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Xiaomi Hybrid IEM Thread (Piston successor)

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  1. Weithulu
    Video Intro & Review

     
    Intro
     
    In November 2015 Mi announced a new flagship headphone the Xiaomi Hybrid IEM (As this product is not officially available in the global market, there is no official english name. The chinese name is "小米圈铁耳机" which would translate to Xiaomi Hybrid IEM). The aim of the thread is to provide information and news about new Pistons. The newest update of the xiaomi headphone have a whole new design (again), and now feature a full CNC milled casing. The drivers have also been completely changed (details below)
     
    Full chinese descriptions of the new hybrids are available here: http://www.mi.com/quantie
     
    Naming
    As this product is not officially available in the global market, there is no official english name. The chinese name is "小米圈铁耳机" which would translate to Xiaomi Hybrid IEM. 
     
    Background 
     
    The Xiaomi Pistons 2.0 made quite a big splash in the community by providing affordable head phones at a reasonable price. They followed up with the Pistons 3.0 in March 2015, which featured an all new design. The IEMs were well received and received some pretty good reviews (check out the Pistons 3.0 Thread). 
     
     
    Versions
    Pistons4.jpg
     
     
    Hybrid IEM (Klippel Drivers) - Released on 11th Nov 2015 
     
    Pistons 3.0 (Spiral Drivers) - Release in March 2015, these pistons are only available in the black version. 
     
    Pistons 2.1 & 2.0 (Beryllium Drivers)- This version of the pistons gained a high regard on Head-Fi for their budget price and their stand out sound quality. Check out this Head-Fi thread on these pistons for more information
     
    Design 
     
    These hybrids feature 1+1 hybrid drivers (balanced armature driver and dynamic driver). 
     
    Drivers.jpg
     
    Diagram Correction (Thanks ForgottenSpy) these are the correct translations for the two drivers. 
    动圈 - dynamic driver
    动铁 - balanced armature driver
     
    You can read more about hybrid drivers in the following thread "http://www.head-fi.org/t/615857/the-hybrid-iem-thread-the-best-of-both-worlds" by gnarlsagan. It seems pretty amazing how Xiaomi managed to produce a hybrid IEM and sell in the 16 USD price range instead of 199 USD. 
     
    Sadly this time Xiaomi did not provide any frequency response curves. What they did promise is that these IEMs have been "professionally tuned" by Luca Bignardi - however without a full frequency response curve this is more or less fluff. 
     
    The IEMs themselves have a CNC milled metal casing. Pistons 3.0 had a plastic casing which made it feel slightly cheaper and less premium. 
     
    Remote Control- The remote supports android systems and has partial support for iOS. On android all 3 buttons work and can control the volume. On iOS only the middle Stop/ play button works (tested on iphone 6).
    The remote is positioned on the cable for the right earphone, around 2 inches below the earphone itself. 
     
    Pricing and Ordering info
    Official retail pricing (Mi.com) is at 99 RMB (~ 16 USD), which is the same price as all the previous Pistons.
    I'll post links of international resellers after they are verified. 
     
    **Note: Due to shill marketers, forum admins have warned new members not to post links to resellers**
     
    Review:
     
     
    Source:  FLAC, mp3, Tidal. Genres: Rock, Acoustic, Pop, Trance, Metal. Equipment PC - Aune T1 DAC, Samsung S4
    Burn in time: 300 hours
     
    Comfort: In terms of comfort, These IEMs are an iterative improvement on already quite comfortable spiral design of Piston 3.0. As you can see from the following image, the angle of the nozzle has been slightly adjusted to improve comfort – otherwise everything else is unchanged. The earpiece is is made out of CNC milled metal, hence making it feel much more expensive. 
     
    Nozzle.jpg
    Bass
    When I first put on the new hybrid IEMs I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of bass it provided. The bass was distinct and more rich than that of the Pistons 2.0 – in comparison it sounds less muffled and more detailed. The bass is definitely not overpowering and is nowhere near bass-head level. I found trance music most enjoyable with these IEMs, and spent more time listening to Infected Mushroom / AC/DC then I usually do. I would like to note with more chill/acoustic music I found that there was a bit too much bass leading to rhythm guitars / drum beats being more pronounced - (Update) Luckily the emphasis on bass fades with after an 20 hour burn in. In fact after the burn in, I can no longer hear the overemphasis on bass. 
     
    Mids
    The Mids are clear and have good separation (Esp after burn-in). They are definitely a step up from Pistons 2.0 (Could clearly hear the huskiness of Bryan Adams) but nowhere as detailed as 3.0. If you are used to listening to more balanced IEMs like the Vsonic GR07 (I know this is much more expensive), then you will definitely feel that something is missing. This is not surprising as this is a 1+1 hybrid and not a 1+2. 
     
    Highs
    Vocals are clear and crisp – one of the benefits of having an armature driver. Both female and male vocals sound great. Cymbals are clear. Nothing too special here.
     
    Conclusion:  In terms of sound signature, Xiaomi is definitely looking to improve upon the V-shaped legacy of Pistons 2.0. The hybrid drivers bring a lot to the table, and definitely give a sound that’s usually only found a much more expensive IEMs. 
     
    Specs
    Headphone Type: In-ear
    Remote Control : Yes  (Android)
    Color: Metallic Silver
    Wire core material: enamelled copper wire
    Speaker Impedance: 32Ω
    Weight: 14g
    Cable length: 1.25m
    Headphone Sensitivity: 101dB
    Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated
    Rated power: 5mW
    Frequency range: 20-20,000Hz
     
    Pricing and Ordering info
     
    Official retail pricing (Mi.com) is at 99 MB (~ 5 USD). 
     
    International Orders:
    http://www.gearbest.com/ - Only one I've used personally. 

     
    Edit: Changed the naming of these from Pistons 4.0 to Hybrid IEMs following a correction from thatBeatsguy
    Edit: Updated review to account after extensive burn in time
     
    jant71 and bhazard like this.
  2. Weithulu
    Unboxing Video (Retail Version, purchased on mi.com)

     
  3. Weithulu
    I'm quite surprised that they released a new version of this so soon after the march release of pistons 3.0. 
    I know a lot of people are just getting their 3.0s and are still testing it out.
     
    And now with the newest version they've changed so much it feels like yet another brand new product. 
     
    Are you guys excited about these new pistons ?
     
  4. mebaali
    I have never owned an Hybrid IEM before but If Xiaomi pricing for Piston 4 are similar to their predecessors (Piston 2.1, 3) then I would love to own these.
     
  5. Weithulu
    It's priced at the same price in China. As per usual retailers outside of China will take a premium cut. 
     
  6. mebaali
    Herein India the pricing of Piston 2.1 and 3 were pretty much similar to China's when it got launched (via Flipkart initially then through Xiaomi's official website). Hopefully it will be the same for Piston 4 as well.
     
  7. ForgottenSpy
    It is not exactly Middle and Treble drivers.
    动圈 and 动铁 means dynamic driver and armature driver
    As i understand Xiaomi presents hybrid IEM.
    And this is really huge because there is no any of such propositions for this crazy price (16 USD)
     
  8. Antihippy
    1 dynamic + 2 BA hybrid for $15? o_O
     
  9. ForgottenSpy
    As i understand, it is one plus one, not 1+2
     
  10. Shiikamaru
    where can i get it?
     
  11. Aevum
    where did you order it from ?
     
  12. ForgottenSpy
     
    Nowhere until 11 of Nov :)
    And everywhere after
     
  13. ForgottenSpy

     
    I didn't not, and no other can order it now
    I just saw the announcement at Xiaomi web page
     
    I suppose it will be free to buy with resellers help.
    Not for chinese price of course, it will be more expensive from the start but very cheap + free shipping after
     
  14. Weithulu
    Mi.com
     
    I travel to China on a weekly basis so I can get it at the source :D
    Let me update this on the post
     
  15. ForgottenSpy
     
    Besides mi.com you can find other official online stores at Mainland China:
    xiaomi.tmall.com
    xiaomi.taobao.com.
    Generally it is the same - same goods, same warehouses, same delivery speed. But sometimes one store can have discount and another don't.
     
    Weithulu
    Appreciate your update
    Hope you'll be at China next week right at 11 of 11 and will not miss the crazy Bachelor Day.
     
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