TY Hi-Z 650

General Information

TY Hi-Z HP-650 HiFi Earbuds


Model: HP-650
Unit diameter: 15.4mm
Impedance: ≈650ohm
Cable Material: LY2.0
Cable length : 1.2M
Sensitivity: 123 ± 5 dB
Frequency range: 8-27000 kHz


TY 650ohm earphone
Earphone case
2 pairs of Silicone eartips(M/S)
4 pairs of foam eatips
FREE Shark Fin silicone Eartips (2 X L / 2 X S )

Latest reviews

Pros: Silky Smooth, Great Imaging, Wonderful Lows, Musical Mids, Detailed Highs (without any harshness)
Cons: Not For Those Looking For Perfect Analytical Presentation
This is a clip from a review I did of seven different TY Hi-Z Earbuds.  
You can see the full post here:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/831374/introduction-to-ty-hi-z-earbud-family-mega-review
TY Hi-Z HP-650 ($119.00): http://penonaudio.com/Earphones/earbuds/TY-Hi-Z-HP-650


- Unit diameter: 15.4mm
- Impedance: 650ohm
- Sensitivity: 123 +- 5 dB
- Frequency range: 8-27000Hz

For comparison, I will use the current flagship from K's Earphones, the 500ohm earbud. I reviewed this earbud a short time ago and I borrow a bit from it below. http://www.head-fi.org/products/ks-earphone-500ohm-earbud/reviews/17622

Build wise, they share the exact same size, MX500 style plastic housings, though the K's shell is flat black, while the HP-650 has a wonderful red shimmer. Next, they both have a premium braided cable, but there are some differences; the cable on the K's 500 is thinner and terminates to a nice, but simple 3.5mm plug. The HP-650's cable is much more robust and terminates to a BEAUTIFUL carbon fiber 3.5mm plug.

The Hi-Z HP-650 and K's 500 find themselves sharing a higher level of overall sound quality. They both produce a playback that is very pleasing to the ears. The Hi-Z HP-650 takes everything thrown it with ease and has a reproduction reserved for a top end headphones. Differences only coming with the K's 500 being able to sort out the highs with a surgeon like skill. The smoothness of the Hi-Z HP-650 can be more agreeable for longer listening and the K's 500 excels at shorter use examination. It basically comes down to your personal preference or what you are in the mood for at the time. The K's 500 will challenge you, by making your brain work harder to keep up with all the extra details. The TY HP-650 will take a track and elegantly articulate imaging and produce a sound that is accurate without any harshness. In a way, the Hi-Z HP-650 shares much with a Headphone of almost the same name, that of the Sennheiser HD650 as they both engage and ease the listen experience coincidentally.

The TY Hi-Z HP-650 is more than deserving of its current Flagship title. It is the best earbud in the lineup from the build to the sound reproduction. On a personal note, it is currently my favorite earbud for premium listening.
**You can see more of my photography and follow me at:**

I've also started a Facebook Group for earbud fans:  
Earbuds Anonymous:  www.facebook.com/groups/EarbudsAnonymous/
Pros: Killer sound. Truly the perfect Hi-Z. Incredibly neutral.
Cons: Needs 3 days at least of burn in. Seriously, it does. No, I'm not a person who always believes in burn in. Above $100. Might be boring.
TY Hi-Z 650: The best Hi-Z to date.
The TY Hi-Z line of earbuds certainly is a strange one. With a murky but undeniable connection to the SeaHf line, and such a mysterious and sudden rise to popularity as they flooded the market with a huge variety of new models - especially high impedance ones (in fact, their 32 ohm Hi-Z did not come out until after at least 4 iterations of all the high impedance Hi-Z's).
~ Introduction ~
While information of SeaHf and TY has not been centralized yet, it is all readily available online and the naming/version scheme is very easy to follow. For the sake of easy understanding, the TY Hi-Z 650 was introduced around the same time as the 2nd version of the Hi-Z 32 ohm, and after the 4.0 version of the 150/320/400 ohm series. As such, this review will not cover any of the other Hi-Z models, except in direct comparisons.
Likewise, there is a great abundance of information and reviews on the current, vast world of earbuds; as such I will focus on the TY Hi-Z 650 in this review assuming you have some familiarity with other higher-end earbuds (at least knowledge of them and their generally agreed on sound signatures and characteristics if you haven't heard them). I am doing this for the purpose of focusing on the Hi-Z 650 as closely as possible.
~ The Hi-Z 650 ~
The Hi-Z 650, like all other TY productions to date, appeared suddenly in the inventories of retailers without any prior notice. Of particular interest was that this was the first TY I had ever seen to not come in a plain black or white shell - red this time! In fact, just like the Massdrop red versions of the Monk Plus, even to the touch. This indicated to me there was something special about the 650. The other indicator was the steep price tag of $119 - almost Zen 2 money! And lastly, it came in a fancy box as opposed to the small white cardboard box all other TY and SeaHf models shipped in (I later learned this box is limited to the first 50 orders.)
With the knowledge Earbud thread cultivator ClieOS had ordered one, and the sharing of a review of the 650 on Baidu from a helpful fellow poster on Head-Fi (which I read a broken Google translation of) decided I should take the plunge. The factors that pushed me to do it were a couple things on the Baidu review: first, the reviewer stated it had a more neutral tone than all other TY Hi-Z models. Second, he said the treble had great extension but was not sibilant. Third, he said something to the effect of the low end had "great power". Bingo - the basshead in me only wanted to see this. And if you have seen my older review of the SeaHf version 3.0 400 ohm, you'd know I was waiting for a high impedance bud with even greater bass than the 3.0 400 ohm.  (By the way - I got a chance to hear the 4.0 400 ohm and 4.0 400 "S" model, hated both of them.)
To be up front about one thing - I have learned one thing about TY earbuds, and it seems to be nearly universally agreed upon - burn in is a must for these. For whatever reason, all TY Hi-Z models tend to sound strangely congested and sharp out of the box, and change significantly in the first 2 or 3 days of burn in, so even though I have been anti-burn in for many years, I have definitely found that these do actually require it - to prove this I compared a brand new version 2.0 TY Hi-Z 32 with one I had let burn in for almost a week, the sound was very different, and on the new one sounded exactly as I remembered my first one out of the box.
Foam block and accessories not pictured.
For this reason I will be commenting on the sound after about 3 days of 24/7 burn in. For those who are curious: out of the box is was very nice and still very reminiscent of the sound described below, but far more "congested" and with a much narrower soundstage and less impressive imaging.
~ Build Quality ~
I have bought many SeaHf and TY earbuds before this, and this is the first I have ever seen to come in a premium-style box. When I opened the box, underneath a large foam cube was a set of rubber rings and black foams in a plastic bag, with the earbuds coiled up and held in place by a pair of snaps. The cable is typical for higher end TY/SeaHf buds - looks and sounds nice, but is a somewhat rough to the touch, especially when considering how soft some other premium earbuds cables are. The housing seems to be nearly identical to the red VE Monk Plus earbuds, and have a similar feel. The 3.5mm plug is a very nice one I'm not sure the brand of, but it is the same model used on my Bengkel Macro iPod LOD.
~ Listening to the Hi-Z 650 ~
One thing of importance to note - while the Hi-Z 320 and 400 models are notably difficult to drive, the 650 is actually fairly easy to drive. Despite its very high impedance, the driver is very sensitive, so you will have no problem driving it with whatever you want. I saw on the Baidu review the reviewer used several DAPs as well as amped setups.
I myself have used the following sources on the Hi-Z 650: USB AK4392 DAC into Bengkel Macro bMac 3CH MK2, iPod Mini 2nd generation, LG V10, Blackberry Z10, Kenwood Mediakeg G608, Thinkpad T61 laptop built in headphones. My recommendation is to amp it, but it's by no means mandatory.
Those who know me from my Head-Fi posting know I am a serious basshead. For those who don't know this already, my EQ screenshots will give some idea of my listening preferences. I like to listen to earbuds at extremely quiet levels - basically as quiet as possible to hear all the details. I also like to listen at normal volumes sometimes, and when I do, I love when I can hear great powerful sub bass response.
Also, I used to use IEMs a lot. After almost moving away from headphones after finding myself not enjoying electrostatics as much as I had thought, I moved to IEMs and became very involved in basshead IEMs. For a while I was only using IEMs, but the feeling of something in my ear always bothered me. However, I liked the focused sound of IEMs more than any full sized headphones, so beginning with the VE Monk, I started getting back into earbuds (I had originally started with the Yuin PK series about 10-11 years ago) and realizing there was a lot of very high quality to be found there. However, one of the greatest things I missed when going from IEMs to earbuds was bass power and impact. (non-bassheads, don't stop here! If you keep reading you'll learn the 650 has a nice bass light sound if not EQ'd...)
The Hi-Z 32 has been gaining strong acclaim lately but it has too many aspects that bother me personally for me to love it. As such my Hi-Z 32's rarely get used. My problem with the other high impedance models is that each was great at something, but none were great at everything. For instance, the 320 had wonderful smooth midrange and extension, but weak bass and grainy treble. The 400 had nice bass but hollow mids and rough treble. The 400S sounded like a thin 320. The 32 is a great value for a budget bud but does not have anywhere near the balance or natural tone of the VE Monk.
The greatest surprise to me was that the 650 is a true all-rounder. Without EQ, it is incredibly similar to the 320, but with much better (deeper and more accurate) bass and smoother treble and mids, as well as far wider soundstage. With my aggressive sub bass EQ, when I listen at low volumes I still get an awesome amount of sub bass power and detail in my sound, which almost entirely makes the price of it worth it to me. The only complaint some had with the older 400 ohm is that the huge sub bass could not be removed, it was always present. The 650 needs to be EQ'd up in the sub bass to have that kind of slam, but you better believe it can take more EQ than the 400 could and is capable of so much more. As true bassheads will tell you - it's about bass-ability, not how it sounds without EQ :wink:
The 650 is also certainly sensitive to the foams you use. I tried it for a bit with just EX Pack rubber rings and Monk Plus style foams, but found I wanted even more bass quantity, so I switched to Hiegi foams, eventually settling on Hiegi donuts. Hiegis maximized the soundstage and bass quantity, but the full foams muffled the high frequency treble a bit much for my taste, which is not a problem with the donuts. I also found the soundstage was a little flat with just the Monk Plus foams.
I find it to be an exceptional earbud for my tastes - industrial, all forms of electronic mainly from the 80's and 90's, ambient, J-Pop, older hip-hop primarily. It does truly have a neutral tone. Listening without EQ will give neutral-heads a very positive experience, almost something like a Hifiman ES100 with a bit more energy and life, better detailing and giant deep bass extension! When EQ'd, it turns into an almost full size headphone-esque experience. Detailing and imaging throughout the frequency spectrum is spot-on, with no frequency bleeds, and an amount of detailing easily surpassing buds like the Cygnus and going head to head with buds like the Zen 2.
However, I must admit I prefer it to other high end ($100+) buds. For one thing, I do not really compare it to things like the Edimun/Red De'Mun as those are retunings of cheaper earbud drivers, whereas the 650 is both a high impedance and original driver design. At the same time, the Edimun/De'Mun are under $70 each, whereas the 650 will run you over $100 with plain non-express shipping. In comparison to the Mojito (which I no longer own), it has the greater bass impact I wished it had, and is a normal shell design which is easy to fit. Compared to the Zen 2 - which has practically no bass compared to this - the Zen 2 is a highly detailed but also highly midrange centric bud, with a definite preference for the midrange, leaving treble slightly rolled off and bass lacking for sub bass fans. Compared to the Sennheiser MX985, it is far more dynamic, offers a less sibilant treble, and far greater bass quantity and quality.
One of the parts of the 650 that surprises me most is how amazingly natural it sounds while also having an effortless, unrestricted sound. Even other high-grade buds I have such as Zen and MX985 can not offer this effortless sort of sound. It offers for a truly transparent sound with a deep black and silent background. Even on extremely fast paced and intricate music, it does not miss a beat, and no details go missed. The treble extension is great for me - I'm very treble sensitive, but even I, at times, find buds like the Cygnus to be lacking in treble extension. The Hi-Z 650 offers me a perfect amount of treble extension and clarity without being sibilant or unnatural sounding - both very huge deterrents for me. As an active touring and recording musician I find headphones with unnatural tone to be simply unacceptable.
The question of amping is a tricky one, of course. While I find it to sound great off all my DAPs and other devices, I like it most when amped. Partially because it sounds most effortless with a decent amount of power. However, it doesn't need to be tons - even the normal Hifi DAC mode on my LG V10 is enough power to make it sing well. On some lower power sources like the iPod Mini or a more plain smartphone, it maintains its same sound signature, but sacrifices a bit of the effortless sound and in return sounds slightly more congested. I want to stress it is still a great sounding bud without an amp, but if you plan to never use or never buy an amp, you could save a little money and go with a nice low impedance bud, as some of this bud's strongest points are definitely brought out farther with decent amping. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share of the Hi-Z 650 with the V10 as the V10 is my main/only camera...
The soundstage of the 650 is another one of its strong points. It is capable of having a great, wide, very airy sound. It is not artificially wide, but certainly can beat a Zen 2 or burned-in Cygnus without much contest (unless the 650 is still in its first 50-60 hours). It also does not have very much of a synergy issue with any sources; I find it matches very nicely with anything I've tried it on. It is not like some other high impedance buds I have used which can be very picky about source and can sound gross on some.
Vocals on the 650 are truly excellent. I thought they were average quality before the burn in, but afterwards they are incredibly realistic and well portrayed. They are lush enough it makes it not really worth wanting to break out a midrange bud whose only specialty is vocals, when the 650 can do vocals so well and do everything else excellently. Channel separation is also spot on, which is a problem with certain other buds, even some higher end ones.
~ Conclusion ~
The Hi-Z is something I would recommend without much hesitation to most high end earbud fans. It is an incredibly adaptable earbud which I can find no serious faults in. Honestly, my biggest gripes with it are that the cable isn't softer and that it isn't cheaper, and that it doesn't come with more accessories (or any thick donuts like the Hiegis). I have no regrets having spent my own hard earned money on it.
I think, having spent around a week using this as my main buds, I would recommend it to most people looking for a higher end bud. Of course, the Shozy BK is not released yet, but I don't expect it to be able to replace this bud even if it ends up being something I enjoy. Prior to this, I'd never heard a bud with bass power anywhere close since the older 400 ohm SeaHf. However, this bud really strikes me as a "greatest of" model - it takes all the best qualities of all other TY Hi-Z models and combines them into one bud. The soundstage, lush mids and smoothness of the 320 - and made even better, the bass of the old 400, the energy of the 150, and everything else is made "just right" - I really have no complaints about the natural tuning, honestly could be called studio tuned.
ClieOS ranks it not as high on his list as I might on mine - nothing in the slightest wrong with that, but do note he ranks it higher than any other TY model he has reviewed! However, I'm not sure if he gave it the same amount of burn in time I did, and I must admit out of the box, while I liked it, I was not nearly as in love with it as I currently am. I made sure to own it for a decent amount of time and pit it against many other buds before reviewing it to shake any new toy syndrome, but after comparing it to the rest of my earbud collection, I find it has the qualities that made me love the older 400 ohm more than any others, even when it had weak mids and rough treble - and 650 fixes all of that into an all-around perfect - for me - earbud.
I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is a fan of neutral signatures or great bass alike - but EQ will be needed to turn it into a bassy bud if desired! And the 3+ days of burn in can not be overlooked at all. While low impedance buds will be driven easier by low power sources, this still does a great job of sounding excellent and like a high end bud on those sources. I just want to recommend that anyone interested in these also consider, or already be using, a setup which involves an amp. While they are great off my iPod Mini alone, the iPod/LOD/bMac combo is so much better and the extra power makes the details flow easier, sound less restricted, and the bass really comes out to play. But, I don't want to make it sound like it's only mediocre at best on lower power sources – it really is very good. It just gets a little better with amping :)
Hopefully TY slows down for a bit after this as I'd be a little upset if my 650 was rendered an outdated model as fast as they have been putting out some of their older models, but I also can see that the experience they've picked up by making all their other models has really shown itself as something special in the 650. I definitely see myself slimming down my earbud collection somewhat significantly after getting to know these earbuds, as they really do so many jobs so ideally for me. For low volume and loud volume listeners alike, ampers and non ampers, bassheads and bass despisers, this is a bud to be seriously considered by all who take their earbuds seriously. The Hi-Z 650 is no joke, and is the model which by itself made me consider TY to be a truly advanced company deserving of praise in this time of new earbud models coming out seemingly constantly.
http://penonaudio.com/TY-Hi-Z-HP-650 <- Where purchased mine​

2/12/2017 update
Reduced from 5 stars to 4.5 stars. Reason being, it doesn't have anywhere close to the greatest bass in earbuds anymore, and I have not used it much recently as it is a little too laid back for me. In combination with its hyper neutral sound sig, could be boring for some. But, i still think it is one of the best choices for pure critical listening. And with an adequately powerful source, like the iDSD Micro, they come alive in a way few others do.
Khan if you believe your own comparison then it should be no question I taste my taste very, very seriously.
Vapman, I wonder how many pairs of HiZ-650 do you own? I just wonder if they all sound the same after a burn in.
@vmirinav just the one... sorry for the slow response... don't check review comments often. forums are easier to get to me at...


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