HIDIZS MS5 Dark Angel

Berry108

New Head-Fier
𝐇𝐈𝐃𝐈𝐙 𝐌𝐒𝟓 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥: 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐭
Pros: Detailed and Precise Tuning
Great Imaging
Amazing Build Quality
Tuning Nozzles
Great assortment of accessories
Cons: Treble is quite harsh even with the Red(Bass) nozzle
Included cable is a bit too thick and stiff
Bulky shape and size
𝐇𝐈𝐃𝐈𝐙 𝐌𝐒𝟓 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐥: 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐠𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐭


|| 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 ||


HIDIZ, a company known for their wide range of audio gear offers from and not limited to dongle DACs, DAPs and IEMs, just released this new midrange set named the MS5 Dark Angel.

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Coming at under $400 and sports a 4 Sonion BA + 1 Liquid Silicone DD configuration, tuning nozzles and a wide arrangement of included tips, the MS5 aims to take the reign of the ever so competitive and packed mid range price bracket.


|| 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀 ||

I don’t fancy confusing lingo, therefore, the reviews will simple without too much confusing terminologies

This set is sent in exchange for an honest review. There is no material or financial incentive for me to do this review and I guarantee no exchange has been done by both parties to influence or sway our opinions on this product.

My thoughts and opinions are of my own. My experience will entirely differ from everybody else. The contents of this review should not be considered factual as this hobby heavily leans on subjectivity. YMMV.


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𝐇𝐮𝐠𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐨 Hidizs 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐙𝐨𝐢𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟. 𝐁𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐛𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐒𝟓 𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐌𝐒𝟓𝐑𝐓𝐕𝐈𝐏𝟓𝐎𝐅𝐅 𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤𝐨𝐮𝐭. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐇𝐈𝐃𝐈𝐙 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨
𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐒𝟓. 𝐈 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐧𝐨 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐤𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬𝐧'𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤.

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| 𝗣𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 |

The MS5 comes in a big black box with an illustration of the IEMs themselves along with branding and text. It’s packed pretty well and the bulky box is to accommodate the sheer amount of other things included in the box.

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| 𝗨𝗻𝗯𝗼𝘅𝗶𝗻𝗴 & 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 |

The unboxing is straightforward with a simple slide, and with the IEMs themselves greet you and is encased with foam.

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Underneath that layer lies the assortment of accessories included in the package that being an included faux white case, 3 sets of special eartips and 2 sets of tuning nozzles placed on a metal plate, an included 2-pin cable, and of course some paperwork.

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The included cable is quite thick and stiff but it was never microphonic or memory-prone. A generous amount of extra accessories coming from HIDIZ.

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𝗜𝘁𝗲𝗺 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻:

Paperwork
IEM Drivers
Faux leather white zipper case
6N Single crystal copper silver-plated 2-pin cable
3 sets of bass, vocal and balanced tips (S,M,L)
2 sets of tuning nozzles(Red = Bass, Silver = Treble)


| 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱 & 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 |

The MS5 is built using an aluminum alloy cavity that feels great on the hand and with a nice amount of heft. You can clearly feel that it is built well with no sharp edges and no coarse spots.

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The faceplate of the MS5 has this rose gold trim around it while the rest of the body is a matte black in color and an open grill design. I have yet to see a design like this on an IEM, it’s a nice mix of subtle but still unique design cues that looks good.

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Overall shape of the MS5 is universal with no pronounced curves and angles. The MS5 only has this big vent on the rear for alleviating the pressure and a nozzle that can definitely sit real deep in one’s ear.

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One of the highlights of the MS5 is the tuning nozzles with the rose gold(balanced) being the default. They can be easily removed by rotating counter-clockwise and don't come undone easily.

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HIDIZ packed the MS5 with 4 Sonion BAs + 1 Liquid Silicone DD to produce good sound that has both the benefits of BAs and DDs.


| 𝗜𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 |

These isolate well, probably because I was able to get it really deep inside my ears. Passive isolation here can be comfortably used to block out sounds from things like daily commutes.


| 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁 |

The MS5 being a universal fit makes it really comfortable to my ears. However I do find myself taking a breather from time to time after a few hours because of how deep I put these on and the fact that the nozzle feels quite chonky. I suggest using ear tips that don't have stiff stems.

Occlusion effect on this is nothing special, it’s not exceptionally bad nor exceptionally good either.


** 𝑺𝒐𝒏𝒚 𝑬𝑷-𝑬𝑿11 𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒊𝒑𝒔(𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒊𝒖𝒎) 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝑰𝑫𝑰𝒁 𝑿0 𝑫𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆 𝑫𝑨𝑪 𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝑮𝒐𝒍𝒅(𝑩𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒅) 𝒏𝒐𝒛𝒛𝒍𝒆**


|| 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 ||

I find this set overall engaging with great coherence and clarity and exceptional bass performance on the default Rose Gold(Balanced) nozzle. However after a while, I find that the treble of the MS5 is too much for me to handle comfortably as I’m really sensitive to that region.

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The Silver(Treble) nozzle tightens things up and makes the sound overall leaner but at the cost of severing my issue with the treble by boosting it.
I find the Red(Bass) nozzle to help tame the treble I’m so uncomfortable with at the cause of making the bass a bit more forward and less tight. I prefer this over the other two but I still opted to use the default Rose Gold(Balanced) nozzle to get the best of both worlds.


| 𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 |

These are really efficient and easy to drive so it’s almost an issue using them with more powerful sources like the XO Dongle DAC and even the VE Avani Dongle DAC.

This becomes an issue as you’ll be limited with control the volume down especially if the said DAC or AMP of yours don’t have physically hardware volume control, leaving you to the hands of digital volume management.


| 𝗕𝗮𝘀𝘀 |

The bass is really great especially with the Rose Gold(Balanced) nozzle but the bass performance of the Red(Bass) nozzle is just a tad bit more warm. Hits are fast and are meaty with an ample amount of rumble for those who like their sub-bass. Texture is great with nice grit while not being too in your face.

Definitely one of the best I’ve tried with its great mix of quality and quantity of the low-end.


| 𝗠𝗶𝗱𝘀 |

Another great performance coming from the MS5. Instruments have their place and sound great and clean execution. Vocals don't sound too intimate and have good enough space to breathe.

Both vocals sound full bodied and caters both equally as per my experience. Sibilant voices may be an issue on the MS5 even with the Red(Bass) Nozzle, harsh “Sss” and “Tss” was still audible with the current configuration but it never sounded shouty in my experience.


| 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘀 |

I went through a lot of mixing and matching to find something to fix the peaky treble(Do note that I’m really sensitive to treble). While it still has good extension, amazing detail and clarity, It made me feel uncomfortable while listening especially on high volumes.

The Silver(Treble) nozzle boosts my issue on this further but to those with high tolerances that want something more bright then that will definitely deliver. Transients are great still and air is abundant on the MS5 too.


| 𝗧𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 |

Great in every aspect, amazing even, layering, imaging, and staging, all of those aced by the MS5. This is probably due to the treble performance and clean bass execution. You can easily pinpoint audio sources in a breeze. Instruments have their place and never overlap with each other. Sources have a clear boundary which is which and where they’re positioned.

Things like analytical listening and even competitive gaming may find the MS5’s technical performance to fit their needs but maybe not so much for movies and more story driven games.


|| 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 ||

The MS5 Dark Angel is still a great set for what it offers, from the sheer amount of accessories and tunable nozzles, to the really clear and detailed presentation, the MS5 will definitely cater to someone out there and sadly I’m not one of them. Everything else is great with the MS5 and the only glaring issue is the treble performance being harsh during my experience.

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Now, we all have different ears, tolerances and preferences, this set is simply not for me but it will definitely be the perfect set for someone out there. But me not liking it due to my own preference invalidates the great things the MS5 does. I would still recommend this to someone looking for a midrange set with an amazing array of accessories and customizable sound but warn them still about the treble.

Hooga

100+ Head-Fier
It's a long way to the top...
Pros: Good tonal balance.
Good bass, both snappy and rumbly.
Good imaging.
Good / very good instrument separation.
Cons: Lean, somewhat artificial timbre.
Unrefined, thin, often messy trebles.
Lean-ish mids.
Flat stage.
Not inexpensive.
As some of my 18 readers may recall I am kinda impervious to hype and quite inelastic on sidegrading. It’s with such unchanging mind that I approached the assessment of the hype of the day – Hidizs’ new take to the mid-tier IEM market.

These MS5 have been heavily anticipated and are supported by a very energetic marketing campaign (nice job there, it must be said). Priced at $499 list, they are currently on promo at $399 + freight, and you can buy them here.


Test setup and preliminary notes

Sources: Questyle QP1R & QP2R / Sony NW-A55 mrWalkman / Questyle M15 / Questyle CMA-400i – JVC Spiraldot tips – Stock cable – lossless 16-24/44.1-192 FLAC and DSD64/128 tracks.

I am not writing these articles to help manufacturers promote their products, even less I’m expecting or even accepting compensation when I do. I’m writing exclusively to share my fun – and sometimes my disappointment – about gear that I happen to buy, borrow or somehow receive for audition.
Another crucial fact to note is that I have very sided and circumscribed musical tastes: I almost exclusively listen to jazz, and even more particularly to the strains of post bop, modal, hard bop and avangarde which developed from the late ’50ies to the late ’70ies. In audio-related terms this implies that I mostly listen to musical situations featuring small or even very small groups playing acoustic instruments, on not big stages.
One of the first direct consequences of the above is that you should not expect me to provide broad information about how a certain product fairs with many different musical genres. Oppositely, you should always keep in mind that – different gear treating digital and analog sound in different ways – my evaluations may not, in full or in part, be applicable to your preferred music genre.
Another consequece is that I build my digital library by painstakingly cherrypick editions offering the least possible compression and pumped loudness, and the most extended dynamic range. This alone, by the way, makes common music streaming services pretty much useless for me, as they offer almost exclusively the polar opposite. And again by the way, quite a few of the editions in my library are monoaural.
Additionally: my library includes a significant number of unedited, very high sample rate redigitisations of vinyl or openreel tape editions, either dating back to the original day or more recently reissued under specialised labels e.g. Blue Note Tone Poet, Music Matters, Esoteric Jp, Analogue Productions, Impulse! Originals, and such. Oppositely, I could ever find and extremely small number of audible (for my preferences) SACD editions.
My source gear is correspondigly selected to grant very extended bandwidth, high reconstruction proweness, uncolored amping.
And finally, my preferred drivers (ear or headphones) are first and foremost supposed to feature solid note-body timbre, and an as magically centered compromise between fine detail, articulated texturing and microdynamics as their designers can possibly achieve.
In terms of presentation, for IEMs I prefer one in the shape of a DF curve, with some very moderate extra pushup in the midbass. Extra sub-bass enhancement is totally optional, and solely welcome if seriously well controlled. Last octave treble is also welcome from whomever is really able to turn that into further spatial drawing upgrade, all others please abstain.

Signature analysis


Tonality

MS5 come with a modular screw-in nozzle system intended to offer easy access to tuning alternatives.

Default nozzles are colored “Gold” and are supposed to offer the most balanced presentation – whatever that means in the manufacturer’s mind.

Red nozzles are supposed to offer a bassier alternative, and they do, but just indirectly: they mainly tame trebles between 3KHz and 5KHz, and quite substantially so, while leaving the bass line pretty much unaltered in elevation, just a bit tamed in terms of transients.

Lastly, Silver nozzles are supposed to offer a brighter, more treble-accented presentation, which they indeed do – even too much so.

Which one to choose?

Let’s start from noting that on Gold nozzles MS5 offer a “reasonably” coherent presentation. The Dynamic Driver in charge of the bass is well harmonized with the BA also in charge of the same segment, and that’s very good. Not the very same however happens when we consider the 2 BAs in charge of the trebles. The end result is decent in terms of timbre homogeneity but not much more than that: MS5’s timbre is on average lean-ish, a bit better bodied towards the bass, and oppositely quite anemic towards the treble. The general tonality is bright although not excessively so (treble exaggerations are a separate discussion, see below).

So much for Gold nozzles. As trebles are MS5’s most prominent Achille’s heel (again, see below), Silver nozzles furtherly enhancing treble are a quite obvious no-no. I guess that will stand for die-hard treble heads too, however personal tastes are sacred of course, so…

Red nozzles sound (pun intended) like a viable alternative to Gold ones: they change the general timbre making it “woolier”, and make tonality much less bright, mure like “bright-neutral” indeed, but the presentation gets definitely duller.

Long story short, MS5’s nozzles remind me a “pick your poison” scenario: Gold nozzles for a bright tonality on overly thin timbre. Red nozzles for a less thin, less bright but also less engaging experience. Silver nozzles… just bin them. In the end I “preferred” the Gold poison option, which is then what all the following notes refer to unless, where explicitly otherwise indicated.


Sub-Bass

Rumble is very present and not excessive, thanks to the good deeds of the Dynamic Driver


Mid Bass

The midbass is arguably the best part of the product. Here a very good job has been made in making the BA and the DD drivers work together coherently, resulting in mid bass notes which are at the same time snappy, punchy, textured and bodied. No overshadowing of the mids ever takes place, and a correct balance is also kept vis-a-vis the sub bass rumble.

On Red nozzles the entire timbre gets a perceivable bit less sharp, more “wooly” so to say, which files off some of the bass thumpness. Not wonderful but not a tragedy either.


Mids

Mid frequencies are uninspiring, mainly due to a definitely lean timbre making them lack body and credibility. They are clean, and that’s a plus of course, but highmids tend to be often too prominent, and sibilant in many occasions.

On Red nozzles the tonality situation gets sensibly better, whereby mids come across a bit (not much) more bodied and natural, and highmids cease being sibilant and excessive in most occasions, however clarity gets a severe hit.


Male Vocals

Male voices partially benefit from the good deeds of the low-range BA (and possibly of the DD too?) so in terms of tone they come across as reasonably organic more often then not. Microdynamics are however basic if even present, and texturing is meh.

Red nozzles make them a bit better, if a tad softer.


Female Vocals

MS5 is not the driver you want for female voices, that’s clear as the sun in the sky. Too lean, even ethereal, very often sibilant, and totally inorganic. Red nozzles make them less tragic, almost viable.


Highs

Trebles are a mixed bag of very diverse stuff. On one end there’s some good energy, a lot of detail, and a lot of speed. On the flip side there’s way too thin body, and a sharp and frequent tendence to get unresolving and even messy, screwing layering and in the worst cases imaging too.

On Red nozzles the situation gets miles better, thanks to a quite dramatic taming of the frequencies between 3 and 5 KHz. Imaging comes out much more organic and credible, and that’s another plus. The downside however is that the positive energy is almost entirely gone, and Red-tamed trebles make the entire MS5 presentation much more “ordinary”, almost “dull” – a true pity.


Technicalities


Soundstage

Soundstage projection is not more than average for this price class, mainly focusing on horizontal and vertical axes, and hardly any depth.


Imaging

Macrodynamics (imaging) are not bad in general on MS5, and they would be even very good if it weren’t for the mids and most of all the trebles too often paddling in the wrong direction. Red nozzles make the situation better on this chapter.


Details

Detail retrieval is, together with bass, where MS5 show their best. Both bass and highmids+trebles do deliver tons of good details


Instrument separation

MS5’s proweness on detail retrival on one end turns into outstanding resolving power. The down side – very common on not particularly sophysticated BA-sets, and MS5 is not an exception – is a quite dramatic lack of microdynamics, mainly on the high registers. So MS5 offer very good instrument separation but at the high cost of too cut-out notes which is particulary detrimental on acoustic music of course.


Driveability

Thanks to their 104dB sensitivity MS5 are not difficult to drive, but beware their superlow impedance in case your source has an output impedance of 1 ohm or more – that might result in some unwanted midbass pushup


Physicals


Build

Housings are realised as a one-piece aluminum container, which appears at time solid and very elegant. Very stylish is the faceplate (its appreciation of course depends, even more then the rest, on personal tastes).


Fit

MS5 housings are quite bulky and they don’t sit properly into my concha: in spite of their quite long nozzles their shape and size are such that they keep protruding quite a bit towards the outside, which makes their firmness somewhat wonky.

MS5 also are quite tip sensitive, and (not uncommonly) none of the 3 different types of bundled tips are ideal for my tastes. After the usual long rolling session I decided that best match are JVC SpiralDots as they tend to tame the treble excesses while also offering a bit more tightness to the bass.


Comfort

Their shape and size make MS5 fit only “partial” as described above, which generates some light discomfort over medium wearing time for me


Isolation

Passive isolation is light, in my case mainly due to the housings not “filling” my concha appropriately


Cable

The stock cable is – like the housings – no doubt very nice to look at. Not the same I can say however in terms of practical use. Its creative 2-pin plugs can be annoying (they are in my case). The cable structure is very thick and wont be liked by those preferring smoothly flexible chords. Last but not least, I see no excuse at this date for offering a 499$ MSRP set (even if 25% discounted upon launch) bundled with a non-modular termination cable.


Specifications (declared)

HousingCNC 1 piece Aluminum Alloy Cavity + Resin Hollow Panel
Driver(s)1 x Hidizs New Custom Liquid Silicone Dynamic Driver, 4 x Denmark Sonion Balanced Armature Drivers
Connector2pin 0.78mm
CableBraided 8 strands 6N Single Crystal Copper Silver plated + 6N Single Crystal Copper wire, 1.2m long with 3.5mm fixed termination
Sensitivity104 dB/mW
Impedance5.3 Ω
Frequency Range20-40000Hz
Package and accessories3 pairs (S, M, L) white silicon tips recommended for Vocals, 3 pairs (S, M, L) white+black eartips recommended for Balanced sound, 3 pairs (S, M, L) black eartips recommended for Bass enhancement, 3 pairs of tuning nozzles (red: bass, silver: treble, gold: balanced), faux-leather carry case
Pricing at this post time$379 launch price (expired), $399 current promo price, $499 list

Comparisons


Penon FAN2 ($280)​

FAN2 offer an almost neutral presentation with a punchy bass emerging off of it without however warming it all up too much. The timbre is quite bodied although south of lushy – however miles more solid than MS5’s. Most of all, FAN2’s timbre is coerent across the entire spectrum, while MS5 is far from that target.

FAN2 bass is very good, punchy and somewhat rumbly, yet MS5 is better on both counts. Mids and moreover trebles are totally obviously better on FAN2 in terms of timbre, tonality, texture and organicity.

Detail retrieval is superior on MS5, microdynamics and layering are obviously much better on FAN2, which also leads in terms of imaging sharpness and realism. Neither is a monster at stage projection however FAN2 has much better distribution especially in the sense of depth.


Fearless S8F ($489)​

S8F are a mid-tier full-BA set. Their main, probably single serious downside (a total turnoff for many, however – me included) is the unforgiving BA timbre and consequent scarcity on microdynamics, which is mostly common to MS5 however.

S8F tonality is well balanced, marginally even better than S8F. In spite of its above-mentioned “imperatively BA” nature, S8F timbre is anyhow less lean and most of all much more coherent compared to MS5’s. MS5 offer a better structured bass line. Vocals are better on S8F, females in particular. Detail retrieval is about on par on highmids and trebles with S8F sounding a bit better thanks the somewhat better control in the presence and brilliance sections. Soundstage is no biggie in both cases, S8F being less wide but a bit deeper.


Tanchjim Darling ($419)​

Darling are based on 1 DD + 2 Sonion BA, in lieu of the 4 Sonions adopted inside MS5. Very simply put, Darling deliver correctly on pretty much everything MS5 fail on.

Darling’s tonality is bright-neutral, with a much more coherent and bodied, acoustic timbre compared to MS5. Darling bass and sub bass are extremely good, fast, punchy yet rumbly and textured – nothing worse than MS5. On Darling highmids and brilliance trebles are wonderfully cablibrated and deliver clarity, detail, sparkles and air while always avoiding fatigue – the polar opposite of what happens on MS5. Female vocals are very good and therefore much better on Darling, male vocals are just marginally better though.

Separation is probably on par on the two sets, but Darling win big on microdynamics and soundstage, and less big, but still have an edge, on imaging.


Final A5000 ($279)​

A5000 represent a possibly even more significant comparison then even Darling are, as they deliver on many counts even better results than MS5 within a very similar bright-neutral base target tuning, all of that by employing just 1 (one) driver, and at a sensibly lower price.

A5000 first of all offer an almost impeccable timbre coherency accross all the spectrum. Their bass is similarly punchy, with even better texture but a bit less rumble compared to MS5. Low mids are somewhat recessed on A5000 and a bit lean too, however their timbre and note body is way more organic and natural-sounding that MS5’s.

Highmids and treble are superbly calibrated on A5000. Certainly detail retrieval is less articulated on A5000, but in exchange microdynamics are all there where they are supposed to be – within a fast driver category, surely – instead of MIA as on the MS5.

From the tonality standpoint a valid criticism on A5000 is that highmids are too enhanced compared to mids. What’s interesting here is that moderately pushing central mids (1 – 2KHz) up with a wide eq filter closes the gap on that transition, delivering a more balanced result free from excesses (shouts, splashes or zings). Not the same happens on MS5 when you try (via the Red nozzles or via EQ) to similarly rebalance: the result is a more fluid tonal transition, yes, but still accompanied by lack of refinement both on the highmids & trebles, and on the lowmids & midbass (read more above).

Instrument separation sounds more detailed on MS5, but much more enjoyable on A5000 thanks to the less arid timbre, and better microdynamics.

Considerations & conclusions

As I tried to outline, I found MS5 a more than acceptable product, presented in a quite elegant and rich way too. Bass, detail retrieval and instrument separation are surely commendable, so is the adoption of replaceable nozzles to offer pre-defined “tuning variations” to the more curious users.

The timbre, however, is off, both in nature and coherence. Note body is too lean, trebles can obviously use more work upon, so do soundstage projection and microdynamics.

In conclusion MS5 are not disdainable at all, however they don’t seem yet to have what it takes to stand out of their existing competition, sometimes even costing significantly less.

Based on the very plesant communication I’m having with them I can testify Hidizs sounds strongly committed on their IEM program, for which they of course aim at the same market recognition they deservedly conquered on the budget DAP segment. I’m very sure they will come up with better and better proposals on the IEM market too in the near future. Let’s stay tuned.

The review originally appeared on www.audioreviews.org, here.
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senfi

New Head-Fier
Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel - Unleashing Audio Nirvana
Pros: Decent low frequencies, good for bassheads
Lightweight, despite the bulk
Good low frequencies
Generous packaging and accessories
Good micro and macro details
Cons: Mixed opinions on the treble
Doesn't go with a modular cable
The sound signature is not particularly distinctive or memorable



The Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel is an unusual name for an IEM, and it resembles a bicycle helmet more than an angel but it is very Chi-fi in terms of their naming convention. The MS5 is Hidizs' latest flagship IEM and I am about to get my hands on another amazing IEM. The Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel is currently on its pre-opening sale until May 5, 2023 so grab the chance to purchase this magnificent in-ear monitor while the promo is up.

DISCLAIMER:

  • I have no affiliation with Hidizs and have not received any monetary compensation during or after writing this review. Zoie Hello provided this unit to me in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • As a non-professional reviewer, I aim to use simple terms that can be understood by both beginners and experts in the hobby.
  • Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this review are subjective and based on my personal experience with the unit. I encourage you to try the product yourself to form your own opinion.

PACKAGING:​







The packaging of this in-ear monitor is the boldest and most impressive I've seen in its price range. It doesn't have any corny random excerpts or flashy anime covers, which I find less appealing and cheap-looking. Instead, the packaging is sleek and sophisticated, featuring a clear product preview, the brand responsible for making it, and a brief description of its features.​







Overall, the packaging exudes a premium quality that matches the product's high-end performance. It's refreshing to see a product that doesn't rely on gimmicks to grab attention but lets its quality speak for itself.

What's inside the box:​


  • Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel
  • 9 pairs of eartips
  • Cable
  • 2 pairs of extra tuning filters (bass and treble)
  • Earphone case
  • Manuals and other paperworks

BUILD QUALITY:​



The MS5 Dark Angel boasts a sleek and durable design, featuring a lightweight aluminum shell. The black resin faceplate provides a glossy finish that perfectly complements the matte aluminum body of the in-ear monitor, creating an elegant and modern look.


SOUND:​


The MS5 Dark Angel sound profile can be customized by swapping out the tuning filters. I found that the differences between the filters were not significant enough to justify switching from the balanced filters. The sound profile of the MS5 has a U-shaped curve, with a strong bass and emphasized treble. The MS5 Dark Angel makes an impressive job at creating a fun and energetic IEM.​



BASS:
The Hidizs MS5's bass is one of its most impressive features, delivering a powerful and energetic sound that is sure to please bass enthusiasts. The sub-bass has exceptional depth and rumble, which provides a satisfying listening experience without feeling overly heavy or thick. While the MS5's bass is not quite as prominent as some other bass-heavy earphones, it still manages to deliver an impactful and immersive bass response that can be appreciated by both casual listeners and audiophiles alike. The bass is also well-controlled, which means that it doesn't bleed into the mid-range or overpower the other frequencies.

MIDS:
The Hidizs MS5's mid-range is laid-back, providing a relaxed and natural sound signature. The vocals, in particular, stand out and deliver exceptional clarity and precision. The male vocals have a deep and rich quality that brings out the lower register of the voice, while the female vocals have a mature and passionate tonality that is both emotive and expressive. When it comes to the instruments, the Hidizs MS5 does a solid job without necessarily standing out. The instruments are well-defined and articulate, but they do not have the same level of emphasis as the vocals or the bass. However, this is not necessarily a drawback as it allows for a more balanced sound signature. While the instrument reproduction might not be the most outstanding feature of the MS5, it still provides an enjoyable and engaging listening experience that is sure to satisfy most music lovers. Overall, the MS5's mid-range strikes a perfect balance between a laid-back sound and detailed vocal performance, making them an excellent choice for any audiophile.

TREBLE:
The treble of the MS5 is noticeably emphasized, which adds brilliance, clarity, and air to the sound signature. However, I did encounter a few issues worth mentioning. The treble is not always consistent and occasionally has spikes that can sound splashy. This made my experience to listening to the MS5 for extended periods of time uncomfortable and lead to listening fatigue after an hour or two. Personally, this may be a bit hot for my ears. Despite these shortcomings, the MS5's treble extension is still impressive for its price and may be enjoyable for those who prefer a more pronounced treble.

TECHNICALITIES:
The soundstage of the Hidizs MS5 has a moderate width, which may not be as expansive as some other high-end earphones. Nevertheless, the soundstage remains engaging and enjoyable to listen to, with good separation and accurate imaging. The MS5's ability to deliver a clear and accurate instrument separation is commendable, making it easy to distinguish between different instruments and their placement in the soundstage. The overall instrument reproduction is well-suited for various music genres, making the MS5 a versatile choice for any listener. The MS5's sound resolution is also impressive, as it maintains clarity and detail without sounding blurry or muddled. Even though the MS5 is not a clinical in-ear monitor, it still manages to capture both macro and micro-details, adding a subtle but noticeable level of depth and texture to the sound.




In conclusion, the Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel is a fun and energetic IEM that delivers a powerful and impactful bass response, relaxed and natural mid-range, and an emphasized treble extension that may be preferred by some but might cause fatigue for extended listening sessions. The MS5's soundstage, instrument separation, and sound resolution are impressive for its price point and provide an enjoyable listening experience. While the differences between the MS5's tuning filters are not significant enough to warrant switching, the customizable sound profile is a unique feature. Overall, the Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel is a solid choice for anyone looking for an engaging and versatile pair of earphones.

LitilSnild

Formerly known as Something0
Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel: Daring, but boldly daring
Pros: - Excellent sub-bass
- Bold sound signature
- Spacious soundstage
Cons: - Quite spicy treble
- Decently picky on sources
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Note: Hidizs sent this unit out for a review in part of their Global Public Review. I will have an affiliate link for the product, but they are not paying or trying to influence me for the review and all opinions are of my own.


Quick Spec Sheet

Release date: Apr 21st 2023

Pre-sale price: $379 USD Regular price: $499 USD

Driver config: 4BA+1DD

Connector: 0.78mm 2-pin

Impedance: 5.3 ohms

Sensitivity: 104db



Introduction

Most of you guys might’ve heard of Hidizs for their excellent budget DAPs. With the release of the MS5, Hidizs now has an offering for the very competitive mid-range IEM market. With heavy hitters coming out quite frequently, I find it interesting that they are pricing it over competitors like the ever-popular Moondrop Blessing 2. Let's see if this is worth it.



Accessories

Nobody’s here for this, but we still have to do it.
Accessories.png


Included in the box are
  • 1* pair of Hidizs MS5
  • 1* 1.2m 0.78mm 2-pin to 3.5mm cable
  • 1* Three pair of tuning filters (Balanced, Treble, Bass)
  • 1* Three pair of ear tips in three sizes (Balanced, Vocal, Bass) (S, M, L)
  • 1* IEM case
  • 1* User Manual, Warranty card, Frequency response graphs for the tuning filters

Looks and build

mirror.png


The MS5 weigh 6.8g each, 13.6 g total. The internals are cased in an aluminium alloy shell, and the black panel is made out of resin. They feel quite nice, but it’s not very fingerprint resistant. However, the black colour masks it quite easily unless you’re staring or taking photos of it.

You’ll probably see that I had A LOT of fun taking pictures of this IEM. It reminds me of a gaudier FiiO IEM, though I think looks more understated than what photos might suggest. Some stated that it looks like a bicycle helmet, and I can definitely see the similarities.


Cable

Cable.png


It’s a 2-pin cable that terminates in a 3.5mm. Balanced connectors would’ve been appreciated, but I can see why Hidizs chose the more common option. If they decide to release a pricier IEM, I would like to see variety or at least options to choose balanced.

Cable Comparison.png

From up to down: Final F7200 stock cable, random IEM cable, Hidizs MS5 stock cable, ethernet cable

The thickness is around 0.5mm, so this cable will probably be thicker than most IEM cables. While it never really bothered me, sensitive users might want to grab a thinner cable.

RIP.png

The corpses of the ear hooks (Yes, I kept them for the review)

Some might’ve realised that my cable looks slightly different compared to other reviewers. I found the ear hooks quite uncomfortable and removing them using a small knife solved my comfort issues.


Isolation and leakage

Scotch 2.png

The two vents that leak sound blocked by restickable tabs

While noise leaks from a 0.2mm hole below the text, it’s not noticeable unless you pay attention to it. I would be comfortable using these in public transportation or a quiet office environment.

I would compare the MS5’s passive isolation to a poorly fit bullet IEM. While background noise like a computer fan is mostly inaudible, quieter noises like news playing from tv speakers are quite easy to hear. Fortunately, the isolation is good enough that you’re not going to notice unwanted noises when playing music.



Filters and ear tips
Different nozzles are usually closer to a preset EQ than a different IEM

Filter.png


There are 3 filters included with the MS5: Balanced, Treble, and Bass. They are made out of an aluminium alloy, and they easily screw in and out, making them quite secure on the IEM and easy to swap them out.

The filters mainly change the treble, bass for most relaxed, treble for more treble. My preference was towards the balanced filters, so I used them for the rest of the review.


There are three types of ear tips included with the MS5: Balanced, Vocal, and Bass.

The z-height of the vocal filter is quite shorter than the other tips, probably an effort to make the drivers physically closer to the ears. It does make vocals more present, but it also boosts everything else which I did not prefer.

The bass ear tips considerably boost the mid-bass compared to the balanced ear tips,

While I tried a decent amount of aftermarket tips, my preferences are towards the balanced ear tips. I mostly used them for the rest of the review.


Case

Case open.png


The MS5 comes with a PU leather case. The colour is close to beige white, and the inside is covered in some sort of soft felt material. While it feels quite nice, it reveals light scratches quite easily, so I would be careful with it.

While it might not be as luxurious as what their marketing might suggest, it’s still a nicer case than what you’d get from other manufacturers and certainly a useful accessory for whoever owns it.


Drivability

Source.png


The MS5 is quite sensitive. I was able to hear the noise floor of a low gain E10K. While it usually wasn’t noticeable when playing audio, I would advise you to use an input with a low noise floor.

5.3 ohms @ 104db… The MS5 can present itself quite well on decent sources and suffers on others. When tested on an E10K and L50 + E50 stack, it sounded grander on the stack and relatively compressed on the E10K. While it might be good news for people already invested in the hobby, it could be troubling for newcomers and budget conscious audiophiles.

That being said, I do not think a pricey output is strictly necessary for this IEM and most of the review was done on the E10K or a cheap Apple dongle.

Now, on with the sound review


Sources
  • FiiO E10K (Primary)
  • Apple type-c to 3.5mm
  • Topping E50/L50 (rarely)
  • iBasso DC01 (rarely)

Hidizs recommended a burn-in period of 200 hours. While I do not believe in burn-in, I adhered to the manufacturer’s suggestions and started testing it after the period ended.

Overall tonality

Graph.png

This is the graph of the MS5 that Hidizs provides. Why did they measure over 20k?

The tonality of the MS5 can be quickly described as ‘V shaped with spiky treble.’ The things to note here are: the quite aggressive bass boost, the recess around 2kHz, and spikes in the treble.

While this is quite a bold sound signature, I found out that it never really struggles on delivering it. It almost feels like the MS5 is telling me to take it or leave it. While this isn’t my ideal tonality by a long shot, I ended up having a lot of fun using the IEM.

I don’t hate neutral; my ideal tonality is definitely closer to neutral than this. However, during the time where that neutral IEM basically measures like that other neutral IEM, I find it refreshing that manufacturer like Hidizs are still creating fun IEMs that caters towards the mainstream audience while not being too offensive towards the audio focused crowd.


Bass

12053976.jpg

It fits oddly well in SHP9500 pads

Even in my first impressions, I realised that the bass is the bread and butter of the MS5. There is an impressive amount of sub-bass and the quality clearly shows on tracks like the first 30 seconds of ‘The Droid Invasion and the Appearance of Darth Maul’ from Star Wars, ‘Subway’ from Joker, and most of Han Zimmer’s work that has a steady rumble in the background.

However, the low end is without its problems. The mid-bass is quite emphasised and it can mess up the mid-range. While it’s not common, it can sound quite lopsided on some tracks. Let’s take Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’ as an example. The already lighter vocals paired with the less emphasised mid-range of the MS5 added with the boosted mid-bass makes the vocals quite difficult to focus on. Still, I have heard more bass on gear like Sennheiser’s IE300 or Sony’s WH1000 line-up, and there were a lot of tracks that sounded extremely fun without sounding messy or bloated.



Mid-range

DSC00583 (2).jpg


The mid-range of the MS5 might sound familiar to some because it sounds oddly similar to the Moondrop Blessing 2. Personally, I find the mid-range of the Blessing 2 quite laid back and I feel the same with the MS5. Where it differs with the Blessing 2 is the recess around 2kHz, which makes the already not forward mid-range quite even more recessed. For these reasons, I found female vocals quite frustrating to listen to, as tracks with intimate vocals like ‘Ungodly Hour’ by Chloe x Halle or YOASOBI’s ‘Idol’ just sounded further away than usual. However, it’s not even close to the mid-range hole that something like Drop’s HD8XX offers, so I find the mid-range dip to be in the realm of preference.

Surprisingly, male vocals are where the MS5 absolutely shines. For how unimpressive female vocals were, I was blown away how good male vocals sound on these. My first realisation was when listening to ‘Giorgio by Moroder’ by Daft Punk. It starts with a 2-minute monologue read out by a deep male voice. The actual music part starts around 1:55, so I usually skip the monologue. However, I listened to a second of Giorgio’s voice and I listened through the entire monologue with a surprised grin on my face. The mid-bass helps emphasise his deep voice, but the recess in 2kHz helped in an odd way. It doesn’t sound like he whispering into your head, but like he’s next to you, talking like a normal person would. It’s impressively natural sounding and most deep male vocal tracks are represented in that way. While I started puzzled on the marketing, now I realise why Hidizs is calling the MS5 ‘Dark Angel.’



Treble

DSC00554 (2).jpg

The MS5 touched grass

The treble is probably going to be the most controversial part about the MS5. After the dip of around 4kHz, it peaks around 6k and 8k. While this could be a welcoming sound signature for the treble lovers, a lot of people like me find the Blessing 2 borderline sibilant, and the MS5 takes one step further. Cymbals, synthesisers, and other instruments in higher frequencies can sound harsh, and I got ear fatigue within 2 hours, usually quicker than that.

However, I didn’t really mind the treble as much compared to the Blessing 2. Nothing really stands out on the Blessing 2, so the treble peak is more apparent compared to the coloured MS5.


Soundstage and imaging

DSC00573 (2).jpg


Soundstage is quite impressive, but there was something slightly odd about it. While the width is pretty good, the height was unusually large, which I didn’t anticipate at all. When listening to Maroon 5’s ‘Kiwi’, there was an odd two-tone separation between Adam Levine’s voice and the instrumentals on the MS5. Is it closer to the original? I don’t think so. I’ve heard this track A LOT of times on over dozens of audio gear, and this is the first time I heard it like this. Does it almost sound too odd that it might be broken? I’m not sure. Is it fun to hear it like that? YES!

The imaging of the MS5 can be quickly described as ‘better than the Blessing 2.’ It’s getting close to pinpoint territory, but it’s still a bit blobby to compete against TOTL IEMs, like the Monarch Mk2 or U12t. Still, it’s quite excellent for the price tag and I don’t think anyone would complain about it as an owner.


Technicalities

DSC00581 (2).jpg


Detail retrieval can be quickly described again as ‘better than the Blessing 2’, which is getting slightly annoying as it has been replaced with the Blessing 3 when this review comes out. It further helps on its strengths, like busy orchestral tracks, and I was impressed on minute details on the first 10 seconds of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ where the detail helps a lot and makes the huffing sound precise and realistic. While it still falls short to starter TOTLs like Moondrop Variations, it’s also not in the same price bracket, so I’ll give it a pass.

Similar story with the resolution. It’s quite good compared to its competitors, but it’s quite obvious that it still has a long way to go before comparing to TOTL IEMs.

The timbre of the MS5 is great when you’re listening to focused tracks like a piano solo or vocals with minimal instruments in the background. Unfortunately, it’s limited to what the tonality of the MS5, which can get quite messy like mentioned before.


Conclusion

Final.jpg


For a first go at the $300+ range, Hidizs did an outstanding job. There isn’t really a fatal flaw that I would warn to potential buyers, and it does some specific things so well that I would call some parts the best representation under $500, which is a lot of praise considering the extremely competitive market. It’s impressive that I have compare a lot of its characteristics with higher price IEMs. However, it’s clear that the MS5 is without its flaws. While I appreciate them trying a bold tonality, the coloured sound signature can get in way of their technicalities, which can be quite annoying at times. Still, as I told before, it never struggles on delivering that bold sound, which might be what bass lovers and people used to more bass and treble are looking for.


I would recommend the Hidizs MS5 if you…


Like deep male vocals

As I said before, deep male vocals are natural and impressive on the MS5. It’s one of the best I’ve heard under $500, and it can go against higher priced IEMs in terms on how realistic it sounds.


Like the V-shaped sound

Neutral is not the end all and be all of tuning, and there are a lot of people who like this type of tuning because they are used to it from more mainstream gear. If you like this sound signature, the MS5 is a solid attempt and should have your attention if you’re interested in this price bracket


Thought the Blessing 2 sounded boring

Personally, I think the Moondrop Blessing 2 is ‘the HD560s of IEMs.’ While a lot of people recommend it, it’s too neutral to be fun for the Harman-Neutral chasing folks. If you returned your Blessing 2 or find it to be boring, I would consider the MS5 as it’s some improvements technicality-wise and a more fun sound signature.

DSC00590 (2).jpg


I would not recommend the Hidizs MS5 if…

You dislike peaky trebles

One of the drawbacks of the MS5 is its treble. If you know you disliked treble before, the MS5 will probably not convince you to like it.


You’re already used to neutral

If you like the netural sound signature, the MS5 would be a quite different sounding IEM than what you’re used to. While I would suggest to try something different, it’s not really probable when you know you’re going to hate it.


You don’t have proper sources and cannot stand having worse performance until you do

I was able to test some sources out with the MS5 and it does get 95% there on something like a Schiit Stack, Topping DX3 pro + or FiiO BTR5. However, it sounded quite underwhelming to me on FiiO E10k or Apple dongle. If you cannot stand having worse performance or is in a situation where better sources really aren’t an option, I would hesitate the purchase.



Please keep in mind that these are my personal experiences and opinions. I would advise to check other reviews before making a decision.

Thank you Hidizs for sending this unit out for a review. They have also provided me a discount code for the people who somehow read through all of this. helmet5%OFF will be my code to get 5% off the MS5.

Link to MS5: https://www.hidizs.net/products/ms5-4ba-1dd-hybrid-5-units-hifi-in-ear-monitor-earphone

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o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Great review, mate!

I like to drive these with an external amp and a warm AKM or R2R DAC. The stage feels even larger when amping up properly, but the uncanny treble timbre is never away.

The stage height is likely due to mid treble boost. The first time I heard this phenomenon was with Meze Advar and a piano recording by Lang Lang. Kinda odd when half of the piano seems to be suspended above my right ears, but fun.
L
LitilSnild
While I didn't specify, that ibasso dongle is there for that exact reason lol. Whatever AKM's velvet sound thing is, it's really apparent on these kind of stuff. It's too messy and a bit weak even on balanced to fully power these though.

Huh, that is basically what I got. I've tried treble heavy iems, but I guess the dip over 5k is making it more apparent for me. The more you know!
Kindlefirehditaly
Kindlefirehditaly
Pair them with some AKM or Cirrus logic Dac and you can tame the treble quite well!

Kindlefirehditaly

New Head-Fier
Hidizs MS5 “Dark Angel”
Pros: Pros:
- Build quality and materials are exceptional
- Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter
- Design and colors are well matched
- Packaging and accessories
- Premium 6N cable out of the box
- Premium PU leather case
- Tuning/signature is really something different here
- Tons of Ear-tips
- Bass go really low
- Treble are super rich
- Separation and imaging
- Macro/micro details
- Super easy to drive (you don’t need anything expensive or powerful)
Cons: Cons:
- Cable Ear hook shape is a little bit uncomfortable for someone
- 6N cable its really heavy
- Eartips could be better quality
- Treble here are elevated and someone can’t handle it
- Uncommon sound signature
- Bass are close to call these set for basshead
- The quantity of details are soo much that you need to train your ears
- Affected from the quality of the music you're playing
Intro:
Before starting this review I would like to thank HIDIZS AUDIO and her employee Zoie for this opportunity to join the public review and test the MS5 Dark Angel as normal audio enthusiast.
This is my first review here on Head-fi so be kind with me.:dt880smile:
I’m not a professional audiophile, I’m just a guy that enjoys testing different iems/dacs and spend a lot of time listening to music.
I’m really glad that HIDIZS sent the MS5 also to ordinary passionate people interested and not just to famous reviewers.
I’m not going to tell you the story about Hidizs but this company is on the market since 2009 and his staff is made of over 40 audio-obsessed professionals.

The MS5 Dark Angel has been released on 21th April at the promotional price of 379USD (for Europe 345€).
If you would like to know more about Hidizs company please check the link above!
Hidizs Web site
5% discount:
MS5%OFF


Disclaimer:
This review takes part of the Public review program.
The following review is strictly personal since is based on each ones perception of the sound so remember it might vary from person to person.
Since I’m not an english native I’m not going to use a very specific professional language to describe it but I will do my best to explain my feelings about it.


IEM Configuration:
IMG_20230417_180405.jpg

  • Sonion E50DT - Treble
  • Sonion 23 Series - Mid
  • Sonion 17A003 - Bass
  • 10mm Liquid Silicone Dynamic Driver - Bass

To me his name Dark Angel says it all! “Dark” stands for his rich bass region. bass rumble are extraordinary clean and “Angel” stands for the treble is capable of. Those iem got some different tuning (I would say its something new), with all is driver can reproduce all the spectrum so you have everything you need but you have to get used to it. Your ears also need like 200hrs burnin if you are not used to this type of trebles and details.

First Impression:
Already from the box you can feel the quality of the product you're going to have.
IMG_20230417_174700.jpg
IMG_20230417_174551.jpg

Package and accessories:
  • MS5 “Dark Angel”
  • PU lather case
  • 3 different sets of ear tips
  • 3 Sets of Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter
  • 6N Single Crystal Copper Silver-plated Wire and 6N Single Crystal Copper Wire 8 Strands Mixed
  • Warranty card /instruction
Informative + Warranty card
IMG_20230417_175718.jpg
Accessories


Design:
IMG_20230425_113227.jpg

Build quality of the product is astonishing! You can’t see any problem in the construction and the materials and colors are well matched together.
Faceplate
Side
IMG_20230425_120942.jpg
Nozzle details

The faceplate design reminds me of a bike helmet instead of an angel wing but is still cool looking!
MS5 adopts a weight-saving one-piece aluminum alloy cavity design that helps keeping it light. The anodized finish is perfect to reduce fingerprints on it, I really like it!
Nozzle grille
IMG_20230425_121230.jpg
Back damper macro
Sponge inside the nozzle

Inside i can see the 3 way resin structure, some BA watching you, a BA damper.
Resin 3 way structure
Someone is watching you
Front damper

Hope you can appreciate this type of photos! They're really hard to take (all photos are done by my smartphone).

The shape is comfortable for my ears. In order to get the best fit and sealing I used some sort of vocals tips coming from some Kbear Storm set. I would say I'm using some large fat and big bored tips on small size for deepest possible insertion.

Fat bore tips




Initial sound impressions:
When I tried them for the first time I was shocked! The first things you hear are a lot of treble and details that personally feels a little bit too much to handle all at once. I used it for 1 hour out the box and then leaved them doing the 200hrs burnin process recommended from Hidizs.
Tips shape
Tips Bore

After I got used to them and let the burnin process go to his end I can really appreciate the sound signature and details it has to offer.
If you are treble sensitive those might not work for you
The tuning nozzles helps a little bit to attenuate some peaks in the treble region but for someone it still can be not enough.
The best way to hear some differences is to do some tips rolling.
Personally I don’t have any issue with them.
If you think this is a natural iem you're wrong. I would say its U shaped.


Final Sound Impression:

Equipment used for testing

Device:
  • iMac
  • POCO M4 PRO (MIUI Based)

Software:
  • Foobar2000 24bit 192khz (iMac)
  • Amazon music UHD 24bit 96khz (Both)

DAC:
  • Fx-Audio X6
  • Fosi Audio K5 Pro
  • Jcally JM10
  • Creative SFXI
  • 7Hz 71
  • GGMM A1
  • Hiby W3 Saber (LDAC)
MS5 on Test


I’m not listing the tracks because they're too much.
I’ve used mostly the balanced nozzle to write this review.

Tonality:
The tonality of MS5 is for sure bright but I don’t find them harsh or sibilant at all.
I hardly recommend to pair the MS5 with some warm sounding source.
All the Dacs mentioned before are warm. Some tracks sound sibilant but I think it mostly depends on the quality of the recordings. The highs are super rich of details, air and sparkle, bass are soooooo good! It has some sort of boost to it.
IMG_20230425_114909(1).jpg


Bass:
The only thing that allows MS5 not to be considered bassheads are the high frequencies that cover her bass. If you remove the treble you have a really nice basshed unit in my opinion!
The bass punch and slam really hard and fast when needed (really close to a subwoofer feeling) and sub bass rumble is extraordinary.

Mids:
Mids regions are a little bit forwarded, vocals are just little bit recessed but tonality of voices are still precise. Female and male voices have good body and sound pleasant to my ears.

Treble:
The high frequencies in the MS5 are certainly not for everyone's reach.
If you are particularly sensitive or in any case not used to headphones capable of climbing so high, you will initially need some time to listen to them and gradually get your ear used to them. I don't have a problem with high frequencies but in this pair with even a lot of micro detail I initially felt some kind of congestion. They are also very sensitive so by turning up the volume you quickly reach the limit threshold that I can tolerate.

Tuning Nozzle:
Different tuning are achieved with some different tuning sponge in the nozzle.
Macro details

I’ve used mostly the balanced one but the other nozzles can boost or accentuate the highs, respectively. They do not lead to an excessive change in the spectrum but only in the frequencies from 5khz-6khz but the best is the Balanced nozzle or the Bass Nozzle.
Nozzle details

With the treble nozzle you can experiment with different absorbent materials and sponges with different densities that you easily found online.
Also third part tuning nozzles can be tested if they fit.

Conclusion:
To conclude this review, the MS5 doesn't have a neutral sound but I would say more of a fun U shaped tuning, really rich of macro/micro details and resolution.
MS5 under natural lights

There is excellent extension on both bass and treble so can appeal both treble heads and bass heads.
The soundstage isn't extremely wide but the bass is so good that seems to wrap you in a warm embrace, the separation is very good.

So Hidizs have done a really good job, i personally really like the MS5 Dark Angel and if you are searching for a fun, full sounding and detailed one this is for you.

Enjoy:dt880smile:

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Last edited:
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Good review, mate!
Kindlefirehditaly
Kindlefirehditaly
Thank you so much! Is my first review here!

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
The Black Angel Is Not a Fallen Angel
Pros: Great low end, very enjoyable.
- No typical tuning.
- Rich, dense, organic, slightly warm and descriptive mids.
- Soft mid-highs.
- Excellent soundstage, very three-dimensional, airy, great separation, clarity and transparency.
- Outstanding design.
- Very good level of detail, technical skills, resolving power and definition.
- 3 interchangeable mouthpieces.
- Good cable.
- Quality of accessories, zipped case of remarkable value.
Cons: Slight inconsistency in the treble.
- Its tuning, with big bass, dense, warm, warm and slightly dark mids, as well as its particular treble, may not be to the liking of all audiences. But I'll be happy with any IEMS that sounds like this.
- The size of the capsules can be a bit large.
- The cable, while excellent, can be uncomfortable around the ears and at the point of connection to the capsule.
- Such a good cable deserves a balanced option as a purchase option, not as an accessory.
- If anything, I would miss hybrid tips, or more exclusive ones, as many brands are trying to do now.
Introduction

It has been more than a decade since Tamson founded Hidizs in 2009, driven by the desire to dedicate all his efforts to making lossless HiFi music players. He brought together a group of experienced audiophiles and after 3 years of research launched the brand's first pocket-sized DAP, the AP100, which was unveiled at CES in 2012. More than 10 years later, Hidizs is still creating pocket DAPs, but has also made several forays into the design and manufacture of IEMS. And today, it is set to unveil what could be its most ambitious in-ear model to date. This is the Hidizs MS5, a 5-driver-per-channel (1DD + 4BA) hybrid IEMS. The custom 10mm liquid silicone dynamic driver has a Kevlar body with a thickness of 0.03mm, surrounded by 0.45mm liquid silicone. This DD is accompanied by 4 Sonion BA drivers. The 17A003 for the low frequencies, the 2389 for the mid frequencies and the composite BA E50DT for the high frequencies. With the intention of being more universal, Hidizs has incorporated in this model 3 interchangeable mouthpieces, to slightly tune the sound: balanced (Rose Gold), high frequency (Quiet Silver), low frequency (Charm Red). In its structure, the MS5 adopts a one-piece aluminium alloy cavity. The outer panel is made of skin-friendly resin and is hollowed out to present the image of angel wings. Between the outer panel and the inner cavity is a rose-gold pierced panel. The cable it mounts fuses silver-plated 6N monocrystalline copper strands and pure copper strands. Finally, the set is accompanied by a storage box made of high-quality PU leather. Let's see what more surprises the new MS5 has in store.

Hidizs MS5 01_r.jpgHidizs MS5 02_r.jpg

Specifications

  • Driver Type: 4BA (low + mid-high + 2 highs) + 1DDD 10mm liquid silicone + Kevlar.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz + 40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 104dB
  • Impedance: 5.3Ω
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Jack Connector: 3.5mm SE
  • Cartridge Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm gold plated.
  • Weight of each capsule without cable: approx. 13.6g.

Hidizs MS5 03_r.jpgHidizs MS5 04_r.jpg

Packaging

The Hidizs MS5 comes in a relatively large black box, measuring 202x129x85mm. All inscriptions are done in dark, almost coppery gold ink. On the front is a realistic photo of an MS5 capsule. In the upper right corner is the name of the model and below it a short description. There are also the logos of Hi-Res Audio and Sonion. On the other side is the Hidizs logo. At the bottom are more product descriptions, in several languages. On the back side are the specifications in white ink and several languages. At the bottom are the brand markings and on the right are the three frequency response graphs for each filter. After lifting the lid, the capsules are embedded in a dense foam mould, which has a glossy black cardboard, where you can read the model and the brand slogan at the bottom. At the top is the brand logo, all in the same coppery gold ink as on the outside. Under this first layer is another mould containing 3 sets of tips and the plate containing the filters. At the bottom is the zippered case, inside of which are the rest of the elements. To sum up:

  • The two MS5 capsules.
  • Three pairs of Vocal tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of Bass tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of Balanced tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • A metal plate containing two pairs of mouthpieces/tuning filters (treble - bass). The third balanced filter is screwed onto the capsules.
  • A storage box made of high quality PU leather in light cream colour.
  • Instruction manual.
  • Card with the three frequency responses.
  • Warranty card.
  • Cable with 3.5mm gold-plated 3.5mm plug and 0.78mm connection.

The packaging is relatively large, it contains many tuning possibilities, as in addition to the three mouthpieces/filter, there are also three different sets of tips. The storage box is medium sized, hard on the sides (it has iron plates), soft and velvety on the inside, as it is lined with flannel. It has a double-headed zip. The inside has a small mesh bag, ideal for storing the plate containing the filters.
The cable consists of 8 strands and a special design in the part of the 2Pin connectors.
It is an elegant presentation, in black and golden copper, quite complete, although I miss the classic foam tips or even more different ones, now that every brand is trying to bring some relatively "revolutionary" tips to the market.

Hidizs MS5 05_r.jpgHidizs MS5 06_r.jpg

Construction and Design

Hidizs has certainly wanted to impress with the new MS5. From its exterior design, in black and coppery gold (now rose gold), to its interior design made of one-piece anodised aluminium alloy. The outer face made of black resin has been hollowed out to form a kind of dark angel sculpture, presenting an image of black angel wings. Through its openings, a rose gold pierced panel can be seen. The inside of the earcups are soldered with Hidizs' unique composite material, containing gold-plated tin wire, to improve the transmission of the electrical signal.
The capsules are relatively large, of semi-custom design, quite thick. The outer face is shaped like a stylised African continent from the middle downwards. The rim of the outer plate is rose gold. The rest of the capsule is polished black and shiny, but smooth and slippery enough to keep fingerprints at bay. The standard mouthpieces are the balanced ones and are rose gold. On the edge opposite the apex is the model name, in white ink, as well as the mole indicating the channel. Underneath is a deep hole flanked by a metal cylinder, at the bottom of which is a white cloth protected by a grille. There are no other holes on its surface. The inner face is not too pronounced in shape and its curves are smooth and not very pointed. The base of the mouthpiece has a good projection and allows for a slightly deeper insertion. The mouthpieces have a diameter of 6mm and a length of 4.2mm. Finally, I return to the edge of the capsules to note that the 2Pin 0.78mm connection is flush with the capsule. Both female connectors are inside a translucent plastic plate and are gold plated.
The cable consists of 8 strands, half of which are 6N monocrystalline copper wires and half of which are silver-plated 6N monocrystalline copper wires. In total there are 504 wires. The outer layer is made of environmentally friendly black PVC. The connector is 3.5mm SE gold plated. The plug sleeve is a smooth, shiny and polished black cylinder with a gold-plated ring at the end towards the cable. The last part is black again and the brand name can be read on it in gold lettering. The cable has a white Velcro strap with the marking written on it. The splitter is also cylindrical, smaller than the plug sleeve, with two ridges at one end. The pin is a narrow, hollow ring. The cables have over-ear guides, but quite closed. The cable swivels 180° at the part near the connection, worsening the ergonomics. The sleeve of the 2Pin 0.78mm is harpoon-shaped, transparent and thick. It doesn't help comfort either. The pins are gold-plated.
The MS5s mount a custom 10mm DD driver made of 0.45mm liquid silicone and 0.03mm Kevlar fibre. The rest of the drivers are Sonion BA, E50DT composite for the high frequencies, 2389 for the mid-high frequencies and 17A003 for the low frequencies. No mention of a crossover filter.
As I say, bold design, looking for personality, a story of its own and a distinctive look with the black angel wings in between, plus the touch of rose gold that is so popular in the East.
As for the cable, I miss a balanced option, or even the modular cable that is so typical these days. I think that not including a cable with this connection is hardly defensible. As good as the 3.5mm SE cable is, it's a pity it doesn't have a balanced option.

Hidizs MS5 07_r.jpgHidizs MS5 08_r.jpg

Adjustment and Ergonomics

The first negative point is the very closed shape of the over-ear cable guide. It is clear that this is to fit the contour of the capsules. But, coupled with the stubby harpoon shape of the body that incorporates the 2Pin connections, it rubs against the outside of my ears, which forced me to replace it as soon as I could. It's a pity, because it's a very good, thick and well-shaped cable. But the combination of both of the above-mentioned details proved to be fatal for the fit.
As for the capsules, their semi-custom shape and their relatively large size could be uncomfortable at first sight. But the projection of the mouthpieces and the smoothness of the inner curves achieve several things: the insertion can vary from semi-deep to shallow, depending on the tips used. The inner part does not rub against the pinna and the protrusion is fair and useful, rather than annoying and obnoxious. In this way a fit is achieved that allows the capsules to be rotated until they settle into their proper place. Depending on the tips used, the fit can be quite durable or insufficient, both to achieve good isolation and to enjoy the best sound that the MS5s can produce. This aspect should be investigated with the standard tips, as well as with tips from our collection.

Hidizs MS5 09_r.jpgHidizs MS5 10_r.jpg

Sound

Profile


The graph suggests a U-tuning with several aspects to take into account. The sub-bass is linear and extends into the mid-bass, implying that the lower section is large. The U is very well represented in the mids, flat and wide, not too far away either. The rise towards the mid-highs is smooth and does not seek that forced emphasis in this region for impostural brightness, greater transparency or any way to draw attention to itself, extending the gain of the canopy. In the treble there is ambivalence. With the bass mouthpiece and balanced, it moves into a tuning similar to that of the planar IEMS. Similarly, it then drops off at around 12khz. In this case, the drop is more significant, something that can give an uneven feel in the overall treble representation. My question is clear in that respect, is that drop deliberate? It is clear that it is not an error because it is contrasted with other measurements. But any noticeable imbalance may imply some incoherence in the final sound. Or, at least, some strange way of solving an existing problem in another part of the spectrum. Be that as it may, it is performed in a region that is not as vital as others, but its impact is there.

The MS5s have 3 different mouthpieces: balanced (Rose Gold), high frequency (Quiet Silver), low frequency (Charm Red). The Silver mouthpiece enhances the first treble in a way that the balance is lost inside my head. I was thinking of compensating the bass strength with this bass, but it was the other way around. It's a personal matter, everyone is affected by tuning in a different way. In my case, the Silver filter didn't work for me. However, the Rose Gold filter suits me perfectly. This was the filter used for the review.
As for the Red filter, in the search for my preferred IEMS I am looking for bass and an analytical sound. Well, in many filter combinations I tend to choose the filter that emphasises the low end. But, in this case, the MS5s already have plenty of bass in any configuration, so my search is for detail retrieval. And that's where the Red filter doesn't work for me. If you take a look inside the red mouthpieces you can physically see the filter. Certainly, that material gives a different sound and in the graph you lose a bit of that first treble. But the impact on the detail is extrapolated to the whole response, which is subtly softer. As the treble filter doesn't fit in my head, the balanced filter is the one that's left. But it actually works very well for me.

Hidizs MS5.png

Bass

The first thing that struck me about the MS5s was how big their bass was, their size, their presence and their impact on the sound. It is clear that I like bass, that I look for it and miss it when it is not there. But I am surprised that IEMS of this price (for a reviewer unaccustomed to analysing IEMS of this level, it is a relatively high price) have a tuning with a predominance in the low end. The bass is big, quite deep, has a certain viscerality, power and punch. It also takes up space, is physical and brings a lot of volume to the stage. It has a dark colour, which gives it a double sense of depth and sensitivity. And so it shows in the punch, the kick drums move a lot of air and in the eardrums it picks up that punch that is able to get down to a physical and sensory point. In that respect, the MS5 shows rage and that visceral ability I'm talking about. But it is also skillful, technical, tight and quite fast, both in its development and in its decay. It's true that a bass of this size does leave a aftertaste, but don't look for it as if it were a mass that has no beginning, no end. The MS5s are much more competent than all that. Able to discern between dangerous bass drums and sub-bass lines with great definition, able to differentiate bass layers and stratify them with astuteness. It is surprising that their technical performance in this range is like this, given the level of presence, volume and physicality that the lower range possesses. One might think that all that bass magma must collapse at some point, that it must falter at some point, that it might falter in some passage. But this is not the case. The MS5's bass holds its own even in the worst scenarios. The negative point may be in your preference, is that all you want? I do, because, at that vigorous, almost massive limit, it has refinement, descriptive texture and can be tamed depending on the sources used. Suitable for audiophile BassHeads.
Finally, the behaviour in the very low frequency pure tone test demonstrates the duality of the drivers used for this MS5. It is clear that there is a DD, but in the description you can also read that there is a Sonion BA 17A003 driver for bass. And this is how it is reflected in the test. The very low frequency tones have that classic BA oscillating performance, but at the same time there is a sensory perception of the sub-bass, which gives it a dark colour and a less audible, but more physical sound. It seems that the DD driver restrains the BA colouring and sonority, adding an additional physical behaviour, being able to move a good amount of air, something that my eardrums pick up to a good degree.

Hidizs MS5 11_r.jpgHidizs MS5 12_r.jpg

Mids

The gentle descent of the bass into the first half of the midrange implies a warm, physical, bodily and relatively dense beginning. Warmth and intensity is carried over from the bass. The transition is clean in definition, but there is an initial emphasis that adds a lot of grounding and depth to the male vocals and instruments in this phase, as if it were a low aftertaste. As the frequencies advance, this perception normalises and the presence relaxes. Fortunately, this sensation is not muddy, but rather dark and dense. Nor does it imply a presence that is too close or invasive, because the U-tuning manages to relativise the distance. The bigness of the sound also plays a role: the bass is big, the stage is big, and the sound is deep. As the separation is very good, helped by the high resolution, the space to expose each element is ample. There is no congestion, no veiling, and although it is not a bright mid-range, it is quite airy. Transparency has nothing to do with brightness, but it does have to do with the distance between notes and the silence between them. All these parameters combine with each other, synergistically, to enhance their effects. The result is a quite three-dimensional and surrounding sound, with a lot of depth and remarkable height. The laterality is extreme, and you can feel the music flowing backwards through your ears. Compositions with few instruments are never intimate, quite the contrary, the immersive feeling is strong, as if the listener is in the centre. Thus, the centre range has the necessary distance to generate this sensation. It also helps that the pinna gain, that is, the emphasis on the mid-highs, is very controlled, in a way that the top end can sound a bit subdued, lingering on the warm/dark feeling of the mids. Overall, the mids fit the bottom of the U, are relatively linear, with a smooth and controlled growth, which has its climax in the early treble, the point of influence of the filters. This point can remain controlled or more triggered, depending on the mouthpiece. But, going back to the bottom of the U, the midrange is reflected like this: the extremes are projected, so both the base and the high notes are strong, while the centre is flatter. The result is a more organic, analogue, almost romantic sound, complex in its base, explicit in its overtones, but calm, relaxed, smooth and broad in its centre. It lacks a certain sparkle and the brightness starts in the treble.
In this way, the MS5s favour powerful male vocals, adding more substance and power to their bottom end. The bass and drums come across as very meaty, with a very descriptive thickness and remarkable texture. The female vocals feel organic, passionate, musical and even silky. The timbre of the notes is on the neutral-warm side, without much attack in the zone of clarity and presence, but with good definition and harmonic sharpness.

Hidizs MS5 13_r.jpgHidizs MS5 14_r.jpg

Treble

This is perhaps the most controversial area. The initial part can be quite linear and extended or splashy at the beginning, depending on the filter. This could generate an enhanced treble character, due to its upward projection in this phase. But it contrasts with a powerful drop from 10kHz onwards. This cut causes a point of incongruity, as it can stop the natural brilliance of the sound in its tracks.
The tuning may be reminiscent of the new planar IEMS, but with a different sonority, although a little more forced, not so well resolved, perhaps reminiscent of the classic BA timbre, despite the quality of the Sonion drivers used.
While the bass is very well executed, the treble is a little more incoherent, which affects the timbre. In its favour is the level of resolution and definition, notes are sharp and fine, but without being cutting or penetrating. This can work well to curb some sibilance. Although this may depend on the filter and our point of sensitivity to treble.

Hidizs MS5 15_r.jpgHidizs MS5 16_r.jpg

Soundstage, Separation

Arguably, the size of the scene is the strong point of these IEMS. Based on a large, deep and quite physical low end that takes up a lot of volume, the size of the soundstage is also wide in width. In this way, the lateral sensation of the sound is very clear. The perception is that the music passes through our ears, both backwards and in height, generating a three-dimensional and immersive representation, in which the listener is at the centre of a sphere. Perhaps the obvious impression of openness is the result of the perforated grilles on the outer face.
The representation of the music is as I have already described, the extremes are more lateral and deep, while the centre range occupies the middle distance. The bass works to extend the depth and the treble to provide air, while the centre range gains in height. The U-tuning works by rotating on itself, to generate three-dimensionality and an excellent image, where it is very easy to locate the elements.
On the other hand, all this would not be possible without a large separation. It is clear that the drivers have the technical ability to control every note generated with the utmost precision, starting with the dynamic driver, such as the 4 BA drivers. This also results in a high level of resolution, capable of extracting a great amount of detail, being evident at the macro level, quite good at the micro level, but without being fully analytical. This may prevent certain micro details in the central area.
Worthy of mention is the space between notes, the darkness between them, their background and the silence that seems to exist in between. It is clear that all this generates the volume that the music generated by the MS5 occupies, a musical grandeur.

Hidizs MS5 17_r.jpgHidizs MS5 18_r.jpg

Synergy With Hidizs Sources

I have tested the MS5 with many of my sources, but I have used 4 of them to make some extra comments. The cable of choice was the Penon Fiery with 2.5mm balanced connection. Firstly, I used the Hidizs DH80S. This source has an output impedance of over 2Ω per BAL, something to be taken into account, especially when MS5s have an impedance as low as 5.3Ω. In this case, the 1 / 8 rule is not satisfied, which may imply some change in its frequency response. I have not measured the resulting FR to check if this is the case, but what I have found is that the bass has a special colour, although what is most noticeable is the difference in texture. However, this difference is clear in the Hidizs S9 Pro, Hidizs XO or Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE. While on the dongles, the texture is always rougher, on the AP80 PRO-X it is smoother, rounder and softer, to a certain extent more pleasant. On the DH80S it is more raw and pronounced, on the S9 Pro it is more mature and descriptive and on the XO it is more energetic. Really, these are different flavours, even different sizes. The more visceral power of the DH80S stands out against the technical volume of the AP80 PRO-X.
In the mid-range the AP80 PRO-X seems to lose out in the struggle for detail, but it's just a different execution. It is also different in the S9 Pro, its maturity is appropriate in the balance between musicality and detail. The XO won in the race to extract minute nuances. But at the stage level, the AP80 PRO-X excels, the smoothness of its bass not limiting the sense of depth, but expanding it. The cleanness of its sound widens the distance between notes and their separation. Finally, the resolving power of its treble is matched by a high level of transparency, air and clarity. The DH80S seems denser and more congested, but also deeper, although its treble seems softer and less pronounced. The XO combines good soundstage size, plenty of air, more realistic depth and remarkable descriptiveness in the high end. Finally, the S9 Pro seems the most neutral in every way. Its soundstage doesn't feel exaggerated, depth is tangible and the sense of air is restrained, while treble is realistic and natural.

Hidizs MS5 19_r.jpgHidizs MS5 20_r.jpg

Comparisons

Penon Globe


Immediately after I tried the Hidizs MS5, the Penon Globe came to mind. With a price that could be relatively similar, it is a hybrid model consisting of a 10mm 1DDD, a Sonion 1BA for mid frequencies and a Knowles 1BA for high frequencies. It is true that the MS5s have 2 more BAs in total, but there is also a similarity in their tuning. The Globes have a more classic semi-custom shape, while the MS5s have a distinctive design. The Penon are lighter and have shorter mouthpieces. They also have a hole in the rim of the capsules.
In terms of sound, the Globes are still warmer, with softer treble, but extended in a similar way. While the Globe's weight is clearly in the bass, the treble tuning is similar, but with less energy. The Globes are a little more extended, but lose out in the air phase, where the Hidizs come back up. In a first comparison, the Globes are even more sensitive. The low end is wider and penetrates a little more into the mids, being warmer, a little darker and denser. It also doesn't help that the mids are quite smooth and the pinna gain even more controlled. The sound is quieter and more muted, you feel that extra warmth. The MS5s are punchier in many ways. The bass punch is more concise, faster and more defined. The Globe's feel thicker and don't return as quickly. This, coupled with the bass lines being more swollen, gives a less clean and more cohesive, less technical feel. You notice how the low end is more precise, more skilful, tighter and more textured in the Hidizs. And that strength in the hit offers a superior response in visceral yet controlled forcefulness, moving more air and offering a sensation of superior violence. In the Globe's favour, the bass colour is darker and more sensory, there is no BA tone or timbre.
The female vocals suffer from the Globe's greater warmth, appearing more muted and less lively. Their performance in the MS5s comes back to life, regaining light, projection, sparkle and extra resolution. In the Globe, the extra softness and musicality nuances the sound, losing definition and separation. It is a more romantic and musical sound, silky and relaxed. The Hidizs increase the technique, offering a more explicit and descriptive splurge.
In the Globe, the male voices are even more grounded and have a denser, darker body. Their representation is deeper, more cavernous, less explicit, becoming less natural, with little juice. The MS5 recover a more natural sonority, with more nuances, details and harmonics. The result is more incisive vocals, something that can be extrapolated to the guitars, bass and drums. Stringed instruments, in general, are more descriptive and harmonic. The Globe are more sparse and nuanced in these respects, lacking a bit of sparkle and grace, offering a more restrained and cohesive sound.
The Globes offer a subdued, relaxed and smooth treble, with less resolution. If the MS5s seem excited in the treble, the Globes control this sensation. But they lose incisiveness, energy and penetration. Detail is present in them, but the better resolution and ability to separate notes in the MS5s, better definition in the Hidizs, are a step above. The same goes for the soundstage: everything is cleaner, clearer, more transparent, separated, three-dimensional, wider and fuller on the Hidiz MS5s. The more cohesive and continuous sound of the Globes works against them in these respects.

Hidizs MS5 Balanced vs Penon Globe.png

Conclusion

The Hidizs MS5 are the brand's flagship IEMS. Without a doubt, this is a daring project, in which Hidizs has put a lot of effort into its design, construction and sound, as well as its promotion. There is no doubt about that. But, in the end, it is the public that passes judgement. As reviewers, each in our own way, we try to describe our thoughts about the product. First of all, with such high expectations, fans may be a bit scared by the size of the bubble before they get their hands on the product. And what is the first impression of these IEMS? Of course, the design stands out. Hidizs wanted to create a story behind the model, with the image of the black angel depicted on the outer face of each capsule. It's a publicity stunt that adds to the product's appeal, but may have little to do with the end result. And then there is the sound. First of all, the MS5s have 3 mouthpieces that allow the sound to be tuned, and the frequency responses of each were previously shown. On paper, technologically speaking, the internal configuration remains traditional. They are 5-driver hybrids: 1DD 10mm proprietary and 4BA from Sonion. What's special about it is the Kevlar and liquid silicone dynamic driver and, if you like, the use of one driver for bass, plus one for mid-high and two for treble. But have we guessed what the tuning is like before testing them? I'm sure some of us did. I have to admit, though, that I was surprised by the MS5s. My definition of a high-end sound is based on analytical ability and very high quality bass. These new Hidizs feature a big, powerful, almost visceral low end. It is this aspect that strikes me, such a big bass in a reference product? It seems that bass is all the rage. But big, powerful bass coupled with technical prowess is not always possible. But here, yes, the MS5 achieves it. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty, is this enough for a U-tuning in my opinion? Yes, to a remarkable degree, although it is true that I expected more. Where is it better? In the scene, in its size, in the image and in the separation. Therein lies the second great power of this model. Big bass, three-dimensional and big soundstage. Very good! It fits me. We are left with the treble, there is a good level of energy that can generate an ambivalent opinion. Perhaps it is the weak point of the set, in my humble opinion. But as long as you compare it with the rest of the quality already offered by the other bands, which is quite high. And how to describe the sound? As a whole, the sensation offered by the Hidizs MS5 is musical, wide, deep, airy, immersive, pleasant, at the same time powerful in its bass, splashy in its treble, descriptive, resolute and subdued in its centre, like a sweet sunset.

Finally, the price/performance ratio. The Hidizs MS5 has a starting price of $499. But they are currently available for $379, which means that the price/performance ratio is very high. As soon as the model returns to its retail price, the battle will be much tougher and the ratio will undoubtedly be lower.

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Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Hidizs S9 Pro.
  • Hidizs XO.
  • Hidizs DH80S.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE.
  • EarMen Colibri.
  • Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.
  • Aune Flamingo.

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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 92
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 75
  • Accessories: 85
  • Bass: 94
  • Mids: 93
  • Treble: 83
  • Separation: 82
  • Soundstage: 94

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Hidizs offered me this model, in exchange for writing an honest review. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

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https://www.hidizs.net/products/hidizs-ms5-4ba-1dd-hybrid-5-units-hifi-in-ear-monitor-earphone

You can read the full review in Spanish here


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o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
I just realised something. The materials of the DD in MS5 are very similar to HiBy Zeta’s DD. Their bass quality and quantity do feel very close. Not saying they are the same driver, but the dual-material drivers from this year (starting from FiiO FF series and JD7) have been very very nice.

Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Definition of Flagship
Pros: Build Quality in both exterior and internals.
Good seal and Fit*
A lively but well-tuned signature.
Accessories are plentiful and quality is very good.
Cons: Cable is very robust, and ear hooks a little small but fixable. Burn in is required to get the full experience!
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Let us start by saying that one look at the package you know this will be a premium product.
Inside you will find everything you need to fit the MS5 into your ears 3 sets of tips in sizes small to large. one for vocal, one for Bass, and one balanced (my favorite) also an amazingly well-made cable that is good looking but heavier than average. While some have had problems with this it was only the ear-hooks that I found small for my ears and had a little pulling force when using long term. This was fixed with mild heat to reshape them. There is also a very generous sized case and three tuning nozzle filters. Bass is Red, Silver is Treble, and the Matching rose gold or copper is balanced.
You can find the complete specs and information here https://www.hidizs.net/products/ms5-xo-bundle

My personal opinion.
The Dark Angle is designed to look like angel wings, and it does, the shells are solid and look very strikingly beautiful an almost gothic futuristic design. The signature and look are unique compared to many flagship IEM out now and that's part of why I like these.

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Testing Gear!
ifi Gryphon, GoLink, and UNO
SMSL SP200 and M100
TRI TK-2
Dethonray SG1 Pegasus
TempoTec V6
Hidizs AP80- PRO x, S3 pro, and XO
Questyle M15
and more.
Songs ranging from high quality MP3 to DSD


Impressions of sound!

Treble:
The highs are lively and have very good energy, the airy sound and details are excellent and at normal volumes and using the bass or balanced filters it is well extended and controlled. I personal didn't like the treble filter. I think treble heads would be pleased with that one.

Mids:
Midrange is rich and full of details here. The separation and clarity are excellent. Vocals have good body and are placed in front of the instruments. I found the texture and robustness to be very enjoyable. There is a little hotness with female vocals in the most upper mids but nothing to harsh or concerning. Male vocals are thick and so pleasant.

Bass:
I will start by saying the Bass is well defined. This is Bass done well, there is elevation but nothing Bass head levels or to a point they interfere with the other frequencies. Sub-Bass has a deep and responsive punch with both control and texture. Mid-Bass is punchy and tight with great details and impact. Both Sub and Mid have speed and are placed perfectly.

Staging:
Soundstage is wide and deep; it is above average but still is natural feeling. I found the separation is very good and placement was very accurate. Playing No Mans Sky, Mine Craft and Doom, worked out perfectly as did watching a few movies on the go.

My Afterthoughts:
The Hidizs MS5 Dark Angel is a extremely well-made IEM, I'm sure much thought went into the design, and it shows. This one is lively, musical and with detailed and competent technicalities. I
haven't had an IEM like this since the very different Kinera Hodur, the MS5 is now living in my favorites box, I imagine it will be there for a long time.

RemedyMusic

100+ Head-Fier
A Mermaid's siren?
Pros: Exceptional build
Lovely mids
Rich and lush overall sound
Very high level of detail retrieval
Imaging and depth
Proper timbre
Decent inclusions
Scales well with proper amping
Relatively very easy to drive
Cons: Cable lacks option to be modular for its price point
Upper frequencies can be fatiguing and hot on some tracks
Medium-sized shells can be uncomfortable for small ears
Tuning nozzles are rather gimmicky
INTRODUCTION:
Established in 2009, Hidizs has been a prominent player in the audio industry for a considerable period of time, having released highly-regarded earphones, digital audio players, and USB DACs that have garnered the attention of the audio community. Tamson, the founder and CEO, is a passionate audiophile and was once a frontman for an underground rock band during his college years. His vision is to deliver music in its purest form, as intended by the creators. In summary, for a concise overview of Hidizs' history, you can follow this link.

About Hidizs

While my interaction with Hidizs is limited, I do own one of their products, the AP80 Pro, and can vouch for its quality. As my first digital audio player, it still holds a special place in my collection, even though my wife uses it more often now. I still use it as a reference when reviewing audio gear. For those in the market for their first DAP, I highly recommend the AP80 Pro as it provides exceptional value for its price point.

Initially, I held a low opinion of Hidizs' earphones and in-ear monitors. However, I had the chance to try and evaluate their product, and this is the first time I've listened to them. It's worth noting that this is not an entry-level IEM, but rather a midrange one. Let's delve into it, shall we?
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FOREWORD:​


  • The gear on hand has undergone at least 20+ hours of use before it was assessed.
  • No EQ is ever applied in my reviews.
  • For the sake of convenience, I try my best to use a stock setup. Not everyone has access to personal ear tips or cables. If personal ear tips, cables, or accessories are used, you will be notified.
  • As I try to be objective, my claims inevitably will be subjective and biased to my personal preference. I cannot stress more that you should take this with a grain of salt for we have different perceptions to sound and what we hear.



SPECIFICATIONS:​


Hidizs Mermaid Series
Model: MS5
Configuration: 4BA + 1DD Hybrid
BA Drivers: Denmark Sonion (High frequency E50DT composite unit, Mid-high frequency unit 2389, Low frequency unit 17A003)
Dynamic Driver: 10mm Liquid silicone (Hidizs custom dynamic driver with Kevlar fiber and liquid silicone technology)
Frequency response: 20hz-40khz
Sensitivity: 104db
Impedance: 5.3 ohms
Cable: High purity 6N single crystal copper silver-plated wire
Connector: 0.78mm 2-pin
Plug: 3.5mm gold plated plug
test

PACKAGING:​

The MS5's packaging comes in a medium-sized box, which displays a print of the product on the front. In my opinion, this classic approach is refreshing, as many IEMs today lack the upfront appearance of the product. Seeing a preview of what you're buying is reminiscent of a nostalgic feeling.

The back of the box contains the necessary information for blind buyers, including three frequency graphs that correspond to the tuning nozzles.
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Upon lifting the outer box, the MS5 IEMs immediately greet you, accompanied by a palette of ear tips in S, M, and L sizes with three different kinds available: Vocal, Balanced, and Bass. The palette also includes the Treble (silver), Bass (red), and pre-installed Balanced (bronze) tuning nozzles, which are easily swapped by screening them on and off. It's important to remember the color coding of the filters since the palette can only hold two kinds at a time. The package also includes a carry case that looks authentic and has added weight and sturdiness, but may be prone to smudging and getting dirty over time. Inside the case is the thickest cable ever made for a set of earphones, and at the bottom, you'll find some paperwork and a user manual. If you're new to tuning filters, the documentation provided will come in handy.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS:​

Throughout the entirety of this review, the MS5 was primarily used with the Hidizs XO dongle that came with it on this tour. I also used the Hiby RS2 dap and Centrance Dacport HD. I opted for the stock wide-bore vocal tips and stock cable. I used my offline FLACS and Qobuz subscription for referencing.

Let’s get started then. First off with facets of technicalities.

The sound stage of the MS5 is average and lacks extra space or headroom, even for an IEM. Despite not being cramped or narrow, the elements are not in-your-face type, but rather intimately desirable. However, with proper amplification or more power, such as my Centrance Dacport that feeds it 750mw on each channel, the sound stage tends to extend a bit, proving good scalability.
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The drivers' speed is exceptionally quick and doesn't sound cushioned or muted, resulting in an extremely accurate note definition that isn't overdone like planar drivers. Furthermore, the tail ends of instruments and vocals are highly authentic and true to life, showcasing impressive natural decays.

The MS5 delivers an impressive level of detail, making it possibly the most resolving earphone in its price range. The only other earphone that comes close is the Seeaudio Bravery Red edition, which we will compare to the MS5 later on.

The layering and separation in the MS5 are remarkable, as each element has its own distinct space on the stage, despite the average size of the sound stage. The IEMs handle complex and densely mixed tracks with ease, without any signs of congestion, muddiness, or smearing. Everything is cleanly separated and exhibits high-fidelity precision.
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The MS5's imaging capability is the ultimate aspect of technicality that it can boast. I have experienced this level of imaging on top-of-the-line (TOTL) IEMs, specifically the ADV M5 6D. Despite having an intimate sound stage, the MS5 delivers accurate depth of imaging that presents each element in a holographic manner. This remarkable feat is even more emphasized on live albums, making it the most appealing trait of the MS5.

BASS​

The MS5's bass offers excellent transparency and leans towards neutrality. While there is a slight boost in the bass, it does not bleed into neighboring frequencies and maintains a tight, punchy character with a natural decay. The sub-bass has a quick roll-off, and while some may desire more, it was not a priority for me. However, if your playlist consists of bass-heavy tracks, the MS5 may not be the best fit. Personally, I prefer the prominent mid-bass presence over the sub-bass region. For those who desire more bass, don't worry, the MS5 comes with tuning nozzles. However, there is a catch, which we will discuss later.

MIDRANGE​

Mid-centric listeners will be delighted with the MS5's exceptional midrange performance. Female vocals, in particular, are captivatingly presented. The midrange is slightly emphasized, and as I listened to various tracks, I noticed a sense of forwardness. The mids are rich and thick, which enhances the overall sound quality. The orchestral tracks are particularly delightful, as the strings and brass sections are incredibly realistic and engaging. Additionally, MS5's natural-sounding hybrid configuration does not exhibit any BA timbre or thinness, making it one of the most natural-sounding hybrid IEMs I've come across. Although we have elevation here at 3Khz as per the graph, the upper midrange still did not come across hot or piercing to my ears but might be fatiguing to sensitive folks.
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TREBLE​

The upper frequencies on the MS5 are full of life and energy, with a sharpness and roughness that is satisfying to the ears of treble heads. The sound of bells, triangles, cymbals, and hi-hats are particularly enjoyable. Treble enthusiasts will surely be pleased with what the MS5 has to offer. However, as per the frequency response graph, there are noticeable peaks around 5-6khz and an elevation at 8khz, which can be a bit too much for some listeners. Personally, I sometimes find the treble a bit overwhelming and have to lower my volume to avoid fatigue. It is important to consider this before making a purchase. Using foam tips or a warmer source may help alleviate this issue. It is also worth noting that the MS5 paired with the Hidizs XO is more prone to sibilance compared to the Hiby RS2 and Centrance Dacport. It is recommended to experiment with different setups to find the best synergy for your personal preferences.
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(Graph courtesy of @baskingshark)

TUNING NOZZLES​

We have now come to another trend in the audio industry, which is the ability to tune our in-ear monitors according to our preferences. While some may view this as a nuisance, it's something that the MS5 has embraced by offering customizable tuning nozzles.
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In my personal opinion, the tuning nozzles are not as impactful as some might think. While some reviewers with a keen sense of hearing might be able to discern the differences between the nozzles, I personally did not notice a significant change in sound. The MS5 comes with three nozzles - gold for a balanced sound profile, silver for emphasizing treble, and red for more bass.

While the tuning nozzles provide an option for customization, in my experience, the differences were not significant enough to warrant much attention. I found that the silver nozzle slightly increased the treble, while the gold nozzle provided a more balanced sound. However, the red nozzle's impact was hard for me to discern, and it seemed to push the midrange back in favor of the bass. Overall, I didn't find myself using the tuning nozzles much during my time with the MS5.

In summary, instead of relying on the tuning nozzles, I would suggest experimenting with different ear tips or finding audio sources that can provide the desired sound signature for a better listening experience.

FIT & ISOLATION:​

The MS5 has a medium-sized form factor, but don't let that fool you. They're surprisingly comfortable and getting a good seal is a breeze. However, after a marathon 2-hour listening session, things can start to get a little uncomfortable. And the culprit? The cable, of course. That darn thick and hefty cable can start to weigh on you after a while. It's not too bad, but it's definitely noticeable. One thing to keep in mind is that the MS5 does stick out a bit from your ears, so if you like to nap with your IEMs, be careful not to lay on your side and squish them.
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COMPARISONS:​

vs Seeaudio Bravery Red edition​

Before we get started, let it be known that I don’t have this unit with me anymore, but fret not, I have spent an ample amount of time with it so I still have it in my memory. Take this with a grain of salt though.

Bravery offers a brighter and leaner sound profile, with more emphasis on BA timbre, which can sound thin and unnatural at times. While the technicalities are comparable to the MS5, the imaging falls behind, with the MS5 offering superior performance in this aspect. In terms of soundstage, Bravery is narrower and lacks the "holographic" quality that MS5 possesses. Despite being similarly priced, MS5 is a more captivating and enjoyable set, offering better note weight and a greater sense of fun.

vs Simgot EA500​

While there is a significant price difference between EA500 and MS5, it is worth mentioning that both have tunable nozzles. However, the tuning nozzles on EA500 have a more noticeable impact on the sound compared to MS5, rendering the latter's tuning nozzles gimmicky in comparison.

In terms of sound, both the MS5 and EA500 offer a bright and neutral sound signature, with some hotness in the upper frequencies. However, the EA500 is a bit more tolerable in this aspect, making it a better choice for those with sensitivity concerns. While the technical abilities of the EA500 are not as advanced as the MS5, they are still competitive. However, the MS5 has an edge in timbre, note definition, and vocal presentation. The EA500 has a stronger sub-bass presence that adds a unique flavor to its sound, whereas the MS5 has more transparent lows and a significant sub-bass roll-off.

vs Bqeyz Autumn​

Moving on, we have another contender in the tuning game, and this time it comes with magnetic filters. The magnetic filters on the Autumn are much easier to swap than the nozzles on the MS5, which is a point in its favor. Additionally, the effect on sound when switching between profiles is much more pronounced on the Autumn, which outshines the MS5's tuning nozzles.

I can't emphasize enough how much I adore Autumn's expansive sound stage. It surpasses that of any other IEMs I own. But I do have to admit that its note definition and attack are not as sharp as MS5. While Autumn prides itself on its sound stage, MS5 boasts exceptional imaging and detail. MS5 offers a cleaner and more refined sound overall. Nevertheless, Autumn still has a slight edge in timbre and maybe a more suitable option for those with sensitive ears. Autumn also has a stronger sub-bass presence, whereas MS5 exhibits an evident roll-off in the lows for a more polished and mature presentation. In terms of technicalities alone, MS5 emerges as the clear winner, but both IEMs provide an equally engaging and musical experience.


SOURCES USED:​


  • Hiby RS2 DAP
  • Hidizs XO dongle
  • LG V30 quad dac with Centrance Dacport via Hiby music app
  • Oppo A94 with Hidizs XO via Hiby music app
  • Macbook pro 2011 with Hidizs XO via Foobar
  • Qobuz Studio

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TEST TRACKS:​

Here are some tracks I usually listen to when reviewing:

That’s the way of the World by EWF
Africa by TOTO
The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Kral
Balmorhea album All is wild, All is Silent
Sila by Sud
Smooth Escape by D’Sound
Never too Much by Luther Vandross
P.Y.T by Michael Jackson
Ain’t no Sunshine by Eva Cassidy
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
Another one bites the Dust by Queen
Good times bad times by Edie Brickell
Alice in Wonderland by Bill Evans
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Redefine by Incubus
Far Away by Nickelback
Lovesong by Adele
Lingus by Snarky Puppy
Harvest for the World by Vanessa Williams
Love Bites by Def Leppard
No Such Thing by John Mayer
As by Stevie Wonder
Whip Appeal by Babyface
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan
Futures by Prep
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Every Summertime by NIKI
SADE tracks
AC/DC tracks
Queen tracks


And many more… I always listen to High resolution format, being the least quality 16bit/44khz FLACS be it offline or online.

VERDICT:​

Initially, I wasn't too convinced when MS5 arrived at my doorstep. The tuning wasn't particularly unique or new to my ears. However, as I spent more time listening to it, MS5 slowly but surely began to grow on me.

To avoid repeating myself, let me reiterate that the tuning nozzles on the MS5 are not particularly effective and have little influence on the sound. However, despite this shortcoming, the MS5 is still a remarkable and noteworthy IEM. Instead of frequently swapping between nozzles, I suggest experimenting with different tips and source pairings to find the best sound. Perhaps Hidizs should consider this when designing future IEMs with tuning capabilities. That being said, it remains to be seen if this trend will persist in the future. Allow me to add, the MS5 is already excellent on its own right without the tuning nozzles and I found my preferred sound signature with the balance nozzle.

The most impressive and irresistible feature of the MS5 is undoubtedly its natural timbre, especially for a hybrid setup. The imaging and detail retrieval are superb, making for a fantastic balance of tonality and technicalities. The tuning leans towards neutrality without any artificial thinness that often accompanies other neutral sets. Additionally, the holographic sound presentation is a delightful bonus, providing a lifelike experience akin to listening to live performances or speakers. Overall, the MS5's combination of natural timbre, superb imaging and detail retrieval, and holographic sound presentation make it an exceptional choice for audiophiles and even musicians. The MS5 offers impressive performance for its price, making it a worthwhile investment for your hard-earned money. If I were to have this in my collection, I would be investing a lot of time enjoying it.

I would like to thank @Zerstorer_GOhren for facilitating this tour and Zoie for being generous to me and to my co-reviewers.
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NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -most cohesive hybrid tuning from Hidizs
-full bodied bass with rich timbre
-good macro resolution
-fast treble speed
-good imaging-layering
-good male and female vocal presence
-transparent mid range
-unique built design
-good quality cable
-very easy to drive
Cons: -slightly dry timbre
-treble lack refinement
-tuning filter aren't usefull
-treble lack sparkle, brilliance and air
-mids are on the thin side
-spatiality feel compressed
-soundstage lack depth
-definition edge is a bit fuzzy
-upper mids can iduce sibilance
-treble filter is too trebly
-easy to drive but source picky (very sensitive)
-price is not very competitive
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TONALITY: 7.5/10
TECHNICALITIES: 8.2/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8.5/10
SOUND VALUE: 7.5/10

INTRO


Hidizs is a well known audio company from China that have launch DAP, dongles and IEMs. While i'm a big fan of their DAP like the AP80 PRO X, and find their XO dongle very good too, i'm less convinced by their earphones I test before like the MS4 or MS1. It seem their IEM offer good technical performance but struggle with tonal balance that will trigger sens of musicality in me.
Today I will review their flaghsip IEM, the MS5, which is a 1DD+4BA hybrid with tuning filter and a unique and eye appealing look.
Priced 380$ (but with a MSRP of 500$), the MS5 enter a very competitive IEM market, so let see in this review if they will be able to offer something special that could make them stand apart.

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CONSTRUCTION & ACCESSORIES

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The built of MS5 is very nice and it's design is unique too. I love the back plate look which seem to be an open back too, but it isn't. Their a side venting hole tough that can create some minimal sound leakage at high volume.

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The black finish is mate and smooth, the share is organic and very comfortable. Whole shell is made of light alluminium alloy so they aren't too heavy to wear.

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As seen, their 3 tuning filter that you can screw. It work well but they feel a bit cheap, made of very thin metal. As well, i find them too easy to unscrew, which can be annoying.

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In term of packaging accessories, we have generous amount of eartips, 9 pair of 3 different silicone ear tips model. We have as well an impressive cable and a nice quality carrying case.

This is the features of the excellent quality cable:

- 504 Wires and 8-Strand 26AWG "Amorphous" Cable
- Hidizs Composite Braiding™ Single Crystal Copper Silver-Plated Wire Core
- Hidizs UltraSoft™ Extremely Soft Insulator
- Hidizs GoldMix™ Gold-Plated Soldering
- Hidizs HD-OFC Gilding™ Oxygen-Free Copper Gold-Plated 4.4mm Balanced Plug
- 0.78mm Standard 2-Pin Connector
- Hidizs Shark Fin™ Appearance Patented Connector Plug
- Pure Copper Splitter and Plug Shell

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Sure, it would have been nice to either have the choice of cable plug or getting a modular cable instead of 3.5mm single ended, but at least this is a really good braided cable that feel sturdy, have a unique look that fit perfectly the MS5 design and very good current transmission that doesn't color the sound or affect it's dynamic negatively.

All in all, accessories are OK.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS

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The MS5 offer 3 slightly different tuning option, but it isn't night and day difference and mostly affect treble response. Bass doesn't really add low end boost but tame a bit the treble, while balanced is extremely similar with a notch more texture and highs energy and treble have more upfront treble focus, moreslty in texture and brightness grain region.

So, whatever filter you choose, you will get a bright to warmish U shape signature with smooth near dark mid range, full sounding and gently impactfull bass and energic highs that are fast and snappy but louder than rest of spectrum.

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BASS filter offer smoother balance, free of problematic sibilance or treble hotness. It offer thicker warmer bass but it's not really more bassy, just a hint more thumpy and warmer in mids transition. Mids are hint darker and thicker too and more softed in upper mids but less transparent and good in proper definition. Treble is less snappy, and feel more cohesive, whole macro dynamic seem more organic and glued as a whole too.

BALANCED filter is perhaps best of both world, but upper mids are quite fowards, yet the dynamic feel a hint more W shape than plain U shape of Bass filter. I will use this filter for full review.

TREBLE filter is unusable for me, too fatiguing in upper mids and treble and it tend to extract percussions and micro details in a more unbalanced way. Their a hint more air and cleaner imaging, but it's the brighter-crisper and more agressive U shape tuning.

The bass is for me best part of the MS5 tonality, the dynamic driver used is very good and offer a well rounded slam with deep resonant rumble that doesn't bleed alot on mids since it stay in the back, well layered from mids and more fowards treble. We have a hint more sub bass boost but it's not an Harman tuned bass that lack punch weight and authority, yet, it's not radical basshead even if it can induce headbanging enjoyment and do attract attention in bassy track like R&B, Rap and IDM.
When sub bass hit, their long resonance that can affect proper definition of kick, it will tend to dominate mid bass punch and overall definition and separation will not be sharp nor very clean, so yes, the bass is a bit loose but energic and full bodied still. Texture is quite rich too, but for cello or contrabass it will tend to dominate the presence and affect naturalness of tone. For example, when the contrabass string is pulled their will be an over focus of texture and bite of attack then the extension will feel a bit less loud.

The mid range isn't very appealing to my ears, it's lean and dry and thin in timbre. Its well resolve with an emphasis on upper mids presence so we have good amount of details and decent imaging and sens of center stage openess yet the dynamic isn't there and note weight is light.
Female vocal can feel a bit shouty and even have slight sibilance. Let say the MS5 aren't for mid range lover, especially those that favor tone and timbre naturalness over presence brightness. As said, Bass filter will smoothen and make mids more bearable, but to the cost of resolution and dynamic will still be rather lean.
Male vocal are not recessed and feel more bodied than female, but sibilance unbalance can occur and they are brighten quite a bit. With a track like ''Many Times'' from Dijon i doN't struggle to understand each words and separation is good, singer dont get mixed up with percussion and guitar and drum, yet, it's less dynamic part of the music and it should be wider and more upfront in rendering, here we get distract by fast drum dribbling and percussions first, then the bass line, then we find the vocal, very centered and compressed in this busy fast track.
Back to female vocal, texture is over boosted so it can go lipsy, shouty or sibilant, but it's more fowards than male vocal and feel more open and wide in loudness. For example, Celeste ''Strange'' track offer breathy vocal naturaly but here the breathy part is super textured and near noisy, the BA timbre isn't smoothen enough.
It would do the same with woodwind instrument like flute or saxophone, it will be bright and concentrate in presence loudness, very textured but not airy and dense and wide in presentation, nor natural, we can say hyper realist because the layering is good enough but it's an energic and bright presentation that can be fatiguing, saxophone will feel very more upfront than both piano and bass in a jazz trio for ex.
And then, my favorite instrument, acoustic piano....isn't really spoil here, sure the instrument attack is fast so it permit the note to be well timed even in fast playing but we don't feel the drop of them due to light note weight and the definition is lacking in proper edge, sustain and decay is very fast too making the piano sound a bit boxy.

And now the treble.
Let's begin by saying it's the most boosted and vivid part of whole spectrum and offer a strange mix of darken and boosted part of texture, it's not plain spiky or trebly but it's not smooth either. Bright in a dry way with extra presence loudness for high pitch instrument that will sudenly dominate the dynamic rendering. But very capable technicaly wise to, fast in attack and snappy in control, like all good BA should be.
It's a treble that feel effortless in delivering high amount of details, but it shout them at you, it's not delivered in a smooth way, nor very full sounding in imaging. Metallic instrument will have a more edgy attack, making note definition sharper and better layered while woodwind instrument will have blurred fuzzy definition edge.
Technical performance of treble is still impressive, especially in speed and timing. With busy track it doesn't struggle to keep it's pace with all instrument and doesn't go muddy or messy. For example, ''Skink'' from Elephant9 have excellent layering of synth, drum, bass and percussion, the cymbal crazh doesn't go out of control and in fact feel tamed in loudness, but are very clear too, I can even pick up the texture grunt of bass player, it's very impressive yet a bit compressed in spatiality and the percussions lack brilliance.
So, this isn't a very crisp, sparkly treble, acoustic guitar will not have alot of brilliance nor alot of natural decay, it will feel brighten in texture and attack lead.
All in all, this isn't the most balanced or refined treble i've heard, nor the worst, it's generous in details but not in a clean, airy or very accurate way. We know we listen to balanced armature with the MS5.


The Soundstage isn't an highlight of the MS5, for gigantic airy hall like soundstage I will suggest the MS1. Here we have a concentrate spatiality with stereo channel that feel stick on center stage, which lack deepness. So, it's a bit stock in your head spatiality with average wideness and tallness.

But this doesn't mean the imaging is bad, while not end word in precise instrument placement, the sound layering is plentyfull and well articulate in separation. We can easily separate sound layers, yet it's difficult to pin poin exact positioning of mid range instrument. High pitch instrument and percussion can be easier to spot, but not in a realist way, they will be more extracted than low and mid range sounds or instrument.

SIDE NOTES
At 5.6ohm of impedance, the MS5 are very easy to drive, yet quite sensitive and source picky. For example, I can't listen to them with Moondrop Dawn 4.4 at high gain (230mw) because gain is too loud and even 1/10 volume make them sound shouty bright. At low gain, it sound cleaner and more neutral, less W shape and agressive in dynamic. Yet, the Dawn is a bit bright and don't complement well the sound flavor of MS5. So, it seem the best pairing is with my Hiby RS6 single ended. Tonality is warm, but clean, detailed and full bodied, it match very well the MS5 and tend to make mid range a hint fuller and more foward, it does make the timbre denser and more natural too.



COMPARISONS

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VS KIWI EARS ORCHESTRA LITE (6BA-250$)

The lite offer a warmer and more mid centric W shape tonality. The bass is chunkies, faster and more mid bass focused, it's less textured and doesn't offer as much rumble or deep extension. Mid range is notably fuller sounding, but not as crisp and detailed, it's darker, thicker and more natural in timbre. Vocal are smoother and lusher, acoustic instrument sound less thin and boosted in presence, upper mids are less aggressive and their no sibilance so overall mid are more buttery we can say.
Then the treble is thicker and fuller but not as detailed, textured and snappy, it feel more cohesive in balance and don't have timbral issue like the MS5. But MS5 have a hint more air and extension on top so highs are more crisp and snappy and deliver higher amount of micro details and superior sens of imaging and separation.
Soundstage of both these IEM isn't impressive, but i would say Lite seem a notch wider and taller but not as deep in center stage. Imaging isn't impressive with both of these but MS5 is crisper and superior, it's not as thick in sound layering and have greater transparency for instrument positionning.

All in all, tonality is more balanced, cohesive, natural and musical with the Lite, it's smoother too and more laid back but technicalities of MS5 like resolution and imaging is superior.

VS Hidizs MS4 (1DD+3BA-230$)

Firstly, i find the MS4 quite unlistenable so the MS5 is quite a big step up both in balance and technicalities. MS4 is a brighter and dryer W shape, very energic and excited in treble. The bass is more about mid bass punch, so it's faster but feel detached and have very thin extension and rumble compared to fuller bass response of MS5. Mids are very wrong, wonky, dry and thin, timbre is artificial and vocal seem distant, their more bass warmth too mixed with this thin timbre, mids of MS5 are more transparent and textured and not as unbalanced in dynamic. Treble is sharper, more brilliant, snappy and sparkly with MS4, percussions are even more in your face and detached than MS5 which have fuller more cohesive treble but not as airy in a spiky way. It's more refined high.
Soundstage is wider and taller but about same depth than MS4. Imaging capacity is similar, but more realist in positioning.

All and all, their no doubt MS5 is superior both tonaly and technicaly and if I had just listen to MS4 in my life, I would give a crazy positive review for the MS5!

CONCLUSION

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The Hidizs MS5 offer a unique musicality that will perhaps appeal both bass and treble lover, but left mid range and timbre lover hungry.
The bright U shape tonal balance offered by MS5 sit between fun and analytical sound signature, it's generous in details, have impressive resolution and well rounded and impactfull bass.
While the tuning nozzle do minimaly affect sound presentation, and even if bass filter doesn't add any extra bass, it does inflict on macro presentation and can warm, smooth or sharpen the treble.

The Hidizs MS5 are an interesting offering but I find the MSRP of 500$ a bit high for what it offer. Technical performance might be good, but the musicality isn't the most natural to my ears and the treble is fatiguing with all tuning nozzle apart the Bass one, which darken resolution.

All in all, these aren't bad but their still work to do from Hidizs to achieve a smoother and more musical tonality.




-----------------------------
PS: I want to thanks Hidizs for sending me this review unit as well as offering 2 pairs for Chifi Love group giveaway. This is very generous and kind and while i'm gratefull for this, it doesn't mean i'm officialy affiliated nor compensate in any other way for writing a positive review or promoting their products. As always, those are my 100% independant minded audio impressions.

You can order the MS5 directly from Hidizs store, be fast because the 380$ price might go up soon:
https://www.hidizs.net/products/hidizs-ms5-4ba-1dd-hybrid-5-units-hifi-in-ear-monitor-earphone




For more diversy and honest audio review, give a look to my blog here:
https://nobordersaudiophile.wordpress.com

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Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Hidizs MS5 Review
Pros: -Build is exceptional
-Design is very innovative and creative
-Packaging and accessories
-Tuning Nozzles
-The cable is absolutely beautiful
-The carrying case is very nice
-Bass slams and keeps it tight
-Great layering throughout
-Imaging is on point
-Separation of instruments & voices
-Soundstage
-Very detailed presentation all the way through
-Macro dynamics & micro-dynamics
Cons: -The cable may be too fat and heavy for some
-I would like to see a modular cable at this price
-May come across veiled to those who like an airier sound
-Altogether different sound sig than what we normally see
-Bass may be too much for some
-Treble effects the whole frequency and effects timbre
-Slight sibilance, especially in tracks prone to it
-Requires burn-in (200 hours for me)
Hidizs MS5 "Dark Angel" Review
MS5 Review

Hidizs MS5

Intro

Hello fellow audio enthusiasts, today I am reviewing the latest five driver hybrid iem from Hidizs, the Hidizs MS5. The MS5 comes to me with great thanks to Bella and to Hidizs themselves as I was one of the reviewers chosen to take part in this public review. Thank you so very much for providing the MS5 in exchange for a fair and honest opinion. I received the MS5 a around a month ago and have had quite a lot of time with them in my ears preparing for this review. I promise to give you my exact personal opinion and objectively subjective thoughts about this set. I’ll give you the good and the bad. I will try my best to answer the ultimate question… is the Hidizs MS5 worth the asking price? With that said, my friends, the Hidizs MS5…

Hidizs

Hidizs has been around for quite some time with an array of dac/amps, daps, iem and similar audio devices. As a company they seem to always have quality in mind using materials that feel and look premium no matter if it’s entry level products or more expensive products. I have personally reviewed a couple Hidizs products in the past, the latest was the budget priced Hidizs MM2 (Review HERE). However, I have actually owned quite a few more and have enjoyed all of the sets that I’ve had the pleasure of owning. Today we look at a brand new five driver hybrid iem in the Mid-Fi price point that really brings quality to the forefront.

Dark Angel

The MS5 is affectionately referred to as the “Dark Angel”. Hidizs obviously went all-out in trying to create an earphone which embodied the name it was assigned. A “Dark Angel” is actually an angel who almost acts as a “special ops” soldier in God’s army. Much different from a “fallen angel” or “demon”. Dark Angel’s enforce the Will of God by any means necessary and…they don’t lose. This is the vein with which the MS5 Dark Angel is to be perceived. From the top class build to the ornate and gothic design, the MS5 perfectly embodies the overall motif or theme, and I am more than happy to publish my thoughts.

Love a good theme

I love a theme to follow, especially a creative theme. Whether it be a mythos or a narrative, whether it be a story line or a plot, I love when visionary people mesh their artistry with technical skills to create something that the rest of us can understand and follow. Hidizs has done just that. They actually correlate each of the five drivers to “Angels in a Choir” which is a unique idea that I have yet to see in a set of earphones. “The hymn came, the chant rang out” is sort of a mantra which Hidizs uses to emphasize the design aesthetic and to build the overarching premise. Dark Angel wings embody the look of the MS5, and I have to admit…the design is bold, promethean, intricate, very original and simply… creative. Nice job Hidizs!

Full Review can be found HERE



MS5 Review


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Left to Right: Moondrop Dawn 4.4 / Shanling M6 Ultra / iBasso DX240 / Ifi Go Blu

Gear used

Ifi Go Blu

Moondrop Dawn 4.4

iBasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2

Shanling M6 Ultra

Hidizs MS5

Packaging

The MS5 arrived at my door in a good sized rectangular black box which is kept mostly simple. There is a picture of one MS5 earphone on the cover along with different driver labels, the Hidizs branding and some specs for the MS5. I like the simpleness of the box and also the high-quality nature of the packaging itself. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that the unboxing is one of the better that I have had within the price point. Similar to a Fiio type presentation yet with little accents to make it pop a bit more, or better.

Once you remove the top off the box, you’ll be met right away with the MS5 themselves and boy do they look stunning. The earphones sit comfortably in a cardboard/foam cut-out as if on display, as they should be. Next you lift off that layer only to be met with another layer where you’ll instantly see the gorgeous carrying case, the many eartips and the tuning nozzles. This package wreaks of guilty pleasure and screams premium quality and luxury. Inside the case you’ll also find that beefy cable but I’ll speak more on that later.

Hidizs MS5 Unboxing
Hidizs MS5 Unboxing
Hidizs MS5 Unboxing
Hidizs MS5 Unboxing
Hidizs MS5 Unboxing

Carrying Case

MS5 Case

To be honest, I never really use any case that I’ve received with a set of earphones. The case that Hidizs provides has me rethinking things. It is absolutely beautiful! Made entirely of a white PU Leather material that feels so rugged yet almost feels like an indulgence because of its classy design. I love the stainless-steel zipper which contrasts so perfectly the white PU-Leather. You’ll notice stitching on the top and bottom as well as along the sides of the carrying case which always adds a sense of exorbitant luxury. A delicacy for the eyes if you will. Also, I love the size. Thank you Hidizs for giving us a case which can actually hold the massive cable and earphones. Hidizs also promotes this case as being waterproof, I have not tested this claim.

Eartips

Hidizs MS5 Eartips

Hidizs went along and added nine pairs of tips which is actually three sets of three different kinds of tips, and they are labeled according to their tuning purposes. I think all included tips are of very nice quality, they are firm at the flanges which is great for sealing purposes. The tips come packaged in a nicely organized foam tray with labels to each tips’ corresponding tuning. Again, I liken this packaging to an upscale Fiio presentation, just very nicely done.

You get three pairs (S, M, L) of a shallow fit and wide bore tips which Hidizs calls “Vocal Tips”. I didn’t use these tips, but I will at some point with something else. The next pair of tips are the “Bass Tips” (S, M, L) and these tips are a hair longer with more of a semi-wide bore which has a harder and more rigid stem and also has a firm flange. I did actually use these tips in some of my critical listening as they do well to level out and balance the treble activity a bit. The last set is the “Balanced Tips” (S, M, L) which actually feel very similar and look very similar (except the color) to the KBear 07 tips. If anyone has read anything from me, you’ll know that I am partial to the 07’s.

What I used

However, besides the bass tips I quite literally tried about fifty different sets of tips. I did end up using the medium sized foam tips. I also found during the painstakingly long tip finding process that getting the deepest fit possible with the MS5 does wonders for the sound and so I had to go to a smaller size tip than usual. There are a handful of other tip choices which work great. I am partial to three different tips which I thought helps the MS5 sound at its best… the bass tips (in the packaging), Final E-tips, or the foam tips. For the most part, for myself, I find the Final tips or foams work the best. I realize in my pictures I have some wide bore tips but please disregard as I took those pictures before I went heavy with critical listening.

Cable

MS5 Cable

My word this cable! What a beauty it is, and wow is it a thicky-thicky! The cable is fat y’all! Just a wonderful cable which conjures apex feelings of grandeur as it is so beefy and durable to the touch and a feast for the eyes which perfectly matches the colorway and aesthetic of the MS5. Hidizs design team decided on a beautiful cable that feels and looks premium.

The only thing I’d like to see is a modular cable, that would’ve been nice. Most companies provide a modular cable at this price. If I had one other complaint about the MS5 cable it would be the ear hooks and how ridiculously tight the turn is. It truly makes it a pain to get on. Rest assured I am able to get past my tiny complaint by forging ahead and twisting and turning and shifting and eye-rolling until they are on and not going anywhere. Moving on…

Cable construction

The cable itself is a 2-pin, .078, 3.5 single ended 504 wires of 6N single-crystal-copper which is Plated in silver wire along with 6N single crystal copper wires which comes out to be 8 strands in total. The cable has a very tight braid with a black and very soft plastic type sheath covering the braided wires which evokes a sense of durability and permanence. This thing is gorgeous my friends. It has a two-toned colorway. Brown coupled with dark gray along with a handsome looking gun-metal strain relief and a copper/gold plated jack. The Y-split is also that slick looking gun-metal color as well as the chin slider. You will see “Hidizs” written in that golden brass color at the strain relief with subtle golden accents here and there. Have I mentioned that the cable is beautiful yet?

MS5 Cable
It’s great but….

The only thing which may be a problem is also one of the strong points of this cable and that is its size. I could certainly see this cable being entirely too fat for some people or too heavy for long periods of listening. Not everyone wants a mammoth cable hanging from their neck adding weight. As for me I don’t mind it, I love a nice and thick cable. However, I’ve been in this hobby long enough to know that some will find the size cumbersome and annoying. Granted, that is a handful of people, but it should be noted. I think the vast majority of hobbyists will adore it for its durable feel and exquisite looks. Also, again, I wish it was a modular cable, or at the very least it would’ve been nice to have a choice of what jack we wanted. Fl

So, for balanced listening I looked for a cable that is good enough for the MS5 and can match the colors and that cable was the Kinera Leyding modular cable. It is the perfect side piece to the MS5 and looks like they were made for each other, truly. Less fat and beefy but perfectly suitable to use with the MS5. However, for any 3.5 single ended usage I of course went with the included cable. There aren’t many downsides and all things considered… Hidizs knocked this one out of the park!

Tuning Nozzles

MS5 Tuning Nozzles

One of the huge benefits of the MS5 is the fact that you can further dial-in the tuning using the included tuning nozzles which can be screwed on and off rather easily. You get this cool little slab of aluminum which houses the nozzles themselves. You’ll see labels next to each female threaded set of holes labeled “Bass” & “Treble”. It should be assumed that the 3rd set is for “Balanced” listening. It seems the tuning nozzles only really affect the sound from around 5k-8k as far as sonics are concerned. More on that later.

Bass Nozzle it is…

I do want to note that the majority of this review was completed using the “Bass” nozzle. I have gone back and forth with all three quite often. In fact, at first I strayed away from the bass nozzle thinking I wouldn’t want any more veil cast on the sound and so I simply didn’t give it a shot. However, I reluctantly did end up using the bass filter and low & behold… I never went back.

More balanced

I hear a more organic type of replay using the bass nozzle and the treble seems to level out a bit. The sound simply is more balanced to my ears with this nozzle. I used the treble nozzle for quite a while, and it simply adds too much of a tinsley sheen to everything and it also throws off the rest of the mix a bit. Treble junkies may enjoy it but it is a bit too much for me. The balanced nozzle was the same issue but to a lesser degree and is my second favorite option. It was the bass nozzle which eventually stole my heart.

Hidizs-MS5-Pics-24.jpg

If I were you, I would take the time to dial in the sound to your liking. Hidizs has provided a multitude of ways to get the MS5 performing well to most preferences. From tip-rolling to nozzle swapping there is likely a way to make the sound work for you. So do your homework and take the time (I’m sure you will) to test every aspect of each combination. The MS5 is worth it. I will say that tips make an enormous difference with the MS5. I personally prefer a smaller bore tip and the bass nozzle, but you may want something more open and airier. Perhaps you are a true-blue treble junkie, if so, I promise the MS5 will work for you.

Good sized nozzles

The nozzles are of a good size to where I can actually get my fingers on them. To me this is nice to see. I like not having to sweat trying to thread them off and on. Some sets which offer tuning nozzles are so darn small (cough-cough… Fiio FH9) that it is almost impossible to quickly take on and off. The MS5 nozzles are perfectly sized. The nozzle width is actually wider than most so bare that in mind when selecting 3rd party tips should you decide to do so.

The treble filter is a silver color, the balanced is a brass color and the bass nozzle is colored red. Each function pretty well and does slightly alter the sound. Now, you will notice it isn’t a drastic difference. You aren’t getting three different tunings here. Instead, you’re getting three slightly different versions of the same tuning. Again, for this review I used mostly the bass filter as it aligns with my preferences the best.

Hidizs MS5

Build / Design / Internals / Fit / Drivability

Build

Boy oh boy, Hidizs looked at the standard builds out there in the ‘audioverse’ and must’ve laughed. Then they went ahead and absolutely obliterated the status quo. I hear the song “Whatever you can do I can do better…” replaying in my mind while thinking about the people creating the MS5. The Shell cavity was made from one piece of solid aluminum which helps keep the MS5 very light yet also extremely durable. The body is very smooth with an almost matte black color that looks pleasing next to the brass colored accents.

Next, we come to the Faceplate area which was actually formed with black resin and functions as a semi-open back design. Under the beautiful Faceplate you’ll notice a brass-colored metal mesh vent screen. I see one small threaded damper towards the rear as well. The nozzles reach pretty deep but nothing which creates discomfort, I’d say they are a hair longer than most. The shape of the MS5 is said to mimic that of the human ear and by my estimation I’d say that Hidizs did the legwork they needed to do to accomplish that. Of course, I don’t think this set is altogether much different in shape than many other sets out in the Audio-verse. All in all, the Hidizs MS5 is structurally built like a tank yet very light.

MS5 Build Quality
MS5 Build Quality
MS5 Build Quality

Hidizs Exclusive Soldering

One thing to note is the Hidizs exclusive soldering process. This may not seem very important but in the overall structure of the earphones this presents a huge advantage. Hidizs actually uses a gold-tin soldering wire which doesn’t oxidize over time and also, it’s very stable in structure as well and helps to provide a stable electronic signal transmission. The stuff you don’t see is often times the very thing which can set something apart. It’s the small things my friends.

Design

The overarching theme is very dark, but also very bold, and so the design must portray this. Hidizs paid close attention to the aesthetic and all the little intricate details and nuances which goes into the actual styling of the MS5. Like I mentioned earlier, Hidizs is working on a premise, or a theme which revolves around the “Dark Angel” epithet. A lot can be derived from such a name as far as tuning is concerned. More-so, Hidizs went all-out in their effort to use this theme to create the framework for the composition as well as the make-up and construction using different robust materials.

You’ll notice a very clever artistic expression put into the motif. I’ll be perfectly honest with you (as always), the MS5 is FLAT-OUT DOPE!!! Somebody shake the hand of the artists involved or maybe even a good fist bump, in fact, everyone gets a fist bump.

Dark Angel Wings

The faceplates are where you’ll see the theme come to life as they are quite literally formed to depict Dark Angel wings. The whole of the faceplate is formed into the shape of a wing and each cut-out portion is done so to intricately mimic the feathers. Between each cut-out section you can see the brass-colored grill underneath which strikes a stark and visibly pleasing contrast against the black of the wing. Also around the black wings is a strip of brass colored border that really stands out and I think is a very well thought out design choice. C’mon folks, brass on black & premium materials with one of the most imaginative designs that my eyes have ever seen and you have yourself a STUD.

Dark Angel was a cool idea in an artistic way but does this theme correlate into actual tuning of this set? I will explain later how this semi-open structure helps the MS5 and how it may affect the sound, but right now we are only speaking of the design itself. I truly think that the MS5 is one of the more uniquely created iems in any price point and Hidizs oughta be proud of what they have created.

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Hidizs Promotional Images

Internals

Inside of the aluminum shells is a total of five drivers. The MS5 is a Hybrid setup consisting of one Dynamic Driver as well as four Balanced Armature Drivers. The Dynamic Driver is a 10mm in size using Liquid Silicone which is said to be made with a “sandwich injection molding process” which is very cool to see at this price point. I personally haven’t listened to a set with such a driver prior to this review. Not that I can remember anyways.

One layer of the Diaphragm is made of Kevlar with a thickness of only .03 mm with a .045 mm layer of liquid silicone injected in between. So basically, you have this Kevlar material acting as a house for the liquid silicone to be injected into. These materials are touted to have great elasticity, great sensitivity, and a quick transient response. The Kevlar is actually theorized to absorb much of the vibration which ultimately helps the sound to come across softer and smoother. We shall see.

Hidizs went with a fan favorite and used Sonion Balanced Armature Drivers to control the rest of the spectrum. They use a “17A003” low frequency BA which obviously is supposed to bolster the low-end bass by adding that BA snappiness and punch. Hidizs went with two “2389” mid-high frequency BA’s and a “E50DT” BA used for the high frequency. I personally love the choice of using Sonion drivers and adore the sound of them on most any set that is using them. Let’s put it this way, if I see “Sonion” used to promote any earphone… I’m interested.

Fit

One thing which matters more than almost anything is that the fit an earphone has to be a good one. I do have a hard time telling people that “THE FIT IS GREAT” when in reality we are all very much different, at least to a small degree. However, the MS5 is so snug in my ears that it is worth noting.

One thing I did after playing around for a long time was finally reducing the size of the eartips that I was using and really pushing these bad boys inside my ears as deep as I could. The fit is so perfect, as if the MS5 grew there. So, will the MS5 fit you? I have no way of knowing, but what I will say with confidence is that they should fit the vast majority of people within the hobby. The shape of the MS5 is such that it is almost perfectly molded to my ears at least, which helps tremendously.

Isolation

When I have the MS5 in my ears and I’m jamming out to my favorite tracks I of course hear nothing of the outside world. Now, does the outside world hear my favorite tracks? Kind of. My daughter could faintly pick up what I was listening to and she was sitting right next to me so… Faintly is my answer. As far as isolation goes, you have to understand that Hidizs didn’t exactly build these for perfect stage use. The MS5 are built for casual listening and enjoyment. That being said, the isolation isn’t bad for a set with a semi-open design. Still, the MS5 will not attenuate like some “Shure” type earphones for example. I do think that the MS5 is perfect for casually enjoying my music and that is all that matters to me.

Drivability

How easy is it to properly drive the MS5 to it’s best fidelity and auditory enjoyment? With an impedance of only 5.3 ohms and a sensitivity of 104 dB’s I find the MS5 does need a bit more power to properly push them to its best sound. I suppose a good and powerful dongle dac would suffice, much like my Moondrop Dawn 4.4. This pairing is actually quite nice as the warmer sound of the MS5 exists nicely against the more neutral Dawn and I get no hiss, even with the more sensitive rating. Using the IFi Go Blu I had plenty of power listening on either single ended or balanced. Even the Qudelix 5k had more than enough output power for the MS5 and they actually sounded quite nice together.

I don’t think you need anything with Uber power. The MS5 is extremely sensitive. However, I have gathered that the MS5 opens up and adds so much with more power as dynamism and macro-dynamics increases as well.

Daps

Moving into more powerful daps I obviously had no problem driving the MS5 whether on single ended or balanced. I basically split time going from balanced to single ended during my listening, and I also spent most of my time using my iBasso DX240 or my Shanling M6 Ultra. I personally found that using the 4.4 balanced Kinera Leyding cable was a step up to my ears with both devices.

Different sources

One thing which is a must to touch on is how the MS5 reacts to different sources. There is a definite difference in how it sounded through my Shanling M6 Ultra and how it sounds through my iBasso DX240. This is normally the case with any iem and source however I think it is exaggerated a bit more on the MS5.

Synergy

I began listening with my Shanling M6 Ultra as it is the DAP I use the most. The M6 Ultra uses the AK4493SEQ Dac chip which has that “velvet sound”. The sound comes across a hint more warm and slightly fuller in the low-end. When I switched to the iBasso DX240 which uses the amazing ES9038Pro chip created a nice difference. The sound is more open, a hair crisper, just as dynamic, but the timbre is slightly closer to organic. Not a world of difference, but it is large enough to speak on here and add to this review. However, either one of these two daps sounds nicely warm and resolving with a big stage.

Another nice option is something like the Moondrop Dawn 4.4 which really synergizes with the MS5. Of course, you’ll need a balanced 4.4 cable, but the sound is so crisp and vivid using the Dawn. In my opinion for $69 you simply cannot beat the sound of it, especially paired with the MS5 as it effects nice synergy. I do think that the MS5 does much better paired with a more neutral source to combat some of the overlaying warmth. However, I need to stress that no matter what source I used or how the MS5 reacted to those sources…the dynamism and fidelity remains very well achieved.

Hidizs MS5

In a Nutshell Sound Impressions

Note: All critical listening impressions were done using foam tips. It should also be noted that I used the “Bass” nozzle during my listening. I also used flac files stored on my devices.

U-shaped or L-shaped

I’ve already stated this but the MS5 comes across very warm, lush and full with slight dashes of treble sheen and brightness. Warm down low with a smooth timbre and tonality yet crispy and bright from the upper-mids on-out which is affected by the brighter treble. I would consider the MS5 to be a U-shaped sounding set to even an L-shaped sound to my ears. I’ve listened to this set for a ton of hours, and I am still trying to confirm either U or L shape.

The MS5 is warmer than it is bright, and highly detailed. The MS5 has good note definition and comes across smoother down low and crisper up top. Tone and timbre are what I would call slightly “off-natural”. The MS5 timbre is not off-putting to me or too drastically colored to give bad marks for the way they sound. I feel the MS5 has good timbre, not organic but good, not completely natural but pleasing to listen to. The MS5 is a very highly resolving iem that has a holographic sound which reaches deep and wide with very good layering to my ears.

Burn-in

By the way, I gave the MS5 over 200 hours of burn-in with multiple stops to check for improvements. I can say that without question the treble has leveled off a bit. Albeit, not completely, but they also sound much better balanced because of the time I took to burn-in. This is one set which pays off to be patient and wait out the burn-in or listen-in process before judgements. I’m sure many will listen without doing so and judge a bit too early.

Pint-sized overview

The bass hits with CRAZY AUTHORITY and has a seismic impact while also having a great amount of haptic feel to the sub-bass. I get no sense of distortion down low as it mostly comes across nimble and clean.

The midrange replays slightly further back and not up in your face which contributes to the openness of the staging. Normally I wouldn’t like a stage such as this, however I find the MS5 does a good job with vocal distance. Not too forward and not too recessed. Most male singers have good note weight and females come across more svelte and thinner yet also more shimmery.

The treble region is where things can get pretty bright on the right tracks, and they do seem to affect the midrange quite a bit. We will cover that later. However, the treble is snappy and crisp and mature with a very detailed response.

The MS5 is technically a well accomplished iem with quicker drivers and good clarity for such a warm, lush and full sound. The MS5 has an uncanny ability to portray the macro-dynamics as profuse with a grand musicality while also being well adept to focus on the micro-dynamics leading to nice micro-details. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get into each 3rd of the mix.

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Graph courtesy of Ian Fann, Thanks

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Bass Region

The low-end of the MS5 “Dark Angel” is one of its greatest attributes. This is certainly an iem which requires the buyer to enjoy a bigger bass section and all which that entails. The bass is certainly emphasized with right around a 10db bass shelf give or take with a slight mid-bass priority. The low-end can flat out bang! In fact, I’m almost ready to call the graph a liar as I could’ve sworn the low-end had a few more db’s. Basically… she hits hard my friends! There is some very slight bleed into the midrange which is more of a benefit than it is a detriment as the upper parts of the frequency do add quite a bit of energy and so the offset works. The bass sets the tone for the whole frequency as a layer of warmth lays the groundwork for the final sound.

Sub-bass

The sub-bass has a jarring rumble that stays clean and tight. I can quite easily hear every undulating rumbling drone in the song “Golden Child” by Lil Durk. The sub-bass has a reverberating and deep haptic energy that adds such a haunting character to this track. I think this song needs that sonorous growl to really help Lil Durk’s lyrics pop. Another track which displays this fantastic characteristic is “Rich Off Pain” by Lil Baby. The extension into the lowest of lows is evident here when you hear that first bass drop. My head bobs as though it’s on command listening on the MS5! I’m not kidding.

These are two songs which require that tactile vibration. They require that chasmic, seismic and bold sound to jar loose the funk from within, and the MS5 does so with ease. I’ll say that again… with ease! As though it’s effortless due to quality drivers and the MS5’s nimble transient attack and release.

Mid-bass

There is a layered sharing of the bass region between mid & sub-bass. The mid-bass can boom with a hard impact which is perfect for bass slams adding unrelenting color and bone cracking boom to any track. The leading edge on attack has a bite to it, while decay/sustain evaporates quick enough to call it fast for its quantity yet slow enough to call it atmospheric.

The kick-drums in “Old Man Gillich” by Muscadine Bloodline are deft, round, solid and resounding. I love a good kick-drum and the MS5 seems to replay them nicely. Or “Billie Jean” by Weezer, the kick drum in that song is so booming. The MS5 is one of the more satisfying sets I’ve replayed that song on. It sounds very thunderous, but also tight, round, and tactile. It’s a great track to listen closely for note definition, authority and speed of a kick drum.

Bass guitar replays well too. In fact it can be downright gravely, guttural and gruff on the MS5. Kinda like in “All of it All” by Lukas Graham. Every finger slide and pluck are easily heard, quickly followed by a resonant and full bass guitar. I’m telling you; bass guitar can get downright nasty on this set.

Bass head?

There is a certain fullness that not every iem can replay, and on the MS5 it is definitely a guilty pleasure type sound. There is such a nice texture to each track in my “Low-end Playlist” that I could hardly get myself out of it. The MS5 didn’t simply just “survive” my gauntlet of tracks, it celebrated them! The MS5 is so clean, so warm, so full, and so meaty, that anything within the lower 3rd of the spectrum is about to get an awakening.

Would I call the MS5 a basshead set? Umm…sure. However, this isn’t just a one trick pony, and while there are certainly issues that I hear across the mix, I can’t help but run through some good low-end tracks. The bass has layers, and details, and it’s bone-thick in its density and hard lined on its note edges. It’s certainly not one-noted and not even remotely muddy sounding while keeping great control. It’s a good one y’all.

Too much?

Without question the MS5 will have too much low end for some. Still, that doesn’t make it bad, just not for those who don’t need a ton of bass. Also, calling this set “bass head” may give it the wrong stigma. This is a high-fidelity, high-resolution bass on the MS5. More like bass enhanced. Really, the bass is well layered with nice depth to the sound and great resolution to my ears. This is certainly a guilty pleasure type listen. Sure, it will be too much for neutral lovers, and not everyone has my taste, but seriously Hidizs, all I have to say is… Respect!

Respect!

I think Hidizs did a phenomenal job in presenting a beefy low end which is deep and extended, yet also nimble and agile. Like a defensive tackle who runs a 4.5/40. It can hit hard, and with speed, and it can do so using any tuning nozzle. To go back to it though, yes, the MS5 will be too much down low for some. There is also some bleed into the lower midrange which in my opinion suits the overall MS5 timbre well. Especially since the treble region is so juiced up. Still, I’m saying it first (or not), not everyone will be a fan. Remember folks, this isn’t some cookie cutter tuning. It may take a bit to render your brain and listening ear to the beauty of the MS5, but when you do…you may say the same thing I did. Hey Hidizs… Respect!

MS5

Midrange

The midrange comes across relatively forward to the whole of the mix. It isn’t the type of forward which is presented “in your face” either, as the midrange expression and presence is more laid back yet it nicely refined. Resolution and clarity sound great and is very clean and believable with dense enough note weight. Note definition sounds very good both with voices and instrumentation. I do find that the excessive treble does make some females and even higher pitch tenors come across as slightly sharp depending on the track.

Low-mids

Some male vocals have a softer edge to them which is pretty smooth as well as a very full sound, with ample vocal weight. They can be both lush and profuse, or sometimes even lean and dry, depending on the artist. For instance, “Blue Wall” by Noah Guthrie comes across very clean but not super robust in note weight. I say that but there is a nice density to his voice, or a sturdiness which sounds compact and not flat. There is also a smoothness to his vocal rendering. Noah’s voice comes across as accurate to life as far as the inflections in his voice and the density of his vocals are concerned. In louder passages of the song, I do hear some “sizz” surfacing his note outlines. Nothing that I pay much attention to but it should be added to this review.

Very satisfying

I hear a more thick and robust quality in males such as Lewis Capaldi in Maybe. His voice mostly hangs a titch lower in the mix and holds onto some of the huskiness from the low-end. Then you look at tenors like The Avett Brothers in the track Morning Song (Demo). They sound very clear and very transparent with a detailed display of the lead singer’s voice, which is sharp sounding and also very exact, while sounding a hint thinner in weight. I actually really enjoy the way it sounds. Perhaps a bit different than we are used to.

Any Love” by Dermot Kennedy is more of a contemporary pop track with an emotional tilted theme and his voice is mostly singled out during the course of the song. His light baritone voice has a boldness to it, or a brogue type accentuation which carries a melodic roughness to it. Listening on the MS5 he sounds gruff, warm, distinct, and sharply defined, with clean edges rendered more forward than usual. Bass voices like Avi Kaplan sound great. His deep and resonant voice pulls from the low-end with very nice definition, which is very satisfying to listen to on the MS5.

Baritones/Bass singers like Josh Turner in “Your Man” or even “Would You Go With Me” have a guttural deepness that comes across very canorous in its amplitude and rotund in weight. Especially when Josh drops his voice into the bass region, as it is something that he does in most of his tracks. The MS5 emphasizes the sound of the bass in his voice, and it comes across great with a softer leading edge on attack.

Upper-Midrange

Females can be vibrant, clean, and they can even have a luminance to them. In rare times they can be a touch shrill (depending on the track), but mostly they are svelte, silvery and unblemished. It’s actually not the most simple thing to explain. Based on the graph you’d think that females would be withdrawn, and laid back, but the lift in the treble region adds some bright timbre to females which is nice to my ears, but not 100% organic in timbre either. They have a nice tone color and texture. I don’t get that “BA timbre”or that “metallic timbre” from the MS5, which I’m sure is helped by using quality Sonion drivers. Certainly, this is an area which may be a point of contention for some who are used to more conventional tunings. This is also not your run-of-the-mill Harman sound my friends.

Females

Gabrielle Aplin’s voice is rendered a bit more forward in the mix. Her voice comes across sharper than on other sets, but also, she sounds more highlighted as though the focus is on her. A spotlight I suppose. In “Half in Half Out” there is an almost forthcoming sense of emotion that the MS5 replays very well. This is sort of a softball type song, as most sets can at least minimally pull this off. However, what the MS5 does better is… it does so in a very resolute way, with a crispness which is sweet, articulate, delicate and defined, rather than coarse and grainy. The MS5 is simply a different take and tuning on a library of music that I know very well, and from a set that I am enjoying getting used to.

Also in “Breathing Song” by Samia, again we see a more sharp but focused presentation. There is this edgy sweetness to her voice with very nice energy and enhanced with shimmery harmonics as the rolling intonations and fluctuations in her vocals are very well executed. The softness within her head voice echoes with supple and soft emotion and the MS5 captures this performance well. Again, resolution is very nice as her voice is brought into the spotlight and I hear a very natural sounding note weight.

Small issues

Now, can the MS5 become too sharp? You bet. There are moments that sound more shrill, shriek or hissy. They are few but they come around. Rarely with the bass nozzle and foam tips I should add, and more so with the other nozzles in my experience. “Good 4 You” by Olivia Rodrigo gets a bit HOT during the chorus of the song. You will also hear some sibilance in S and Z’s at times as there is almost a static note decay which can come and go before you even recognize it, unless you are paying attention to it and listening for it. However, the benefits and strong suits of the MS5 far outweigh the problem areas. If you even want to call them that.

I just want to be 100% transparent. I’ve spent a multitude of hours dissecting the sound, listening to tracks I’ve heard a thousand times before. The songs I use aren’t even necessarily tracks that I would usually enjoy, but they are simply good for testing. I promise, this is not at all a bad set. The midrange is very detailed and very transparent, and resolution is very well accomplished on the MS5. This is most definitely a mid-fi experience which ranks up there with the big boys of the price point.

A nice mental image

In the song “Unstoppable” by Sia she comes across very bold and melodically raspy as her voice is very well separated from the surrounding melody and chaos of this song. Really this track has a lot going on, and the MS5 delineates her voice like a surgeon with a fine lined note edge and a powerful sound. The MS5 does a very nice job at capturing her sharper rasp in both the calmer beginning moments of the song and into the more ballad style chorus section. Instrumentation around her is very well bordered and easy to mentally picture, as the MS5 literally puts me 10 rows back in my mind. The transient agility is obvious on this set. I hear great macro-dynamics which simply have a fullness that is great, and it shows in a track such as this.

The upper-mids is the area which carries the fundamental frequency of a cymbal strike, and one thing is for sure, the treble adds new and different life to them. The body of a cymbal strike on most tracks comes across vivid enough and energized with a solid quality to them. Strings are well captured, yet do come across a hair thin, or possibly a bit brighter than I am used to, but they still have a solid rebound and consistency. Snares pang a hue brighter too but do so with sunstantial enough body. This makes for a very fun and engaging listen. No, it isn’t 100% accurate but there is a high degree of transparency, with a very detail-oriented sound which still holds onto the dynamics of most instrumentation.

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Treble Region

The treble is very resolving, mature, crisp and energetic with a very detailed approach up top. You can quite easily see how the MS5 shows off its pedigree compared to more budget sets.

Depending on your nozzle choice it really will impact the sense of brightness and overall luster up top. Like I said, I use the bass nozzle which slightly levels off some of the peaks up top, and balances the entire mix for me. Now, the treble is not the most organic in timbre which seems to be a running theme. Still the other “running theme” is that it doesn’t come across as completely unnatural either. I quite like it actually. Also, please give me your best shot at explaining what “natural” is. Everything is subjective my friends. The point is, the MS5 is a slightly different spin then I am used to but still very nice to my ears.

Instruments

Instruments in this region have a definite and decisive snappiness to them which adds a lot to the overall tonality of this set. This type of treble adds a certain validity and depth to my music, or a more realistic feel I suppose. Violin has an energetic glow and a nicely waning decay to my ears. Secondary harmonics of a cymbal strike can sound a hint tizzy but it’s a short-lived issue as there is an immediacy to notes within the treble.

I hear good treble punch, which in my mind gives a sense of depth to many recordings. This is a high fidelity and high accuracy type of treble, with a certain exactness to the sound. Like I said, the treble can be nice and snappy, adding a nice “icing on the cake” type of replay up top. I do believe that this region (treble emphasis) cascades into many areas of the mix and adds that lighter and brighter hue to other areas. For instance, females have that thinner yet bodied shine to them, which is certainly aided by the upper parts of the frequency.

Slight Issues

Now, there are some issues which can arise. One being that the treble may be a tad too much for anyone treble sensitive, or for anyone who appreciates a more warm, smooth, and dialed back treble. Personally, I don’t have this issue and I don’t consider the treble to be too bright, but I could easily see how one would. Certainly, when I used the treble nozzles, they added some peaky behavior to the sound. Another issue is the sibilance which rears its ugly head in tracks which are prone to it. I hear slight sibilance using the treble nozzle and even with the balanced nozzle for that matter, as they exaggerate the S & Z sounds which can be a problem for some. However, I do believe that treble lovers will likely enjoy this presentation quite a lot.

The MS5’s treble is definitely highly resolving, almost an analytical type treble, and able to pick up the tiniest of minutia within a track which resolves any slight issues I may have. To be honest, the MS5 is perfectly justified in the upper 3rd of the mix for a mid-fi type sound. Great separation up top, a nice sense of texture, great pace and timing, and a nice contrast to the low-end.

Hidizs MS5

Technicalities

Soundstage

The sound of the MS5 is dynamic and boisterous all the way to the outer edges of the sound field. We have good extension both ways which aids in an above average stage width. Height is pretty good as well. Something which I was impressed by is the perceived depth within the imaginary stage which does well to layer everything that I hear from front to back. Obviously the semi-open back structure helps in giving the MS5 a sense of air and space, but I don’t know how open the mesh on the faceplate truly is.

All in all, the size of the stage is pretty darn nice, yet you shouldn’t expect a stadium sized expanse of acoustic joy. These are iems after all. However, the psycho-acoustic perception of the stage size is very satisfying to me. I can say with certainty that the stage does NOT feel closed in, or cramped, or congested at all. The MS5 is fun sounding, with a big and dynamic auditory expression which should please most listeners.

Separation / Imaging

Separation is one of the MS5’s “Pros” in my mind. I can hear each element of a stage (instruments/vocals) are nicely separated without any congestion. Another strong suit of the Hidizs MS5 is its ability to create a precise image of the stage. I should remind you that any earphone within this price segment should be able to do so. Some sets are better than others, but a clean and separated and well partitioned off stage should at least be moderately well done on any set in the price point. Separation and imaging should be a foregone conclusion. Thankfully the MS5 excels at this.

I use different tracks in my “congested” Playlist using flac files stored on my devices. For example, “I’m Not Okay” by My Chemical Romance gets pretty blistery, and the MS5 keeps right up with the chaotic mess of sound. With its clean delivery, pacing, resolution, and due to the use of good drivers, the MS5 is very well accomplished.

Details

I think I’ve already spelled this out for you, but details are very well illuminated and defined within most any track and in most any genre within my music library. Each 3rd of the frequency (Bass, mids, treble) the MS5 is able to draw out the subtleties. I wouldn’t call the MS5 an absolute “detail king” but I will say that it performs much better than expected when listening with my sources and to my music library. The MS5 does very well in the details arena. The breath in a vocal, the finger slides of guitar strings, the little secondary harmonics of different instruments all adds a certain life to my music.

The only time there is any type of overshadowing happening is in busy tracks with a lot of low-end activity. However, the bass is honestly fast enough, clean enough, and separated enough from the rest of the mix that it is hardly an issue. Or, at the very least, it isn’t something that I see as a problem at all.

Hidizs MS5

Ratings (0-10)

Note: all ratings are based upon my subjective judgment. These ratings are garnered against either similarly priced sets (that I’ve actually heard) or with similar driver implementations or styles. In the case of the MS5 that would be $300-$400 iems in any configuration. Keep in mind, a “5.0” is exactly average within the parameters that I’ve stated.

Aesthetic

-Build Quality: 10.0

-Design: 9.8

-Accessories: 9.5

Overall: 9.8🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Sound Rating

-Timbre: 8.7

-Bass: 9.7

-Midrange: 8.8

-Treble: 9.0

-Technicalities: 9.8

Overall: 9.2🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥


Hidizs MS5

Is it worth the asking price?

This is always a tough question to answer and even more tough to answer for the collective of hobbyists. Let me explain. The Hidizs MS5 is a very well imagined, well implemented, well designed, and well packaged iem which has a tuning befitting a Mif-Fi priced iem. No doubt about it. However, the tuning is not the run-of-the-mill type of tuning. It’s different.

The asking price of $499 is quite a lot for the average consumer and most people are looking for their “totl” set at this price. Not everyone has $400-$500 burning a hole in their wallets. Most people will be looking for a refined version of sets that they are used to. Better said, they will likely be in the market for a Mid-Fi “escalated and enhanced” version of typical tunings they know and understand. With that said, I absolutely think the asking price is fair, as the MS5 can stand in the midst of the big boys in the price point. I have seen worse iems that are priced much more than the MS5, in fact, a lot more. To be perfectly, unabashedly, and completely honest… I adore the sound of the MS5!! I love it. For me, without question the MS5 is worth the asking price.

No doubt about it

I also adore the look and the build as well as all accessories. Other than the exclusion of a modular cable. It is the market trend and is an easy addition which should’ve come with the packaging in my opinion. However, everything else screams high-end in my opinion. Hidizs went the extra mile to add the finishing touches, and made sure to release the MS5 when it was ready to be released. Are there flaws? Absolutely there is. Does every iem have flaws? 100% they do. Is there enough great qualities to the MS5 to recommend such an earphone? Absolutely there is. Does the MS5 perform well against its peers within the price point? No doubt about it.

Loaded field…

Ya know, you start looking at the field of earphones in this loaded price point ($400-$500). There are so many safely tuned, repeated and regurgitated sets. Obviously there are also some bona-fide beasts which are simply phenomenal too. The Hidizs MS5 fights for relevancy in this loaded market, and I’d say that Hidizs went an interesting and genius route to gain that market share. I love the fact that they created an iem which can only bolster a collection by adding a set that isn’t the cookie cutter type. In addition to your safe earphones which you’ve collected and enjoy, you can also have the new MS5 which will give you an excellent and refined earphone which bucks the tuning trend, if you will.

Personally, I have had the joy of being able to go through my huge library of music, listening to my favorite tracks the “MS5 way”. A slightly different take on my music, but wonderfully detailed, punchy & deep, warm, lush and very resolute. I say that, but I will also say that the MS5 will not be for everyone. Like everything, not everyone will enjoy this type of sound. Which is fine. That is what makes this hobby a great one. For me though, the first sentence of this paragraph says it all. I enjoy the sound and welcome Hidizs take on a true Mid-fi caliber iem. It is totally worth it, especially at the introductory price of $379.

Full Review can be found HERE

Hidizs MS5

Conclusion

To conclude this review, I have to once again thank Bella for her timely and informative messages as well as Hidizs for choosing me to be one of the reviewers for the brand new Hidizs MS5. Thank you so very much. I have not been asked to skew my words. I have not been asked to go against my integrity at all and for that I thank Hidizs. They took a wild chance in this little venture and by all accounts I do believe their “chance” will pay off. Hidizs stands behind their product. Simple as that. They let the merits of their creation (MS5) do the talking and that is something which is respectable. Obviously, a lot of work, energy, thought and time has been put into this earphone, so I want to say… Great job!

Please take in other views of the Hidizs MS5. Listen, read or watch other perspectives as we all have different likes and dislikes, we all have different hearing abilities, we can have different gear and we all haven’t been down the same audio journey. I believe it will be a huge help for you to do so. Also, thank you for reading and clicking on the link. I truly enjoy writing my little blurbs about the hobby that we all love. Please take good care and do your best to stay safe.
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Ahamed Sojib
Ahamed Sojib
Nice review mate
cqtek
cqtek
Great review, congratulations!

Vandammmmma

New Head-Fier
Hidizs MS5 : Prideful Beast
Pros: +Full-bodied bass
+High Quality Cable
+Superb layering
+Exquisite design
Cons: -Treble, especially cymbal and hi-hats
-unforgiving to poorly mastered tracks
-timbre is not it's strongest point
Hidizs MS5

Driver config:
10mm Liquid Silicone Dynamic Driver (Bass)
Sonion 17A003 (bass)
Sonion 23 Series (Mid)
Sonion E50DT (Treble)


Price: $379


First of all, thanks to Hidizs for giving me the opportunity to review Hidizs MS5 in the Global Public Review.

I am just your average, boring guy who listens to a lot of music. I would not dare call myself an "audiophile"; heck, I am still a stranger to the term, let alone anything related to audioscience.

But still, they gave me an opportunity to try their latest product, which is called Hidizs MS5 "Dark Angel."

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First impression:
The first time you try this piece of art, you might hear some oddities in the treble area, especially cymbals and hi-hats. It feels splashy, like it's separated from the rest of the frequency.
WHOA! Stay in your seat!
Before you think this is not for you, keep reading! It gets significantly better!

I'm not exactly a burn-in believer, but if burn-in is real, it works wonderfully.

Overall, it is a balanced tuning, or you might say "U-shaped," with hi-fi experience and tuned to fit audiophile preferences without losing the fun factor.


Packaging and accessories:

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The moment you opened the box, you were welcomed with a pair of "dark-winged" IEM. Sits proudly on the throne, with 3 kinds of eartips and each in 3 sizes to fit your ears (vocal, bass, balanced SML).

-A rather high-quality IEM case made from PU leather material.
FYI I rarely use the stock IEM case, but this one is too good to be left inside.

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-A high-quality, 8-braided, 6N single-crystal pure copper stock cable, with SPC and pure copper as the material, is no disappointment.

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Actually, I don't feel the need to replace the cable. It's such a missed opportunity from Hidizs to make it modular, though.

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Except for the earhook, I have no effin' idea why they put the earhook like that. It is uncomfortable to wear; just remove it ASAP.

-Tuning Nozzle, or as they called it, "Hidizs Aero Sound Tuned Filters."

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Red bass, silver treble, and, of course, Hidizs' main signature, balanced rose gold, I will explain the differences later.

-Some warranty paper and a little hard paper show Hidizs' MS5 Frequency Response, which is neat.

Design:

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The Hidizs MS5, inspired by a pair of dark wings from those who have fallen, one thing that comes to mind when you see them: Prideful. With an exquisite, aesthetically hideous (get it?), glamorous, and bold design.

It is made with one piece of weight-saving aluminum with two pins of 0.78 mm, not to mention the matte finish is sleek as heck.

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Made carefully to fit the human ear to prolong your comfort for long periods of listening.


Sound impression:
After 200 hours of burn-in.

Treble:
There is no oddity, and it feels much more coherent after the burn-in.The peak in the 5 kHz–8 kHz area might be bad news for those who are treble sensitive.But personally, I don't find the treble to be harsh at all.

It is highly resolving, crisp, full of sparkle, but unforgiving for those with poorly mastered tracks.

Vocal:
lush, rich, and pretty thick for an IEM that is tuned for critical listening.It is transparent, and with a mid-bass that big, I worry it might veil the vocal, but I worry for nothing.

Bass:
Now this is the star of the show; the bass is big, fat, and satisfying.
I love Harman's bass, but I always think that bass has to be like this; it is not exactly your clean-tuned bass, which only emphasizes the sub bass.

Rather, it has body! Thump! Slam! Anything that's going to make you lose yourself in the music and immerse yourself deeply.

It isn't enough for a true basshead, though, but it is plenty for those who seek a good bass.


Technicalities :
Intimate presentation, with a 3D-like inside-your-head experience, and superb layering. That's why a song with good mastering is needed to enjoy the Hidizs MS5 to the fullest!

The separation, while not on the level of surgical precision, is good for its price range.
Imaging is also not on the TOTL level but well-suited in the price category.

Timbre: it is not exactly a natural timbre, actually it might be the weakest factor of Hidizs MS5.
It suffers from the upper mid.


Tuning nozzle:
The tuning nozzle basically reduces or increases the 5–6 kHz and 15 kHz areas to make the cymbal calmer and better for you guys who have treble-sensitive ears.

It won't exactly boost the bass for the bass nozzle, either.
While the treble nozzle is made for those who prioritize detail retrieval and clarity over anything, I hear sibilance more often with the treble nozzle, but you can minimize it with eartips.

Personally, I use the balance nozzle. It gives the best of the two worlds.


Afterword:


As I said earlier, one word to describe Hidizs MS5 is "prideful."

This beast doesn't follow your audiophile rules; it is here to maintain its authority.

Of course it might spark some negative light, thrown out of the heavens, but I love this kind of brave tuning that differs from the rest.

It makes your whole experience much more enjoyable.

Also, I wonder why they didn't make a new IEM series rather than including this IEM into a Mermaid Series.

Why not "7 Deadly Sins" or something?


Gears used mostly in this review:
-Shanling M3S
-Spinfit W1
-Dunu S&S
-Ibasso DC03 Pro

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Kindlefirehditaly
Kindlefirehditaly
I just see you have removed the earhook....with some heat you can change the shape easily!

GojiFi

New Head-Fier
𝐇𝐢𝐝𝐢𝐳𝐬 𝐌𝐒𝟓: Communal Hymns
𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀!
💨
🦖


This is a review of the Hidizs MS5, which Hidizs have provided me to review as part of the global reviewing opportunity.

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𝘋𝘐𝘚𝘊𝘓𝘈𝘐𝘔𝘌𝘙: 𝘐 𝘞𝘈𝘚 𝘗𝘙𝘖𝘝𝘐𝘋𝘌𝘋 𝘛𝘏𝘌 𝘜𝘕𝘐𝘛 𝘐𝘕 𝘌𝘟𝘊𝘏𝘈𝘕𝘎𝘌 𝘍𝘖𝘙 𝘈 𝘕𝘖-𝘍𝘙𝘐𝘓𝘓𝘚, 𝘜𝘕𝘉𝘐𝘈𝘚𝘌𝘋 𝘙𝘌𝘝𝘐𝘌𝘞. 𝘐 𝘈𝘔 𝘕𝘌𝘐𝘛𝘏𝘌𝘙 𝘗𝘈𝘐𝘋 𝘕𝘖𝘙 𝘊𝘖𝘔𝘔𝘐𝘚𝘚𝘐𝘖𝘕𝘌𝘋 𝘛𝘖 𝘗𝘙𝘖𝘝𝘐𝘋𝘌 𝘈 𝘚𝘒𝘌𝘞𝘌𝘋 𝘙𝘌𝘝𝘐𝘌𝘞.

The Hidizs MS5 surely soars as one of the toprunners of the midrange price category it occupies. It goes against the sonic grain that the recent IEM market has been flowing with, and then some. Armed with a solid understanding of bass frequencies and smooth midrange capabilities, the MS5 tickles all the good spots that has been left wanting this past year. This is further amplified with the inclusion of interchangeable filters that definitely impacts the sound in a meaningful way, rather than a phoned-in one. Although truly more of a niche tuning rather than a people pleaser, the Hidizs MS5 is a must for any mid-budgeted audiophile that looks into diversifying both his/her collection and sonic tastes.

𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙚
💵
💴
💶
💷

$379 (USD) on release, $499 on regular
~₱21,000 (PhP) on release, ~₱28,000 on regular

𝙏𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙎𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨
🧾
🔩

𝗗𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱: 10mm custom liquid silicone diaphragm Dynamic Driver (1), Sonion Balanced Armature (4)
𝗣𝗶𝗻 𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲: 0.78mm 2-Pin
𝗣𝗹𝘂𝗴 𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲: 3.5mm unbalanced
𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲: 5.3 Ω
𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗥𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲: 20Hz – 40KHz
𝗦𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆: 104dB/Vrms

𝙋𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙜
💨
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖
(out of 5)
➡️
𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
🧰

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The MS5's packaging exudes that of elegance and professionalism at first sight. Hidizs' chosen color palette for the aesthetic of their company screams the same sentiment, as black with rose gold trimmings is a combination that is almost unbeaten in terms of creating a visual sense of seriousness and purpose. The front of the box is very simplistic and shows the user all the necessary details; no further techniques of "visually selling" the product, just the basic details and features are presented. At the back, we can see further technical details as we are used to seeing. What makes the back visually interesting is the inclusion of the three different graphs for the MS5, which is made possible with the Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter™ that is included in this IEM, which will be discussed later.
➡️
𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭
🏷️

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Upon opening the front lid that makes up the box, we are readily presented with the IEMs themselves, looking all serious and intricate at the same time. Hidizs has actually coined a term on how the faceplate is sculpted (Dark Angel Sculpture), which really just adds a face-value coolness to it, nothing more. I have to admit, the faceplate design has grown in me to be my 2nd favorite (behind the Kinera Idun Golden) in the weeks that I have had it. MS5's faceplate just mixes elegance with intricacy so well with the different curves and angles it has, which reminds me if Venom's symbiote form decided to do a collaboration with a luxury jewelry brand. It doesn't grab as much attention as hand painted faceplates, but the textures in the sculpture just add so much visual interest that makes it worth a second look once you take a glance at it. The contrast of the material that they used in the faceplate also is of significant cause, as its glossy look nicely contrasts with the mostly-matte look of the rest of the MS5. The pin connection that connects the IEM to the cable also adds visual flair to the already-interesting faceplate, all of which coheses into one package that will definitely stand out in one's IEM collection.
➡️
𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬
🔖

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As described earlier, we get a pretty special cable out of the box. It is, by far, the thickest and most substantial cable that I have unboxed ever. Hidizs listed it as "6N Single Crystal Copper Silver-plated Wire and 6N
Single Crystal Copper Wire 8 Strands Mixed", which definitely weighs as much as the word salad its name is. Visually, it compliments the blacks and golds of the IEM with its browns, silvers, and chrome blacks. The colorways and trimmings in the jack and y-splitter in the cable just add that special cherry at the top in terms of visual interest. Hidizs also added a pretty substantial inclusion in the package in the form of their case, which is made of PU leather on the outside. The overall tactile experience of the case feels very sturdy, and is just in the right size for one to put in their bags as storage for the MS5. It also feels that it can withstand some massive impacts here and there with its hard shell that is definitely made of metal inside (iron sheets as indicated by Hidizs), which inspires confidence if you do so decide to put the IEMs inside of it. There is also a wealth of tips included in the package that comes in S,M, and L sizes: 1) vocal wide-bored tips, 2) balanced tips, and 3) bass tips. This is a standard must for IEMs starting at this price range, which is definitely met. Last but definitely not the least, we are greeted with the Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filters™, all screwed into a hefty metal card. The first one is already pre-installed in the IEM (smooth/balanced), with the other two (treble and bass) installed in the metal card with color demarcations (silver ones for treble and red for bass).

𝘽𝙪𝙞𝙡𝙙 𝙌𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 & 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩
💨
💨
💨
.5
🦖
(out of 5)
✳
The 𝐁𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲
🛠️

I have absolutely no comments on how the MS5 is built; it's probably the best built IEM that I have in my collection. There are no visible panel lines and/or spaces from its construction, which greatly benefits its resistance to breaking into a gazillion pieces when dropped. Hidizs indicated that this was a goal of theirs, thus creating the entire body in just a single piece of aluminum alloy to create a rigid structure while saving weight off. I can confirm this is not only just a marketing stint but a true process that was executed. The paint is also flawless on my unit, with neither scratches nor blotches to be seen in every corner of the IEM. I also have to commend the installation process of the tuning filters and its robustness; everything in the process is smooth and to-the-point. I have encountered no hiccups in installing and replacing the filters as I please, and all have held up 100% well without them getting loose nor broken during listening sessions. Another star in the build quality is the cable that the MS5 comes with, which I have described earlier. It feels and weighs like a tank, it can easily withstand any sudden tugs or pulls during usage, which is the only thing that is immensely important to me regarding the build of an IEM cable. Overall, the MS5's build is impeccable and majestic, an aspect which Hidizs must be proud of.
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✳
The 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭
🧸

This is where I have solid comments and nitpicks which knocked off quite a few points in my scoring in this segment. The glaring comfort issue here is one that is a double-edged sword: the cable's robust nature and tank-like build comes at the expense of being heavy. It is, if not heavier, than my Hakugei Frey, which is already too heavy for my liking. Don't get me wrong, I love builds that have substantial heft in them because of the confidence and robust tactile feel that they emanate. But getting it too much is not a good thing. It kind of negates the weight saving that they have done on the chassis of the IEM as the cable really pulls down on your ears during usage, that of which is mostly the weight that users feel during IEM usage rather than the IEM body itself. This results in sessions that don't last that long without pressure build-up and/or sensitivity in the top portion of your ear unless you decide to cable-roll. Nonetheless, the shape of the MS5 is actually great for in-ear feel. Once you put lighter cables in it, you can then start to feel the innovations that they did in terms of weight saving and molding in the MS5's main body and chassis.
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𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖
(out of 5)
𝗠𝗨𝗦𝗜𝗖 𝗨𝗦𝗘𝗗: (𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘍𝘓𝘈𝘊 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵, 𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 24𝘣𝘪𝘵/48𝘬𝘏𝘻 𝘰𝘳 24𝘣𝘪𝘵/96𝘬𝘏𝘻)
𝘋𝘢𝘧𝘵 𝘗𝘶𝘯𝘬 - 𝘙𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘈𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘢𝘧𝘵 𝘗𝘶𝘯𝘬 - 𝘈𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 2007 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘥 𝘉𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘦 - 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘶𝘢 𝘓𝘪𝘱𝘢 - 𝘍𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘕𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘨𝘪𝘢 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘛𝘸𝘪𝘤𝘦 - 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 & 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘛𝘸𝘪𝘤𝘦 - 𝘌𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘖𝘱𝘦𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘦𝘭 𝘑𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘴𝘰𝘯 - 𝘋𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘒𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘓𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘳 - 𝘛𝘰 𝘗𝘪𝘮𝘱 𝘈 𝘉𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘭𝘺 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘖𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 – 𝘛𝘖𝘛𝘈𝘓 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘖𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 - 𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳, 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘓𝘪𝘦𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘖𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘯 - 𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘖𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘦 - 𝘐𝘯 𝘈𝘣𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘦 - 𝘍𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘵 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘚𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 - 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘺 𝘔𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘚𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 - 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘖𝘮 - 𝘈𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘴 - 𝘌𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘋𝘰𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩 - 𝘔𝘪𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘗𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘳 - 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘧𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 - 𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘧𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 - 𝘖𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵 𝘏𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘒𝘰𝘳𝘯 - 𝘒𝘰𝘳𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘒𝘰𝘳𝘯 - 𝘓𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘐𝘴 𝘗𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘺 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘛𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘦 - 𝘕𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘳 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 - 𝘏𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 - 𝘚𝘺𝘮𝘣𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 - 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘕𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩 - 𝘖𝘯𝘤𝘦 [𝘙𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥] (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘕𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩 - 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘗𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘺 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩 - 𝘖𝘱𝘷𝘴 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘷𝘳𝘢𝘮 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩 - 𝘐 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘈𝘵 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘋𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘴𝘵 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩 – 𝘌𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘉𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩 - 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘵 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢 - ...𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘈𝘭𝘭 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢 - 𝘔𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘚𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘩 – 𝘛𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯
𝘚𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘩 - 𝘊𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘹 𝘖𝘮𝘦𝘨𝘢
𝘔𝘦𝘴𝘩𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘢𝘩 - 𝘐𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝗦𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗖𝗘𝗦 𝗨𝗦𝗘𝗗: 𝘚𝘢𝘮𝘴𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘹𝘺 𝘚8+; 𝘍𝘪𝘪𝘰 𝘟3 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘐𝘐𝘐; 𝘝𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘌𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘙𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘗𝘭𝘶𝘴; 𝘘𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘺𝘭𝘦 𝘔15; 𝘕𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘗𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦 (1) 𝘸/ 𝘈𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘛𝘺𝘱𝘦 𝘊-𝘵𝘰-3.5𝘮𝘮 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 (𝘜𝘚 𝘝𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘵)
𝗡𝗢𝗧𝗘: 𝘐 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘰𝘯𝘦-𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘤𝘬 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘐 𝘈𝘓𝘞𝘈𝘠𝘚 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 & 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘐𝘌𝘔 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵.
341880227_688561856607705_6777796603821498255_n.jpg

𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐓𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲
🎧
🎚️
🎛️

- If I were to describe the MS5's tonality in two words, it would be these: niche and flexible. I love the direction that Hidizs took with the MS5 with its mid-range heavy sound, coupled together with an enveloping bass texture that feels like the warmest hug that can only be achieved with the ones that you truly love. This is definitely not the flow that the IEM market has been definitely moving forward in, which favors more of the lean Harman sonic space; an aspect of which MS5 is definitely the "dark angel" that brings us to salvation from all the repetition. Carrying that in mind, this is definitely a niche tuning that not everyone will love, most especially those from the basshead spectrum to the VDSF-loving community. Couple these niche aspects with the fact the MS5 technically has an additional two modes from the stock tuning + three additional classes of tips to choose from, you get an incredibly special experience that you can control in whatever way you like.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐇𝐨𝐭
🔥

- What makes the MS5 special lies in the bottom quadrants of our frequencies: the bass frequencies and the midrange. From the moment that I saw Hidizs' graphs of the MS5, I immediately frothed on how much it resembled like my own personal target curve (more details on this link: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=170839802166138&id=100077203561922&mibextid=CDWPTG), most especially in the subbass and lower midrange department. And upon weeks of testing the MS5, I can confirm that it absolutely captures the spirit of what tuning techniques that I like: thundering subbass with meaty midrange to smoothen out an overall warm experience. The MS5's bass is something out of my dreams: rumbling and thunderous at just the right amounts. I love how it sustains bass hits and notes (Kendrick Lamar's King Kunta as special point of reference) without overstaying their welcome. Just like how I write reviews back then, the bass performance is likened to how the porridge was on the last bear on Goldilocks' popular tale: just the right amounts to make you warm inside. If you want to turn the bass experience up a notch, just install the red tuning filter and it does quite a good job of making the bass a tad bit more present and warmer to satisfy some of your basshead cravings. This theme of warmth continues on to the midrange, which you can definitely hear upon the first few seconds that you pick up the MS5. This is the bread and butter, the main star, that this IEM features. A combined effort of the already-legendary Sonion balanced armatures and how Hidizs' engineers tuned them create a very engaging experience, a feat of which not many recent IEMs can boast about. I especially felt this on Meshuggah's new album, Immutable, in which the guitars never sounded as good as the molten-lava-spewing-out-from-8-string-guitars as they did on other IEMs that I have. Every meaty detail was rendered strongly by the MS5, and is an almost-perfect IEM for such genres. With that, vocals come natural as one of the strong suites of the MS5. This is a feat that midrange-heavy IEMs strongly perform in, as the main frequencies that performances mostly lie at aren't made lean nor veiled to achieve a faux "hi-fi" sense. The MS5 is a champion of these sonic values, and it isn't trying to hide from it. To top these all off, the IEM has one of the best imaging capabilities in all of the sub-$500 IEMs that I have tried. Sonion BAs have this knack of giving off superior imaging in every IEM they are installed in; Hidizs made sure to make the most out of it in the MS5 and absolutely delivered. Every instrument is laid out in the sonic space in a very distinct and recognizable matter, which compliments greatly into the midrange-heavy nature of the IEM. If you're looking to pick out instrument and vocal performances, the MS5 will surely satisfy your greatest cravings.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐍𝐨𝐭
👇

- The nitpicks I have for the MS5 lies at the top end part of the frequency spectrum. Even with the prescribed 200 hour burn-in (which I don't personally believe in, "burning in" through continuous usage is my preferred method of getting used to the sound of an IEM), the problems still exist. I can target it at the upper midrange to the lower treble frequencies: they can sometimes be harsh, even for the hardened trebleheads. Sibilance is always at play here; from Michael Jackson's awesome chorus on Dangerous to the widely-hated Shoot Me Again from Metallica's St. Anger, sibilance attacks furiously. This is greatly amplified when using the bass filter, as evident in the graph that it produces. An already-peaky upper midrange-lower treble is raised up even more, resulting in me using said filter the least amount of times possible. Treble sensitives can opt for the smooth filter (gold-colored) and use some high-density tips such as foam ones to attenuate some of the harsh frequencies, but the problem area still remains the same. Although I appreciate Hidizs efforts in maintaining the balance of the frequencies by tweaking the treble to "see-saw" the warmer tonality brought upon by the thick midrange, there is still some more work needed to be done as it can sometimes ruin the overall smooth experience that the MS5 brings. Experienced modders in the community can definitely attempt doing such extra work by adding/replacing some tuning foams present in the IEM to attenuate the problem areas, but not everyone has the capability to. These harsh areas also make their way into making the soundstage of the MS5 even smaller. The IEM is definitely not for the ones who appreciates a cavernous soundstage; the MS5 has more of the intimate, in-your-face personality. The harsher frequencies sometimes make the already-intimate MS5, slightly more claustrophobic. This definitely makes the niche tuning of the MS5 even more niche, but I'm quite sure that quite a lot out there will still see the diamond even in the rough, and that includes me.

𝙁𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙑𝙚𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙩 (𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝟱):
𝙋𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙜:
💨
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖

𝘽𝙪𝙞𝙡𝙙 𝙌𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 & 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩:
💨
💨
💨
.5
🦖

𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙:
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖


𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘻𝘴 𝘔𝘚5 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸 (𝘢𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥): https://www.hidizs.net/.../hidizs-ms5-4ba-1dd-hybrid-5...

𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝟱% 𝗢𝗙𝗙 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗣𝗨𝗥𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗦𝗘 𝗔𝗧 𝗛𝗜𝗗𝗜𝗭𝗦 𝗜𝗙 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗧𝗬𝗣𝗘 𝗜𝗡 𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗣𝗢𝗡 𝗖𝗢𝗗𝗘: 𝗚𝗢𝗝𝗜𝟬𝟳
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Where is Gojira? What you have done to him? I accept no substitute but the Gojira :dt880smile:

Your impressions of the upper midrange and staging is quite different from me (besides our agreement on sibilance on bad tracks). I guess our HRTF must be quite different for the staging perception to vary that much. Great review, btw.

plmon

100+ Head-Fier
Dark Horse with Wings
Pros: Well-balanced U-shaped tuning
Deep and impactful bass response
Premium accessories
Cons: Upper midrange relaxed a little too much for my preference.
Cable ear hooks can make for an awkward fit
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Introduction

Though I had heard of Hidizs when it came to conversations about the DAP market, I wasn’t as familiar with their brand when it came to their IEM products. However, the company has been steadily expanding their IEM line-up, with their last product - the Hidizs MS4 - having been successfully launched via Kickstarter.

With their latest offering, the Hidizs MS5 (4BA + 1DD), the company is taking their first foray into the $300+ price bracket. To celebrate the upcoming launch, they held a global public review event and I received a review sample for evaluation. I've been listening to these earphones for the past week and am now ready to share my thoughts on the Hidizs MS5 and how I think it stacks up in the crowded IEM market.

Note obligatory disclaimer that the following thoughts are just my honest opinions about the product and that I'm not being paid for this review.

For reference, here are the sources that I've used with the MS5:
  • For mobile: Android smartphone -> Spotify/Hiby Player -> Apple Dongle
  • For desktop: MusicBee (WASAPI exclusive) -> Schiit Bifrost MB via Toslink -> THX AAA One

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Packaging/Accessories

For its packaging, the Hidizs MS5 departs from the popular anime mascot trend and opts for a more mainstream consumer presentation. You receive a pretty standard box with an understated black/gold color scheme and the MS5 featured prominently on the front.

Inside, we have a dual-layer setup with the first layer having the MS5 earphones nestled in foam and the second layer having the following accessories:

  • 3 sets of S/M/L silicon eartips (bass, balanced, and vocal tunings)
  • 3 sets of "Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filters" (balanced, bassy, treble tunings)
  • 1 detachable 0.78mm 2-pin braided cable with 6N silver-plated and 6N single crystal copper wire and 3.5mm termination
  • 1 PU leather earphone storage case
  • Bilingual manual / Warranty Info
  • Frequency Response charts for the tuning filters

Now there's nothing revolutionary going on here, but where Hidizs differentiates itself a bit from other Chi-Fi brands is paying a little more attention to the quality of their accessories.

As an example, the storage case that comes with the MS5 is the exact same type as the one that comes with the Moondrop Blessing 2. But the quality of the materials used are noticeably different. The Blessing 2's case has rough-feeling artificial leather, plastic zipper teeth, a flimsy mesh for the inside pocket, and some felt material for the inside.

In contrast, the MS5's case features a more supple pleather material, metal zipper teeth, a thicker mesh for the inside pocket, and a velvety-soft flannel lining. It's almost as if Hidizs was trying to one-up every aspect of the case.

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The MS5’s tuning filters are made of metal and screw into a small metal plate for safekeeping. You also receive 9 pairs of silicone eartips for additional tuning, with each set having a different color scheme and bore size.

The cable included with the MS5 is a standout among the accessories and exudes quality. It's a thick and robust braid, constructed from copper and silver wires that complement the MS5’s bold black and gold design. The cable strikes a fine balance between flexibility and thickness, avoiding issues with memory and tangling, and having little in the way of microphonics.

The cable’s termination is solid and clean and the y-splitter has a tight cinch that doesn't slide around once you have it set. The 2-pin connector has a unique fin shape to it, which I'm told is supposed to represent armor for the IEM's angel wing design. It's a nice little touch and actually gives you something to grip when you try to disconnect the cable. I also like that the cables come with clear indicators for left and right (as do the shells themselves), which sadly is something that too many IEMs seem to neglect.

Overall, while there’s nothing too special included here if you’re familiar with Chi-Fi products, I do like the slightly more premium touch that Hidizs is bringing with their accessories.

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Build/Comfort

Moving onto build, the Hidizs MS5 sports a single-piece aluminum shell, with a resin panel on the faceplate and a rose-gold mesh peeking out from inside. The shell is anodized, giving it a smooth matte texture that doesn't feel overly slippery and has a nice shine to it. There aren't any rough edges or sections that feel like they're going to separate, and it seems the internal components are soldered with a custom gold-tin alloy for further durability and stability. All-in-all, the MS5's build quality seems quite solid and refined, so I don't have any initial qualms about its longevity.

In the looks department, the MS5 is no slouch either. The design of the faceplate is one of the more unique ones I've seen, appearing like angel wings with dark feathers and a golden aura shining from underneath. From a distance, the MS5 looks sleek and elegant because of the black base color and gold accents. But when you come in closer and the light catches that gold mesh, the black shell comes to life and becomes even more of a striking visual. I find that Hidizs did an excellent job at expressing the "Dark Angel" thematic here, crafting a design that transforms as you examine it from different angles.

Where the MS5 stumbles a bit for me is in comfort. While the MS5 sits comfortably in my ears because of how the shell curves along the contours, the fit can be a bit difficult. The reason is because the ear guides on my pair start curving right at the connectors, which makes it a bit challenging to get the angle right for insertion. The MS5's nozzle is also quite large, about as large as the Blessing 2’s nozzle, so it can cause some discomfort over extended listening sessions.

Another thing to note about the MS5 is power. The MS5 is a very sensitive IEM and I found that using dongles like the Moondrop Click or something from Amazon like JSAUX would cause a noticeable hiss in the background when listening to music. For me, using an Apple dongle worked well as its power output is cut down on Android phones. But on desktop, using the THX AAA One amp with low gain produced no noticeable hissing. So the MS5 may require a little consideration when picking something to power it with.

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Sound Impressions

Now let's move onto the meat of the review, which is how the MS5 sounds. The Hidizs MS5 has a hybrid driver configuration that uses 4 Sonion balanced armature drivers and a custom liquid silicon dynamic driver to handle the various frequency ranges.

To my ears, Hidizs has tuned the MS5 to have a slightly warm, U-shaped sound signature. It has a linear, but relaxed midrange, some elevation in the treble, and a solid bass shelf that blooms a little into the lower mids. This results in a fun balanced sound that's able to go low and deep while still remaining within the realm of tonally correct.

The bass on the MS5 is very satisfying, presenting good slam and surprisingly great control. It has no trouble handling fast and complex beats in the music. It extends well and produces good rumble all the way down into the deep subbass regions. The slight mid-bass bloom does mean that the MS5 loses some points in terms of cleanliness and texture, but it’s hard to miss it when the rest of the bass response sounds so large and full-bodied.

The midrange for the MS5 leans on the slightly dark side, with a relaxed upper midrange that's free of sibilance and shout. There is a bit of a "thick" sound happening because of this, which trades-off some delicateness in exchange for a bit more body and note weight. This also results in a slightly blunted attack for many instruments. However, the MS5 still maintains a decent shape where it counts for the ear gain, so they manage to avoid having overly muffled female vocals or dull-sounding acoustic instruments.

The treble for the MS5 is satisfactory, but not quite as impressive as its bass response. It’s somewhat elevated, adding some brightness to the sound to offset some of the bluntedness from the upper midrange. As a result, you get a good amount of treble detail from the MS5 without sounding harsh, though I find it misses that last bit of zing to really sell things like cymbal crashes and woodwind instruments.

In terms of soundstage, I’d say the MS5 is a bit above-average in size, but fares better when it comes to imaging and positional cues. In particular, I find its layering ability to be excellent, keeping the different sounds on the “stage” well-separated and distinct even as they overlap in more busy pieces. This allows the Hidizs MS5 to be quite good at highlighting individual instruments and introducing a sense of depth to the music, particularly in things like orchestral pieces.

As for perceived resolution, the MS5 seems to have appropriate detail retrieval for the $300+ price bracket. To my ears, the darker and bassier tone of the MS5 smoothes out some of the texture and trailing ends in sounds, keeping it from rising up to benchmark-level. That said, it’s still a noticeable step-up from more entry-level IEMs like the Moondrop Aria or the 7Hz Salnotes Dioko, being able to render fine details and subtle nuances in the music more clearly.

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One of the interesting things about the MS5 is that it comes with 3 sets of nozzle filters and 3 sets of eartips to let you fine-tune the tonality more to your preferences. I found that most of the change is in the treble, with the bass filter (red) being the most relaxed and the treble filter (silver) being the brightest. The bass response remains fairly elevated across all three filters, but the changes in the treble do affect the overall tonal balance.

Personally, I preferred the treble filter (silver) the most as the tonal balance shifted to have less emphasis on the bass, resulting in a cleaner and clearer sound overall. There was still plenty of elevation and weight in the low end, it just helped to let the texture of the bass and the midrange come out a bit more. I paired it with the Vocal eartips, as it seems to give a little more ear gain than stock while also being bassier than the Balanced eartips. However, the balanced filter + balanced eartips (the Hidizs signature sound) was the most non-fatiguing out of the bunch, so that would be my preference for longer listening sessions.

However, it should be noted that these tuning options don’t radically change the characteristics of the MS5’s sound. Rather, it’s better to think of them as different “flavors” of the MS5’s relaxed, U-shaped sound signature.

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Comparisons

Moondrop Blessing 2
When thinking of a 4BA + 1DD setup at the $300+ price bracket, one can’t help but think of the legendary Moondrop Blessing 2, which set a benchmark in terms of value and technical performance.

The Moondrop Blessing 2 has a leaner, more “reference” sound signature compared to the Hidizs MS5, presenting more clarity and a sharper attack in its sound. As a result, the Blessing 2 seems to have a higher perceived resolution, particularly in the midrange where it captures subtle details more clearly than on the MS5. However, the MS5 has a more visceral bass response that keeps up with the speed and texture of the Blessing 2, while exhibiting more rumble and impact.

In terms of soundstage and imaging, the two are fairly comparable. The main difference to my ears is that the Blessing 2 is a bit more precise when it comes to lateral imaging, but the MS5 fares better when it comes to keeping the layers of the music well-separated.

In terms of comfort, I find both to have a design that fits naturally in my ears, but causes some discomfort over time due to the large nozzle and fit. The cable of the MS5 is heavier and causes a slightly more awkward fit, but it is far less prone to tangling and easier to disconnect from the IEMs. In terms of power, the MS5 is significantly easier to drive, usually requiring less than half the volume level that I use with the Blessing 2.

Personally, I still prefer the Blessing 2 due to its tonality being a better fit for the kind of music I listen to. However, the MS5 provides a more premium-feeling package as a whole and its tonality may be a good alternative for those who want an upgrade from something like the Moondrop Aria, but with a more relaxed upper midrange.

SeeAudio Yume Midnight
The SeeAudio Yume Midnight is a 2BA + 1DD setup priced at $199.99, tuned by the well-known IEM reviewer and database curator, Crinacle. The Hidizs MS5 is a noticeable step-up in terms of perceived resolution, but the Yume’s excellent tonality does make it a bit harder to care about the difference in technical performance.

Like the Blessing 2, the plentiful ear gain in the Yume shines the spotlight on the midrange and gives it a vibrancy that the MS5 lacks. On the flip side, the quality of the MS5’s bass is even more apparent here, making the Yume’s bass feel limp and soft in comparison. The careful bass shelf that Crinacle applies to his tunings gives the Yume good rumble while keeping it clearly distinct from the midrange. However, I prefer the MS5’s slight midbass bloom here as it adds both weight to the bass and some additional body to the midrange.

The Hidizs MS5 also pulls ahead when it comes to soundstage and imaging, with the Yume sounding quite average in those areas. In particular, separation of instruments is much better on the MS5 than the Yume.

Comfort-wise, the Yume fares better than the Hidizs MS5. Despite also having a chonky build, the Yume’s presence is much less noticeable due to its significantly lighter weight. The cable is also lighter, though the cinch on the y-splitter is looser and the ear guides have a tendency to flop around.

The SeeAudio Yume Midnight shows just how far up you can go through the strength of tonality alone. However, for me, it’s not quite enough to win over the Hidizs MS5. While I do like the clean approach the Yume takes to a bassier sort of reference sound, I still end up leaning more towards the MS5’s approach to the low-end, which I find more articulate and compelling to listen to.

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Conclusion
The Hidizs MS5 is a welcome dark horse dark angel in an era of Harman-target and “neutral” reference type tunings. The MS5 takes a tasteful approach to a bass-elevated tuning and it feels refreshing to see something like this when it could have easily just gone with a harder V-shaped sound.

While it’s not quite pulling benchmark performance at its price point, the MS5 still provides a very engaging sound presentation and packs it all up in a sleek and sophisticated package. If the MS5 is any indication of the quality and care Hidizs puts into its products, it seems like they may be a company to watch out for among the deluge of Chi-Fi that we see today.

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ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Hidizs MS5 Review
Pros: Full bodied sound
Interchangeable nozzle opened up further tweaking possibility (compatible with nozzles from Moondrop Kato, Simgot EA500)
Good vocal presentation for both male and female
Cons: Treble can be a little harsh on certain tracks when you crank the volume up (take note for those who are treble sensitive)
Cable doesn't come with modular plug at this price range (nit picking)
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General Info/Comfort/Packaging/Build
Hidizs is no stranger to the Chi-Fi community, they have a wide range of products ranging from DAP, Dongle Dac/Amp and IEMs. Their IEMs however are not receiving a lot of attention, their DAP and Dongles on the other hand offer excellent price performance ratio. Let us take a look at MS5 today to see if it’s able to compete with other offerings from other brands.
Daily driving the MS5 for several hours a day, i did not find any discomfort, the stock cable is thick and soft, it doesn’t get tangled up easily. The shell is made out of aluminium whereas the faceplate is resin. The build quality is very solid overall.
The packaging looks very premium as with every other Hidizs product that I've unboxed before. The box consists of the IEM itself, a hard carrying case, several types of eartips, 6N single crystal copper silver plated mix 6N single crystal copper cable in 3.5mm termination.

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Gears used for this review
  • Earmen Angel Dac/Amp
  • Earmen ST-AMP
  • Xduoo XP-2Bal
  • Xduoo XA-10
  • iFi Gryphon
  • Hidizs S9 Pro Copper Edition
  • Hidizs MS5 with stock eartips and stock cable
Foreword
*Depending on your source if it’s having high output impedance or not, MS5 may or may not hiss, it doesn’t hiss with iFi’s Gryphon with IEMatch turned on, slight hiss on the Earmen Angel, no hiss on the S9 Pro Copper either, and also Macbook Air M2’s 3.5mm out has no hiss as well. The hiss on XA-10 is very audible.
My review is solely based on what I hear via my equipment and I never consider my reviews to be objective in any way rather a subjective approach. Do take into consideration that everyone’s ear anatomy is not the same, so the psychoacoustics perception might be different as well, but i believe it will not stray too far

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Sound Impression (Balanced Nozzle)
The tonality of MS5 is tilting towards the slight bright scale but not overly harsh nor sibilant. The highs are energetic and lively, adequate sparkles and air, bass has good texture and speed to it. There is a slight hint of BA timbre if you pay close attention to it. It has pretty good synergy with warm source in my opinion, sounds good with XA-10 and iFi’s Gryphon. Will talk more about source after the breakdown below:

Bass
  • The bass is full with good body
  • Good punch and slams
  • Very good speed as well
  • Sub bass rumble is there when the track calls for it, but not nearing basshead’s territory which is totally fine because it complements with the tuning overall
Mids
  • Forward mids
  • Vocal is forward, borderline in your face (nothing good or bad about this, more of a personal preference), it is as if the artist is performing in front of you
  • Female vocal sounds extremely good and lively here (Teresa Teng - 我只在乎你), good texture and body to the vocal, not shouty at all
Treble
  • Treble is energetic and lively,
  • On average listening volume, it is alright but when i start to turn up the volume, the treble can get a little hot (i’m normally not that sensitive to treble, but on the MS5, it can get a little hot after you turn up the volume)
  • Detail retrieval is good here as micro details can be picked up easily
  • Treble has good amount of air and sparkles
Soundstage/Imaging
  • Soundstage has good width and depth (not overly wide, just slightly out of your head), the overall presentation can be intimate
  • Imaging is excellent as instruments can be pinpointed easily even in complex track

Sound Impression on other two nozzles
Bass Nozzle

  • Sub bass rumble more and mid bass is slightly more punchy
  • Mids slightly being pushed back a little, vocal not as forward as the balanced nozzle, just slightly, for the context, perhaps 10% slightly pushed back
  • Treble loses some air and sparkles, less energetic, hence resulting in a very 2D presentation/soundstage
  • Imaging is still excellent
Treble Nozzle
  • This nozzle really surprised me, i expected a boost on the highs which will possibly ventured into the offensive and harsh kind, but to my surprise, they do nothing like that, the reason why i said what i said is because on balanced nozzle, when i crank the volume up, the treble does get hot a little, MS5 on treble nozzle does nothing like that
  • Bass is somewhat tighter to my ears, still speedy and punchy
  • The performance of the mids are somewhat similar to balanced nozzle
  • Treble seems to have air and presence here, the overall presentation that i get is very 3D ish, i actually preferred this over the balanced and bass nozzle.
Driveability/Pairing with Hidzs’s Dongle/Cable Roll
  • Now this is the tricky part of MS5, the impedance is fairly low, so what does this translate to? It will hiss when you plug into certain dac/amp or dap
  • Most dac/amp out there should have no problem driving it as the sensitivity is rather high
  • It does scale with source in terms of coloration from the source itself, it doesn’t really need a lot of power to perform at its best as MS5 is quite efficient
  • In terms of source pairing, i find the MS5 to synergise well with Hidizs’s S9 Pro Copper, note weights are slightly thicker with this pairing (i am not sure if this has got something to do with the S9 Pro that i’m having that is housed in a copper chasis), slightly better imaging and soundstage (a little wider)
  • With the Hidizs XO, it tends to add quite a bit of warmth to it, the bass is slightly emphasised and note weight is also thicker, treble somehow sounded a little subdued due to the added warmth, but this pairing also made cranking up the volume on balance nozzle possible as it tamed the highs a little
  • With the S9 Pro Copper Edition, i find this has pretty good synergy with MS5 on bass nozzle, MS5 sounds very dynamic and the highs has slightly better extension and doesn’t sound that harsh while retaining the dynamics
  • MS5 also respond very well to cable rolling (stop here if you’re not a cable believer), i personally find the 5N Single Crystal Copper plated with silver has good synergy with the MS5, tames the highs a little if you’re very sensitive to treble, pairing it with Astral Acoustics’s Pulse cable, MS5 became very musical, very 3D-ish soundstage, smoother highs, and thicker note on the low end, very enjoyable
Final Thoughts
Having tested the MS5 for quite some time, MS5 is indeed an IEM that’s versatile which allows you to find tune the tuning to your preference via interchangeable nozzle, if you are an adventurous person, Moondrop KATO’s nozzle works with MS5 as well, the same goes to Simgot’s EA500, this opened up more possible tweaking/customisation in terms of the tuning that suits your preference. Hidizs has their own “house sound” which some may or may not like as this is very subjective, that's where the interchangeable nozzle comes into play. At the time of writing, the official price will be 379$ which i believe is fair due to the drivers used. Recommended!

*Hidizs MS5 is being sent over for the purpose of this review. I thank Hidizs for the opportunity. I am not influenced in any way to produce this review nor do I receive any monetary compensation.

Head over to the following link if you are interested in getting a pair! At the time of writing, it is currently on a launching sale price at 379$ instead of 499$, don’t missed out on this opportunity!

Hidizs MS5 - Non affiliated
Hidizs S9 Pro Red Copper - Non affiliated

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Last edited:

littlenezt

100+ Head-Fier
BIG, BOLD, UNIQUE
Pros: Big, Bold Sounding and Full of Resolution
Premium Packaging and Accessories
Replaceable Tuning Filter
Cons: Spicy Treble at Higher Volume
Cable ties ripped the inner of the Pouch
First of all sorry for my weird English and grammatical mistakes, this review is possible thanks to Hidizs Free Global Public Review Program
rest assured, my review is 100% my own subjective opinion

HIDIZS MS5 (1DD+4BA)
Pre-sale price: $379
Just in case you're interested on this IEM and supporting me after reading this review, you can purchase the MS5 using this link below

Link: https://tinyurl.com/ms5lt (affiliated)
Code: LITTLENEZT (5% off) << also usable on other item such as DAP / DAC

"If I had to describe how the MS5 sounds, it's big, bold, warm, unique, and packed with resolution. Initially, the treble didn't seem to be my thing, but eventually, I found myself craving more."

Introduction :


When I hear Hidizs as a brand, I instantly think of great price to performance ratio.
Im pretty excited that Hidizs announced there will be Hidizs MS5 (their newest IEMs) because myself personally never tried Hidizs IEMs before.

So, after winning the Global Public Review lottery, I'm in for a pretty fun ride with the new MS5 from Hidizs, lets see what the MS5 has to offer for us.

Hidizs MS5 differs itself by using Hidizs New Custom Liquid Silicone Dynamic Driver for its good elasticity, quick response and high sensitivity, it also uses Denmark Sonion 4 Balanced Armature Driver and what they call Hidizs Exclusive Solder Process, it uses gold tin wire and its advantages is providing stable and durable components.

lets start with the Packaging and Accessories
The Front of the Box
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The Back
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Opening The Box
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Closer Looks
Pretty Good Looking IEM IMO
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Inside the Box
You get :
  • IEM
  • 3 Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter
  • 9 Pairs of Eartips
  • Premium PU Leather Pouch
  • Premium Cable inside the Pouch
  • Hidizs Document and Card
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Inside the Premium PU Leather Pouch
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Ouch, the cable ties ripped the inner of the pouch, please add plastic / inner pouch cover Hidizs.

Design and Build Quality (materials, shape, and size)

IEM
Design wise its pretty subjective, myself personally didn't mind the dark angel wings shaped of the MS5, though maybe your opinion might differ from me, it also has rose gold color accent, looks pretty good to me.
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As for build quality of the IEM, the shell is made from CNC Aluminium and the faceplate is from skin friendly resin as it is smooth the the touch,
Also it uses 0.78 connector so you can easily replace the cable just in case you want to go balanced route or upgrade the cable.

Though I noticed some minor cosmetic defect on one of the tuning filter, C'mon Hidizs tighten the QC, you can do it, I'm rooting for you !
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CABLES
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The cable made of single crystal copper silver-plated wires and 6N single crystal copper wires mixed with 8 strands, which LOOKS SO PREMIUM for a stock cable, looks and build wise it make my other more premium IEM cable looks dirt cheap, sadly it terminates on 3.5 Single Ended and has weird angle on the 2pin sides, it makes fitting the IEMs a bit of a challenge at least for me.
(subjective things, your mileage may vary)

FITTING
As for shape, size and fitting, the IEM shape is very ergonomic but kinda limited by the cable being not too flexible, or the ear hooks being too thick, OR because I'm wearing glasses, so my advice is to change the cable despites it looks very cool if you're having comfort issues like me.

As for fitting with stock cable, my ears hurts after wearing it for one hours and I can't get proper seal with the stock cable.
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Every time i move my jaw like yawning or opening my mouth the seal is lost, I also can't get deep insertion with the stock cable and it kinda affects the sounds as it makes the treble peaks more pronounced to the lower region (for more details on how insertion depths affect treble peaks use google)

After I changed the cable to the Moondrop Line T (kinda downgrade in a way?) the comfort is pretty good, I can wear the MS5 and aim for deep insertion to reduce the treble spiciness and I can literally wear this for like 4 hours straight without any discomfort.

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SOUND

Tested using Luxury Precision W2-131 Dongle, LOTS OF EARTIPS, Moondrop Line T Cable, ALL Tuning Filters, 300 Hours of burn in.
Music is mostly from Apple Music Lossless with some offline FLAC files.
Genre : J-POP, J-Rock, Anisong, Rap, RnB, EDM, Metal, Jazz

For the Tuning Filter, it can somewhat change the treble tuning and affect the overall warmness of the MS5 to some degree.
  • The “Treble Filter” as it said, makes the treble more pronounced and sparkly as it lacks tuning cottons insides.
  • With the “Balanced Filter” it reduced the treble a little bit and makes it more balanced just like how it named.
  • As for “Bass Filter” it really reduced the treble and somewhat helped a little bit with some issues I have with the treble (more on this later).

Tonality in General : Warm with Spiciness up top (closer to U-Shaped tuning)

Bass : Allrounder quantity bass, its boosted, but not on basshead level.

It has a big, bold, thick, deep, full, dense bass, but also speedy at the same time, can be used for songs with double pedal (metal), tested using song such as Korn – Freak on a Leash, Trivium – Throes of Perdition, Plini, the bass speed can keep up pretty well and you can easily hear each drum notes, the bass also useable for all kinds of genre, EDM, RAP, RnB, you name it, the MS5 can present the bass exceptionally well.

It doesn't only punch well, the bass also has great humming textures, lots of resolution and information on it, If you're searching for a “Hi-Fi Bass” this probably it.

Mid : Lush, thick, very musical, very textured mid, but sometimes vocal and instruments can sounds a bit sharp on some songs (Kick Back – Kenshi Yonezu, One By One – OOR) probably due to the low – mid treble boost that MS5 has and the pinna gain being more relaxed compared to typical referenced type tuning.


Treble : I have a mixed feelings on the treble region. It has good extension, pretty good resolution, smooth upper treble, but somehow the whole lush extended treble experience is a bit ruined by the boost on the low – mid treble area especially if you listen at higher volume (I did this at few first day to compensate the relaxed pinna gain / upper mid, resulting the treble to be a bit spicy)

If you use the “Bass Filter” it helped a bit with the overall spiciness of the treble.
The treble presentation also affect the sharpness of some instruments and vocal.
Though after 300hours of burn in (I know some of you might not believe in such magic) somehow I'm craving more for the treble, it has a unique sounds too it, almost reminds me of the infmaous beyer-peaks but in a good way.


Technicalities

Soundstage
: Above average, not exactly grand, but its big, it has exact wall placement and symmetrical in width and depth size.

Imaging : It images sounds absolutely well, It sounds holographic and very convincing.

Separation and Positioning : The MS5 has great separation and positioning, any songs I play it can handle everything pretty well without any overlapping, as for the positioning, Tested using Valorant and Apex Legends games I can pinpoint the foot steps pretty well,
tested for music, also same impression, very good separation and positioning, I can easily pinpoint which direction the instrument I'm searching for.

Comparison :
Moondrop Blessing 2
: Build wise, B2 Looks more attractive IMO with the transparent resin, but the faceplate cutting on the B2 is not that smooth and has lot of minor flaws (at least on my unit).

B2 Sound is more balanced but a lot thinner than the MS5. B2 is more mids focused but the B2 sounds a bit boring for me, but hey at least the B2 doesn't sounds spicy i guess?

As for the MS5 easily beats the B2 on every aspects.
While the B2 has more balanced tuning in the treble region it has less amount of resolution compared to the MS5.

The MS5 also beats B2 in terms of resolution on the Bass and Mids region.
Soundstage on B2 has the same size to the MS5 but the MS5 presents soundstage with more exact wall placement so the overall experience of staging is better on the MS5.
Imaging also more holographic on the MS5.


As for positioning at least tested by using it for gaming, the B2 is somehow sounds wrong and not accurate for finding foot steps, it can sounds somehow cuts out, not 360 degree accurate while the MS5 didn't have any problem at all, as for music, the MS5 has more pinpoint positioning compared to the B2.

FiiO FD5 : Build wise the FD5 is made from solid stainless steel, it can scratch pretty easily, it also has tuning filter like the MS5.
Fitting wise MS5 is a lot more comfortable compared to the FD5, the FD5 can hurts my ears after only 20 minutes of use regardless of what cable and eartips I use.

Tonality wise, the FD5 sounding towards more W-shaped tuning to my ears.
The FD5 has more punch but less resolution compared to the MS5, forward vocals but less spicy on the treble area.

Technicality wise, the MS5 easily beats FD5 on all aspects.


FiiO FH7 OG : Probably the main inspiration of the MS5 existence (or the FH7s, idk never tried the s version sorry)
Build wise its similar, though FH7 has metal faceplate while the MS5 has skin friendly resin. The FH7 also has tuning filter.

As for tonality, the FH7 sounds more analytical and boring and also sounds a bit spicy up top, it sounds thinner, has less bass, and pretty boring and a bit bright to my ears.
Technicality wise, the MS5 also beats the FH7 on every aspects.


Moondrop S8 : Probably a bit unfair comparison as it is from much different price bracket, but I will put it here just for sake of comparison.

Build wise the S8 is a very beautiful, comfortable IEM and well build, well.. except for the cable, it look dirt cheap compared to the MS5 cable.

The S8 has superior tonality IMO, the S8 tonality is more towards harman target modified by Moondrop (VDSF Target) it is easier on the ears, more allrounder compared to the MS5, but might be a bit boring for some (again, personal preference)

Technicality wise, the S8 easily beats the MS5 but its not far behind.
One thing I really appreciate from the S8 is how good the resolution on all region (bass, mid, treble) without having to push the region too forward.

Conclusion :
The MS5 is a great options if you want a Warm but Spicy tuning, though do be careful if you're a treble sensitive person or not used to a U-Shaped tuning IEMs.
The MS5 is a bit of a love-hate type tuning IEM, if you like this kind of tuning, you will definitely love the MS5, if you dislike this kind of tuning then of course you will probably hate the MS5.

Personally myself after swapping the cable, aim for deep insertion, and using it for almost a month, I kinda hooked up and liking this IEM a lot, it sounds unique and great in a different way, especially in a world of all harman-esque IEM market right now that getting kinda boring TBH, all new release, harman harman and harman.
Hidizs did a great job and very brave on releasing such unique IEM.

Hidizs MS5 is recommended if :
  • You like Big, Bold, Warm but Spicy Tuning
  • You Want Something Different from the all harman-esque crowded market
  • You like high resolution sounding IEMs
  • You like some “bite” to your songs
  • You like lots of customization options

Hidizs MS5 is NOT so recommended if :
  • You're a treble sensitive person and listen at above average loudness / higher volume
  • You dislike U-Shaped Tuning
  • You dislike customization options and prefer to stick with just one fixed tuning
Further Improvements for Hidizs MS5 / Subjective Opinion :
  • Please add plastic cover / inner pouch / change the cable ties as it rips the inner part of the premium quality pouch
  • Tighten the QC
  • Please consider increasing the pinna gain a bit, and reduce the low – mid treble for more balanced tuning.
Just in case you're Indonesian or somehow understand Bahasa Indonesia, here is my review video in Bahasa Indonesia

thats all from me for now, I probably will edit this later for correcting some of my grammatical mistakes

thanks for reading


-littlenezt
Last edited:

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
The black beauty
Pros: + Balanced sound signature that is suitable for most kinds of music
+ Excellent bass response with a tasty emphasis
+ Good bass technicalities
+ Natural and realistic mid-range
+ Well extended and sharp but not bright treble
+ Very spacious and holographic soundstage with accurate imaging
+ Well implemented and very effective tuning system
+ Lightweight and comfortable to wear
+ Excellent build quality
+ Premium carrying case
+ Plenty of eartips
+ High quality cable without microphonic noise
Cons: - Not tuned for reference and critical listening (but this might actually not be a con)
- The bass is a little hollow and slow
- The treble could use some more refinement and timbre realism
- The earshells are slightly bulky
- The cable doesn't include interchangeable plugs
The Hidizs MS5 was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The pre-sale launch price of the MS5 is $379 and you can order it directly from Hidizs.
The regular price is $499.
Hidizs was kind enough to offer an extra %5 discount for the readers.
You can use the code: ICHOS5OFF

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Hidizs

Hidizs was founded early in 2009, when pocket HiFi had just become a thing.At that time, they were pricey and badly made. Digital music sucked in those days, but people didn't really care. Tamson, the founder and the CEO of Hidizs, did care. He was an audiophile and fronted an underground rock band in college. After graduating, Tamson dedicated his life to making HiFi music players for lossless music. As an audiophile, it was a no-brainer; music should be heard as it was intended to be.
With a core staff of over 40 audio-obsessed professionals and decades of combined experience, Hidizs has been able to consistently produce the highest quality portable digital audio players (DAPs), earphones, USB DACs, etc.
You can read more about Hidizs here.

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Hidizs MS5 technical highlights

The Hidizs MS5 is a 4BA & 1DD hybrid 5 drivers in-ear monitor and the current flagship of the company.
It is powered by the Hidizs new custom 10mm liquid silicone dynamic driver which is manufactured with a sandwich injection molding process. Its body is Kevlar with a thickness of only 0.03mm and surrounded by liquid silicone of 0.45mm. Kevlar has ultra-high elasticity, combined with extremely thin liquid silicone to form a dynamic drive with good elasticity, good transient, high sensitivity and quick response. Moreover, the unique physical characteristics of Kevlar enable the internal losses generated by the dynamic drive to absorb vibration and reduce interference, so that the audio glitch is greatly reduced, and the resulting sound is more natural and soft.

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Combined with the MS5's liquid silicone dynamic driver are the Denmark made Sonion balanced armature drivers.
The MS5 is equipped with a total of 4 balanced armature drivers. In the ultra-high frequency, two of the top E50DT high-frequency composite drivers are used, the mid-high frequency is driven by the mid-high frequency 2389 and the low frequency uses the 17A003 low frequency driver.

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The solder joints inside the MS5 earphones use Hidizs exclusive compound material containing gold tin wire. Gold element is extremely stable and not easy to oxidize, which brings many advantages such as stable electronic signal transmission and durable components. It is only used for high-end products, and also improves the fineness of the sound.

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Replaceable "Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter™"

The Hidizs MS5 cavity design features an upgraded "Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter™" replaceable technology. It comes standard with three different configurations of tuning filters. The waveform of the air vibration is adjusted by the pre-designed sound tube structure and the density of the tuning cotton. That is, you can feel a completely different sound style without changing products and tuning styles.

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There are three different filters:

Balanced sound - Rose Gold: Hidizs signature style, suitable for Pop and Folk.
High Frequency emphasis - Quiet Silver: Smoothness improved, suitable for ACG and Classic.
Low Frequency emphasis - Charm Red: Full of energy, suitable for Rock and Heavy Metal.

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Build quality and appearance

MS5 adopts a weight-saving one-piece aluminum alloy cavity design. At the beginning of modeling, the thickness and volume of the metal were reduced as much as possible to achieve a balance of strength and weight. By anodizing the surface of the aluminum alloy cavity, an aluminum oxide film is formed on the surface of the panel, which effectively improves the hardness of the surface of the cavity, makes the panel smoother, and reduces the residue of fingerprint marks. And it can reduce the harmonic resonance inside the earphone cavity, reduce distortion, and make the audio signal output cleaner and more stable.

The panel is made of skin-friendly resin material, and the weight is further reduced through the hollowing process. And after multiple processes such as polishing and spraying, it presents the image of angel wings, like a messenger in the dark night, gazing at the night sky. The space between the panel and the cavity is a rose gold mesh panel, and the overall visual sense is very dazzling. The golden mesh panel can be seen through the hollow wings, which are calm, delicate and profound.

The appearance of the Hidizs MS5 is a little polarizing, some of you will find it too dark and grotesque looking but some others will love it exactly for this unique design.

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Wearing comfort and noise isolation

The earshells and the sound tube of the Hidizs MS5 adopt the multi-surface design where the shape of the entire cavity conforms to the physiological curve of the standard human ear, which can closely fit the contour of the ear and is comfortable to wear for a long time.

The Hidizs MS5 is a little bulky but it is relatively lightweight and the anatomical shape of the cavity helps a lot with the fit making it pretty comfortable for the size and suitable for long term use while passive noise attenuation is very good.

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Cable

The Hidizs MS5 adopts a detachable 0.78mm 2-pin design that allows the MS5 to be used with other cables. The design on the pin has a rather interesting highlight, the plastic curved pin base has been transformed into an angel's armor shape to make the MS5 even more unique looking.
The cable itself is of the highest quality, a total of 504 6N single crystal copper silver-plated wires and 6N single crystal copper wires are mixed in 8 strands to form a tight braided wire.
The outer skin of the wire insulation layer is made of black environmentally friendly PVC material, which is soft and shiny while the 3.5mm plug is made of copper gold-plated copper.
The cable is excellent but unfortunately it doesn't have swappable plugs as much of the competition at this price does.
The cable is also a little heavy for portable use but it doesn't get tangled and it doesn't induce any microphonic noise at all.

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Accessories

Except for the cable and the three sound tuning filters you are also get three different types of silicone ear-tips in three sizes each and a luxurious looking, hard carrying case which has enough space to accommodate both the MS5 and your favorite portable DAC.
The case is of the highest quality, it is made of high-quality PU leather, it is durable, waterproof and tough.
It uses a double-head zipper which is smooth and easy to pull. The leather is equipped with iron sheets, which are reinforced to prevent pressure and deformation, and the interior is supplemented with flannel, which is soft, protective, moisture-proof and reliable.

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Associated gear and power requirements

The Hidizs MS5 have an impedance as low as 5.3Ω with a high sensitivity of 104dB so they are very easy to drive but they are very sensitive to noise.
It is essential that your source is dead silent and it has an output impedance lower than 0.5Ω.
I have used various sources including the iBasso DX240, the FiiO Q7 and the Hidizs S9 Pro.
As per manufacturer's suggestion the MS5 was burned for about 200 hours.
For all the balanced connections, Hidizs was kind enough to send me their BL4.4A-RC single crystal copper balanced upgrade cable.

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Listening impressions

The Hidizs MS5 with the balanced nozzle has a tastefully emphasized bass with even mids and a well extended treble.
The overall sound signature is that of a balanced earphone that leans towards sounding more fun and bassy rather than strictly critical and reference.

The Hidizs MS5 has great sub-bass extension to the lowest notes that can be reproduced with a subwoofer-like intensity.
The presentation is physically impactful, visceral and imposing, full bodied and weighty with a rumbling effect and excellent macro-dynamic contrast.
The bass is tight and controlled, it is well defined and layered but the decay is not that fast and sometimes it will sound hollow and bloomy.
The low end tuning as a whole, is not exactly neutral and linear, it is emphasized but it doesn't bleed into the mid-range and it doesn't sound overpowered.
Strictly speaking, this is not a tonally accurate bass, not all instruments of the symphony orchestra will sound correct, there is a touch of tonal unevenness and some masking effect is present so the bass line is not that clearly resolved and some notes get lost into the translation.

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The mid-range is absolutely fantastic, crystal clear and transparent with excellent articulation and definition.
Full sounding and balanced with great timbre realism, a lush texture and plenty of harmonic variety.
The Hidizs MS5 is engaging and musical, slightly warm in the mids but not dark, it can highlight the unique timbre of each solo instrument or a singer, male and female alike in a very appealing manner.
Ute Lemper is one of my favorite Kurt Weill singers and revisiting her albums with the MS5 was a very atmospheric experience, it felt like sitting inside the smoky cabaret.

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The treble with the balanced nozzle is sparkling and airy, brilliant and transparent with plenty of energy but it doesn't sound bright or piercing, there are no sharp peaks that could lead into listening fatigue.
There is plenty of clarity and good detail retrieval, the MS5 is very resolving but not that refined as someone would expect, the texture is just a little grainy and coarse while it is relatively lacking in intensity compared to the rest of the frequency spectrum.
It is not that the higher frequency drivers are not well integrated with the rest, the treble doesn't sound detached but when listening to acoustic instruments the timbre is slightly metallic and artificial while the decay is faster than the ideal so there is a sense of unevenness to the presentation.

The Hidizs MS5 is surprisingly open and spacious despite its closed back design, the soundstage is really vast but with natural dimensions, the imaging is very precise, all the performers are proportionally positioned and the overall sense is quite holographic and immersive.

The Hidizs MS5 has an attitude, it likes to be the star of the party, it is rocking, it is dancing, it is singing and it can sound bloody amazing with a lot of types of music while it is absolutely fantastic for watching movies and gaming.
One of my favorite moments with the MS5 was when I decided to revisit my favorite Jean Michelle Jare albums that sounded explosive and impressive with a punching bass, an extended stereo field and fantasting sound effects localization.

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The tuning filters

The tuning filters of the Hidizs MS5 are very well designed and implemented, cleverly targeted at fine tuning the presence area which is mostly responsible for the clarity and the definition of the sound.

Treble nozzle

The treble nozzle mildly boosts this area so the treble becomes better defined and transparent with extra sparkle and airiness but not ending in sounding overly bright and sharp.
This is the nozzle for everyone looking for increased brilliance and detail retrieval, more extended treble and generally speaking a higher spirited, luminous and energetic sound signature.

Bass nozzle

On the other hand, the bass nozzle mildly attenuates the presence area so the user gets the notion that the sound becomes more bassy and fuller although the actual low-end frequency response doesn't get affected.
This nozzle makes the MS5 more forgiving and warmer, smoother and less bright but also slightly muted and darker, losing in treble presence, airiness and extension.
A tuning that might work well with lower quality recordings, brighter sources and for people who are sensitive to this particular area.

The interchangeable nozzles are a brilliantly implemented and very effective feature by Hidizs adding great versatility to the MS5.

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Compared to the FiiO FH7S ($399)

The Hidizs MS5 and the FiiO FH7S share the same driver configuration and the tuning nozzles system.
The FH7S is a little more generous with the supplied accessories, you are going to find more types of ear-tips and a high quality cable with interchangeable plugs.

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Their sound signature is so close, to the point that the main audible differences are not that related to the overall frequency response but more to other sound characteristics.
The FiiO FH7S has better control and definition in the bass, it is slightly more impactful and dynamic, fuller, faster and grander sounding.
It is also more refined and resolving in the treble with a fuller texture and better overall integrity but the MS5 is relatively smoother and less bright.
The MS5 is more engaging and realistic sounding in the mid-range, the texture is finer and more robust, it articulates better and is more harmonious.
The FH7S has a semi open design, so naturally someone would expect it to sound more open than the closed back MS5 but surprisingly the latter is the more spacious and extended sounding, it presents the soundstage in a gander manner with better sense of holography and a sharper, more precise imagining than the FH7S.
Additionally the closed back design of the MS5 offers considerably better passive noise attenuation making it the better option for use in noisy environments.
Lastly it should be well noted and emphasized that the tuning nozzles are more effective in the MS5, offering three easily distinguishable sound profiles than in the FH7S where they only mildly affect the overall sound signature.

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In the end

The Hidizs MS5 is a balanced sounding earphone with plenty of bass presence, natural and realistic mids and a well extended but not bright treble.
You can further fine tune it with the nozzles to make it more dark or bright sounding, something that makes it very adaptable and suitable for listening to most kinds of music.
Furthermore it is lightweight and comfortable to use, it is well made and it comes with plenty of eartips, a luxurious carrying case and a high quality cable.
The MS5 is a black beauty, a successful creation by Hidizs which is pointing towards a very promising future.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
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Zerstorer_GOhren

500+ Head-Fier
HIDIZS MS5 DARK ANGEL: Scintillating, Revealing and Idiosyncratic One
Pros: △ High-quality composite shell chassis.
△ Probably, it has one of the best stock cable in the midrange category as it really have that thick, heft and solid build quality yet classy.
△ It has a detachable nozzle with different tuning filters.
△ Three (3) types of sound signatures to choose from each type of nozzle with tuning filter.
△ Tactile and slamming bass.
△ Adequately warm, clean and detailed midrange.
△ Crisp, shimmering and airy treble response (Viva, Trebleheads!)
△ Superb resolution capabilities.
△ 3D-like imaging presentation.
△ Incredible separation and layering aspect.
△ Easy to drive set.
△ Impressive rendering on vocals.
△ A midranger set should deliver a quantity amount of quality inclusions and HIDIZS MS5 definitely delivers it.
Cons: ▽ On balanced and treble tuning filters nozzles, its treble register might be a bit offensive and aggressive on treble-sensitive listeners out there.
▽ Too recessed midrange in my hearing on the bass tuning filter nozzle and I really dislike notch and scoop midrange as it affects the timbre quality of vocals and instruments and definitely not neutral sounding even on other tuning filter nozzles.
▽ Unforgiving on poorly mastered tracks.
▽ Needs some third party ear tips just to improve its sound/speaker stage width as stock included ear tips gives me an average sound/speaker stage width in most cases.
▽ Of all things, where is the cleaning tool kit?
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"Raguel was an Archangel and he was mentioned in some Judeo-Christian traditional lores. He was known to be a God's Bringer of Justice and exact vengeance on some malevolent spirits and fallen angels. He was considered as a Dark Angel."


This is my first review of an IEM earphone from HIDIZS and I did some previous reviews of their products like USB DAC dongles. So, this is my third product review article for them and I'll make sure that I will be fair and honest on my assessment. And also this is my second full review of a particular IEM on a midrange category after the Audiosense AQ7 PRO/Insight.

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HIDIZS MS5 also known as Dark Angel is HIDIZS' latest midrange flagship IEM. This set has a hybrid drivers set-up composed of a single dynamic driver and 4 balanced armature drivers. The said single dynamic driver, especially its diaphragm, is made of composite materials consisting of liquid silicone and kevlar to give faster response, good flexibility and better sensitivity to deliver the best possible bass quality. I'm quite familiar with Liquid Silicone Drivers as I owned 2 IEMs with similar transducers and reviewed a TOTL IEM with the same type of driver. The balanced armature drivers that were implemented along with a single dynamic driver are of high quality and they are made by a premium Danish audio solution company, Sonion. These particular balanced armature drivers each handle specific frequencies, 17A003 supports the bass region to give a more a solid and tactual delivery while the "dual" 2389 is the responsible the midrange to presence treble to give a more lush and expressive quality, and then the E50DT will solely handle the high frequency to give a better resolution, bright sound and good airy extension. All drivers along with some other components were attached and soldered with HIDIZS' exclusive compound material with gold tin wiring as they claims that it provides better signal transmission, more stable and longevity of its materials.

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These drivers are encapsulated in a CNC-milled shell chassis composed of composite materials such as resin and aluminium alloy. The cavity base part of the MS5 is made of aluminium alloy and its surface was undergone in an anodising process to more resistant, hardness and lessens the remnants of fingerprint marks. Its faceplate panel has two-layers, the outer part with hollowed cut holes made of medical-grade resin while inner part act as a buffer and mesh for limiting and reducing the harmonic resonance inside of the IEM cavity base is made of a thin aluminium alloy with tiny bores on it and anodised with rose gold colour to give that dazzling and elegant visual similar to a wings of a dark angel but to be honest in my opinion, it reminds me of some premium bicycle helmets. The overall design of the shell chassis gives it more of a semi-opened back device. As for its interlocking mechanism, it uses a proven and well-tested 2-pin connector. It also has vent holes on the upper surface of the shells.

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The HIDIZS MS5 has a detachable nozzle system in which you choose from its three detachable nozzles with different configuration of tuning filters. HIDIZS called this tech "HIDIZS Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter" as it has pre-constructed acoustic tube form with an implementation of density tuning cotton filters of each type of detachable tuning nozzles for better sonic wave flow.


Here are the three different types of replaceable tuning filter nozzles:

●Red Colour - it focuses on low frequencies, a more vigorous and energetic sound suitable for Rock, EDM and R&B.

●Rose Gold Colour - it is HIDIZS' interpretation of their balanced tuning. The most versatile to all the tuning filters as Pop, Vocals and Folk genres sound more engaging and intense.

●Silver Colour - it pivots more on high frequency to give a more brighter, crisp with even added air on it. Good for Jazz, Classical and Orchestra tracks.

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Another particular facet of HIDIZS MS5 was the high quality of its stock cable. The aforementioned accessory is made of two types of wires, the 6N single crystal silver-plated and 6N single crystal copper ones that were intertwined to make a cohesive 8-core cable with high-quality PVC wire insulators along a solid build, gold-plated copper 3.5mm termination plug. In my opinion, a modular termination plug is a better option given its price but for now a thick and a bit hefty cable is sufficient enough. There are also some cases regarding the unusual angle of its PVC ear hooks that might be problematic to some users but they are quite perfectly contours well to my upper part of the pinna.

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Meanwhile, when it comes to fitting and comfort. The HIDIZS MS5 shells' are well-balanced and its ergonomic design really rests well on my lug holes that I can wear for a long listening session without any issues of being either discomfort, soreness or wear fatigue. Despite its supposedly open-backed design, it has a good passive isolation as it blocks some external noises from outside surroundings. On sealing, this is particularly a very tip-dependant set that you will probably do some ear tip rolling either from included stock ear tips or from third party offerings.


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The product packaging of HIDIZS MS5 is truly impressive on how a midrange-level set should be. It is a total package that really gives us one of the best unboxing experiences to its users if the value of this set really matters either from quality aspect or pricing. It has black-coloured, medium size rectangular box with a coloured printed picture of the MS5 along model series, company logo, Hi-res certification logo and even Sonion's logo at the front, then a product specification, graphs and a manufacturer and international distributor addresses at the back of the box. The inclusions inside were compartmentalised and placed in an orderly manner.

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Here are the following contents included inside the box:

■ a pair of HIDIZS MS5 IEM.
■ an 8-core stock cable in 3.5mm termination plug.
■ a dirty white-coloured hard bound faux-leather zippered IEM case.
■ a metal plate with 2 pairs of detachable nozzles (red and silver)
■ 3 pairs of vocal ear tips of different standard sizes.
■ 3 pairs of balanced ear tips of different standard sizes.
■ 3 pairs of bass ear tips of different standard sizes.
■ some paperwork such as instruction manual, calling card, warranty card and a card with squiggly line graphs of detachable nozzle with its tunings.

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As for amplification, with an impedance of 5.3 ohms, this is really an easy to drive set that I don't even need to crank up more amplitude output as I usually listen from it for at least 40% to 60% volume level from my LG phones, 10%-20% from USB DAC dongles and 20%-30% from my Questyle QP2R DAP in medium gain and standard BIAS mode. That said, a very low impedance rating also worries me that it might be too sensitive to pick up more noise floor from powerful sources with strong power output but it is not always the case even so that try to consider using an impedance adapter that will suit its specific resistance matching. With a decent amount of power output, MS5 sounds very dynamic that reaches the ends of frequency range spectrum.

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I also try to pair them with other HIDIZS products, all of them are USB DAC dongles. S9 Pro will gives a more neutral sound with a hint of energetic and vivid, while the latest XO gives a bit warmer sonic profile that gives a more analogue-ish feel


As for tonality, with its removable nozzles with tuning filters along with proper ear tips (this set is probably the most sensitive that I've ever encountered so far that it benefits on ear tips rolling), it gives a different sound profile. Red-coloured nozzle will give a more distinctive V-shaped sound signature. Rose gold-coloured nozzle is a very balanced, some sort of midcentric type of tuning that HIDIZS' interpretation of a balanced yet very detailed sound. Then, a silver-coloured nozzle is more of a mild U-shaped tuning as it focuses more on emphasis on presence treble.

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Here are some of my observations regarding its sound characteristics from each part of its frequency range.


LOWS/BASS:

This certain part of the frequency range spectrum really surprised me despite that I'm not really a bass head but the quality and quantity of bass response of HIDIZS MS5 is rather remarkable on this one. Punchy, tactile, incisive and zestful which really define its quality that it gives that vibrancy and evocative feel.

Both sub bass and mid bass has its own allocated part and distinct intervals within its bass region. I was able to clearly discern those reverberations and sonority coming from low toned bass guitar, drum machines and synthesisers in some tracks of specific genres such as Rock and Synth-pop.

The mid bass is quite well-bodied and texture to give a more density on the note weight of individual instruments and certain vocal type. Bass drum kicks does have resonant, thunderous and thudding as I feel every strike on bass foot drum from John Bonham's bass kicks on the "When the Levee Breaks Tracks" or Gene Hoglan's masterful rapid double bass kicks works on the "Death is Certain (Life is Not)". Bass guitars have these menacing, weighty and broad that gives more roar and distinctive guttural sound on either from Les Claypool of Primus seminal track "My name is Mud" with its distinguishable slapping style, Steve Di Giorgio's extraordinary fretless on some Sadus tracks like "Certain Death" and "Desolator", and Patricia Morrison bass line on Sisters of Mercy's track, "Lucretia My Reflection". On bass-baritone vocals, it has those deep, thick and dense that both Andrew Eldritch and Barry White voices are very detailed; you even feel their breath and vocal cord depth.



MIDRANGE:

With different nozzles with specific tuning filters, it registers different presentations. The red nozzle gives a more hollow and indented presentation of the midrange while the silver one gives a slight recession with added more energetic sound. The rose gold coloured is definitely my preference as I am bias towards midcentric tuning on how it gives a more balanced yet lively, accurate and very transparent sound to give the best possible detailed sound quality and clarity in this particular frequency range.

Depiction on the qualities of vocals and instruments are actually one of HIDIZS MS5's strongest assets. On male vocals, all types of baritones from lyrical and dramatic have these warm, velvety and rich on how I perceive them from Lenny Kravitz, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Rob Halford of Judas Priest (on his tessitura). And then tenor vocals have one of the most accurate vocal reproductions as they have that brassy, dazzling and "spicy" quality on them either on voices of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Justin Timberlake, Dio and Robert Plant. On the female vocals, it is quite pleasant to listen and be captivated by the deep, husky and rich voices of contraltos like Annie Lennox, Anggun, Sade and Tracy Chapman. Mezzo-sopranos have this velvety, smooth and tender qualities that comforts and mesmerises our ears with the likes of Andrea Corr, Enya and Adele. The rendition of sopranos are actually one of MS5's strongest point on how it a gives that euphonic and silvery sense on this particular vocal range on either lyrical or coloratura types. It has these crystalline, rangy, silky and gleaming as I listen to Mariah Carey, Alison Krauss, Olga Pereyatko and Diana Damrau (I really love her vocal clarity on the "Die Zauberflöte").

As for instruments, from percussive to brass instruments, MS5 will deliver the most natural and accurate tone of each type of instrument. On strings like violins and guitars (electric or acoustic types), there's a sense of liveliness of sound of the violins as they have this sensuous, brilliant and vibrant sound on them while guitars have this crisp, shimmering and sustaining sound on them, even Tommi Iommi's signature guitar tone which is known to have a thick, midrangey sound was depicted in a life-like manner. On brass instruments, trumpets have these intense, powerful and full sounding notes and trombones have these eruptive, intense and penetrating notes in every hitting on its valve note. Woodwinds like flutes and saxophones, the prior have these bright, rich and brilliant sounds on them with an airy sensation on them while a more sonorous, velvety and warm sound on the latter instrument that I mentioned. Meanwhile on percussions, toms and snares have these penetrating, venerable and hard-hitting sound that gives that intensity and vigour sound while marimbas have these sonorous and melodious characteristics then glockenspiels have these brilliant and jingling sound on them. Celestas have these silvery and bell-like sound to give its "heavenly" vibe and Piano tones are quite versatile depending on its tuning from warmer and lusher tone similar to German antique pianos to brighter and brilliant sound of some American and Japanese ones (Kawai).


HIGHS/TREBLE:

Depends on the tuning filters, but it does improve the emphasis of the upper mids to brilliance treble region in a marginal significance. Both balanced and treble tuning filters have almost indistinguishable quantity and quality. The treble quality of MS5 is bright, glistening and airy as it tickles my treble-headed side. It seems that I don't encounter the sibilance and harshness on the upper mids on the balanced filter but on the treble filter + vocal ear tips, there are some hints of having one on some sibilant-laden tracks, on which I still consider it as a borderline.

Those emphasis on upper-mids to presence treble will give you that excellent crisp, clarity and a very delineate sound quality that it gives the spicy and intensity might be an issue to some treble sensitives out there. Cymbals have this shimmering quality and with a good sizzling sound that also defines its remarkable treble air extension to give a sparkle. This kind of treble quantity adds ups a sense of high fidelity. Hi-hats have this shortened lustrous and metallic sound on them.


SOUNDSTAGE, IMAGING AND OTHER TECHNICALITIES:

As I mentioned a while ago about this set that was quite sensitive to ear tip rolling, it really affects the perceived size of its sound field dimensions. Using its included stock ear tips gives me an average to above average sound/speaker stage width which I really think is a bit inadequate. It has good height reach and excellent depth from the front to back, which give me adequate headroom within my aural grasp.

Imaging is actually one of its strongest assets on how it gives a 3D-like spatial presentation. I was able to identify the positioning of instruments and vocals with almost surgical accuracy with its spatial field. It also has an excellent separation as I was able to distinguish the spacing and gaps of each element. Another forte of MS5 was its layering capability, both frequency and dynamic tone of layers have its own distinctive region which is quite amazing on multi-instrumental tracks like orchestra to have a solid sound on its sonic canvas.

There is also a good cohesion and coherency on its drivers, as the dynamic drivers has a more responsive to deliver such attack and faster transient while the balanced armatures perform a supporting role for better details and clarity. Timbre seems to on balanced and natural side of tone but some percussive instruments has some enhancements on projecting its tonal colour.

On resolution capabilities, it has a strong fundamentals that deliver a strong macro-dynamics while it has an incredible definition on its micro-details as it retrieves some subtleties and nuances from its audio track data. All I can say is that it has a very sharp delineation and quite contrasting on extracting details.

In general, MS5's overall technical performance is somehow almost reaching a TOTL-level but there are aspects that still need some further refinement.



PEER COMPARISONS:

(Note: MS5 uses a balanced filter nozzle)


DUNU SA6

DUNU SA6 shells are made of high quality medical-grade resin. It has a bass vent toggle switch to improve the bass quality (which I didn't test it out). Unlike MS5, SA6 is an all-balanced armature drivers consist of Knowles and Sonion.

■ On the side of tonality, SA6 takes a more balanced-neutral tuning. It has a sufficient bass thump, a balanced yet textured midrange and smoother treble response but compare to MS5, it is less airy and just have an enough sparkle. I still prefer the quality of the midrange on SA6 as it is still my reference in under $600/£480 to have a clean, natural yet textured.

■ On technicalities, both have similar performance but I give the MS5 on separation, layering and resolution capabilities. MS5 has a sharper definition on resolution while SA6 have a more natural and balanced resolution on resolving details and nuances.


AUDIOSENSE AQ7 PRO/INSIGHT

■ Unlike MS5, AQ7 INSIGHT has a moulded, high quality medical-grade, UIEM-shaped resin shell chassis. Its internals has similar transducers setup with MS5 as it has a dynamic driver with six Knowles BAs, but its own acoustic tubings for its drivers with an electronic frequency divider. It uses an MMCX connector as its interlocking mechanism for its cable with termination plug.

AQ7 INSIGHT has a "referenced-neutral" sound profile as it has a tighter bass response, a more pristine and transparent midrange and elevated treble which gives a more crisp, detailed and better airy extension. AQ7 INSIGHT is more refined and suits better for audio professional use.

■ Overall technical capabilities, both AQ7 INSIGHT and MS5 are almost alike with exception that the former has a wider sound/speaker stage width that doesn't need some ear tip rolling for optimum performance.


CAMPFIRE AUDIO ANDROMEDA (2017 or 2018?)

Andromeda is an all-BA driver set of unspecified brand of balanced armature drivers ( probably a customised variant), It has a solid aluminium alloy shell chassis with it own acoustic chamber tech called T.A.E.C. (Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber) to give a better treble air and clarity and greatly reduces the chances of strident sounding and sibilance. I almost forgot that Andromedas are very sensitive devices that prone to high audible noise floor.

■ Tuning-wise, Andromeda takes a more mild-U shaped sound signature. It has a sufficient punchy bass, a tad warmer and neutral midrange then a more smoother and airier treble response. Since it has only a BA driver for its bass, it doesn't have that depth and dynamism compare to MS5's bass register though when it comes to treble response, Andromeda's treble is somehow a little bit smoother, more linear as it give a more "safer" treble quality and even a bit airier.

■ Technicalities were indeed Andromeda's strongest asset but BA timbre was quite more present as I perceived those tad metallic and tizzy sounding in most cases but it is just my nitpicking.


In my conclusion about this set, it seems that HIDIZS had delivered such an amazing product in the midrange category. With its detachable tuning filters, excellent built quality on its shell and high quality inclusions, HIDIZS MS5 will be a compelling offer that audio enthusiasts will notice.


HIDIZS MS5 has its quirks to have a unique tuning might be new to others' lug holes but for some treble heads out there, this might be their choice. If you love tracking the quality of vocals and instruments on more complex music genres like jazz, orchestras and movie scores, then this is the set that you are waiting for in the midrange category.


HIDIZS MS5 is now available and you can check it out in HIDIZS official store HERE.


Check out my other reviews of HIDIZS products:


HIDIZS S9 PRO

HIDIZS XO


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SPECIFICATION:


MODEL: HIDIZS MS5 DARK ANGEL
IMPEDANCE: 5.8Ω
SENSITIVITY: 104dB
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz – 40KHz
CABLE LENGTH: 1.2M
PIN TYPE: 2-PIN CONNECTOR (0.78MM)
PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm
DRIVER UNIT(S): (1) DYNAMIC DRIVER + (4) BALANCED ARMATURE DRIVERS



Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)


Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*


P.S.

I am not affiliated to HIDIZS nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to ZOIE HELLO of HIDIZS for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate their generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.

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o0genesis0o

Headphoneus Supremus
Hidizs MS5 - Lean and mean machine for orchestral and soundtracks
Pros: + Different tonality than the usual Harman-inspired IEMs
+ Excellent bass response
+ Very good soundstage imaging
+ Laid-back midrange
Cons: - Timbre of cymbals, hi-hats, and other high-pitched instruments
- Might be too much treble for some listeners
- The stock cable might be uncomfortable for some listeners
Hidizs is well-known for its electronic products, such as the AP80 micro music player series and the S series of DAC/amp dongles. Less known is their IEM product line, often featuring peculiar tonality and user-adjustable tuning mechanisms.

Today, we look at the upcoming flagship of the Hidizs IEM line, the MS5. Sporting a 1+4 configuration, does MS5 has what it takes to enter the ultra-competitive “mid-fi” bracket. Let’s talk about IEM.

If you prefer to listen rather than read my review, you can find a detailed review on YouTube here:



If you prefer reading and skimming, read on, my friends.

Forewords​

  • My review aims to tell you where they are within a consistent and simple scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). Scores are assigned by A/B tests against benchmark IEMs, regardless of the retail price.
  • I focus on the poorly-defined yet important “technical performance”, such as resolution, soundstage, and imaging.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • This review is based on a review sample from Hidizs (Thank you!). I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Hidizs.
  • The unit will retail for $399 here: https://tinyurl.com/4a254759. Pre-sale event starts from EST 2023.4.21 12:00am at a discount price of $379. Hidizs offers you additional 5% discount on top of the already discount price if you use the following discount code during the pre-sale event: INEARGEMS5OFF

Specs​

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  • Driver: 1DD (10mm) + Sonion 17A003 + Sonion 2389 + Sonion E50DT (2 BA in one unit)
  • Connector Type: 2-pin
  • Impedance: 5.3ohm
  • Sensitivity: 104dB

Non-sound Aspects​



As you can see in my unboxing video, the accessories that come with MS5 is generous. I was particularly impressed by the cable. It is not the softest cable due to its thickness, but the wires and the braiding look and feel high quality. Unfortunately, the cable terminates with a 3.5mm. As far as I know, Hidizs does not offer an option to get MS5 with a 4.4mm cable.

Despite the quality, the cable was where I had the most problem with the fit and comfort of MS5. Simply put, the ear hooks on the cable are too aggressive that they pinch my ears hard and press the ear pieces against my outer ears. My left ear started to hurt after one hour. I might remove the ear hooks to salvage the cable since it is high-quality.

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Besides the cable, I have no other fit and comfort issues to report. The earpieces are medium-sized and have long nozzles. I used my own Spin Fit W1 tips and opted for a shallower fit, mitigating any comfort issues and extending the soundstage width. I had no pressure build-up or vacuum feeling in long listening sessions.

The isolation of MS5 is more than expected, given the generous venting on the faceplates. I’m not sure whether the grills on the faceplates are for acoustic tuning or just for decoration. I can use these IEMs on commute without increasing the volume.

How it sounds​

Sources for listening tests:

  • Fiio K7 (for all A/B tests)
  • Shanling M6 Ultra
  • Hidizs S9 Pro
Local FLAC files ripped from CDs or bought from Qobuz were used for most casual listening and A/B tests. My playlist for A/B tests can be found on Apple Music here.

All listening was done with the Treble nozzle and Spin Fit W1 ear tips. I listen at a medium-low level. Volume is adjusted so that the focal vocals and instruments are clear unless overwhelming bass or treble peaks prevent me from doing so.

Tonality and Timbre: 3/5 - Average​

Frequency response of MS5. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.

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Tonality or “tuning” is where objectivity and subjectivity meet. Objectivity exists in the squiggly lines above, called Frequency Response (FR) graphs. They are created by sweeping a signal from 20Hz to 20kHz and measuring the corresponding loudness coming from an IEM. Unless a human operator deliberately tampers with the microphone or the data, FR does not care about the price or prestige of an IEM and, therefore, is “objective.”

However, human listeners are not microphones. Our ears and brain interpret the sound and decide whether it is “enjoyable.” It is also beneficial to remember that when you play a note on a musical instrument, multiple sounds (fundamental and harmonic) appear simultaneously and mix together. Achieving a life-like balance between frequencies and adding a tasteful amount of imbalance (“colouring the sound”) is the hallmark of an excellent tonality.


The overall tonality of MS5 can be described as U-shaped. It has prominent (sub)bass, prominent (mid)treble, and relatively neutral midrange.

It means that if I listen to music performed by a rock band, such as Hotel California by the Eagles, I can hear prominent kicks and bass guitar. I can also hear cymbals cutting through the mix. The vocal and guitars (midrange) are sandwiched in the middle. However, as MS5 is U-shaped rather than V-shaped, all midrange instruments sound natural. There is only a hint of warmth due to the 3dB boost at 250Hz. This presentation differs from aggressive V-shaped IEMs that boost the bass to 500Hz or 1000Hz, making vocals thick and muffled.

MS5’s midrange is more laidback than V-shaped or Harman/DF-tuned IEMs. Singers never feel so loud or close to your face (shouty). There is no grating feeling when they hit high notes, either. The reason is that the ear-gain boost is only 5dB rather than the usual 12.5dB of Harman-tuned IEMs. However, the midrange still feels correct because the ear gain is placed at the right place (peaking at 3kHz, no weird hump at 1.25kHz).

The bass of MS5 is as big as the graph suggests. It has good rumble, good decay, and a clean attack. I will discuss it further when we discuss percussion rendering and bass quality.

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The most divisive aspect of MS5 would be the lower-treble and mid-treble response (around 5kHz to 8kHz). If you have been hanging around the lower-priced bracket of the IEM market where Harman-inspired IEMs reign, the treble tuning of MS5 would surprise you. With Harman-inspired IEM, the upper-midrange at 3kHz would be the highest frequency response point, bringing all the focus to the vocals and instruments. Cymbals and hi-hats would play a supporting role, easily seen by the subdued treble energy after the 3kHz peak.

The treble tuning of MS5 is more in-line with IEMs in the kilo buck market, notably the Noble Audio Kublai Khan and Unique Melody MEST series. These IEMs, including MS5, produce more zings and shimmering to the sound due to the emphasis on the frequency region where cymbals, hi-hats, and chimes exist. The focus at 5kHz also increases the snappiness of note attacks, such as the plucks of guitar strings or articulations of a bow on violin strings. Due to the subdued upper midrange (3kHz), this treble response is not tiring for me, even after long listening sessions.

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However, the treble response of MS5 has two issues.

An imbalance between 3kHz, 5kHz, 8kHz, and 12kHz makes cymbals, hi-hats, and hand claps unnatural in some recordings. The problem is the most prominent with G.O.A.T. by Polyphia. The problem is also more noticeable with the stock tuning nozzle. Both the bass and treble nozzles reduce the oddity of MS5 treble to only a few tracks in my library, so I stick to the treble nozzles for extra zings and perceived clarity.

Second, there can be sibilance due to the emphasis at 8kHz. For instance, when I listen to Ed Sheeran’s Shivers, I hear sibilance when he hits words with SH, S, or X. However, I don’t hear the usual grating and shoutiness when he hits higher notes that I usually hear with, say, Moondrop Blessing 2, so it’s a trade-off.

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In summary, I can approach the tuning of MS5 from two angles. The first angle is the novelty, the daring to bring “wonky audiophile” tuning from the high-end market, creating one of the most refreshing listening experiences so far. From this angle, MS5 deserves a 4 or even 5.

On the other hand, handling treble leaves something to be desired, especially if you pay a lot of attention to your cymbals and hi-hats. I don’t have much problem because I mostly listen to orchestral and soundtracks, where the treble response brings great benefits. However, I acknowledge the potential problem for many listeners. Therefore, I rate the tonality of MS5 as Adequate - 3/5.

Resolution, Detail, Separation: 4/5 - Good​

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Resolution is a fascinating subject due to the difficulty of pinning down what it really is. To me, “resolution” can be separated into “macro” and “micro” levels. The “macro resolution” is synonymous with instrument separation. In general, if note attacks are very crisp and precise, musical instruments in a song would be distinctive even when they overlap on the soundstage. The “micro resolution” dictates how many details you can hear at the note tails. Many IEMs are good at macro- but mediocre at micro-resolution. A few are vice versa.

I find the resolution of MS5 to be at a good level. It does not leave me wanting when I use it as my everyday carry IEM, leaving the U12T and the Andromeda at home. It does not mean that MS5 has reached the top-of-the-line (TOTL) level of resolution, but it does a great job with my library of orchestral and soundtracks.

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The macro resolution of MS5 is within the same level as Blessing 2. For instance, when I listen to the Presto movement of Vivaldi’s Summer violin concerto, I can separate and track individual instruments without too much effort. In direct A/B tests, the improvement in depth and separation of MS5 compared to Moondrop Aria (3/5 - Average) is easily noticed, even without paying attention. The difference between MS5 and Blessing 2 is much more challenging to spot. MS5’s soundstage has more depth, so the instruments seem more separated. Blessing 2, on the other hand, has a crunchy feeling to the note attacks, creating an illusion of more defined musical notes. Both MS5 and Blessing 2 feel congested and less separated when compared directly to the Andromeda 2020 and the U12T with Presto.

The micro resolution of MS5 is noticeably better than Blessing 2, approaching the Andromeda level. For instance, when I listen to the Flute Partita in A minor, I can hear more nuances, such as breaths, the air within the tubes, and the pressing of pads and valves with both MS5 and the Andromeda. With Blessing 2, I feel like a weak blur filter is applied to the music, smoothening the micro details that I can hear with other IEMs. The U12T is one step ahead with more details in room reverberation and air.

In summary, I would still place MS5’s resolution around Blessing 2’s level: 4/5 - Good. Yes, the micro details of MS5 are a bit better. However, you would likely pay more attention to the macro details/separation in everyday, casual listening. On that aspect, MS5 can be better than Blessing 2 but does not enter the TOTL level (5/5) yet.

Percussion Rendering: 5/5 - Excellent​

Percussion rendering reflects how well the tuning and technical performance of an IEM work together to recreate realistic soundof a drum set. Good drum hits have a crisp attack (controlled by frequencies from 4kHz to 6kHz), full body (midbass frequencies around 200Hz), and physical sensation (sub-bass frequencies around 50Hz). Good technical performance (“fast” driver) ensures that bass notes can be loud yet detailed. IEMs that cannot control bass very well tend to reduce the bass’ loudness to prevent muddiness.

MS5 has a satisfying bass response. The amount of bass is high, and the quality of the bass does not disappoint.

For instance, when I listen to Skyrim’s main theme (Dragonborn), I feel a strong sense of rumble due to the war drums used by the orchestra throughout the recording. I can also hear the clear attacks of notes on the bass drum rather than a continuous but dull rumble provided by some sub-bass-focused IEMs.

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Another good example is the iconic opening of Hotel California (1994 live version). I can hear clear attacks from the kick drum, with noticeable rumble and resonance of the bass across the soundstage. Due to the balance between bass and midrange, MS5 even out punches and out rumbles my U12T. At the same time, I can hear a clear separation between the kicks and the bass guitar.

In summary, the bass presentation of MS5 is somewhere between the lean and precise U12T and the all-out bass of IEMs like Final Audio E5000. It is indulgent and satisfying without being sloppy. 5/5 - Excellent.

Stereo Imaging (Soundstage): 4.5/5 - Very Good​

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Stereo imaging or “soundstage” is a psychoacoustic illusion that different recording elements appear at various locations inside and around your head. Your brain creates based on the cues in the recording, which are enhanced or diminished by your IEMs, DAC, and amplifier. Some IEMs present a wide but flat soundstage. Some present a “3D” soundstage with layering, depth, and height. In rare cases, with some specific songs, some IEMs can trick you into thinking that the sound comes from the environment (a.k.a., “holographic”)

Soundstage imaging is another bright spot of MS5’s presentation. Due to the laidback midrange and the treble peak in the “air” region, MS5 has a spacious soundstage. Singers, bands, and orchestras take a few steps back from my head. The sense of layering between closer and further away instruments is also prominent.

With both the presto movement of Vivaldi’s Summer and G.O.A.T. by Polyphia, I can immediately hear more depth and layering when switching from Aria and Blessing 2 to MS5. Not only the whole stage is less in my face, but the distance between closer and farther instruments is also more pronounced, making the music less congested. Due to the 8kHz emphasis, MS5 also has a strong sense of height. For instance, cymbals and hi-hats can appear from above my head with some recordings.

The instrument placement of MS5 is quite close to Andromeda 2020. However, the Andromeda is more incisive and precise. The furthest layer of the stage, such as the cheers in Hotel California, is also a bit further away and more “holographic” with Andromeda.

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I also used MS5 to play some games and watch some FPS gameplay. The IEM provides strong localisation ability. I can pinpoint the direction and distance of gunshots. The only limitation I can think of is the accuracy of the height information. However, this issue is only prominent when I A/B MS5 directly against Andromeda.

In summary, the soundstage imaging capability of MS5 is a solid step up from the usual “good” level, represented by the Moondrop Blessing 2. However, it needs a bit more precision and perhaps extra energy in the upper treble region to truly capture that holographic illusion of the TOTL level. 4.5/5 - Very Good.

Conclusion​

MS5 represents yet another interesting interpretation of a good IEM from Hidizs. Its tuning takes a page from some kilo-buck TOTL IEMs with a neutral-warm midrange, strong bass, and strong treble presence. The resolution is good, whilst the soundstage imaging and bass response are excellent. Suppose your library consists primarily of orchestral music and soundtracks that benefit from space and bass. In that case, the Hidizs MS5 receives a high recommendation from this reviewer.

Pros:

  • Different tonality than the usual Harman-inspired IEMs
  • Excellent bass response
  • Very good soundstage imaging
  • Laid-back midrange
Cons:

  • Timbre of cymbals, hi-hats, and other high-pitched instruments
  • Might be too much treble for some listeners
  • The stock cable might be uncomfortable for some listeners
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Updated: April 8, 2023
Last edited:
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