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USA Order: Just got my Hidition NT6 Pro's

  1. Barra
    I just got my Hidition NT6 Pro's delivered to the US yesterday on 6/15/13 after being shipped out on the 11th. Four day shipping from Korea is not bad. I ordered them on 5/30/13, so the whole order only took two weeks to receive. However, it seemed so much longer given my impatience, the time required to research and decide on this CIEM, and the time to schedule and get my ear impressions made as well as to ship them to South Korea. The good news for US buyers is that I had no customs charges or shipment delays.
    My initial thoughts are that they sound really great, but I am still trying to get my head wrapped around the sound signature. They make my TF10s sound like I am listening to a cheap mono AM radio. However, there are some oddities in a few songs that I am still trying to figure out. Most of the songs I have listened to sound great like I am listening to my Audeze LCD 2 v2 or a very expensive HIFI sound system. Yet a few other songs sound confused or just plain odd. Overall, at this early stage, I have no regrets or buyers remorse - I really love what I am hearing. 
    The most obvious oddity is the cliff in the bass. In a few songs it sounds as if the bass is crossed using a pair of $5000 hi end 18" subwoofers paired with a single mediocre 8" woofer for midbass. To be fair, this isn't often and I have not given them or my brain any time to burn in yet. The bass isn't as big as I expected or hoped, but I am mainly listening to my clip+ which is know for clarity, narrow sound stage, and a sharp drop off in sub base. Yet, I should say that the bass is more than awesome when it kicks in which gives the sound signature much of its richness beyond the clarity.
    Forgetting the perceived hole in the midbass, everything is tight, transparent, precise, intimate, and coherent the rest of the way up. I have large Magneplanar's for my main speakers which is the closest comparison I can make. They sound very transparent, full sized, 3D, with superb resonance that you can feel in your bones. Although I understand why average_joe says that they are bright, they are not grating as I had feared. I think they are better described as full sized and extended. Instead of making everything sound like a sprinkler system, or symbols sounding like finger symbols played by a miniaturized person in another room - treble sounds full sized and natural.
    As average_joe pointed out, they sound extraordinarily clear and coherent with a good sized 3D sound stage. The presentation is very up close and intimate with everything sounding proportional and on the same moderate sized stage.
    My sources only include the iPhone 5 and iPod Classic with similar muddy and confused sound signatures and the Zip, Clip+, and Fuse all sharing the same clear sound signature. Although the NT6 Pro makes both sets of signatures sound great, Average_joe was correct in his assessment of the iPhone vs. clip+, the clip+ sounds much better (clearer and 3D). My Colorfly C3/C&C BH2 setup is still being shipped so I have not had a chance to hear them yet. My hopes are that the Colorfly C3 with the C&C BH2 will retain or improve on the Clip+ clarity while better supporting the NT6 Pro's bass capabilities.
    I will report back once I get used to the sound signature and have more of a chance to play around with it.
    6/24/13: UPDATE: After 10 more hours of listening, all weirdness is gone leaving nothing but goodness. The full sound spectrum blends effortlessly and naturally. The way I would describe the signature now is full fidelity. Although it is described as extended at both ends, I see it as capable of effortlessly playing the full spectrum while the competition is truncated sounding small. The music sounds as if it is coming from full sized humans in the same room with me rather than coming from shrunken humans the size of ants. In addition, all instruments and voices are scaled naturally and correctly and 3D sounding as if they are in the same room standing around me. The competition often puts the drummer or and the singer in another room down the hall with the door shut and in the worse case, the whole band. This is very close to the experience of listening to my large Maggies with all their planer goodness paired with dual M&K subwoofers through a dedicated Rotel 1000 watt amp.
    As for brightness, I don't see how this is a bright CIEM - this was my biggest holdup in choosing the NT6 Pro after reading the reviews. It feels clear and natural and is in no way fatiguing. However, the rumble and definition in the bass notes are what call the most attention to itself as exceptional. Normally, bass this good covers up the detail rather than adding to the detail. In this case, I can clearly hear the different resonance characteristics coming from the singers voice, the bass guitar, the lead guitar, and a flat bass kick from the drummer. These are usually muddied up into a single bloated bass note.
    Although the NT6 Pro makes every source sound its best, it definitely scales well through the lower tier sources. Going from the iPhone/iPod to the Sansa family (Clip+/Zip/Fuse) there is a clear improvement moving to a much clearer cleaner presentation that is much fuller and more resolving. Moving up to a Colorfly C3 / C&C BH2 combo, the presentation again becomes even cleaner clearer and more resolving with a bigger more dynamic sound and fuller bass note. I hate to say it, but there is likely to be a ibasso DX100 or R10 in my future. 
    I am very happy with my choice and all my fears were for not. I don't like bright presentations as I find them irratating - I don't find the NT6 Pro bright or sibilant but rather well balanced and clear. I don't like dark presentations as I find them lacking in detail or bass bloated - the NT6 is the clearest most transparent thing I have heard yet. I usually don't like what is considered balanced as they are usually missing both ends of the sound spectrum taking me to a bright (lack of bass) or boring presentation - the NT6 Pro is very balanced but extended to include the full spectrum at both ends creating a very exciting presentation. I still want a SE 5-Way, but I feel it will be complementry rather than competitive in sound signature.
    zachchen1996 likes this.
  2. zachchen1996
    how do you like the nt6 pro's for trance/electronic compared to your lcd2s? Is the bass on these comparable to the lcd2's bass?
  3. Barra
    They are both wonderful with trance/electronic music providing a sound that is full sized like being in a club with an extra nice sound system. However in comparing them, it is really dependent on the song and your listening conditions.

    The LCD2 is warmer which takes the focus away from the resolution that it does provide, but is more involving and emotional fitting the description most head-fi'ers classify as fun. However, the LCD2 feels somewhat congested in its sound stage in comparison which could just be due to my setup since I don't have a several thousand dollar amp and DAC to drive it yet. This signature makes all music sound good, poorly mastered or not.

    The Pro on the other hand is more flat across the spectrum providing more emphasis on transparency and detail. The bass is much more detailed without the added warmth providing a ton of in your face information. You can focus on all the instruments that are producing the bass note individually feeling the differing reverb from each and even tell that the bassy drum kicks are flat. They are both equally deep with good rumble, however, nothing I have heard can match the slam and quantity that the LCD2 can provide when driven correctly given a properly slamtastic song.

    So when I say that it depends on the song, I prefer to listen to my chill music on my Pro's such as Jes, Angel Tears, Oceanlab, or even Massive Attack which have better mastered tracks allowing me to get lost in the nuances such as the breath or individual instruments. When I am ready to party, I put on my LCD2's and play Tiesto, The Crystal Method, or ATB. However, that can change depending on my mood at the moment.

    When I say that it depends on the listening conditions, obviously on the go or in a noisy area it is my Pro's that I grab. However, at my desk or in my lounge chair in my listening room, I go for the LCD2s. My C3/BH2 portable combo actually do a reasonable job driving the LCD2s giving me the mobile option, but the LCD2s are just to awkward to walk around with. However, I can now listen to my LCD2s in my back yard if I desire.

    If I could only chose one, I would take the Pro's as they are more versatile. If I was only listening at home while sitting, I would chose the LCD2s as they give me more flexibility to upgrade. Ether way, they are each great for trance/electronic music and more.
    Deviltooth and zachchen1996 like this.
  4. Pondu
    Nice review Barra.
    According to Grzegorz, my ears are too small for the SE-5 so I am still debating wether I should go for the NT6 Pro or trust a local company (Earsonics).
    But I am still afraid by the brightness of the pro.
    Zachchen did you order the Pro?
  5. zachchen1996

    I just splurged on a hm901 w/ balanced amp and a wagnus epsilon s amp, so I need to save up a bit more. I should be ordering one in a few weeks though. Will definitely post my impressions when I get the whole rig together. I hate earphones/ headphones that are too bright and sibilant too, so I will post impressions on what I think of the pros regarding that too.
  6. Barra
    In making my decision I leaned heavily on average_joe's multi ciem review as he is the only to listen and compare pretty much all of them. According to him, pretty much, only the SE5W and Hidition nt6/pros rated in the high 90 percentile where most of the other big names sat in the 70s and 80s from what I remember. Please his summary chart to confirm where earsonics sit. It took 2 weeks to order and receive the nt6 pros internationally - dealing with the company, however, I have to live with them on my own the remainder of the time which made the best sound vs local company more important. I am very happy with my decision.

    Also, the brightness isn't the biggest consideration as it is very dependent on the source and can be easily adjusted for. The bigger concern - or strength depending on how you look at it is the incredible slam it produces as it can be fatiguing. It almost feels like it is moving air deep in your ears - a lot of it - like being at a concert. Unlike the warm signatures that smooth things over creating a single overlapped sound, the nt6 pro separates the slam from each source providing the full force of each. The slam of the symbol hits as hard as the slam of the bass drum if it is supposed to. It feels life size, realistic, and very live. I think the reason for the bright reputation is because of not only the wide extension at each end, but because the slam and weight is equivalent throughout the range causing a bit of fatigue with extended listening.

    Remember, my C3/BH2 is known to be clean and transparent which exaggerates a bright signature, and yet I don't consider the sound bright. Zachchen and I were just talking about how his new warmer sounding HM-901 that he just ordered would likely smooth out the nt6 pro's brighter signature when he gets that as well. He is even talking about getting the WAGNER amp to play with the signature more.
  7. Pondu
    Thanks guys.
    Zachchen, congrats for the Hifiman.
    I am not sure I can wait a few more weeks, but I am looking forward to reed your impressions.
    Barra, I read A_J table review a lot (earsonics EM4 are rated at 85.4 which is very good), but I am not shure Hidition's products match my preferences.
    The reason why I am not totally convinced by Earsonics' products is that I am forced to choose: if I want the extension on both ends (the EM6) but I'll loose some details and the expansive soundstage (The EM4).
    The Pro seems to fit my expectations: the bass  goes deeper, hits harder, with probably unmatched quality and a lot of details.
    My question is: to what extent is the Pro bright?
    When I read A_J's review, the Pro sounds too bright, with perhaps an "artificial" tone.
    But Barra said that it is natural with great extension on both ends, and I am lost.
    Did they change the sound in order to lower the brightness?
    A_J said that he and another owner complained about that so...
  8. Barra
    I would defer to AJ as the expert in comparing and determining where the pros fit on the ciem range comparatively - only he has heard them all. If I remember correctly he did have an initial issue with brightness and received a retuned replacement pro from Hidition that became the new version. He also owns both the pro and standard versions with the standard version tuned much brighter without the lower extension/slam.

    My only comparisons come from a warm but detailed lcd2 that feels congested without the air that the pro commands and the tf10 that can at times feels sibulent during bright songs. The other HP I can compare to is the hd595 which is extraordinarily detailed and beautiful, but missing slam. Out of these, the tf10s have been demoted to gym use or jogging only being way outperformed by the others. The hd595s are for sleeping only as they are very good at low volume and are gental. The majority of my use goes to the pros and second most to my lcd2s as they by far sound the best with the majority of the music I enjoy. But only the pros do detailed listening justice when you want to feel the music.

    I don't know about the other ciem options so I defer to AJ. However, with all the fans in each ciem thread, it seems like it may be hard to go wrong with whichever you pick.
  9. Pondu
    Thanks Barra, I think I will continue to read and think

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