Hidition NT-6 Custom IEM Review: The Ultimate Reference?

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CABLE MATCHING

Note: Scores are for the magnitude of change; the higher the more change the cable makes.

Whiplash Hybrid V3 cableThe Hybrid fits the NT-6 well, although the plug is slightly protruding and the sockets of the stock cables are slightly recessed, but I am still confident the Hybrid will hold up.  Compared with the Hidition upgrade cable, the microphonics are much better and ergonomics are slightly better with the Hybrid.  The Hybrid cable changes the sound in many positive ways, smoothing out and lowering the treble presence while increasing the sub-bass slightly resulting in a more natural and balanced sound to my ears.  Everything is articulated better with the Hybrid and the already clean and clear presentation is cleaned up even more resulting in better resolution and detail, but with an even more musical presentation.  The NT-6 pro still retains its neutral presentation and I would still call it reference with the Hybrid, but it is more enjoyable.  Spatially the Hybrid doesn’t change much with most tracks, but with more spacious tracks, the Hybrid recreates a deeper soundstage.  Instrument separation is better as is the recreation of a blacker background and the space between instruments.  The biggest problem with the cable is that the imperfections within my tracks are more noticeable even though the Hidition upgrade cable is a bit brighter and colder sounding.  The Hybrid improves the overall sound not only from an enjoyment perspective but also by improving the NT-6 as a reference monitor.  This is an excellent pairing I can’t recommend enough! 10/10

Whiplash TWau Reference GOLD: The TWau fits the NT-6 as securely as the stock cable, but the OM version’s lower profile works better with the protruding sockets.  Sonically the TWau cable adds space to the presentation while filling in the midrange, smoothing the treble, and making the bass more prominent.  This results in a clearer and more concise presentation that has more life and improves the sense of ambiance within the presentation.  While the differences aren’t to the level of the Whiplash Hybrid V3 cable, they are still good. 8/10

Effect Studio Thor Silver: The Thor cable fits the pins well, but the slightly protruding socket doesn’t provide any protection, so more caution should be taken with the shell connectors compared with the stock connectors.  Compared with the thicker upgrade cable, the Thor Silver doesn’t exhibit the horrible microphonics and is better ergonomically.  Sonically, the Thor cable tames the treble slightly while adding a slight bit of space and bass reverb.  The changes aren’t large by any means and this would be more of an upgrade to improve ergonomics while keeping the upgrade cable performance.  2/10

 

Hidition NT-6 custom in-ear monitors
SUMMARY

While providing a ‘reference’ sound, the NT-6 excels with exceptional clarity, imaging, dynamics, and doesn’t roll off on either end.  The NT-6 isn’t shy about pointing out flaws in other CIEMs when compared directly and doesn’t exhibit many flaws itself, which is indicative of the very high technical performance.  The biggest weakness of the NT-6 is that the depth of the presentation isn’t up to par with a few others in the price range, but the differences aren’t too large and are dependent on your music.  Bass is neutral but still has great dynamic range, depth, and the ability to rumble with deep, reverberant bass notes.

Accessories are decent but not without issue.  The case is very attractive but a bit small and I often had issues closing it.  Also, the NT-6 has a non-standard cable, which is microphonic so additional purchases of replacement items may be a necessity from the start (Hidition has another cable option).  However, taking into account the sound, the NT-6 is still an exceptional value due to the high level of sound quality and build quality.  If you want or need a monitor that will reveal all the nuances in your music precisely without rolling off on either end while still providing an involving performance, the NT-6 delivers!

Pros
–       Exceptional clarity, imaging, and dynamics
–       Deep bass extension and extended treble
–       Extremely flat frequency response
–       Extremely high technical performance for the price

Cons
–       Carrying case is a little on the small side, resulting in issues closing the case

NOTE: The performance of the NT-6 improves noticeably with the Whiplash Hybrid V3 cable.  Read more here.

See where the NT-6 rates in the custom in-ear monitors review list

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About Author

Having a life-long love of high-quality audio and gadgets, average_joe got back in touch with his audiophile side after a hiatus caused by life. His focus became headphones and related gear as the size and price fit his life better than home audio. He believes the entire audio chain is important, and likes to continue to think past the headphone and on into the head, as he believes understanding the details of how we hear will lead to a better audio experience.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Joe, I am starting my journey as a monitor engineer. I read all ur notes on NT-6 and i am a bit swayed towards it. But the price is something i cannot afford at the mom. I am looking more at shure 535 red ed, westone w4r and UE 900s. What are ur thoughts? Should I save up and not be too hasty or get one of those

    • Hi Daniel,

      The three you mentioned are all universals, so you may be able to try before you buy and/or find them 2nd hand. None compare with the NT-6, and all have different sound signatures, with the UE900 being the closest. I would not recommend the 535 due to the very mid-forward presentation that is anything but neutral.

      I do see a benefit to buying now within your budget, getting used to what a high-end universal in-ear can do, and then move up to something like the NT-6.

      Cheers,
      Joe

      • Hi Joe,

        Thank you. I was having doubt on the UE 900s (newer) model, but I half guess it is as closer to NT-6 (according to website). I am glad to search around and come across your page which educate us a lot.

        The UE 900s was next in my mind. But I am not confident amd I do not want to spend the budget on a product that is not I wanted (cannot get the job done) and regret it. Thank you again Joe.

  2. fantastic review Joe for a fantastic CIEM

    extra kudos for mentioning the hybrid V3 cable , they really have an amazing matching/synergy

    cheers

  3. Hi Joe,
    I have considered between Spiral SE5 and Hidition NT6. I mainly listen to cello instrument, slow rock so I prefer SE5. However, when had a chance to visit Korea, I have decided to take Hidition NT6 due to convenient. I feel Hidition NT6 to be a little bit bright to me and I want it to be darker like SE5. Do you have any recommend for DAP (or DAC/AMP; DAC + AMP) and cable that can make it?
    Best regards.

    • Hi Silversong,

      A copper cable such as the Double Helix Symbiote will help, or certain silver cables will smooth the notes and make a brighter sound much easier to listen to such as the Effect Studio Thor or Whiplash Audio Hybrid V3. Warmer sources such as the HiFiMan sources and amps such as the Tube Amp TA-1 will also help.

      Cheers,

      Joe

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