Great noise isolation, Strong build quality with great removable cable, Fun sound
Still quite upper-midrange biased, Paltry accessory set, Resolution and detail retrieval still aren’t class topping
The Hibiki MKII is a great choice for commuters due to its fuller low-end, tough build and strong noise isolation.
Shozy has always targeted unique and innovative designs over value and, in some instances, practicality. However, this changed with the release of the Hibiki, an IEM that excelled in these regards with its approachable asking price. However, some would argue that this came at the cost of pure quality with many dubbing it too bright and thin, especially given its focus on commuters. The Mk2 seeks to append this issue, introducing a more balanced tuning and subtle tweaks to its construction that promote even greater longevity. With a similarly affordable asking price of $65, the Hibiki MKII is a considerably stronger entry into the sub-$100 price-tier than its predecessor. You can read more about the Hibiki MKII and purchase one for yourself here.
I would like to thank Shozy very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the Hibiki MKII for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
The Hibiki MKII has the same unboxing as the original Hibiki. It’s quite a simple setup with only the earphones, user manual and 3-pairs of silicone ear tips. Given the Hibiki’s focus on commuters, a carrying case or pouch of some sort would have been a valuable addition, however, they are available cheaply and commonly online.
The Hibiki MKII very much resembles the original, assuming an essentially identical design. However, where some complained about the questionable longevity of the original’s rubberised texture, which often becomes tacky with use, the MKII instead adopts a gloss finish. Another notable advancement includes an integrated sound tube. This is a common point of breakage that was separate from the main housing on the first generation model. By integrating the tube into the main body, the MKII should provide greater strength, minimising the risk of damage.
In turn, the Hibiki MKII fits identically to the original, it’s still a large earphone with a medium to shallow fit depth, but it’s smoothly formed and comfortable in addition to being quite stable in the ear with an over-ear design. Once again, isolation is quite good, reflecting Shozy’s focus on commuters. They easily suffice for public transport despite having a small vent on their inner face. I did notice one of the faceplates peeling up on the right earpiece. I was not able to push it down, requiring glue. It does not affect function and I have been told that final units will be more heavily scrutinised by QC.
Otherwise, the MKII retains the same gorgeous carbon-fibre fascia so beloved by users of the Hibiki MKI in addition to a 2-pin removable cable. The cable is slightly revised, with a tighter braid and a very slightly thinner gauge, however, its build, 3-button remote and terminations are all identical. Again, I would put this among the best cables around this asking price and the ability to replace the cable is a great feature for those intending to use the MKII as a daily beater IEM.
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