Hidition Viento-Reference

KuroKitsu

Headphoneus Supremus
Hallyu Hype Train?
Note:
These are for the Viento B tuning specifically, but I think're generally applicable to the various tunings.

Preamble:
After seeing Crin's ranking and the updated impressions, the Viento has becoming one of those pot of gold at the end of the rainbow iems for me. Missed a couple on Headfi and CAM, and a D that was being passed around shipped to @Colors with a crack on the nozzle. I'm still on the hunt for actually, but once again @Colors delivers and snapped up one from a Quebec acquaintance who had ironically sold a u12t with QC issues to go to the Viento. So credit for my impressions where it is due!

Not much to say in term of expectations beyond Crin's ranking and tidbits here and there, I'm a Hidition virigin. Going through a retailer results in a higher price than it I got it myself or through a local contact so I've been dreaming about it (Kinda like u12t when I started out). I don't speak a lick of Korean to deal with them and the wife won't enable me.

Design + Testing and other things:
Starting with the shells, these (B)ientos were done in universal with custom shells. Good job there by Hidition.In terms of the shape though...... the shell looks really weird, giving a JH frankenbolts vibe though much more compact. Interesting that there's a vent on the faceplate, Hidition went with a vented all BA design.Nozzles were a bit on the thick side but went straight in to my ears with a snug fit which I liked and similar in feel to the ER4SR ear dildo fame (Note that I'll be mentioning the ER4SR later on). These are easier to drive and I had them on low gain at 45 on my 1A (Owing to the isolation and lower OI I guess)

I'm probably not going to say too much for each range of FR and focus on the signature in it's entirety because that's really where this shines rather than a part of the FR. Most of my comparisons will be against the Empire Spartan which is probably the only thing similar out there that I know of. And I loved the Spartans if that says anything,

Bass:
Subbass extension goes quite well for a 4 BA model, exceeding that of the Spartans. The more noticeable and prominent rumble brought a bigger crap eating grin to my face than the Spartan which is more midbass focused. The midbass is nice and controlled and has good slam and impact, less than that on the Spartan but nonetheless there. No bleed at all which scores huges point from me.

Mids:
Similary the mids are strikingly clean and clear, definitely a step up from the Spartan. They're not overly forward or recessed and owing to the presentation vocals are always clear in the mix, again invoking the Empire Athena in this regards. Are we really dealing with a 4 BA here? Hidtion does weird things with 4 drivers like the Phantom's 5 and Andromeda's 5 as well (Though they're kinda all over the map in the price range) and I always like magic.

Treble:
Moving on to the treble, very smooth for a 4 BA setup and definitely exceeds the Spartan in the area. I wonder how much the venting contributes to these improvements on top of the tuning. I really can't find anything to say about it.....

Conclusion:
So in case you skiped my statement: I don't have much to say about the individual ranges of the FR of the Viento. There's nothing ground breaking that causes me to say wow, this is done well or that needs to be improved. The Viento is a very safe tuning, it can literally do no wrong. To go even further the Viento wouold be the epitome of nice and polite. Nothings stands out and it'll give you a good all rounder response when you ask for it, but otherwise it doesn't go on a limb to please you. by now you're probably confused as hell: Does this KuroKitsu loon realize what he's saying? The safeness is literally the selling point of this, while it's tonal accuracy is much better than say the technical aspect, it tries to achieve something in the vein of the u12t but ends up leaning closer to a more refined ER4SR (I said I would come back to this wouldn't I?) with more bass thrown in.Whether by the limitation of a 4 driver model or the crossover or something else entirely, it functions well as a stage monitor or mixing but comes up boring for those wanting to enjoy their music and want some kind of musicality and ends up falling short of the u12t signature, its laid back enough to do late night listening, but outside of stage/studio application the Viento ends up being a wallflower during the day. It's worth trying but not worthy of an acquisition for my preferences and tastes, and really Hidtion did some black magic on the Viento for such a low driver count that I still put it in the 6-10 range of my ranking.

Small addendum to the original impressions: The Viento is a super source dependant iem and has a timbre to die for, but I just really don't like hearing a source as opposed to iems, so make of that what you will. Also noticed that the dynamics are great for tracks that had a studio feel, but the Viento doesn't really scale well as the venue for the recording increases in space. As such I would relegate the Viento to strictly studio duties for my tastes.
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seamon

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Excellent Technicalities
Bass Texture
Sweet Midrange
Cons: Bass Quantity
Harsh Highs
Introduction

Viento-Reference is the flagship IEM of Hidition. This utilizes 4 full range BA drivers per ear with Bass and mid-range switches. This review was done with both switches ‘on’ as I feel that’s the definitive way to listen to the Viento.

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The review score guide

I will score CIEMs on a scale of 5.

· 1 point for Technicalities (Imaging and separation).

· 1 point for Bass.

· 1 point for Midrange.

· 1 point for Treble.

· 1 point for Soundstage and Air.

· I will also deduct up to 1 point for sibilance.

Do note that the score grading will be done extremely harshly and getting a full point in any criteria would be almost impossible no matter how good the IEM is. This grading system is relative to all the other TOTL IEMs out there. For a reference in any category,

· 0.0 – 0.1 = Bad

· 0.1 – 0.3 = Average

· 0.3 – 0.5 = Good

· 0.5 – 0.7 = Superb

· 0.7 – 0.9 = Amazing

· 0.9 – 1.0 = Best in Class; No other IEM in the world does this better.

If an IEM manages to score even a 3/5 then it can be considered a TOTL piece. A 4.5 essentially means the perfect IEM. The score is also subject to tiny changes over time as I try to perfect this grading system.

Also, the score at the top does not reflect this score but how the IEM performs with respect to every other IEM in the world. Pretty much all IEMs that I review will be TOTL pieces so that score will most likely be a 5.

I am more of a music lover than a true Audiophile. I prefer musicality but I will try to make my review as objective as possible.

Source

Ibasso DX200

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Sound Impressions

Technicalities (Imaging, Separation)

Viento is a reference IEM. Naturally, technicalities are done extremely well on the Viento. It’s not not even funny how technical the Viento can get. Notes are exactly at the right spot, Imaging is excellent, while I have heard better (Zeus *ahem*), this is as good as it gets in the mortal realm. The star of the show is the cleanliness of the stage and the separation. These 2 are insane on the Viento. The stage is spotless clean and every note has its own spot and space. The notes never collide and you can distinctly make out every note separately no matter how crowded the song gets.

Score – 0.9/1

Bass

I think bass will be the most polarizing part of the Viento sound signature. No one can doubt that the bass is incredibly detailed. The texture is simply legendary. The texture is solid, rough, agile and of very high definition. Viento slams hard. Mid-bass impact is superb and moreover it’s pin precise. It strikes exactly where it needs to strike and it strikes hard. This is typical BA bass performance. It’s extremely agile and fast. Then comes the Achille’s heel of the Viento sound signature. Viento lacks bass quantity. It’s my second time making this statement in this review – it’s not even funny how lacking Viento bass quantity is. Even with the bass switch on, it just lacks bass. Bass just lies there in the background. You know it’s there but the bass will never showcase itself, it’ll never say “Look at me”. It just lies there like an introvert sitting lonely and quietly in the dark.

Score – 0.65/1

Midrange

Midrange is again very good on the Viento. It lies on the Musical side. It is positioned exactly at the right spot, not too intimate and not too laid back. Male vocals sound very good and natural. Female Vocals are sweet and musical but border on the verge of being harsh. They do sound harsh sometimes. Midrange is also very engaging.

Score – 0.85/1

Treble

Viento without a doubt has a very clear and transparent Treble. However, the quantity is just too much. Quantity is the polar opposite of Viento bass quantity. Moreover, the Treble is not entirely smooth, there are some peaks which make the Treble fatiguing and harsh after some time. The harshness starts at the upper mids and continue onto the Treble. Being very sensitive to Treble, I can’t handle the Viento for more than 15 minutes.

Score – 0.8/1

Soundstage + Air

Viento has a very well-defined soundstage with almost equal width and depth to it. Soundstage is not the greatest attribute of the Viento. While, it’s small, it’s nothing special. This is normal run of the mill soundstage. People coming from IEMs with bigger soundstages like A12, Andromeda, Zeus will find the Viento a little lacking but it’s not too bad.

What the Viento does well however is the cleanliness of the stage. I mentioned this before but I feel compelled to mention it again. Viento stage is extremely clean which is just splendid.

Viento is pretty darn airy. This might be one of the more airier IEMs I have heard. However, the average soundstage holds back the airiness. If Viento had a larger soundstage coupled with its airiness, the result would have been phenomenal.

Score – 0.7/1

Sibilance

Viento is very sibilant. Viento has a bad habit of emphasizing sibilance if the recording has some. If the recording has even the tiniest bit of sibilance, Viento will drag it forward, beat it up and present an extremely ugly form of it in front of the listener.

Score – -0.7/-1

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Comparisons

64 Audio A12 ADEL – A12 has a moderately larger soundstage. Technicalities, Viento just destroys the A12. Viento resolves much more, images better and in separation, there’s just no competition here. Bass performance is a tie imo, A12 goes deeper and has almost triple or quadruple the Viento quantity. Viento slams harder in the mid-bass and has better definition and texture. Midrange is again a tie in my opinion. A12 with its slightly laid-back midrange envelops you in its warmth and the sweet vocals make you forget everything else. Viento keeps it real. Vocals are still sweet and musical but it never envelops you in its sound. A12 is dreamy while Viento is down to earth. Treble, Viento takes the cake. Even though it’s harsh, the definition of Viento Treble is insane. A12 has a very bad Treble response in my opinion.

Campfire Audio Andromeda – Andromeda has a moderately larger soundstage than Viento. Viento is a moderately better than Andromeda in terms of technicalities. The difference in technicalities is much less than A12 vs Viento. Andromeda is midway in-between A12 and Viento in terms of bass performance. Viento has better definition, texture and slam than Andromeda. Andromeda has double the Viento bass quantity. Andromeda has the worst mids among the three in my opinion, they are on the verge of being dry. Viento mids are much sweeter and musical. Andromeda Treble is smooth and not as fatiguing as Viento but Viento Treble has much better definition.

Note: The only cable I had with the Andromeda was a Gold/Silver alloy which according to the owner makes the Andromeda bass and mids thicker.

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Conclusion

Listening to the Viento has been absolutely a pleasure for the brief period I had it. This is what a true reference IEM should be in my opinion - excellent technicalities and yet keeps it musical. Viento offers technicalities that can only be rivalled by the likes of Zeus. Overall, the IEM scored 3.2/5 which I would consider to be a very good score.

The Nobleman Viento stays classy. He doesn’t like to dwell too much on the low end but is all about that high life. The secret to his success is organization and he manages to keep every aspect of his life separate.

Credits

I would like to express my thanks to

@Barra – For organizing the Hidition tour because of which I was able to hear this masterpiece.
T
twocentsear
How does the imaging compare to the Andromedas?
seamon
seamon
It has been a long time since I heard both but I think Viento did Imaging a tad better, Andromeda has a much bigger soundstage tho
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