HiFi BOY Dream

Rating:
3.66667/5,
  1. dheepak10
    Nail the fit to nail the sound!
    Written by dheepak10
    Published Jul 6, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Amazing, realistic Sound stage width
    Super fast and deep bass with a nice texture
    Extended treble with a nice sparkle and airiness
    Slightly smooth vocals with enough texture.
    Cons - Difficult to get the right fit
    Cymbal decays are noticeably slow; slightly artificial sounding treble
    Depth of sound-stage is below average.
    The HiFi Boy Dream retails for around $89 at the time of the review on Penon Audio.

    https://penonaudio.com/hifi-boy-dream.html

    I was given a review sample by Penon Audio free of charge, and this, in no way, influences my review of these earbuds.

    Build, Packaging and Fit

    The earbuds come delivered is one of the most professional packaging I have ever seen from the east. Penon Audio gets the applause for this. The packaging is simple, yet a practical jewel-box case with magnetic closure. Nicely lined in a foam base, are presented a case containing the earbuds and foams, an in-flight adapter and a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adapter. Also, present is a nice, blue, Velcro cable organizer with Penon branding.
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    The earbuds are made entirely of metal with plastic rings. There are 4 colours on offer – coffee/black, gold, rose gold and silver. The cable has an interesting look – exposed copper internals in a transparent case. The cable also has a transparent splitter and a chin-slider and comes with an L-shaped plug.
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    The earbuds are on the larger side and this combined with the smooth, slippery nature of the material does not result in a great fit. I had to dabble with various foams before I found the perfect fit and position to enjoy them. More on that in the later sections. Fit, in general, is a nightmare and it loses half-a-point solely due to the fit.
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    Foam Matching

    The most important bit prior to the actual review, in case of earbuds, is running through the entirety of foam types available at every nook and corner of the house and in the case of the HiFi Boy dream, it was quite critical for me – I can’t use them without foams like most other buds; they just won’t stay put.

    That said, the following foam types were tried –

    Stock Donut foams – Dense, covers the rear vents significantly, resulting in a very warm sound with slightly booming bass. Also, the nice sparkle at the top is no more a sparkle.
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    Generic Donut foams – Sourced off Aliexpress, less denser, bigger face area. Much better sound that stock foams, but didn’t indulge me.

    Thin Foams – Sourced from my Willsound MK2 box, the perfect combination of warmth and sparkle. This is the foams in which I would be reviewing these earbuds.
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    Setup for the review

    The basic premise for the review was my LG G6 with music sourced from Tidal via UAPP and local FLAC files – 16 bit and 24 bit. The music files were all played bit-perfect through UAPP app.

    In a normal review, this section would end here, but in the case of the HiFi Boy Dream, there more. So take a look at the picture below (The human ear anatomy :). Source: here):
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    When worn like normal earbuds, the HiFi Boy Dream seems to be lacking in the bass section with poor extension into sub-bass frequencies. Initially, I felt the same about these, but then, with a little adjustment, my earbuds were now wedged between the ‘Tragus’ and the ‘Antitragus’, which makes they directly face at the ear canal and voila the bass is much better and they have a nice extension too. So this is how I normally wear the Hifibou Dream during my listening session with them – not comfortable for longer session. Also, getting the fit right takes some time.

    Wait, we are not done yet. One last thing. On initial listening listening, the Dream seems to have a V-shaped sound with noticeable recessed mids. I increased the volume to get the mids to a level of forwardness that I appreciate and the rest of the review was done at this volume.
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    So, how do they sound?

    With the volume set to my levels of preference, they HiFi Boy Dream has a nice Holographic feel to it – primarily due to the soundstage width it offers, combined with the V-shaped signature.

    So, let me start with something the HiFi Boy Dream is excellent at – the width of the soundstage. Decks Dark by Radiohead starts with different instruments on left and right at quite a distance and the voice perfectly centered. Bass guitar is meaty, snare drums lack the bite but have a decent impact. At around the 3:30 mark, the same bass note is played in the piano and bass guitar and can be heard distinctly – the piano on the center and the bass guitar to the left, while the right plays a higher rolling note. If you try this track and think ‘What is this guy on? I only hear a single bass instrument playing at around the 3:30 mark with the exception of 1 note’, then it is time to upgrade J. That said, the haunting nature of the track comes out alive on the HiFi Boy Dream.

    Maggot Brain by funkadelic starts off again with impressive width being demonstrated by these earbuds throughout the entirety of the track. The over-driven guitar and piano together make such a psychedelic groove and the HiFi Boy Dream gets its so perfect that you can close your eyes let the electric signals of your brain go on over-drive.

    While the width demonstrated by the HiFi Boy Dream is excellent, the same cannot be said about the depth. The depth displayed on tracks like Bubbles by Yosi Horikawa and The National Anthem by Radiohead are strictly average. In fact, on the latter, the holographic feel of the track doesn’t come out well and it sounds quite 2-dimensional with very little in the direction of the 3rd plane. Also, the smoothed out rendering of vocals doesn’t work great on this track. Moreover, when the track gets busy, two things are brought forth:

    - the exceptional instrument separation displayed by the HiFi Boy Dream with sufficient airiness to the sounds

    - the artificial/digital sounding highs; while every instrument sounds true to nature in the cacophony, cymbals are more of a digital simulated sound and the decay is quite slow, making 2 subsequent hits fuse together.

    The artificial treble is seen, not just on this track, but on some other too and is instantly noticeable on live tracks where the sound of audience applauding is captured – the claps sound like a very poor quality recording. Even on tracks like Shibuya by Covet, where the ride cymbal is in play almost throughout the track, they don’t sound quite satisfying owing to the artificial nature of their rendering and the slowness of cymbal decay. In fact, I would say this issue is the Achilles’ heel of the HiFi Boy Dream.

    Rendering of the layering in tracks is another strength of the HiFi Boy Dream – tracks from artists like Enya, Muse and Puscifer play great on the HiFi Boy Dream.

    The Dream has a lot of things going for it and the driver speed is another one of those. On a track like Get Lucky by Daft Punk, where the tempo of the track is easily affected by the speed of the bass response, the Dream renders it with a tempo which I felt was faster than what I am used to, in general. The bass guitar notes start and decay in a fraction of a second and has the perfect amount of texture and every micro detail is served on a platter.

    Vicious Delicious by Infected Mushroom is a track which benefits a lot from a fast driver and the Dream renders it exceptionally well with the synth notes of various frequencies and speed of these notes taking you to wonderland. At around the 2 minute 40 mark, the kicks get super-fast and the bass notes of the Dream are in and out before you can notice it.

    Das Spiegel by Chemical Brothers is a track that you would generally not appreciate on a regular earphone – the sound is more of 1s and 0s in quick successions. On the HiFi Boy Dream, this track comes alive and is so fast that your brain has to catch-up on what just happened. Such a clean performance!!

    When it comes to bass notes, the Dream is nothing short of spectacular, it can dig deep into the lows on tracks like Breathe into me and Deep by Marian Hill – both mid-bass and sub-bass quite impressive. Breath into me is an acid test for most earbuds and you can hear some blanks in the bass notes, but not on the HiFi Boy Dream.


    Once adjusted to the right volume, the mids of the Dream are no slouch either; Ed Sheeran’s voice on One has the right amount of texture and warmth, no emphasis on nasal sound or graininess which is usual seen associated with slightly boosted upper frequencies. Fret noise sounds natural and kick drums have the right amount of weight and reverb. Skinny Love by Birdy is another track with comes with built-in sibilance – the Dream renders it almost true to the source, albeit some smoothness to the vocals.

    Conclusion:

    The HiFi Boy Dream is a wonderful earbud and at the price of $89 is a perfect upgrade to most of us who dwell in sub $50 earbuds. It would have deserved a full 5-star, if not for the slowness of cymbal decay that it portrays in most tracks and the fit. I detest the fit; sadly, it’s all about the fit – if you get it right, you’ll love these, else you may not see yourself using these on a regular basis. But I got to give it to the Dream, it is a well-tuned earbud that delivers on more occasions than not and leaves you wonder, where’s the hype-train for such an impeccably tuned earbud.
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  2. Kervsky
    Earbud Awakening
    Written by Kervsky
    Published May 31, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sounds balanced, good detail and clarity, has ok bass, has good mids and highs, relatively easy to drive, feels sturdy and can likely take a few hard knocks without trouble.
    Cons - Could stand to have a bit more bass impact, accessories could have included ear hooks instead of the adapter plugs.
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    Introduction: HiFi Boy is a relatively new audio company based in China, where their first venture in audio gear manufacturing was the OS V3, which I reviewed previously and it turned out to be a great hybrid IEM. Now their second product is the HiFi Boy Dream earbud which is in my hands right now thanks to Penon Audio and HiFi Boy. You can purchase it at Penon HERE if you wish. Now lets see if the Dream lives up to it's name.

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    Unboxing: The HiFi Boy Dream came in a vacuum sealed box that looks like the OS V3 packaging with the Dream pictures and data all around it via a slide off cardboard sleeve that covers the magnet latched box.

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    On the side, variations of the Dream color options can be found, there's Silver, Rose Gold, Coffee (the one I have) and Gold. The handy Penon cable organizer is always a welcome addition to the package.

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    Specification:
    Driver: 16mm Dynamic Driver
    Impedance: 32Ω
    Sensitivity: 100db
    Frequency Response: 15Hz-23Kz
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm
    Wire: 5NOFC

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    Packaging Contents: is the same as the OS V3, where a 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter and an airplane adapter comes with the HiFi Boy branded hard pouch.

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    Inside the hard pouch is a small resealable pouch with 2 pairs of donut foam and the HiFi Boy Dream itself with a pair of donut foams already installed.

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    Build and Fit: The Dream plug is made of plastic that looks like resin, it's solid but also slightly flexible specially with the strain relief area. The plug is capped by a metal sheath that carries the Dream name and has a gold plated 3.5mm plug.

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    The splitter and chin adjuster is made of the same resin like plastic of the plug and looks simple, functional but at the same time, has it's own insect in amber kind of allure. The cable looks good with the shell and feels smooth, flexible and doesn't have a lot of springiness to it.

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    The huge 16mm dynamic driver earbuds are housed in a brown aluminum shell and covered with a metallic screen, framed by a plastic rim attaching them together. There are 3 vent holes on each shell and a small L/R indicator that will both always face front, which helps identify which is left and right. With it's size and my ears, the best way this could ever fit me well enough for testing was with thicker donut foams and hung on ear like an IEM. But once it's in place, barring any sudden movement the Dream held in place with some seal.

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    Sound Stuff:
    The Dream is not my first earbud, but I was a bit taken back when I first tried it, there was a quality that I couldn't put my finger on when I tried it on my R6, was it midcentric? It sounded like it, but at the same time the highs got my notice with a certain nostalgia, then the bass was present but not in your face. I knew it was good, but it took a bit of time to figure out what made me like it.

    Lows: The Dream has a good amount of bass that is moderately felt with adequate extension and rumble that sounds natural and a touch warm (if fitted correctly with a good enough seal, otherwise, bass may sound a bit curtailed or pulled back.) Mid bass has a good enough body with light impact to help bring the overall bass experience up to a relaxing but fun sounding experience with it's pretty fast decay speed. Overall bass performance is well detailed clear and sounds authentic which smoothly flows into the mids and music altogether. On a balanced to neutral player, the bass impact might be found lacking.

    Mids: Oh the mids! I sincerely profess to love them and the Dream gives me that and then some, with a good amount of body that sounds 'just right' (neither thin or thick) and natural for both male and female vocals. Mids sound goodly detailed and clear, and separation is pretty good. But on complicated tracks with several effects and or instruments and vocals, layering may sound a bit on top of each other. Upper mids favor the female vocals a bit more than males on the lower mids as they seem a bit more forward and a bit more appealing. Overall the sound in this area are crisp and clear with no distortion and present an enjoyable experience to the listener.

    Highs: There is a good amount of clarity that helps in making each note sound crisp while retrieving a good amount of detail. There is a good amount of extension that lends a bit of airiness to the treble and provides for some sparkle and separation. Overall, the Dream's treble area sound pretty and sparkly with good reach without sounding sibilant or harsh that adds an almost natural feel to the music.

    Soundstage: The Dream has a modestly wide soundstage that has more width than it's lightly compressed depth (which is noticeable with complicated tracks in terms of layering) and lends to a feeling of spaciousness to move around the music. Imaging is accurate and is at par with most good modern ear gear.

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    Source Scaling: On the WM1a, the Dream sounds the best, the bass is boosted a little bit and given a bit more warmth while giving the mids and highs all the room they can play with. Though my warmer phone does give a bit more bass impact, it lowers the mids a little bit and gives the treble a bit less room to play. So if you want a bit more bass, warm players will really help the Dream achieve a more satisfying sound. I also found that most 80's music (pop and rock) lend well to the Dream, giving me a feeling that I've heard this before on my dad's rig when I was growing up (a Fischer amp and Sansui speakers.)

    Conclusions: The HiFi Boy Dream is an awakening of sorts for me, as I have few neutral ear gear and none in the earbud department, as such, this is an eye opener that these relatively affordable earbuds can deliver great sound, detail that is balanced enough that it can be used for critical listening and still deliver a fun (nostalgic for me) experience for hours on end.

    Pros: Sounds balanced, good detail and clarity, has ok bass, has good mids and highs, relatively easy to drive, feels sturdy and can likely take a few hard knocks without trouble.

    Cons: Could stand to have a bit more bass impact, accessories could have included ear hooks instead of the adapter plugs.

    Nitpicks: Can be a bit fiddly to fit. Could have had removable cables (for cable rolling and easy replacement of termination)

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    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6, Zishan Z1 (for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of safe hearing and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher.
  3. audio123
    HiFi Boy Dream -
    Written by audio123
    Published Apr 3, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced, Detailed, Build Quality
    Cons - Bass can be more punchy
    Introduction

    HiFi Boy is a new Chinese company that started not too long ago. They produced the HiFi Boy OS V3 as their first in-ear monitor. It has a popular driver configuration – 2 Balanced Armature and 1 Dynamic. In addition, they produce an earbud in the Dream. I would like to thank Penon Audio and HiFi Boy for this review unit. At the moment, you can purchase the HiFi Boy Dream from https://penonaudio.com/hifi-boy-dream.html .

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    Specifications
    • Driver;16 mm Dynamic
    • Impedance: 32 ohm
    • Sensitivity: 100 dB
    • Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 23 kHz
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The HiFi Boy Dream comes in a matte black package that has the HiFi Boy logo printed at the front. After opening the package, there is a HiFi Boy carrying case with the brand name printed on it, gold-plated headphone adapter and a flight adapter. Inside the carrying case, you get foams and the earbud itself.

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    Earbud Build & Design

    The Dream has a light brown surface to its shell. At the back of the earbud, there are the brand logo and 3 vents. The earbud has a black rim. The strain relief has L and R marking to differentiate between left and right respectively. The earbud has great visual appeal and it has light weight.

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    Cable Build & Design

    The cable has a 4 core braided design and it is made of 5N OFC. Moving down, the chin slider and y-splitter are translucent clear. Lastly, there is a 3.5mm gold plated right angled jack and the housing is silver in color with the model name printed on it. There is strain relief. The cable is brown in color and feels supple.

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    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The Dream has moderate sub-bass quantity and the sub-bass is presented well without sounding aggressive. There is a nice extension. The bass decay is rather quick with agility and the bass texture is rendered smoothly. The mid-bass has a decent amount of body and the slam does not have a weighted feel. Each bass note is articulated well with accuracy and the definition is decent. The warmth helps to give a soothing listen. It demonstrates good finesse overall but the punch might be lacking for some. There is a clean bass reproduction.

    Mids

    The Dream has an engaging midrange that provides an alluring feel. The midrange is executed in a fine manner that benefits both male and female vocals. There is a moderate amount of body and it does not sound thick. The lower mids has sufficient quantity to tackle male vocals and there are no signs of dryness. There is a moderate standard of transparency and cleanliness is expressed well. The upper mids has slight forwardness for female vocals to sound intimate. The crisp is good. The details retrieval has a moderate standard.

    Highs

    The treble has good extension and it is able to give an airy feeling. There is good clarity with no sibilance and harshness. Treble articulation is precise. There is slight sparkle at times to inject excitement into the sound. The presentation has sufficient amount of air to prevent a dense presentation. The treble showcases great definition with a smooth nature.

    Soundstage

    The Dream has a natural expansion in its soundstage that has good width magnitude which helps to give an open feeling. The depth is slightly closed in. Positioning of vocals and instruments is good.

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    Comparisons

    HiFi Boy Dream vs Rose Masya

    The Masya has more sub-bass quantity than the Dream while the Dream is able to extend slightly greater. The mid-bass on the Masya is fuller which results in a more weighted slam. The Dream has the edge in its definition and each bass note is articulated with a clean hit. The bass decay on the Dream is quicker while the Masya has a smoother bass texture. The lower mids on the Masya has more body and the thickness aids in the presentation of male vocals. The upper mids on the Dream is more forward than the Masya which results in better intimacy. The midrange on the Dream has good transparency and sounds cleaner. The details retrieval is slightly better on the Dream. The treble on the Masya has more body than Dream and it is rendered with additional smoothness. The Dream has an edge in the definition and crisp. The added sparkle helps to brighten up the sound. For the soundstage, both displays natural expansion but the Dream tackles the width better. The depth on the Masya is more closed in for intimacy. Positioning of vocals and instruments on the Dream is better.

    HiFi Boy Dream vs TY Hi-Z HP-650

    The HP-650 is able to produce more sub-bass than the Dream by a fair bit. The extension on the Dream is similar to the HP-650. The Dream is able to express it in a cleaner manner. The mid-bass on the HP-650 is fuller than the Dream but the Dream is able to present its slam in a quicker manner. The bass decay on the Dream is agile while the bass texture on the HP-650 is rendered with smoothness. The lower mids on the HP-650 has good body and male vocals sound slightly thicker than the Dream. The Dream showcases good transparency and it shows a clean rendering. The upper mids on the Dream is more forward which results in female vocals displayed in a sweet manner. There is extra crisp. The treble on the Dream is more lively. The amount of air rendered is similar. There is no sibilance and harshness. The details retrieval on both commands a high standard. Lastly, for the soundstage, the HP-650 expands in a natural manner and the width magnitude on the HP-650 is greater. The depth on the Dream offers more space. Positioning of vocals and instruments on the HP-650 is slightly better.

    Conclusion

    The Dream is a balanced sounding earbud that is able to display great details yet sound engaging. It has the ability to provide an enjoyable critical listening that is fatigue-free. In addition, it has good visual appeal with its nicely braided cable. The HiFi Boy Dream is HiFi Boy first earbud and with its balanced precise sound, it delivers.

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    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  4. noknok23
    Too much treble
    Written by noknok23
    Published Mar 23, 2018
    1.5/5,
    Pros - Transparency, details,
    Easy to drive
    Build and Comfort
    Cons - Bass is away,
    Treble spike
    EDIT: this is an update after 6months. I tried very hard to keep using the hifiboy dream but I couldn't pretend anymore. There is way too much treble with a spike at 10khz that ruin the balance for a lot of musics even with full foam. The bass has no energy and no weight but it's impossible to turn up the volume because of the treble.. This go a bit better (I mean, less worse) when using an amp or perhaps heavy EQ but I don't think it's worth it. For that price you can find nicer stuff. Therefore I updated the rating from 4.5/5 to 1.5/5.
    I still think good things of this earphones but the flaws are too Significant to have a positive rating.



    dream
    is an earbud released by a new audio company called HiFi Boy based in Chengdu, China. They also released two IEM which, according to reviews, seems to be of good value.
    Disclaimer
    I bought the earbuds on PenonAudio.com and paid full price for it.

    Source
    For the review, final thoughts will be made after 200 hours of burn-in and approximately three weeks of use

    I will use Nuansa P1 with JRC2068 op amp listening to FLAC 16bit and MP3 320kb/S mainly.
    Will also drive the earphones with FiiO M3 and Zishan Z2 using the NE5532 NOS opamp.
    I will eventually use my Nuansa A1 amp to compare dream with the Puresounds PS100-600

    Personal Preferences

    I tend to prefer a neutral to warm sound signature with a slight U shape or a fun sound depending on the mood. Less interested in clinical and critical reproduction of the music. I mostly listen to IDM, electronic music, experimental, pop, ambient, new age and jazz. From Top end Hi-Fi recordings to bedroom broken tape. Old and new. Random names: Autechre, Gigi Masin, Chra, Jun Togawa, Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto, Jon Hassel.
    dream sea shell.jpg
    HiFi BOY dream "rose gold" with dense white foam

    Specifications
    Model: Dream
    Driver: 16mm dynamic driver
    Impedance: 32ohm
    Sensitivity: 100dB
    Frequency response: 15Hz-23 KHz
    Cable Length: 1.2M
    Plug: 3.5mm
    Wire: 5N OFC
    Four colors for optional: Silver, Coffee, Gold and Rose-gold.
    SRP: 95.00 USD

    Packaging and accessories
    The dream comes in a big cardboard box, it is accompanied by a golden plated 3.5 to 6.5 mm jack and a gold plated two pin airport adapter. They are of good quality, It is probably the most beautiful airplane headphones adapter I have ever seen, but I'm not sure it is going to be used pretty much. There is a bigger than usual clam case to transport and store the earbuds, which is of same size of the zishan box but with "hifi boy" embossed on. It comes with foams and a shirt clip. Nothing spectacular, the packaging is still more generous than average when you think about other earbuds.

    Build and comfort
    Some TOTL earbuds like to impress with thick cables, heavy splitter and oversized plugs. dream goes the opposite way and try to be the least cumbersome an earphone can be. You are more likely to put them in your ears, dap in the pocket and forget about it.
    Shells are made of aluminum, a shape highly similar to the one of the HE150PRO, the fit is in between the classic Sennheiser MX500 Shell and the Yuin, Shozy shell, It sits securely in the ears and can be use with or without foam. My ears are medium to small size and while the MX500 is fine, they tend to fell off every so and then. The yuin are a bit small and couldn't be use naked at all. The shell of the dream is of a perfect middle ground and fit securely, naked or not. The cable is soft and light. Thicker than average, it feels strong and durable. The right angled jack is low profile and makes it ideal for portable application, minimizing risk of stress if bending in jean pockets or anything. There is a very light chin slider that adds an extra level of comfort if one wants to secure the cable.
    The build and design choice are of excellent taste and reminds us of what an earbud should be: a simple mean to enjoy musing in a wide array of situations.
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    from left to right: HE150 pro, HiFi BOY dream, PureSounds PS100-600
    plugs.jpg
    from top to bottom: TY HI-Z 150S, Puresounds PS100-600, HiFi BOY dream
    Sound
    The dream is a transparent sounding earbuds that show a relaxed presentation with great speed and a tone faithful to the source it is plugged to. Revealing in a subtle manner, the rendition of details remains natural and painless. While the dream extend far and render sub bass with ease. Sub is slightly lifted but mid bass lacks a bit of weight. It is lighter than average and won't give that slam. Going to the mids in a lean manner. The latter are clean and natural, neutral with a touch of warmth. The upper mids, like female vocals, are slightly forward, intimate with a good amount of details. The treble extend very far, more neutral, there is a small peak in the 10khz region that ads a touch of excitement. It is however beautifully controlled and won't get hot in any way, even with recordings that are usually "at risk". The treble is clean, fast and completely free of fatigue, I also noticed no sibilance at all unless I would use low resolution files. The soundstage size is similar of the one of a recording studio, shown in a spherical shape, width and depth being equal. The imaging is just great: Sounds at different volumes and different locations are easy to discern and locate. The rendering of textures and details is excellent and feels right. I noticed that the dream sound has a bit more of weight when being amped.
    When using the FiiO M3, the sound is very nice, balanced, smooth, a bit of warner with a slight mid-bass bump. Althought the definition and the soundstage is not on par with nuansa P1, it sound excellent for this little DAP. Many of my earbuds would sound harsh and poor with the FiiO M3. dream is easy to drive and adapt well.
    When I use the Zishan Z2 with new old stock NE5532 opamp, the tonality is dead neutral, there is a little roll off at both ends, it is not as refined as the P1, but the linearity of the frequency curve and the absence of coloration is really impressive.

    • dream vs Puresounds PS 100-600
    Puresounds PS 100-600 is the best earphones I own, $149,00SRP. It has a very balanced warm neutral sound in a U shape that is rather hard to drive and scales very well. It use a classic mx500 shell and silver coated copper cables that are more rigid than average, they have a bit of memory and I must admit, they seems to be more prone to failure over time because they aren't braided. The fit and comfort is better than average. Because of the light cable. With a shirt clip it just stay securely in the ears. Still the mx500 doesn't fit as securely as the dream shell, and the cable is a being more rigid and with memory, The dream still win in terms of comfort and build.
    Using the A1 amp. PS is darker. treble is less pronounced. Mid bass has a natural weight and enough slam. dream is more excited, vocals are more vivid and with a bit more of resolution. PS sound is more smooth, but also bigger, the feel being closer to full size headphones. The overall quality of resolution and accuracy of soundstage feels similar, PS being a bit wider. They are both, in my opinion, in the same league. The dream having more sparkle and the PS100-600 more weight. When using only a rig of high quality with great power output, I would say that the PS sound is more engaging.
    Without amp, the PS sound is dull, it is still relatively balanced for an under powered headphones but it doesn't sound great. Pairing the PS with the Zishan Z2, a bit of bloom is noticeable. In that regards, dream wins at being more versatile and managing to sounds good on many sources.

    Final Thoughts

    If you like the the sound of your source(s) and are looking for a lean, accurate sound in a comfortable, care free form factor, then dream is a safe investment.
      HungryPanda likes this.
  5. theoutsider
    Life is But a Dream
    Written by theoutsider
    Published Mar 18, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Smooth and detailed sounding. Comfortable fit. A great overall earbud.
    Cons - Almost completely flat sounding, it will take sometime to grow on you.
    Introduction

    2.jpg


    Hifi Boy? A junior version of HiFi Man?

    There is one thing I am sure about Hifi Boy Dream, the sound is true to its name. I have spent approximately over a month listening to it. Many of the nights, I just let myself sink into my favorite couch listening to the dreamy sound.

    Hifi Boy is a relatively new earphone maker from China. This is the second product from the company and their first earbud. Dream only came into the market after going through more than a year of development. The designer wrote that he was inspired by the sounds of full sized headphones and believe it or not, he is particularly fond of the sound of Hifiman Shangri-La so he tried to replicate the same sound in Hifi Boy Dream. Obviously I can’t verify this claim as I can’t afford as set of Shangri-La and have never had the chance to try it out.


    Disclaimer

    I am grateful to be sent a pair of Hifi Boy Dream for evaluation and I would like to thank Hifi Boy and Penon Audio. I am in no way associated with them so I owe it to no body to write a positive review.

    https://penonaudio.com/earphones/earbuds/hifi-boy-dream.html


    Unboxing



    Hifi Boy Dream came in a nice box filled with cool accessories . It is one of the better earphone package from Chinese manufacturers.


    Physical

    Before I step into the sound department, I would like to touch on the external attributes of Hifi Boy Dream. This earphone looks solid and inspires quality. The outer housing of the earbud is made of machined brass. It does look and feel a lot nicer than those el cheapo plastic earbuds out there. It is also quite rare for a sub-100 dollars earbud to have metal grills.

    8.jpg

    The cable of Dream is braided. The jack end of cable is braided out of 4 loose wires while the earbud side of the cable is made of two twirled wires. To be honest, I have never liked braided cable but this cable somehow changed my bias against braided cables.

    The designer of Dream claimed that they started developing Dream in October 2016 when Celsus Gramo One was the hot selling earbuds of the time. It is no wonder that Hifi Boy Dream reminds me a lot of Gramo One. Unlike HE 150 pro and TY Hi-Z F300M that bootlegged the design, Dream is similar but not identical to Gramo One.

    7.jpg

    Hifi Boy Dream is solidly built. Durability of this earphone is not something I would complain about. I have carried Dream out in my laptop bag, knocked them around, dropped them everyday on the hard tabletop, so far Dream is holding out pretty well.

    6.jpg

    There is a rubber strain relief on the plug of Dream but there’s no strain reliefs leading into the earbud housings. I understand that they left out the strain relief due to space limitation. The lack of strain relieves is not at all that worrisome to me. I have yanked the braided cable many times (by accident of course) and it survived, maybe the braiding absorbed the force that I induced on it.


    Specification

    Driver: 16mm dynamic driver
    Impedance: 32ohm
    Sensitivity: 100dB
    Frequency response: 15 Hz-23 KHz
    Cable: 1.2m 5N OFC
    Plug: 3.5mm


    Sound

    3.jpg


    This earphone easily clocked 300 hours of listening and burn-in at the time of writing this review.

    Put the Shangri-La myth aside, I think Hifi Boy Dream has a very balanced sound with metallic overtone. For some, that sound might come as unexciting. The sound is not accentuated on both ends of the spectrum so depending on users, some might want to tailor the sound with their DAP equalizers. I don’t think Hifi Boy Dream is an earbud that you will fall in love immediately because of its flat tuning. Give it a longer listen and you will start to enjoy the sound.

    One thing I have to mention upfront is the crystal clean sound reproduction of Dream. I have paired Hifi Boy Dream with DAP of high output impedance and I can hardly hear any white noise from it. I don’t have the most sensitive ears but I can always hear hissing when I plug my more sensitive IEMs into certain DAPs. I am actually quite surprised that Hifi Boy Dream compares very favorably with higher impedance earbuds when it comes to the cleanliness of noise floor and tightness in sound.

    Overall I think Hifi Boy Dream is detailed sounding but not dry or fatiguing to listen to.


    Lows

    Dream is bass shy. While it is capable of delivering a healthy amount of bass, I urge you not to expect the same toe tapping fun of mainstream earbuds that we became accustomed to. Bass extension of Dream is really nothing to write home about. There’s no sign of artificial bass boost in Dream that muddied the lower frequency.


    Mids

    Dream excels in the mid region. Vocal rendition is a walk in the park for Hifi Boy Dream, the mid is smooth and delicate. I can listen to vocal ballads with Dream all day, it is just that good.

    There is no disconnection between the middle frequency and the lower frequency. I do not hear any sudden bump or sink in the sound spectrum. I do not have a frequency response chart to show here but I am sure if there is any, the chart should be smooth and flat.


    Highs

    Dream has great treble and I came across the same finding from other owners. It is very transparent sounding and has good level of clarity.

    The treble is slightly sparkly but surprisingly not fatiguing to listen to. I have never encountered any sign of sibilance or harshness in the sound, Dream is indeed an earbud that I can listen to for long.


    Soundstage

    The soundstage of Hifi Boy Dream is natural and moderate in size. The imaging is layered and positioning of vocals and instruments is very accurate. Couple that with the metallic overtone, Dream has this hall-like presentation. I find myself enjoying jazz and unplugged music the most when using Hifi Boy Dream.


    Source

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    I have auditioned Dream with various devices and tried it amped and unamped. Dream sounded good straight from my laptop or smartphone, however if you want a fuller sound you should listen to it through an amplifier.

    When I pair Dream with my tube amp, the sound became richer but it looses some micro details as a a trade off. I have no problem pairing Dream to amplifiers with high output impedance, the noise floor of this sensitive (32 ohm) earbud remained pitch black.


    Comparisons

    I don’t always compare an earphone to another when I am indulging in music as it spoils the whole listening experience. I am writing my comparisons below based on how I remember certain earbuds.

    Compared to ToneKing TO200 (about 50 dollars)

    I gave TO200 five stars in my past review cause I only had good things to say about TO200. Soundwise, I still prefer TO200 for the more airy presentation even after I familiarize with Hifi Boy Dream sound. TO200 clearly edges out Hifi Boy Dream when it comes to the width of soundstage. I prefer a wider soundstage and that’s just my personal preference, I do find the soundstage of Hifi Boy more realistic and its imaging more accurate. I also remember TO200 as having fuller and more engaging sound than Hifi Boy Dream.

    Both earbuds are made of metal, they are both comfortable to use for long. I don’t think any of the two earbuds has the upper hand when it comes to comfort, both have significantly better fit than Monk Plus and other MX500 clones.


    Compared to Monk Lite 120 ohm (6 dollars)

    Yes, of course they are not earbuds of the same league. I think Hifi Boy Dream easily bettered the cheaper Monk Lite. I can hear more details in Hifi Boy Dream compared to Monk Lite 120, but then again the 6 dollars Monk Lite is no slouch, it punches well above its 6 dollars tag.

    To be honest, I have never really liked the more popular Monk Plus. To me, ToneKing TP16 and even the similarly priced Qian 39 sounded better. Monk Lite 120 is a different story, I like it quite a bit more than Monk Plus. I really enjoy the more laid back sound and love the more ergonomic shape. Both Monk Lite and Hifi Boy Dream have similar sound characteristics, both are ideal for long listening periods. They are not bassy by any means and I find Hifi Boy Dream to be a little more balanced sounding. What puts Dream slightly ahead in the game has to be the grandiose of sound and the better overall construction.


    Compared to Moondrop VX Pro and Moondrop Nameless (20 & 60 dollars)

    I like the sound and comfort of Moondrop Nameless more than the higher end VX Pro but Moondrop Nameless is plagued with quality issue. I am probably the third person to complain about the build quality of Nameless here on Headfi.

    The beauty queen VX pro looks superb, it has this dazzling chrome copper housing that looks many times better than most earbuds, BUT (and that’s a huge but) they are also a little heavier than most earbuds so they tend to slip out of my ears every 15 minutes I listen to them. Dream on the other hand looks a lot more discreet but they stay in my ears for hours. I never once have to adjust them when I am using them.

    Both the moondrops are cold sounding, Dream however has a more neutral sound signature.


    Compared to LZ A5 (about 250 dollars)

    I can’t help but to compare Hifi Boy Dream to LZ A5. I know it’s not an apple to apple comparison and it is unfair to do a cross-category comparison between two distinctively different earphones. They are priced differently as well, with LZ A5 costing 1.5x more. I am throwing in this comparison only because I received both earphones the same time and I listened to both Dream and A5 back to back for the whole last month.

    LZ A5 is the fullest sounding earphone I have so far. LZ A5 beats Hifi Boy Dream hands down in terms of overall sound quality, it is more engaging to listen to and has a sweeter sound. As an earbud, Hifi Boy Dream has a more spacious soundstage and I think it is more convenient to listen to Dream.

    A fuller sound does not necessarily mean a more pleasing sound. I find myself always switching back and forth between the two great earphones because they are very different, physically and sonic wise. I have no doubt Dream can hold its ground even against one of the best sub-300 dollars in-ears.


    Conclusion:

    5.jpg

    It is easy to recommend Hifi Boy Dream to whoever looking for a pair of earbuds. Amped or unamped, Hifi Boy Dream never failed to deliver. The sound, ergonomic and build quality of Hifi Boy Dream are great, I really could not find a fault that I can point out here.

    Hifi Boy Dream is one of the most balanced sounding earbud out there. The more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. It compares very favorably with upper tier earbuds from more established brands.

    Dream earns an easy 4.5 out of 5 from me. If you are to ask me why not a 5? That’s simply because I still think TO200 is a slightly better sounding earbud.
      HungryPanda likes this.
  6. Moonstar
    The HiFi BOY Dream, a dream for earbud lovers...
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Jan 22, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced sound signature with lots of detail,
    Easy to drive,
    Good build quality and fit
    Cons - None for this price
    The HiFi BOY Dream, a dream for earbud lovers...


    Disclaimer:


    The HiFi BOY Dream Earbud was provided to me by HiFi BOY via Penon Audio for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with HiFi BOY or Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.


    20180111_215946.jpg


    About HiFi BOY:


    HiFi boy is a high-end Hi-Fi audio brand launched by China Chengdu Fallante Technology Co., Ltd. The company is an integrated research and development, production and sales technology. The company is mainly engaged in manufacturing, sales and development of hi-fi headphones, multimedia speakers and Bluetooth audio equipments.

    Brand CEO, Mr.Chen combined with a number of acoustic engineers a team to make HiFi BOY to a cost-effective HiFi brand.

    Link for the official website of HiFi BOY (click)

    The Price:

    The HiFi BOY Dream can be purchased on Penon Audio for 95,00 USD.

    Penon Audio Purchase Link (click)


    Introduction:

    The Dream is the second Hi-Fi earphone and the first earbud of company HiFi BOY in a market with many competitors.


    Package and Accessories:

    The HiFi BOY Dream comes in a black chard box that has the silver HiFi BOY logo printed at the top of this box.

    The card box includes the following contents;
    • 1 pair of HiFi BOY Dream Earbud
    • 4 pairs of foams ear pads
    • 1 pcs.3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter
    • 1 pcs Flight adapter
    • 1 pcs HiFi BOY branded carrying case

    20180111_214929.jpg

    20180111_214831.jpg

    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The HiFi BOY Dream’s main body is made of metal while the trim is made of plastic. The housing is available in 4 different color options, these are Gold, Silver, Rose-Gold and Brown. My unit is brown this looks very stylish to my eyes.

    20180111_215316.jpg

    The biggest handicap for any earbud is to get a good/comfortable fit. The metal shell of the Dream is light weight and sits surprisingly comfortably in my ears. They are Left and Right markings that are visibly on both sides. They are also three bass vent holes on each monitor.

    20180111_215609.jpg

    The Dream has a 5N OFC Copper cable that is 4 cores braided and coated with a brown plastic material that has a nice touch feeling.

    20180111_215418.jpg

    There chin slider and y-splitter is made of a transparent plastic material. The 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack has a 45 degree metal housing with a Dream written printing. I did notice only a very low amount of microphonics due this review and think that this will not be a big issue.

    20180111_215111.jpg

    20180111_215213.jpg


    Specifications:

    The HiFi BOY OS V3 is a single dynamic driver earbud with a relative low impedance of 32 ohm.


    Technical Details:

    Driver Type : 16mm Single Dynamic Driver
    Impedance : 32 ohm
    Sensitivity : 100dB / mW
    Freq. response : 15-23000Hz
    Plug/Plating : 3.5mm / Flat / Aluminum Alloy
    Cable length : 1.2m
    Wire Material : 5N OFC


    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
    Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
    Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
    Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    Queen – Greatest Hits Vol. II (Apple Music)
    Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (ALAC)
    Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Metallica - The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
    Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)


    Sources used for this review:

    Erabud : HiFi BOY Dream, K’S 300 Samsara, VE ZEN V2.0
    DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Aune M2, Hidizs AP60II

    20180114_022917.jpg

    Drivability:

    The HiFi BOY Dream is a relatively easy to drive earbud that will work great with most media or audio players. The HiFi BOY Dream is with a impedance of 32 ohm not very sensitive to noise, but using a small headphone amplifier makes indeed a bit difference over the direct out from a DAP or Smartphone.


    The Sound:

    This review is written by me after an intensive burn-in process of 150 hours. I have use the stock full foams due this review.


    Tonality:

    The HiFi BOY Dream has an overall well-balanced sound signature with excellent clarity. A hint of bass warmth and a relaxed top end makes the Dream to an ideal erabud for long listening periods.

    Frequencies:

    One of the first characteristics about the sound of the Dream, which I have noticed at the very beginning, is the smoothness and accuracy of its lows. They sub bass around 20-60Hz is slightly boosted but have clean characteristics. Texture is good with decent definition and body. There is no significant roll-off before the 60Hz barrier.

    The bass around the 200 - 250Hz region is adding nice warmth without losing definition or making the sounding too muffled. The Guitar strings in Dire Straits – Money For Nothing sounds a bit bolder then in natural, but this side effect gives an additional emotion to the sound.

    The lower midrange around 300 – 500Hz is well presented and is adding additional warmth to the midrange without making the sound too hot.

    The midrange around 500 Hz -2kHz sounds dynamic and has a nice fullness that makes both male and female vocals sounding quite emotional and intimate. The transparency and clarity is in a good level for a sub 100 USD earbud. The detail reproduction, especially with string instruments is impressive.

    The upper midrange between 2 – 4 kHz has a nice timber, with a slightly forward and well controlled vocal presentation. There is a very low level of sibilance for instance with Diana Krall’s beautiful performed song “So Wonderful”. All these features making the sound of the Hi-Fi BOY Dreams to a very engaging and relaxing experience.

    20180111_215816.jpg

    The treble range around 4 kHz – 6 kHz have sufficient sparkle and detail to them without being too harsh. It sounds in general relaxed with a well placed spike that is avoiding a too hot sound presentation.

    The upper treble tuning between 6 kHz - 20 kHz makes the HiFi BOY Dream to a quite airy sounding earbud. The upper treble range has just the right amount of brilliance without being sibilant or to have any harshness. For example upper treble extension and the cymbal strike in Lazarus A.D. “The Onslaught” is quite impressive for an earbud in this price category.

    The Soundstage and Imagine:

    The HiFi BOY Dream has a quite natural soundstage presentation that is good in width and depth. The positioning of instruments is impressive and the imaging is excellent with clear layers and accurate instrument placements.

    20180116_224643.jpg

    Comparison with other Earbuds:

    I have test out some of my TOTL level Earbuds and here are some comparisons.


    HiFi BOY Dream vs. K’s 300 Samsara Version:

    The K’S 300 Samsara Version is one of my favorite Earbuds to date. It sound very mature and the sound signature well balanced with a hint of bass warmth.

    Build quality and Fit:

    The housing of the HiFi BOY Dream is made of a nice looking and well made metal material (I think aluminum), while the Samsara is made of plastic with a glossy surface that feels less solid and attractive, when we compare it to the Dream. Both have nice finished cables and a stylish 3.5mm Single Ended headphone jack.

    Both earbuds are comfortable to wear, but the Dream has the upper hand if you want this comfort for longer listening periods. The issue with the Samsara is, that it starts to hurt my ears after 1 hour, while the Dream is comfy after hours and hours.

    The Sound:

    Both earbuds have a relative balanced sound signature while the Samsara sounds a little bit darker and a touch warmer then the Dream. Both have a nice a nice controlled bass presence. The difference is the quantity and range. The Samsara has more mid bass presence, while the Dream goes lover in the sub bass department. Both have a nice bass response and the detail level is fantastic.

    The Dream has a more upfront vocal presentation than Samsara, but the detail and clarity level is on par. The Samsara has warmer vocals and the Dream sound more natural to my ears. Both erbuds have a great performance in the upper midrange, while the Dream has additional clarity.

    The treble response of these two earbuds is quite different; yes these are relative balanced sounding earbuds, but the Dream has more upper treble presence that gives additional sparkle and air to the sound, while the Samsara sounds warmer.

    Both earbuds share a decent soundstage while the Dream has the upper hand in width.


    HiFi BOY Dream vs. VE ZEN 2.0 (Red):

    The VE Zen 2.0 is a special earbud with its powerful bass (for an erabud) and the full sounding midrange, which makes a smile on your face. But right after you change to a more neutral source you will notice that this tuning is quite unnatural.

    Build quality and Fit:

    The housing of the Zen 2.0 is made of a transparent plastic housing that looks relative weak compared to theses of Dream with its solid metal shell. Also of both HiFi BOY Dream and Zen V2.0 looks solid and well made.

    The fit of both earbuds is quite comfortable and they are ideal to wear for long listening periods.

    The Sound:

    The ZEN V2.0 has this powerful and full sounding presentation that gives you a nice first impression. But after an intensive comparison with a relative neutral source like the Dream, you will immediately notice that the quantity of the bass and especially the mid bass is way too unnatural and overdone. The next thing you will notice is that the HiFi BOY Dream’s sub bass goes lover then these of the ZEN V2.0.

    The strong bass and mid bass presence of the ZEN V2.0 makes the midrange sounding muffled and hollow in some situations. This makes the Dream to the better choice for critical listening with its quite natural vocal and instrument separation. Maybe some of us will prefer the bold and warm sounding Vocal presentation of the ZEN vs. the more lifelike reproduction of the Dream, but this is a matter of personal preference.

    The treble range of the ZEN V2.0 sounds a little bit muddy, but is free of sibilance and harshness. They don't sound as smooth as the HiFi BOY Dream, which has more detail and sparkle at the upper register.

    The HiFi BOY Dream sounds more airy and the soundstage width is noticeable larger compared to those of the ZEN V2.0. The depth of both is quite good maybe a touch better on the Dream earbud.

    In short, the Dream sounds overall more balanced and well tuned then the ZEN V2.0.


    Conclusion:

    If you don’t have a powerful source or won’t to carry an amp with you, the HiFi BOY Dream is one of the best choices in the earbud market with its quite detailed sound, well balanced tuning and great build quality.


    Summary (plus and minus):

    + Balanced sound signature with lots of detail
    + Easy to drive
    + Good build quality and fit

    - None for this price

    20180114_022754.jpg

    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
    https://moonstarreviews.net
    1. noknok23
      Thanks for the review!
      How is the fit compared to the TY HI Z 300M? They lookalike.
      How do they compare with Penon BS1 official in terms of SQ?
      noknok23, Jan 24, 2018
      Moonstar likes this.
    2. Moonstar
      The fit of both is almost the same. I will receive the Penon BS1 in the upcoming week and will do my best to compare it.
      Moonstar, Jan 25, 2018
      noknok23 likes this.
    3. PeterDLai
      Have you received the PENON BS1 Official Version yet? Are you planning on doing a full review of those?
      PeterDLai, Feb 20, 2018
      ballog likes this.