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HiSoundAudio E212

Rating:
3.77273/5,
  1. zhubajie
    Hisoundaudio HSA-E212: Impressive on all fronts and comes with a dead fish to boot!
    Written by zhubajie
    Published Aug 1, 2013
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful design, Excellent cable, Comfortable to wear, Great sound.
    Cons - A bit bass heavy but many just want it that way.
    .
     
    INTRODUCTION
     
    This is my First review ever so don't bite my head off if I make a mistake please [​IMG]
     
    A few words about me.
    I'm 53 years old, Dutch, male and quite new to portable Hi-Fi audio but quite fanatic in learning anything about it. Over the Last six months or so I did a lot of reading, bought a lot (much too much) of audio hardware and collected loads of digital music in at least CD quality.
     
    Jack Fu from Hisoundaudio was so nice to send me this nice IEM. He mailed me this IEM was two steps in quality above the PAA1 earbud so that creates expectations. Ik liked the PAA1, I got with my Colorfly C3, so much I bought the PAA1 Pro too. I have to mention however I have no relations with Hisoundaudio. I just like their products and asked if I could review this IEM.
     
    I think reviewing audio hardware is quite hard because so many of it is subjective. Read some reviews about some earbuds or IEM's and you know what I mean. Sometimes two reviewers have opposite opinions about the sound quality.
    The kind of music, the way it is produced, your mood, how damaged your ears are from listening to all that devilish hardrock in your youth, the source hardware and much more all have influence.
    I'll try to keep that in mind while writing this.
     
    Ok, enough blabla, I hope you're still awake. Let's get started with some pictures.
     
    Box.jpg     Whatsinside.jpg
     

     
    SPECIFICATIONS
     
    Ÿ Type : Dynamic Driver
    Ÿ Size of the driver : Φ9.2 mm
    Ÿ Impedance : 16Ω
    Ÿ Sensitivity : 100dB
    Ÿ Maximum SPL : 125db(1khz,1 Vrms)
    Ÿ Frequency response : 20HZ-20KHZ
    Ÿ Type of the jack : 3.5 mm Angled
    Ÿ Cable length : 124cm
     
     
    PACKAGE / ACCESSORIES / BUILD QUALITY
     
    The package is simple but OK, I see they gave the fish it's own window... Neat!
    Apart from the E212's it contains a nice, strong carrying case with "Hi" logo, a dead fish and 2 sizes of eartips (one pair small and one extra pair medium) in orange which look great with the dark chrome with orange inlay E212. Nice design!
    The shirt clip I saw on some photo's wasn't there but the dead fish came in its place. It's a funny rubber(y) fish skeleton meant to roll on your excess cable and hold it in place.
    Last thing in the package was an all Chinese warranty and registration card. Good I understand some Chinese. Hope that will be in English soon.
    The cable might be a bit thin but it feels strong enough. It's braided and molded in plastic. They hardly tangle and don't have any form memory worth mentioning. It falls down like a thin rope.
    These are, hands down, the nicest cables I have seen on any IEM or earbud so far!
     
     
    COMFORT / FIT / ERGONOMICS
     
    The IEM's are quite small so you don't look like the monster of Frankenstein like when you wear UE TriipleFi/10's [​IMG]
    There are no sharp edges and they are quite comfortable when wearing. I have used them most of the time at work today and during my 30 minute lunch walk and they were very comfortable. Not even the slightest irritation.
    It seems the jack plug couldn't decide what it wanted to be. It's not straight and not angled but something inbetween. Personally I prefer either straight or angled but that's very personal and a bit nitpicking to be honest.
     
    Closeup.jpg     PlugandEartips.jpg
     

     
    SOUND QUALITY
     
    I coupled to my Colorfly CK4 and played some songs. When I got to "Front Line Assembly - Mech", I had the impression it had some trouble with the heavy bass but after playing it again with my UE Triple-Fi/10's on I noticed even those had a hard time and they cost about 9 times as much! "Carmen Gomes Inc. - Angel Eyes" sounded great and nicely detailled too.
     
    Since it has an impedance of only 16Ω you don't have to be afraid you can't crank it up loud enough on your player.
     
    Bass/Low
    They are a bit dark and on the bass heavy side but so far I like it, IEM's and headphones these days. But when I played "Jiangzhou Drums - Buffaloes Tiger" (a bunch of Chinese getting wild on percussion) they passed the test with flying colours. "The Comsat angels - Believe" didn't sound too bass heavy too. I did quite some tests with percussion bands and the percussion sounded clean and punchy.
     
    Midrange
    First impression is good. My ears aren't as trained as several others here but as I experience it Mids and Highs are where they should be.
    A.o. "Big & Rich, Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)" sounded great. I found the vocals were delightfully warm. These are great for slow jazz.
     
    Highs
    Not abuntant but more than enough and just to my liking. The high hat's in Duke Ellington's Heaven sounded a bit dirty at first but they also did on my Triple-Fi/10's so, again, no issue.
    I have other IEM's with more highs but they make me tired after some time. I like how it is here and I didn't find any mentionable sibilance so far too which I weigh quite heavy.
     
    Imaging, Soundstage, balance etc.
    Hardly any microphonics. One more reason I like this cable. You don't have to wear these cables over your ears.
    I already said they are a bit bass heavy but for the rest the mids and highs play their part well and arent recessed in my opinion.
    The isolation is on par with most other IEM's I have. On some IEM's I use Comply Foam eartips which isolate great but I often find these starting to irritate after some time.
    I found the imaging more than adequate. It was easy to place the instruments and the singer was clearly where she should be. The soundstage is surprisingly wide for IEM's. As much as the Sennheiser CX985 I have. Very nice! I used Carmen Gomes Inc. here again. I have a very high quality recording of her. I can reccomend it.
    If I had to choose between warm or analytical I would go for warm. I'm not missing detail but warm just fits more with what I experience.
     
     
    foto2.jpg
    No "Monster of Frankenstein" look..

     
     
    SUMMARY
     
    You can find these IEM's on eBay for US$43.00 and up and for that money it's an absolute steal! I can say that with confidence even before I have burned it in.
    They are comfortable, look very nice, sound great and I just love that cable. Now if they can copy that overdesigned bendable Sennheiser plug next time... [​IMG]
    The score I gave it is based on the price but I think I would have given it the same score if it had cost US$ 120. Your mileage may vary, it's personal preference for a large part but I like how these sound.
    Chapeau for Hisoundaudio.... again!
     

     

    Edit - 22 hours later
     
    I have used the E212's the whole day at work and part of the evening with my Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip. I haven't used it long enough to burn it in completely but I have the impression it has gotten a little less bass heavy and dark. But... that could just as well be my brain playing tricks on me. I didn't find any mentionable changes when I amped it with my C&C BH2.
    Today I used it while playing just about any musical genre and enjoyed it the whole time.
    At this moment I don't feel experienced enough to confidently go into more detail about the sound quality so I won't. Most of it is subjective anyway, I think.
     
    I still hope I was able to provide you with some useful information and I try to make my next review a bit more detailed. Positive feedback is very welcome.
     

     

    Last edit - 5 days later
     
    After using it for a bit longer I'm still quite happy with them but I think I'll end with this.
    They are great sounding and a great value for the money but they would be perfect for me if they gave 5% more highs and 10% less bass.
    But no person is alike and everybody has his own preferences in music and sound.

    1. Bytor123
      Lovely review, thank you. I might well get hold of these after reading this!
      Bytor123, Aug 2, 2013