Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hisoundaudio Flamenco Quick Review

Hisoundaudio Flamenco Quick Review

Thanks to Advanced Headphones for the samples (AMP3’s sister site)

Brief:  Bouncy fun in a teeny package

Price:  £20

Specification:  Impedance 16 Ohm, Cable Length 124cm, Sensitivity 108dB, Frequency Range 19 - 23000 Hz, Driver 7mm dynamic driver

Accessories:  2 Sets of Bi Flanges, 3 Silicone Ear Tips (S/M/L), Storage Case, Warranty Card, Shirt Clip

Build Quality:  Very, very good.  They could pass for being a much more expensive product.

Isolation:  Rather good, enough for normal activities but not really one for a round the world flight.  As I regularly warn it’s enough to get you hit with a bus because you never heard it coming up behind you if you aren’t used to this sort of thing.

Comfort/Fit:  Very, very good.  They are stupid small so I can’t imagine any comfort issues for anyone ever.  Fit could be as they are dynamics and sealed but they gave me no trouble and i usually complain about that sort of thing.

Aesthetics:  I really like the look of these, not sure why I like the hooker red cable but it just works with the black bits.  It’s all nicely offset by the buds themselves and their bit of bronze and wood.  Like the build, visually these could pass for being a much more costly product as they look lush.

Sound:  Bouncy, big bass and all round bouncy fun that’s about making you dance about the place.  They aren’t going for a neutral critical listening position and it doesn’t try to make anything much stand out or wow you with its resolving power.  If that’s what your after look elsewhere as it’s not what this does.  Sure the detail and clarity is pretty fine for the money but this is all about the musicality and enjoyment.  Its bass is kicking, a big bundle of fun.  Its mids are clear and tonally right in the middle dealing equally well with anything.  Highs shimmer and are present but not with much of any edge which at this price are likely to be gritty and hard.  It’s a stop trying to critically listen just find your fun bouncy music and enjoy yourself, do a little a dance and then feel embarrassed about it.

Value:  Excellent.  It nails what it sets out to do really well and looks very good doing it.

Pro’s:   Looks fantastic, Sounds super fun, build feels great.

Con’s:  Don’t expect a monitor, the hooker red cable may not be to everyone’s tastes.

Hisoundaudio Flamenco Review

Hisoundaudio Flamenco Review

Thanks to Advanced Headphones for the samples (AMP3’s sister site)

First Impressions:  Looking at them in the box they do look rather nice.  I don’t know why but the hooker red cable just goes well with the little wooden buds, they are so dinky too.  Visually it’s a set that I do like but it’s not like you can see them when you’re wearing them and given there are so tiny I bet they will disappear into your ear anyway.  I must confess that I forgot to write my first listening impressions at the time and they have had much burn in (I have been busy) so I can only comment on how they sound with a couple of hundred hours on them.

So, with that said on shoving them in my ears I like them.  Fun and lively with a good low end but not skull crushing like its Popo siblings.  I think Hisoundoudio may be on to a bit of a winner here.


Source 1G iPod Shuffle with a 75 ohm adapter added

Lows:  Fabulous! Okay so I could pick fault with it, like there a is a bit much, not uber tight or uber clean but seeing as I can see this going for £20 its nothing you can complain about.  It’s fun, lively, powerful and pretty punchy too.  It doesn’t go super deep and it’s a bit humpy but it matches where musical bass lines want to sit anyway so that’s actually pretty good.  It sounds so powerful down there but it’s never too soft or overwhelming.   It’s just gets on with it, does its thing and never has any trouble doing so.  For the price its pretty nimble which is I’m sure helped by its tiny driver size.  I really I’m finding this a pleasure to hear as its just capable of doing a nice smooth soft low and with the next song kicking it up and getting its punch on.  Lol, the song “Americano” just popped on and its bass is not only smile but giddy smirk inducing.  You could not possibly ask for better than that.


Mids:  Great stuff.  I can’t say this is middy but they are of an excellent quality and clarity for something so cheap.  If I had to say, I’d say they are behind the bass a touch but nothing to the extent they ever get lost.  If you want to sit and listen to Norah Jones then you’ll be quite happy.  You’ll of course be happier still if you go with Jack Johnson as he does throw in rather a lot of bouncy fun bass.  I would neither say there were dry or liquid and tonally they are close to dead even.  Clarity wise they aren’t earth shatteringly PL-50 good but frankly no one buys anything at this price for that sort of sound anyway.  They buy this thing to go mental with bouncy cheesy pop (the shuffle has just served up some Geri Halliwell, Bag It Up) and I must confess she is not the best vocalist in the world.  But I care not a jot she is clearly audible and it all goes together with great vim and gusto.


Highs:  Okay so here I’m going to get a bit less positive as it’s always the hardest thing to get right.  Now sure these are no RE-0 beaters or really even on the same planet but they are smart enough to know their capabilities.  They don’t try to go edgy and stand out with just exposes shortcomings.  They strike a balance that keeps them pretty much at the same level as the mid range but their lack of crispiness is actually a grand thing.  They can do their little dance and have a bit of shimmer but never offend me.  For a bargain product this is really all you could want from it.  Extension wise they do tail off nicely and gently but they never are jump out anyway.   These are more suited to pop and its lack (on the whole) of fidelity and dynamic range, more about getting up on that dance floor and having fun rather than nailing every move just right.  You’ll be enjoying yourself too much to notice anyway.

Soundstage:  Well they aren’t so hot on the being directional or doing distance so well either.  They are however nicely impressive in their sense of scale which I’m sure is due to their lovely low end capabilities.  They can do a big powerful sound.

Comfort:  Grand.  They are dinky little doo dahs that amongst the smallest of things you can get.  They weigh near nothing and I can’t imagine anyone would have any issue with them.


Fit:  They are dynamics and they are sealed so I was concerned id have fit trouble but I didn’t really.  I did have a few min of one side sounding imbalanced but it balances itself.  As always YMMV but given I usually have more issue than most with venting I can’t see many having any bother.

Microphonics:  If you wear them down they are utter suckage for it.  I don’t like wearing things down so I’m the usual up position it was absolutely fine.  I note there is no chin slider so if you are wedded to wearing them down be warned.

Cable:  Loveliness.  I’m surprised I like the hooker red but I do and its pretty soft and flexible.  Possibly a touch bouncy though.


Build Quality:  Fab.  These could easily pass for being significantly more expensive.  The jack is premium rubbery feeling and the Y splitter feels super solid too.  The buds are just lovely and seem very well crafted.

Isolation:  Rather good.  They aren’t up with their with stuff I’d use on a long flight but they are more than cable of sufficing for on a bus or out and about.

Value:  Great if not fantastic value.  These sound super fun and playful all the while looking top notch.  For £20 I really can’t fault them


Conclusion:  I like these very much, they are a crazy little bundle of bounciness.  I do realise I probable ought to have been have more technically critical but I think that’s just silly in something of this price.  Come on anyone spending £20 on a pair of IEM’s isn’t going to really give much of a toss about transient response and what not.  These are not about that sort of thing and accordingly neither has this review.  These are about fun and just plain old having a good time.  They aren’t about critically assessing the music and the mastering of it.  These are about sitting on a bus and trying to stop yourself dancing in the seat.  These could be the very definition of cheap and cheerful as they utterly nail both yet still look really nice and feel solid. 

I said at the start I thought Hisoundoauido may have a winner with these and now I’m quite convinced of it.  These could be about the most musical fun you can have for 20 quid and still be clothed and sober. 

Blox M2C Review

Blox M2C Review

First Impressions:  Well there have been sat for practically forever as I have been busy of late and as you may know I am no lover of buds.  Frankly I always find the things uncomfortable and usually they sound crap too.  On having a listen to these I’m a bit taken back.  These are pretty good, I don’t really have any other buds to compare them too hand though. (Actually I may as I haven’t handed back a bunch of stuff yet.  Oh, 10 seconds tell me my mind wasn’t inventing things.)  Holy crap I thought these were supposed to be US$40, that is crazy.  These are waaaaaay good, honestly if these were comfortable I’d be super happy with these right now.

Why can’t I see any reviews about these?


Source 1G iPod Shuffle with a 75 ohm adapter added and an HM-601

Lows:  First things first, these are buds.  What that means is it cannot go low. Oh I’m sure the driver can but to be able for my ears to pick it up I’d have to ram and hold them in.  For whatever reason your interested in these that is just what happens with buds and I will assume that is a compromise your relatively happy to make.  So what we get is a bass that is a bit of a big hump that sounds a touch out of place at times.  But there is bass, it’s not extended but it’s slamming and punchy.  A little monotone but I feel I am holding these things to too high a standard.  Also I f I really wanted more bass I could always add in a FiiO.  Quality wise though I cannot really fault it, so clean, so super clean.  If you can’t already tell it’s not exactly stirring the soul however.


Mids:  Jaw dropping good for this money.  I had to go double check what this was supposed to sell for.  Much time had passed and I just had them in my head as being some pretty cheap buds.  I probably want like them and they won’t be comfortable so I wasn’t paying huge attention.  Fcuk me, these are so not what I expected, so open and such transparency!  These are just excellent.  All rather over to the open and dry airy side of things but even with more liquid voices like Nora Jones the air and transparency is fantastic.  They are hugely expressive and detailed, something you could sit and listen to something and pick it apart.  Inversely its maybe not the most relaxed listening experience, these can’t really give much in the way of warmth and fluidity.  You pays your money and takes your choices.

For this money these is no way you’ll be disappointed.


Highs:  Fantastic, not just fantastic for the money but really pushing towards outright fantastic.  These are stunning at this price, just stunning, stupidly stunning.  These are horrifyingly transparent and clear you will immediately be forced to bin and crappy bit rate stuff you have.  The treble here i should warn is pretty abundant and it’s a little more apparent due to the bud nature (bass, not huge then drives of a cliff with lead weights) but if you looking at this product you probably want that.  Honestly this is superb.  The treble has just a hint of crispness to it and then a light, delicate yet ever so clear shimmery decay.  I’m pretty treble sensitive but here it’s done so well, as only the best dynamics can, that I really enjoyed it. 

Quantity wise it is a touch abundant and given its clarity if you feed it crap it will take no prisoners.  It will kill you so be warned.

Soundstage:  Not really what I’d call enveloping but it does give a beautiful and open presentation.  It is rather to the left, the right and something in the middle.  Wonderfully open and airy though so I can happily forgive its lack of scale and grandeur.


Fit:  Shove in, done ish, I don’t play well with buds but they are all more or less the same.  Either it works for you or it doesn’t.

Comfort:  YMMV but these, like all buds, I find rather uncomfortable. 

Microphonics:  None, it’s a bud.

Amped/Unamped:  Now maybe it was that I use a pretty powerful amped DAP (the 1G Shuffle) but I really didn’t see a huge change, they liked the impedance added but not vast differences going on.


Isolation:  See microphonics.

Build Quality:  Okay, they weigh nothing and the cable reminds me of earbuds in the 90’s.  Actually the buds do too, nothing wrong with them but they aren’t wowing me.

Accessories:  Erm I got none but I don’t have a retail set, not sure what you might want though bar a case which ebay can provide.

Value:  Awesome.  With the proviso you want buds and are happy with the low end trade off.  Clarity and transparency are so good I had to double check these were only supposed to go for US$40, that does not happen often.


Conclusion:  Okay, I don’t like buds, they are horrid uncomfortable things and they can’t do a low note.  These don’t break that mould, they don’t really try to either unlike the Hisoundaudio offerings.  These however offer a stunning level of transparency, insane for US$40, which is what, just under £26 according to Google today.  That’s amazingly good sound quality for the money.  Sure they look a bit, erm naff but who cares, honestly who cares these ore just jaw droppingly good in terms of clarity.  Sure they don’t nail everything, they cant really do warm and rich sounding, they can’t do much in the way of a low note either.  Sure they can do a little punch and have a bit of a go to holding a low note but their physically open nature precluded the possibility of actually transmitting low frequencies into your ear unless you really ram it in there.  I will also offer up that the treble way a be a bit abundant for some and if you listen to treble heavy stuff or gritty recordings these will do you no favours.  Great quality or no there is just a little bitty too much more gentle, delicate ears.

If you are looking for a bud that offers excellent clarity and transparency, then these are an absolute steal.