Review: Hisound PAA-1 Pro

Hisound PAA-1 Pro review:

I would like to thank Hisound for providing me with this sample for review, I will try and write as honest a review possible.

These received over 50hrs burn-in, no real changes were noted.

Gear used:
IPod Classic 160gb (rockboxed) > PAA-1 Pro (amping did not bring a worthwhile improvement)

Packaging, accessories and build quality:
Packaging is the standard Hisound clear plastic box, reminiscent of old iPod packaging, model number is on a sticker on the top and bottom of the box acting as a seal too. On the back are specifications, but the one problem the have is using the same packaging for all models means that the specifications are different to the ones printed. Inside the plastic box is a cardboard inlet which holds the ear buds in places, with accessories below.

Accessory wise you get 2 spare pairs of foam covers for the ear buds and a cable clip. No case is included which is a shame, and in my opinion a necessary accessory for all IEM's/ear buds.

Build quality on the whole is good, I would have liked to see a slightly thicker/stronger cable but the cable they have is sufficient and should hold up fine over time. The strain relief on e jack is flexible and good quality, the y-split is a quite chunky piece of rubber, with good strain relief on the bottom but none on the top where the 2 cables come out. There is also no visible strain relief on the entry into the housings, but this is less of a problem as ear buds do not tend to fail there. The housing is made of high quality rubber coated plastic, it is soft to touch, and the grill on the front is metal.

Comfort and Microphonics:
Comfort is good, the housings are of a good size for most ears, sitting fairly secure and the foam helps to make them more comfortable and also helps with the sound.

Microphonics are not a big problem, only a little bit of noise is transmitted through the cable.

Isolation is not good, as is expected of vented ear buds, they don't isolate at all basically.

Split into the usual categories

Lows: warm and full, the lows are well defined and controlled, having good extension where they gently roll off around 30-40hz. The lows are well separated and also realistic, kick drums have nice weight to them, not sounding hollow, and bass guitars are brilliantly articulated. In quantity they are a little above neutral, but nothing that ever gets in the way of the other frequencies, they handle EDM very well with good mid-bass punch and decay is good, the bass is not the fastest in recovery so some faster tracks do sound a little congested in the bass.

Mids: the mids do not suffer any bleed from the bass, nor warming up, they sound very clean and detailed, both male and female vocals fair very well. Presence wise they are very slightly behind the bass, but do not sound smoothed over or recessed. Guitars sound realistic, with good body and tone, maybe ever so slightly on the thin side. Separation is very good in the mids, as these have quite an airy presentation being vented and non isolating. Detail retrieval is excellent, and only a slight hint of sibilance can be detected, nothing major.

Highs: slightly behind everything else, but still having good detail and definition, they may lack a little presence but this prevents them from sounding harsh/bright. Extension is  very good, and separation is equally impressive. They do occasionally sound a little splashy and a little grain can be detected, but they fair very well considering the price and complete the sound without becoming harsh or fatiguing.

Soundstage, instrument separation and imaging:
Soundstage is fairly wide and depth is also good, imaging is equally good, it is easy to pinpoint instruments in the soundstage.
Instrument separation is impressive, as these have quite an airy presentation.

Conclusion, another great product at a reasonable price from Hisound, a smooth enjoyable sound, leaning towards a warmer sound signature. Very good for electronic and rap/hip-hop music, whilst still remaining very enjoyable whilst listening to other genres. Anyone looking for budget ear buds with a fun non analytical sound should check these out, and they fair very well for their price.

Tracks Used:
Skrillex – First Of The Year (Equinox) (320kbps MP3)
Paramore – Franklin (320kbps MP3)
Diana Krall – The Girl In The Other Room (FLAC)
Deolinda – Passou Por Mim E Sorriu (live) (ALAC)
Suicide Silence – Unanswered (FLAC)
Massive Attack – Angel (ALAC)
Eat Static – Dzhopa Dream (ALAC)
The XX – Crystalised (FLAC)
Funeral For A Friend – Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings (ALAC)
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (FLAC)
The Scene Aesthetic – Humans (259kbps MP3)
A Hero A Fake – Swallowed By The Sea (254kbps MP3)
Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Spring Allegro (ALAC)
Johnny Craig – Children Of Divorce (161kbps MP3)
Deadmau5 + Kaskade – I Remember (Caspa Remix) (320kbps MP3)
Black Uhuru – Utterance (ALAC)
We Are The In Crowd – Never Be What You Want (226kbps MP3)
Silverstein – Discovering The Waterfront (320kbps MP3)
Concept Of Thought – Our Thought (FLAC)
Nirvana – Something In The Way (Unplugged) (ALAC)