The HIBY Yvain Universal IEM


500+ 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.

Non-Affiliated Link: -
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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.


New Head-Fier
One of the best bright neutral IEM! The HiBy Yvain
Pros: 1. Detailed treble
2. Forward mid range
3. Control and tactical bass
4. Great technical response
5. Analytical tuning
Cons: 1. No pressure release port
2. Puffy bass

Review Of The HiBy Yvain



Having used HiBy products for three times already, IEMs and high-end digital audio players from this Chinese manufacturer have made a name for themselves in the audiophile industry. The firm exclusively engages in additional endeavors, such as dongle dacs and amps, in addition to IEMs and DAPs. When I heard about HiBy's flagship IEM and their mid-tier DAPs, which can easily compete with those that are more expensive, I was already very shocked by what the company had to offer in the IEM and DAP markets. This time, I was able to obtain their mid-tier IEM, the Yvain, a 4 BA IEM that they recently released. I will evaluate it when a few things are cleared up.



*Since this unit tour was organised by Joe Bloggs, I am very grateful for this opportunity. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to the IEM as “Yvain”
*I am using various eartips and sources for better judgement and versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the Yvain. based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.


The Yvain is an IEM with a balanced armature configuration that is limited to four BA. A three-way crossover system connects the four BA drivers—two customized sonion BAs for the midrange, one Knowles non-damper BA for the woofer, and one Hi-res Knowles BA tweeter for the highs. While the faceplate is constructed of metal with an etched lion pattern on both sides, the shells are ergonomically shaped and composed of medical resin. The IEM seems really beautiful and feels lighter than it does. It fits and feels comfortable enough to provide complete isolation, thus wearing it for extended periods of time wasn't a problem. However, it should be noted that the eartips are the only means of pressure release because there are no ports for it. The 98 branch per side PCOCC Litz balanced cable that comes with the IEM contains four pin-lock adapters, which allow for interchangeable 3.5mm and 4.4mm termination plugs. Six pairs of two types of eartips in three sizes, a cleaning brush, two interchangeable termination plugs (3.5mm and 4.4mm), and a crush and shock-resistant storage bag are among the additional equipment. One thing I notice is that even while using a smartphone, the IEMs are really effective. Regarding the technical details, the sensitivity is 116dB and the impedance is 23 Ohms. At 1kHz, the overall harmonic distortion is 1%, and the frequency response spans from 20Hz to 40kHz.



The Yvain is an IEM with a brilliant sound that leans toward dead neutrality, emphasizing only the lower treble and upper midrange. It is evident that the signature differs from other IEMs in this price range. Even if the sound isn't what I was expecting, the emphasis on the notes' calm and clarity makes these IEMs very fantastic. I have never heard of a bright-neutral IEM that eliminates all distracting or objectionable noises from the mix until now. However, it might occasionally be a bit too much for someone like myself who prefers a sub bass boost tuning that is more balanced or neutral. I believe that when it was tuned, placing less focus on the sharp notes—whether they are in the treble or the mid range—was the proper move. Although it sounds less smooth, it isn't piercing or harsh. Additionally, the bass has a particularly tight tone and effectively defines itself with exposure. In addition, since this IEM lacks a pressure release port, I would like to emphasize how important it is to use eartips. I found that using the JVC mushroom eartips allowed me to insert deeper than usual with a perfect seal, but before using the mushroom tips, I used the AZLA Sedna Crystal, which produced a more bright and lean sound. Therefore, I believe that the eartips' dependence causes the sound to get brighter or duller. With that in mind, let's explore the sound in more detail.



The treble is not as dull as one might think, but it is fairly extended, with good nuances throughout the spectrum. Compared to what IEMs at this price have revealed me, the clarity and definition are superior. The best thing about it is that it sounds perfect—none of the IEMs in this price range typically exhibit harshness or peakiness, even for a minute. In my opinion, the response's tonal performance is among the best I've heard. As previously mentioned, the upper treble has been nicely extended, which has given the vocals a pretty staggering exposure that feels clear and full. The same instruments are played with greater closure in the definition of notes; for example, the cymbal crashes sound more exposed and realistic. Although the exposure is highly composited and definitive, the clarity is not the best. The lower treble range is similar in that it produces a smoother, more energetic sound while still being more lively and energetic. When compared to IEMs like Quintet and Falcon Pro, I do find that the sound is not as transparent in terms of melody, but the control itself truly astounds me. There is a very neutral sound because the energy is linear and doesn't make any notes stand out or surprise you. In my opinion, the treble region is presented in a clear, concise, and enjoyable manner overall.

Mid Range

The majority of the magic occurs in the midrange, where the instruments or the vocals combine to create a very expressive and composite presentation. Trust me when I say that the response is accurate to a faithful reproduction. Every note has the same energy, never standing out but elevating the entire spectrum in a direct manner. It sounds smooth because the energy in the upper mid range is the same as that in the lower treble. The notes are clearer and the texture is better than what I've heard recently, so using the new BAs really makes a difference. Everything seems more finished and substantial. The instruments gently complement the vocals without taking on a forward role, making the vocals feel forward and enjoyable to listen to. It's a different story in the lower mid range, where I believe the heaviness ultimately contradicts my perception of what the range should be, despite the notes adding good note weight and depth. The notes feel both right and wrong at the same time. Although I have mixed feelings about it, I can't really complain because it looks good and has a nice texture. As a result, I think the mid range region is presented in a clear, concise, and musically appealing manner overall.


I wasn't happy with how it was working at first, even though I didn't have any complaints. Nevertheless, I needed more from it, so I used EQ to get the sound I wanted, but even that didn't satisfy me. I thought the bass on these IEMs was technically correct after giving them more time. Based on my casual listening, which included using HYPE2 and Monarch MKII, I think this was always going to happen. But once more, what it will never have is an organic and substantial response. And don't get me wrong—the purpose of the IEM is to provide accurate, detailed responses; it's not designed to let you have fun a harman tuning or a merely bassy one. I think the notes are clear enough to distinguish between various instruments or note segments, which could aid in determining the actual nature of each one. When listening to bass-heavy tracks, the bass is sufficient to create a punchy, rumbly sound, and to some extent, I'd say there are slams that feel fine unless you're more interested in the bass carnival nirvana. It's an extremely revealing IEM due to the texture and separation of instrumental notes. The bass, in my opinion, is also quite controlled and tight. Well, to put it simply, the bass is flat. Overall, the bass region is presented in a tight, highly controlled, and textured manner.

Technical Performance

I think that Yvain is a great IEM for those looking for a great revealing and resolving IEM because of its technical performance, which sets it apart from its competitors. All things considered, the imaging and separation are better than average; in fact, all of the features outperform IEMs such as the Quintet or Falcon Pro. Alright, allow me to clarify.


Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation

The head stage feels more holographic in terms of imaging, as expected from an all-BA set, and the stage is obviously deep and wide enough for surround sound. The notes sound nicely apart from one another, though not as distinctively as they do when heard through Quintet. In the end, the separation checks out overall. I think there's enough distance between us to tell where the sound is coming from.

Speed & Resolution

When it comes to the details, both the macro and micro details individually elicit a very telling response. Although I think the micro details could've been a bit more expressive, the resolution is still excellent overall. The notes are attacked and decayed at a good speed—not too quick, as one might anticipate from a BA set, but also not too slow, to avoid sounding muddy and chaotic. I think the resolving time was handled correctly.

Sound Impressions


Sony WM1A - The WM1A and I found the best combination, with the treble opening up and regaining the same clarity while the stage's extension was greatly increased. As a result, the vocals seemed lighter, more airy, and farther away from your face. The response was pleasing to the ear and not at all what one might have expected. In all honesty, I believe that the Yvain was designed specifically for the WM1A, which is why it sounds better than the original.


Tempotec V6 - The V6's sharper details make the treble more noticeable and expressive, particularly in the upper extension. Whether it's the treble, midrange, or bass, the response is smooth and detailed. The midrange and lower treble in particular seem to be more forwardly presented. The V6 makes better use of the texture and note clarity, but I still feel like there should be more.


HiBy R3 II - From a sound quality perspective, the R3 II elevates every region in the mix without producing any distinct energy differences, making the Yvian sound very pleasant throughout. The Yvain sounds tonally comfortable thanks to the tone, which is more smooth than sharp. The pairing sounds clean and linear to me, even though I do think the texture in the details isn't as detailed as I have heard in other DAPs. However, they are also more expensive than R3 II.



Luna Haruna - Glory days
Luna Haruna - Overfly
Rokudenashi - The Flame of Love
LMYK - 0 (zero)
Marina Horiuchi - Mizukagami no Sekai
Indila - Love Story
Indila - Tourner dans le vide
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Blue Oyester Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Guns 'N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Gojira - Amazonia
TV on the radio - Wolf Like Me
Bring Me To The Horizon - Can You Feel My Heart
Bring Me To The Horizon - sTraNgeRs
Avril Lavigne - Dare To Love Me
Travis - Love Will Come Through
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
DJ Shadows - Six Days (Remix) [feat. Mos Def]
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Lil Wayne - Lollipop
Flo Rida - Low
Sebastian Lopez & Flug - Electronic Measures
Federico Mecozzi - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Wayve - Not Enough
Kai Wachi & TeZATalks - Ghost
NGHTMRE, Zeds Dead & Tori Levett - Shady Intentions
Zeds Dead, DNMO & GG Magree - Save My Grave
Skrillex, Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady - Supersonic
Skrillex & Nai Barghouti - Xena
Skrillex, Missy Elliott & Mr. Oizo - RATATA
Kaifi Khalil, Eva B & Wahab Bugti - Kana Yaari
A.R. Rahman, Javed Ali & Mohit Chauhan - Kun Faya Kun


To sum up this review, I have to say that HiBy did a fantastic job of fine-tuning the Yvain to a perfect neutral IEM that sounds as clear and detailed as possible without producing any unpleasant noises. In fact, I found the pleasant response to be more effective in revealing the numerous other IEM present in the mix, whether they are in the bass, mid range, or treble. I adore that the tuning is neither peaky nor sibilant, and it hardly ever produces a BA timbre. HiBy gets the integration and application of the BA right. As a result, I think I can suggest this IEM to people who like a more brightly tuned, neutral sound with less bass. And watch out, bass lovers: although your craving might not be satisfied, you should still try these out of pure curiosity.


500+ Head-Fier
Hiby Yvain Review "A Knight's Tale"
Pros: -Price ($239) is competitive
-Bold, masculine and totally cool design
-Great macro-dynamics
-Timbre is wonderful
-Correct and organic BA Bass
-The vocals are outstanding
-Rich and vibrant treble
-Detail retrieval is fantastic
-Transients are very quick and precise
-Imaging is truly great for the price point
Cons: -Some may prefer more low-end rumble
-You don’t have the richness of a good DD in the bass region
-Honestly… There aren’t many downsides here
-This set is not for warm/thick lovers

Hiby Yvain Review

"A Knight's Tale"



Hiby Yvain Review


Hello, today I am reviewing one of the latest iems to hit the market from the audio brand Hiby, that set is the Hiby Yvain. I received this set from Hiby as I am part of a tour out west that brought along the Yvain as well as the Hiby R3 II. I want to first thank Joseph Yeung for coordinating everything and for always being such a professional representative of the Hiby brand as well as Hiby for giving me this opportunity. Thank you! Now, when I received the Yvain the only things that arrived at my house were the carrying case as well as the earphones and cable. That’s it. So, what I usually do in these situations is simply complete a “sound review”. Honestly that’s all anyone ever cares about anyways. I will add a few other sections that I have the ability to answer but it’ll be pretty short.


Hiby is a huge player in the Audio game, and they’ve been around a very long time. Originally known for specializing in the dac/amp market as well as the dap game. However, they slowly began to dabble in creating earphones as well and to be 100% honest, they have yet to disappoint with anything I’ve listened to over the years. I own the Hiby Beans which is a bullet-style set that replays beautifully. I also own the Hiby Seeds ii which never got the love that I feel they should’ve gotten. Truly a beast of a set. I recently reviewed the Hiby Zeta (Zeta Review HERE), which is a kilo-buck iem that truly plays to its price ($1399). What a gem that set is! Truly a fantastic set that I loved having in my possession. Besides earphones, I’ve also reviewed the Hiby R6 Pro II DAP (R6 Pro II Review HERE) recently and I was beyond impressed. I am a fan of this company and I’m happy to be reviewing the Yvain today.



What a different yet cool theme to design a set of earphones to. “Yvain“! Strange name but sweet story. In fact, this story is as old as 1180 A.D. This is also a long story, but a noble story too. Hence the lion faceplate which seeks to embody the chivalrous and noble nature of the protagonist in the story… That person is… you guessed it… our friend Yvain. To give a very quick synopsis; Yvain temporarily left his love “Laudine” to seek adventure. As one does of course. However, Yvain is given an ultimatum by Laudine that should he leave, he MUST be back in one year or she’s gone.

Back to Good
Yvain becomes so addicted to his adventurous exploits that he doesn’t make it back in time. Laudine bounces (BuhBye), gone, no need for Yvain anymore. Yvain naturally tries to win her back which of course brings him to a dragon where he rescues a lion who becomes his loyal friend from that day on. The usual. Hence, the lion on the faceplate. Short story even shorter; Yvain faces 3 fierce warrior knights and two demons (what’s a story without knights and demons?) and beats them all in Knightly fashion while eventually securing the heart of his lady… Once again.
Okay that was a bad job of giving a quick synopsis, but at least you have the back story now. It’s a good name (Yvain) but I’m not sure how this story or this character ties into the tuning of the Yvain earphones? At any rate, it’s still a cool naming scheme and at least Hiby didn’t lazily give it a “number name”. Nobody likes number names! Also, it’s a damn cool faceplate!

Like I said, the Yvain is an all-Balanced Armature Driver Earphone, and has recently been released for sale at Hiby. Hiby set the price at $239 and from my perspective; I feel this is an fairly competitive price. let’s get into it friends, I’m feel good about this set. The Hiby Yvain everyone…

The Hiby Yvain paired with the Shanling M6 Ultra is heavenly.

Moondrop Dawn 4.4 / Hidizs S9 Pro / iBasso DX240 / Shanling M6 Ultra / Ifi Go Blu (Not Pictured: Hiby R3 ii)

Gear used for testing

Ifi Go Blu
Moondrop Dawn 4.4
Hidizs S9 Pro
Hiby R3 ii
iBasso DX240 with Amp8 MK2
Shanling M6 Ultra

Full Review can be found HERE



Quick comment: Due to the fact that I did not receive the entire packaging I will refrain from remarking on the unboxing… Obviously. Instead, I’ll make some quick comments of what I did receive.



Hiby provided me with a small plastic case which houses the included eartips. Inside that case Hiby adds in three pairs (S, M, L) of comfortable foam tips. They also provide some very nice white semi-wide bore silicone tips that have a firm flange and a firm stem. Similar to KBear 07 tips. These are the tips that I decided to use, and I had zero issues too. I feel the silicones provided a nice emphasis in the upper midrange and some better-defined bass punch as opposed to the foam tips. Maybe some treble sensitive folks will want to experiment with the foam tips, but they weren’t for me.


Yvain Cable

The cable provided through Hiby is a beautiful brown cable, pretty thick, somewhat stiff, but also, it’s modular. Hiby sent me both the 3.5 single ended as well as 4.4 balanced nozzle Jack’s. The cable is dope, as you can see in my pictures. However, what sets this cable apart is the locking mechanism on the cable jack. You just shove it in and lock it in. You won’t have the modular Jack’s falling out like 85% of the modular systems we see today. I also feel it looks very nice against the silver of the Yvain earphones and strikes a very masculine look. The cable is not microphonic to the point that it’s annoying or anything. Honestly, the included cable is perfectly fitting for a set at this price point. I find there is zero reason to go 3rd party cable hunting to get the most out of the Yvain.

Hiby Cable
The locking mechanism for the modular Jacks works like a charm


Yvain Case

The provided case is a very nice sized fabric covered case that has plenty of room inside. I like the fact that I could easily carry with me a dongle dac as well as the Yvain and some extra eartips when I was in critical listening mode while out and about. It is true that I really don’t ever use cases. Still, I’m dealing with a tour unit, it isn’t mine, so I’ll protect them as best as I can. I will say this, the case is certainly not going to fit in a pocket but is perfect to put into a bag and will definitely keep your precious Hiby Yvain safe throughout the day.


Build / Design / Fit

Build / Internals

Real quick, I feel the build is decent. I did notice what appeared to be slight glue at the seams where the faceplate and the shell cavity meet. I could be wrong but I’m assuming that this unit wasn’t exactly the final finished product as far as build goes. That said, everything else is very nice. The faceplate is all alloy with a very fine tuned and well-done machining for the design. The entire cavity was done by way of 3D printing and CNC. This is a completely sealed shell cavity which provides great isolation. Inside we have a three-way acoustic chamber. Hiby chose to use a 3-way electric crossover circuit as well. The Yvain is a four Balanced Armature iem using high quality drivers. Those drivers consist of a Knowles “damper less” high-power CI-300120 driver for the low-end. They went with two Sonion 2389D BA drivers for the midrange and a Knowles WBFK33518 BA driver for the treble region.

Yvain Build

Yvain Build

Yvain Build

Yvain Build

Yvain Build


The design is one of my favorites that I have personally seen folks. Okay the body and shell cavity are pretty normal, nothing crazy. We’ve seen this shell shape many times over the course of the past few years. It’s the faceplate engraving that absolutely ticks every box for me. Look at that faceplate folks! The lion head is so dope!! This set is masculine to the core! Bold in design with the perfect blend of artistry as well as structural integrity. I love it!


As far as fit is concerned, the Hiby Yvain fit my ears like they grew there. Obviously, I joke but the sentiment is true. These fit me so very well. Now, will they fit you? Probably. This is a very common shell shape which is made to be ergonomically friendly to most people across the globe. I will say this, the isolation is fantastic on the Yvain. This set could be used for stage purposes. Hiby states that you can get up to – 26db reduction from outside noises. I can’t say that I disagree. This was one thing that jumped out at me. Also, it didn’t take long to get a good seal. Isolation is great, fit is great too. Nice work!



Mobile listening


I have had such a blast with the Hiby Yvain. Of course, it was short lived, but I loved being out and about with this set. The Hiby Yvain is rated at 23 ohms and a sensitivity of 116 db’s. Friends, this set does not need extra crazy amping. Now, it slightly scales with a bit of power but that could all be in my head. I can trick myself and I’m big enough to admit it. What I think the Yvain actually does is scale and mold to the source. Obviously, my best sources are also the most powerful so naturally it seems the Ya in is scaling with power. Nope, it’s just a chameleon. Sounds good in anything! Take the IFi Go Blu. Using a Cirrus Logic CS43131 dac chip and some serious amperage on 4.4 balanced the IFi Go Blu sounds absolutely great. Just effortless dynamics and clean lines, even listening on Bluetooth. The Yvain scales even more to the Moondrop Dawn 4.4 (also CS43131). That neutral yet wholly dynamically charged and balanced sound of the Dawn just vibes with the Yvain. Vocals are like butter.


I won’t stay too long here because I know you get the gist. I used the brand new Hiby R3 II (Dual ES9219C dac chips) before anything else as they came packaged together. First off, that little dap is awesome (Review coming soon) and paired with he Yvain created this extraordinary detail retrieval. The bass wasn’t as lifted but the sound was melodic and clinical at the same time. The iBasso DX240 (ES9038 Pro dac chip) with Amp8 MK2 module installed sounded very nice. Easily the best in the technical department yet also with fantastic note weight and density. However, as per usual, the Shanling M6 Ultra (AK4493SEQ Flagship dac chip) was the one I clung to. Clean velvet, euphonic harmony, birdsweet and mellifluent… Okay I went a little “hard in the paint” right there but I love how the Yvain synergized with the velvet chip of the M6 Ultra. They sound great together.

In the end

However, any dongle dac will do. It doesn’t have to be a powerhouse, and, in my opinion, I don’t think you have to worry too much about source tonality either. The Yvain sounded good on all my sources, and I have a few different types of source signatures. I do think the Yvain molds to the source which is a huge benefit (of course I haven’t tried them all) so don’t worry too hard if you’ll have a horrible pairing or not. Possibly you’ll find the best synergy with a warmer or more lush sounding source, but I don’t think this is necessary.



Sound Impressions

Note: I will reiterate that I did not get the entire packaging with this tour set so I will only complete a “Sound Review” of the Hiby Yvain. I used flac files or better stored on my devices for any & all critical listening, and I didn’t perform any burn-in of the Yvain due to the fact that these are all Balanced Armature driven earphones. One more thing, Hiby is nothing but professional. Nobody has even hinted that I should give a good review or asked me to skew my words (not that I would). When I write any word on a page you are reading my exact thoughts. Sorry, I had to get that out there. On to the sound…

Solid Performer (between the 20’s)

The Hiby Yvain is a solid performer with a warm/neutral tonal color which canopies the entire spectrum. What we have is very full and very expressive macro-dynamic energy that is refreshing to listen to and fun to have in my ears. The sound is more organic to my ears with a slight hint of euphonic timbre that brings out a sweet tone to my music. At the least the Hiby Yvain is very musical, very melodic, rich, and a great set to simply chill with. At the most the Yvain will be a true standard at its price point. To me the Yvain has more of a W to U-shaped tuning with a very tight, controlled and slightly under-emphasized bass. It’s definitely a mature bass. The midrange is upfront, highlighted, forward sounding, which ultimately produces some of the best vocals from an all BA set in its price point. We have a very nicely emphasized treble region which adds some levity to the mix, some gloss to the sound, pinpoint clarity and some body for the treble bite. Imaging is outstanding, transients are rapid, and details are great. If this is all you read then just know this; the Hiby Yvain can quite easily compete at its price point with relative ease, especially if the tuning agrees with your preferences.


Bass Region


The low-end is taken care of by a Knowles CI-300120 which is very well capable of providing passably deep sub-bass rumble. Very tight, nimble, dexterous and also easily capable of maneuvering even the trickiest bass passages. Of course, a good Dynamic Driver will provide a better kick and organic note structure, but I am impressed with the Yvain and how well the timbre comes across.

Not for bassheads… Got it!

Now, this isn’t some basshead type sub-bass that rumbles in your belly. Still, it’s able to accurately define and extract every single little nuance in the sound. The Yvain is slightly guttural and just under what I would call “moderately deep” in pitch. Enough to represent most any genre I’d say, almost. But it’s the organic type of clean lined, ductile agility, and realistic cadence that makes this sub-bass special. Bass-Bois will want to keep looking though. Yvain laughs at bassheads, scoffs, raises his sword and cleanly, speedily, and with good authority executes the moniker. Not for bassheads… Got it. Let’s not get things twisted folks, this is a mature bass that is fleet-footed and spry enough to fight off three freaking knights and two demons! Basically, it’s nimble, has some punch, (a light punch) and every gradation within a note has some decent density. Not ultra deep in pitch as the Yvain isn’t too far extended into the nether regions of the bass, but still well composed. My opinion.


Groove” by Ray Wylie Hubbard is quite literally the first track I ever check for low-end activity, just because I know that test track so well. I know exactly the parameters of that deep and gritty bassline. I don’t even necessarily think the song is all that great. Welcome to my test tracks. Anyways, I would say it has a passable and mildly robust solidity and a light reverberated haptic feel (especially for an all-BA set) with nicely defined note edges. Again, transients are perceived to be tantivy and rapid in their progress from attack-decay-sustain, but not so much that you lose all harmonics. The peak at attack has a concrete feel to them which I assume is a result of such quick ADSR. Basically, you won’t hear any “one-noted” type bass here.


The mid-bass can bump “a little” folks. Listening to “2040” by Lil Baby & Lil Durk hits decisively, distinctly, and with a sense of exactness. I could use a bit more oomph and quantity, but it can hit with agility and a tight slam. I actually kept rewinding because I like the defined note edge on the bass drop. There is a projection, or a convexity to a bass note on this set. It isn’t lifeless at all. Yes, it is under-emphasized, but it isn’t attenuated against the rest of the mix. Almost like a vibrant type of bass tone eminence yet without the lagging harmonics which sounds great on this digital bass next to the rest of the song’s melody. I don’t mind it. Though I could use more and if I had my way, I would have certainly plumped up this region more.

Or ” Billie Jean” by Weezer (Michael Jackson cover). I don’t hear anything pillowy, or fuzzy, and the kick drum boom does have a pleasing and hollow pound to it, coupled with that nice and tacky edge. I certainly think that other sets can hold their own a bit better, but I like that you get all the qualities of good BA Bass. However, without question a Dynamic Driver will sound more authentic, deeper, more tonally correct. Whatever the case, it’s clear that Hiby tuned this low-end with cleanliness in mind while not overdoing it and still retaining some fun-factor. Nothing is muddy, and on the flip; nothing’s weak either. I also don’t hear any detrimental spill over into the midrange. I like what the bass does for the rest of the mix actually.

Downsides to the Bass Region

If I were to find an issue with the low-end, I would first say that this set is not a DD. That’s the biggest issue. Of course, based on the luxuries of this Knowles bass driver I’d say that this may be one of its selling points too. Next, I would say that Bassheads will not enjoy the output on the Yvain. I would usually never enjoy the output level the Yvain has and could certainly use more but I enjoy the Yvain quite a lot. Pardon my inability to properly articulate myself but I like a bass I usually wouldn’t enjoy… Weird. However, I could see many not enjoying it as much as me and the moment I’m in. This is definitely a more mature bass, and a speedier bass, that doesn’t rumble with that robust wildly authoritative type of boom that lingers in your ears completing a note. The Yvain won’t give you that atmospheric and bulbous type of organic sound. It just isn’t that folks. Instead, I find the low-end to be tonally pleasing and I really enjoy this hard-edged attack and speedy ability. Of course, this set will not be for everyone and most of those decisions will be because the low-end doesn’t necessarily bang hard enough. Still, the low-end is nice.

The Hiby Yvain with the Ifi Go Blu is a great mobile option.


The midrange comes across with a pleasingly smooth cadence and slightly neutral lean, yet with a hint of warmth that really does help at providing a spotless and grain-less but also rich tone. Not thick per se, or syrupy, not weighted with warm trickery from the bass region either. There’s almost a pregnant euphonic timbre that is pristine in its controlled convexity or rubbery malleability. It’s forward, yet contained, it’s vibrant yet also reserved and at times it comes across with a little gloss to the sound. I realize this may make no sense to any of you. It only makes sense to me when I’m in the romantic throws of the moment. However, this is the best way to describe this vocal presence. Again, it’s a ‘smooth-over-crisp’ sound yet doesn’t miss any of the fine details. However, I say that but… the Yvain can pull off crisp too. Also, when I say smooth, I don’t mean soft and warm or pillowy, I mean smooth as in clean. Within the fundamental body of the sound, the Yvain has a debris-free and blemish-free intonation which flows throughout the midrange. It’s smooth. If I’m still not making any sense, just know that… the midrange sounds good! That made sense!


Males generally play around in the lower-mids (for the most part) and I find that males come across in a very lean-lush way. There’s density to the body of a note but transients move seemingly pretty expediently. Resolution in this area is speckless with effortless details within this clean approach. The spill-over from the low-end gives just enough warmth to lend body to a man’s voice.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by Home Free (U2 acapella cover) showcases every type of male voice in perfect clarity, and the Yvain seems to revel in it! The song quite literally provides the listener with bass/baritone singers, to tenors, to countertenors (and everything in between). With this track I can also discern the Yvain’s agility in this region and the variable modulations of voices undulating and flowing together. The Yvain really does nail this track. In fact, take any track by Home Free as they are damn near all the same. Perhaps, a voice like Avi Kaplan, in a track like “First Place I Go“… may not come across as perfectly authentic. Maybe a bit sharp. Bass singers do tend to be a bit too elated sounding on the Yvain. Maybe not as deep or resonant to be natural, but not bad by any stretch.


Females have that shimmery projection within the Yvain’s forward positioned upper-mids. Shimmery and lifted yet also capped from going overboard or oversaturated to cause glare. There’s a contrived and controlled cap to the pinna emphasis which still holds tight to the natural smoothness within a woman’s voice. The Yvain can sound silky and soft in a track like “The 1 ” by Taylor Swift from her “Long Pond Studio Sessions” remix of “Folklore“. Yet also sounds more outstandingly coarse when listening to Jess Williamson in the song “Stampede“. She has a sweet but also rough edge to her voice that doesn’t get lost on the Yvain and doesn’t sound grainy or metallic. Females are a bit more forward than males, but it all comes together naturally and relatively balanced. However, the structure of notes isn’t so clinical, dry, or analytical that the Yvain loses any musicality. Females in this region still have some body, or like I say a… “lean-lush” type note expression.


The BA drivers housed within the Yvain sound very composed. Usually, we are stuck within the confines of a few different tuning principles. Somehow the Yvain is somewhat of an outlier. Meaning, most of the time BA’s have the speedy transient attack yet cut off the residual harmonics to a degree which makes so many instruments sound unrealistic and sometimes unmusical. There’s this unique problem that doesn’t usually get resolved in the more budget friendly price points using BA drivers. In comes the dragon slaying Yvain that is able to skirt around this issue. Let’s put it this way, I don’t hear a lack of harmonics to the point that instrumentation comes across too sculpted. Strings sound great on most any track I played. Details emerge with ease. Percussion seemed to always have that sprightly energy affording a satisfying pang, pap, thwack and chisk. Piano sounds mostly melodic, mellifluous and resounding, depending on the track of course. Not everything is perfect, but this is stuff that you hardly recognize unless specifically listening for it.

Downsides to the Midrange

As far as issues in the mids… I don’t know guys, what do you want me to say? Harmonics are cut short at times, maybe? Ooh, I got it, some folks will not desire a forward type of midrange or a mid-centric type of replay. Here’s another, some hobbyists would much more prefer a warmer, tonally darker and pillowy smooth type of vocal delivery. The Yvain isn’t that folks, so there’s your downsides. Honestly, I find the Yvain midrange wonderful folks. You have no sibilance, glare, grain or veil and vocals are really great, layering is great, and Imaging is also great.

Full Review can be found HERE

Treble Region

The treble is the same as the rest of the mix; perfectly harmonious, homogeneous and in the spirit of cohesion, it’s also dynamically balanced. The treble is cleanly partitioned off from the bass and the mids, yet wonderfully coherent. Each 3rd of the mix converges into a tiny nozzle that explodes that sound into the temporal lobes of our brain and images that sound in the occipital cortex to paint a very well-done melodic picture of my music. I suppose I could’ve just stopped at “the treble is cohesive in the mix and rather musical” … but that’s boring.

Cherry on the top

The treble comes across nicely lifted yet overtakes no other area of the frequency. In fact, you might say that the treble is slightly laid-back. I would then ask you what you mean by “laid-back”? The treble simply isn’t over emphasized but make no mistake there’s good energy there. Good as in…the treble has good note body, and good presence, with a very resolute and refined sound that comes across just as smooth as it is crisp. It uplifts the rest of the spectrum and is just as much a “supporting leg of a three-legged table” as it is the “cherry on the top”. Basically, the treble fits the overall auditory spectrum and balance really nicely and even sounds pretty darn nice too as I jam away to my library.

Rapid fire

I always go to Billy Strings because his tracks have that rapid-fire treble activity which helps to hear the speed, separation, layers, really the whole nine. Take the track “Ice Bridges” or the track “Secrets“. Actually, you can take just about any track on his albums (these two are in my “Testing” Playlist). Listening with the Yvain in my ears is a delight. The Yvain is well able to navigate the breakneck speed of the banjo play and does so in a well layered and well separated fashion. Now, some sets in the price point can run through this better, or more succinctly, but they are also usually drier and at a loss for musicality, to a degree anyways. What I love about the Yvain is that it can hang well with either song, but it also has nice timbre, body and definition.

Downsides to the Treble Region

If I’m choosing some drawbacks to the treble, I would first say that there will always be those who desire an even more uplifted and brilliant treble region. The Yvain is not necessarily loaded in “brilliance” although there is most certainly some luster up top. I also suppose the polar opposite is true that some folks are actually very sensitive to any rise in the treble region. I know quite a few people who fall into that camp. However, I think that most hobbyists would declare the Yvain treble to be very well tuned. There isn’t anything ultra bright with glare or any saw blade type peaks that will affect your music. I don’t hear any sibilance either.




The soundstage of the Yvain is more intimate and closer, yet also very full. The music sounds closer to the listener due to a more forward midrange. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a small stage because the sound field is very wide, very tall and has good depth too. Instruments and voices may be more intimate, but the Yvain uses every square inch of sound real-estate to convey that stage. The sound is simply “full” to my ears. I enjoy a stage like this. It’s actually difficult to call the stage “intimate”. Intimate to me makes me think of congested, tight, narrow. The Yvain isn’t even close to any of those descriptors. Certainly, the Yvain doesn’t have the type of large stage that mimics the sound of a concert venue with the band spread wide in front. It’s large in its auditory expression within my mind space. I hope that makes sense because there aren’t many other ways to say it. The stage is very good folks.


Separation of elements within that stage I just described is fantastic. Truly. I hear very well delineated Instruments and vocals which are very well partitioned off from the rest of the mix. Obviously, the more chaotic and complicated the track will render this to be slightly more difficult, but the Yvain handles it all like a champ. These good drivers that Hiby chose to use can clearly handle just about anything you throw at them. Possibly in tracks with mind numbingly loud electric guitars that mask the sound in Rockstar Sheen where the midrange/lower treble is tasked with the job. Maybe in those tracks things will blend a bit. That’s about it. Also, super poorly recorded tracks may not be great. Of course, they won’t be great on anything.


Just like the Yvain’s ability to separate and make distinct edges around instruments, it also has a superior ability to place those images and layer those sounds. Depth of field is quite good, separation is quite good, the sound is highly resolute, the stage reaches wide, and transients are quick. These attributes melted together help the Yvain to create nice imaging. At least that’s my interpretation. You don’t have any one frequency blaring over the rest of the mix either. I’d say this recipe is perfect for a very well imagined psycho-acoustic stage with 3D type portrayal of the music I’m listening to. Again, you really have to consider the track, as not all music is created equal. Also, you have to consider the source you are using too. Just a few things to think about. Listening with the Shanling M6 Ultra using flac or better files really does wonders. Still, by-and-large… The Hiby Yvain is a technical marvel at its price.


I feel like if you’ve read this far than you already know my thoughts about the Hiby Yvain’s ability to execute and depict the finer details. The subtle stuff… if you will? Friends, the Hiby Yvain can resolve all the tiny little minutiae within my music very well. The fantastic thing is that it does so without coming across ultra dry or analytical or flat. Instead, the Yvain maintains its musicality while also maintaining its precision, clarity and control for the price. I am very impressed with this set and glad to report my findings.

The iBasso DX240 really does well to make the Yvain sing.

Is it worth the asking price?

This is an easy answer for me… Um… Yeah. Yep, the Hiby Yvain is worth every penny. The real question is if “the price is worth the Hiby Yvain”? Do those mental gymnastics! For the low price of only $239 you can have a true all-BA standard at this price point. I won’t say it’s better than any other set because really… it’s just different. Also, I haven’t heard every other set (remember that). But yes, it’s good, yes, it’s a joy to listen to for me, and yes, it’s worth that $239.

The Why…

Let’s start with the build and design. First, the Yvain is ridiculously light and ridiculously ergonomic, it’s ridiculously awesome in appearance and is outfitted with good drivers. Remember the faceplates. However, as always, the real reason the Hiby Yvain is worth the price to own them is the sound. Of course. The sound is so well done from top to bottom and front to back. It’s a very melodic choice that I feel truly competes against any set priced near it. The bass is mature and detailed. The midrange is harmoniously melodic and tuneful with great energy and beautiful vocals. Lastly the treble is pretty sprightly, detailed, somewhat vibrant and doesn’t kill your ears in treble sheen, while at the same time it’s also very cohesive. The stage is nice, imaging & layering are fantastic, and picking up the subtleties in my music is easy. Very organic for a BA iem without many of the drawbacks of an all BA iem. This is a good one folks. Again, worth the asking price!

The Hiby Yvain and the Hiby R3 II

Ratings (0-10)

Note: all ratings are based upon my subjective judgment. These ratings are garnered against either similarly priced sets or with similar driver implementations or styles with the unique parameters of my choosing. In the case of the Hiby Yvain ratings below, that would be $150-$250 iems of any driver configuration. Please remember that “ratings” don’t tell the whole story. This leaves out nuance and a number of other qualities which make an iem what it is. A “5” is exactly average and please take into consideration the “lot” of iems these ratings are gathered against. $150-$250 US is a decent sized scope of iems and so seeing a 9 should probably be pretty special. My ratings are never the same and each set of ratings tells a different story. Each time you read one of my ratings it will be unique to that review. Basically, I create a Rating that makes sense to me.


-Build Quality: 8.2 The build is great but also, most are great at this price

-Look: 9.7 Just a SICK LOOKING set!

-Accessories: – – – I didn’t receive the whole package

Overall: 9.0

Sound Rating

-Timbre: 9.4 The timbre and tonality are fantastic

-Bass: 8.4 This high score is for quality and not quantity

-Midrange: 9.9 A very good midrange for me

-Treble: 9.4 A great leg of a three-legged table

-Technicalities: 9.5 Technically one of the best in the price point

Overall: 9.2🔥🔥

Ratings Summary:

I think I have some explaining to do. I know, I know… Those are some ridiculously high scores. It would be so much more helpful if each one of you could be in my head while I compare every set at my disposal in the price point as well as go through every note from every set, I’ve heard in the price point. Then maybe you’ll understand each Rating above. $150 to $250 is LOADED! How in the world did I give the Yvain well over a “9” in every category? Listen, I’m not too big to say I don’t go through honeymoon phases. Also, tours are short, and you only get a honeymoon phase. So please be mindful of my humanity and ability to make mistakes in my discernment when doing the arduous and ridiculous task of rating iems. I can’t stand it. Woe is me.

Explain yourself

Obviously the “Bass” could go either way. One extreme or the other and likely not in between. I think most will want much more bass quantity. If you don’t value the quality of the bass here and only desire quantity then the rating might as well be a “1.0”. However, there is no way I could listen to this set and not compute the quality of the bass under a “8.4”. My opinion. I wanted to go “10.0” in the “Midrange” rating. However, I haven’t heard all iems in this price point. In fact, there is a ton I haven’t heard so… please excuse me if these ratings don’t cover the ‘whole of the Audioverse’ between $150 and $250 US. I’m trying folks. Perhaps the rating section needs to take a hike because I put way too much time in it and never feel good about it. Still, the ratings are in, they’re locked, and they aren’t changing. That is until I hear something better and need to go back and edit (every review).

Full Review can be found HERE


To conclude my full written review of the Hiby Yvain I must again say thank you to the people who put this tour together. Joseph Yeung, thank you! Hiby, thank you! The Yvain is a great set to feature at our website and it was a very fun set to conduct listening sessions with. Of course, I don’t like tours all that much because having to part with some of these devices is not fun. Again, woe is me. Anyways, thank you, really. I joke but I am grateful and honored to be a part of the tour and that’s the honest truth. Also, to anyone who reads any of my reviews and is still reading this review… You are why I even do this (along with a salacious affinity to write about what I love). Thank you for clicking the link. We have a small site but really are trying to make it as best as it can. With that, please comment your thoughts. Constructively criticize if you must, add some thoughts or ask a question. I’ll be glad to get to those comments.

We are all different

Please, please, please; read, watch, or listen to other reviews and thoughts about this set. I am not the end-all-be-all folks. Yes, I give you my exact and honest thoughts, but my thoughts may not jive with the next person’s thoughts about this set. We are all different! It will behoove you to get as much info as possible before shelling out the money for this set. Take in other thoughts my friends. With that all said… I’m Out! Thank you, take good care, stay as safe as you can and always… GOD BLESS!

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Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: 2 Sonion 2389D BAs for rich exotically forward mids
1 Knowles high power CI-30120 BA for round, textured and itemized bass
1 super tweeter Knowles WBFK33518 BA for authentic treble
Hyper semi-custom shell design puts most form factors to shame, as far as fit
CNC faceplate matched with 3D printed resin shell
Included permanent locking 3 in 1 cable
Included Hiby Case
Included Hiby ear-tip collection
Cons: None?
The HiBy Company:
So in case you don’t know HiBy makes a bunch of stuff. Currently they offer 9 different DAPs, 8 IEMs, 8 portable amplifiers, 5 cables and 14 different cases, amongst other things. HiBy is best known around these parts for their DAPs. HiBy got their start in 2011, the HiBy Music (software) has 2 million users around the globe. There is even a program called HiBy link developed by HiBy, that takes the music on your cell phone and shows it on the Hiby DAPs allowing replay at better than BT quality. Using all their experience they are offering a new midrange IEM to the market.


The HiBy Yvain Universal IEM
Redcarmoose Labs October 24th, 2023

We don’t need to go into the actual Yvain name too much, except realize it comes from a French Poem written somewhere between 1178 and 1181.

Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion
Though truly our Yvain here does not show many wild Lion traits? Though the idea of a lion as a symbol for an IEM is very cool. The etched lion relief emblazoned across the faceplate is unique in my experience. I think of lions as a force of nature and unpredictable, where the Yvain is nothing of the sort. Domesticated, careful and polite............would be my take on the Yvain sound. Though it is big sounding, and despite what you may guess, it has a full and satisfying bass? The best part of the Yvain though is the midrange……just even, complete and correct.


Yvain description:
“As one of the first Arthurian tales, Yvain is widely admired for its colorful action, drama, and wit; its structure and pacing anticipate the romantic literature that followed. Though less well known than De Troyes’s stories about Lancelot and Percival, Yvain stands as an archetype of the knights-in-armor stories still popular today.”

Right up-front we will try to use direct side-by-sides to obtain both a quantification of sound value and describe the HiBy Yvain’s style of sound. Though keep in mind side-by-sides will have the most value to the reader if the IEMs you're using in your test are commonly used and understood. Meaning no-one will understand if you compare the Yvain to some expensive and rarely used IEM from the long past. There is little reference found, except of course our own sonic history in IEM usage always has underpinnings relating to prior IEM use.

For comparisons:
Part of reviews is a thought-out calculated effort, but also I have found going with instinct is also one of the best ways to gain personal enlightenment into comparing sound signatures. Meaning you don’t always know why you pick the comparison IEMs, but you do, and at the end there really are questions answered. The trick here is to try and be as straightforward and simple as possible, making the points as concise and basic as possible.


Shown left to right: Top row: HiBy Yvain and Kiwi ears Quintet
Bottom row: Kiwi ears Orchestra lite

The test subjects:
The qdc Anole V3 Universal IEM (tuning Dip-switches set to off/down position)

The Kiwi ears Quintet Universal IEM:

The Kiwi ears Orchestra Lite:

Introduction to comparisons:
This is both competitive (by IEM maker) and personally subjective. Meaning everyone is out for your discretionary IEM dollar, yet you want to spend wisely. At the same time you basically have two camps of listeners, the overly musical and the analytical, if you will forgive my oversimplification? Of course there are also the form factors involved, as many IEM listeners can prefer bigger IEMs, and some gravitate towards smaller examples of the art form. Sure there are even ideas as to build affecting the use out of the house with noise occlusion. But again it’s all really individual preference, hence knowing yourself and being true to your wants and needs seems to be the key to success here?


Right to left, the HiBy Yvain and qdc Anole V3

The qdc Anole V3:
This is a relatively obscure IEM, especially concerning driver to cost ratio, it may even be considered a hold over, representing simpler times when a company could get away with such a strange value. Yep, it’s a $549 3 BA IEM. Except I love it, and I love it due to the intrinsic completeness to the sound, that and it was the very first semi-custom IEM I ever purchased. So imagine with me a smooth and realistic tone, that while not offering the biggest soundstage, was still involving and exciting, then combine that with a form factor that lends itself to all-night listening, well into sleeping. Just enough detail and just enough pizzaz to get me…….in-fact I purchased a back-up pair just in case the first pair were lost or broken, that’s how much I love the Anole V3. Of course I have heard most of the past qdc line-up, this was all prior to the $2,556.00 qdc Anole VX. The all BA, 10 driver VX that put qdc on the map here in the USA. Still this V3 relic shows qdc’s understanding of sound making devices, that they know how to respectively put an IEM together. Probably the reason I’m using this for comparison is due to both the Yvain and the V3 being all BA IEMs and of lesser (BA) count than can be found out there in the market. Finally hearing the Anole VX showed me what is possible with those added 7 drivers helping to delineate imaging especially in the midrange and treble region in comparison to the V3. And while less bright than the VX, the V3 still has detail, just not as technical or big of a stage.

Yvain v Anole V3:
The Yvain will probably come-in at under $300.00 in the $2XX.00 range, and also it’s roughly 6 years newer than the V3.

HiBy Yvain:
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.

qdc Anole V3
Brand: QDC
Model: Anole V3
Input sensitivity: 105-108dB SPL/mW
Frequency response range: 10 Hz - 20000 Hz
Impedance: 27-33 ohms
Drive unit: 3 miniature balanced armature units
Noise reduction: 26dB

  • Anole V3 is the latest model of the Chameleon series. The V3 and V6 also have 4 stereo basic tunings. The V3 is designed to be miniaturized as much as possible, and the size is basically the same as that of Neptune.
  • Using the new version of the customized low-frequency unit, there is a stronger low-frequency indicator in the balanced armature unit, the low-frequency can be down to 10Hz.
  • The basic tuning is dominated by pop music and ACG, and the low frequency enhancement is more suitable for the needs of electro-acoustic music as well as drum and bass music.Of course, we have not forgotten the pursuit of medium and high frequency details by vocals and classical music. Smooth Vocal is for you.
  • Multi-tone Changes To Find The Fun Of Tuning, Four tone switchers (Tuning switch): Standard Mode, Strong Bass, High Sensitivity, Smooth Vocal.
  • Qdc uses the shape of the custom ear canal to enhance the sound insulation more comfortably.


The Yvain v Anole V3:
Using the Sony WM1A with MrWalkman’s firmware, my regular wide-bore silicone ear-tips and the ISN G4 cable with both IEMs. Upon first noticing there are two totally standout features here. The qdc is offering slightly more bass, thicker, slower and even aggressive to the lower midrange which is a rarity in BA reactions. Still none of that matters because there is something way more standout-ish, it’s the midrange, yep the Yvain is obtaining a grip on simply more forward vocals and imaging into the mid-range stage. This style of forwardness is not wrong, only much different in contrast to the V3 and noticeable. Where qdc really promotes a subtle V response with the Anole V3, such a tune was a singularly different sounding IEM for the qdc company at the time. HiBy here is offering simple clarity without any drawbacks. As I progress onward in my IEM journey I learn that new signatures to be found can also be my preferred sound, as I don’t own a target curve. Here the Yvain is kind-of a doorway into a new uncharted land, even for this jaded and weather-worn audiophile. The sound is both exotic and new, bringing with it the basic fundamentals of balance and evenness, even the bass while a little more subdued than my regular drink of choice………..becomes satisfying and complete. Complete in a way I always thought was possible, but rarely found. And even the vocals, that there must be something wrong you know like those too forward of vocal (Chinese) IEMs that center their vocal focus……but no not here, here we walk the line, if there is even such a line to walk? Don’t get me wrong, the V3 I’ll never sell, as it is part of my history and almost who I am as a Head-Fi member as one of my first really special IEMs. With the V3 I have switched more cables than I can count, and have given countless hours of ear-time to. Yet here is an opportunity to fly off with the Yvain……a refreshing dose of both clarity and balance. All this takes place (maybe) due to the use of name brand BAs…..the fact that HiBy knew what they wanted in a design, and utilized what technology was available to bring it all to the next level. Also remember this is written by someone whose exact sound signature listening.........regularly is in a different part of town……..where this part of town has no trash on the ground, everything is sparkling clean, and even the store windows are washed.

The Yvain v the Quintet:
Yep, everyone and their mom knows of this one, the talk of the town. And rightfully so, the price point is similar, yet the Quintet is more experimental, a hodgepodge of 5 drivers……..4 driver methodologies. So in many ways the Yvain in basic design seems more conservative, where the Quintet may be more hit or miss, depending on what you are after. Right off the bat I can relay a sense of coherence that simply comes from the Yvain using 4 name band drivers, but more than that…they are all BAs, so they blend, and can be blended. Where the Quintet gets its thrills through separation and dislocation of sorts. To be frank, I feel the Quintet is one of 2023’s stand-out products, one that will still be referred to in 2024, and not forgotten.

The Quintet:
1 Diamond-Like Carbon 10mm (DLC) dynamic driver
2 balanced armature (BA) drivers
1 planar magnetic driver
1 piezoelectric (PZT) bone conduction driver

The Quintet offers a darker universe, especially delineated by the 10mm DD. Where there are so many ways while I have always represented the Quintet as balanced, now after spending nearly 4 weeks with the HiBy Yvain…………..the Quintet comes across more separated..........yet at a loss for some of the connection glue that holds everything together? The biggest difference (as you may have already guessed) is the midrange here………yep.

One is the midrange Yin to the other midrange Yang.

Where the Quintet excels at a fun bass and dynamic bass, that same removal of bass energy helps focus the Yvain’s midrange intensity. I’m not sure if intensity is the best word to use here, but I’m rolling with it anyway? Where the Yvain offers what appears to be a better pieced-together rendition, with added itemizations of instrumentation (in closer proximity) as its forte. The Yvain is more upfront and of purer intent of direction, and focus!

The Yvain v the Orchestra Lite:
Come-on now? Can truly 2X the BAs per side be better? Yep the difference is 4 BAs to 8 BAs. And while the Yvain’s bass unit is the single Knowles damperless high power CI-30120 x1 bass, the Lite uses two Knowles CI-22955 units. Where the money here is instead of quantity, the Yvain is going ahead with quality. Yep where sure the Orchestra Lite is going for a big sound, the Yvain instead is attempting more polish and sophistication arranging one Knowles for the lows, one Knowles for the super highs, and 2 Sonion 2389D combined for those mids. The results you ask? Maybe a slightly dry midrange from the Lite? Where the Yvain has its vocals more present and polished, maybe even more real midrange to offer-up? Bass is less pronounced with the Yvain, which goes to re-substantiate the mids even bring them forward into luster and detail. And finally the outcome of simply less drivers to commadear…….not as much cannon fodder to control, or to try to align. Not only is the Lite 2X the size……the Lite weighs 8 grams and the Yvain only 4 grams! Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m looking for critical differences that could be important to a prospective buyer, the Lite offers a slightly bigger display of more girth and grandeur, the Yvain is ever so slightly more natural but without the filler. When all this boils down to it, it means someone who values vocals despite the huge stage girth of the Lite, and really wants pureness in tone, would be better off with the Yvain…………due to no worries of the Lite's midrange dryness….......mostly. :relaxed:

This was tough to do. Why? Because each IEM is really good at each style of perspective IEM methodology. Each has good and bad points, as we know nothing is perfect. And the only IEM that is really publicly unknown in the test group is the qdc Anole V3……….also it’s from a different time and holds a different price bracket. In fact I wasn’t going to even include the V3 in today's testing, except I’m really glad I did as it helped to describe (by character) the HiBy Yvain, if not only to me personally. One of the stand-out points is how even though the Kiwi ears Orchestra Lite is wonderful, there is still room for improvement into how the (slightly dry) midrange is presented. And that goes for the Kiwi ears Quintet too, as far as having a less vivid vocal presentation. Rumor has it that I like Hybrids the best and due to such affinity the Quintet may still be my way to go in this realm of choices, except there may be areas of the Quintet treble which also emits a slightly unnatural tone?


Our success here today is from quality ingredients! When Hiby decided to use name brand drivers, that single thing (for one) changed the results.

2 Sonion mids BAs
1 Knowles bass BA
1 super treble Knowles BA

The Yvain sonic outcome couldn’t be more real and top-notch. They combined premium ingredients with a more vocal centric (upper midrange) tuning and the results were devastating, at least to this competition today.

The complete Package:



The top plate is metal with a 3D printed undercarriage. Probably one of the most fascinating aspects of this IEM is the form. Where sure it is following the semi-custom data base for shell design, except it goes one step further? It’s like an extreme custom semi-custom design. All that means is a super comfortable and wearable fit, along with noise occlusion. So just like the Kiwi ears Orchestra Lite, this is a port-less design, yet because they are hollow and not pure resin, the air-tightness has a different feel, a not so drastic feel. This is probably the only IEM I’ve ever come in contact with that I could use as ear-plugs by taking the cable off? Really they fit that well. The grooves and curves all come together to show this shell form factor is truly a new thing now? Just look at it? Prefect nozzle length, as well as flush 2Pin positioning allow for simple daily use. Now I know why I chose the Anole V3, or at least another reason I chose it. The Anole V3 and the Yvain are very close to exactly the same shape. These are the size and comfort abilities which can be arrived at when internal components don’t have to be accounted for. The medical grade resin feels wonderful as does the fact that everything is the perfect size. In fact while writing this review I placed the Yvain in my ears without their cable and forgot about them, until my Wife walked into the room and sprung-up a conversation.



In the weeks and weeks of testing I tried all kinds of aftermarket cables, yet upon returning to the included cable, found it suited the signature just fine. I mean sure I tested the Yvain with the ISN G4 Graphene cable, and sure it made a slight difference but never was there a chance of creating an issue with the Yvain. What’s super nice is the plug system they have implemented for the Yvain stock cable. But do you see those white triangle marks? This cable has a design that if you are not paying attention to those marks, the terminals can be placed off, to where the sound will be out-of-phase. Where some brands have a forced pin to align the contact terminals, here you have to rely on the triangles. While the cable won’t go together wrong in all four can be placed together in one wrong way, if it was dark and you were not paying attention. No worries though, it’s not like you’re going to blow-up an amp or anything, only resulting in inferior sound...........a noticeably different sound. The other cool thing I have never seen before is a locking screw down ring to fasten the cable together. So the great part is that once a plug is chosen with this 3 in 1 system, the plug is unified into a single never moving device, it can never be pulled-out, until the lock-ring is unfastened. Also everything as far as cable accessories are metal, everything. Even the black material that is nearest the plug may look like it’s not metal, but it is, as the plug is two-tone.


Here is a list of songs that help introduce the Yvain’s ideas of correct replay. And while nothing is perfect, there are examples of better and lesser ideas of sound reproduction. As you can guess vocals are going to be special, that and orchestra strings to the fullest extent. I mean………if you are left with memories of what is truly possible with Yvain replay, probably those two items take the cake? Yet after weeks of use, the restraints.....…(even personal ideas) of what is right and wrong can bend a little, giving a more bass centered listener like myself an exquisite break from the pounding……….opening up (new to the listener) spaces and alternative vistas of sound interpretation.

Equipment used:

WM1A and WM1Z with Mrwalkman’s firmware, included cable and my go to wide-bore ear-tips.


Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch
Blade Runner 2049 OST
44.1 kHz - 16 bit

Using the midcentric WM1A I was reassured to the fact that the bass response was more than adequate for this number. The thrill comes fast in the drop at 00:08. The prior piano keys falling into reverberations at the very start let us know that while extended and clear, the treble is not problematic in any way. And while of course I have heard this played with DDs that seem to accentuate the decay in the bass action……and send home a kind of home theater experience, here we are offered a microscope. That micro-world is just as provocative and detailed, actually probably more detailed. Where due to layering here, each song element is given its share of space, arrival and departure times. Often as listeners we think of loud as emotional, and while this gets just as loud as you want to go…….there is more cerebral emotional experience? Why? Simply more detail here, creating inside textures and outside textures. At 00:45 when the main Blade Runner synth theme takes place it is of a digital quality and not analogue, as a faster and glossy……..shined-up affair, that resides on just the correct side of bright. The layers I’ve never heard like this, strange? The chorus, the bass drops, the main theme synth are all around the stage, bringing home the entertainment, in more of an upscale imaged living-room experience than a public theater. And you all know how many audiophiles dislike going to hear bad public theater sound…......this is more their style of ticket.


Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun
88.2 kHz - 24 bit

This guitar tone section at the very beginning is the Roland D-50 synthesizer, I’m about 90% certain of that? I know because I had one, and this tone was part of factory presets. Such a tone is actually a PCM sample of an actual recording of a guitar (in the attack) then blended with the digital synth tail-off of the note. What is cool about using such a musical tool is it can be of a slightly different vibe than an actual guitar……the playback is more even and linear… can be circled around and layers can be created… sounds almost robotic today in 2023? But once again I’m fully distracted, distracted just by the separation at hand, where the stage is big, but not the very biggest, but it doesn’t need to be (any bigger) because the Yvain replay is now responsible for realization of sounds in height, depth, front to back and from side to side. Being that this song has a lot of synth elements seems to even enhance that single (stage) quality………………but that was not why this song was chosen, nope. Vocals!

But……but before we get there…… 01:54 the rhythm begins! And once again, this is truly the Yvain being in its element, as far as separation and being able due to fantastic BA audio transients taking place. You see, imaging is directly created from an IEMs ability to do transients……the better the transients, the better the imaging, and name brand BAs do that better than DDs ever thought they could. You know all the talk of DD driver coatings and strong/thinness..........part of that is trying to do transients better, or at least near what BAs can do. It’s just easier to stop and start a little microscopic reed of metal than a giant DD. At 02:19 Lisa Gerrard makes her entrance, and yes it’s just on the best side of brilliance. Such an effect shows the listener that we can also pinpoint the reverberations and echos added to the signal. At the magical 03.14 point we enter the realization of PI, as nothing to DCD is not planned. We are bombarded with big chunky violins, way out to each side and larger than life. But the fact that these strings are so very provocative, just clear and correct and holding an energy that becomes endearing and memorable.


Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL
Batman v Supman OST
New Rules
96 kHz - 24 bit

This is the song in which I first understood the Yvain. I mean this IEM is special, but in so many ways different from what I’m used to. Often upon first listen that difference can be attributed to wrongs or drawbacks. Yet often there will be a song on the first day of listening that a reason for the IEM to exist (in your personal opinion) will occur, and this was that song. The big reverberated orchestral kettle drums/timpani arriving at 00:39………..the strings dark and brooding. Those same kettle drums now sound like they are played by a group of angry Indians going to war. At 01:38 a bass drop that I always use to judge IEMs, and here it also delineates a style of personality. This in fact is a test of technicalities because the sound (the drop) can be either more clear, more standout, or less. But here going with the program it’s warm and nice, but a subdued tone that has only so much reverberation to it. Probably right on point for this style of money?


Hans Zimmer
The Dark Knight Rises OST
On Thin Ice/Gotham’s Reckoning
192 kHz - 24 bit

Here we are gifted with a very accessible and genuine timbre. This is a joining of two back to back songs which go together super well. The strings offer a new idea of the central main musical theme. Obviously one of the main values here comes from having the BAs replay a cohesive and tonally correct idea of the strings. The simple fall-off and texture found occurring with-in the notes. I mean even at the 02:00 mark of “On Thin Ice” we know that this is where the money was spent, that this world we can visit whenever we want and find satisfaction in the replay display. This reproduction of atmosphere and spacial abilities seems very close to life, seemingly careful and correct? But probably the layering and credible positioning is what gets to me? At 02:16 the first major bass hit takes place, but it’s the second at 02:20 that really sends a message that this style of BA bass, that this single Knowles BA knows what its up to. Firm, clean, in-focus but not over done or blocking anything. I mean sure I’ve heard it as more, more substantial bass action, and this very replay is probably at the very limit of how careful and correct you could call great bass replay……….great, and still have it be adequate here at Redcarmoose Labs?

Gothem’s Reckoning:
The orchestra toms……..everything up to the 00:20 mark shows the fast turnaround times of BA sound reproduction. The imaging into the stage that expands before us. Yet at 00:20 the rolling, beefy and exciting bass action reminds me that I can listen to this song over and over again and never get bored. It’s the full-on tone and texture of this bass replay that simply gets better and better and the song rolls on………as every note is formed and existing with-in its predesignated area into the stage, something DDs never have the technicalities to do well. It’s this BA bass clarity that’s the cat’s meow…….at any price. You think I’m joking, listen to how this is done, and get back to me. But upon closer inspection it’s the whole package here, the toms off to the very sides at 00:43……the strings in the fluffiness, and the deepness and roundness of the bass……it forms a package and that much more of a package when uniform driver methodology is taking place.



Really the end results here are notable for an IEM in this price-point. Key ingredients resulted in a specific natural sound. The three-way crossover network combined with the three-way internal sound tube design left the frequencies to arrive at your ear canal in the purest form. One step further is the fact that there is cohesion due to parallel driver methodology. Basically all the drivers here get along well, never fighting for sonic space. The Knowles damperless high power CI-30120 x1 bass BA is a first in my experience, and in side-by-sides I was truly surprised how careful and complete the Knowles responded? Hearing the bass tones take on a sculpted and organic yet controlled form was key to success in the music section of the review. Hiby going ahead and joining up dual duty for the Sonion 2389D in place may be one reason the Yvain is so midcentric? 2X the midrange drivers means big imaging into the stage, but more than that, a natural and fluid broadcast of vocals…….seemingly holding detail well above this mid-fi price point? And finally the Knowles WBFK33518 x1 for highs, tipping-off the display of the top-end, never brittle or sharp. Hiby finished off this Yvain affair with a CNC faceplate, and a 3D printed super-semi-custom body, that just won’t quit.

Yep, I just said it’s an IEM body that won’t quit!

Such curves and gyrations of form mean the Yvain comes off original, both in noise occlusion and feel……the sound is simply more clear because the IEM sits closer to your ear, letting in less outside distractions. The fact that it’s vent-less takes these ideas one step further too. The seven pairs of ear-tips residing in their own case is not too shabby either. Name brand Hiby tips with three sets of foam each with a color coded center…….that helps with fit too, if that’s the route you want to take. And finally the 3 in 1 cable that has a locking plug, a first here at Redcarmoose Labs.

All and all it’s a carefully selected and complete package sure to impress the vocal lover in your life this holiday season. Great for the symphony buff or even the rock listener, except keep in mind rock may come-off a little too careful and reserved for some, yet still complete and totally enjoyable. The stage was surprisingly well orchestrated and imaged, forming a surprising thickness in front to back, up and down and side to side? If that stage is filled only with a female voice, the intimacy and polish is moving and has a trick in-store for you. The trick is that right now, at this single moment…………you may have all you’ll ever need or desire, in an IEM anyways. :)

Get yours for $239.00


I want to thank Joe Bloggs from HiBy for the Yvain review sample.

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

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
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
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