NiceHCK EB2

General Information

NiceHCK EB2 is the new model of the store. After the successful TOTL EBX, the EB2 wants to show that a good sound can also be achieved at a more adjusted price.

Sensitivity: 116dB
Resistance: 32Ω
Frequency Response Range: 15-25000Hz

Latest reviews

Pros: Very good package overall, plenty of pads and appreciated carry case
Great smooth sound with very nice low end for an earbud
Great cable
Cons: Plug could be L-type
Fit it tricky and it's really ear-dipendent
Hard to drive
Hello everyone!
After some speaking with Jim from NiceHCK he sold me a pair of EB2 for some cents (very much discount) in order to get a honest review.
I will write some stuff about the NiceHCK EB2 which were quite interesting from the Aliexpress page.

You can find the EB2 at the link below on Aliexpress
https://bit.ly/2uiogTs
And you can find them on amazon at the link below:
https://amzn.to/2OiZwnu

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I just wanna precise that my impressions are subjective and that listening experience can change depending on source, pads and so on.

Test were made on:
- Galaxy S7 Edge Smartphone
- Presonus AudioBOX iONE connected to my PC with no Enhancements actived

Technical specs:
Drivers: Single 14.8mm PEK Dynamic Driver
Sensitivity: 116dB
Impedance: 32ohm
Frequency Response: 15 Hz - 25000 Hz
THD < 0.1% @1kHz
Cable lenght: 1.2m±5cm (Non detachable)
Plug Type: Straight

PACKAGING
Common carton package from NiceHCK.
We find the appreciated carry case with the NiceHCK logo, the earbuds, a little clothespin and a variety of pads (5 pairs mixed donut pads and full pads).

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CABLE
Cable feels great with a nice touch and feel. It seems very durable and high quality and features an appreciated chin slider. No mic.
The downside is that it isn’t detachable and that could be useful in order to replace the cable if in someway people accidentally break it.
It ends with a 3.5mm gold plated jack but you can find a 2.5mm balanced plug too.
I personally could try it as i did not have a balanced output.

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CONSTRUCTION AND INTERNALS
The shell is made of metal and it’s really well assembled. It features 2 big vents in order to advantage dynamic driver’s work and on little vent at the end of the shell.
Red stripe earbud is the right one, while the blue stripe earbud is the left one.

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COMFORT AND ISOLATION
Personally, i usually find earbuds uncomfortable for long session. The EB2 are fairly comfortable as soon as you can wear earbuds without problems.
Fit can be tricky if you’re not up to these kind of headphones especially if they’re around this size (i personally feel sick wearing mx500 shells after half an hour for example, but i have very little ears).
In any case, the EB2 do not provide an excellent isolation due to their earbud design but with the right pads and medium volume you will be ok.

SOUND
Let's get into it.
Now the critical factor that decides if something has to be tried or not: how do they sound?
I mainly listen to EDM subgenres, Dupstep, Future Bass, Euphoric Hardstyle, Bass House, Midtempo and downtempo, darkwave, drum'n bass, but i even listen to many vocal tracks, moreover female ones.
I always search for IEMs that have a little bit of emphasis in the lower region, and can sacrifice mids with some recession if they still sound clear and natural. I love vivid and sparkling highs if they're not at a headache level.
V-shape signature is my favourite one.

Test were done with double pads: full pad on first, then donut pad at last. This should make the low-end a little bit more punchy and the treble a little bit more forward after the full pad wearing.

Lows: Lows on the EB2 are really good. Sub-bass has nice extension and kickdrums have a nice impact. Basses well textured and sound with the right body. The 14.8mm driver and the back vents really help keeping the low region immersive for people who like heavy genres.

Mids: really smooth. Male voices sound good thanks to the little mid-bass hump and female voices are intimate due to the upper mids lift. Synths and instruments get a little recessed place without being very recessed. Voices are forward instead.

Highs: really vivid with good detail retrieval. Treble is not super emphasized and it’s fatiguing at all. Treble roll-off is not going to ruin your treble as it’s not low and there’s enough air.

Soundstage is not particularly big, with a bit above average width and average height and depth.

The EB2 are anyway not easy to drive and i do not advice people using them with a simple smartphone. While connected to my Presonus AudioBOX iONE, they really “open” showing more potential, and I'm sure if you connect them to a very good amp they can really show you how well they sound.

SUMMARY
NiceHCK provides an EBX little sister which should sound good at less than half the price.
I personally do not own the EBX so i cannot speak about it, but i have to say these earbuds can really nail it.
With the right pads you can put out of these just what you want and you still have in any case a great earbud that can sound good with everything, but i advice using them with a dedicated amp (i think an economic Fiio A1 should do the job well for these kind of earphones) or at least sources with enough power to drive them.
I am sure NiceHCK is doing very well with their product and i hope they keep their actual quality which is really top notch: the EB2 is another proof of their good work in the chi-fi world.
Pros: comfort, build quality, dynamics/transient response
Cons: finicky fit, hard to drive, dry/thin tuning
INTRODUCTION/DISCLAIMER:
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The Nicehck EB2 is an earbud using 14.8mm dynamic drivers that retails for $32.99 at the time of this review. The EB2 is sold by the NiceHCK Audio Store on AliExpress. I purchased the EB2 at a promotional price of $0.10 in exchange for this review. My thoughts about the EB2 are my own and I will strive to review the EB2 objectively.
This review can also be read on my blog here.

SOURCES
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I have used the Nicehck EB2 with the following sources:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Global > Nicehck EB2

Windows 10 PC > JDS Labs The Element > Nicehck EB2

Windows 10 PC > Hidizs AP60II > Nicehck EB2

I have tested these headphones with Spotify Premium high-quality streaming, Google Play Music streaming at 320kbps, and local FLAC.

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
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The Nicehck EB2 comes in a rectangular white cardboard box with the product name, manufacturer’s logo and an illustration of the earbuds on the front. Inside this box is a Nicehck-branded semi-rigid zippered carry case containing the IEMs, a shirt clip, and a selection of foam covers. The Nicehck EB2 comes with three set of solid foams and two sets of donut foams.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
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The EB2’s housings are squat, rounded cones with disk-shaped bases. The housings are made of metal apart from the black plastic ear-facing surface. Each housing has two semi-circular vents along each side of the back of the disk, and two small circular vents on either side of the top of the conical part of the housing. A cylinder made from the same metal as the housing extends to protect the cable and stabilize the earbud against the earlobe. The cylinders are marked with blue and red bands to indicate left and right. The ear-facing black plastic surface is covered in concentric rings of small circular holes. The cable is silver and is covered by a clear plastic sheath. The cable has a choker that comes up from the Y-split all the way up to the metal cylinder of each earbud. The EB2 has a straight 3.5mm jack with strain relief. There is no strain relief where the cable enters the metal cylinders, presumably because the earbud is designed to be worn cable-down only.

FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
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The Nicehck EB2 is difficult to seat securely in the ear. When I first received the EB2, I was concerned that I had received a faulty pair because the sound was inconsistent depending on small movements of the earbud in my ear. Based on advice from Head-Fier mbwilson111, I put donut foams over solid foams on the EB2, which helped significantly. I have small ears, so this problem may be even more pronounced for other listeners. The EB2 is extremely comfortable, but since the EB2 is an earbud, so don’t expect isolation with them.

SOUND
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The Nicehck EB2 has a restrained and clear audiophile-friendly tuning. Sub-bass extension is poor. Mid-bass is lean but well-articulated. Bass transients are quick but bass texture is one-note. Mid-bass bleeds slightly into the lower mids. The lower mids are gently recessed. Male vocals are clear but could use more warmth. Upper-mids are emphasized, conveying excellent presence but a little too much bite. The emphasis on the upper mids combined with the lean bass can make the EB2 sound thin. Treble is mildly veiled, extended while not prominent. Detail resolution is excellent but I had to strain my ears to pick it out. Instrument separation is not great, especially at higher volumes.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING
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The Nicehck EB2 benefits from dedicated amplification, which improves instrument separation and makes the treble less veiled. The difference is distinct but not night and day.

COMPARISONS
Nicehck EB2 vs QianYun Qian69
The Qian69 is more V-shaped. The Qian69 has better sub-bass extension. Bass dynamics are similar, though the Qian69 has more textured bass. The EB2 has less recessed mids. The Qian69 has more prominent treble and sounds airier. The treble on the Qian69 is more fatiguing. The Qian69 has a larger soundstage and slightly better instrument separation. The Qian69 is easier to drive from a smartphone but does not noticeably scale with better amplification.

Nicehck EB2 vs Monk Espresso
The Monk Espresso is warmer, with slightly better sub-bass extension and more mid-bass. The EB2 has better bass articulation, with faster attack and decay. Mids on the Espresso are more recessed than on the EB2. Lower treble stands out more on the Espresso. The EB2 has a slightly bigger soundstage. Instrument separation is slightly better on the Monk Espresso. Both scale with dedicated amplification.

CLOSING WORDS
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Despite a unique design and impressive build quality, the appeal of the EB2 is limited by its dry, clinical tuning.
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Pros: Clear extended treble that is smooth and delicate, good details, good vocal, excellent construction, ultra comfortable.
Cons: Small soundstage, polite sound that can be boring, lack of space between instruments separation, anemic bass, overall underwhelming sound experience.
NICEHCK EB2 REVIEW :

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CONSTRUCTION : 9/10

SOUND: 7/10

FIT: 9/10

VALUE: 7.5/10

There lot of OEM chinese seller on Aliexpress, but NiceHCK is more than that : he got creativity as well as lot of interesting techs to play with. Did you know that Shenzhen, the city where HCK work, is the center of the world for new technologies and electronics? You really can find anything there, just go look on youtube for more info, like this random guy that built Iphone with spare piece find there and there in big tech commercial place or people that create robots for everyday life. Its all about electronic there, far is the time where it was just a fisherman village, now you fish for revolutionary technologies that would be usefull for any electronic project, should it be a phone, a laptop, a robot….or an earbud, iem or DAP!

NiceHCK is my favorite seller, and its not a licking ass sentence, I struggle with other and with him its always smooth and happy happy, this time he offer a rebate for the EB2 earbud in exchange of a review, why? Because I buy lot of stuffs from him with my own money like the Tinaudo T2, Zhiyin Z5000 etc, and he offer this rebate because I was curious about it, not because he force me to promote it. As a owner of about 15 earbuds, from 4 to 125$, be sure I will not be a selled ass here.


So let’s begin.


CONSTRUCTION :

First thing that hit me was how well made this earbud are, it really stand appart in the sub 30$ range for construction. The design is quite unique too, and in a good way, because the shell is quite small compared to lets say the Mrz Tomahawk and it stay in place very well. So Gorgeous looking and comfy, what more to ask?

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I can say without a doubt that this is the must comfortable metal earbud I try and that the secure fit make me enjoy music better, because I do not have to struggle with positioning even if you pull the cable its stay in place. Cable look nice too, surely a SPC cable. All in all, these do not look and feel like what the price tag suggest.

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SOURCE USED : Xduoo X20+Xduoo XD-05 AMP

Ibasso DX90 at high gain (best sinergy! no amp needed)

Xduoo X3ii+Walnut V2S with Burson V5i dual Opamp



Having about 15 pairs of earbuds, i’m more and more picky about sound value, wich is my supreme obsession : having the best for the less money possible. I’m I cheap? Not exactly, i’m more a collector of different soundsignature to suit the multiple music style I listen, strangely, the worst music style I listen (rarely) is rap and its the harder type to enjoy with earbud because without a silicone eartip to create artificial bass by vibrating air flow of buttom low end, earbud just can’t make that Boomy lively bass must of the time and when it does its not particularly enjoyable. Here, the EB2 is not exception and if you crave for bass, stop reading right now, its not the earbud for you, its more a neutral, delicate and pretty clear sounding one, and that in a very small form factor that unfortunately affect soundstage to make it more intimate but never congested.


ABOUT AMPING : Rightly amped the EB2 are drive to their full potential, they sound tinner and less weighty straight out of any of my DAP with the exception of the powerfull Ibasso DX90 (but still not the best). Sorry, but if you use earbud without portable or deskop amp on a phone or not very powerfull DAP its like eating an uncooked meal without salt on it. DO-NOT-TRUST-EARDBUD(and headphone)-REVIEW-WITH-WEAK-AUDIO-SOURCE.


BASS is clear, slightly textured and have enough punch to make the kick discernable , sub as well is hearable, but in a dry way, still, no distortion occur at high volume, you really need to make explode your head to achieve distortion. Tigh low end and quite fast too, and no problem with the low shadowing the mids because its to polite for that. I particularly enjoy this type of bass for jazz, less so for electronic and big beat where sub have an important presence. This is the type of bass that is suitable for acoustic music, like slap bass, because it lack body it is not particularly enjoyable for classical where cello is important.


MIDS are the star of the show, like with its big brother earbud the EBX, vocal tend to float above the rest, but the EB2 are less airy in the presentation, its overall a brighter little EBX brother and I really don’t think both use the same driver as some would suggest. Just to be clear, EBX is from another league and with a price range above 100$ its not fair to compare both. EB2 is a dryier more foward earbud, near perfectly neutral because of a linear presentation that lack air for a better 3D feel, its a fowards detailed earbud with no sibilance and a quite agile presentation. Everything is clear but without the depth and widness one would wish, its intimate presentation would be underwhelming for some but a joy for other (I guess).


HIGHS are enough impressive for its price range, it do not feel forced still have plenty of it, no splashy cymbals, realistic sounding one, percussion layers are easily discernable without feeling artificial, in fact, this is a tour de force! Here, there no sparkle whatsoever, wich make me turn the volume louder to have an apropriate sound pressure experience, but even at low volume you will hear everything you need. For exemple classical guitar lack teeth, so in the duo cello-guitar I listen the cello steal the show but without shadowing the guitar picking because of good transperency. EB2 are polite in a real audiophile way with a treble extension that pricier earbud try to achieve with clumsiness. This earbud are good for critical listening in a relax way and will not make suffer treble sensitive people even if they aren’t very warm.


SOUNDSTAGE is ultra small and insignificant without right amping. It really feel not right and I’ve been happy to hear a veyr big difference once I use any cheap portable amp or good one. Strangely, a too powerfull one like the Sansui AU-D5 will torture the driver by kicking it in the balls too much.


COMPARAISON :

TONEKING PT16 sound warmer, have a bigger soundstage, feel more congested somehow and less precise than the EB2. The bass of PT16 is clumsy and can make distortion-rattle, as well, it can interfer with the mids, wich do not occur with the EB2.


TONEKING MRZ TOMAHAWK kick the ass hard of EB2 and put them to shame, for 10$ more you get a soundstage 2-3-4? time bigger, better resolution, more sparkle, as much details, way more air and a better instrument separation. In fact, it feel from another league in everything but mids sibilance that can occur with some female vocal.


NICEHCK EBX
isn’t a twin brother of EB2 AT ALL, don’t listen to anybody that tell you that-its just selled ass gimmick to wow you, HCK do not price them 4 time the price for fun, its because the driver is different as well as housing that affect soundstage tremendously, better layering, way better and airier instrument separation, more low extension, more musical and well, only fault I can find is comfort, where the EB2 beat them.


EMX500
have more bass and punch, more recessed vocal and sound less detailed and neutral. Here, its the EB2 that feel from another league with a more delicate and musical presentation. Still, you will have more fun with the 500. Soundstage is lightly smaller with EB2. Construction is from another league and as one pair of my 2 EMX500 broke after less than 3months I think the EB2 will pass test of time better.

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CONCLUSION :

Perhaps my expectation was too high about the EB2, and this is surely due to a misleading comparaison that put them very near the EBX (yeah, shame on you and your 95% as good, bro!), so honnestly i’ve been underwhelmed by them and still is. But this is because I have 15 pairs of earbuds, do critical listening for real and listen to a very wide musical style that include classical, jazz, electro, rock, world music, experimental, folk etc. The EB2 are audiophile targeted with a neutral soundstignature that perhaps lack sparkle but not details and calibration, they are polite but not dark sounding and a good bet for acoustic music like jazz, classical and signers. If you plan to listen Pop, rap or electronic this isnt for you, and if your obsess about a soundstage that feel around your head it isnt too. All in all, in the sub-30$ range they stand above average, but fail to create any wow effect on the listener because they are too much of a good student and its trange to say but I prefer the rebelious students that have more personality.
Zerohour88
Zerohour88
glad you're back again

and yup, glad I soldiered on and still got the EBX instead of going cheap and buying EB2. I'm really enjoying the EBX for my daily usage now. Fit is still a bit fiddly, sadly.
NymPHONOmaniac
NymPHONOmaniac
Back on da track bro! Yep, really a matter of taste here, cause they aren't bad sounding, just too linear and constraint in overall sound presentation. Its perhaps the EBX effect, or the Tomahawk, both have immense airy soundstage, for me earbuds are meant to sound expansive.
NymPHONOmaniac
NymPHONOmaniac
And yeah....the famous EBX fit, I guess its the price to pay with your body to get that much sens of space and deep. My ears recostumize themself for the EBX, wear it over ear with a light flexible (no ear hooked) SPC cable. Sometime 2 donut foams can help, but I just use one.

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