With the popularity of Bluetooth headphones and the death of the 3.5mm jack on most devices, you might wonder why anyone would choose to buy a pair of wired headphones these days. Well, there are some of us who still mourn the loss of the audio jack and preferred the quality and reliability of wired headphones.
For those of us still holding onto wired headphones with a dedicated hi-res audio player or even a simple dongle, Apple makes a great USB Type-C dongle by the way, there is still a market for high-end wired earbuds. A prime example is the latest MS5 in-ear monitors from Hidizs that the company was nice enough to send out for review.
My first impression after opening the Hidizs MS5 is that this is a premium product. You can tell immediately from the feel of the MS5 monitors in your hands and the generous amount of high-quality accessories. For starters, there are three sets of ear tips to adjust the tuning, including one for vocals, bass, or balanced.
Speaking of tuning, there’s also a set of interchangeable metal filters, one for increasing bass and another for treble, while the balanced filter comes preinstalled.
The Hidizs MS5 uses a specialized two-pin cable that connects via a 3.5mm to your audio source. The included cable is the highest quality and most robust 3.5mm cable I’ve ever seen. It consists of 504 6N single crystal copper silver-plated wires in a thick braid with metal accents. This gives the cable a hefty weight and makes it feel strong and luxurious. It’s also wonderful at resisting tangling.
With all of these premium accessories, you’re going to need a way to carry them around. Fortunately, Hidizs includes a PU leather case to make it easy to take the MS5 on the go with plenty of padding to ensure everything stays protected. It even has the logo embossed on the top which I thought was a nice touch.
Finally, we come to the star of the show, the gorgeous Dark Angel Sculpture designed MS5 monitors. Hidizs created the MS5 mimicking the human ear mixing a skin-friendly resin back and weight-saving one-piece aluminum alloy cavity to reduce weight and make them as comfortable as possible to wear.
As I mentioned, Hidizs includes three sets of ear tips to fit on the interchangeable tuning stems. I was a little disappointed because–with my small ear canals–I found the vocal tips to be the most comfortable and secure, yet I would have preferred to wear the balanced or bass tips. It would have been great if all three sets shared a similar size, but for most users, this won’t be an issue unless you have smaller ear canals like me.
Regardless, I was able to find a comfortable fit with the supplied ear tips and the MS5 monitors fit my ears perfectly.
Now, we come to that sturdy luxurious cable included in the box. While I love the feel and quality of the two-pin cable, the weight and thickness become an issue when it comes to overall comfort. My ears began feeling fatigued early on into listening sessions due to the weight of the cable. It was so heavy it felt as if it was constantly tugging down on my ears and creating pressure due to the weight and stiffness.
It wasn’t unbearable, but I’ve certainly used more comfortable cables in the past, and luckily, these are replaceable despite how nice they feel in your hand.
The Hi-res certified Hidizs MS5 features a new custom 10mm liquid silicone driver. It has a body made of Kevlar surrounded by liquid silicone to create a thin dynamic driver with high elasticity. This is paired with a total of four Denmark Sonion Balanced Armature Drivers to handle the high, midrange, and low frequencies.
Furthermore, Hidizs uses an exclusive soldering process with gold tin wire to prevent oxidation and to increase stability.
The MS5 has an open and airy sound that leans towards higher frequencies. This gives them stunning clarity capable of revealing details in tracks and gives instruments plenty of space for separation. A side effect of this is that the MS5 is also very vocal-focused, and the treble can be a little piercing at times completely overshadowing the deep rich bass that the MS5 is capable of producing.
Even after playing around with the different ear tips and filters, I still couldn’t quite tone down the higher frequencies which caused the MS5 to become fatiguing to listen to after a while. Not even using the bass tips with the bass filter seemed to do it.
Eventually, I made some adjustments via the equalizer on my music app and I was able to tame the higher frequencies and tune it for the warmer sound signature I prefer. At that point, I was able to appreciate all of the benefits the MS5 offer, such as its open soundstage, rich deep bass, and finally a full-bodied sound thanks to some tweaking.
If you’re a fan of stunning clarity with a focus on the higher frequencies and vocals, then you’ll love the MS5 out of the box. However, if you prefer a warmer sound with a more reserved high end, then it’s possible to get the MS5 there, but it’ll require an equalizer in your music app, which unfortunately, not every app provides, especially streaming apps.
Hidizs has combined high-quality materials and accessories to create a premium in-ear monitor package with its latest release of the MS5. The monitors are lightweight, strong, and capable of producing clear stunning audio quality.
However, they can be a little too strong in the higher frequencies out of the box. The high-caliber cable also works against the user, in this case, by causing ear fatigue due to its weight and thickness.
Fortunately, both of these issues can be addressed by the use of an equalizer and replacing the cable. This makes it worth giving the MS5 a try knowing that you’ll be able to rectify any minor complaints and salvage a well-built pair of IEMs.
The Hidizs MS5 retails for $499 but can currently be purchased for $379 during the pre-sale which ends on May 5, 2023.