NiceHCK M6

General Information

Specification:

1. Product Name: Original NICEHCK M6 In Ear Metal Earphone
2. Brand: NICEHCK
3. Model: M6
4. Earphone type: In-ear
5. Impedance: 17Ω
6. Earphone sensitivity: 106 ±2 dB/mW
7. Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
8. Interface: 3.5mm Gilded
9. Plug Type: L curved
10.Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
11.Color: Green, Gray
12.Whether with cable: Yes
13.Earphone interface: MMCX connector
14.Whether with mic: No
15.Whether can replacement cable: Yes
16.Driver unit: 4BA+2DD( 4 Balanced Armature + 2 Dynamic) hybrid driver unit

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Latest reviews

Pros: Modular design
Build quality
Sound
Accessories
Superb value for the price
Cons: Too close to DMG
Still a little bit sibilant
You can find this earphone on the NiceHCK AliExpress store (thanks Jim), here: https://it.aliexpress.com/item/NICE...HIFI-Metallo-del-Trasduttore/32955034092.html

And here you can find my Italian, more detailed, review on my website: https://www.techinblack.it/audio/2019/1/29/recensione-nicehck-m6






Specifications:
  • Frequency response: 20-40k Hz
  • Impedance: 17 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: ca. 106 dB/mW
  • Driver: 4 balanced armatures + 1 dynamic driver (with double diaphragm)
  • Price: 105$


First thing I noticed is how similar these IEMs are to the BGVP DMG, that I got in black from Linsoul. I got the M6 in gray, to be neutral on the colour side and here you can see the differences between the two. I don’t know if I can call them a “dupe” or this is a rebrand or something. However, the experience between them is very similar.





Unboxing and first impressions
There are a lot of accessories: a good number of eartips (3 pairs wide bore, 3 SpinFit style, 1 memory foam), 3 pairs of tuning filters, a MMCX cable already attached to the buds, everything put inside a carrying pouch, similar to the **** one. It’s very good and it makes the accessories more complete than the DMG ones. The fit is really good, one of the best I’ve ever tried. There’s fortunately a chin slider which helps with the stability. I think that there’s an additional vent on the front of the earphones that DMG lack; I honestly didn’t find the sound different because of that, but there’s something they do better (I’ll tell after, “sound” section). I like the cable (this is also similar to the DMG one, but doesn’t seem to have metal inserts), but the colour is not my favourite. It doesn’t suffer of microphonics nor it tangles too easily.





Sound
My sources: FiiO M7, Dodocool DA106, Audirect Whistle with Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, Focusrite 2i2 with MacBook Pro 2012. Files: DSD (Pink Floyd), FLAC 24/92 (Queen, Jack Garratt, …), FLAC 16/44 (Bon Iver, Greta Van Fleet, Jacob Collier, …), ALAC (Sia), MP3 320 (Jamie Cullum, Niccolò Fabi, Everything Everything, …).

Sound is neutral. On a warmer side, with a gentle U-shaped signature. Bass is good (sub-bass is not the best, mid-bass a little bit enhanced), pretty fast and detailed; mids are great: voices are clear, instrument separation is good, nothing to dislike; treble is relaxed, and I like it, with less sibilance than DMG. That’s what I can discern about the two earphones. Soundstage is honest, but you may expect something better for that price – that’s even higher on the DMG. I tried the ADVANCED M4 and for 50$ I found a much larger soundstage than every In Ear I’ve tried under 200$. But imaging is realistic and the overall sound signature is never fatiguing. These are actually my everyday earphones. Isolation is also good enough for me: I take trains almost every day and I’ve never felt the need to have something better on that way.
And the filters? I didn't notice any consistent difference between the threes. Even with the silver ones (treble enhancing) the sound remains warm. I suggest going with the balanced (stock), because they assure the most neutral experience.





Conclusions
I can't deny that I found these IEMs pretty identical to the DMGs. That's not a bad thing: I love DMG because I can listen to them without being fatigued for a really long time. I like the frequency response, I like the instrument separation, they're airy enough, and fit is very comfortable. Those are all points I also appreciate on the M6. If you have to choose between these two, there's only two things to consider: accessories (personally, I find them better on M6, because you get a carrying pouch and tips, while being less, are well thought) and colours (emerald green or gray for M6; red, blue or black for DMG). And DMG have a microphone version. The average price of DMGs is about 25$ higher.

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Off-Topic. I see you have the Dodocool DA106 as well. It's my first and only DAP so far and I'm pretty impressed by the sound and output power. Can drive my AKG712 very nicely. I was lucky to get a Cowon Plenue D for just 130 buck, it hasn't arrived yet though (I'm in Costa Rica, it will take forever, lol). I'm wondering, just sound wise, what DAPs you use would you consider an upgrade to the Dodocool (and/or Cowon)? Not many have the Dodocool and can make a comparision like you :)

P.S.: Gonna get myself a NICEHCK IEM myself, just a different one. Your review and others gave me an idea of the NICEHCKs house sound. Perhaps it will be a 12driver unit, that can be named :p
Pros: Great price-performance, warm, customizeable, sibilance free, harsh free, comfortable, pairs well with mobile devices and entry to mid level DAPs.
Cons: Bass might sound a bit loose at times, might lack some air in high region depending on source. Not for those who loves "sparkly" highs..
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Introduction:

I have fallen into NiceHCK M6 and BGVP DMG hype train and ordered a pair last year. I have decided to go for NiceHCK M6 solely because of price and experience I have already had with Jim NiceHCK and that I know how things commonly work in "Chi-FI". There was a drama you are probably aware about it and I personally think that these IEM are either identical or share only a minor audible difference.

There are several detailed reviews already available with frequency response measurements and package reviews so I will skip these parts and try to add extra information on top of that. Here are highlights of major parts of my review for your convenience so you won't have to read the same stuff all over again.

Sources:

- M6 pairing with Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15
- M6 pairing with Astell&Kern JR
- M6 pairing with LG G6 (ESS SABRE ES9218)

Comparison:

- Comparison with Kinera Idun Deluxe Limited Edition,
- Comparison with Ibasso IT04
- Comparison with Kinera Odin,
- Comparison with 12 BA iem which cannot be named.

Sound impressions:

Tonality:

The best part about these IEM is that these are absolutely fatigue free and in a very good way. There are many IEMs and DAPs which tend to make their products sound a bit brighter to retrieve more detail out of your sound material but it ends up being a bad scenario when both IEM and DAP are "a bit on a bright side".

M6 is tuned in a way which fits great with most of the modern daps. It does not matter if it is ESS Sabre based devices or Astell&Kern ones M6 sounds comfortable and never fatiguing in any way. There are no signs of sibilance or harshness so I'd say that they are very comfortable for long time listening.

There are several filters available so it might be a little different once you swap default ones. You will find more detail further on :)

Lows:

There are 2 dynamic drivers and they are decent. If you tried some TOTL IEM then It won't be the best bass you have heard but in it's price range it is good. It has weight and dynamic softness so if you like bass you sure won't miss it in these.

It is not perfect though so it might sound a bit loose or boomy at times but again this comes from a person who used IEMs which cost several times more than M6 and it is not a fair competition.

Also if you are a basshead I recommend you swapping grey filter for gold filter and then you might end up in basshead budget friendly heaven :)

Mids and Highs:

Considering that you have 4 BA for mid and high regions you get decent amount of detail and separation. Dynamic drivers may sometimes overshadow lower mids region or tend to drag more attention but if you prefer more mids you can either equalize bass a little bit or try a different filter.

Silver filters make high mids / highs to be more prominent but they also can be a little bright with some devices. Personally I prefer them for some intstrumental or classic music.

Also I would like to mention that with bright sounding DAPs like Astell Kern Junior default grey filters still feel the best because it works great with DAP tuning and balances each other just right.

These might lack some air or extra sparkle in high region but there is no magic and you can't have both sparkling and fatigue free comfortable IEM especially in M6 price range. They do not sound dull or boring at all they sound just right to be comfortable and sibilance free.

Comfort, Cable, Filters:

Despite having 6 drivers their shell is not big so they are very comfortable and can be used by people who have small ears. I have read that some other reviewers recommended changing cable for them so I have also tried 2.5mm iBasso balanced cable. Indeed it makes a decent improvement to overall clarity and across whole sound spectrum in terms of separation but I would say that it is a bit of an overkill to use high priced cables. If you manage to find some decent ~30-50 USD cable then I'd say that you should go for it other than that they have quite a decent one bundled with them. It is comfortable and good looking one so I believe it will be more than fine for most of the audience.

I believe that you will get more prominent difference if you swap filters for different sound genres to get the best out of M6. Changeable filters are an extra benefit you may use to your liking in addition to EQ and changeable cables so I recommend you try doing it before any extra upgrades.

Source Pairing:

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Astell Kern Junior:

This DAP pairs really well with NiceHCK M6 and I would say that it works best with them across all other models I currently have in my posession. It is a bit bright by it's nature and M6 tuning works in a synergetic way which works well with any genre. AK Jr also a bit bass light by it's sound signature so M6 being a bit bass heavy balance it out good as well.

Astell&Kern A&Norma SR15:


This one feels like an overkill for M6 and in fact it is but I've decided to try it anyway since I have an ability to do so :). It brings some extra detail and clarity and almost completely removes a veil M6 have sometimes with default grey filter but it does not worth the price difference in comparison with good mobile devices with DACs or Astell Kern Junior. NiceHCK M6 are a 100 USD region great performer and 700 USD DAP as I said is an overkill.

Mobile devices, Meizu MX4 Pro, LG G6 (ESS SABRE ES9218):

M6 pairs good with mobile devices and in fact I believe that it pairs even better with ESS based ones. Most of ESS 9018K2M / 9218 implementations tend to be a little bright or even harsh with some IEM and they are never harsh with M6. They end up compensating each other in a similair way with AK JR, Bass is tamed a bit by DAP and high mids / highs are tamed by M6.

IEM comparison:

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Kinera Idun Deluxe Limited Edition:

If you pay 2x times more and go for Kinera Idun Deluxe LE you will get a different overall signature - less bass, more mids and highs focus. You will lose changeable filters but get some more refinement across whole region. Does it worth 2x times price difference? It is for you to decide. Idun Deluxe LE might occasionally be a little bright here and there while M6 never tend to do so. I have also provided both of these to another person for blind comparison and he told that despite he feels that Idun Deluxe are overall technically better he prefers M6 because they are comforable and free of any harshness.

Ibasso IT04 :

If you pay 5x times more you might end up with Ibasso IT04 which are also a hybrid but provide a different approach. IT04 are more refined and musical but they require a good DAP to shine and are in another league price wise.

Kinera Odin:

If you pay 8x times more you might end up with Kinera Odin which have a similair tuning to Idun Deluxe LE but improved across the whole spectrum. It is absolutely unfair to compare these two but there is still one thing where M6 win - again, harsh free :) Odins might be bright and fatiguing sometimes while M6 you can use for several hours long without any discomfort.

And last goes an IEM which cannot be named which consists of 12 drivers. I have had only a brief listening experience with them and even though they win in many areas I had a very strong feeling that M6 win in MID region. Either I have not accostumized to them but I feel that M6 sound just fine while this 12 BA model sounds veiled and aritifical in mid region. That's the reason I would like to mention this comparison in a first place.

Conclusion:

I'd say that NiceHCK M6 is a great budget performer and one of the best IEMs in 100 USD price region. They are not perfect, they are not TOTL killers but they sound comfortable, harsh free and even more important customizable to your preference. Sometimes they are sold for even less than 100 USD on quarterly sales and I'd say that these are price / performance champion. I personally have not heard anything better around 100 USD price region and which can give benefits of separation and detail 6 drivers provide. I recommend M6 for entry level DAPs and for Mobile Phones which have separate DACs, I do not have iPhones in my posession but I bet they will end up pairing really well with it's cirrus logic mobile dac implementations as well.
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Pros: Excellent imaging and layering, Immersive holographic soundstage, warm engaging sound, bass impact, great vocal, non fatiguing sound, excellent construction, ultra comfy, good price value
Cons: Stock cable tend to make the sound too bassy and warm, iem design isn't unique, stocks ear tips aren't the best sinergy, changeable nozzle is kind of vain
NiceHCK M6 review:

SOUND: 9/10
CONSTRUCTION: 9/10
DESIGN: 9/10
PRICE VALUE: 8.5/10


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HCK have been quite busy in 2018, creating numerous new IEM including this 2 dynamic drivers plus 4 balanced armature beautiful metal universal custom call NiceHCK M6.

Having been disapointed lot of time lately by budget multi drivers IEM, I decide to take the plunge and buy these little more expensive chi-fi beauties once on sale in Aliexpress, at 100$ my expectation was way higher than with sub-50$ iem I buy and I didn’t want to deal with an immature or experimental soundsignature that sacrifice overall musicality with a lack of engineering knowledge often found in this hypetrophied audio market...because let admit it : chifi earphones rarely are know for masterfull multi drivers treble calibration. Well, the M6 isn’t perhaps the final words in term of treble management but it sure is a well made and must of all musical, dynamic and alive sounding one.


CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN & ACCESSORIES :

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The M6 come with all the basics we need, including a case and lot of extra eartips. But about eartips, I would have love some silicone one with bigger hole, so it fit exact size of iem nozzle and permit to the sound to breath better, for this result I use the KZ starline eartips, wich give the best result for sound and fit.

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As said before by other M6 users, cable is underwhelming in quality, more a mimic of a good cable thant a real one, as well, it tend to warm the sound and push the bass more fowards, I prefer using any cheap SPC cable over the included one.


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For the iem construction, it is top notch as well as extremely similar to the BGVP DMG. Perhaps its an OEM of those that have same or different drivers configuration (2DD+4BA) but I can’t say for sure as I did not try the DMG and some people report the sound is different. Anyway, these are the type of iem that feel confident in hands with its solid heavy alluminium-magnesium housing that feel thick and organic in its form. Design of housing is excellent and give extremely good fit and comfort-it slide there and stay there.

The M6 are among the must comfy earphones I have and I can even use smaller tips because it do not tend to fall from my ears, thanks to the super solid but light housing.

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About TIPS, there a bunch of different one included but I find the KZ Starline to be the best, because the eartips hole is bigger and same size as nozzle hole of M6 and IMO it open the sound and give proper fit too because of a thickest silicone that do not slide out of ears.

All in all, the M6 feel and look as an above 100$ IEM even if the cable is just average.


SOUND :

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SOUNDSTAGE
is perhaps not the more vast and airy I ever heard, but it sure is above average in term of widness and especially deepness because of a very well made imaging that give illusion of 3D sound space. Yep, not a lot of air between every instrument but at least its clear and precise and feel at the right placement and never congested, this is like being in a great audiophile room with 2 speakers at each side and a sub in the middle and its a real treat. Instrument layering with M6 is just phenomenal for its price range.


SOUNDSIGNATURE is the U shape, with and extra push in the middle, so, more a W I would say. Weighty punchy low with wide fowards and well detailed mid and smooth but well extended treble that do not hide details but will not show it like if you pass your music trough an IRM.


AMPING : At 17ohm, these are VERY easy to drive, it do not benifit from amping, just from a good clear trustable source with basic stable amping (yep, even a phone can do it right here but not if the sound is colored with pumped up bass).


FIT TRICK : I like these insert DEEP into my ears, so I use medium KZ starline and not the large size as im use too.

OFFICIAL GRAPHIC RESPONSE:

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BASS is more the punchy way than the boomy way, it have lot of weight in mid bass and dig low but do not have a pumped up sub that will make shake your skull with your trap rap collection, still, yeah, it sound freaking good with trap music, but try DnB or IDM, man, thats a killer mix! M6 give a warm, punchy, thick and energic bass, that isn’t ultra detailed but have good attack and decay and especially a right placement in sound space where it do not mix badly with other frequencies, we have barely a little mid bass echo that float under the mids and I like this warm caress that give a little more body to them.



MIDS are the sweet miracle of these IEM, by miracle I mean its a vast and wide presentation for such an energic bassy soundsignature, even if it slightly have upper bass bleed its not to veil the mids but to uplift them with a hint of warm, wich give more body to vocal and do not stole anything really. I even test these with choral ensemble (Trio Medieval) to be sure vocal are impressive and man its a delight, all voice of ensemble are layered clearly and do not feel mixed up, it isnt too textured and bright, and have very good sirupy body that is perfect for laidback immersive listening. With solo violin it surpass my expectation another time, delivering a weighty musicality where we can feel the bow attack that give proper note decay to the instrument, for me, this is call pure musicality but not in a critical listening approach more an avid music lover one that know how instruments should be feel. Great layering help the mid to breath even if I wouldn't call the M6 an airy sounding iem cause of a little lack of dept and air between instrument, its more appropriate for small to medium instrumental music group than a full symphony or ultra crowded music.



HIGHS aren’t fowards and bright, they are smooth with extended treble that do not have harsh peaks anyhow and is perfect for treble sensitive people. This refreshing approach proove a maturity in sound engineering where you aren’t force to find a compromising sinergy to enjoy full sound palette. In sub-100$ iem, I feel there too often highs colouring to push the microdetails fowards to give easy wow effect wich became annoying when you discover how unbalanced certain songs can became or upper mids or highs can be grainy, shooty, splashy or way too agressive. Music should be healing, especially when its about beauty, so when highs are sharped like trowing knifes I feel betray by the IEM and just can’t stand this anymore, thanks god the M6 don’t take this easy road and offer plenty of micro details that can be found under multiple music layers as it should be, if you crave you will find them easily but its not trow at you like noisy stone. I tremondesly enjoy this approach, where percussion have great decay and natural timbre and never sound artificial, too metallic or splashy. No details porn here, but lot of complex and mysterious musical eroticism to undress for sure!

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COMPARAISON :


With Kinera H3 : At 100$ H3 feel like a pimped joke that sound like a failed prototype, the bass feel weak, thin and grainy, mids way too harsh in upper mids and highs kind of erratic compare to a well rounded M6 sound where everything feel right in place even if it give a more bassy soundsignature that strangely offer better and more vast mids too. Its less detailed but just in upper highs because well, it sound right compared to the H3.


With MACAW GT600S : At 80-100$ these do not sound bad and have a wider soundstage than M6, but thats about it because it sound veiled and trebly too and lack weight and impact in low and mids. M6 sound seriously from another league here with a better layering and clearer sound that have as well more energy and attack-decay. Mids are very annoying and harsh with the GT600S, so who need a wider trebly soundstage? Not me.


With FIIO F5 : F5 are quite good IEM, especially if we think of whole package we get for 60$ (now) and they are the more serious contender among 3 iem I compare the M6 too. Soundstage feel wider and more around your head than M6, mids are a little more recessed but quite clear and enjoyable even if bass bleed is more problematic due to a single dynamic drivers. As well, highs are more sharp and can be problematic for treble sensitive people but this give a more sparkling upper range than M6. M6 has way better layering and more deep and 3D soundstage. Even if M6 isn’t colored in highs as much than F5 it have more details due to a fuller frequencies response and no extra treble that can hide some details to the cost of other micro ones. When it come to whole price value perhaps the F5 win because of all accessories that come with the product (including 2 mmcx cable-1balanced-1 with mic) and a great sturdy metal construction, and as said, the sound is really good too, even more with a SPC cable. BUT if sound and only sound is your priority, for 50$ more I’ll say the upgrade is not far from 40% better, wich is exceptional in this price range where 50-100$ iem can sound kind of in same league must of the time.

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CHANGEABLE NOZZLE is more a gimmick than a proper soundsignature switcher, because lets be honnest, filtering can only tame or open some very limited frequencies range, its not like an EQ and even if yes it give a hint more treble in upper mids or some more DB in lower bass, its very very subtil and not really thinked for a pristine result so as always with changeable nozzle I stick to the standard one wich is the green and surely the one used by audio engineer to calibrate the whole sound.



CONCLUSION :


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Even if I humbly admit that I did not have try more than 10 chifi iem pairs in above 100$ price range - but sure alot more with overpriced other iem brands like Sennheiser, Audio technica or Westone- it do not stop my overwhelming enthusiasm about this incredible NiceHCK M6. For me, it hit all the right sound corners, and that with a weighty dynamic sound that is very revealing of its sound layers with a beautifull and natural transient response in all frequencies range. Even the slightly coloured sound in mid bass do not feel artificial or too much bassy for me, this punch is quite needed in fact and is far from a boomy approach even if critical listener would have perhaps prefer a more linear rendering, the fact is that this punch help the M6 to be the perfect all arounder in sub-200$ iem world. As well, if you need extra treble in upper mids, the changeble nozzle kind of do the trick, less so for bass but you have anyway 3 slightly different soundsignature to play with (if you have time to loose). Construction as well as engineering is Top Notch for this price and if M6 are the same as the BGVP DMG (but I heard M6 are less trebly-sibilant) I really now understand the big hype around it, because yes, this is a IEM that stand appart from the crownd and will sure be a keeper for a long long time if your a collector or it could be the perfect first daily hifi 100$ IEM for real music enthusiast with diversify taste in music, for this lucky consumer, it could be the end game and a welcome elexir to a bothersome quest for the utopical perfect IEM. Because even if M6 isn’t perfection in term of supreme clarity and details, I now know too that an Hifiman RE-2000 is very far from this type of perfection and offer a warm musicaly addictive sound at 2000$ that cannot sound as versatile than M6. Yes, NiceHCK M6 is THAT goooooood and if you search a more than capable non fatiguing IEM that will never sound boring and be able to offer an above average lively imaging with plenty of energy and weight, search no further : the M6 is Magnificently Muscular & Musical.

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"Music should be healing, especially when its about beauty, so when highs are sharped like trowing knifes I feel betray by the IEM and just can’t stand this anymore"

I could not agree more with this statement, so damn true.

Comments

Can these still be considered a good choice in the 80 - 100 USD price range? I'm having a hard time deciding between these, Ibasso IT01, and FIIO FH1.
 
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