It’s been a while since Hidizs last IEM release which was Mermaid MS1 Rainbow single dynamic model, preceded by MS1 and MS4. The latter was and still stays their flagship – first hybrid IEMs by Hidizs, based on the combination of 3 Knowles BA units and 10.2mm polymer diaphragm. Both, MS4 and MS1 variants got warm welcome on the market with very positive customer feedback.
Personally, we have tested all models and still have all in the possession. Can’t insist that either MS4 or MS1 is the best ever bargain for now since those were released quite long ago, but definitely both still hold very strong and competitive position towards their price rivals.
Topic of our review today – Hidizs MS2 – is the new attempt to spread hybrid design in IEMs further to masses. This model is only half the price of the flagship MS4 and takes the best of the both worlds: a dual diaphragm already proven in MS1/MS4 models and unquestionable performance of BA unit from Knowles. The full specs are as following:
- BA driver: Knowles RAD 33518-P183
- Dynamic driver: 10.2mm, dual voice coils, dual chamber, dual diaphragm
- AVX tantalum capacitors
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 40kHz
- Sensitivity: 112dB
- Impedance: 18ohms
- Cable: a combination of 2xhigh purity silver + 2xOFC wires (60 strains each)
- Connectors: 2-pin, 0.78mm
- Audio jack: 3.5mm (4.4mm or 2.5mm balanced cable is available from Hidizs)
- Weight: 10g (no cable)
- Hi-Res certified
Such combination of sensitivity and impedance tells us that MS2 would be pretty easy to drive which makes this model quite universal for different audio sources, even a smartphone.
Packaging and design:
Hidizs MS2 comes in pretty thick square shaped box with product picture and shiny silver logos (MS2, Knowles, Hi-Res) at the front and product description on the back side. Box walls are very stiff, no worries about the possible damage during the transportation.
Inner compartment reveals two levels: upper holds soft insert with IEMs resting in dedicated cutouts and the second (bottom) level has another insert for the case. All other accessories are located in the case itself.
Among the accessories you’d find the following:
- Audio cable with plastic protection cap for 3.5mm jack
- 6 pairs of ear tips
- warranty and short user manual
Not much. Still hoping that brands would include different cables / connectors and more types of ear tips one day… (We have see several brilliant options of multi-plug type cables on the market recently. One cable that is suitable for 2.5TRRS/3.5/4.4TRRS outputs with a swipe of a plug. Excellent accessory that should be provided with all IEMs)…
MS2 shells are made of two parts of semi-transparent resin with shiny particles added to the composition of the top cover. This creates beautiful and strong fluorescence effect when all particles shimmer in the light with different colors. Facing side also contains Hidizs logo and name while channel indicators and Hidizs link imprints are located in the shell base.
Output nozzles protrude quite much, made of aluminum and protected with the aluminum filters. One compensational opening for dynamic driver is located near nozzle base.
2-pin female connectors have a special transparent ledge that secures mating plugs from unwanted bending.
In overall, MS2 design looks very attractive and neatly crafted. No gaps between shell parts, accurate prints and tight fit of connections.
Stock cable is a masterpiece – pretty thick braid of 120 strains combined from OFC and silver wires with nice looking mixture of copper/aluminum elements of Y-splitter and 3.5mm jack design. This cable also features flexible ear guides and transparent resin 2-pin connector housings.
Since Hidizs MS2 shape is what we call “custom-like” – there are no problems with the fit whatsoever. This type of shape in combination with long nozzles is the most universal and comfortable for most of the people. MS2 IEMs are not the exception – excellent fit for any activity – workout or leisure.
Testing equipment: Hidizs AP80Pro DAP -> xDuoo XD-05Plus AMP -> MS2 IEMs
The presence of lows is in significant amount. It has volumetric feel, moderate extension but perfectly defined boarders. It might bleed in and mix a bit in fast music genres but mostly stays under control. It fits organically into the mix despite slightly overpowered exposure. Texture here is evident and reveal the additional details.
Midbass has good articulation and speed together with necessary volume of air to play drum sections naturally. It exhibits bit more brighter details compared to dynamic IEMs but never goes to extremes that would create the disturbance. Seems that 10.2mm dynamic driver in combination with good design of shell cavities do a great the job for midbass reproduction. Engaging and powerful sound here.
In contrary to lows, mids and vocals exhibit more details and tend to involve hybrid combination of drivers. On one hand there is a good warmth and intimate timbre of male voices and on the other — higher clarity and more sharpness on female vocals. Mids in overall are slightly recessed and skewed towards emotional bloom by adding slight emphasis on upper portion. Voices have good clarity, feel natural but little bit thin. Although, not susceptible to hisses. Virtual resolution on voices and leading instruments is high but not harsh or excessively sharp. BA influence on sound is obvious whilst the tuning is on the softer and gentle side.
Is the most accented and resolving range of MS2. Good BA driver results in accurate performance on treble. Quite airy, gentle and soft treble that still creates a specific colder signature. It is in good proportion with lows, so – no that crisp or cold is it might have been if there were no dynamic unit on board. It is delicately and carefully tuned – provides larger amount of details and clear reproduction of tiniest sounds, bleeds in to mids, not producing sibilants.
With our testing rig, MS2 sound impressively wide. With the slow genres MS2 show decent instrument separation, layering and soundstage capabilities. Good dimensional effect in both vertical or horizontal planes. Binaural recordings show even more distance between instruments.
Sound in overall:
Sound of Hidizs MS2 can be described as V-shaped, with more accent on lows and treble and recessed mids. Gain in treble results in colder tonality and thinner mids. Although, this effect is not that heavy. Since the BA unit is very capable and tuned well – it adds the resolution and clarity, makes MS2 sounding interesting but does not produce sibilants or hisses. Bass is deep, mids are detailed, accurate and emotional, treble is clear and delicate. Easy and smooth to listen. Especially good with slower genres and limited amount of instruments.
Compared to Moondrop SSP:
SSP are the latest and highly appreciated units with lower budget but similar V-shaped tuning. Since it doesn’t feature BA driver – treble is not that detailed and extended as in MS2 but still impressive for dynamic IEMs. Signature is quite close to MS2, both are fun to listen. MS2 have a significant lead in mids and treble resolution, clarity and instrument separation.
Compared to iKKO OH1:
iKKO OH1 once were great IEMs, almost the first to offer very good V-tuning for reasonable price. MS2 proves that similar accurate tuning with less susceptibility to hisses, less screaming notes and better fit can be achieved at much lower price point. Hidizs definitely wins this comparison since it sounds more accurate and delicate, maintaining similar V-shaped signature.
Currently, there are a lot of hybrid IEMs on the market offered at different price points but only few models deserve and get the attention of masses. Having this experience, we can conclude that only those models and brands that incorporate high-quality components and invest much efforts in careful tuning eventually win. We had enough of “no name” BA / dynamic drivers and shell designs to stay off such test and purchases in future, giving a chance and close look to something trusted instead. Hidizs is not a beginner, neither uses crappy stuff. MS2 are high-quality, reasonably priced, fun-sounding V-shaped IEMs which quality is revealed not only by tuning or sound but with all the rest – packaging, design, fit and crafting. Excellent performer and very strong competitor in hybrid class IEMs.
Hidizs MS2 IEMs available at: LINK
10% discount for any item at Hidizs store using our promocode: ZMCR10
Hidizs official store: LINK