Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hisoundaudio PAA-1 Pro Review

Hisoundaudio PAA-1 Pro Review

Thanks to Advanced Headphones www.advancedheadphones.co.uk for the samples (AMP3’s sister site)


First Impressions: Okay these are buds and as a rule I don’t like buds, they look okay and are very light but if I’m honest buds really aren’t my thing. Having a listen two things strike me, first the obvious there is no isolation at all and that’s so weird to me. The next is that they sound not bad, these actually sound pleasant and even. I’m serious they actually have a low end, on a bud! I’m still not liking the fit but I actually like how they sound. Shocker.

Source: HiFiMAN HM-601 predominantly


Lows: Now given what I wrote above let’s not get ahead of ourselves and go thinking this as some rambunctious bass monster as it’s not in the slightest. It’s a bud and as such it cannot go low at all, maybe if you have differently shaped ears to I then you might do better but I can only go by what I hear. The low end is pleasant and present and music sounds full and rich which in not something I’ve seem much in buds. It’s what happens when you are so utterly open. The lower keys on a piano sound great and properly weighty. It’s got enough depth for pop music too which is nice but it’s not really what I’d be wanting if you’re a big Double Bass fan. Its strikes a nice balance between expansion and a bit of punch too, it’s nice.


Mids: Here all that openness and air is a boon and gives them a lovely open airy quality with vocals. It does make them sound a touch distant but given these have a rather balanced and even sound still it’s not a problem in the slightest. They can do a good quick snap on acoustic guitars too. Actually most of what comes through is that they have a really great sense of timing and rhythm. Mids seem to bounce and flow with much jollity. Again I find myself actually liking it despite it being a bud and non comfort inducing.

Highs: Actually really rather good, the distance and openness lets these really go and run high. They do a very nice portrayal of extension and shimmer without over doing any edginess. It’s really also of a pretty impressive detail level given these aren’t very expensive. I know some might more drama up top but it’s really super well balanced and controlled.


Soundstage: Very large. These sound positively huge and it is most impressive. This is what you get when you start getting further away from the eardrum and have all that open space. These sound very big and the stage if a little limited in depth feels extremely broad.

Fit: Their buds and my ears don’t seem to be shaped to quite suit buds but as such they just sort of sit, buds are buds.

Comfort: Well for me not. I don’t like buds and I’m not sure I’ve ever found a pair comfortable. If it helps these are much less uncomfortable than the Live buds were. Still I don’t like them in my ears and as you can see the length of this review reflects this. It’s a shame as I really like how they sound.

Cable: Seems perfectly fine, it’s not especially remarkable. It has a nice feel and seem pretty sturdy, what more do you want.


Microphonics: None.

Amped/Unamped: The usual differences but nothing terribly noteworthy.

Isolation: None.

Accessories: You get a shirt clip and another pair of bud covers. A little case would be nice but if you want one there is ebay.

Value: The best I can find for them at present is US$50. Now I don’t like buds, I find them uncomfortable but I can tell you for the money they sound not half bad at all. I can honestly say I like how they sound but I would suggest IEM’s over them. As buds go to date are the ones I’ve disliked least.


Conclusion: Regular readers will have noticed this review is short. Very short for me and that’s in large port down to the fact I find buds uncomfortable. These hurt and my ears want them out but please don’t think its only these ones, I’ve never gotten along with any buds but where these are different is that I think I like how these sound which is more than could be said for just about every other but I’ve ever heard. I haven’t heard vastly many buds but these are actually pleasant to hear and not totally vacant in the lower range like most. The mids too are really nice with a lovely open sound and they layer well. Still right now all I can think is I want them out. So if you’ll forgive my brevity with them, it’s not really fair to them as they do sound pretty good, and certainly are the nicest balance I’ve ever heard on a bud.

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