my gratitude to HiBy (@Joe Bloggs) and @gadgetgod for organising this review tour and providing me with the opportunity to share my thoughts on the product.
It's a dynamic/BA/electrostatic tribrid IEM with improved electrostatic driver technology. It has a high-performance balanced armature setup and a 10mm dynamic driver with a liquid silicone surrounds Kevlar composite diaphragm. A 5-way independent acoustic chamber and a 5-way electronic crossover are housed in titanium alloy cases that were made with high-quality CNC machinery to go with this tribrid configuration.
The unit has a spatial harmonic enhancement structure that makes the sound more immersive. The ergonomic shape and size of the earpiece make it comfortable to listen for long periods of time. Eight-core, 100% pure OCC copper, fully balanced litz wire earphone cable that comes with the Zeta. It has a true 4.4mm balanced connector and a 0.78 two-pin standard earphone cable socket. For audiophiles, the Hiby Zeta promises a high-performance sound experience with its advanced driver technology, fine craftsmanship, and high-quality cable.
Note: For the review, Apple Music (ALACs) was used as a source on a MacBook Pro connected to a Chord Mojo2 and an AQ Jitterbug. All tracks were played at the same volume level. For this review, please remember that I used the stock cable and the last type E tips. These songs were used for this review:
Wow by Post Malone
Carry On by XXXTentacion
Jiya Jale by AR Rehman
Moh Moh Ke Dhaage by Anu Malik
Street Dancer by Avicii
One Kiss by Calvin Harris
Get Low by Dillion Francis and DJ Snake
The bass performance was deep, impactful, and visceral bass response is something that interested me move further. It finds a good balance between quantity and maturity, giving you a satisfyingly robust experience without giving up technical finesse. This bass skill is great for many types of music, but it really shines when used in metal and other bass-heavy styles. Although it avoids the problems that come with being too boomy, giving a controlled and clean presentation, the devil is in the details, "artificial resonance" that stays in the background that changed the clarity of the definition, especially in the kick drum, but it doesn't take away from the overall experience.
The Zeta's versatility is clear when you hear how well it plays different types of music. It manages to keep a faithful reproduction of live recordings, with accurate impact and a nice, natural decay in the bass. It's called a "tactile bass with excellent texture," which suggests that it might not be right for people who want a lot of bass. It provides an interesting bass experience that suits a wide range of tastes. It works well with a lot of different types of music because it has good impact, texture, and adaptability.
The midrange was always clear and open, and notes from low male vocals to sweet upper female vocals were played without any veil or compression. It sounded well-rounded and kept its clean, resolving quality even when there was a strong bass. The female vocals were captivating and emotional, with notes of clarity, fullness, and forward presentation. However, I noticed a slightly recessed quality that added to a calm and watchful coloration. The upper midrange lift made it sound smoother without becoming too creamy or lacking in acidity.
The midrange representation of the instruments sounded great, especially the piano, which had a quick attack, a soft impact, and natural reverberation that lasted for a long time and the violin became a favourite because it had lively realism, vivid agility, rich texture, and transparency. To sum up, the midrange's overall performance and its ability to shine with some instruments make it an interesting part of the Zeta's sound.
While still delivering complex treble details, the treble was clean and a bit thicker than neutral. It shows that the bass and mids are given more weight. It might not be the best treble performer in its price range, but it does a great job of keeping detail and extension. The fast, fluid, and clear treble made possible by the quad EST drivers stands out. This presentation strikes a good balance by being less ethereal and more restrained than some other trebles that use EST. The lower treble dip gets rid of sibilance, and the mid-to-upper treble boost makes sure the performance is well-balanced and flexible.
The very fast and well-controlled attack speed helps to bring out the vivid details in complex percussions, making for an engrossing, immersive, and reflective listening experience. Collectively, it made the treble a notable and enjoyable part of the Zeta's overall sound signature.
It has a huge soundstage that is impressive in both width and depth, making the room feel open and airy. The slightly set-back central stage adds to the feeling of space and lets me get lost in a clear, holographic musical experience that spans multiple sound planes. The Zeta does a great job of imaging, making sound layers that are easy to read and see that make it possible to hear second instrumental planes. Even though there is a veil at the bottom of the spectrum, the presentation is not compressed, which helps create a wide and deep soundscape.
Wide separation space makes the high end of the spectrum shine, especially when it comes to rendering percussion. It also gives me a high-fidelity stereo experience that makes listening more enjoyable overall. The Zeta's resolution is impressive; it picks up fine details across a wide range of genres without lowering the treble, so the sound stays natural and believable, which is how I like it. Overall, the technical prowess of the Zeta makes me enjoy music more, and each listening session is an interesting and immersive journey.
At this price, it's a good buy because:
The Zeta stands out as a great choice in its price range. The sound signature has a lot of detail and refinement thanks to the improved electrostatic driver and careful acoustic design. The high-quality construction, which includes housings made of titanium alloy and fine CNC machinery, makes sure that it will last and feel great. With its spatial harmonic enhancement structure and high-tech cable, the Zeta provides an engrossing and captivating sound experience. There are a few small problems with the Hiby Zeta, like veiled lower treble, but the overall package and tribrid technology make it a great choice for audiophiles who want a versatile and high-performance IEM at it's price.
Zeta is a great audio companion because it creates a sound profile that is both dynamic and detailed, giving audiophiles a full and immersive listening experience. It had great treble performance thanks to its spatial harmonic enhancement structure, multiple acoustic chambers, and advanced crossovers. However, it has a slightly smaller soundstage and a slight veil in the lower treble, but these small flaws aren't noticeable when you listen to it. Fans who want an affordable, high-performance in-ear monitor that can be used for a variety of tasks should consider the Hiby Zeta. It is a standout option in the competitive audio market because of its meticulous craftsmanship, and exceptional sound quality.
HiBy is a company with a strong background in the portable audio industry, specializing in high-fidelity music players and audio products. Founded in 2011, HiBy Music, its main brand, focuses on the development of portable digital audio players (DAPs), earphones, and USB DACs. With over 15 years in the field and a dedicated team of over 40 professional audio R&D staff, HiBy has built a reputation for innovation and quality in the realm of portable audio devices.
After spending weeks carefully evaluating the Hiby Zeta, I’ve come to view it as an L-shaped signature IEM. I don’t consider it V-shaped, particularly because the treble region isn’t as pronounced. This opinion is based on my experience with various V-shaped transducers, such as the Beyerdynamic DT series.
In this review, I used my Cayin N6ii and Venture Electronics Abigail Pro amplifier with Spotify and Tidal as music sources.
Frequency response of Celest Phoenixcall courtesy of Practiphile.
First, let’s talk about the cable as it’s the first thing that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s made from high-quality materials, but I find it a bit too stiff for my liking.
I wish the cable had more flexibility like the Celest PhoenixCall, which offers high quality with minimal resistance. The stiffness causes an issue with the ear hook; it doesn’t sit properly over my ear and tends to float above instead.
Moving on, I must appreciate the Zetas’ build quality. Constructed from high-quality CNC machined titanium, they are clearly built to last!
I also admire the fit of the Zeta; although the shell is somewhat bulky, its design prevents it from protruding or creating pressure points when worn. However, it’s important to note that fit can vary depending on individual ear shapes, as we all have unique ears.
The Hiby Zeta exhibits a monstrous bass impact. This is probably the bass-heaviest set I’ve listened to in a while! Despite that, it features controlled bass that doesn’t bleed into other frequencies, which is great because you can enjoy the quality bass without sacrificing the clarity of the other frequencies. It’s fast, and the decay is on point! I particularly enjoyed this set with the latest ‘Godlike’ LP release by Thy Art is Murder.
However, when it comes to mids, I wish they were a bit more forward. This would make my listening experience more complete and engaging. Male and female vocals sound a bit recessed for my liking. To put it in perspective, if the BQEYZ Winter is near my forehead, the Hiby Zeta is closer to the back of my head in terms of vocal placement.
Despite this, the vocal quality itself is impressive. It sounds organic – just about right, in my opinion.
The treble presents a similar scenario; it’s somewhat more laid back than I prefer. While it still delivers quality treble, it lacks that extra sparkle and nuances. I believe pairing it with an analytical source, which I unfortunately haven’t done, might bring out a bit more energy in the treble. But that’s just my assumption.
This is the reason why I considered it an L-shaped in-ear monitor.
My only complaint about the Hiby Zeta when gaming is its limited soundstage. It doesn’t offer a wide auditory field, which means you might miss hearing cues from incoming enemies.
Overall, the Hiby Zeta provides a richly textured and robust experience during close combat scenarios in gaming.
I can see how the Hiby Zeta would appeal to some listeners. It offers a fatigue-free and fun listening experience! However, it’s not quite my cup of tea, as I prefer more pronounced mids and sparkling highs in the treble region. Though, now, I started to appreciate this kind of signature, all thanks to this set!
Nonetheless, I’m glad I had the opportunity to try out this IEM and experience a sound signature I don’t usually listen to.
For those who already own a treble-focused or analytical set, the Zeta could be a great addition, especially if you’re willing to invest $1,399 in your audio experience!
Hiby Zeta: Thunderous bass in an elegant and comfortable IEM
Pros: Excellent Bass response.
Exceptional performance in terms of technicalities.
Premium build quality
Cons: Accessories could have been better considering the price point.
Large earpieces with thick nozzles may lead to fit issues for those with smaller ears.
I received the Hiby Zeta as part of a review tour in my country organized by Hiby. I was asked to share my honest opinion about the IEM based on my usage over a week or so. I am not associated with Hiby in any way and have no incentive whatsoever to write anything positive or negative about the IEM. The impressions shared in this write-up are subjective based on my gear and choice of music.
The Hiby Zeta is a Tribrid IEM with a whopping 9 drivers per side, which includes 4 Enhanced EST Super tweeters (shared converter) paired with 4 BA drivers for Tweeters /Mids/Woofer and a 10mm Liquid Silicone DD that acts as a subwoofer. The IEM has an impedance of 9 ohms and is quite sensitive at 112dB/mW. The max input power handling is at 100mW, hence making it quite easy to drive with portable equipment like DAPs and dongle DACs. The cable included with the IEM is an 8-core high-purity OCC copper cable with a fully balanced Litz braiding and comes with a 4.4mm balanced termination and 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. The pack-in cable is mighty impressive in terms of build quality and is very supple and free of microphonics.
The build quality of the Hiby Zeta reflects a commitment to durability and style. The earpieces are made of titanium alloy with a CNC machined finish that gives the Zeta a very premium look and feel. Hiby Zeta prioritizes comfort with its ergonomic design ensuring that the earphones sit comfortably in your ears. Although the earpieces are relatively large, they’re very light and, hence, comfortable to wear. The large shells might be a challenge for those with smaller ears, but I personally did not have any trouble in terms of fit or comfort. The Zeta comes with 3 sets of ear tips in different sizes. I’d suggest trying all the varieties and figuring out which one works best for you. Personally, I felt the white tips (soft brace for deep wearing) were the best of the lot. However, for the purpose of this review, I tip-rolled a bunch of options and chose to go with Azla Sedana Earfit Max tips since they gave me a good seal and complemented Hiby Zeta’s sound signature very well.
The Hiby Zeta is a sonic powerhouse that offers a well-rounded TOTL experience with impeccable resolution. The IEM has a warm-neutral signature with the bass response striking a good balance between impact and precision. It delivers a satisfying thump without overshadowing the other frequencies, making it ideal for genres that demand a strong low-end presence. With the 10mm DD essentially acting as a subwoofer, there is good presence in the sub-bass region resulting in some powerful rumble. The bass response is mighty impressive in terms of texture as well, thereby, delivering in terms of both quality and quantity.
The midrange on the Hiby Zeta is clear, and nuanced, and has a natural warmth to it. Vocals, both male and female, are rendered with exceptional clarity, bringing out the emotional aspect of an artist’s performance quite vividly.
The treble is crisp and extends gracefully without being overly sharp or fatiguing. It provides sufficient sparkle to cymbals and high-frequency instruments, contributing to the overall warm-neutral sound signature. Overall, the treble is adequate considering the overall tonality of the IEM.
I'd like to highlight that the IEM sounds great with the stock cable. However, I tried a few different cables with the Hiby Zeta just to see if it could bring about any difference/improvement. Most of the cables I tried (Dunu Hulk Pro Mini, Dita Oslo, Effect Audio EVO10, FiiO LC-RD Pro, Campfire Audio Super Smoky Litz) didn't bring much of an improvement, except for the FiiO LC-RE cable. I felt the Zeta sounded a little more balanced with the FiiO LC-RE cable, maybe because the gold in the LC-RE cable added to the sparkle of the Zeta.
The Hiby Zeta creates an immersive soundstage that adds depth and dimension to the listening experience. The spatial representation of instruments and vocals is impressive, creating a sense of openness that enhances the overall immersion. Instrument separation is top-notch, as one would expect from an IEM in this price range. Even in complex musical passages, each instrument maintains its distinctiveness, allowing one to genuinely appreciate the individual notes of the composition. The Zeta excels in layering, with each note occupying its own space in the sonic landscape. This contributes to a sense of depth and complexity, resulting in a holographic presentation that is highly engaging and immersive.
From a technical perspective, the Hiby Zeta demonstrates impressive dynamics and transient response. Fast-paced tracks are handled with precision, and the low noise floor ensures that even subtle details in the music are brought to the forefront.
In conclusion, the Hiby Zeta IEMs are a testament to the brand's commitment to audio excellence. The impressive sound quality, combined with premium build quality and exceptional comfort, make the Zeta a worthy option for anyone who is looking for a TOTL IEM that is musical and exceptional in terms of technicalities.