Upon opening the box, the Hibiki instantly impresses with its high gloss authentic carbon fibre faceplates skirted by a flawless chrome rim. From this angle you could certainly mistake them for a much more expensive product; those plates really enhance the look of the earphones providing depth through the underlying texture that catches light in a fascinating manner.
However, removing the earphones reveals that the bulk of the housings are constructed from plastic, which pretty standard for Shozy’s asking price. And though I do prefer the Hibiki’s rubberized texture over a matte or gloss finish, the plastic does look a bit cheap and easily picks up oil marks. That said, the earphones feel solid in the hand and the finish didn’t become tacky during my month of usage; Shozy vouch for the Hibiki’s hard-wearing properties, utilizing the same paint used by sports earphones.
In the ear, the Hibiki is a large but well-shaped earphone that produces a mostly ergonomic experience. Due to their size, they mostly occupy the outer ear and their flatter inner surface does limit fit depth. A small vent is present on the inner face though it doesn’t overly affect isolation or sound leak during wear. As a result of their ear filling design, the Hibiki has great but not outstanding isolation that is clearly better than most rivals and perfectly sufficient for public transport though a slightly deeper fit may have facilitated better isolation yet.
Furthermore, the Hibiki’s over-ear fit is quite stable, their large housings are light and really lock into the ear with the right ear tip. The Hibiki’s also sport a removable cable using a recessed 0.78mm 2-pin connector. This is a very rare feature around this price but one that is imperative for any long-term investment. It also enables users to swap in a 3rd party lightning or Bluetooth cable which should please modern smartphone users. The cable itself is also of excellent quality; designed in conjunction with AAW, it is supple, sturdy and of excellent thickness.
It’s smooth, braided nature resists tangles far better than competitors and the connectors are all tight and well-relieved. Furthermore, the cable has a smart remote that functions on both IOS and Android. This is easily the best cable I’ve encountered around this price and well above it, a huge step up over the tacky unit on the Zero, the thin cable on the Final in-ears and the stiffer Fiio cable.
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