Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones (Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro / Xiaomi Piston 4) Review

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Xiaomi Hybrid In Ear Pro Piston 4
Brief: Xiaomi’s 4th-generation in-ear, now featuring a hybrid dual-driver setup

MSRP: $25.99 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $18 from GearBest.com$25 from Amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic+BA Hybrid | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 101 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ I-plug w/3-button Android remote + mic
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges­­
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (1.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (4 sizes)
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The Xiaomi Hybrid is similar in design to the preceding Piston 3 model and features a familiar plastic-and-metal construction. Cables are also similar – rubbery above the y-split and sheathed in nylon below it to provide some resistance to tangling. The 3-button Android remote carries over from the Piston 3 but the buttons have been redesigned and are now easier to use without looking
Isolation (2.5/5) – Isolation is average thanks to the shallow fit of the earphones
Microphonics (3/5) – Noticeable, but not too bothersome when music is playing; slightly worse than with the Piston 3
Comfort (4/5) – The angled-nozzle fit of the Hybrid will again be familiar to Piston 3 owners, but the newer model uses larger housings that are not as flush in the ear when worn – likely a necessity to accommodate the additional driver. The off-center strain reliefs are a nice touch and the fit is very good overall, but not as compact and unobtrusive as that of the Piston 3

Sound (8.0/10) – The Xiaomi Hybrid utilizes a dual-driver system with a dynamic driver for the bass and a balanced armature for the mids and highs – pretty much the norm for this type of hybrid setup. What’s much more unusual is the fact that you can buy a hybrid IEM for $25 in the first place – in a way, this puts the Xiaomi Hybrid in a class of its own since comparisons with other hybrid IEMs seem unfair due to the price disparity.

As we know, however, a particular driver type or setup in no way guarantees a specific sound tuning or performance level. We know this because there are top-tier earphones with single dynamic drivers and pricy multi-driver IEMs that offer much poorer audio quality. In the case of the Xiaomi Hybrid, performance is mid-tier and the sound tuning follows a fairly capable “V-shaped” sound signature with both the bass and treble having more emphasis than the midrange.

The 4th-gen Xiaomi IEM boasts very impressive bass slam and impact, especially considering the amount of clarity it retains. The bass is neither the most powerful nor the tightest, even among reasonably-priced in-ears, but is very difficult to fault for the price – strong enough to satisfy all but the most bass-obsessed listeners and provide the earphones with a nice and full-bodied overall sound.

The mids are mildly recessed and somewhat thin-sounding, though better in this regard than the preceding Piston 3 model thanks to the Hybrid’s richer bass and warmer tone. Midrange clarity, however, is not great when compared to the Piston 3 and many other mid- and high-tier earphones. It is not even up to par with the tremendously wallet-friendly Philips SHE3590, which is more balanced but not as impactful or full-bodied as the Xiaomi. In contrast, the Hybrid is more balanced than the severely V-shaped Popclik String, but still only about equal to the String when it comes to clarity.

Next to the relatively lean midrange delivered by its BA driver, the mildly boomy bass of the Hybrid is a bit out of place, creating a slightly disjointed feeling. This lack of coherency was common with early hybrid earphones and was even noticeable with the iconic ($1300) AKG K3003, the first mainstream triple-driver hybrid earphone released back in 2012. As such, it is hardly a complaint when we’re getting a hybrid IEM for under $30, but noteworthy nonetheless.

The treble of the Xiaomi Hybrid is middle of the road for a v-shaped earphone. It is not dark or recessed, nor is it harsh or sibilant, but it’s also not as energetic and crisp-sounding as I would expect from a balanced armature tweeter. As a result, while its highs are smooth for a v-shaped set – significantly more so compared to, say, the Popclik String – it can also sound a little dull and muddy overall compared to higher-end models. The soundstage of the Hybrid is good, however, and noticeably more spacious compared to the aforementioned Philips and Popclik units, as well as most other entry-level IEMs. The presentation is a little laid-back, but capable all around with no major shortcomings – an excellent showing for an entry-level earphone.

Select Comparisons

Below are several head-to-head comparisons between the Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones and other sets that either compete in a similar price bracket or offer somewhat analogous sound tuning, provided as additional context for the earphones’ performance.

Xiaomi Hybrid vs Xiaomi Piston 3 ($15)

The most noticeable difference in sound between the Piston 3 and the newer Xiaomi Hybrid is that the Hybrid delivers slightly deeper but noticeably boomier bass, and generally sounds more heavy and powerful at the low end. The Piston 3 presents tighter, more resolving bass at the cost of some sub-bass presence and slam – not surprising, as bass depth never was one of its strong suits. As a result of its tighter bass, the Piston 3 sounds significantly cleaner than the Hybrid on bass-heavy tracks. When there’s not much bass present, however, the Hybrid appears less mid-recessed and delivers impressive clarity and detailing. Overall, the Piston 3 is slightly more v-shaped and a little less full-bodied, and tends towards a brighter tone thanks to its lower bass quantity.

On a functional note, the Hybrid model tends to be a little more microphonic than the previous Pistons, but is also a little more efficient, reaching higher volumes quite easily with any device.

As Xiaomi’s venerable IEM line continues to evolve, I once again find myself wishing that the older variants weren’t phased out with every update. I realize that Xiaomi is trying to keep their accessory lineup straightforward, but the Hybrid and Piston 3 are certainly different enough to coexist in the budget audiophile IEM space – the Hybrid as a more bass-heavy and consumer-friendly option and the Piston 3 as the more hi-res and refined choice for critical listeners.

Xiaomi Hybrid  vs VSonic VSD1S ($35)

The most budget-friendly of the current-gen VSonic models, the VSD1S nonetheless faithfully follows the VSonic house sound with a crisp, clear, and punchy, slightly v-shaped sound. Compared to the Piston Hybrid, the VSD1S sounds more balanced, with mids that are more prominent and less veiled. The VSonic unit is significantly clearer and more detailed in the midrange while the Hybrid is somewhat veiled in comparison. It is warmer and smoother than the VSonic, but the clarity tradeoff is difficult to swallow nonetheless.

The bass of the VSD1S is tighter and has more immediate punch, whereas the bass of the Hybrid is more powerful and can be intrusive at times. The treble of the VSD1S is also a little crisper. Both earphones have above-average soundstage width but the VSD1S is a little more convincing thanks to its brighter, airier sound. With my affinity for flatter sound signatures, I found the VSD1S preferable, largely for its mids, but I wouldn’t recommend it over the Xiaomi Hybrid for those who value enhanced bass or are sensitive to treble harshness/sibilance.

Xiaomi Hybrid  vs Philips TX2 ($40)

Philips’ TX2 model is in the same ballpark as the Xiaomi Hybrid not only in price, but also in form factor – it is a shallow-fit, earbud-style IEM, albeit one with a much more plasticky construction. The sound is an even greater contrast despite these earphones both offering a v-shaped tuning.

The TX2 and Xiaomi Hybrid offer two very different takes on a v-shaped sound signature. The TX2 is bright, clear, and thin-sounding. It is much more aggressive when it comes to detailing and suffers from more “splashy” treble, resulting in occasional harshness. It has tighter bass, albeit a lot less of it, and a larger, more spacious soundstage

The Xiaomi Hybrid is warmer, bassier, and more full-bodied by a sizeable margin. It is smoother and less fatiguing, too. However, its bass can be pretty messy in comparison to the more linear and controlled low end of the TX2, and its midrange gets quite muffled in comparison. Overall, the TX2 is a clear winner when it comes to clarity and soundstaging, while the Hybrid is significantly smoother, warmer, and bassier.

Xiaomi Hybrid  vs 1MORE Triple Driver ($100)

These earphones, released last year by two previously-related Chinese companies, have both broken pricing conventions in their respective markets – the Xiaomi Hybrid with the first (mainstream) sub-$30 dual-driver hybrid and the 1MORE with the first triple-driver hybrid under $100. The two earphones have further similarities in fit, functionality, and even color scheme. However, the pricier 1MORE unit boasts a more elegant design and significantly more refined sound.

In terms of sound tuning and tonality, the 1MORE Triple falls right in the sweet spot between the warmer, bassier Xiaomi Hybrid and the brighter, thinner Philips TX2, but with better performance than both. Compared to the Xiaomi Hybrid, its tuning is more balanced, accurate, and neutral, with a “shallower” v-shape to its frequency response. It is much more refined and natural as a result, and boasts better clarity and resolution for a significantly more Hi-Fi audio experience.

The Xiaomi, on the other hand, is bassier, warmer, and darker. While its low end offers a little more impact, bass control (quality) lags way behind the 1MORE unit. The Xiaomi Hybrid’s bass lacks detail and can be intrusive, its sound signature is more v-shaped, and its midrange is less prominent and clear. Vocals are less intelligible, and while it can be a hair smoother overall, I wouldn’t say it has any real advantages over the 1MORE except for its price and its appeal to those who prefer a warmer, bassier sound to more neutral tuning.

Value (9/10) – In-ears have been improving steadily in performance at every price level, with Xiaomi’s own venerable Piston line leading the charge in recent years. Being the first budget IEM to offer a hybrid dual-driver setup automatically nets the 4th-gen Xiaomi several nods when it comes to value. However, while each of Xiaomi’s previous Piston revisions brought a sizable leap forward in either sound quality or ergonomics, this 4th-gen model does neither. Don’t get me wrong – for the price, the sound quality of the Xiaomi Hybrid is excellent, the design is solid, and the 3-button Android remote is very welcome – it’s just not head and shoulders above the competition as the previous Xiaomi IEMs often were.

Pros: Fantastic sound quality for the price; 3-button Android remote
Cons: Mediocre noise isolation


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

85 Comments

  1. Ivan bobby on

    Hi.. i really need your help..
    I am stucked between xiaomi piston 4 and 1More Single Driver 1M301(that black and red colours) , which one is better?… I know dual driver is offcourse different with single driver, but only in words as im not an expert, which one will you choose, the price is not too far different…
    The seller says 1more SINGLE DRIVER is a newer release products, and quality is quite the same with piston 4… Is is true?..
    Please help me… I can’t decide..

    • ljokerl on

      I’ve tried the 1MORE and if you’re okay with boosted bass I’d choose the Xiaomi Hybrid. The 1MORE sounds more like a budget earphone. They are both inexpensive, of course, but I think you’re getting more for your money with the Piston.

      • Ivan bobby on

        thanks… so it’s Piston 4 then.. okay.. 🙂

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  3. Marco on

    Hi, if you know Tennmak Pro, would you consider these hybrid better than them?
    Thank you

    • ljokerl on

      Not familiar with this brand

      • Marco on

        Ok understandable 🙂 so in case i wanted under 30 usd bass iem’s are hybrid the choice or should I look for something else please?

  4. Ghele Marlay on

    Xiaomi Mi IV Hybrid vs Xiaomi 1more Pod V3
    Which the better ?

    • ljokerl on

      Sorry, I don’t do earbuds (non in-ear earphones) like the Xiaomi Pod. My ears just don’t get along with them.

  5. Gascone on

    Hi, Having read your opinion on Pistons compared to VSD1S, I am wondering what would be your choice, VSD1S or Brainwavz M1?

    I am Just looking for the best SQ under 30€, as neutral and natural sound as posible, if that is achievable at this price range. I am open to other suggestions. 😉

    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      For me, VSD1S, but I prefer a slightly v-shaped sound to a slightly mid-centric one (which is what this comparison comes down to).

      Objectively, they both fall a little short of neutral/natural – the VSD1S tends to be a touch sibilant while the M1 is the opposite – it tends to be a little “dull” and rolled-off. There will be some listeners who find the M1 more natural and others who favor the VSD1S, but for me in this price range the VSD1S is really hard to beat when it comes to the basics of good sound.

  6. Rad on

    Good review! However if we close vent hole on the earphone metal body we will get exactly what was missing, less boomy bass, but clearer and defined mids and highs.

  7. metaloid on

    Hi Ljokerl, what would you recommend that’s similar to the Hybrids full-bodied and vocal forward sounding signature, however with less bass, better mids and clarity. An overall improved iem around 50$.
    I stay clear of airy, bright and thin sounding signatures. Thanks.

    • ljokerl on

      Lots of IEMs will give you less bass, better mids, and better clarity – Ostry KC06, VSonic VSD3, Havi B3 PRO I, etc, but all of them will also sound more bright and thin than the Piston 4 so you’ll have to compromise to a degree. Under $50 only the Sony MH1C is better than the Hybrids in terms of vocals and clarity without being any brighter or thinner, but those are compromised in other ways.

  8. Giorgi on

    Dear ljokerl,

    As you already know I value your opinion a lot, so I’m thankful in advance for your reply!

    I need an advice on HiFiMan RE-00 (Massdrop version), because some people are saying it has no bass at all or terrible build quality, other people are saying its balanced and durable.

    Currently it’s sold on massdrop for 35$ and I think these headphones have much bigger value for this money.

    The thing is that I actually like it when the sound goes really low in earphones and I enjoyed the bass in Piston 2, so if it has “no bass at all” then I would rather not buy it even if it has extremely good soundstage.

    So, would you agree and say that Re-00 has “No bass at all” or rather “it has balanced sound” considering that I’m not gonna use any amplifiers with it.

    Also, what do you think on its durability? 35$ is not much but still not “cheap” too, if it breaks in a month..

    Thank you in advance!

    Regards,

    Giorgi

    • Giorgi on

      Also, can you please compare Macaw RT-10 by overall sound quality? can it be compared to RE-00 at all? Thanks a lot in advance!

      • ljokerl on

        I have neither of these earphones, sorry.

    • Giorgi on

      Taking into consideration that Macaw RT-10 is priced $18.39 on Gearbest.com…

  9. Shaif on

    I’m really in a weird area, no clue what I want. I listen to EDM comprised of deep house, electronic and nightcore. Madeon is a good artist that represents my taste. Also Hip-Hop, Logic would be a great example.

    I’m stuck between these choices:

    1More Triple Driver
    RHA MA750
    Yamaha EPH100
    Final F3100
    Beats Tours 2.0

    Any insight would be sweet.

    • ljokerl on

      If you have no set preferences and listen to EDM, I always recommend the EPH-100. Fantastic sound signature for all types of EDM, and a good all-rounder in general.

  10. Darren Gubbins on

    Thanks for this review!

    I have these Xiaomis, they are my daily driverearphones and I’m pretty happy with them. But I’m tempted to upgrade…

    Would it be worth the upgrade to get the 1More Triple Drivers? How about the DN-1000s?

    • ljokerl on

      1MORE Triple definitely, especially if you can get one for $70-80 like the prices I’ve been seeing lately.

      DN-1000 is a little tougher as it has a more pronounced “balanced armature” sound in the midrange and treble. I don’t think it’s a direct Piston 4 upgrade unless you find the Piston overly warm/dull and wish for a brighter, more energetic sound on top of the usual stuff like better bass quality, better clarity, etc. Then the DN-1000 would be a great choice.

      • Chester on

        How is 1MORE Triple compared with ER4B/S..?

        • ljokerl on

          It doesn’t… ER4 is tuned for a very flat sound, 1MORE is much more consumer-oriented.

  11. wasaki on

    Hello Joker, I have Tx1 do you think s2 is better ?
    please compare yamaha eph 100 to pinnacle p1 ?
    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      S2 is very different from TX1, it’s more balanced and neutral. Doesn’t have the same crispness or “wow” factor of the more v-shaped TX-series earphones, but it’s the more accurate earphone by a margin. Ultimately, it depends on your criteria whether it’s better or not. I’d rather listen to the S2.

      Likewise, EPH-100 and P1 don’t have too much in common. EPH-100 is warm, has fantastic bass depth and very good impact. Treble is smooth. P1 is more balanced, the overall signature is a mild v-shape. Has a lot less bass boost and much less deep bass than EPH-100. The upper mids and treble have some unusual tuning that seems like it should be harsh but isn’t. Reminds me of the Sennheiser IE800 with its D2CA system, but a little less tizzy. Still, compared to EPH-100 it’s not as smooth.

  12. wasaki on

    I say Philips X2/X1 is amazing value , better than my piston 3 and the bass hits hard while emain clear sound.
    slightly V shaped , the dynamic is pretty good . IMHO Philips is one of the best value HP and IEM .

  13. KipNix on

    I have to agree with the reviewer on these Xiaomi Hybrid IEMs. I was disappointed with its muddy mids. I have learned a hybrid, with its combined BA and DD drivers, can still exhibit a V-shape. I wonder if it was specifically tuned this way, too.

    • ljokerl on

      Many hybrids exhibit a v-shape – the way most manufacturers “take advantage” of the hybrid driver system is by allowing the armature(s) to have a neutral to slightly bright sound, and then crank up the bass using the dynamic driver. Most higher-end hybrid sets do this better than the $25 Xiaomis though. The ~$160 DUNU DN-1000, for example, does the v-shape signature very well using its hybrid setup.

  14. Pikachu on

    I have a pair of this Xiaomi earbuds and they are just over-rated. My rating 4 out of 10. My very old Sennheiser CX400 earbuds still sounded much better.

    • MikeS on

      I completely agree, my Brainwavz Delta which recently broke sounded much better than Hybrids. Pistons have a muffled sound, with too much emphasis on bass especially if you compare them to excellent Sony XBA-C10 armature driver phones which can still be bought for 15 GBP. I’m not impressed with Xiaomi at all.

  15. Damon Michener on

    So…since you haven’t published the full review of the 1More Triple Driver yet, but you mention it is this review, I will ask you this here: how does the 1More Triple Driver stack up to the Dunu DN-1000? I need a replacement for the latter model earphone, but it looks like supply on online stores is drying up. Any thoughts?

    • ljokerl on

      1MORE hybrid is quite a bit more neutral than the DN-1000 – if you like the significant bass enhancement and overall “v-shaped” signature of the DN-1000, the 1MORE won’t be a great replacement as it’s a much milder version of that sound tuning.

  16. Giorgi on

    Dear Ljokerl,

    I have another question, I hope it’s ok I write it here. Have you heard of website audiobudget.com? It’s created by Igor Eisberg (of head-fi), where he reviews Asian (Chinese) budget IEM’s and gives link to each item on aliexpress or ebay. He reviewed Xiaomi hybrid as well and it looks similar to your review, so I got interested, BUT the thing is that I still can’t trust these Asian brands, since they’re super-new to market. Even when I bought xiaomi piston 3 from Chinese diatributor on amazon, I recieved fake piston 3 and music was louder in one ear while second one was almost muted. Now when I go on aliexpress to check products approved by Igor, exactly the same complaints are written (as comments) by customers.

    So, the question is – should I forget about these Asian brands forever, or should i look for their trusted sellers on other sites, like amazon.com?

    Just to mention some of them: Boarseman, DZAT, Joyroom, ROCK, KZ and so on..

    Hope to hear from you! Thanks a lot in advance!

    Regards,

    Giorgi

    • KipNix on

      Try Aliexpress and look at many things to check. See if the item is described as “original”. Next, check the seller’s rating. Diamond feedback is good. Also search for your item by Number of Orders. If the seller sold hundreds of the item, chances are it’s original equipment. You can also message the seller directly and ask if the item is authentic. I did this with DZAT DF-10 with good results. I love ’em.

      • Giorgi on

        Hi KipNix, thanks for the reply! can you please also tell me, DZAT DF-10 sounds good in comparison to what? I just want to get idea of how good thee headphones sound in comparison to what I’ve heard before. Can you compare them to Piston 2 or 3, for example?

        • KipNix on

          I don’t own the Pistons 2 or 3, but I understand they have a V-shape; expect more mids if you get the DF-10. DZAT DF-10 are “accurate” or “straight”, across the frequencies. Their midrange is boosted and the highs are on the borderline of being sibilant. It makes the soundstage good, too. Maybe that will tone down after some brain-in.

          • Giorgi on

            Thanks for detailed answer KipNox! Can you compare them to any just other earphone, if bot pistons?

          • Giorgi on

            Thanks KipNix!

            If not pistons, can you compare DZAT to any other earphones?

    • ljokerl on

      For what it’s worth Amazon is not the best place to pick up Xiaomi IEMs since there are so many sellers that things like whether the item is genuine can be very difficult to determine. I think products like this are better purchased from single-seller sites where others have received the genuine item, like GearBest.com.

      You’re less likely to run across fakes with other brands because the incentive to knockoff inexpensive products is very low for brands that don’t move tens of thousands of units like Xiaomi does.

  17. Alfa on

    It’s a great review and make me want to buy this IEM more and more. I’m still figuring out whether to buy this Xiaomi Hybrid or the 1More single driver. Price wise, the dual driver and triple driver 1More is out of the budget, so I can only consider the single driver. Do you have any comparison between both? Or maybe any other sub $50 IEM recommendation to compete with this Xiaomi Hybrid?

  18. Adrian on

    Hello, i want to upgrade my xiaomi hybrid and i don’t know what should i buy, i have read tons of reviews for lots of headphones and still don’t have any clear. I would like to have more midrange (voices, etc) and clarity because i dont like the amount of bass in the xiaomi hybrid, i need a little of bass but not that much as the hybrid have. My budget is 100 $, but i’d prefer to spend less. I prefer straight down style.

    Love your website , thanks.

    • Adrian on

      I usually keep my headphones on my pocket so if they are durable would be fine, thanks.

      • Adrian on

        Sorry for the multi post, do you think piston 3 would be a good option for what i want or there’s something better for that price (less than 30 $) ? I dont want to spend a lot of money because they aren’t going to be in the case, i know myself , thanks again ljokerl 🙂

        • ljokerl on

          For under $30 I doubt you’ll find anything better than a Piston 3 for something with a less bass and slightly better clarity than the Hybrid. With that said, it’s not a huge difference.

          You can also consider the Sony MH1C, it has quite a bit of bass but overall sound quality is better for what you want than the Hybrid. It sounds much less mid-recessed. You can usually find bulk-packaged ones on ebay for about $30. You can also consider the VSonic VSD1 or VSD1S. I’ve seen these around $30 as well nowadays and they are a lot more balanced than Xiaomi Hybrids.

          Still, a bigger difference would be switching to a more Hi-Fi (but also pricier) set such as an Ostry KC06 or DUNU Titan 1. These have a ton of midrange presence, less powerful and more controlled bass (especially the Titan, great bass quality), and lots more clarity. The sound tuning of these would make for a night and day difference vs the Hybrids.

          • Adrian on

            Thanks for your fast answer, Are the VSD1S better than The Piston 3?

            • ljokerl on

              They are a little more accurate and balanced IMO, but with a downside of being less smooth/more sibilant as VSonic products tend to be,

              • Adrian on

                I think im gonna buy the VSD1S finally , i have read that they are less silibant than other VSonic products, the VSD1S are definitely less boomy than the Hybrid right?

                Thanks 🙂

                • ljokerl on

                  Yes, definitely. There are measurements of both on InnerFidelity if you’re looking for objective verification.

    • KipNix on

      DZAT

  19. Mike on

    Hi ljokerl, another awesome review here!
    How do these earphones fare against the JVC HA-FXT90? I’m looking for a backup.

    • ljokerl on

      The JVCs impressed me more but for this price you won’t find a better backup. Just don’t expect quite the same level of dynamics and overall resolution as the FXT90.

  20. tz0531 on

    Seeing as there currently isn’t an in-depth review of the 1more triple driver here, I thought this would be the best place to ask about it. I can get the 1more triple driver on sale right now for $70, and am strongly considering it as a dedicated on-the-go headset for my Android phone. My go-to reference IEM right now is the Vsonic GR07 Bass Edition. Based on measurements I’ve seen, the 1more is more V-shaped than the Vsonic. The treble on the 1more is probably just what I am looking for, but I have some questions about its bass and mids, along with its technical ability:

    1) How does the 1more’s bass compare to the Vsonic’s bass in terms of speed/decay, depth, and control/tightness?

    2) Does the bass spill into the lower mids noticeably, creating thickness and veiled mids?

    3) Where do vocals sit in the soundstage versus the GR07 BE? (closer or farther away)

    4) How do their soundstages compare, width and height? Detail retrieval/imaging?

    • ljokerl on

      I personally think the GR07’s bass is more natural (better quality) by a very small margin. The 1MORE’s bass is fine, easily in the top 10% in its class, but GR07 is just very hard to match for IEMs of any price when it comes to bass. 1MORE has slightly more tendency to bleed up into the midrange, i wouldn’t call it veiled but there were times when I felt its mids were worse off for the bass. I never feel that with the GR07.

      The GR07 has a slightly more out-of-the-head presentation to me, so in a way everything including vocals sounds “farther away”. But relative to the rest of the sound, 1MORE tends to be a little more mid-recessed. It’s just more intimate-sounding overall than the GR07 so this isn’t noticeable.

      When the final 1MORE review is posted it should have a more thorough A:B comparison with the GR07 in there.

      • tz0531 on

        Thank you so much for your reply! I think I’ll buy the 1more triple driver, since the place I’m buying from has a really relaxed return policy. I look forward to reading the full review of it!

        • ljokerl on

          Honestly, for $100 there’s not much to complain about with the 1MORE, but do feel free follow up with how you think it compares to the GR07. I am sure many readers will have a similar question in the future.

  21. canali on

    Good to see you touched upon the new 1more e1001 triple drivers…sold mine to get the new flc 8s….and you know I just might reorder it again as i enjoyed its balanced, warmish but still resolving ..some reviews …wish you’d do a more in depth review of it as some reviewers (google search) feel it punches well above its weight…would enjoy your more in-depth analysis of speed, etc

  22. Shen on

    Nice review as always!

    I’m currently using the 1More “Voice of China” edition of the Piston 3. I think this was them trying to test the waters a bit, and it has gone through a few revisions (though they were all unannounced. Some’s remote only supported one OS, but later ones supported both iOS and Android. Some newer ones also deliver more accessories).

    The interesting thing about these is that all three buttons on the remote work with both iOS and Android. However, it is buggy with iOS at times…and after trying hard to narrow it down, it seems to fail due to…cold weather??!!! 0_0??? During the winter, if the IEMs were very cold before i put them on, there is a strong chance that they won’t always work. Sometimes unplugging/replugging fixes it, sometimes it doesn’t. However, if they were in a warm room before, it almost never happens. I have also not had the remote bug out on my iOS device once this year, after the cold weather has left.

    It’s quite an interesting feature, and I hope that we will see that feature on future products more. I hope that you will look out for that as it’s quite convenient.

    • ljokerl on

      That’s a very strange failure point for a remote!

      I’ve come across some 3-buttons advertised to work with both iOS and Android before but never one that actually worked reliably.

      • Shen on

        Indeed very strange. I really have no real way of reproducing it as I have no idea of the cause. The volume up and down buttons on iOS just seems to fail very often when it is cold outside. Coincidence? Logical fallacy? Who knows? 0_0?

        No problems during this summer/winter though, so at least they are somewhat reliable?

        • ljokerl on

          I actually might have a pair somewhere, but not sure which revision – I wasn’t super impressed with the sound when I received it (which was a while ago). Will see if I can locate it.

  23. shelley on

    Still trying to find something that can rival my velodynes. Those produce a sub bass that you can feel in your soul. Build quality is crappy though.

    • ljokerl on

      Not going to match the Velodynes’ bass with these I’m afraid. Something like the Pump Audio earphones or Beats Tour 2.0 would give you a much better shot at the requisite bass slam.

      • s on

        Thanks. I may just stick with the Velodynes until they totally fail. I got two pairs for $40 bucks a while back from Velodyne and both had this issue out of the box where one side is alot louder but there is not alot of bass, and the other side is not very loud but has all the bass. When I insert both sides it sort of equals out. But at work I often need to just use one side so I can still hear my co workers. Then its a choice between having bass but not being able to hear my music unless i crank the volume, or having no bass and keeping the volume at a decent setting. It is frustrating and Velodyne customer service basically does not exist.

  24. einzwei on

    I like the signature of the Mi in-ear pro however I find the bass a little too much. I’m searching for something that’s as forward (vocal, mids and treble? is that how you call it) as this with less bass and higher fidelity. RE-400?

    • ljokerl on

      Well, the RE-400 has a very different sound signature overall – slightly midrange-focused, versus the Mi Pro which is more v-shaped. It does have less bass, higher fidelity, and more forward mids/vocals than the Mi Hybrid, but it also has less treble energy and perhaps too little bass if you’re used to the Xiaomi. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s the opposite extreme from the Mi In-Ear Pro and not any kind of compromise. If that’s what you’re looking to try next, it’s a great choice.

      • einzwei on

        The Piston v3 is v-shaped as well, I like the clarity and mids but I do not enjoy it. The trebles are alot less forward making me prefer the hybrids. Which among the <$50 would you recommend that is the best of both worlds of v3 and hybrids?

        • ljokerl on

          Tough question. Signature-wise I would maybe say Soundmagic E10 but it’s not as good as the Xiaomis when it comes to clarity and overall sound quality. Just has the right sound tuning.

          I’m thinking Ostry KC06. It doesn’t fit in between the Piston 3 and Piston Hybrid (it’s somewhat mid-forward earphone so check out some reviews before looking for one), but it’s one of the few sets in the price range that’s both brighter than the Piston 3, less bassy than the Hybrid, and not a downgrade in clarity, resolution, etc.

    • Juel on

      I currently use these xiaomi’s as my daily pair. What I have found helped for me to get the right sound was using the medium sized triple flange ear tips. I have tried all the other sizes which didn’t seem to improve the sound. When using this ear tip it seemed to smoothen out the bass and push it back slightly then also push the mids forward. I know these tips aren’t for everyone but they certainly helped me alot!

      • John on

        I agree with you. Where did you buy the triple flange tips and what size fits the earbuds speaker housing? Thank you in advance.

        • John Arganaut on

          @ljokerl, Perhaps you can help me with this question too. Thanks, JA

          • ljokerl on

            Not sure which ones Juel is using but the MEE M6 triple-flanges fit on the Piston 3. I like these particular tips because if you buy a few sets you can actually trim either the top or bottom flange off and turn them into a small or medium double-flange. The Monster triple-flanges are the same thing but not sure if those are sold anymore.

            • John Arganaut on

              I appreciate you a lot–thank you! JA

              • John Arganaut on

                I purchased the MEE triple-flange tips on Amazon; I’ll let you know how they fit and sound. At the moment, I’ve been using silicone double flanges, which are an improvement over the stock tips. JA

                • ljokerl on

                  Should be useful feedback for other Piston 4 owners as well!

  25. Giorgi on

    hi Ljokerl, I think piston 2 is still best among all pistons right?

    • ljokerl on

      Depends on the goal – for a warm and engaging earphone that still sounds quite natural, it is the best. For clarity and tight bass, on the other hand, the Piston 3 is a little better.

      Subjectively, the Piston 2 is the one with the most easy-going sound that doesn’t bother me over prolonged listening, so if I had to live with one it’s the one I would pick.

      • Giorgi on

        Yep me too, it was one of the best earphones i’ve ever had 🙂

      • Giorgi on

        And by the way, bought it after reading your review 😀 so thanks!

        • ljokerl on

          Awesome, very glad to hear that!

          • John on

            You’re awesome–thank you for the in-depth-spot-on reviews.

          • Giorgi on

            Agreeing with John 🙂

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