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Hisoundaudio HA-2

Rating:
4/5,
  • MSRP: $99
    Driver: Single Balanced Armature Driver (Driver constructed by Hisoundaudio themself)

    Drivers: Balanced Armature (1x)
    Impedance: 36 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 109 dB
    Highest Sound Pressure: 125 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
    Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 Khz
    Cable Length: 109 cm

Recent Reviews

  1. suman134
    Better than other single BAs in this price range.
    Written by suman134
    Published Sep 9, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Really nice mids, Extender and lively highs, good package, Nice build quality.
    Cons - Lacks some bass.
    INTRO:-

    IMG_20160906_210615.jpg

    There are many brands in this audiophile field, trying to get a hold of the market, HisoundAudio is not a new brand by any means, its been around for quite a while (20 years) with Head gears and Digital players. but had struggled a bit after their success with Crystals ( crystal and golden crystal) and WooDuo 2. WooDuo 2 still is considered one of the must have Earphones for Bass heads and Crystals are still known for their consistency across the spectrum, with exceptional extension at both ends. Their BA-100 was a good earphone but was not able to do as much as the crystals.

    Now they are back with a few more earphones, HA2 is one of them. Based on their specially manufactured, home grown single BA driver, With this they claim it to have louder sound, more bass, refined treble and Large sound stage. Priced $100 is set to take on some of the most popular earphones in the market.

    Single BA driver sounds nothing special as there are many single BA earphones out there, But let's find out how this one performs.

    Here are a couple of links where you can buy this.

    http://penonaudio.com/Hisoundaudio/HisoundAudio-HA2?sort=p.price&order=DESC

    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/HisoundAudio-HA2-Balanced-Armature-High-Quality-HiFi-In-ear-IEMs-Earphones/1994049_32653615156.html

    Before that I would like to thank Jack Fu and Hisoundaudio for this sample unit.

    ACCESSORIES ERGONOMICS AND MISCELLANEOUS:-

    20160101_163413.jpg
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    20160101_163624.jpg

    Hisound HA2 does have plenty of accessories, It comes with 6 pair of tips, 3 pair of foam tips, 3 pair of silicone tips in S/M/L sizes. There is a Carry case in the retail box but mine didn’t came with one but I have an awesome case for it. There is a Cable clip in the box but there is no cable/chin slider on the cable, Its slightly annoying but it's not a big deal.

    You just can't complain on its build quality, made out of metal, earpieces look and feel strong, there is a wider than average chrome plated nozzle guard(looks nice), the only air vent is placed at the bottom of the driver dome. There is no stress relievers at the earpiece end but those extended metal pieces help big time. Y splitter is small enough and there is some stress reliever below it, the 120 degree 3.5 mm jack is nicely stress relived.

    The cable doesn’t exactly look strong and I won't advice to go ninja on them. Its internally braided with a coat of rubber on it. It's not bouncy, and Microphonics is under control, you can use the cable clip as always. L/R marking are located under the earpiece, on inner side of the metal extension, there are no bump or anything else.

    Now ergonomically this is a comfortable and easy on ear earphone. The design is not exactly simple but nothing extravagant here. For some it might look a bit dull.

    Now isolation is pretty good, once you get a proper seal it doesn’t exhibit even wind noise.

    SOUND QUALITY:-

    ( Note:- I have been listening to Shozy Zero in between.)
    If I hadn't made it clear that HA2 has an BA Driver let me make it clear now That HA2 has an home Grown BA driver from HisoundAudio (I am a fan of BA drivers to be precise) with which they claim to have more bass and bigger stage but let me make it clear that it’s a BA after all and it just doesn’t have that thump even a Brainwavz Jive can provide, all in all its flatter, not as flat as a ruler, but just, just off the mark at being flat (with silicone tips).

    Signature is Warm, smooth and bright, just like most of the BA drivers but some do tend to sound a bit dark but that is not the case here. This does have that On your face kind of signature, It's like " what?? come again, take this, and this, take em all brotha!!" It just has the bite in it, not so easy to ignore the details it throws at you.

    Even when there is a believe that BA drivers don’t need much burning I have burned this set for more than 100hrs. I am using inbox Foam tips and silicone tips for this review. Let me make it clear that you can use the red core narrow bore tips for some more bite and more focused sound. Use after market wide bore tips for a bit more wider presentation.

    Just for the info, HA2 needs no amping.

    Here are some the songs I used for this review.

    Raury:- Wildfire,

    Adele :- set fire to the rain,

    Taylor swift :- Wildest dreams,

    James Blunt:- When I find love again, 1973

    Breaking Benjamin :- Who wants to live forever,

    David Guetta feat. Emili sande :- what I did for love,

    Watercolour :- pendulum,

    Jamie Lawson :- wasn’t expecting that,

    Imagine dragons :- Warriors,

    Fetty wap :- Trap queen,

    Bastille :- Things we lost in the fire,

    Selena Gomez - Kill Em With Kindness.

    Bass:-

    Just like any other BA earphones this one too lacks the thump we get with most of the dynamic drivers, but as opposed to BA drivers like A151p or say SHE9850 and UE600 this one got some thump at around 30-40 hz, nothing big but.. but considerable. Air is low and it's not a surprise by any means, it still moves some, more than A151 2nd gen. With foam tips, bass is flatter, but with silicone tips it’s a bit stronger, it hits and leaves in no time, but with foam tips, it hits and vanishes in to thin air. You will hear every bass note, drums, bass guitars, on bass notes it will move some air, will do what it can but not much.

    Needless to say that decay is of top quality. Goes deep too, there is sub bass but it's not much. Notes are sharp, deep, not thick and super fast.

    This earphone has serious amount of details, top of the line type control, serious transparency and clarity. Its not an earphone for EDM, trance or House music if you love bass, it does fine for me as I just sit down and enjoy its ability to keep up with the pace.

    Sorry, no mid bass hump here, BA don’t really do Mid bass hump do they? Bleeding? Sorry again, no bleeding.

    Analytical listeners and serious audiophiles will find this bass engaging. Good quality bass I must say

    I just wish for a bit more bass, slightly more, Up by Two DB will do fine.

    Splendid Mid range:-

    Now now, do I love mids.. I do baby.. I do. If you are in the market looking for a good earphone to enjoy vocals and instruments, sit down, eat some food, and order this piece of beauty.

    One word comes to my mind, splendid. Awesome can be another word, coming from WooDuo 2 and Shozy Zero these mids sound like levels ahead. Serious amount of precision and clarity with both female and male vocals, Female vocals do sound sharper but males vocals are equally good and are nothing you can complain about.

    Only thing one can complain about is that it lacks the organic touch that Zero and WooDou 2 have, but the transparency is undeniable. If you like your mids colorless and crystal clear, this earphone will serve like a charm. I have to admit that it sounds more vivid and lively than other single BA drivers like PL50 and even UE-600. With vocals, you can't dare to complain.

    What makes this special is that unlike A151p 2nd gen, this does not lack texture, and is more resolving and juicier.

    Let it be imaging, layering, presentation, separation or instrument placing, everything is top class. Its sonic abilities too are appreciable for a single BA.

    Sound stage is good too with plenty of depth and height, lacks some width. It's better than average.

    Treble:-

    I like some shimmer with my top end and HA2 is not shy at it. It doesn’t bite like a151 2nd gen, and doesn’t cup off like a PL50. Highs on HA2 are there, they make their presence felt with good reach, plenty of spark and energy, sharper notes and nice bite but they just don’t attack like a Titan-1 or say 151 2nd gen.

    It's really balanced with mids, transaction from mids is seamless and there are no spikes to be scared of. Full of details, you will hear everything with awesome resolving ability. It’s crisp and crunchy without any signs of fatigue or sibilance. Synthesizers and cymbals sound vivid. Extension is really good for a single BA earphone, Me likey.

    These highs are easy on ears, void of harshness, unlike Vsonic highs which can annoy, this earphone can be used for seriously long listening sessions without much stress.

    Comparisons:-

    IMG_20160906_210818.jpg
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    IMG_20160906_211304.jpg

    Vs a151p 2nd gen:- Ha2 has a bit more bass quantity and sub bass, clearer mids, no coloration at all and free of graininess. Had better resolving details too.
    151 is just ruler flat and comes with a MIC and remote unit.

    VS UE-600:- HA2 has better extension up top, has a better spectrum wide clarity and sounds warmer. Has better cable too.
    600 has nothing over this.

    VS RE-400:- HA2 has better mids, better top end energy too, sounds clearer without any hint of graininess and has better and stronger cable.
    RE-400 has more bass quantity, has awesome sonic abilities and sounds more organic.

    VS Titan-1:- Two totally different earphones but HA2 sounds clearer with mids and brighter too, is more balanced, has slightly better transparency.
    Titan-1 is a monster when it comes to stage, has awesome sonicality, has bigger bass too.

    Conclusion:-
     
    IMG_20160906_211603.jpg
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    I am seriously impressed with this piece of hardware, really enjoyed it. I was expecting it to be impressive and it is. It won't grab your attention instantly but after some time, you will love this earphone. For its price it’s a fantastic deal for analytical listeners.

    With HA2 in your hands, you are not looking at a forgiving kind of earphone, if there are flaws with your recordings it won't mask them well. It just won't let you listen to it and ignore it. It just can't be your bass buddy.

    Looking for bass? turn around.

    Looking for serious amount of clarity? awesomely sweet sounding vocals? Precision? Grab this piece of beauty.

    Now I won't like to add much to HA2 but a bit more bass.
    I hope I was of help. Cheers guys!! Enjoy!!
      slapo, hqssui and nimnz like this.
    1. Ahmad313
      ​​nice review, 
      Please if it is possible must try to Moondrop Nocturne single BA iem,  an amazing iem the best iem in the single BA competition. 
      Ahmad313, Sep 10, 2016
  2. mark2410
    Hisoundaudio HA2 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published May 19, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great Isolation. Great natural acoustic feel. Smooth.
    Cons - Single BA isn’t a big air mover. Too unaggressive for some.
    Hisoundaudio HA2 Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to Hisoundaudio for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/808682/hisoundaudio-ha2-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  A GR07 but that isolates.
     
    Price:  Circa US$100 or about £68
     
    Specifications:  Drivers: Balanced Armature (1x), Impedance: 35 Ohms, Sensitivity: 108 dB, Highest Sound Pressure: 125 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms), Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 Khz, Cable Length: 118 cm
     
    (N.B. these are spec as written on the box I got.  The spec seem to differ slightly to what others have reported.
     
    Accessories:  You should get a heap of tips, a Velcro tie thingy and a little case.  However I didn’t get the case.
     
    Build Quality:  It would all appear to be nicely build, the buds are all metal it would seem.  The cable its some braided with a black plastic sheath, which also would appear to be perfectly fine.
     
    Isolation:  They do sit shallow but with the biggest foamies they came with, they sealed tightly and isolated very well.  Proper BA IEM levels of isolation.  I’d be fine using these on the Tube or on a flight.  Naturally easily enough to get yourself run over if you don’t pay attention.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  The fit was a little odd wearing up as they have a strange shape but they fit me fine.  They do sit rather shallow which feels a bit odd at first but you get used to it very quickly.  I had no trouble getting a fit, seal and then wearing for multiple hours.
     
    Aesthetics:  They aren’t ugly by any means but they are pretty bland looking.  Perfectly happy to wear them out but nothing hugely visually interesting.
     
    Sound:  Here they start to shine a little bit.  Well not so much shine as they don’t do that, they are gently warmed but just a smidge.  There is a sonic purity to them, something honest sounding, pure and direct.  They are not thrilling party beasts by any imagining but they really are good.  They are rather like a BA version of the old GR07, the king of the generalists.  This is so alike it but with BA like traits instead.  Like it isolates great for one.  Its deepest bass isn’t a big air mover, its mids are lightly buttered and its highs are faintly warmed.  It’s a really ear gently sound.  Bass that’s a fraction above natural though it’s light and while smoothly agile.  It’s a bit strange as it feels, smooth, slow relaxed but of course it’s a BA so it’s highly agile.  It’s just very polite in how it goes about things, like going 100mph in a rolls Royce, you’re barrelling along but it feels as laid back and unhurried as if it were 20.  Mids too share that casually, unhurried feel.  They are a touch buttery and have a tonal purity to them.  Spacious yet towards the front and somehow intimately detailed but never in your face.  The treble is a little subdued in quantity, it’s rather softly relaxed too.  Rather a lot of detail but it’s just sort of there, there is no effort made to hurl it your way.  Especially if you throw colder more aggressive sources at it, they want to gently bring a little warmth.
     
    A great audiophile generalist, which isolated well too, winner.
     
    Value:  It may not be the mainstream success as its warmly soft, clean sound has to offer deserves as some will want more air moved down low.  These are not that, these are audiophile generalists, BA air movements, mids that only come from a decent BA driver.  As close as I’ve heard to the GR07 but these isolate.
     
    Pro’s:  Great Isolation.  Great natural acoustic feel.  Smooth.
     
    Con’s:  Single BA isn’t a big air mover.  Too unaggressive for some.
  3. pinoyman
    Review: Hisound HA-2 and Wooduo
    Written by pinoyman
    Published May 9, 2016
    2.5/5,
    Credit goes to: MR. DSD
    picture c/o: MR. DSD







    The Hisound HA2 & Wooduo HW2

    Things at my disposal:
    Creative Soundblaster ZXR (dedicated PC sound card / DAC)
    Roland SRA-5050 (Professional Grade Integrated Amplifier)
    Lake People Phone Amp G109-A, 30th Anniv. Edition (Dedicated Heaphone Amp)
    Audioquest - Golden Gate Mini-to-RCA (0.6m)
    Sansa Fuze (Portable DAP)
    Dita 3.5mm jack to 6.3mm jack adapter (accessory included by DITA)
    Foobar2000 (Dedicated Music App)
    New SpeakerHeadphone Burn In Track. Pink Noise, Brown Noise and White Noise. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3CiZxstvEA

    Keeping in mind that the iem's are special in their own terms and make, each came fresh thus needing some stretching in order to be appreciated. The HA2, which boasts its second generation Balance Armature and the Wooduo HW2 has a strong Dynamic Driver built in. Before one can realize the full potential of both the iem's, I have dedicated a conservative 4 hours "burn in" time. I have also painstakingly chose the right ear tips to match the opening without flooding the other audible frequencies, at least on what I can sense and perceive.

    The Roland SRA-5050 gave a hell of a workout to both of the iem's. The integrated amp receives its unbalanced audio output from the RCA of my soundcard. I have laid in a pair of QED Reference Audio 40 as my interconnects. I set the volume pot at 12 o'clock, 50% volume on the Creative Soundblaster ZXR and let Foobar2000 make a lot of noise while playing "New SpeakerHeadphone Burn In Track. Pink Noise, Brown Noise and White Noise" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3CiZxstvEA). Expect it to be annoying, just them leave isolated for a while.

    I used a pair of silicon tips for the HA2, and a matching couple of foam tips for the Wooduo HW2, kindly refer to the pictures provided.

    As I said earlier, the diameter of the canal should not be mired by opening of the ear tips. I believe that the sound resonating from the drivers should flow in liberty. It would beat the purpose of and the design of each of the iem's if I would be hearing from the funnel like response at the other end of the tip. In short, I want to lessen any elements for me to take benefit from the experience.



    Both iem's are POWER HUNGRY! I adamantly believe that both iem's were built to synergize with the Hisoundaudio Studio S6. I was lucky enough to have a Lake People Phone Amp G109-A, 30th Anniv. Edition, which is known for its neutrality, by simply not adding coloration to your listening pleasure. The headphone amp can drive a majority of professional grade cans. The Amp produces an impressive transparency and the frequency range is believable. As I a plug in the iem's alternately, I've notice that the right headphone-in is suitable than that of the left. I am not quite sure why, however I found the right hole to be less "agressive" and is less piercing to the ear drums. I love it when everything is silent, meaning no hisses when my Sansa Fuze is playing no songs. Plus, Lake People Phone Amp G109-A is made in Germany.

    After a conservative 4 hrs., the stiff HA2 is now agreeable. The HA2 having BA driver(s) is expected to be fast and timely. It offers considerable amount of transparency, picks up minute details and the rhythm of the majority of the music, regardless of the genre, I throw in it. It is clean sounding without sacrificing the mids. I prefer the term "crisp" to politely describe the totality of its tone. I found myself turning the pot to nearly to 12 o'clock, it is the same degree when I listening to my full size can mid-fi Grado PS500. You can check the specification below.



    Do not expect to dig deep on the lower frequencies. It may tap or stump (lightly) and expect nothing lower. People who are into acoustic will love these micro speakers. Any decay or reverberation will depend on your preferred AMPs and DACs, however I am pretty confident that the energetic and lively presentation won't disappoint. Depending on how a song was Mastered, the HA2 might sound sibilant at some point. Rock Music such as the Queen's "Princes of the Universe" sound sharp on the parts of the Electric Guitar. But hey, I can distinguish the separation of instruments the band is playing. It is satisfying. Nothing is there to hide, again, separation is good close to excellent, not quite though. If it is not for the packaging, I'll be fooled what I am listening into is a BA driven iem. Most BA iem's I have auditioned lacks that "natural" tone. The HA2 does not masked nor compensate for the bad recording of your music, it is honest, oftentimes. It neither sound clinical nor bland, it gives this impression for me to be excited, yes, that builds up as the music plays by. Bass, where is the bass? It is there, again it is light, I don't yearn to hear more. It is rather substantially there.

    For atleast $99.00, it is basically made out of plastic. I am not sure how durable the wires are or how they are made for the unit to last long. Nothing too fancy, I guess. However, BA drivers are cost more to produce than the dynamic counterpart. Perhaps, the cost of making the second gen. may justify the price. Or the R&D Hisound has invested. Unless the Hisound openly brings out what makes it extra special, I'll just keep on guessing. I learned a lot by not judging a book by its cover.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the Wooduo HW2 is a Bass prodigy. It has its own set of skills that a number connoisseur would find irresistible. As I mentioned above, the iem was also given same treatment as the HA2. My first impression, before the minimal 4 hr. "burn in", of the iem was piercing in some Audiophile Voices tracks and the bass tends to be out of control. The bass was heavily bloated and somewhat hard to distinguished the "layers" of the lower spectrum of the frequency.





    The Wooduo HW2 having dynamic drivers is expected to have a mid to low range impact. What makes the HW2 bashing on the lower spectrum, of what is considered audible, is its wooden body construction analogous to great vintage speakers. Popular iem's with similar, at least basing on what I have personally auditioned, like Japanese JVC fx700 and fx850 are of parallel sound signature. They are sibilant to my ears and can satisfy one's craving for impactful layered bass, not to mention pleasurable dynamics. Okay, how can I compare the $200 to $300 + iem's to the Chinese counterpart? At a measly $65, the wooden construction, flat red chords (eyecatching), a hard shell case, a "cablemanger" and pairs of ear tips are enough for the price to material ratio. Soundwise, the JVC's has more texture and authority for your music and are more energetic. The JVC's present a better sense of soundstage than the Wooduo. The HW2 is smaller in size, BUT, one won't expect a "BIG" sound for its size. To achieve that sound, I prefer the foam tips as the perfect match for the Wooduo's potential to shine. The iem is neither a detail freak, nor some diva vocalist. It is intended to be fun, non - fatiguing, and therefore fit for long hours of listening. The Bass prodigy digs deep but not tight. I care less of what certain frequency is in favor of because I lack tools and expertise to present an empirical data. I just trust my ears and my emotions I attached to familiar music pieces I often thirst for a deep bass. Subjective, I am.

    Jazz enthusiast who are yearning to hear jazz string percussions won't run short of. It is not the most accurate, however it is utterly satisfying. Bass is plenty, and heck after that 4 hour burn in, quantity shifts to quality. The bass prodigy is learning additional "skills" and its "talent" refined to "a certain extent." Highs are smoother and I am still hoping it be velvety as I use it over time. To the less challenged when it comes to bass, this iem is definitely for you! I found myself turning the volume knob to 10 o'clock to push the Wooduo HW2 to sing. Deep Bass is pumping and rolling in the track like "Satisfaction", the dynamics is so awesome. I won't say that the bass is ear shattering, don't mind it. You just feel it whenever it is present. You tap with mid-bass to the point that one internalizes the subtle sub frequencies. I like it. I am not a Basshead to start with. Sheesh!




    I therefore conclude that Hisound is doing its best to cater audiophiles by not being too fancy. HA2 & Wooduo HW2 are siblings positioned on the opposite ends of the pole. Both have their followers that would satisfy on what they intended to, considering the vast genres available from your music source. However, one must not forget that Hisound has a Digital Audio Player and is bound to synergize with both the iem's in order for them to show their full potential. I am lucky enough to have an Amp, which I believe to have a sound signature close to the S6. Lake People G109-A is neutral and frequency range is fantastic. This the closest I can get to the Hisound S6 though the Studio - V is what I can resource from the back of my mind. Lastly, Hisound made it simple and direct for audiophiles to appreciate. I would recommend both the iem's for starters and for those who needs a breather from their proud and luxurious toys. Thank you.
     
     


      taffy2207 likes this.
  4. HiFiChris
    A claimed 'Game-Changer' that is pretty good indeed but won't blow the much higher priced Competition (which I didn't expect anyway)
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Mar 8, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - balanced warm sound (if you're into that), soundstage (size, precision), resolution good for the price (indeed better than other < $100 single-BAs)
    Cons - springy cable without cable cinch, intended to be worn straight down (over the ears still possible though), mids on the warmer side
    IMG_20160216_185143.jpg

     
     
     
    Preamble:

    HiSoundAudio (http://www.hisoundaudio.com/en/index.asp, not up to date) is a Chinese audio company, known for their in-ears and audio players. Besides their new DAP, they are also about to come out with a new in-ear model.
    Having talked to Jack from HiSoundAudio, he said that they are extremely confident about their upcoming single-BA in-ear which is expected to be launched very soon and is supposed to retail for around $60 or less $99 (the price was adjusted). He said they are even so confident about the HA-2 (that’s the name of their new in-ear) that they could charge a much higher, medium three-digit price in US-Dollars for their new model and that it would be better than some dual- and triple-driver in-ears that cost much more – well in healthy doubt, that is to be found out in the course of this review and in my conclusion, I will see whether the claims can hold true and if they were able to apply some “magic” to get around the limitations of the single-BA design.

    Jack sent me this pre-production evaluation sample of the HA-2 free of charge for the purpose of an honest evaluation. I am not affiliated with HiSoundAudio, nor do I get any kind of financial compensation for it and this review reflects my actual thoughts on the product – things that can be applied to each of my reviews.


    Technical Specifications:

    Drivers: Balanced Armature (1x)
    Impedance: 36 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 109 dB
    Highest Sound Pressure: 125 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
    Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 Khz
    Cable Length: 109 cm


    Delivery Content:

    My evaluation sample arrived solely with the carrying case as well as one pair of silicone tips; the retail version and packaging might and will surely vary.
     

    IMG_20160216_184657.jpg   IMG_20160216_184711_hdr.jpg



    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The in-ear bodies are entirely made of metal and feature two colours, black and gold. The housings’ shape is a bit unusual, as we have an elongated bridge to which a small ball is attached on the side. The Balanced Armature driver is located inside that ball and the overall design of the bodies reminds me of either a shower head or a street lamp. On the inner side, the model number as well as the side markers can be found. The bodies appear very sturdily and well made, there are no sharp edges at all.

    The cable is quite identical to the one of the SoundMAGIC E10 and especially Brainwavz M3, as its inner braids are twisted and then coated with a thin layer of rubber. Above the y-split, there is unfortunately no cable cinch. The angled (45°) 3.5 mm jack is quite small and has got decent strain relief, just like the part directly below the y-split. Above and directly at the in-ear bodies, there is unfortunately no strain relief at all.

    The small carrying case with the HiSoundAudio logo on the outside is nicely cushioned inside.
     

    IMG_20160216_184731.jpg   IMG_20160216_184854.jpg
    IMG_20160216_184950.jpg   IMG_20160216_185004.jpg
    IMG_20160216_185041.jpg   IMG_20160216_185057.jpg
    IMG_20160216_184825.jpg   IMG_20160216_184915.jpg

     

    Comfort, Isolation:

    The bridge eases insertion plus positioning, but it can probably also cause some comfort issues, depending on the ear anatomy (especially with very small ears). I with my large ears have no fit issues at all with the HA-2, as it sits very comfortably in my conchas and I don’t notice it anymore after just short time. Because of the bridges, a classical wearing style with the cables straight down is intended, but in my ears, it is also possible to turn the in-ears around by 180° and then to guide the cables over the ears, which improves fit and distinctly reduces microphonics. Though, that could be difficult in small ears as well. The lack of a cable cinch is a bit sad when wearing the in-ears.

    In each body is a small vent, nonetheless isolation is very good and clearly above average (I’s say it is identical to the MEE A151’s).


    Sound:

    The source devices I used were the iBasso DX80, DX90 as well as HiFiMe 9018d; source material was stored in FLAC, Hi-Res, DSD and MP3 format.
    For listening, I used the largest silicone tips from SoundMAGIC, as those had the same inner diameter as well as nozzle length as the stock medium tips that arrived (I did that to remain the same sound and as I about always need the largest silicone tips).

    Tonality:

    HA-2’s tonality is very balanced and natural with a slight tendency to warmth and smoothness.

    Mid-bass, upper bass and the lower fundamental area are moderately north of neutral (about 4.5 dB compared to the Etymotic ER-4S), enough to add slight weight but little enough not to become bassy, just a bit warmer. From 300 to 600 Hz, the moderate emphasis evenly decreases to a normal level and remains flat, neutral until somewhat above 1 kHz. From there on, level decreases towards 2.7 kHz, so the presence area is slightly in the background. At 3.5 kHz is a moderate peak, at 5 kHz level is somewhat in the background again and at 7 kHz is another, broad-banded peak (both peaks are however below 0 and only audible with a sine generator). From 10 kHz on, level decreases evenly, which is okay for a single-driver BA earphone. At 11.5 kHz, there is yet enough level, though subtle glare in the super treble is not really present (just as with most single-BAs). Below 40 Hz, sub-bass also somewhat rolls of.
    For people who prefer a beefier low end, the HA-2 will likely not be sufficient but sound too balanced, though it is not neutral (flat) either, albeit quite balanced. In comparison to a neutral monitor, the HA-2 has got somewhat more warmth in the fundamental area and somewhat darker and warmer mids (-> voices) with a smooth treble that is minimally in the background. Who is looking for a slightly smooth, well balanced and natural sound will likely love this in-ear.

    The sound is overall natural and seems realistic, with authentically displayed instruments and voices, although these are a bit more on the relaxed and dark side.

    Resolution:

    This in-ear’s sound is extremely cohesive. Compared to other single-BA in-ears below $100, HA-2’s bass doesn’t soften towards sub-bass but remains a good, quite high level of speed. Also overall, the lows are pretty quick, arid and controlled.
    I would also say that HA-2’s detail retrieval is audibly higher than with most single-BA in-ears below $100, however still below the single-BA reference called Etymotic ER-4S.
    What’s offered here nonetheless is really convincing and the in-ear sounds very detailed and precise, with good control and excellent cohesion.

    Soundstage:

    HiSoundAudio’s promises regarding a large and convincing soundstage are able to hold true: the imaginary soundscape the HA-2 creates is indeed quite large, typically for most single-BA in-ears very cohesive, sounds natural, realistic, round as well as three-dimensional. I would say projection is more forward-oriented and also slightly distanced. Even with fast tracks, the soundstage does not collapse but remains steady and precise.
    Instrument separation is good as well as precise, and so is layering. Small tonal elements are nicely separated from each other and HA-2’s soundstage is more precise than many other single-BA IEMs’, though it doesn’t reach the level of precision the Etymotic ER-4S has.

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    In Comparison with other Single-BA In-Ears:

    MEE A151 (2nd Generation):
    Both in-ears have got quite similarly warm lows, the MME however sounds darker in the highs and has got the darker as well as thicker, more upfront mids. In the treble, the HA-2 is more forward than the A151 and therefore sounds more balanced and less dark.
    I already stated in my review of the A151 that I see it as being better than the more expensive UE600, but the HA-2 is even better than the MEE, with higher detail retrieval, the more precise overall sound and quicker lows.
    In terms of soundstage reproduction, the 2nd generation of the A151 is even a slight bit wider, with the same depth as the HA-2, which however has got the more precise spatial presentation with better instrument separation.

    Phonak Audéo PFE 132 (grey Filters):
    The Phonak is the more neutral in-ear, with somewhat less fundamental warmth and the tonally more correct midrange as well as brighter treble, which however features a peak in the upper highs (which is not bothering though).
    In terms of resolution, both are about similar, though I would still say that the HA-2 is the overall winner, as though it has a darker sound signature, it is still able to put out more subtle details in the higher ranges. In terms of bass speed, both are on par.
    I always perceived the Phonak’s soundstage as somewhat artificially sounding, and so it is no too big surprise for me that HA-2’s sounds more natural and realistic in my ears; on top the HSA also has got the more open, larger spatiality with the somewhat more precise instrument separation and placement.

    Fostex TE-07:
    Tonally, both are quite similar in the bass and mids, nonetheless the TE-07 sounds a bit more relaxed. In the treble, the HSA is slightly less dark.
    In terms of resolution, both in-ears are almost on par, though the TE-07 is overall somewhat more refined and differentiated in the treble. The bass speed is identical with both in-ears.
    HA-2’s soundstage is larger, but both are equally good when it is about instrument separation and imaging.

    Etymotic ER-4S:
    As one of the most neutral in-ears ever made, the Ety logically sounds flatter, more linear.
    Overall, ER-4S’ resolution is a bit higher and it also sounds more natural and realistic.
    Though, because of its tonal tuning, the HA-2 is more forgiving with bad recordings.
    In my ears, soundstage size is about comparable with both in-ears (maybe the HA-2 appears a slight bit more spacious), but the Etymotic sports the sharper instrument separation and more precise imaging with more precise instrument placement.


    Conclusion:

    So, let’s get back to the initial question – would it be justifiable for HiSoundAudio to charge a higher three-digit price in US-Dollars for their single-BA in-ear named HA-2 they claim to outperform some dual- and triple-driver in-ears? Though that is some very strong self-confidence, the HA-2 is not the super killer budget IEM that blows away all of the much higher priced competition, but that was nothing I expected at any time anyway – if it would, some very strong magic would have to be involved for a single-driver BA to get around its limitations.
    Nonetheless, the HA-2 is an extremely well sounding single-BA in-ear that is definitely among the better (/best) single-BAs and plays almost in the same ballpark as the Etymotic ER-4S and Fostex TE-07, the first being my favourite single-driver BA in-ear of all time. Yes, the HA-2 is an incredibly nice sounding single-driver in-ear, but don’t expect it to outperform better dual-BA in-ears that are priced much higher. Where it (like many single-drivers) excels many multi-drivers though is soundstage, naturalness and especially cohesion – the HSA has one of the most cohesive and round soundstage that many multi-drivers fail to reproduce.

    So all in all, the HA-2 does indeed offer excellent value – would I be willing to spend around $500 for it? No, definitely not, as there are better multi-driver solutions for that price with higher resolution and better instrument separation plus speed. Would I be willing to spend around $150 to 200 for it? Yes, I probably would, for the pure sound, given how cohesive, well resolving and quick it is for a single-BA in-ear, and in addition, it also has got a really nice soundstage and plays  about more or less close to the Etymotic ER-4S (though with a different tonal approach). For this higher price, the cable would have to be more valuable though – but HiSoundAudio doesn’t intend to charge exorbitant prices but just extremely fair $60, so the cable is very sufficient and nothing to blame the in-ear for at this price point.

    Its sound is really good, especially for the asked price, nonetheless it is still a single-BA in-ear and won’t reach a better multi-BAs’ control, speed, separation and resolution. Still, for around $60, the value is very very good and the HA-2 outperforms about all single-BA in-ears in that price range below $100. Therefore it is very easy to give it 5 out of 5 stars.

    Subsequent edit/adjustment: The MSRP was raised from ~ $60 to 99. From this price point on, the cable should usually be more flexible and more premium in my opinion (it’s not that the cable is bad, as it certainly isn’t – it is just that it is quite springy (it is the same cable that was used on the Brainwavz M3)). Hence, the rating was slightly adjusted and half a star was subtracted. This however does not change the fact that for a single BA IEM at this price point, the value is really good – just the cable could be better (a suggestion to HiSoundAudio for the future/final production run: use a more flexible cable with chin-slider).
    1. View previous replies...
    2. HiFiChris
      @airomjosh
       
      Sorry, I have no idea, never heard the Orion. I could write something, but it would be solely based on assumptions. I am sure though that the Orion has got the better cable, ergonomics, build quality and overall unboxing experience.
      HiFiChris, Mar 31, 2016
    3. Paulpark222
      @airomjosh They're about the same level but Orion sounds more analytical while HA-2 sounds more musical. 
      Paulpark222, Mar 31, 2016
    4. airomjosh
      thanks HifiChris and Paul, both of you are a big help in the audio community. I always read your reviews. More power to both of you.
      airomjosh, Mar 31, 2016

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