The HIBY Yvain Universal IEM

General Information

The HIBY Yvain is a 4BA set.

The drivers include:

Knowles damperless high power CI-30120 x1 bass

Sonion 2389D x2 mids

Knowles WBFK33518 x1 highs

The IEMs are fully sealed for high isolation.

There are independent tubings for the 3 ways as well as a 3 way electronic crossover.

Nominal impedance 23 ohms, sensitivity 116dB/mW.

The pin connectors are 0.78mm.

CNC as well as 3D printing is employed in making the shells.

Price to be announced, at under $300.

Get yours for $239.00

Latest reviews


100+ Head-Fier
Hiby Yvain Review
Pros: Very Good Tonality for All-BA IEMs, Nice build and ergonomic design, No hint of Typical BA timbre, Well Balanced Mids
Cons: Transient response is not good in Complex tracks, Treble needs to be airy, Source peaky, Not the best technicality for the price


Introduction: -

Established in 2011, Hiby Music specializes in research, development, and sales of high-quality portable audio products. They have developed dozens of digital audio players (DAPs), IEMs, USB DACs, etc. Their first landmark product in this audiophile world was Hiby R6 which we are proud to be the first owner in the international market when they launched. Today we are reviewing their latest offering in IEMs categories, Yvain. It consists of Four Balanced armature drivers per side. Knowles Non-damper BA for Bass, Sonion Customized Full-Ranged BA and Knowles Hi-res Tweeter with three-way electronic crossover. Yvain comes with a 2-pin PCOCC cable and can be terminated as per your needs as it’s modular to 3.5mm and 4.4mm. Yvain’s shell is constructed from medical grade 3D Printed material providing a suitable, comfortable, and skin-friendly experience. Moving to its price it retails at US$ 239.00.


Specifications: -

  • Driver Configuration: 4 Balanced Armature (1 x Knowles Non-Damper BA for Bass, 2 x Sonion Customized BA full range, 1 x Knowles Hi-Res BA)
  • Crossovers: 3-way Electronic Crossover
  • Impedance: 23Ω ± 10%
  • Freq Response: 20Hz-40Khz
  • Sensitivity: 116dB/mW
  • Max Input Power: 100mW
  • Cable: PCOCC Cable
  • Plug: Modular with 3.5mm and 4.4mm
Disclaimer: -

The review tour for Hiby R3 II was arranged by Joe Bloggs and Gadgetgod (Head-fi) in India. We are thankful to them for the opportunity. However, the review reflects our honest opinion.

Packaging & Accessories: -

The Hiby Yvain didn’t come in an official package on this tour, but with all the official accessories, which include a set of Hiby Yvain in-ear monitor, thick 98 shares PCOCC Modular Cable with 3.5mm and 4.4mm termination. Protective Case, All Size Ear-Tips a pair each in a small plastic box.



IEM Build & Design: -

The Yvain comes in a medical-grade resin shell with a beautiful faceplate with brown, and silver accents. The design is ergonomic, and we found no problem using it for longer sessions. The IEMs are itself very lightweight. The balanced armature drivers are placed directly on the nozzle, and it is connected to the nozzle with three acoustic tubes.



Sound Analysis: -

Credits: @ianfann
  • Tonality: - This is our first encounter with Hiby-made IEMs, and we are surprised here. The sound of Yvain has a very good tonal balance across the frequencies. There are no hints of BA timbre observed. We can say the highs need to be much airier. Overall tonality is very musical to our experiences with it.

  • Lows: - Hiby Yvain has a Knowles Balanced Armature driver for handling bass. The bass takes a lead in quality rather than in quantity. The sub-bass is lacking here. For testing bass, we made use of Nakshatram by Jean du Voyage’s offline FLAC file and the Weekend’s Wasted Times. The unit results in faster takeoff. The bass doesn’t hit hard. Where the mid-bass presentation is better and fully detailed here. The transient response is not that good in complex bass tracks for example “The Plan” from TENET Official Soundtrack.

  • Mids: - The mids are well-balanced with good tonality. We can easily say that the mids are the highlights of this IEM. Mids are a bit forwarded here, which makes it a fun-sounding set. The Yvain makes use of twin Customized Sonion BAs for the mids. We are happy to see that the BA is not showing its typical timbre. For testing mids, we’ve listened to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and Skyfall by Adele through Apple Music. We can say the male vocals sound very good, full-bodied, and with a hint of warmth, it feels very lush. We really like how the vocals (both male and female) are well-rendered here. Instrumental tracks felt alive and rich-sounding.

  • Highs: - Highs on this IEM are above average, but the treble doesn’t extend so well and is not that airy. It does have a beautiful natural timbre and tonality which makes it a great IEM for everyday use. The detailing is decent at this price point. The highs do improve a bit with a neutral source but weren’t that great with mobile phones or cheap dongles. The cymbals have the right sparkle, and bright and glistening sound with it.

  • Soundstage & Imaging: - The soundstage is decently wide and has a good depth. The layering is decent as well. Instruments have less air and clean space between them. Yvain’s detail retrieval capacity is good while micro-dynamics are solid. The imaging is average at best.

  • Synergy: - After trying it with different sources (Astell and Kern SP1000m, Dethonray DTR1+, Pegasus SG1 Gold, Aune M1p, Aune Yuki and Hiby R3 II) we can say it pairs well with anything. With neutral sources like Aune M1p and Hiby R3 II, it shows emotions in vocals and maintains the tonal balance. While pairing with analytical sources like Dethonray DTR1+ the brilliance is very much heard and airy-ness also observed. At Aural Café we strongly believe in source matching and here we overall recommend using neutral sources to extract the most from Yvain.


Conclusion: -

This IEM is a very capable set but given a price point of $239.00 we feel that the pricing should be a bit better because of the current competition in the same bracket. For everyday use, it does not create any kind of fatigue sonically as well as fittings because of its ergonomic design and weight. The accessories given are top-notch. It admirably delivers well-balanced tuning. Overall, we liked the set for its warm and fun tonality and timbre though we would not mind if there were more sub-bass emphasis. For users who like very much technical performance, we would not recommend this IEM. It needs good neutral sources to shine.

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500+ Head-Fier
HIBY YVAIN: Daring Neutral Sounding One
Pros: ● The composite shell chassis of this set is quite sturdy yet light.
● Good passive noise isolation
● Gorgeous-looking laser etched lion design on its aluminium faceplate.
● Modular stock cable.
● High quality IEM storage case.
● Pricing of this set is somehow justifiable for its tonal and technical performance.
● Balanced-neutral sounding one.
● Punchy and precise bass response
● Excellent midrange quality, well-textured and energetic vocals and natural tonality on almost all types of instruments.
● Smooth, balanced and vibrant treble response.
● Good separation and layering.
● On par resolution capabilities to some sets in a more pricey segment.
Cons: ● Looking for a more coloured tonality? then this one is not for you.
● Sorry bassheads, this set isn't for you as this will not give you a very satisfying bass response that you really want.
● Might be too linear and flat sounding to some listeners.
● Not the most dynamic sounding one if you are well-accustomed to the sounds of some sets in a dynamic driver configuration.

Yvain or Ywain is one of the prominent knights of King Arthur and part of the fellowship of Knights Of The Round Table. He is also known as the Knight of the Lion and known to be an adventurous person as he is enthralled with chivalric exploits like saving a lion from a dragon that earn its loyalty and companionship as they both defeat giants, demons and other knights.

What I have here is a latest IEM model that carries the name of that Arthurian character. This is HiBy Yvain, it's an all-balanced armature driver IEM that was encapsulated in a composite shell chassis with a modular cable set-up. This model somewhat to be more of an affordable version of HiBy Crystal 6 Mk.II in which I did a review a few months ago.


Regarding its internal components, it has four balanced armature drivers sourced from reputable audio solutions like Knowles and Sonion. The BA woofer which will be use solely on bass is a Knowles one which will give a deeper bass response, while a dual set-up full range BA is a custom Sonion in which gives more natural tone, exceptional detail and crisper sound on vocals and instruments, and then on the HF BA tweeter, it uses the latest generation of Knowles “Hi-Res” tweeter for shimmer, clarity and more airy extension on tonal colours on specific instruments.


Aside from using premium balanced armatures, it also implemented a 3-way electronic crossover for better separation and more precise tuning on its overall frequency range along 3-way channel passive acoustic chamber that connected to each balanced armature driver to lessen any distortion and interferences on its sonic performance.


These internal parts and components were encased in a composite shell chassis and it has a modified UIEM-type design to give a comfortable wear and better noise isolation in our lugholes. The cavity base part of the shells are made of hypoallergenic resin material which underwent a 3D-printed process while the faceplates are made of CNC-milled aluminium alloy with a laser-etched print of a lion on the surface. The Yvain uses a 2-pin connector as its interlocking mechanism which is a standard on aftermarket cable upgrade and also known to be the most stable and reliable type of connector among audio enthusiasts.


The stock cable of HiBy Yvain is a 2-core litz-type OCC pure copper wiring which is insulated with PVC coating for low distortion, less resistance and clarity of sonic output. This cable is also a modular one that we can choose either 3.5mm SE or 4.4mm balanced.


Since this is a review touring unit, there is no packaging box but it only has high quality IEM storage which is quite large and spacious for an IEM.

Here are the following contents inside of Yvain's IEM case:

● Pair of HiBy Yvain IEMs
● Modular stock cable
● 4.4mm balanced adapter
● Three (3) pairs of balanced bore ear tips in different standard sizes.
● Three (3) pairs of memory foam ear tips in different standard sizes.


HiBy Yvain is actually an easy to drive set that scales well even to devices with a decent power output. With proper amplification, it will sound quite vivid and full range that it will encompass the whole frequency spectrum.


As to determine its tonality, HiBy Yvain has a balanced-neutral sound profile as it has a tad tighter yet linear low frequency response and then more emphasis on midrange and high frequencies to have that detail, shimmering and airy response.



The bass response of Yvain is quite tight, precise and incisive for a woofer BA that is prevalent to IEMs with neutral sound signature. It has an adequate sub-bass presence as it has some reverberations and fairly deep sound generated from synthesisers, low tone bass guitars and drum machines.

Mid-bass quantity of this set is somewhat sufficient as it gives a decent note weight on bass-focus instruments and some male vocals. Bass guitars have resonant and rasping sound while bass kick drum have thudding and a bit rumbling sound from them on every hit, and then on bass-baritone vocals, they appear sound natural though not that dark tone and volume that I expected due to its neutral bass type of tuning but still it has dense sound on them.


This is probably one of the strongest assets of the Yvain as it is well-textured, transparent and clean sounding as it gives a natural tone on both vocals and instruments to sound more engaging, emotive and engaging to our ears.

Male vocals seems an ample warmth on them as baritones have smooth and lush sound, while tenors have strong, clear and dazzling sound on them from heldentenors up to leggero tenors, and then on countertenors, they have these smooth, tender and bright sound on them that we are quite familiar with. On female vocals, contraltos have those distinctive rich and smoky sound from them, mezzo-sopranos have golden and velvety sound that really captivates my ears and sopranos sounds very gleaming and quite a crystalline one due to some emphasis on the midrange up to upper midrange to give that energetic tuning.

As for instruments, strings like guitars and violins have a bright, crisp and vibrant sound on them while on the woodwinds like piccolos, concert flutes and clarinets, they sound clear, ethereal and dramatic respectively. On brasses, trumpets have rounded sound, while horns have resounding and full sound and then on trombones, they have eruptive and penetrating sound. As for percussive instruments, snares have hard and precise sound on them, tom-toms sound quite rich and resonant sound, field drums have full and sonorous, and then on kettledrums have resonant yet mellow sound. Pianos seems to have a well-balanced sound as it has both an enough warmth and at the same time, it has a bright tone.


The treble response of this one is somehow smooth and it has ample brightness to give definition and detail on female vocals and instrument attacks due to slightly accentuated upper mids to the presence part of the treble region. Sibilance is well-controlled and not a hint of strident and jarring sound.

As for instruments, cymbals sound rather lustrous and soughing while hi-hats have those particular shortened buzzing sounds. Glockenspiels have bell-like and lustrous sound on either mallet or keyboard-type ones that give more liveliness in the percussive mallet section in an orchestra, and then celestas have sweet and mellow sound to give that distinctive resonance sound. The brilliance treble has a satisfactory sparkle but the airiness is rather moderate on treble extension.


The HiBy Yvain presents a quite spacious headstage within my aural sphere as I really perceived a wide lateral width span, fairly tall height ceiling and good depth of distance from front to rear. Its stereo imaging projects a concave-like stereo presentation where I was able to pinpoint the exact location of instruments and singers. It has a good separation of instruments and well-organised layers of tonal and frequency tones in a sonic canvas.

The cohesiveness of multi-BA configuration has a fast transient response that these drivers are quite competent to deliver a crisp and clear sound output. Resolution capabilities of this set is excellent as it has a solid macro-dynamics but the micro-detail retrieval seems to have a less sharper definition but at least not blunted or too soft.



● Like the Yvain, it is also an all-BA driver configuration and it also uses premium balanced armature drivers like Knowles and Sonion. The modular stock cable was provided by a premium cable maker, Hakugei. The inclusion of this one is quite plentiful for a set in this price range.

● As for tonal aspect, The BRAVERY is more of a warmish-neutral sound as it has punchy bass response, textured, ample warmth and detailed midrange and then, a smooth and quite airy treble extension.

● Regarding its technical aspect, it has an above-average sound field dimensions, an atmospheric stereo imaging with good separation and well-organised layers of frequencies and dynamic tones of each instrument and vocals. It has excellent resolution capabilities as both macro-dynamics and micro-dynamics are well presented with solid dynamics and good detail retrieval.


● Another set with an all-balanced armature drivers set-up in a solid, medical-grade resin shell chassis in a UIEM-style form factor. All of its balanced armature drivers are made of premium Knowles drivers and it uses a MMCX connector as its detachable mechanism. AUDIOSENSE included a high quality Pelican-like IEM storage case and it has many types of ear tips to choose from.

● DT600 is a neutral sounding set and if you use an impedance adapter, it will give a more U-shaped sound signature. It has punchy and precise bass response, a transparent, clean and energetic midrange, then a smooth and sufficiently bright treble quality.

● Like the Yvain, The DT600 has excellent technical capabilities like a fairly spacious sound/speaker stage, good stereo imaging as I was able to locate the placement of instruments and vocals along with good separation and layering on them. It also has a good macro-dynamics and a sharp detail retrieval as it extracts some nuances and subtleties from the played audio track.

As I conclude my review about this set, it appears that HiBy delivers a very competent set with reference tuning that will please the ears of both casual and critical listeners along with its remarkable technical capabilities. The Yvain is an IEM that truly deserves an accolade to be one of the best sets out there. If you are looking for a neutral sounding set with good clarity and quite detailed at under $250/£200, then this is indeed a perfect recommendation for you.

HiBy Yvain is now available at HiBy's official online store, check out the link below:


And also check out my reviews of other HiBy products.




PLUG TYPE: MODULAR 3.5mm, 4.4mm

Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*
Type O Negative - Black No.1 *
Felix Ayo - Vivaldi: Presto **
Three Tenors - Nessum Dorma *
Mercyful Fate - Witches' Dance *


I am not affiliated to HIBY nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to JOSEPH YEUNG for providing this unit for HIBY review tour here in the Philippines. I truly appreciate his generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.

Last edited:


100+ Head-Fier
Earbuds with isolation?
Pros: Neutral and flat reproduction of music with a slight warm tilt
Great ergonomics and isolation
Cons: Lacks low end presence
Lacks high end presence
Lacks emotional response



I would like to thank @Damz87, @Joe Bloggs and Hiby for arranging the tour of the Hiby Yvain.
It is not uncommon to see a manufacturer known more for their sources to dip their toes in the pond and put a IEM into the market. And for the most part, these IEMs seem to be overshadowed by IEMs from more established manufacturers in the space. I mean there is a reason why people like Astell&Kern seek to collaborate rather than putting out their own and so today’s review concerns the Yvain, an IEM from storied DAP maker, Hiby.

Is the Yvain another IEM to be relegated as yet another IEM or is it something that manages to standout in a competitive market?

The Factual Stuff​

The Yvain comes in a very well put together package that seeks to elevate the unboxing experience. Within the box is the earpieces themselves, a case full of eartips, some literature and a copper cable with a changeable connector.

The earpieces feature 4 balanced armatures, one of which is a tweeter, two focused on mids and one for bass. The Yvain features a three way crossover.

The Yvain is priced at 239 USD

The Opinion Stuff​



The bass on the Yvain presents a bit of an odd move in the current market of sub-bass shelf monsters opting for a very subdued presentation in terms of quantity. The sub-bass on the Yvain is basically non-existent presenting a low-end that lacks low end physicality and the drama that comes with it. Mid-bass is slightly elevated providing a punch and warmth to the mids that is somewhat enjoyable but the overall profile of the Yvain is very flat sounding. The quality of the bass is somewhat more enjoyable as it is tight and controlled, which makes sense since there’s not much of it.

“THE PLAN” from the TENET soundtrack hits with zero authority and no sense of drama but the optimist audiophile could see this experience as a very flat and neutral “audiophile” representation of music. However, I am not that person and as such I am willing to decry the Yvain as wholly boring in the low end.

The bass also has a rounded and boomy nature to it which sort of gives the illusion of additional air being pushed but this ultimately contrasts with the lack of bass impact.

Sure, it is fairly detailed and controlled but these are far less impressive achievements when the quantity is so middling. This is the equivalent of saying that I can deadlift 20kg with perfect form. That’s great, so what.

Overall, the greatest feature of the bass on the Yvain is that it is so off-market that it will ultimately appeal a niche group of audiophiles. It is a path off the beaten track in the audio realm, especially in its price range and I cannot heartily recommend it as it is likely wholly divisive.


By virtue of the bass, the mids seem to present in a forward manner with an infusion of some slight warmth. Male vocals seem to render quite well on the Yvain with songs such as “When I Met You” by APO Hiking Society presenting in a very natural manner that was quite pleasing to the ear. Female vocals also seem to do decently well but there appears to be a dip in the upper mids leading to a loss of sparkle with songs such as “4 walls” by f(x) being wholly undramatic in their rendition. This seems to present in a more relaxed manner, which, whilst not fatiguing, lacks the crispness that I am looking for in this region.

“Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington and Bill Withers features a wealth of instrumentalization throughout and is a treat for the ears. The Yvain renders the keyboard with rather good reproduction, the male vocals of Bill Withers in a slightly warmed nature that is analogue in nature, but the saxophone and steel drums are rather lifeless by comparison, likely owing to a upper mid dip.

Overall, the mids on the Yvain are front and centre by virtue of the bass and treble being rather flat in their reproduction. The quality of the mids is rather good and the warmth imbued by a slight mid-bass lift seems to inject a slightly an easier listening experience.


The Yvain presents the upper regions of the frequency response curve in a rolled off and smoother nature than other IEMs in the market at this price point. There is a slight brightness to the Yvain but I believe that is not the result of a treble boost but rather the absence of bass to contrast it. Percussion heavy music does not strike with the sparkle and slight splashiness that I am looking for with songs like “Reckoner” by Radiohead being reproduced with underwhelming levels of drama.

Perhaps the redeeming factor of the treble region is that there is not real metallic or over-bright sheen to the music which is usually the result of an overzealous treble tuning but the absence of bad doesn’t necessarily mean good.

The brush on a hi-hat such as that in “The Demon Dance” by Julian Winding should present rather prominently on a well-tuned IEM and in my mind, straddle the line of being almost fatiguing but ultimately the Yvain reproduces it in a rather blunt and rounded manner. There is a lack of airiness and as such the Yvain feels rather confined and there is a distinct lack of microdetail and clearly defined notes in this region.


The staging and imaging of the Yvain feels slightly deeper that some other IEMs in the market but the width of its projection isn’t that great. The depth is also perhaps by virtue of the mid-forward nature of the Yvain which seems to place the upper and lower ends further back in the mix. Picking out directions from which sound seems to be projecting in songs like “Fine” by Taeyeon seem to be rather pointless with things seemingly being unable to be discerned outside of left, right and slightly to my 1 o’clock or 11 o’clock.

Technical performance is slightly hampered by its tuning as a treble lift seeks to highlight microdetails. However, on a macro level, the Yvain does a decent job of separating certain elements and resolving them in a manner that is readily digestible and discernible.


vs BLON BL03​

At 27 USD, the BL03 hardly seems like a competitor for the Yvain and yet it manages to reproduce music with greater depth, texture and excitement. With greater bass quantity, it is rather woolly and somewhat boomy but the injection of warmth and excitement into the music you’re listening too seems to really improve the impact of your listening.

“Fine” by Taeyeon images better with some projection to the rear of the headstage instead of the slightly forward yet still flat staging of the Yvain. “The Demon Dance” brush sounds more prominent in the mix, “Reckoner” renders with the spiciness of percussion that you want, “THE PLAN” has the low-end presence that was sorely missing.

Only thing missing on the BL03 is the mid-forward nature and potentially some greater resolution but listening to music in inherently an emotional experience and this emotional experience is far better than what I had with the Yvain.

Belief, Letmusicburn, Oppoty and Nevergiveup has never stuck me as meaning much but after A-Bing the BLON against the Yvain they appear to be words of wisdom signalling hope for a better audio experience at a lower price.


Hiby R6 Pro 2​

Joe Bloggs, the Hiby rep that graciously provided the Yvain and the R6P2 for this tour had set up a convolution filter on the R6P2 for the Yvain.

The result is a rather good rendition of what the Yvain likely should’ve been tuned to be from the factory. The optimisation adds far greater depth to the Yvain, whilst not fixing the IEM completely, seemed to imbue greater texture to the sound. Deeper staging, less flat tuning and greater enjoyment factor was the result of this filter.

Quality of Life & Value​

The Yvain, for all my issues with sound quality, has some rather good features outside of sound. The shells are lightweight, seemingly well moulded in an ergonomic shape that assists in a very deep fit. This results in great isolation and great comfort for all-day listening. Unfortunately, I don’t want to listen to it all day.

The included accessories are rather good with a wealth of ear tips to choose from, a cleaning brush, a case and an interchangeable cable which is unfortunately is a L shape which I am not a fan of but ultimately seems to be more secure than other interchangeable cables in the market.

239 USD is a rather competitive market in the Chi-fi realm and the Yvain takes a rather unique road in terms of tuning. The result of this is something that I feel most people will dislike. If it wasn’t readily apparent by virtue of my BL03 comparison, the Yvain doesn’t represent good value to me.


Flat, lacking any low-end and upper-end drama and ultimately uninspiring to listen to, the Yvain feels like an earbud that made love to earplugs. Whilst there is something to be said for an uncommon approach to tuning, that is, a more neutral and flat approach, it is wholly unenjoyable to me who seeks to be more engaged with the music rather than have a something simply reproduce sound vaguely at my earholes.

If you are one for this sound signature than definitely go for it and know that this review has been heavily coloured by my own personal biases.