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Hidizs Mermaid MS1

Rating:
4.33333/5,
  • _DSC9786.jpg

    Hidizs has prepared two new models of in-ear monitors under a common name and some features shared between the two. Main code name is «Mermaid» with the additional labels «MS4» and «MS1». Mermaid MS4 is more advanced hybrid model based on three BA drivers by Knowles and one dynamic driver while MS1 features the same single dynamic driver unit.

    Mermaid MS1 technical specifications:
    • Type: 1DD
    • Dynamic driver: 10.2mm, Hidizs design, high-sensitivity polymer diaphragm (dual magnetic circuits|dual cavity)
    • Shell materials: high density military grade CNC aluminum-alloy, aluminum-alloy gold-plated sound tube
    • Frequency response: 20Hz - 40kHz
    • Sensitivity: 109dB/mW
    • Impedance: 18Ω (at 1kHz)
    • Rate power: 10Hw
    • Headphone connectors: 2pin, 0.78mm
    • Cables: OFC, 4 strands
    • Weight: 8g
    The most exiting is the choice of optional accessories Hidizs would provide the both models with:
    • audio cable with the regular 3.5mm jack (included, stock)
    • audio cable with 2.5mm balanced jack
    • audio cable with 4.4mm balanced jack
      • following the recent trend: several modern DAPs were released with Pentaconn 4.4mm (JEITA standard) balanced outputs and general tendency of DAP manufacturers to incorporate this standard instead of 2.5mm balanced output
    • audio cable with USB DAC ((type-C) + type-C->USB A coneverter))
      • possibility to get better driving ability and more balanced sound instead of using low quality audio outputs from smartphones, PCs or tablets.
        • CS42L42 chip
        • Up to 24bit/192kHz
        • 75mW + 75mW @ 32ohms output power
        • SNR: 117dB
        • Dynamic range: 115dB
        • Distortion: <0.0006%
        • Built-in microphone for voice calls
    • Bluetooth 5.0 audio cable
      • gives a wireless freedom with a support all of common bluetooth transfer protocols (getting the data which ones exactly)

Recent Reviews

  1. ExpatinJapan
    The original Aquaman in earphone form
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Mar 3, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent build and fit, advanced kickstarter options have an array of cables on offer, smooth and neutral type sound, price
    Cons - A bit more upper bass and lower mids would be welcome, treble can be peaky on some tracks, needs some burn in, coherency is lost at times
    Hidizs MS1 Earphone Review
    - Expatinjapan

    [​IMG]

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/873263862/ms4-epic-hybrid-quad-drivers-hifi-in-ear-monitor-e


    *Scroll down the Hidizs Kickstarter page for the MS1 information,
    but stay a while near the top of the page to check out the MS4 also.

    `In the Mermaid series, we also designed the earphones featured the single dynamic driver.
    It was built by the same diaphragm as the MS4,
    we also used the Hi-Fi grade material for this product.
    The sound is beautiful, the quality is designed as the Hi-Fi quality,
    it's a super good product for the junior enthusiasts.`

    [​IMG]

    The new earphone series from Hidizs is quite a surprise production from this dap company.

    Earlier products such as the AP60 and the later AP200 and AP80 built upon earlier builds and improved the sonics experience as is to be expected.

    Hidizs has finally gone into the earphone arena with a well received pair (MS1 and MS4) by reviewers that was available for mainly early review, feedback and development purposes.
    Hidizs has taken a jump into the lower mid fi end with their MS4 model (1 DD, 3BA) and also the entry level end with the MS1 with their new DD earphone.
    Placed at US $99 - $129 on Kickstarter (Later increasing to $149 - $268). The Hidizs MS1 when combined with a decent dap certainly emerges as an earphone that produces a pleasant performance.

    Coming with a durable oxygen-free copper cables which are composed of 4 strands two pin standard single ended 3.5mm for starters. There is also the option to add more cables as perks, Such as a 5.0 bluetooth receiver or a Type-C DAC cable , or a 2.5mm balanced cable. And there is also a 4.4mm option upon request.

    Unboxing Hidizs MS1 (MS1 basic kit).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    *See further down for full Specifications.

    [​IMG]

    You can not go wrong with lots of tips to choose from.

    [​IMG]

    A nice, solid plastic case for transportation and protection.

    [​IMG]

    More details of the tips so you can tailor the sound to your liking.

    [​IMG]


    The build as you can see is excellent, and much more than I expected.
    `Finely crafted aluminum cavity`

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hidizs MS1 and Hidizs AP80

    Specifications

    [​IMG]

    Price

    I think it is best to browse their Kickstarter for all the various options and perks (especially the cable add-on options).
    Scroll down from the MS4 initially to the MS1 mid way down their Kickstarter page.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/project...uad-drivers-hifi-in-ear-monitor-e/description

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    *4.4 mm balanced change connector is an add-on, you can get it at only $10 USD ($ 78 HKD).


    Expected mass production is scheduled for February with shipping planned for April 2019.

    [​IMG]

    Stunning to see, touch and comfortable to use.

    [​IMG]

    Sound
    Various Daps, volume matched with a SPL meter, and FLAC tracks were used in the listening and testing).

    I used the Stock Balanced tips for most of my listening (thick silicone and with a small bore)

    The Hidizs MS1 dynamic driver earphone is certainly a decent first effort. My expectations were admittedly low, this being their first earphone (that I know of).

    The Hidizs MS1 takes a turn from the earlier favored V shapes of late 2017/early 2018 of other brands to a more neutral, linear and bright sound, echoing to some degree the ever popular DD sound that one enjoys to listen to.
    Vocals are sweet and not too forward and complement the music rather than overwhelm it.

    The sub bass is present but not overcoming, the bass being a main feature whilst complementing the mids and highs. The response is fast and aggressive. Typical of most dynamic drivers.

    The mids have a nice bump in their lower regions to please and complement the vocals, especially female vocals.

    The highs are refined and are generally ok. Some sibilance or over extension on the odd rock track.
    They generally have a nice reach without becoming fatiguing with the right pairing of music.

    Overall it is :
    The fit is comfortable and I could easily get a good seal. I did not really need to change to any after market tips and achieved excellent isolation and increased body overall from the stock offerings.

    I did sample my recent favorites such as the Symbio Peel W and JVC Spiral tips and enjoyed the more controlled overall sonics, clean delivery and tamed highs of the JVC versus the stock balanced tips.

    The balanced tips are good overall and fairly even.
    The Vocal tips are bit more sedated on the lows and highs, creating a more emphasis on upper mids and vocals.
    The Bass tips do not seem to produce huge bass, but its adequate and they seem to have a more airy effect due to their larger bore and thin silicone.
    The Balanced tips or the Foam tips appear to be the stock winner here. Solid sound, nice lows and vocals, usual drop in the highs of course.

    Imaging is above average and I could enjoy the instrument placement, and the sound stage is as like in a medium hall.

    The performance is a varied range as can be seen below. Dependent on the music listened to and the tips paired i suppose. Some time is does not seem coherent, or maybe lacking some low end, or treble and bit sharp (bear in mind this is only with the Balanced tips).

    I found changing the gain from low to mid improved the performance overall, and would recommend it.

    Bear in mind this a US100 earphone at its roots, the build is excellent and the sound fits within and above that price bracket.

    With stock balanced tips:
    Norah Jones, Massive Attack, The Fugees, Daft Punk, Beethoven, Jeff Buckley, Kruder and Dorfmeister, David Bowie, Neil Young, Gnarls Barkley, Joy Division, Velvet Underground, Mazzy star are a good match,... The Pixies, Morcheeba, Ramones, Portishead, The Jesus and Marychain, Hole are ok,.... Slayer so-so,.... Richard Ashcroft, Blur, lana Del Rey is not.

    With a bit of gain added I felt there to be some improvements as the dynamic driver had more power to satisfy it.
    Take the above with a grain of salt, Lana del Rey for example was ok with the JVC Spiral Tip.

    Overall it is not an all rounder at low gain, but moves closer to it when more gain is added. I would also recommend playing around with the tips a bit to get the right sonic experience for yourself and to do some tip rolling with whatever tips you have lying around. Have a play.

    Its a generally, smooth, easy listening experience and enjoyable earphone.

    [​IMG]

    Overall

    The Hidizs MS1 marks a point of maturity of Hidizs as a company as they perhaps move closer to the dream of a totl IEM.

    A more neutral style earphone, nice body, decent fast low end with warm floaty mids and a at times bright high end. Sound stage is medium.

    I would recommend trying out all the tips and even try other tips.

    Medium or high gain seemed to satisfy the drivers the most.

    The cable is decent and I did not bother with cable swapping to yield some incremental improvements as I was generally satisfied with the stock cable.

    The MS1 has a linear, naturalness combined with body, clarity, detail and power.

    We look forward to Hidizs next earphone project.

    [​IMG]

    `Consider that before long you will be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist that you now see, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist.`
    - Marcus Aurelius

    [​IMG]

    Thank you to Hidizs for sending Head pie the Hidizs MS1 for review.
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  2. cleg
    Younger brother
    Written by cleg
    Published Feb 13, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - design, build quality, accessories set, price, sound
    Cons - lower mids could be more forward
    1-Main Pic.jpg
    Hidizs obviously enjoyed the idea of Kickstart platform preorders for their new projects. After a successful campaign for their Hidizs AP80 player, they decided to try the same approach for their new IEMs and started the crowdfunding for two new models. Today we will take a closer look at the junior model.

    I would like to thank Hidizs for providing me with a review sample of MS1 in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

    Both IEMs adopted the codename - Mermaid. In fact, they look rather similar both in terms of appearance and packaging. The difference between them is that MS1 are single-driver dynamic IEMs and MS4, that I haven’t got for review, unfortunately, add 3 more Balanced Armature drivers to dynamic. Both models can be pre-ordered in three variants: basic, with single addon of choice or with all add-ons. Among the add-ons are the balanced cable of enhanced quality, Bluetooth cable and USB-C cable with DAC (and it is good if it is the same one used in Hidizs Sonata).

    2-Box.jpg

    Prices are average on the market currently. The junior model starts from 150 USD (100 USD during the crowdfunding campaign). Senior is planned to be sold for 300 USD, but currently, its price starts from 220 USD.

    Technical specifications
    • Driver: 10.2 mm dynamic driver
    • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 109 dB/mW
    • Impedance: 18Ω
    • Cable: replaceable, 0.78mm 2-pin
    • Weight: 16 gr
    Packaging and Accessories

    The IEMs came in the standard Hidizs cardboard box with silver embossing. The contents of the box resemble the flagship FiiO models. According to how the accessories are placed in the box, highly likely that they are made on the same factory. Besides IEMs there is a cable, plastic case and 12 pairs of eartips (3 pairs of 4 types): foam, bassy, balanced, and treble-oriented, that are named “vocal”.

    It is likely for the senior model to have a better case (some images on the net suggest artificial leather).
    Those enhanced accessories will be present for those who purchase add-ons.

    3-Accessories.jpg

    Accessories set is very good for this price.

    Design and usability

    The appearance of new IEMs dispel doubts about relationships with FH5. The IEMs seem to be similar except faceplates. Bodies are made of quality metal. Shape exploits stylized universal representation of custom IEMs. There are three available colors: dark gray, blue and red. My gray variant sports a great shiny insertion on the outer side of IEMs. Here you can also find the company name and logo.

    The shape of IEMs is well thought over and MS1 can easily fit any ear, however, they can still be a little large for too small ears, but it is a rare case. The sound hook has normal length and ensures above-average isolation and comfy usage over long periods of time.

    4-Overview.jpg

    The IEMs are designed to be worn over the ear and it will be almost impossible to wear them “cable down” even if you change the cable itself. The cable is, of course, detachable and Hidizs chose 2-pin connectors, probably because they did not want to crash into MMCX problems). It is rather simple, at least in MS1 model - usual silicone isolation, ear hooks without memory effect, twisted spiral after the Y-split up to the jack. The cable is, however, good in everyday use - it is not too noisy, springy enough not to be prone to entangling and does not stiffen in cold conditions.

    General build quality is good, there are no problems or faults here. IEMs look strict and respectable and look very attractive.

    5-Stylish Shot.jpg

    Sound
    For testing I've used following source: Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, Astell&Kern SP1000, theBit OPUS#2, Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP.

    Prior to testing, I allowed 48 hours of burn-in. The changes were detected only during the first 3 hours.

    Testing this model I realized that MS1 is a half of hybrid IEMs. In fact, it is a good dynamic model that can easily benefit if you add some armature correctly, and I hope that Hidizs really succeeded in MS4 in this regard.

    Bass is something that you instantly pay attention to here. It has good depth and firmness that will appeal to those listeners who love rolling and rumbling bass sounds. Of course, the bass is not armature in terms of resolution, however, for dynamic bass, it has rather good speed and this makes it sound well-layered and containing micro-details. Overall the bass is balanced and well-controlled, not interfering into the middle.

    6-Without Tips.jpg

    Mids are tuned in the way to have a typical V-shape with a macro-detail accent. The upper mids are almost perfect - they are slightly moved forward and have a good resolution that helps female vocals sound expressive, gives guitars needed aggression and ensures the presence of all other positive moments of accentuated upper mids. Lower mids sometimes lack presence. Luckily it can be heard on some tracks only. The soundstage is average in terms of width and a little smaller in depth, but the separation of instruments and layering are very good, there is no congestion.

    Treble is somewhat accentuated, but it is done carefully and is not abundant. However, if you are a treble-sensitive person, I advise you to audition those IEMs before the purchase. Attacks and decays are a little shorter than normal, but in general have good length, although not great. The resolution is good and there is a good balance with bass.

    As there are many models in this price category I have chosen only some of them (arguably the most popular) for comparison.

    7-Sides.jpg

    Ostry KC09 How can I omit them? Ostry’s are slightly more flat in mids and have less bass and treble. MS1 has better bass depth too.

    Whizzer A15 Pro It is a more flat model as well with slightly better resolution but less weight and depth of bass.

    iBasso IT01 IT01 have more aggressive sound with even more accentuated upper part of the frequency range. The bass has more speed than in MS1 but doesn’t have such depth.

    Matchability

    MS1 are very balanced IEMs in terms of impedance and sensitivity and they are easily driven by any sources. They are colored and do not require a top player.

    In terms of style, the IEMs will suit to the genres with good and weighty bass required - from pop-music to jazz with contrabass. MS1 are not very sensitive to the quality of recording - approximately 5 of 10.

    8-With AP80.jpg

    Example tracks

    Röyksopp — Alpha Male (Live 2) I don’t like live recordings in general, but sometimes there are exclusions that break my preferences easily and throw them away. This track is exactly the one. With MS1 it will not only provide you with a good rhythm-section but will let you dig deeper into the live concert atmosphere.

    Pat Metheny — And I Love Her Of course it is not Wichita Falls, but nevertheless a very good example of guitar jazz. And of course it requires better IEMs (maybe MS4, eh?), but MS1 play this track really well, mainly because of the correct tonal balance.

    The Handsome Family — Far from Any Road Shame, but I do not know anything about this band. For sure, I might google it, but for some reason, I don’t want to. Anonymity gives an advantage to this outstanding vocal duet. MS1 cope well with vocal emotions and instrumental part.

    Verdict

    While I was writing this review, the MS1 gathered several times more than the goal that was set on Kickstarter, confirming again that crowdfunding campaigns are a success. However, there is enough time and if you search for interesting IEMs for a good price, Hidizs Mermaid may be one of the options to look at.

    As usual, I've made the video version of review for those who prefer it.

      PlantsmanTX likes this.
  3. IryxBRO
    Hidizs Mermaid MS1 — new approach, great bargain
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Feb 4, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - good, exposed mids, good resolution, great treble extension, excellent fit
    Cons - a bit more deep bass needed wtih some DAPs but good with USB DAC cable
    [​IMG]

    Hidizs is currently preparing two new models of in-ear monitors under a common name and some features shared between the two. Main code name is «Mermaid» with the additional labels «MS4» and «MS1». Mermaid MS4 is more advanced hybrid model based on three BA drivers by Knowles and one dynamic driver while MS1 features the same single dynamic driver unit.

    [​IMG]

    Along with good technical specifications Hidizs has found the way to make their IEMs a versatile choice for all future customers: from a casual user to the most advanced audiophiles. The main feature of Hidizs Mermaid family is the amount of different connectivity options to choose from, allowing almost any audio source and exempting from the additional adaptors.

    Both models would be officially launched on Kickstarter, 7th Feb, 8:00AM EST.

    We’ve already got a chance to examine pre-sales samples of both models and would like to share our opinion in this review.

    Mermaid MS4 & MS1 technical specifications:

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    Mermaid IEMs structure:

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    Other features:
    • Hidizs patented 10.4mm macromolecule diaphragm offers more consistent internal loss across all frequencies to deliver subtle highs and smoother bass
    • Durable aluminum alloy cavity enhances the sound cohesion. The housing made of smooth resin with brushed metal.
    Connectivity options:
    • stock OFC, 4 strands cable with 2pin, 0.78mm IEM connectors and 3.5mm audio jack (always included)
    OR/AND
    • 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced audio jack, OFC, 4 strands cable with 2pin, 0.78mm IEM connectors (optional accessory, available during KS campaign and afterwards) We are also checking with Hidizs on how to select 4.4mm instead 2.5mm during KS campaign.
    • DH 10-RC microUSB Type-C Cable with integrated DAC, built-in microphone for voice calls and 2pin, 0.78mm IEM connectors (optional accessory)
    • Bluetooth 5.0 cable with 2pin, 0.78mm IEM connectors (optional accessory)
    As seen from the KS page, Hidizs decided to allow three ordering bundles for MS4 and MS1:
    • BASIC KIT: 3.5mm unbalanced audio cable
    • PRIME KIT: 3.5mm unbalanced audio cable + ANY other option (2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced / DAC cable / Bluetooth cable)
    • ABSOLUTE KIT: 3.5mm unbalanced audio cable + ALL options (2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced + DAC cable + Bluetooth cable)
    Prices for different sets are already listed on Hidizs MS4 & MS1 KS page.

    Packaging, design and materials:

    Both models come in pretty large black matt boxes with brand logo, shematic pictures and model names embossed at the top cover and technical description at the back.

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    We are not sure what is pushing the trend of developing huge packaging for tiny devices but it is certainly a pain for logistics in terms of shipping quantity and expenses. At the same time, no worries about the damage during the transportation and good feel of valuable possession :)

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    Inner box compartments are split into two layers. Top layer is formed by soft foam retaining IEMs and stock cable:

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    while the bottom layer contains several sets of exchangeable eartips and storage cases:

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    Box contents:

    Mermaid MS4
    • MS4 IEMs
    • 3.5mm unbalanced cable
    • 9 pairs of silicone eartips
    • 3 pairs of memory foam eartips
    • leather storage case
    Mermaid MS1
    • MS1 IEMs
    • 3.5mm unbalanced cable
    • 9 pairs of silicone eartips
    • 3 pairs of memory foam eartips
    • plastic storage case
    [​IMG]

    So, the only difference in box contents between two models is the design of storage cases.

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    All other accessories such as stock audio cable and 4 sets of eartips are completely the same. Moreover, Hidizs has decided to identify different sets of eartips according to general influence it makes towards the sound: balanced, vocal and bass.

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    Not sure if it would produce the same results for everyone due to very personal perception and ear structure but it is a good indicator to give a clue what different eartips are designed for.

    Back to IEMs: both models share the same design and shape of aluminum-alloy shells. The only difference is MS4 top cover pad which is made of transparent resin with brand logo printed underneath it, while the same element of MS1 is made of aluminum with brand logo imprints at top.

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    Shells are made of three parts: base with matt finish, polished golden cover and top aluminum or resin pad. The alignment of all three parts is perfect and the gap between the base and top cover is hardly visible.

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    Channel indicators are located at the back edge of the bases. No need to dig the net to understand the right way of cable connection. BTW — corresponding channel indicators on the cable should be pointing inwards.

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    Two compensational openings for each channel: one is near the channel indicator and another one is close to the output nozzle on the inner part of the base.

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    Output nozzles are also made of aluminum and protected by grills. It is not unibody construction where the nozzles would protrude from the base but still feels very durable and monolithic.

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    2pin, 0.78mm connector bases are made of transparent plastic, don’t show any free play and feel quite tough when inserting cable pins. Seems that this furniture is quite expensive.

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    Stock cables with 3.5mm unbalanced plugs are made of oxigen-free copper (4 strands), feature flexible transparent earguides, transparent plastic 2pin connector, aluminum Y-splitter, limiter and audio jack housing. All aluminum elements have similar rough pattern for a better grip.

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    In overall, both models look beautiful and very attractive. The design is even better in real life. All elements are perfectly crafted, all imprints are neat and clean. MS4 top cover pad and golden brand logo underneath it adds some additional value but we think that both models deserve the highest score for their stunning externals.

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    Fit comfort:

    Despite having quite large dimensions and thick profile, Mermaid IEMs feel very comfortable. We would place those among several other most comfortable models like Kinera Idun or Shozy & NEO CP to wear for long, non-disturbing listening sessions. This is not only about the natural shape but also about convenient stock cable earguides that relieve the physical tension from your ears.

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    Optional accessories:
    1. Optional cables with 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced jacks are identical to stock 3.5mm audio cable and feature the same elements described above.
    [​IMG]

    2. Audio cable with integrated DAC (DH 10-RC): probably the most interesting and intriguing optional accessory which provides better driving potential and overall sound quality to those who would like to use IEMs with their smartphones, PCs or tablets.

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    Hidizs has been successfully selling Sonata HD DAC Cable (USB DAC -> 3.5mm adapter) for a long time with good feedback from the majority of the customers. As far as we understand, DAC cable for Mermaid IEMs is a combination of Sonata HD DAC cable with regular 2pin, 0.78mm audio cable.

    DH 10-RC DAC cable specifications:
    • Connector: microUSB Type-C (+ USB A adaptor)
    • DAC chip: CS42L42
    • Sample rate: 24bit/192kHz
    • Output power: 75mW + 75mW @32Ω
    • SNR: 117dB
    • Dynamic range: 115dB
    • THD: <0.0006%
    • Built-in microphone for voice calls
    • Built-in one button remote for answering calls
    • Connecction to IEMs: 2pin, 0.78mm
    • cable 1.2m, TPE, OFC, 4 core
    [​IMG]

    This upgrade cable comes in a separate box together with soft storage bag and USB A adapter.

    3. Bluetooth 5.0 cable. Unfortunately, it was not provided for the review and we can only guess on its quality, supported audio protocols and so on… We would update as soon as all of our questions about Bluetooth cable would be answered. No clue whether it would support UAT — the latest HiBY 24/192, 1.2Mbits/s protocol.

    Sound quality:

    Tested with AP80DAP, Redmi Note4X + DAC cable

    Lows and midbass:

    [​IMG]

    MS1:

    While resolving good amounts of textures, MS1 deep bass extension is moderate. Deep bass lacks some presence and the entire picture exhibits more emphasis on midbass while many tracks would still require more volume of lows. Couple of inputs to EQ did a good job but if to evaluate this section with no additional editing from the source side — we would say that MS1 IEMs would be a better option for those who doesn’t pay much of attention to bass portion. The peculiar thing here is that when we have tried USB DAC cable instead of AP80 DAP the situation has changed dramatically. The lack of lows has vanished completely and this portion gained a lot in the entire sound picture. Therefore, having good texturing and good speed plus the dark source with the additional emphasis on lows would bring MS1 lower end much closer to MS4 or other good and more expensive rivals.

    Midbass section sounds good, dynamics, articulation and power are appropriate for ntural and engaging drums. There is a certain accent on midbass in the sound when paired with AP80 DAP but it fades away when DAC cable is used.

    Mids and vocals:

    [​IMG]

    MS1:

    MS1 mids is a good example of getting very good performance from a single dynamic driver. Resolution of mids is quite high while entire presentation feels very linear. MS1 extends this good characteristic of MS4 and equializes male to female vocals even further. No biting peaks on female vocals in the most suffering tracks, voices are better exposed and brought closer to the stage front. Sound of instruments and vocals is similarly rich and thick. Instruments have a good level of separation, don’t tend to mix and creat good imaginary stage. MS1 mids are warm, quite smooth and exposed.

    Treble:

    [​IMG]

    MS1:

    MS1 treble resolution and extension are quite impressive for dynamic driver model. It feels clear and transparent and at the same time do not produce extra sibilances or noise. Of course, hard to directly compete with BA drivers but at least the treble is in good balance with the mids and doesn’t suffer from lack of details or dynamics. We would say that MS1 treble is one of its main virtues, especially when used with USB DAC cable. Yes, again, we have noticed that USB DAC cable exposes both ends of MS1 better, which seems to produce more appealing results in overall.

    [​IMG]

    Sound stage:

    MS4 & MS1:

    Sound stage produced by both models is moderate and quite similar to each other with only a slight advantage on MS4 side as it creates more room on lows and defines vertical domain with better treble extension. MS1 stage feels a bit deeper due to better exposure of vocals and mids. There were only few and more expensive IEMs on our tests that we would definitely point out as having obviously larger stage. Therefore, MS4 and MS1 are neither clear winners nor the outsiders in this respect.

    Sound summary:

    [​IMG]

    MS1:

    MS1 sound can be described as fairly balanced, with slightly exposed and pretty balanced mids, moderate bass extension, good midbass and impressive treble for dynamic IEMs. Entire sound picture is warm, focused on vocals and instruments in mids.

    USB DAC cable performance:

    [​IMG]

    As already mentioned — USB DAC cable emphasizes lows and treble ranges, has enough driving ability for both models (doubles the output power of a regular smartphone) and handles midbass and overall dynamics much better. It does also outperform smartphones or PC audio outputs in terms of resolution and amount of details. More information can be found in our review of Sonata HD cable.

    MS1 compared to Tanchjim Darkside:

    [​IMG]

    Tanchjim Darkside are beautifully crafted single dynamic driver IEMs with dark and warm sound. Lower end extension and texturing are great but mids and treble are influenced a lot by that to get a specific signature as the result. MS1 sound more delicate and balanced, only moderately warm and dark, with much better treble presence and exposed mids.

    MS1 compared to Anew U1:

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    Perhaps, the hardest comparison here. We love Anew U1 single dynamic driver IEMs for fairly balanced performance, great lows and clean treble. There are some flaws like driver flex (no compensational opening), not the perfect (but good) fit and tendency to have that harsh peak on female vocals for the most treble sensitive people. MS1 do have a better fit, don’t show the problem with driver flex and have better equalization of male to female vocals (less tendency to harsh peaks). At the same time, extension of lows is not that great as in Anew U1. Therefore, we would recommend MS1 over Anew U1 for upper mids — lower treble sensitive people.

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    Conclusion:

    After spending several days examining, listening and reviewing Mermaid MS4 and MS1 IEMs, we think that Hidizs has done a great job on everything: creating good hybrid and dynamic IEMs in terms of crafting and sound quality, developing the new and more universal approach that would satisfy the needs of the vast majority of audio fans and finally — setting the adequate price tag that perfectly describes the capabilities of both models. Our own findings show that more advanced Mermaid MS4 model is worthy of the highest scores and reasonably placed between $180 — 270 hybrid rivals that we have tested already, while Mermaid MS1 based on single dynamic driver is on par with more expensive rivals and capable of even more impressive results when paired with the most suitable audio source. Moreover, different connectivity options, cable with intergrated DAC as the most convenient and innovative solution create the additional value to the entire set.

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    Our last advice would be to seriously consider getting one of those models during Kisckstarter campaign due to significant discount figures that seems to be quite a bargain. In case of getting MS1 IEMs — consider ordering it in bundle with DH 10-RC DAC cable as it seems to be a good pair.

    Link to Hidizs Mermaid MS4 & MS1 Kickstarter campaign that would start on 7th Feb, 8:00AM EST.

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