Review: Shozy Hibiki MK2

Firstly I would like to thank Linsoul Tech for this sample. They have had over 50hrs of burn-in before writing this.

*disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.


Specifications
- 10mm Proprietary Full Range Dynamic Driver
- Single bore sound chamber design
- Frequency response: 20-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 102dB SPL@1mW
- Impedance: 18ohm @1kHz
- THD < 0.5% @1kHz
- Universal 2-pin Socket
- MSRP: $72.22

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Shozy-Hibiki-MK2-MK-II-High-Definition-Earphone-Single-Dynamic-Driver-HiFi-In-Ear-IEMs-with/32892590117.html

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The Hibiki MK2 come in a neat looking box with a simple picture on the front and detailed specs on the back. Slide this outer sleeve off and you have a simple black card box, open the front flap and you'll find the IEM's held in a velvet coated foam tray. The packaging is very simplistic, but does the job perfectly.

The build quality is really good for the price, ok the housings are plastic and quite large but the finish is excellent and the cable is a standard 0.78 2-pin one meaning replacements are easy to get hold of. The cable is braided and feels sturdy, the mic and controls are slim and don't get in the way. There is good strain relied overall, and the cable even includes a cinch to keep it tight under your chin. Overall I cannot fault the build quality of the Hibiki MK2.

Accessory wise you don't get a lot, they only come with a nice little user manual and 3 pairs of tips (S, M and L) that are all fairly standard silicone ones. I would have liked to have seen a small pouch, and some extra tips maybe.


Comfort, Isolation and Driver Flex:
The Hibiki MK2 don't have the smallest of housings, meaning for some they will stick out a bit (including me), but the fit is secure once you settle on the right tips, and they are comfortable to wear over long periods of time.

Isolation is good, the housing is vented due to being a single dynamic driver design, but they isolate better than some of the more open designs. Perfect for daily use and commuting, they definitely block out a food deal of outside noise.

Driver flex isn't a huge issue on these, you sometimes get it very mildly upon insertion, but nothing severe at all.


Sound:
Split into the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.

Lows: The lows on the Hibiki MK2 are tight and controlled yet not lacking in presence or extension. They can dig deep when called for, yet they hit with a certain tightness and control that plenty fall short of around this price range. There is a little bit of a rise in the mid-bass range but nothing that really bleeds too badly into the lower midrange. This gives bass guitars a little more presence, and kick drums have good punch to them. The articulation down low is excellent, well controlled yet allowing the lows to do their job of nicely filling out the overall sound. A little north of neutral, but not overly enhanced to make them sound bass dominant, they can also handle most genres well not falling behind when tracks call for speed and agility.

Midrange: The lower midrange is a little held back at times, not recessed as such but lacking a sense of bite and engagement that the upper midrange has. Separation is great in the midrange, along with the placement of instruments within the soundstage. Female vocals do have a slight edge here, sounding a little cleaner and better separated from the lows, but they do this without having a peak that induces fatigue or sibilance. Tonality is good overall, with guitars sounding natural and female vocals coming through with excellent clarity and a neutral tone, however male vocals do sound a little smoothed over by the lows. Nothing remarkable here, but still very good for the price, they do a very fair job in the midrange, and don't become congested easily when it comes to complex mixes.

Highs: There is a little bit of a peak in the lower treble but this doesn't introduce a harshness only a little extra energy. The treble has good presence but maybe rolls off a little early, as most of the energy is in the lower treble on these. One small issue with the treble is that they don't have the most natural tonality up top, there is a little bit of a metallic tone to them. Using foam tips works well on these as it tones down the highs ever so slightly which makes them sound a little more realistic, as they sometimes sound a little artificially boosted to create a sense of being highly detailed.

Soundstaging is fairly average but there is good enough separation to keep things from becoming congested and closed in.


Conclusion: The Hibiki MK2 are actually really enjoyable to listen to on the whole, the fit will not be excellent for everyone due to the size of the housing but the build and feel of these is really good. The use of regular 2-pin connectors is a big bonus for me, and the sound is quite fun but overall, with nothing sounding overly boosted. There is a bit of injected warmth from the lows, but the midrange overall is clean and the highs are well presented with good energy albeit sometimes sounding a little artificial. 

Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (A good all-rounder with nothing really standing out)

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