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NiceHCK EBX

Rating:
4.41667/5,
  1. assassin10000
    Clean sound from a (literal) heavy weight.
    Written by assassin10000
    Published May 22, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Clean, clear and crisp sound.
    Smaller 15.9mm diameter may help fit smaller ears.
    Cons - Slightly forward and slightly bright signature may be fatiguing.
    Physical weight of metal housing may cause fit issues.
    Disclaimer: None, I bought these. My second review.


    20190521_183109.jpg


    Brief Intro:
    These are NiceHCK's flagship earbuds. I believe they first came out in late 2017. They use a Japanese PET diaphram and have a removable MMCX cable.

    Basic Specs:
    Driver: Dynamic 14.8mm Japanese PET diaphram.
    Frequency Response: 20-22000Hz
    Sensitivity: 120dB/mW
    Impedance: 32Ω


    Unboxing/accessories:

    NiceHCK has packaged these earbuds in a compact cardboard box with a foam cutout holding the earbud case. Inside the case are the earbuds individually bagged, the cable and a bag of earbud foams. I do like the fact the earbuds themselves are individually packaged to prevent scratches or other damage to the finish during shipping.

    20190521_182148.jpg

    The packaging is minimalist and maybe not quite the un-boxing experience some would expect for a flagship product. Although this does not bother me, it may for others.

    20190521_182214 (1).jpg

    The earbuds come with a leather cable wrap that uses a button snap and 5 pairs of various earbud foams (2 pairs of donut style foams in blue and black; and 3 pairs of regular/full foams in green, blue and black).

    20190415_161857.jpg


    Build/Fit:
    The EBX is a very well built earbud. Unfortunately it is also fairly heavy for an earbud, the rear housing is all metal only the front face is plastic. This is the heaviest earbud I've held. The EBX outside diameter is 15.9mm and is on the smaller side for earbuds. A typical MX500 style earbud housing is around 16.8mm and the PK/Yuin style shell is around 16.1mm.

    The thickness main body of the earbud and its actual physical weight poses more of a fit issue than anything else I've noticed. I have smaller ears so these do fit fairly well. When worn cable down any physical movement makes these come loose fairly easily. Despite being shown worn cable down in some of the advertising/marketing photos, I would not recommend wearing them that way unless sitting still. The earpieces are not marked left or right and you are free to swap them from side to side for the best fit. I wear them over ear/cable up with the 'stem' that holds the MMCX connector pointing forwards.

    The cable is a nice 8-core copper and silver plated copper mix. It has different weaves above and below the splitter. The MMCX connectors and Plug are chrome plated, and the plug has a silver carbon fiber inlay. There are very short strain reliefs on both the plug and connectors, which I would prefer to be slightly longer. There is no strain relief on the cable splitter but there is a clear flexible silicone cable cinch.


    20190521_183834.jpg



    I recommend using the foam covers, as typically without them bass is anemic. The foam provides enough seal for the bass frequencies to be directed to your eardrum, without them there may be little to no low end bass. This seems to be true for most earbud designs. I tend to prefer a donut style earbud foam as it provides a seal for a better bass response but at the same time does not affect/muffle the mids/treble.

    I do listen to these using a donut style earbud foam.

    I listen to a mixture of EDM (Dance, Trance, Vocal Trance, House), Classical, Acoustic, Rock and 90's to early 00's Rap.

    I am still new to reviewing and the critical listening skills needed to accurately describe sound. So I may not cover some things that may require a more skilled listener to describe.

    Note: I do burn-in for 100+ hours. I do not have a USB DAC, a separate amp or a DAP. All my listening is typically done through my smartphone or my laptop.

    Despite being 32Ω, the sensitivity of the EBX is high enough that my phone drives it with no issues.


    20190415_162437.jpg


    The sound:

    Treble: Good quality and is clean, clear and crisp. Cymbal sounds are present but not piercing or harsh. I have not noticed any sibilance issues.

    Mids: Again good quality, clean and clear. Stringed instruments sound good, I noticed nothing unnatural. Female vocals have slightly more emphasis than male vocals. I think there is a slight dip in the lower mids around 500hz that causes this. I believe these were tuned with the Asian market in mind and why this is so.

    Bass: Quality is good and very well controlled. Bass is present when called for, it is neither forward nor recessed. There is no mid-bass bleed into the lower mids. The bass response seems linear and does not seem to roll off until in the sub-bass frequencies (below 40-50hz). Which is to be expected as earbuds have a open/non-isolating design.


    20190521_190030.jpg

    Comparisons:

    Nicehck EBX vs Smabat ST-10: The EBX has a more linear bass response. The ST-10 has better sub-bass frequency response. Both are good, it just depends on what you would prefer. The mids and highs on the EBX are a little more forward and the EBX is a little bit brighter than the ST-10. The ST-10 is more neutral until it reaches the bass frequencies where it shines. I like both and it's kind of a toss-up. The lower midrange on the EBX sometimes seems a bit lacking, I do use EQ to add a 1.5-2.5db at around 500hz on the EBX. The EBX is a slightly better all rounder but if you prefer bass heavy genres (or are a basshead) the ST-10 would be better for you.

    Nicehck EBX vs Ourart ACG: The EBX has a linear bass response that does not roll off until in the sub-bass. The ACG is lacking in low end bass, it rolls off fairly early. If you need some bass or listen to bass heavy genres go with the EBX. Mids/highs are slightly forward and bright on the EBX. The ACG mids/highs are pretty special, they are neutral in quantiy but have great quality. It's hard to describe with words. It's like comparing an older Plasma TV vs a newer LED TV with 'darker' black's, where the color/contrast/etc. is just better. For classical, acoustic, and other genres not needing low end bass I would go with the ACG.


    Conclusion/Thoughts:

    The NiceHCK EBX is a good all rounder and I think will work well with many genres. It has what I would call a slightly forward and slightly bright sound signature with bass that is neutral in quantity. They do respond to EQ if you want to add bass. I did find them slightly fatiguing for long (4+ hour) listening sessions YMMV.
      hqssui likes this.
  2. Wiljen
    NiceHCK EBX - a true flagship Earbud
    Written by Wiljen
    Published Oct 4, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Good bass and sub-bass quantity with great control, balanced signature, great clarity, great cable
    Cons - fit is finicky, price will scare some people off.
    [​IMG]

    Disclaimer: I purchased the NiceHCK EBX at a discounted price for purposes of this review. I also purchased the EB2 (little brother) as part of the lucky bag sale with no discount beyond the sale price applied. Thoughts here are my own and not coerced in anyway.

    It has been awhile since I did any earbud reviews and when I started hearing some good things about some of the recent flagships I decided it was time to revisit the category. The last batch I reviewed were decidedly budget models like the Edifier H185, FiiO EM3, and VE Monk. This time I decided to go a bit up the ladder and will be reviewing the Astrotec Lyra Classic and the NiceHCK Eb2 along side the EBX. The EBX and Lyra represent the $100-150 price point while the EB2 dispenses with some of the niceties of the EBX but preserves much of the sound signature in the $40-50 price bracket.

    Unboxing / Packaging:

    The EBX ships in a small cardboard slip cover style box with very little detail about what is hiding inside printed on the package. Opening the box reveals a small black rubberized soft case bearing the NiceHCK logo. All other items are tucked neatly inside the case. Unzipping the case finds the earbuds themselves (each individually bagged to prevent scratches), the cable (also bagged) and a bag of solid and donut foams. The cable has a nice leather strap with the EBX logo and a snap provided for cable management.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Build:

    The earpieces themselves are two-tone metal with a black ceramic grate covering the driver. The main housing is silver in color with a contrasting gold band that houses the mmcx connector and a silver colored faceplate bearing the NiceHCK name. The face plate has a single small vent below the logo while the rim of the driver housing has 2 elongated slots at the top and bottom to allow airflow. The mmcx connectors sit on a post near the rear of the housing and allow for fairly deep insertion. The post itself and the mmcx connector are both robust and should hold up well if treated with even reasonable care.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Internals:

    The EBX uses a single 14.8mm PET dynamic driver rated at 32Ω with a sensitivity of 120 dB/mW. This is certainly a larger driver than we typically see used for in ear monitors but is increasingly popular for earbuds. For example most of the Lyra series use a similar size driver as does the EB2. It should also be noted that while the EB2 has been referred to as a no-frills EBX, the driver is slightly different as the sensitivity listed by NiceHCK is only 106 dB/mW for the EB2 instead of that listed above, so while the driver type and size are listed as being equal, the sensitivity is slightly different between siblings.

    Cable:

    The cable provided with the EBX is a first class affair. it is a 8 core cable made of half copper and half silver plated strands in a box weave up to the splitter and a litz braid above the splitter to each mmcx connector. The jack is a straight 3.5 TRS connector with a chrome housing and carbon fiber style inlay. A short strain relief is provided but could be improved by lengthening it. The splitter is a sloped barrel design with a clear slider immediately above it and the mmcx connectors are also chrome barrels with short strain reliefs. Again personal preference would be for a longer strain relief but the cable does seem extremely well made. The cable is also more pliable than most, does not seem to develop a memory or want to kink, and is light enough to wear the EBX tip down without it pulling out of your ears due to cable weight. This is a tough feat to produce a cable that is both sturdy and pliable while also maintaining a weight that doesn’t become problematic.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Fit:

    Any discussion of the EBX is likely to circle back to fit at some point. The earpieces are large enough and with the mmcx protruding from the side of the barrel, it will cause fitment issues for some. While seated, wearing the EBX tip down worked acceptably for me although I found they fit better if I reversed the earpieces so the posts were to the front rather than to the rear of the unit. When moving, it is better to wear the EBX Tip up so the cable can be looped over the ear and prevent cable weight from causing shifts. These issues are not solely an EBX problem but are shared by anything that uses a driver this size and has this much mass in the way of an earbud and many of these same comments will be made regarding the Astrotec Lyra and other similar designs. Some will find the overall fit of the EBX a bit too fiddly for their liking while others will see no issues with it. I fall somewhere between the two camps as I have to work to find a good fit but think the reward is worth finding it.

    Sound:

    All of my listening notes are done without any foams installed. If you use the EBX with foams, except some differences between my notes and your listening experience.

    Bass:

    Bass is very well controlled and proportioned. Sub-bass while present is not overstated while mid-bass is just slightly forward when compared to the lower mids. Unlike some others that have tried to compensate for the lack of seal and thus bass-light tendency of earbud designs, NiceHCK has kept everything well controlled and nothing too far above or below anything else in the range. I don’t expect bassheads will like anything that doesn’t seal firmly as sub-bass just cannot be made as punchy in an open design, but those looking for reasonable bass quantity with exceptional control will be rewarded by the EBX.

    Mids:

    As previously mentioned, the lower mids are slightly recessed when compared to the bass and there is perceptible bass bleed into the mids that provides a bit of extra warmth and body to the overall presentation. As we move into the upper-mids the detail level is exceptional and as a result the upper-mids and lower treble sound extremely clear. The combination of really well done upper mids and lower treble make vocals stand out without detracting from the other instruments in the mix. To me this may be the singular best point of the EBX.

    Treble:

    Lower treble is again well in sync with the mids and gives a nice unified feel to vocals without a lot of differentiation between lower and upper register vocals. As we move up, the upper treble steps back just a bit and while still providing plenty of air and sparkle avoids sounding metallic or strident. Cymbals have a nice crisp sound without coming off as digital in their reproduction which is a tough thing to do.

    Soundstage / Imaging:

    For an earbud with one small vent, I expected closed back like performance when it comes to soundstage, but the EBX out-performed my expectations. The stage has both good width and depth and even produced more height than I thought likely at its price point. (Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions are a good test for this).



    Comparisons:

    vs MrZ. Tomahawk

    bass is more controlled on EBX with less bleed than Tomahawk.

    Tomahawk is more forward treble and may be harsh at times.

    Layering and imaging are better on EBX (by a good margin)



    vs NiceHCK Eb2

    build quality and cable are far better on EBX

    Eb2 has 90-95% of the sound quality of the EBX for less than 1/2 the price

    [​IMG]

    Vs Astrotec Lyra Classic

    Lyra Classic has slightly better tonality then EBx.

    EBX has better bass extension than Lyra Classic.

    Details are better on the EBX when compared to the Lyra Classic.



    Thoughts / Conclusion:

    Overall, I think the NiceHCK EBx checks a lot of the right boxes. It has a near neutral signature without any major spikes or valleys, along with good extension on both ends. Detail is plentiful without the harshness that sometimes accompanies that. For many, the concept of a flagship earbud will seem like an oxymoron as we grew up with the cheap, and generally poor earbuds that came with devices and anything that seals seemed like a step upward from those. If you fall into that camp, you owe it to yourself to try a really good earbud design like the EBx as there is a sense of air and room size with an earbud that just is not present with designs that do seal the ear canal. Fatigue is also much lower for me than when using in-ears. The EBx is likely to remain in my daily rotation for quite sometime (not unlike the tomahawk before it) as it provides a different experience than any of the in-ear or over-ear headphones I own and is a welcome change of pace while still maintaining the clarity and detail I love when listening. To NiceHCK, I say a job very well done. The EBX deserves the title flagship.
  3. subwoof3r
    The true NiceHCK earbuds flagship !
    Written by subwoof3r
    Published Sep 12, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Soundstage.
    Details.
    Imaging.
    Mids and highs.
    Cons - Fit may not be the best for many.
    Bass (and subbass especially) could have slightly more presence (mainly due to fit problem).
    Some build quality and QC issues.
    • English is not my native language but I will (as always) trying my best :)
    • I am not affiliated to anything/anyone, so my review reflects exactly what I really think of the product itself. I bought EBX at a discount price in exchange of this honest review.
    • Note that my pair has been properly burned for about 200 hours before this review (yes! in burn-in: I trust :))

    BUILD QUALITY AND ISSUES

    EBX_2.jpg

    These are my first metal earbuds with MMCX. Clearly these custom metal body looks really good overall, it changes from what we are used to currently see in the market like PK2 or more classics EMX500 shells. NiceHCK did a great job to produce their own custom shells, especially in metal. Finition looks good, even if some slight scratches are visible in some parts. The grid is a more known one, as I already seen this one in other earbuds, so it not custom, but a good grid (slightly big but which fits perfectly the metal shell). Cable finition is pretty good, I really like the mix of copper and silver to achieve both of best worlds into one (copper if known for bring slightly more bass and low frequencies, while silver generally does the contrary). I just found MMCX connectors to be a bit fragile.

    EBX.jpg

    The 3.5mm Plug is a known one too (not custom or using a high generic brand), but it does the job and equals what we can see in other TOTL earbuds).

    plug.jpg
    The 3.5mm plug

    cable.jpg
    Quality of the cable is extremely well finished


    Let’s finish by the issues..

    My first received EBX pair was suffering of a faulty R (Right) driver unit. The sound was not at the same level as the L (Left) one. Also, bass was not the same, it was much less presence than the other driver. After talking with Jim, he agreed to kindly send me two new drivers. The second pair I received was definitely better, both drivers now sounded the same, but my old cable finally is still defective (there is a lot of bad contacts into the right MMCX connector), but nothing really worrying as it works anyway, just a bit annoying sometimes. I ordered a new MMXC cable which finally fixed these bad contacts issue. The only remaining thing is that (still?) on my R (Right) unit, the external metal circle is moving a bit, so when I place the driver on my ear, it don’t feel well finished to me as it’s like this circle or the back metal plate should go out anytime. Hopefully everything will keep in place for the next months of use. When I manipulate my R unit and due to this, sometimes it makes a huge “clac” which can be a bit scaring sometimes. So overall, build quality is really nice but not perfect.

    EBX_new_MMCX_1.jpg
    The new 8-core MMCX cable from NiceHCK (that I used to fix my issue)


    COMFORT AND FIT


    Metal shells means bigger weight, well just a bit, but it’s generally OK. I place my EBX most of the time like basic earbuds, but I highly recommend to wear them around ears.

    Around.jpg
    This way you can make some basic moves without readjusting shells in your ears every minutes.


    Foam choice is probably the most difficult thing on EBX. All depends of what you are looking for. If you are looking for a better seal, you will probably go for double foams. I did tried it, but I found the sound having much change not in the positive way (reduced soundstage, plus miss clarity and details, also, bass quantity is way too much for my taste). My best sounding on these earbuds was achieved with generic mid-thin and alone foams (ABnormal foams for exemple). With single foams, you will get the most magic EBX benefits and experience.



    SOUND QUALITY


    Sources used for the review : Fostex HP-A8C (at home) and FiiO E10K (at work). All tracks used for my review are FLAC files or minimum at 320kbps for MP3. I didn’t found EBX to be sensitive to my different sources.



    • Soundstage : extremely wide, spacious and deep. This is probably the most impressive soundstage I heard from any earbuds today. Layering and imaging is just incredible. Soundstage can be extreme and very thin depending on your music, with EBX you can monitor all your best tracks to really know the original soundstage of it (which is quite interesting). Experience is like listening to full open headphones. For sure, NiceHCK did a real great job on this part.
    • Instrument separation : excellent, here also, a very high level of quality. You can discern every details of any instrument without any problem. Listening some guitar and hearing every “pluc” is a pure regal.
    • Bass : Many says that EBX are a bit lacking of subbass and bass, but it not what I feel. As previously said, all depends of the seal first, but if you push towards your ears drivers a bit, you will understand how EBX have bass quantity. But once you put them back on your ears normally, then bass is just perfect, because very linear with other frequencies. It has a lot of impact, not bloated at all. It also reach really low frequency (subass) with effortless. But to really appreciate all its bass quality, you will need to listen to them on a very quiet environment. Sometimes I bring them at work and on an OpenSpace it’s difficult to hear them properly. Anyway, EBX bass is not emphasized at all to let other frequencies explain more. It has the right amount of bass and subbass to me (maybe more bass than sub).
    • Mids : it is where EBX excels. Upper mids is a bit forwarded so you can hear with ease anything of this frequency. A lot of presence, so depending on your music, it can be sometimes annoying. Quality of mids is very nice, I found them extremely good with male and female vocals.
    • Highs : never harsh or sibilant, with extreme micro-details. Due to uppered mids, sometimes high frequency can be a bit irritating, because of being extremely analytical. Clearly, EBX are analytical sounding. They can reach a level of details that I rarely heared from any earbuds till now. It is fine for an hour but if you are a little treble sensitive, be warned. Here also, all depends of which kind of music you are listening.
    TOP MUSIC GENRES


    To be honest, I’m generally listening most of the time electronic music, but sometimes I listen all kind of music too (jazz, hit, pop, rap, vocals, 80’s, etc) and since SO many days now, I had much fun listening to all kind of music with EBX. Pretty versatile and easy listening earbuds. Definitely a great all-rounder.


    COMPARED TO BLOX TM9


    Personally, I found TM9 to be sounding overall more natural, transparent and coherent. In addition, subbass and bass presence and quality is much in favor of TM9. Soundstage on TM9 is more intimate but thinner while being depth and large but not extreme like EBX. Layering is also in favor of TM9 (this is of course purely subjective) at the contrary of imaging. While details are much better on EBX (I completely rediscovered all my best tracks with these), I found mids and highs a bit less present on TM9, but when I listen a lot TM9 and swap immediately to EBX, I found mids sounding a bit veiled. Well, on TM9 you have the right amount of everything with additionally more bass presence. They are both complementary but also completely different sounding. I really enjoy them both for now. All depends of what you are looking for.



    CONCLUSIONS

    EBX_new_MMCX_2.jpg
    Another pic, still coupled with my other 8-core MMC cable

    Jim achieved a truly exceptional earbuds here. They are currently one of my favorite’s earbuds for now. They have truly an exceptional Q/P ratio from what we can currently find on the market. With EBX? You will have a real TOTL sounding earbuds with a price that will afraid many competitors. A gold medal for Jim from NiceHCK to make these earbuds a dream that became true.



    MY SUBJECTIVE RESULTS


    • Overall sound quality and appreciation : 4.5/5
    • Soundstage/imaging : 5/5
    • Details : 5/5
    • Bass : 3,5/5
    • Mids : 5/5
    • Highs : 4,5/5
    • Quality/price value ratio : 5/5
      golov17, ValSilva and HungryPanda like this.
  4. NymPHONOmaniac
    Everything sing in this EBX palace
    Written by NymPHONOmaniac
    Published Apr 16, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Incredibly vast and musical vocal, immense airy soundstage, deep realist layering, very detailed without sounding harsh, energic and fast highs, controled distortion free bass, utterly musical and impressive, top notch construction, high end cable, fatigue free sound.
    Cons - Some fitting issues due to big housing, little lack of texture in mid lows. Little pricey.
    NiceHCK EBX REVIEW:

    CONSTRUCTION: 9.5/10
    SOUND: 9/10
    VALUE: 8.5/10


    P4160844.JPG

    INTRO:

    NiceHCK (Shenzen HCKexin Electronic technology Co.ltd) is an Aliexpress seller that have sell and create high quality IEM and earbuds that earn lot of praise in chifi audiophile world and begin to be recognize more and more as serious audiophile products that offer incredible value. In earbuds world, the NiceHCK EBX is the first high end earbud from this manufacter who have create mustly budget earbuds like the NiceHCK PK2 wich are more OEM or DIY earbuds than serious unique product. This time, with the EBX, I feel HCK became more credible as an independant conceptor because this earbuds feel as a mature product with a unique look and sound. I was so curious to try it that I ask for a discount in exchange of an honnest unbiased review, wich sometime is only possible if you buy and choose your products yourself. I want to thank Jim to let me collaborate this way.



    (ABOUT me: I'm a melomaniac before being an audiophile. My passion about music is drive by a wide curiosity for sound harmony, melody and rythm as well as its texture and intimate timbre details, wich perhaps explain why i'm an amateur music producer as well. This obsession about music is all my own, its not about style or nostalgia or comformism, its first about beauty for sake of beauty and after its about curiosity for all the color of emotion or excitation passing trough a music canvas. Real music is something that tend to go above our humanity and is a form of consecration for an absolute that perhaps will never be achieve.)

    P4160843.JPG



    Specification:

    1. Product Name: NICEHCK EBX metal earbud NICEHCK flagship earbud
    2. Brand: NICEHCK
    3. Model: EBX
    4.
    Type: Earbud
    5. Impedance: 32Ω
    6. Eerphone sensitivity:120dB/mW
    7. Frequency range:20-20000Hz
    8. THD: <1%@1KHz
    9. Interface: 3.5mm
    10.Cable Length: 1.2m±5cm
    11.Color: Black, Gold
    12.
    Whether with Mic: No
    13.Eerphone plug type: Line Tpye
    14.Eerphone category: HIFI




    CONSTRUCTION & FITTING:

    P4160853.JPG P4160854.JPG


    The construction of this flagship earbuds is seriously impressive and reflect the amount of money you spent on a high end product. We cannot say that for every TOTL earbuds, where some brand shamelessly use plastic housing that are the very same found in sub-20$ price range. With the EBX you have master craftmanship. The back of big housing is made of brushed metal with a vented hole, other part is made of thick plastic that keep the weight low for such a housing that need to be big for hiding an enormous 14.8mm dynamic driver as well as being large enough to expend air flow wich permit to open the soundstage alot.

    P4160848.JPG P4160850.JPG

    The cable is of an incredible quality and should worth half total price. Its a braided copper and silver cable sumptuously made where you can actualy see both copper and silver core compenent. Its real candy for they eyes as well as they ears, because it help to give a warm but detailed sound. It feel sturdy and have a reassuring weight to it, yep, this cable is a little heavy wich will be more noticable if you don't wear the EBX around the ear.

    P4160851.JPG P4160853.JPG P4160852.JPG P4160858.JPG

    So now about fitting, at first I have some difficulties to find a solid fitting with those, and it tend to move or even fall from my ears, it was the standard way that was the more problematic. When I wear them over ear it will not fall but sometime will move easily wich will change the sound, because as with any earbuds the fitting must be perfect to have proper sound, more its tigh between tragus near the ear hole the better sounding it is. The EBX are very big as I already say, so I would not suggest them for people with small ears or tragus. I have big ears cavity wich make another problem that not being able to put them in they ears, they are too loose and just not stay still, to solve this problem I use double foam and wear them around ear, now even if I will not do trampoline session with the EBX, I can walk without paranoia crisis about frequent housing moving. They re comfortable and not as heavy than one would think, as well, there silicone hook for earbuds housing and other usefull tool to help fitting issue. Just don't give up, there certainly a fitting way for everybody with the EBX, me being a concret proof!



    SOUND IMPRESSIONS:

    P4160873.JPG



    AUDIO GEAR USED: Xduoo X20, Xduoo X3 (line out trough walnut V2 amp with Burson V5iD Opamp), Ibasso DX90, Faudio FA, DIY Xmos AK4490EQ DAC-AMP with Burson audio V5iD upgrade, FIIO Q1 MK2



    MUSIC THAT PASS TROUGH THIS EARBUDS:

    (Vocal) Lykke Li, El Perro Del Mar, Hope Sandoval, Timber Timbre, Serge Gainsbourg, Arianna Savall, Sinikka Langeland, Meridith Monk, Fever Ray, Bjork, Susanna Wallumrod, Jessica Pratt, Julia Holter, Madeleine Peyroux, Marissa Nadler, Beth Gibbons, Agnes Obel, Phaedra.

    (Bass) Max Cooper, Kangding Ray, Arild Andersen (bassist), Rival Consoles, Ametsub, M.E.S.H, Jlin, Equiknoxx, Nosaj Thing, Lapalux, Boards of Canada, Slugabed, Vinces Staple, Avishai Cohen (bassist), Charles Mingus (bassist), Alva Noto, Prefuse 73

    (Treble) Pierre Hantaï (harpsichord), Glenn Gould (Piano), Lavinie Meijer (Harp), Uakti (instrumental), Chamber orchestra (Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach, Couperin), Tin Hat Trio, Penguin Cafe, Tarkovsky quartet, Domic Miller, Jacob Bro, Helge Lien trio, Gogo Penguin, Eple Trio, Bobo Stenson Trio, Tingvall Trio, Sylvie Proulx (classical guitar), Autoryno, Hypercolor.

    P4160882.JPG

    SOUNDSIGNATURE:

    As you can read in EBX description, its say ''Impeccable female vocal, High fidelity and high resolution'', well this for once is certainly true, especially about female vocal wich are incredibly lush and immersive, so I would consider the EBX as Mid centric with excellent treble extension, realistic but not boomy bass and very sparkly highs that do not feel too peaky. The soundsignature tend towards neutral with mid elevation and mid-highs elevation too, it do not feel bright and have hint of delicate warmnest wich tame the grain of treble. They are detailed in a delicate and airy way, and its more about layering talent and a wide realistic sound presentation than a analytical one that put fowards microdetails and color upper highs to make them more hearable. Here, the musicality can be enjoy for hours without ears fatigue, wich can happen with lot of too fowards sounding earbuds, this isn't basshead earbuds at all like the EMX500, but comparatively to the 500 bass can go deeper and never distort or bleed on other frequencies. Bass is tigh and fast but do not have lot of weighty impact, just enough, it really shine with jazz or instrumental bass, and even with some bass heavy electronic. The NiceHCK EBX are serious audiophile earbuds and deliver a sound that you will think to found with full size open headphones but not with earbuds, its all about airyness and delicacy without lacking in caracter and especially in vocal presentation. For Jazz signer lover, this is perhaps the holy grail earbud they were looking for.


    SOUNDSTAGE:

    Wide soundstage isn't that rare to find with earbuds, even if some too foward one feel congested. The EBX impress in this area but especially in term of deepness, wich permit a very articulate layering with enough space between instrument to make them shine and have a hint of realist decay to it. As well, it is tall and englobing from every angle of your head, you really feel your into the music with the EBX. It have above average air that can flow in this gigantic space of delicious musicality, as well, it have a well resolved laid back feel, wich do not deconcentrate from everyday tasks.


    ISOLATION:

    Earbuds aren't know for good isolation but I find the EBX not bad in this department as I conclude when somebody try to talk to me and I didn't hear it at all. Sure, I listen to music a little loud, but with earbuds that have plastic shell I can hear easily outside world and not with the EBX. I think this is due to the big and thick housing that have a metal back with just a small hole to make it open. The EBX have even better isolation than my MRz Tomahawk that isn't bad at all in this department. It leak sound but never to a point of creating contreversy around you.



    BASS go deep and hit the right way, it never sound artificial or dry and have good round body that feel natural. One thing to note, is that bass performance will really depend on the fitting, more your able to keep the earbuds near your ear hole more it will feel weighty and impactfull. To test that you just have to press the earbuds and listen, the incredible result can be frustrating if you can't find a way to keep the EBX there, wich was my case first, but even with the bass lighten up it sound marvelous, if I was able to keep this bass performance 100% of the time without having to hold the earbuds myself, well, I think the EBX will be the end game for me (sigh). Anyway, 50% of my earbuds have this utopical performance potential, wich I think should be take more seriously by the conceptor.

    So, going back to this beautifull bass, yes, its perhaps the better performance I ever heard in an earbud, it don't feel thin even if lightly bodied, we have a rather linear bass response without little mid bass bump to give extra punch, the EBX can deal with sub line that play with heavy kick quite well, it have a fast transient response that permit great articulation, sub will not be pumped up but hearable while kick will be tigh with good decay and not exagerated thickness. Jazz bass sound marvelous, we hear the picking note as well without feeling its too trebly, its a smooth but weel rounded bass line that keep its spacialisation at the right place. In fewer words bass can be resume to: warmish but well resolute with tigh, fast and ligthly punchy impact, great layering and clarity and a realist just enough textured presentation. It do not stole the show of music, but have enough presence to be greatly enjoy, the EBX sound good with electronic as well as jazz, and bass give great body to cello for classical music. I would like to be able to suggest it for rock, wich bass and kick sound great, but electric guitar is the only instrument that do not sound excellent with the EBX (more about this in treble section), but I think it have to do with lower region treble wich is quite smooth and little tamed.


    MIDS is where the magic do his trick. The vocal of EBX is so incredible its hard to believe it came from an earbud and not a full size headphone. They are wide and envelopping as if the signer was at one meter of you in a perfect acoustic environment. What is mesmerizing is the fact that even if vocal sound vast and full bodied, they aren't agressively fowards and do not have sibilance or a trebly presentation that will give it to much texture and grain, its velvet for the ears with an exquisite musicality to it. Male vocal sound very good too and do not lack lower body register. Violin and saxophone sound as well marvelous, its all about how it occupy the space with a natural authority that do not feel forced, it flow in the immense soundstage from one ear to another when needed and give a very holographic illusion. The treble of medium frequencies is smooth, but as the mids are lifted up it feel very airy and thick even if the transparency permit to hear various instruments in the background. The EBX is really an ultimate performer for people that mostly listen to signers, but another time, I could say this for instrumental music too, its just that having this type of non-fatiguing mids that do not sacrifice accuracy and necessary details is utterly rare. Its an organic presentation that blossom from a wide musical soundstage, whatever how crowded is the background, the mids will be stars of the show if it need to be, in instrumental music or electronic, it will not feel as fowards as with vocal based music and this is what make the EBX a versatile exception among all earbuds I try.


    HIGHS are very extended and revealing, you get details and microdetails when the music need to show some, it will never feel forced as with ultra analytical earbuds or IEM and still, will surely show as much details as those. Treble is extended above 15KHZ and will only be bothersome for ultimate treble sensitive people, wich is...well, a disease I guess because myself i'm a little treble sensitive and can listen to EBX hours and hours without ear fatigue. As the layering is extremely impressive, you do not struggle to find hidden secret of you favorite tracks, but it will not be background hiss or squeaking chair, just the sound that was recorded for musical purpose. How is it possible I don't know but listening to complex electronic track like Ametsub or Rival Consoles was seriously rewarding, but as its beat driven experimental IDM a hint of more bass would make this....well, miraculous! Anyway, when you listen to classical guitar you know there something special going on with the treble, it have a sweet brillance and just enough teeth to make acoustic instruments sound very spacious and realist, with lot of air between every note and a type of timbre that give excellent PRaT without feeling too sharp, even if yes, there's a maestro sharpness going on here. Only place where treble lack some teeths, its with distorted electic guitar, and it obsess me to the point of making reasearch about frequencies range of this instrument, its really about the distortion grain, it do lack just a hint of treble emphasis to be perfect, but it's in upper low and lower mids, wich is why I do not suggest the EBX as end game for some type of rock, like metal or fast noisy hard rock. Some type of synthesizer will not sound at there supreme best as well but classical guitar, violin, cello, harp, piano, harpsichord, saxophone, trumpet, xylophone, electric guitar without too much overdrive and even complex drum will sound extremely impressive and accurate. Still, when I listen to jazz-rock group Autoryno, the guitar sound fantastic, its really with bad recorded noisy rock that it will feel a lack of thickness and texture for overly distorted riffs...and perhaps no earbuds can deal with this type of agressive noise anyway (I don't know any that can have treble teeth rightly tweaked for that, so.

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    AMPING:


    At 32ohm it isn't really needed. But you still need a capable DAP or audio source in term of amping. For pairing, very detailed source with pushed up bass like the AK4490EQ dac can give is excellent bet. Using amp with warm sounding Burson V5iD Opamp wasn't bad but at all because it give some more bass impact, but to the cost of lossing some details because of a little roll off in top end. I prefer simple pairing with Xduoo X20 even if its a bass light source.


    BURN IN:

    Is it a myth or not that burn in will improve sound? Well, for some earbuds and IEM yes, and other like the EBX no. I really suggest you to burn them in for at least 50 hours so the sound will open more and the bass presence will be more controled. At first, the EBX sound very fowards, and now they are very open sounding with a crystal clear layering. Yep, the drivers in there need some exercise before becaming champion of musicality!


    COMPARAISONS:



    VS SONY MDR-W20G Headband earbud (20$ 20 year ago, now can be find for around 80$ used) :
    P4160859.JPG

    Well, you surely have a sceptical face about making a comparaison of vintage kind-of-earbuds with the TOTL EBX, but I feel this semi-unknow gem belong to the earbud category and must of all can beat must of them especially in term of soundstage widness and bass performance. Sure, like the Koss Portapro, they have a rather warm sound, but impact of tone is really incredible.

    So, the EBX are clearer sounding as well as slightly brighter, they offer more details in every region but bass, the MDR-W20G have a more rounded up bass and more impactfullwith a mid bass emphasis that do not bloat the mids. Vocal are more recessed and dry, where the EBX are very airy and wide sounding, floating above rest of instrumental in a fascinating way that grab your attention, so EBX feel way more balanced than the Sony wich are more V shaped without sounding boomy. Treble extension of EBX is greater but peakier too, I don'tfeel its harsh at all but compared to rolled-off high of W20G it sure is more agressive. So, EBX win in every region but bass against the excellent MDR-W20G even if soundstage is about same for widness but greater in term of deepnes for EBX.




    VS MUSICMAKER MRZ TOMAHAWK (50$):
    P4160861.JPG


    I love my Tomahawk, and never stop using them daily since I buy them more than 1 year ago. Never find any earbuds that can me a soundstage like this, but this change when I receive the EBX as well as the Moondrop Nameless, but the nameless didn't sound as good as MrZ, EBX, I can tell you already, sound better but let's see why.

    Firstly, the bass of EBX is more controled and will never bleed on mids or create any distortion where the Tomahawk can create distortion with too muscular kicks, wich is a shame as the Mrz arent bassy earbud so I guess I can call its bass performance as weak, uncontroled and anemic in sub region. Mids and vocal are very fowards with the Mrz, wich is nice but have some hissing in upper mids that can make some female signers sound dry and artificial, the EBX vocal have more decay and feel more airy, natural and organic, clarity of mids are better sounding and have great separation where the Mrz can feel too fowards and constraint, as if the EBX was a dual drivers earbuds compared to it. Highs and details are about same but presented in a less layered way with the Tomahawk, it lack the musical brillance of EBX and treble extend less further, wich the EBX show without feeling clinical or forced. Its all about elegance of sound presentation, and the Tomahawk sure feel like a warrior in hurry to show you what it got, to the cost of lacking in subtility as well as creating some ear fatigue with long listening. In another hand, EBX are less comfortable even if they do not hurt the ears. All in all, NiceHCK EBX sure feel like an earbud from another league (wich it factualy is).




    VS MOONDROP NAMELESS (24$):
    P4160866.JPG


    Unfortunately I do not have other TOTL earbuds to compare the EBX too, as I buy sub-50$ earbuds since awhile now, must admit my mind have change but my wallet is stubornely empty. The Nameless is a very airy and delicate sounding earbuds that I like very much for his wide outside the head soundstage so its a good comparaison I think. Firstly, Nameless sound darker than the EBX, like if you were sit in the back of the room where the EBX put you in the middle of the scene where the instrument sound pure and non amplified. The bass, another time, is weak with the Nameless, it create distortion when its heavy kick where the EBX deal easily with beat heavy track, without making it boomy or overly impactfull. Really, avoid the Nameless for anything that is beat driven, its a delicate sound that fit specific music genre like instrumental, classical and jazz. EBX is way more polyvalent and can deal with any type of music, the mids feel less veiled than the Nameless, wich without being recessed lack body and decay and can feel little dry and boring, where EBX is a champion of musicality in this aspect. Nameless is less detailed as well, but have interesting highs sparkle and hint of brilliance that still keep a laid back presentation that feel less agressive in this region than EBX. Anyway, layering is inferior and dark, and sound is slower and way less detailed than EBX. Another thing, the Nameless are less easy to drive than the EBX. All in all, apart from soundstage, the Nameless really feel like it sound 6 times less good than EBX wich is 6 times pricier.



    DQSM Z&W PANDA PK2 (28$):
    P4160863.JPG
    Its quite simple, the PK2 beat the EBX only in comfort and fitting, because the housing is smaller and slimer. That's about it, turn the page! No, thats not THAT black and white because PANDA sound good if not a little too fowards. So, from all earbuds I compare this one are the more shamefull to listen after the EBX, it just feel veiled and congested, with a small soundstage and near non existent layering. The EBX are grandiose in every aspect, more controled and detailed, wich is even more evident with complex track. Sound of PANDA feel dry in the mids and not very detailed because of lack of good imaging, to be honnest, I don't know if I will be able to love them anymore after this very unforgivable comparaison, because PANDA are quite source dependant and can create strange rattling noise with too powerfull amping (just confirm that try the same track on AK4490 DAC-AMP vs Xduoo X20). Anyway, with the right pairing PANDA can sound more than okay, it just feel rightly priced and not a supreme sound value offering like the MX500 and now, the EBX compared to it even at 140$ sound value.



    VS DIY MX500 (10$):
    P4160869.JPG


    Firstly,priced at 140$, no the EBX do not sound 15 times better than the legendary 10$ MX500, but sure it doest by a enough big margin to justify the price step especially if you take construction in account. That being said, the MX500 could well be one of the best sounding earbuds under 50$, especially in term of bass performance. The construction worth 10$ but the sound hit way above its price range. For the EBX, I can't really say how it compare in term of price range.

    Bass of MX500 is beefier, rounder and more impactfull than the EBX, it is less tigh and detailed and can lightly bleed on the mids as well, the separation is less good than crystal clear EBX where sub and mid low are clearly seprate, with MX500 sub mix up with mid but not in a disastrous way, more in a fun muscular way. As well, we cans say the bass of MX500 is slower and will struggle with complex tracks compared to tigh fast bass of EMX that never distort or feel sloppy. Because of this assumed V shaped soundsignature of MX500, we could think the mids are veiled and very recessed but this isn't the case, sure, they are little dark but a welcome treble push in this region help them to be enjoyable, compared to them, the EBX mids are sure from another league in term of clarity, presence and airyness, as well theyr are better layered and have more transparence where MX500 feel restraint and present in a full package mixed up with other instrument. MX500 is warmer sounding and offer a less details than EBX, the soundstage is little less wider too, but especially less taller and deeper than the EBX wich is incredible in this aspects. EBX being little brighter, especially in upper mids and highs, it give to instrument more timbre than MX500, but where the sword it the must is about layering and 3D sound presentation that feel around your head, here the MX500 feel frontal, fowards and more like a long sound tapestry presented in front of you than a surrounding environnement with sound that can float in they air. The highs of MX500 feel rolled of and lacking in sparkle, where EBX shine magnificently and offer an extreme level of details effortlessly. I think we pay for a TOTL earbuds to have this type of mature and extremely musical presentation where every frequencies aspect are treated with perfectionnism in a grandiose soundstage. The MX500 still is the best value, because 10$ is a joke and 140$ is a serious buy, but one thing certain, the upgrade is enormous in term of audiophile joy with the EBX, for basshead joy this isn't the case tough.

    P4160846.JPG



    CONCLUSION:

    The NiceHCK EBX are not made for every wallet, they are sure a little pricey but unlike cheap built TOTL earbuds with sometime high impendance, the EBX is easy to drive and I feel it worth its asking price in term of built quality and sound rendering. Yes, once its rightly fitted in your ears, the EBX deliver a pristime sound experience that even full size headphones will struggle to deliver: the soundstage is mesmerizing, the bass go deep without never sounding boomy or artificial, the mids are a whole experience just by themself and the highs deliver a level of details and vast layering unseen in any earbuds I ever heard. Still, perfection is a myth, and even if the EBX can deal with any genre it will excell with the one that do not need mid bass treble emphasis, I underline this because it do not give as much electric guitar presence and fullness that I would like for this genre, and it lack just a little punch to became more energic sounding as it have plenty of energy in mids and highs. Here, i'm utterly severe and only feel the need to talk about this aspect for people that ONLY listen to instrumental rock, because with vocal it will sound marvelous and the guitar will not stole the show. The NiceHCK EBX are accomplished earbuds that is another proof of the serious sound engineer HCK have his hands on, and it's rightly priced at 140$ because of all high quality compenents it use, should it be the excellent 14.8mm dynamic drivers, the sturdy luxurious housing or incredible silver-copper hand made 8 cores cable. My opinion are based on the earbuds I can compare to, and now I admit that I became more curious about upper price range even if I will still enjoy some of my sub-50$ earbuds. Unfortunately tough, the EBX make lot of shadow on other earbuds that I will not be able to listen anymore, they are became my daily earbuds that i'm addict to so if money isn't a problem for you, I really suggest you give the EBX multiple try!

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      HungryPanda, knudsen and B9Scrambler like this.
    1. knudsen
      Excellent review, thanks!
      knudsen, Jul 22, 2018
  5. CharlesRievone
    You Deserve To Have
    Written by CharlesRievone
    Published Feb 9, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - All-Rounder Sound Signature
    Interchangeable-Cable Design (MMCX)
    Good Comfort/Fit and Superb Build Quality
    Cons - Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None
    NiceHCK EBX - "You Deserve To Have"

    NiceHCK is a Chinese Hi-Fi Audio store operating via Aliexpress and Amazon, selling various audiophile-grade items, both branded and DIY products. The EBX is the latest flagship earbud they have released under their name.

    2018-01-13 04.27.05 1.jpg


    Disclaimer: My EBX unit was provided for free by NiceHCK for review purposes. I am not directly affiliated with NiceHCK and I have cordial relationships with different stores and other brands, so this review will not have any favorable nor negative biases for NiceHCK in any way.

    Now that the formalities are out of the way, let's get down to details.

    *BUILD*
    There are currently two colorway options for the EBX: Classic Black and Elegant Gold. I currently have the Classic Black, and as it's name suggest, the shells are colored black all over, except for the outer faceplate which has a brushed-metal finish.

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    The shape of the EBX's housing is very similar looking to the old models of Astrotec Lyra. The faceplate has a NiceHCK logo printed on it, and near the logo is a small vent. Covering the vents do affect the sound output, so they're definitely not just for aesthetic purposes.

    The grills of the housing is very much the same as those from the DQSM Panda/PK2S, both shape and size, so they're very comfortable on the ears just like wearing earbuds with Yuin-style shells.

    2018-01-13 04.27.01 1.jpg

    The housing and cable are connected/separated with MMCX connectors, which means it's easier for cable enthusiasts to interchange and replace the cables if they need or want to.

    2018-01-13 04.27.10 1.jpg

    The cable is an 8-core copper/silver plated hybrid. This is probably one of the best-looking stock cables I've ever seen on an earbud. The cables look very similar to those from the Penon BS1 Official and the Astrotec Lyra Collection earbuds, except the cables of the EBX are wound tighter and the ones from BS1 and Lyra are wound looser. The EBX cables are, however, not at all stiff and produce no microphonics. No earguides near the male MMCX connectors, so the earbud can be worn with the cables hooking over the ears or straight downwards.

    2018-01-13 04.27.07 1.jpg

    The splitter matches colors with the ones near the male MMCX connectors. The plugs have a silver and white carbon fiber design, with a small but ample strain relief.

    *SOUND*
    Gears used:
    Fiio X5 3rd Gen
    Zishan Z2 + Burson V5i opamp
    Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (PowerAmp Alpha, Viper4Android + Volume Mod)
    Hiegi Donut Foams

    I do listen to a wide range of music genres, but I'm a metalhead by heart, so most of the songs I used in this review are "loud and heavy", ranging from indie/alternative rock to technical/prog/death metal. Here's my LastFM profile for the curious: https://www.last.fm/user/xforsakenkidx

    Bass amount is somewhere in between punchy and boomy. Definitely not basslight but doesn't rumble way down low either. Body has enough impact when it needs to. Quality is very controlled.

    Clear vocals, neither far nor forward. A bit smooth and laid back, as they're not that aggressive or harsh. Electric guitars with distortion and overdrive effects have a good bite in them.

    Hi-hats, cymbals, and crashes never sounded artificial or too piercing. Just the right amount of shimmer and sparkle. High notes from guitar solos are reproduced well. Overall treble presentation is on the brighter side with high energy.

    For comparison purposes:
    Bass Amount: EMX500 > EBX >> Monk+
    Bass Quality: EBX > EMX500 > Monk+
    Mids: EBX > Monk+ > EMX500
    Highs Extension: EMX500 > EBX >= Monk+

    Comparison with other MMCX earbuds:
    EBX >> Ourart Ti7 = Escase

    Note: The above comparison can be vague and relative. Your mileage may vary.

    Overall, I wouldn't characterize the sound signature of the EBX as V-shaped, as it doesn't really have an over-exaggerated low end and top end, and the mids aren't recessed either. I'd say they're on the flatter U-shaped signature with very good clarity.

    *FINAL THOUGHTS*
    The NiceHCK is a jack-of-all-trades/all-rounder kind of earbud that can cater to most music genres. With an interchangeable-cable design, it is an earbud worthy of being in everyone's collection, as it has a potential of versatility. Additional points for the comfort and superb build quality. So far, it is the best MMCX earbud I have ever came across and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for an earbud in the mid-fi range.

    2018-01-13 04.27.08 1.jpg

    NiceHCK EBX on Aliexpress:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/201...rphone-14-8mm-Dynamic-Driver/32839701923.html
      HungryPanda and knudsen like this.
  6. Moonstar
    The Earbud with a Kind of Magic…
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Jan 26, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Lifelike sound with great resolution,
    Easy to drive,
    Wonderful build quality (both monitor and cable),
    MMCX connection means cable upgrade option,
    Awesome Price to Performance Ratio
    Cons - Maybe a touch bright for some people
    The Earbud with a Kind of Magic…


    The NiceHCK EBX earbud was provided to me by NiceHCK Audio Store for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with NiceHCK Audio Store beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.



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    About NiceHCK Audio Store:

    The company NICEHCK Audio was founded in 2015 in Shenzhen and is a professional dealer and trader of Chinese Hi-Fi Audio products, such as: Hi-Fi Earphone, Portable Player, Amplifier, Cable, Accessories. The main goal of NİceHCK is to provide Global Audiophiles with the best Chinese Hi-Fi Audio products through online stores like Aliexpress and Amazon.


    The Price:
    The NiceHCK EBX can be purchased on NiceHCK Audio Store for 138,00 USD.

    Purchase Link for AliExpress (click)
    Purchase Link for Amazon (click)



    Introduction:

    The NiceHCK EBX is the first Non-DIY flagship grade earbud of the company.


    Package and Accessories:

    The NiceHCK EBX comes in a small brown chard box that has the silver NiceHCK logo printed at the top of this box.

    The box contains the following items;
    • 1 pair of NiceHCK EBX Earbud
    • 10 pairs of foams ear pads
    • 1 pcs. 3.5mm Gold Plated Cable with MMCX Connectors
    • 1 pcs. Shirt Clip
    • 1 pcs. NiceHCK carrying case
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    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The EBX main body is made of silver and black painted metal, while the speaker grill is made of a plastic material with a black color.

    The earbud is available in 2 different color options, the so called Elegant Gold and the Classic Black model. My unit is the Classic Black model that is very well made and has no visible quality issues like burrs, gaps, etc..

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    One of the best things about this earbud is its cable upgrade capability. The EBX has a MMCX (Micro-Miniature Coaxial) connector that worked with all my tested cable with MMCX interface.

    On top of the housing is a small bass vent right over the NickeHCK EBX marking.

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    The cable of the NiceHCK EBX is one of the sexiest looking stock cables that I have ever seen on an IEM or Earbud in this price range.

    The 8 core copper and silver plated cooper mixed MMCX cable has a very nice touch feeling without any noticeable microphonic effects.

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    This cable has no chin slider, but there is a y-splitter that is made of a silver colored metal material that has a nice fashion look. The cable has a straight plug with a 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack and a nice looking carbon fiber texture.

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    Specifications:

    The NiceHCK EBX is a single dynamic driver earbud and has a relative low impedance of 32 ohm. The driver is made of PET diaphragm and has a N48 type high magnetic magnet. The sound pressure level is according to NiceHCK specs around 200mV.

    Some Technical Details:

    Driver Type : 14.8 mm Single Dynamic PET Driver
    Impedance : 32 ohm
    Sound Pressure : 200mV
    Sensitivity : 120dB ± 3dB (1kHz)
    Freq. response : 20-20000Hz
    Plug/Plating : 3.5mm Gold Plated straight plug
    Wire Material : 8-core copper and silver plating mixed MMCX Cable
    Cable length : 1.2m


    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    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)
    Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
    Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    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)
    Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)


    Sources used for this review:

    Erabud : NiceHCK EBX, K’S 300 Samsara Version, VE Zen 2.0
    DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Aune M2, Hidizs AP60II

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    Drivability:

    The NiceHCK EBX has a relative low impedance of 32 ohm. This low value makes the EBX to an easy to drive earbud that will work great with most smartphones, media and audio players.



    The Sound:


    This NiceHCK EBX review is written after a burn-in process of 120 hours. I have used the stock donut foams due this review.

    Tonality:

    The NiceHCK EBX has a V shaped sound signature with a hint of bass warmth and a small emphasis to the top end. The first thing you will notice about the sound of the EBX is the extreme clarity of its overall presentation with almost any source.


    Frequencies:

    You can immediately notice that the lows of the NiceHCK are very accurate and controlled, without sounding overpowered or too shy. I must say that the bass quality and quantity of this earbud is really good and has the most convincing bass responses I have heard from any earbud in this price range.

    The Bass presentation, especially in the sub bass area reminds me to this of the Rose Masya, that have the same wow effect with its headphone like presentation. The bass texture is really good with a decent definition and body.

    The right definition for the midrange of the NiceHCK EBX is in one word “Crystal Clear”. This is the most impressive part of this earbud, because the vocal presentation of both male and female artists sounds amazing!

    The midrange of the NiceHCK EBX is slightly laid-back and there is only a small amount of coloration that comes from the mid bass, which adds vocals a hint of warmth and fullness without to affect the transparency and clearness of the presentation.

    The vocal performance of the NiceHCK EBX in “Saskia Bruin’s – The Look of Love “ is a good example how well this earbud performs. There is also good attention to micro details that makes the EBX to one of the best earbud choices for critical listening.

    There is only a very low amount off upper midrange harshness around 3 kHz that is noticeable in some bad recorded studio albums like those of Metallica, LoL.

    The treble range around 4-6 kHz is well presented and gives the EBX this effortless clarity and definition. This range is not over-boosted, so that there is no harshness that would otherwise irritated your ears after long listening periods.

    Instrument like flutes, cymbals and guitar strings sounding detailed and having this very nice crispiness. The Instrument presentation in C.P.E Bach Emmanuel Pahud’s - Fluet Concerto sounds lifelike.

    The upper treble tuning around 8-10 kHz gives the NiceHCK EBX a nice energy with lots of air and a beautiful sparkle. The treble extension is quite good and the overall resolution improves the separation and gives a nice detailed presentation.

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    The Soundstage and Imaging:


    The NiceHCK EBX is not a open back earbud but is has a quit good soundstage presentation, better that many closed back competitors.

    The depth is impressive, but what the EBX makes special is the wide stage, that is even better than my beloved Rose Masya, LoL. The placement and the air between instruments are great.

    The overall imaging is accurate and the instrument separation, even in some complex tracks like Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti is stunning.

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    Comparison with other Earbuds:

    I have compared the NiceHCK EBX with some of my High Level Earbuds and here are some examples.

    EBX vs. Rose Masya:

    The Rose Masya is one of the favorite earbuds in my collection due its special out of the head sound.

    Build quality and Fit:

    The NiceHCK EBX has the upper hand for build quality due the well made metal housing versus the 3D printed plastic shell of the Rose Masya. Both earbuds have cable upgrade options but they are using different connectors. The Masya has 0.75mm 2 pin connectors, while the EBX has an MMCX interface. The cable of the EBX is the best I have ever seen in this price category and those of the Masya has no change against it.

    The fit of the Rose Masya is little bit problematic due the large housing. The NiceHCK EBX is more comfortable and has the better fit and feel.

    The Sound:

    The Rose Masya and the NiceHCK EBX have similarities in the subbass department. The quantity on both is nearly identical with a share a good speed and control. They the main difference starts with the bass quantity, especially the midbass quantity.

    The Rose Masya has more midbass that make it sound a bit fuller and warmer then NiceHCK EBX. The bass and mid bass of the EBX is more balanced and has also additional texture and resolution.

    The midrange of the Masya is more forward that makes the vocals sounding more intimate and emotional, but the EBX has the upper hand with its great definition and clarity.

    There is no noticeable stress and remarkable harshness in the upper midrange. High octave female vocals or instruments like cymbal, piano etc. sounding quite controlled.

    The NiceHCK EBX wins in treble clarity and micro-details and sound a litte more controlled than Rose Masya.

    Both, Rose Masya and the NiceHCK have a nice sense of space, with a great extended soundstage. There is not a high difference but the NiceHCK EBX has additional depth and a better imaging that Rose Masya.


    EBX vs. K’S 300 Samsara Version:

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

    Build quality and Fit:

    The NiceHCK EBX has the better build quality with its more robust metal housing. The Samsara on the other hand has this classical plastic MX500 like housing with a glossy finish that is very common for DIY earbuds. The EBX is more flexible due its advantage for a cable upgrade option, but both have a nice and sturdy cable while the EBX cable looks sexier to my eyes.

    Both erabuds have a relative good fit without being uncomfortable after some hours.

    The Sound:

    The EBX and the Samsara have a relative balanced sound signature, while the Samsara sounds a bit darker and a touch warmer then the EBX.

    The Samara has more bass presence, while the EBX has a bit more sub bass. They are very capable earbuds in the bass department, with nice controlled and well textured presentation.

    The Samsara needs a lot of juice (it’s a 300 ohm earbud) to show its real potential, while the EBX is easy to drive and relative efficient.

    The main difference begins with the midrange. The Samsra has a darker, warmer and a bit grainier vocal and instrument presentation, while the Nice HCK EBX sounds more lifelike, vivid and transparent.

    I like the Samsara more with male vocals, while the EBX sounds to me better with female vocals, but this is a bit subjective and a matter of personal preference, but it doesn’t change the fact that both earbuds are very good in micro detail and overall resolution.

    The treble response of these two earbuds is a bit different. The Samsara sound more controlled and balanced, while the EBX has more treble presence that gives it additional sparkle and a sense of airiness. The Samsara is very controlled, even in very loud volume level with is high ohm advantage (300 ohm), while the EBX can loose this control sometimes in high volume levels.

    Both earbuds share a decent soundstage, but there is a small difference. The EBX has more width and the Samsara more depth.


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    Conclusion:

    The NiceHCK EBX is a masterpiece for “Sound Clarity”. It is a great example to show us, that earbuds have a great potential for real HiFi sound. The great build quality and sexy cable that can be upgraded is a nice additional feature that is highly regarded these times.


    Summary (plus and minus):

    + Lifelike sound with great resolution
    + Easy to drive
    + Wonderful build quality (both monitor and cable)
    + MMCX connection means cable upgrade option
    + Awesome Price to Performance Ratio

    - Maybe a touch bright for some people

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    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
    https://moonstarreviews.net
    1. karanehir35
      .Thank you for your review. This earbud is very good.
      I love your voice very much.
      karanehir35, Jan 31, 2018
      Moonstar likes this.
    2. PeterDLai
      The cable reminds me of the one on the Penon BS1 Official Version.
      PeterDLai, Feb 4, 2018
      Moonstar likes this.
    3. Moonstar
      Yes, it looks lot like the BS1 cable. Maybe I can compare it when I receive the BS1 official :) I hope you liked my review :wink:
      Moonstar, Feb 4, 2018