New product from Hidizs! Concerning the recent amount of different product reviews for this brand is seems that Hidizs is becoming one of the leaders in HiFi industry. Product portfolio grows and covers DAPs for the different budgets, external DAC&s and headphones. This time, instead of reviewing DAPs and DACs I would do something new and try to describe my impression of Hidizs latest IEM headphones - Seeds.
Just to make clear: actually, I was really sceptical about any type or brand of IEMs and would always prefer regularly priced full size monitors with large speaker diameter over any expensive IEMs just because of some previous experience. All bundled IEMs were crap despite the price of a gadget it came with. Most of other headphones of this type would always be dependent of many subjective factors like ear structure, wearing comfort, how deep it would sit and so on. And none that I've tried haven't come close to delivering such rich and tight midbass dynamics as full size headphones with membrane diameter equal of more than 43mm.
Now, after listening to acceptably priced Hidizs Seeds IEMs - my perception has turned up side down. And I would try to explain why.
Hidizs Seeds official page: LINK
Hidizs Seeds Technical Specifications:
- Shell Material: Aluminium alloy
- Cable Material: 99.999% OFC copper
- Electroacoustics: Φ10mm graphene diaphragms dual dynamic voice coils, dual voice chambers
- Speaker type: dynamic
- No. of Drivers: 1 per channel
- Frequency Response: 20-40000Hz
- Impedance: 50Ohms
- Sensitivity: 110dB/mW | 123dB/V
- Maximum power: 30mW
- Eartips: S/M/L/XL silicone eartips
- Cable Length:1.2 m
- Jack type: 2.5mm balanced / 3.5mm unbalanced gold-plated
In the box:
Hidizs is the company which likes to create the first positive impression by making expensive and very attractive product package. Type of materials used, silver color imprints, neat use of inside space, special foamy podiums and additional accessories that many other brands would sell separately.
Here we have beatiful box with Hidizs logo, technical specifications and rich inside contents:
- Seeds IEMs with 2.5mm balanced or 3.5mm unbalanced jack (depends of a customer choice)
- Velcro tape
- Little bag to store IEMs
- 2 sets of pads with different size and diameter (6 pairs)
- Silicone brackets for comfortable wearing (1 pair)
This is a good package indeed. The most valuable is the variety of pads that are included and that should fit any ear. It fits mine, at least, which is a rare case.
Materials and design:
Never had IEMs made of aluminum before. It feels like heavy little stones when taken out of the box and at the same time have no weight when put on. Perfectly machined, cold, smoothly shaped... Now it is clear where the product name came from. It really reminds me about seeds... Perhaps, something from science fiction - seeds of future technology!
Cables have 1.2m length, twisted with soft silicon isolation. Unfortunately, those are non-removable. Hidizs decided to offer a choice of 2 types of IEMs instead - with 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced gold plated jack.
Such choice is easy for those who only uses 1 type of equipment but those who have different DAPs, AMPs and DACs would stuck when buying. I would prefer to have a signle IEM type with the removable cable feature and both types of cables...
Another good little feature to introduce is the removable grill for speaker opening. It would eventually gather all dirt and would be hard to clean as it always happens to any IEMs.
As already mentioned - the package includes 6 pairs of soft silicone pads that should virtually fit any ear. I know that I am always using the smallest pads which is also true for Hidizs Seeds.
Not being a fan of listening to music while exerсizing, I don't think that I would use additional silicone brackets, on the other hand - this is a good option for people who do.
One small additional detail is plastic cable retainer that has Hidizs logo on it. Nice!
Audio quality and comparisons:
The following HiFi|HiRES equipment was used to test Hidizs Seeds or to compare to:
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50 studio monitor headphones
- Yamaha RH-5Ma studio monitor headphones
- Hidizs Sonata DH1000 external HiRES DAC& (balanced and unbalanced outputs. DH1000 allows both types of connections.)
The main goal during the tests is to define whether Hidizs Seeds IEMs are on par with studio monitor headphones, what is the difference in sound between balanced and unbalanced type of Seeds and if there is a chance that I'd shift to IEMs instead of full size headphones...
Main reason to test with Hidizs Sonata DH1000 as a source is to avoid limiting audio quality and to push all heaphones to the maximum capabilities.
Compared to Yamaha RH-5Ma (32Ohms):
The fact that my pair of Yamaha RH-5Ma was made in Japan (yes!!!, currently, the manufacturing shifted to Indonesia) didn't really helped. Hidizs Seeds perform better in every aspect. Yamaha is known for its bright and crisp sound with lots of highs, good dynamics and, at the same time, almost no lows and deep bass. Midbass lacks some tight hits on drums and low bass is almost non-existent.
Hidizs Seeds, in its turn, have even better crispness, resolution, more details and show very adequate amount of lows. Highs are much better controlled, new details jump in and there are no harsh hissess.
As a result, Seeds outperform Yamaha even in the aspects where the last perceived to be good.
Compared to Audio-Technika ATH-M50 (48Ohms):
Audio-Technika ATH-M50 is a benchmark headphones for many... Those are widely used in many sound recording studios by many musicians and sound operators. I share the same point of view - among all headphones that I owned Audio-Technika ATH-M50 is the best performer. Very balanced, flat and precise sound, despite music genre. Performing good with most of the source sound equipment. Not expensive (~$200).
The only drawback of ATH-M50 (M50x) is a little emphazis on lows when directly compared to smaller pair like Yamaha or any IEMs. Such emphasis is usually believed to belong to cheaper headphones that can offer no more than bass boost for younger generation After couple of minutes spent with M50 it becomes apparent that it is not the case. Yes, lows and bass have a full presence but do not distruct other frequencies from playing. Completely different to a messy bass of the cheapest ATH-M20x series.
And guess what?... It took only couple of minutes to understand that Hidizs Seeds are winning in this fight. Not so heavy advantage as in case with Yamaha but still obvious. Seeds render much more details, much more tiny sounds and have much better resolution of higher frequencies. It disclosed the whole new world of small details in each music composition I thought I knew perfectly. Maybe this comes from the fact that Seeds are sitting deep in the ear or because IEMs have faster membrane reaction but the result is impressive - voices, strings, smallest details, drum plates, stage background - everything is rendered better.
Lower frequencies are performed by Seeds somewhere in between Yamaha and Audio-Technika. Defenitely present but not too much. Might be a reason for those who like bass-oriented music not to grab a pair, at least if there would be no way to use equalizer. My opinion - lows are completely enough and very balanced with other frequencies. It would also greatly depend of how deeply IEMs sit inside your ear.
Another surprise - never thought that IEMs would be able to deliver midbass and drums tight hits as full size headphones do. Very rich and powerfull sound from membranes of this diameter. Perhaps, the fact that it's made of graphene makes it so capable in this aspect.
Sound in overall:
I was very surprised how Seeds handle high octave sounds, expecially cymbals, plates and Chineese traditional instuments Additionally, strings are detailed to the extent that you can hear every bow move... I would describe the nature of this IEMs in overall as bright and crisp. Very good balance over the entire frequency range with less bass boost compared to full sized phones and at the same time bass stays totally enough.
Of crouse, stage width and depth is not as large as ATH-M50 would produce. On the other hand, listening to some binaural recordings would show very wide stage with excellent vertical and horizontal separation of instruments with their precise location.
There are some shortcomings, standard for any other IEMs when moving from other type of headphones: some background noise and physical comfortablility. Noise steps in between compositions or in songs with large dynamic range. As a matter of fact, Seeds with 2.5mm balanced jack have less to almost non-existent noise which is logical for balanced circuits. No other apparent sound advantages over 3.5mm unbalanced verison (at least, I cannot hear it).
Finally, Hidizs Seeds IEMs sound more intimate, especially with rich vocal songs and large dynamic range. In ear design allows to hear every whisper and every tiny detail with excellent clarity. Larger overheads just seem to be far away, emhasizing louder sounds and hiding those bit and pieces of original recording.
Actually, I am almost torn apart - one part of me wants to continue to use Audio-Technika ATH-M50 as the favorite headphones and another part insists that Hidizs Seeds are more detailed and bright which is also my preference. What I can already tell is that I am heavily using Seeds for last couple of weeks and M50 are left abandoned. But even if my choise would become the opposite - the fact that $80 IEMs from Hidizs outperform full size studio monitor headphones from legendary brands worth the admiration and respect!
Hidizs Seeds official page: LINK
Discount of 20% for any purchase from Hidizs store is available on my review resource