NiceHCK Himalaya Flagship 10mm CNT Dynamic IEM

General Information

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Specifications:
Brand: NICEHCK
Model: Himalaya
Production Type: In ear
Driver unit: 10mm dynamic
Diaphragm: Dual magnetic dual layer CNT
Shell material: Titanium alloy
Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
Impedance: 22Ohm
Frequency response: 20-28kHz
Cable material: Silver plated OFC
Connector: 0.78mm 2Pin
Plug type: 3-in-1


FINALLY!

Himalaya is now on sale, here is the product link→ https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256806504567632.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2jpn

Now, use this code id【HIMALAYA】to place order........you can can get $30 discount, and buy it at $299.(between March 15 and March 31 )

Latest reviews

Dsnuts

Headphoneus Supremus
NiceHCK Himalaya Flagship dual magnet, dual layered 10mm CNT dynamic IEMs.
Pros: Solid all Titanium alloy build
Ergonomic universal shape
2 pin .78mm design for easy cable changes
Above average isolation of metal builds
3 tuning nozzles & can use more nozzles- see review
Natural in tonal character with a slight warmth to its sound
Accurate timbre for both vocals and instruments.
Excellent technicalities, stage, imaging, detail and timbre.
Well balanced to more warm tonality
Modular cable for use with various sources
Balanced presentation with better note weight
high quality carbon based bass for impact and rumble
Cons: 2 of the tuning nozzle are very similar in sound.
1 of the tuning nozzle neuters a bit too much treble
Comes with a sticky film that sticks to the surface of the earpieces. Not necessary.
NiceHCK Himalaya
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It has been a while since I dove into the HCK waters. Jim and crew at NiceHCK have been at it during the Pandemic and today we see the culmination of numerous IEM designs that now sees a new flagship.

The Himalaya is a type of name given to a flagship level IEM and that is what I am hearing from their newest creation utilizing the tried-and-true single 10mm CNT dual layered dynamic.
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Himalaya uses an all metal, titanium alloy housing with a very plain all metal sandblasted surface. Nothing about them catches the eye and screams. Here, look at me or anything like that. This to me is appreciated as I have had plenty of great looking IEMs that don’t end up sounding all that great. The Himalaya is the opposite. To be honest they look a bit too plain. But what matters most and foremost is how they sound. It is sound and function over looks. You would never guess the sound that emanates from these IEMs happens to be one of if not the best sounding NiceHCK IEMs I have ever heard.

There I said it. These things are a marvel and can easily hang with some of the best designed single dynamic IEMs I have and own. I still consider my Dunu Luna the best dynamic IEM with honorable mention to Fiios FD7 but I have to admit the Himalayas tuning is actually more versatile in comparison and shares some similarities with the FD7 of all IEMs in its sound balancing from how I hear them.
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What they come with.
The Himalaya comes with an assortment of 7 different sets of silicone tips in various sizes and colors. A modular silver plated OFC cable with 3 different connectors. 2.4mm balanced. 4.4mm balanced, 3.5mm single ended. An all black square zip up case to carry your goods with and 3 sets of nozzle screw on filters for fine tuning your Himalaya experience.
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Disclaimers. I would like to thank Jim and crew at NiceHCK for providing the Himalaya for the purpose of a review. The Himalaya has been burned in for a week's time and is now ready for review. They have been tested using my sources. The Fiio K9 Pro ESS, Fiio M15, M15S, IBasso DX300Max, IFI Gryphon, IFI Signature, IBasso PB5 amp.

Sound
If any of you guys have had NiceHCK IEMs in the past. These guys have a tuning angle that can be referred to as their house sound and it always incorporates excellent vocal performances from male and female vocals. Reason why I say this is, I noticed NiceHCK does not do too many steep V shaped tunings where vocals sound recessed or do they have too many overly neutral monitor like IEMs on the other hand. I would say their tunings are generally more balanced as NiceHCK always incorporates a good solid bass foundation and always incorporates some substantial mids to play in their IEMs. The Himalaya is a reference level sounding IEM meaning it incorporates a lot of nuanced refinements into their sound profile while providing a very versatile balanced sound signature. What is great about the Himalaya is that when you hear it, even on open listen, it is not easy to spot faults in the sound tuning. In fact the sound is more than just the integration of highs, mids and lows on this one.
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These are the most refined sounding NiceHCK IEM I have ever heard from them.
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The two other filters tweak the treble end a bit to where one accentuates a bit more upper mids and trebles and the more narrow filter lowers the treble aspect to the point where the mids and bass is more of the focus. My review is based on the preinstalled stock gold copper nozzle which for me is the best nozzle filter out of the 3. I will just say I am not a fan of narrowing the sound channel on the nozzles for the sake of detuning a sound and that is what one of the filters are doing. To be fair the dark blue filter curbs the treble and upper mids where the focus of the sound is squarely on the bass and its lower mids for a warmer tuning. Some may like this but for me it kinda neuters why the stock filter makes the Himalaya sound so good. Will get into that much more here on the sound descriptor.
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Technicalities.
Beyond the well-balanced tuning on the Himalaya. It has some of the best timbre for both instruments and vocals I have heard from a single dynamic. Its natural accurate tonal character at all parts if its sound performance really gives a picture of what you're hearing to be more about your music than it is about what the IEM is doing for that music if that makes sense. To me that is the best compliment I can give a sound tuning as the Himalaya is a transparent vessel to hear what you want to hear, your tracks the way you know and hear it. Nothing on the tuning is overly exaggerated, overly emphasized or do they throw out some type of colored bias tonal character.

Then there is how they image. The Himalayas imaging is more substantial vs most Harmon tuned IEMs as these have the necessary lower mids to bring body/ thickness to a sound profile. Good clarity but one with a body of note which a lot of harmon tuned IEMs are missing or lack in. Vocals have some meat and fullness with a natural lower end substance attack and decay to a sound, Male vocals and instruments such as Cellos, bass guitars and Pianos sound more grounded and more substantial. That fullness of note is something that these IEMs do a lot better than soo many recent me too harmon tuned IEMs. It is one of those aspects that you don't realize how important it is until you start analyzing the sound and comparing them to said harmon tuned IEMs “Simgot EA1000” that shows what those are lacking in.
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Its relatively large deep full bodied sound profile is what makes the Himalaya sound so right. I have IEMs that are more grounded in the detail aspects but will lack the note weight and fullness of sound of the Himalayas. Strictly Harmon tuned IEMs can sound very detailed but none of that matters when you have a thinner sound profile. Sound separation is actually done really well on the Himalaya I will say is above average for dynamics that will be sold at this price range. The resolve of the 10mm DLC dynamic chosen by NiceHCK clearly shows. Again I have other dynamics that out resolves the Himalaya but those IEMs will cost you a whole bunch more money. At the price NiceHCK is asking for this set, it is ideal. There is nothing in the sound that sounds flat, canned, brittle, thin, confined or cripled. It is the exact opposite. Open, broad, rangy, well separated, substantially natural yet meaty and refined sounding at the same time.
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Detailed aspects of the Himalaya are more groundined on its macro details vs micro. Could be due to the fact that it has this excellent note weight and fullness to its sound that masks a bit of the micro nuances that presents a bit easier on thinner sounding multi BA IEMs and or harmon tuned IEMs that has much upper mids and trebles to offset the rest of its tuning for the sake of a detailed sound signature. The trade off is that you get a full bodied sound which I would take 10 out of 10 times over an overly neutral signature that sounds thin and unnaturally too energetic which ends up being fatiguing in the long run.

Nothing on the Himalaya sounds forced, not the treble and not its upper to lower mids and certainly not its bass either. I keep using that word natural to describe the Himalaya but that is what I feel the overall sound does best. Its very natural full bodied tonal character but one that shows excellent accurate timbre. A bold balanced sound profile gives a really great overall enjoyment factor to how they relay your music.
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Trebles
The trebles of the Himalaya has a moderate level of emphasis with the most emphasis toward its lower trebles, and has no treble grain of any type. It's not an overly rolled off treble emphasis I am hearing but does seem to incorporate a fairly larger dip at the sensitive 7khz area. ( NiceHCK likes to do this particular treble tuning on their IEMs) This could be the reason why I hear the Himalayas lack a touch in micro details. However the trebles overall have solid footing on the Himalayas overall sound presentation where trebles have the right amount of emphasis showing a good amount of sparkle. The balancing here is done well as the trebles take equal footing to the sound balancing of the mids and bass. Trebles sound clean, crisp and extend well enough. It could use just a bit, 2dbs less dip in the 6-7Khz range but otherwise I have nothing to really complain about. What is a bit puzzling here is that the black nozzle and the gold nozzle seem to be roughly the same in emphasis and sound character, don't know if it is me but I feel the black nozzle could be of a different material yielding just a slight extra emphasis for upper harmonics but otherwise the differences are miniscule. It is when you use the dark blue nozzle that really changes up the sound balancing of the Himalaya.

Using the dark blue narrow nozzle the treble is lowered quite a bit where the overall tonal character turns warm with its balancing skewed a bit more towards its bass and lower mids emphasis. That natural tonal character shifts to more of a warm balanced sound and while some may like this profile. It kinda neuters that exquisite balancing of the stock nozzle. Trebles sound a touch muted vs the other two and lowers the 6-7khz emphasis even more than what came with in its stock tunings. This neuters a lot of presence for vocals and stringed instruments and ends up sounding a touch dull in comparison. But for folks that like warmer signatures, here is your warmer signature.
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Mids.
This is the real star of the Himalaya. Both vocals and instruments throw out a very natural tonal character but with clean distinction and an accurate timbre that has that excellent body of note I referred to earlier.
The driver chosen for the sound on the Himalaya is a very good one for its mids performance. The layering for the mid bands are clearly evident and music that requires them layers to bring forth the full sound experience. The Himalayas can perform to the degree that puts a lot of higher end IEMs to shame. Its airy but rangy vocal performance has more than the correct tonal character. That fullness of note here comes to play more so than a lot of IEMs I have been reviewing lately and I forgot just how good NiceHCK tunes the mid bands. It is quite remarkable the depth and height with a spacious stage of sound that the Himalayas perform with.

Lower mids presence for instruments and vocals alike are on clear display. It seems it is always the upper mids that more Chifi IEMs focus on but not as much for the lower mids where we perceive a lot of that body of note. Lower mids and bass related to the overall quality of a sound performance here is ideal in relation to its standard upper mids skew for better clarity. The Himalaya has both. I know a certain headfier that keeps asking me which IEM to buy for male vocals. I would put the Himalaya on your list my friend because there are not too many better for male vocals. This substantial lower mids presence and warmth reminds me of Fiios flagship pure Beryllium dynamic IEMs the FD7. Which cost approximately double that of what the Himalayas will be sold for. So in that regard these are a solid value.
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The level of detail is not anything spectacular but more of how breathy, natural and weighty the sound can be at the same time. Mids detail level is solid but more so how it is presented with some excellent imaging to go with it. Tracks that are recorded with dimensional values you can clearly hear how excellent the Himalayas portray a dynamic recording.
Add to the element of a stage and projects with excellent height, depth and width of sound and you get something that leads to better sound immersion.

A lot of harmon tuned IEMs take precedence for female vocals and stringed instruments which the Himalaya does well but sometimes a bit too much for the sake of sacrificing lower mids for a bit of extra emphasis in the upper regions. This is where I feel the Himalaya gets it right. Sometimes a lower mids dip is necessary in order to get a bigger bass profile to happen if that is what the maker of the IEM is going for. But with the Himalaya it not only has the right amount of lower mids emphasis but also the bass end to go with it.
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Bass

This aspect is a bit surprising. NiceHCK has always done bass well. They don’t do too many IEMs that are bass light but on the other hand, they don't do too many IEMs with bass being the emphasis for their sound signatures on the other hand. Bass has roughly a moderate 7dbs of emphasis for both mid and sub bass. The goldilocks for accurate bass emphasis the Himalaya has a surprising quality aspect to its bass impact and rumble. Bass definition is not only outstanding but is not afraid to come out to play for tracks that call for it. It's got a tight and fairly speedy bass presentation that much like its mids performance comes out clean and natural in ability.

I have always been a fan of CNT bass which stands for Carbon NanoTubes. Carbon based dynamics excel in detail especially for its bass performance. I have yet to hear a carbon-based dynamic that can’t bring a solid bass performance. The Himalaya is lauded as a flagship for NiceHCK and it is a title well deserved and it certainly helps that the bass is tasty and brings a tight accurate transient quality. Its bass end works amazing in conjunction with the lower mids emphasis to bring a very natural slightly warm tonal character with a body of note that some IEMs miss altogether. You just simply can’t have a natural descriptor without that warmth is what I am saying. Bass is very much fundamental and complementary to the tasteful mids of the Himalayas but it can be the focus at times depending on the track that calls for it.
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Unlike other IEMs where bass is an afterthought. The bass end on the Himalaya can be featured due to their outstanding quality. Bass fans will not be disappointed with the quality but true bass fans will just want more of it. Moderate accurate bass brings the punch and a proper low bass rumble. If that's the area of sound that takes precedence for you, and it is because of the sheer quality of its bass performance, you're probably going to want a bit more of it.
To that I say, that is what bass boost on amps and or eq are for. The dark blue nozzle filter does bring more attention to NiceHCKs bass end as its treble sounds a bit muted which while still sounding balanced tilts the tonal character toward the Himalayas warm side of things. In analyzing the Himalaya I wish there was a filter option that was somewhere between the dark blue and with most of the treble aspects of the stock filters in place. This would have been ideal.

Now I am nitpicking more than anything. By the way this is something that you can actually do, especially if you own any of the Simgot IEMs. Simgot IEMs include tuning nozzles for their IEMs. EA500, EA500LM and the EA1000. Why am I mentioning this? Two reasons. For some of you the relatively short nozzles on the Himalaya will mean you might have a more difficult fitment to get a good seal. I just use a larger Azla Sendafit tip to compensate for that for me but this is a valid issue. Well the Simgot nozzle makes the nozzle longer. Not to mention you can tweak the treble and upper mids to be at the sound emphasis level that you want. This makes the Himalaya very moddable for anyone getting a set. You can get the Simgot EA500 tuning filter set bought on Aliexpress and fine tune your own treble dampening via mesh filters and foams that is included on the set.
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Final
The Himalayas was a surprise to me with so many positives to its sound performance and comfort. I have to give props to Jim and his crew at NiceHCK. They have finally made what was good on their former flagship the Lofty into something that is not just more refined but easily represents some of the best dynamics you can buy at the price point. Its solid construction means they will last the test of time. Its easy 2 pin construction means you can cable roll to your hearts content to add or take away and sound characteristics you would like on the sound profile. Its one part highly technical and another part very musical and that makes for a great combo for an IEM sound. The Himalaya will be launched very soon for their world audience at the RP price point of $329 on NiceHCKs website on aliexpress, at that price these will more than meet your expectations of just how good single dynamics have become. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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Nick24JJ
@Dsnuts I ordered the Himalaya today! So, tell me your opinion compared to the TSMR-X ?
Dsnuts
Dsnuts
For you I would have said the Himalya will be your thing, now there are a few things you have to do in order to get them to a different level. Something I didn't go over in the review. Look into the Simgot Tuning nozzles. Which cost a buck right now on simgot site on aliexpress. Those nozzle just fit better on the Himalaya. Several reasons why these nozzles are better. If you get that Simgot nozzle filter you can tune the upper mids and treble to your liking. I mentioned on my review that I wish there was a medium filter between the blue and the stock nozzle and that is what the Simgot nozzles will do for you. I dont think the stock cable is the best for the Himalaya but they are certainly not bad. I would get them first and burn them in and see how you like it and go from there.
Dsnuts
Dsnuts
TSMR-X is a level above the Himalya for bass has less lower mids presence so you will like vocals better on the Himalaya. Himalaya is not as dimensional sounding as the TSMR-X but its good in that regard. Its tonal and timbre character is more natural than the TSMR-X but TSMR-Xs bass switches makes them more versatile than the Himalaya when it comes to eclectic music listening. But the relatively well balanced Himalaya with excellent quality bass is not bad there either. Sound is not as airy as the TSMR-X and sound separation is not quite as good but again certainly not lacking in that department for the Himalaya. I think you did good by getting the Himalaya. Just know they can be better than what you will hear with them when you get them. It takes a good thicker upgraded cable and them Simgot nozzles with a foam piece underneath and you will get one of the best dynamic IEMs for the price in your ears.

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: A wildly addictive treble presentation which proclaims a different character from normal DD outputs
As such we find finite small illustrations of treble artifacts separated into the stage, all with great timbre
Technical chops and fun times to be had for a joyful admission price, the true meaning of Chinese value here
Pure titanium build
Advanced semi-custom form factor, almost all the 12 grams (each) of weight inside the ear
Silver plated OFC NiceHCK 3-in-1 modular cable with ear-hooks
Superlative box opening experience worthy of a true flagship model

Three wildly different nozzles that screw on
1) Gold Balanced
2) Grey shorter and treble centric
3) Blue added Bass nozzle with a narrow port

Very, very well rounded playing all music genres, and seemingly balanced off every source
Cons: Some folks don't want to deal with nozzle changes
Some are against 3-in-1 modular cables
The 12 grams weight could be an issue for those running or involved with outdoor sports
The HIMALAYA:
The flagship 10mm CNT DD, CNC Titanium Alloy from NiceHCK Audio
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Preamble:
IEMs are a lot like cars. The fact that there are new models coming out with some of the same technology as previous models, only at times offering refinements and advancements. There is a cost hierarchy where you need to pay for more engine horsepower/more drivers, or advanced shell construction in design. There are the interiors that can offer comfort, like the back-side of the semi-custom IEM fitment. You know when you sit in a car and go ahhhh. When you put that IEM in your ear and go ahhhh. Then when you start the car/turn-on the volume……it’s that thrill and the very reason we buy these things. In that there are never ending models of retail production. Some models hold onto the past with a homage to history, and other models scrape the ceiling of the times, seemingly seizing future technologies and putting them to use. And cars have styles, just like IEMs have various styles. Typically we buy cars which we know and trust, same as IEM brands. Yet every once in a while something special comes along to create a purchasing emotion...........sizzle……….and it is that sizzle that makes you hungry……..hungry for a taste of provocative technology.

Introduction:
Rarely am I the first kid on the block with a never before seen IEM around here. But that’s the perks of being a reviewer……as at times you are offered nice surprises. Yet there is a little pressure to get everything correct……..to focus the public's attitude here, by relaying thoughts and opinions. Sure my reviews are a lot like walking advertisements for products, yet they are sincere and the only way I know how to write? I would change my style, except that wouldn’t be me. Here the photographs have to look a certain way, and this script has to be written to the (informative) best of my ability. But since there are very few (if any) HIMALAYAs out in the wild, I also have to be detailed and accurate as to the reality of the IEM. With all that said, this is/was a fun job, and you know what they say about fun………..If it’s fun, it’s not work.

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NiceHCK:
As such this company has been around, yet as of 2023/2024 NiceHCK has increased their game. Yep, seemingly coming out of the backwoods and into the front row. Starting primarily as a cable builder, they are incredibly budget minded, offering nice cables at value prices. While I only have a few NiceHCK cables, those three are very well behaved both in demeanor and sonics. I have only got a taste of three NiceHCK IEMs so far, each has been special and represents their specific price point and sonic goals.


Here is the thing……if you went and got the F1 Pro 14.5mm Planar, the DB2 entry level IEM and this HIMALAYA IEM, you would still have only spent roughly $470.00 for all three.

Possible USD HIMALAYA Price $348.00
NiceHCK DB2 Price $22.99

NiceHCK F1 Pro $99.00

Now you may be wondering why I’m concentrating on price so early in the review here, shouldn’t I get to sound and construction first? I’m concentrating on price right-off as that’s the value here. Also the fact that NiceHCK has just released 3 very different IEMs. All at three different price-points. That (in-fact) you could own each one and still have three very different individual IEM sound styles, and slightly different driver methodology outcomes.

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Let’s concentrate on the F1 Pro and the HIMALAYA:
You see, having the two NiceHCKs is completely and totally complementary here. But better than that, in that just by their individual contrasting tone they validate each other's existence here at Head-Fi. But more than that, if I can suggest these tone signatures represent 2 sides of a coin, to where the F1 Pro is a little of a macho brute, and the HIMALAYA is offering sophistication on a whole different level. What this means to you and your listening profile is having both is not a waist. Like if you had a closet full of belts and shoes……there is a chance that some will be used more than others……..yet I can promise you NiceHCK didn’t repeat themselves here, and are offering up different windows into your music, that while both are intrinsically different due to driver and construction methodology, neither is any lesser of a IEM, and most importantly neither is wrong with what they do.

The F1 Pro v the HIMALAYA:
Really when you get down to it both share a similar tune, except for starters the F1 Pro Planer is harder to drive. Now before I said the F1 Pro is a brute, really what I meant is almost nothing out there offers up the fine filigree of treble details like the HIMALAYA. I guess I’ll start with the upper stage and treble positioning here, as that seems to be an area of endless fascination.

Nozzle changes:
Now the real question presents itself as how is the HIMALAYA with the Blue Bass enhancement nozzles in direct comparison to the F1 Pro. You see, it really is the F1 Pro tune that is it’s claim to fame, with the reality of many consumers finding this or that wrong with many Planar IEMs, only to find a home with the F1 Pro. Often listeners will give away a (IEM which has a) tune that doesn’t sit well with them, or shelf an IEM and not listen to it..........for fear of it not exactly matching the tonal balance they are after. Even though the F1 Pro has price leading technicalities, the retail of $99.00 only goes so far, and truly it is the tune which is at the core of its success. Sure NiceHCK will introduce a Flagship with better detail and itemization of imaging……..except what would happen if we attempted to make the HIMALAYA more fun with a fuller deep-end? Would it surpass the F1 Pro, or would the FI Pro seemingly have a better tune, regardless of technicalities?

Let’s see:
My guess is the technicalities will prevail here, simply making the HIMALAYA better no-matter-what? Trying this set-up of the Blue Bass nozzles and HIMALAYA, we actually find a smoother and more even stature of more maturity. The bass is in no way overboard, yet the F1 Pro shows a vibrant upper midrange that is noticeably both more forward, yet less detailed. Here the volume differences when listening presented an issue where the HIMALAYA volume had to be drastically reduced to match the Planars. I mean this was not totally what I was expecting as the HIMALAYA was simply even more polished with the Bass filter attached. What that did was create a bass focus yet there was still total balance, that balance a more sophisticated relay subtly sitting back and generating a smoother and less all around aggressive stance…….a politeness ever so compounding the differences from the F1 Pro. The HIMALAYA still had its subtle V shape, but the small filter hole let the treble through, yet possibly pulled back the overall volume one more level? I would suggest this HIMALAYA set-up if in your history you found the F1 Pro to be too much of a vibrant and macho individual IEM. Normally we always combine vibrancy will clarity, only the HIMALAYA here politely sits back holding advanced confidence, and lets its wilder, smaller and less expensive brother act out, despite having less control over the replay.

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Kaveh Cohen, Michael Nielsen
Forza Motorsport OST
Brotherhood
44.1 kHz - 24 bit

In the song Brotherhood there is actually a separation and pronounced realization of a finite tap of a cymbal sound. This finite detail is so hidden in the mix that I am not sure I ever heard it before now. And that is the HIMALAYA in a nutshell. The fact that very small sounds come about, and not because of a jacked-up treble. The sounds are in-fact completely natural, yet shown due to pure technicalities.

Being this is not a BA driver, becomes even that much of a watershed event.

That treble artifact:

The point is I actually have to revert back to the HIMALAYA to find the items timestamp place for this song...........as with the F1 Pro we are left with a hint of the sound, only it is not dislodged and separated from the background tones.........like the HIMALAYA does so very well.

At the last part of 00:09 the hit takes place……..and yes it is incredibly small, yet this artifact adds to the pace found as hits always do. Yet upon further investigation its a set of hits one one strong one, with others trailing off like an echo delay. I don’t want to focus too much on this single artifact, yet it proves the ability of both the HIMALAYA drivers' ability to showcase such a sound, but also to separate it from the other tones.

If any of you had slight issues with the upper midrange being too forward with the F1 Pro, here we have seen NiceHCK go about a more relaxed upper midrange positioning. Simply call me smitten, but this compounds my love for the 10mm CNT DD the HIMALAYA is sporting. Maybe one reason they can lower the energy is the details are still there, showcased by good and old-fashioned technicalities here.

At 00:42 we are given an example of the true expanse of the stage. Here is a segment of the song that allows a wide open synth wash to..............wash over-us causing endorphins to surge.

The other feature here is bass, that while slightly more bass is offered up by the F1 Pro v HIMALAYA (Balanced mode) it’s not as detailed in holding finite placement into the stage as what occurs with the HIMALAYA. I mean sure the F1 Pro is less than 1/3 of the HIMALAYA’s price, but aren’t Panars supposed to offer something special in the bass department? I don’t want any of this review to undermine the true statement of how good the F1 Pro is, as it is absolutely the best Planar value, and holds a place in the top three Planar IEMs I’ve tried, if not the very top. Only we are meeting up with a whole different animal here, demanding respect due to simple ability……..and I haven’t even got to the tuning balance yet. Lol :)

I mean sure technicalities can start to overwhelm a review. Reason being is if instruments are correctly generated in imaging, then that simply offers up more details, from information stored inside the music. If that is combined with ultimate timbre, well…….then success starts to happen. Yep, creativity in the making here…….and that’s what we have.

This all happens due to the even, complete and correct idea the HIMALAYA has as far as tonal values. Now as far as overall balance here, I have heard deeper bass and brighter treble (balanced nozzle) results, but that’s the thing…….this quota of balance is uncanny, being such I challenge anyone to find fault in it. Sure graphs will surface and the measurement-heads will regularly make their opinions known…….for that is a fact of life, still if the graph shows up good, or parts questionable, it is irrelevant……why? Because no graphs are needed. What is found here is beyond graphs to quantify. I mean sure you can get an idea as to the demeanor here, but the real value of this IEM is the stage, that somehow the imaging into the stage is so correctly positioned.

That there is a pure and wholesome placement of images which can never be communicated via a graph. That it is with-in this area of separation that the HIMALAYA charm is found, and it is those experiences that ask for another listen and another…..and so on.

To summarize our challenge here:

While truly dynamic sounding and fun….and complete for just $99.00, the F1 Pro packs a serious amount of listening horsepower. The F1 Pro has its own charms being it’s way smaller than the HIMALAYA and contrasting in that it weighs only 5 grams compared to the 12 grams the HIMALAYA weights. But while both tuned similarly, it is the HIMALAYA which through technicalities makes those details of instruments and vocals a reality, something the F1 Pro due to inability left on the table.

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Music tests:
I have all day to get to the build/shape and packaging……yadda-yadda-yadda………really come-on, I promise that stuff is all good, yet the sound is what this review is about…….plus this section is totally fun and easy to write about.....and I'm lazy.


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Hans Zimmer
Inception OST
Old Souls
44.1 kHz - 16 bit

Here is a great song to showcase contrasts, piano timbre….and of course the famous bass drops found here. It has been so many years since I saw (the movie) Inception, and truly I don’t remember the plot, something about guys sitting around talking a lot, then streets and special effects going hog wild. Yet I listen to this OST all the time. Now to clue in on a very special Hans Zimmer construction method, he drops a piano note directly on-top of the biggest bass drop you have ever heard on IEMs........and it is not just quality but quantity here.

Let’s go:
At 00:23 the piano in question starts off. We also get reverberation held into such a note. The interesting part is leading up to the 00:23 spot there are also piano notes except they may be reversed or subdued, but probably reversed in time……….going backwards in time is a great way to impose a feeling of timelessness in music, as too the effect of disorientation like waking from a dream.

The Blade Runner synth:
At 00:23 this note is also accompanied by a nice homage to Blade Runner synth. Seemingly communicating only the way two sets of keys can talk. At 00:53 that legendary bass drop hits. Now this is important, because I have heard it way more bass laden and even detailed with less costing IEMs before……..but really..........at this point those past references become meaningless. There is less bass note definition, except the initial boom is holding perfect transients and a clean attack. Where this attack is quality in that it’s not overpowering the midrange, or being too showy for its own good. In fact, because of this carefulness we can now locate volume changes from 00:53 to 00:57 as holding actual instrument detail and not a bucket of nonsense. And of course it goes without saying that this song excels at holding the three musical bands in union, of the bass, the midrange and the treble……..somehow as fully separated and intermingling with one another. At 02:55 we start to become engulfed, even inundated with more volume and contrasts.

As such........at 02:27 a violin is chosen to scathingly scratch the stage traveling like a wild lost hornet.

And then at 01:32 a reverberated guitar.........and after that at 01:44 breathing fast in and out…………… heck there is breathing all through this song......…like a porno movie. And yet each musical element is dissected and itemized here, like a song you can listen to over and over and keep learning new things, as the song is simple yet very detailed.

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Gdanian
Induction
Shield Emitter (feat. Tineidae)
44.1 kHz - 24 bit

This is a really important song to have placed here simply due to the way the bass is displayed. The genre is ambient except it would be defined as a bass ambient sub-genre. Only the most important aspects of this number is the use of layers, layers to try and understand both bass separation and the scattering of item tone into the 3D stage. OMG…………I am beside myself at this moment. And unexpectedly it’s not totally about the bass……….at 00:10 there is an additive of a ringing bell that just so happens to add contrast to the bass notes heard……..and once again you have to hear it to believe it.

We are gifted with a precise and infinitely small ringing………way beyond anything I was expecting here?

But of course the bass………or should I say 8 different bass tracks all going off together into the realization of extreme bass environments...........playing out at the 00:20 mark. At 00:42 the ringing hits again…….though this time it is a clump of treble. There is what sounds like a paper tear which travels right to left before the big white noise marker at 00:54. All I can say is this song isn’t always great with the IEMs I test, yet here the visceral world of found sounds triggers deep meaning and fun........in ways I can’t really put down on paper……..just if you're into this style of music give this song a try. Cheers! The words for this song today is layered and big, like a cake, or better yet an onion. Maybe an onion cake?

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Lorne Balfe and Andrew Kawczynski
Grand Turismo OST
Jann’s Journey
44.1 kHz - 24 bit

My bet is this will be the biggest set of sounds we experience today. Why? Well this is a live orchestra recorded on a soundstage. Where often (only used) synth instruments can sound vivid, they don’t always hold room reverbs…….as such reverb units often are not able to fully replicate a live stage setting, at least that’s my idea. But also this is not a home recorded song, from a home studio, but a full-on arrangement produced for a major Hollywood motion picture. And sure the first Hans Zimmer song was too, only that was released in 2010, and Grand Turismo OST was released in 2023……..I simply feel it sounds bigger, or forward or something?

At the opening from a multi-drum accent up till 00:05..........we get a taste of what we will find. I have listened and burned the HIMALAYA in for a solid week, and when it wasn’t on the burn-in bench it was in my ears. I am backed up 5 reviews deep and those IEMs sit on a shelf as I am truly preoccupied here. It is survival of the fittest here at Redcarmoose Labs………those IEMs that perform get ear-time, and even IEMs not yet unboxed will often not get the time of day only due to expectations. Speaking of expectations…....…I never heard this song before from the HIMALAYA, I simply have so much time, and truly I would have used this song sooner, I simply didn’t know how good it would be. As a test song, after numerous IEMs being used, I have come to understand if an IEM has trouble with this song it is normally due to pace issues. As this is quite the song to try and take apart. As such there are choruses, big drums (timpani) violins etc….etc. We are even given a broad range rhythm section……and believe it or not, this rhythm section has come to light here as one of the stand-out features today. Why? They decided to throw everything in this……as far as multiple tracks of multiple rhythm instruments, and not only that, but the mixing is crazy having the multitracks spew these items into a fast traveling chain of events across the whole darn stage. At 01:05 we are now once more gifted with a metallic chime, only this time it is not from BAs as no BAs are used, that in fact once more it is the separation here with ingredients that sound like more BA than a single DD.

That has been my prediction for 2024 success........I have a feeling this is the future………the sound of the BA detail in the future, yet using DDs.........is what the future brings us?

I have made it my preference to enjoy the dislocation of sounds brought forth from Hybrids………Yet stuff out now, like what this HIMALAYA does, is remarkable in that the design has transcended the drawbacks normally associated with DD………………..meaning cramped stage, and a treble fall-off. That or no bass, something was always to blame for being that while great at some aspects of playback, DDs always could not pull-off the items of detail brought forth from treble instruments all that well. But now we have both separation into the stage and great timbre, not holding really any metallic attributes in replay. It is the transient ability here that is creating the drum additive imaging, that quite frankly is remarkable for a DD. Especially at 01:09 as there are too many to list items of replay........seemingly traveling across the stage and interlocked with rhythm. We hear a chorus then the tinkle of bells at 01:15………..only to be once again midrange synth sequenced into a traveling speed, as this is a race car movie OST.

At 02:19 the rhythm subsides and we are rewarded for participation with a final drum at 02:35…….. My idea here is that if there is a slight tweak of timbre (in balanced nozzle use) and it is on the up-push, which while not at all metallic, could be viewed as not 100% natural, though the tilt actually adds to songs like this?

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DCD
Anastasis
Kiko
44.1 kHz - 24 bit

Really this is my favorite test track at the moment, and yes I’ve tried it a number of times with the HIMALAYA. Probably to try and understand where we have traveled (due to burn-in) this past week...............the song is simply more smooth, and holds better separation of imaging…........and slightly deeper bass. Of course this could be from mental burn-in too? To try to describe this opening tone, the drum sound is pretty close to perfect, holding the dynamics and separation found (especially localized) with the ride cymbal into showing contrasts.

Probably the most rewarding thing and unique thing about this song, is even though I have heard it 100s of times, I am now witnessing not only the different emphasis of strike here, but a slightly new movement of positioning into the reaction of the hit. Combined with the bass drop and downbeat at the 00:18 mark, there is an exquisite single emphasis with a single strike a millisecond sooner, and we can totally perceive that!

To an IEM fan, this is what we live for, to have the auditory glass cleaned and the giant detail lens brought into position, without the unnatural treble boost to mistakenly do it.

But wait………what was all that nonsense prior? This song hasn’t even come alive yet. The world guitar of Brendan Perry at the 00:38. The vivid high pitched and lovely vocals of Lisa Gerrard lightning up the room at 01:13.

My gosh, are these really as good as they sound right now? I actually don’t want to say how good they are for fear of losing credibility…………or washing away any remnants of credibility I have left?

But for those still reading, and those still curious about female vocals, these were made for female vocals, as such we have abundant textures and reverberations, details abound.............truly all I could wish for from any IEM in existence. It is times like this where I undermine my very own believability…………risking it all to try and get the very point across................that is the cause of such emotion. Yet I don’t care…………you will see if you take a climb into the mountain range called the HIMALAYA?

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DCD
Anastasis
All In Good Time
44.1 kHz - 24 bit

Finally some good old fashioned bass and male vocals. I would truly call this tune a carefully executed neutral with a slight bass tilt and treble tilt. As such they become strangely well-rounded, finding equal home with use is Rock, EDM, Classical, OST, World Music and New Age. I know you are looking for some dirt here………sorry can’t dig-up any today. Even so much as Vocal Music and Singer Songwriter seems to be the HIMALAYAs forte? Even extreme Heavy Metal…………..where I let my DAP play on and on and I picked it up with Heavy Metal blasting, and not any Metal..........but tweaked-up and forward treble guitars, you know the kind……the guitar sound that could strip paint of the walls if left to play loudly. And that was the best feature here, is that even that was both detailed and still sounding correct to the producers intention. Where yes, there was still a found emphasis in the upper treble guitar parts, where they are simply over-done and that’s how the sub-genre is…….It is what powers the sub-genre! Anyhow…….that's the magic found here.........is that vocals like DCD can live and coexist with Extreme Metal, and both styles of music get catered to.

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Well-roundedness:
Ha, crazy as it sounds I ended up using a number of cables as well as a number of sources and it always worked out to be fine. What that means to you is you can leave the modular cable attached and use the HIMALAYA on the go! From a phone it is balanced and not thin, but a very musical form of replay. Get home at pull out your audiophile DAP and find 3.5mm to be just that one step closer to perfection, and finally going and switching to 4.4mm allowing the different amplifier of your Audiophile DAP to take the HIMALAYA away to simply wider stage environments plus greater vocal or instrument separation at hand.

People who know me know I’m a cable experimenter, and while different cables surely offered a slightly different window to look out into the HIMALAYA landscape, no one cable was too right…….or too wrong. Now typically that would give reference to transparency........and maybe it is still true……..but the minimal change between sources and cables meant less writing to do on my part………………..simply because it’s all good anyway you choose to slice it. Except moving from 3.5mm phone use, to 3.5mm DAP use……and finally 4.4mm DAP use meant everything as far as witnessing separation and vividness. Now the single question is what would happen if we matched the Blue Bass nozzles to the Sony WM1Z? This is adding bass on top of bass. See the 1Z is the most bass laden DAP I own, it proclaims success by throwing out big round/deep bass realities, and tops that balance out with crystal clear treble energies…….so it is more V shaped than the midrange WM1A energies. Even EQ and aftermarket software only goes so far to try to make the 1A perform like the 1Z. Reason being the internal capacitors are different, showing an alternative amplification system. Because the Blue filters narrow the nozzle port from the back of the nozzles, in many ways we are now experiencing a narrow-bore ear-tip, even if wide-bores are in use. Here the outcome is far more digestible than you would guess beforehand. I mean sure these nozzle changes are real, and very different (from SIMGOT) from simply packing-in a different layer of foam, only the HIMALAYA balance can’t seem to be interfered with, parleying a deeper bass, except the treble makes it though, and the bass is really not interfering with the midrange……..it’s all good, and better than good as this may be exactly how I use the HIMALAYA daily from here on out. Still there is no denying the magic the Gold balanced nozzles provided, and the expanded midrange of the 1A put together, a more midrange idea, holding those midrange and treble details in more focus and contrast in daily use. I mean there is an emotional connection to the first time you hear the HIMALAYA and a want to return to those backseat love sessions.

SIMGOT:
To be fair SIMGOT is using different nozzle material and at times foam and filter stickers. But the results are opposite here. This is due to SIMGOT focusing primarily on the upper midrange peak, if you don't mind me over generalizing here. NiceHCK is approaching the nozzles by changing the Grey to shorter size, Balanced to normal size, and Bass to a narrow exit port, thus truly altering the respected areas of frequency response.

Specifications:
Brand: NICEHCK
Model: Himalaya
Production Type: In ear
Driver unit: 10mm dynamic
Diaphragm: Dual magnetic dual layer CNT
Shell material: Titanium alloy
Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
Impedance: 22Ohm
Frequency response: 20-28kHz
Cable material: Silver plated OFC
Connector: 0.78mm 2Pin
Plug type: 3-in-1


Packaging:

There is one set of tips on the IEM, and two more blue ones in the case. Then there are an additional four clear silicones in the case extra. You get a cleaning brush, and a storage case. Three different plugs which lock in which screw down locking fasteners. 1) 3.5mm 1) 2.5mm 1) 4.4mm

There is a user manual, a warranty card and a link card.
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Build:
Coming in made of hefty solid titanium alloy, you can’t scratch it……..at all. The nozzles are easy to place on and unscrew without issue. While sure at 12 grams each, these are not play toys. Yet at the same time the semi-custom shape means this weight is truly packed inside your ear. And remember, that it is not how heavy the IEM is, it is where it sits in the ear, if the outcome is comfortable or not. You start to get the impression that these are little works of art, especially how they are fabricated. The thing is the more and more you use them the better they sound and the more climatized you just become to how they feel, they will become all you listen to, if you're like me? And because of that the build goes one step further to kind-of substantiate that you're going to have them for a long, long time…….like permanently? Lol

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Cable:
What can I say about the cable. NiceHCK is a cable builder first and foremost. This cable offers a range of ergonomics, movability, yet it is silver plated OFC giving great acoustics. As such it comes with a remarkable 3-in-1 modular system which proves one step more by giving the listener the ability to screw down a fastener and permanently keep the modular plugs joined. It also comes with non-agresive ear-hooks. As such there is always the possibility of using aftermarket cables with-out ear-hooks, though I have to say, these ear-hooks feel good in use.

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Nozzle:
Gold Filter-Balanced Style
Grey Filter-High Frequency Style
Blue Filter-Heavy Bass Style


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Conclusion:
Do you think this review was long, do you think it was complete? I have a confession to make……..I could have written easily two times more ramblings. Why? This HIMALAYA is inspiring that’s why. But seriously who cares about a written review? Such things are secondary, I just want to listen to the HIMALAYA, except I was given this thing so that I can tell others about it, and that’s what I’ve done. It’s not normal, it’s not normal to find a 12 gram titanium switchable nozzle custom form factor IEM? These three filters are also wild in that truthfully I have never seen an extreme filter like the bass blue filter work the way it does. What that means is I perceive the GOLD as balanced and with maybe a hint of upper tilt. But the Blue filter is Heavy Bass style which changes up the whole demeanor. Now you would think that the Blue would somehow hide details, when in fact the Blue could have been stock tuning with no other filters included, that’s how complete and really balanced the HIMALAYA is in bass mode. The Grey filters are the shortest in length and they boost high frequencies, yet I see myself utilizing the Gold and Blue filters. The Gold is longer like the Blue, yet the Blue has a narrow port on the inside. I have a confession to make, I spent most of the week with the Gold filters, and had no idea the bass filters could in-fact be so much fun. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m off for another week now experiencing what the bass filters can do. You know why I didn’t care about the filters……..because normally filters are not this much fun. I mean seriously have you ever seen filters that look like these? It is true the HIMALAYA is a hard pill to swallow for reviewers, simply because it causes market disruption. That style of disruption took over Redcarmoose Labs and took up way too much time, yet that listening time is what Head-Fi is about, the simple enjoyment of music. The HIMALAYA is built like an heirloom, something you could pass on to your kids, it is super tough yet sounds delicate and sophisticated.

The HIMALAYA may be just like the mountain range it was named after, a final destination that you don’t even know you have arrived at until you are there. Truthfully I’ve never been to the HIMALAYAN mountain range, but my Father was an outdoor instructor. So you can only imagine my childhood, filled with a Dad making me climb the tallest mountains in North America, across the continental divide, across the valleys and vistas. At times spending whole months in the wild with all the magic and drama that those places provide. Staring at the night sky each night always reminded us of the infinite, the infinite and the beauty of the mountain night stars. During the day, every time we got to the mountain top he would explain which mountain it was, and how high it was in relation to the other mountains. And in many ways the HIMALAYA could be your personal mountain top, a place to arrive and look down on all that was achieved. I have only heard three NiceHCK IEM, but I can’t fathom them ever making anything at this particular level before? If this sounds like a purchase you would make, I can promise you that the nozzles really do something wild, and have the power to make this particular IEM loved by many. There is nothing fake or hokey about how the nozzles work. The cable is absolutely fine, with your choice of 3.5mm. 2.5mm or 4.4mm. The cable provides ear-hooks but the HIMALAYA fit so deep that it wasn’t an issue in-case you have a few other cables in mind.

The HIMALAYA comes with a TOTL box opening experience, a choice of quality ear-tips, a brush and quality control paperwork and a lovey zipper-case. What else do you want? What else could you possibly need? If you want a more basshead IEM it is that, if you want balanced it’s that too, and if you’re into treble, it can go there also, and in each form of the HIMALAYA it is still relatively complete and still holds that charm that charmed me the first week of demoing it.


This is the real deal, it is, and a TOTL under (estimated) $350.00…………….makes this truly a no-brainer. In my humble opinion. Get yours today, you’ll be glad you did.


$329.00
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256806504567632.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2jpn

Disclaimer:
I want to thank Vivian at NiceHCK for the love and exquisite HIMALAYA Universal IEM review sample.

Disclaimer:
These are one person's ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
HiBy R3 II DAP in 4.4mm balanced
Samsung Phone 3.5mm output
Last edited:
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
Never heard the Meze Advar, the EPZ is a cheap copy of that.
N
Nick24JJ
@Redcarmoose I've just ordered them, after reading your review! Order total = £260.20
Are these equal, better or worst than the Tansio Mirai X? You opinion matters!
Thank you
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
@Nick24JJ,
Here is the thing I do a complete week of burn-in before I review. I’m only just starting with the TSMR-X, as I haven’t even used the switches yet. But early comparisons say the Himalaya is doing this magic with cohesiveness and there is an imaging that the Himalaya does, you will be very impressed. Congratulations! An imaging and a naturalness that is unique for the price. Where the X is more about being a Hybrid...... where normally I like Hybrids more, yet in this specific case I view the two IEMs as equals, at this point, that could change still?

Comments

bithalver

100+ Head-Fier
Again, small thing :
Connector: 0.078mm Pin
Looks extremely thin :wink:.

Yep: we feel and happy for your joy !
Thank you for such a wall of text !
 
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