Hidizs MS5 Review

Hidizs MS5 Review

20 April 2023 0 By Petros Laskis

Hidizs MS5 Review

Pros: + Balanced sound signature that is suitable for most kinds of music
+ Excellent bass response with a tasty emphasis
+ Good bass technicalities
+ Natural and realistic mid-range
+ Well extended and sharp but not bright treble
+ Very spacious and holographic soundstage with accurate imaging
+ Well implemented and very effective tuning system
+ Lightweight and comfortable to wear
+ Excellent build quality
+ Premium carrying case
+ Plenty of eartips
+ High quality cable without microphonic noise

Cons: – Not tuned for reference and critical listening (but this might actually not be a con)
– The bass is a little hollow and slow
– The treble could use some more refinement and timbre realism
– The earshells are slightly bulky
– The cable doesn’t include interchangeable plugs

The Hidizs MS5 was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The pre-sale launch price of the MS5 is $379 and you can order it directly from Hidizs .
Hidizs was kind enough to offer an extra %5 discount for the readers.
You can use the code: ICHOS5OFF

Hidizs MS5

Package

Hidizs

Hidizs was founded early in 2009, when pocket HiFi had just become a thing.At that time, they were pricey and badly made. Digital music sucked in those days, but people didn’t really care. Tamson, the founder and the CEO of Hidizs, did care. He was an audiophile and fronted an underground rock band in college. After graduating, Tamson dedicated his life to making HiFi music players for lossless music. As an audiophile, it was a no-brainer; music should be heard as it was intended to be.
With a core staff of over 40 audio-obsessed professionals and decades of combined experience, Hidizs has been able to consistently produce the highest quality portable digital audio players (DAPs), earphones, USB DACs, etc.
You can read more about Hidizs here .

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5 technical highlights

The Hidizs MS5 is a 4BA & 1DD hybrid 5 drivers in-ear monitor and the current flagship of the company.
It is powered by the Hidizs new custom 10mm liquid silicone dynamic driver which is manufactured with a sandwich injection molding process. Its body is Kevlar with a thickness of only 0.03mm and surrounded by liquid silicone of 0.45mm. Kevlar has ultra-high elasticity, combined with extremely thin liquid silicone to form a dynamic drive with good elasticity, good transient, high sensitivity and quick response. Moreover, the unique physical characteristics of Kevlar enable the internal losses generated by the dynamic drive to absorb vibration and reduce interference, so that the audio glitch is greatly reduced, and the resulting sound is more natural and soft.

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Combined with the MS5’s liquid silicone dynamic driver are the Denmark made Sonion balanced armature drivers.
The MS5 is equipped with a total of 4 balanced armature drivers. In the ultra-high frequency, two of the top E50DT high-frequency composite drivers are used, the mid-high frequency is driven by the mid-high frequency 2389 and the low frequency uses the 17A003 low frequency driver.

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The solder joints inside the MS5 earphones use Hidizs exclusive compound material containing gold tin wire. Gold element is extremely stable and not easy to oxidize, which brings many advantages such as stable electronic signal transmission and durable components. It is only used for high-end products, and also improves the fineness of the sound.

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5

Replaceable “Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter™”

The Hidizs MS5 cavity design features an upgraded “Hidizs Pneumatic Sound Tuning Filter™” replaceable technology. It comes standard with three different configurations of tuning filters. The waveform of the air vibration is adjusted by the pre-designed sound tube structure and the density of the tuning cotton. That is, you can feel a completely different sound style without changing products and tuning styles.

Hidizs MS5

The tuning nozzles

There are three different filters:

Balanced sound – Rose Gold: Hidizs signature style, suitable for Pop and Folk.
High Frequency emphasis – Quiet Silver: Smoothness improved, suitable for ACG and Classic.
Low Frequency emphasis – Charm Red: Full of energy, suitable for Rock and Heavy Metal.

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Build quality and appearance

MS5 adopts a weight-saving one-piece aluminum alloy cavity design. At the beginning of modeling, the thickness and volume of the metal were reduced as much as possible to achieve a balance of strength and weight. By anodizing the surface of the aluminum alloy cavity, an aluminum oxide film is formed on the surface of the panel, which effectively improves the hardness of the surface of the cavity, makes the panel smoother, and reduces the residue of fingerprint marks. And it can reduce the harmonic resonance inside the earphone cavity, reduce distortion, and make the audio signal output cleaner and more stable.

The panel is made of skin-friendly resin material, and the weight is further reduced through the hollowing process. And after multiple processes such as polishing and spraying, it presents the image of angel wings, like a messenger in the dark night, gazing at the night sky. The space between the panel and the cavity is a rose gold mesh panel, and the overall visual sense is very dazzling. The golden mesh panel can be seen through the hollow wings, which are calm, delicate and profound.

The appearance of the Hidizs MS5 is a little polarizing, some of you will find it too dark and grotesque looking but some others will love it exactly for this unique design.

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5

Wearing comfort and noise isolation

The earshells and the sound tube of the Hidizs MS5 adopt the multi-surface design where the shape of the entire cavity conforms to the physiological curve of the standard human ear, which can closely fit the contour of the ear and is comfortable to wear for a long time.

The Hidizs MS5 is a little bulky but it is relatively lightweight and the anatomical shape of the cavity helps a lot with the fit making it pretty comfortable for the size and suitable for long term use while passive noise attenuation is very good.

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5 & the filters

Cable

The Hidizs MS5 adopts a detachable 0.78mm 2-pin design that allows the MS5 to be used with other cables. The design on the pin has a rather interesting highlight, the plastic curved pin base has been transformed into an angel’s armor shape to make the MS5 even more unique looking.
The cable itself is of the highest quality, a total of 504 6N single crystal copper silver-plated wires and 6N single crystal copper wires are mixed in 8 strands to form a tight braided wire.
The outer skin of the wire insulation layer is made of black environmentally friendly PVC material, which is soft and shiny while the 3.5mm plug is made of copper gold-plated copper.
The cable is excellent but unfortunately it doesn’t have swappable plugs as much of the competition at this price does.
The cable is also a little heavy for portable use but it doesn’t get tangled and it doesn’t induce any microphonic noise at all.

Hidizs MS5

The cable

Accessories

Except for the cable and the three sound tuning filters you are also get three different types of silicone ear-tips in three sizes each and a luxurious looking, hard carrying case which has enough space to accommodate both the MS5 and your favorite portable DAC.
The case is of the highest quality, it is made of high-quality PU leather, it is durable, waterproof and tough.
It uses a double-head zipper which is smooth and easy to pull. The leather is equipped with iron sheets, which are reinforced to prevent pressure and deformation, and the interior is supplemented with flannel, which is soft, protective, moisture-proof and reliable.

Hidizs MS5

Carrying case

Hidizs MS5

Accessories

Associated gear and power requirements

The Hidizs MS5 have an impedance as low as 5.3Ω with a high sensitivity of 104dB so they are very easy to drive but they are very sensitive to noise.
It is essential that your source is dead silent and it has an output impedance lower than 0.5Ω.
I have used various sources including the iBasso DX240 , the FiiO M11S and the Hidizs S9 Pro.
As per manufacturer’s suggestion the MS5 was burned for about 200 hours.
For all the balanced connections, Hidizs was kind enough to send me their BL4.4A-RC single crystal copper balanced upgrade cable.

https://www.hidizs.net/products/bl44a-balanced-headphone-upgrade-cable

Balanced upgrade cable

Listening impressions

The Hidizs MS5 with the balanced nozzle has a tastefully emphasized bass with even mids and a well extended treble.
The overall sound signature is that of a balanced earphone that leans towards sounding more fun and bassy rather than strictly critical and reference.

The Hidizs MS5 has great sub-bass extension to the lowest notes that can be reproduced with a subwoofer-like intensity.
The presentation is physically impactful, visceral and imposing, full bodied and weighty with a rumbling effect and excellent macro-dynamic contrast.
The bass is tight and controlled, it is well defined and layered but the decay is not that fast and sometimes it will sound hollow and bloomy.
The low end tuning as a whole, is not exactly neutral and linear, it is emphasized but it doesn’t bleed into the mid-range and it doesn’t sound overpowered.
Strictly speaking, this is not a tonally accurate bass, not all instruments of the symphony orchestra will sound correct, there is a touch of tonal unevenness and some masking effect is present so the bass line is not that clearly resolved and some notes get lost into the translation.

Hidizs MS5 & S9 Pro

The mid-range is absolutely fantastic, crystal clear and transparent with excellent articulation and definition.
Full sounding and balanced with great timbre realism, a lush texture and plenty of harmonic variety.
The Hidizs MS5 is engaging and musical, slightly warm in the mids but not dark, it can highlight the unique timbre of each solo instrument or a singer, male and female alike in a very appealing manner.
Ute Lemper is one of my favorite Kurt Weill singers and revisiting her albums with the MS5 was a very atmospheric experience, it felt like sitting inside the smoky cabaret.

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The treble with the balanced nozzle is sparkling and airy, brilliant and transparent with plenty of energy but it doesn’t sound bright or piercing, there are no sharp peaks that could lead into listening fatigue.
There is plenty of clarity and good detail retrieval, the MS5 is very resolving but not that refined as someone would expect, the texture is just a little grainy and coarse while it is relatively lacking in intensity compared to the rest of the frequency spectrum.
It is not that the higher frequency drivers are not well integrated with the rest, the treble doesn’t sound detached but when listening to acoustic instruments the timbre is slightly metallic and artificial while the decay is faster than the ideal so there is a sense of unevenness to the presentation.

The Hidizs MS5 is surprisingly open and spacious despite its closed back design, the soundstage is really vast but with natural dimensions, the imaging is very precise, all the performers are proportionally positioned and the overall sense is quite holographic and immersive.

The Hidizs MS5 has an attitude, it likes to be the star of the party, it is rocking, it is dancing, it is singing and it can sound bloody amazing with a lot of types of music while it is absolutely fantastic for watching movies and gaming.
One of my favorite moments with the MS5 was when I decided to revisit my favorite Jean Michelle Jare albums that sounded explosive and impressive with a punching bass, an extended stereo field and fantasting sound effects localization.

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The tuning filters

The tuning filters of the Hidizs MS5 are very well designed and implemented, cleverly targeted at fine tuning the presence area which is mostly responsible for the clarity and the definition of the sound.

Treble nozzle

The treble nozzle mildly boosts this area so the treble becomes better defined and transparent with extra sparkle and airiness but not ending in sounding overly bright and sharp.
This is the nozzle for everyone looking for increased brilliance and detail retrieval, more extended treble and generally speaking a higher spirited, luminous and energetic sound signature.

Bass nozzle

On the other hand, the bass nozzle mildly attenuates the presence area so the user gets the notion that the sound becomes more bassy and fuller although the actual low-end frequency response doesn’t get affected.
This nozzle makes the MS5 more forgiving and warmer, smoother and less bright but also slightly muted and darker, losing in treble presence, airiness and extension.
A tuning that might work well with lower quality recordings, brighter sources and for people who are sensitive to this particular area.

The interchangeable nozzles are a brilliantly implemented and very effective feature by Hidizs adding great versatility to the MS5.

Hidizs MS5 & FiiO M11S

Compared to the FiiO FH7S ($399)

The Hidizs MS5 and the FiiO FH7S share the same driver configuration and the tuning nozzles system.
The FH7S is a little more generous with the supplied accessories, you are going to find more types of ear-tips and a high quality cable with interchangeable plugs.

Hidizs MS5 & FiiO FH7S

Their sound signature is so close, to the point that the main audible differences are not that related to the overall frequency response but more to other sound characteristics.
The FiiO FH7S has better control and definition in the bass, it is slightly more impactful and dynamic, fuller, faster and grander sounding.
It is also more refined and resolving in the treble with a fuller texture and better overall integrity but the MS5 is relatively smoother and less bright.
The MS5 is more engaging and realistic sounding in the mid-range, the texture is finer and more robust, it articulates better and is more harmonious.
The FH7S has a semi open design, so naturally someone would expect it to sound more open than the closed back MS5 but surprisingly the latter is the more spacious and extended sounding, it presents the soundstage in a gander manner with better sense of holography and a sharper, more precise imagining than the FH7S.
Additionally the closed back design of the MS5 offers considerably better passive noise attenuation making it the better option for use in noisy environments.
Lastly it should be well noted and emphasized that the tuning nozzles are more effective in the MS5, offering three easily distinguishable sound profiles than in the FH7S where they only mildly affect the overall sound signature.

Hidizs MS5

Hidizs MS5

In the end

The Hidizs MS5 is a balanced sounding earphone with plenty of bass presence, natural and realistic mids and a well extended but not bright treble.
You can further fine tune it with the nozzles to make it more dark or bright sounding, something that makes it very adaptable and suitable for listening to most kinds of music.
Furthermore it is lightweight and comfortable to use, it is well made and it comes with plenty of eartips, a luxurious carrying case and a high quality cable.
The MS5 is a black beauty, a successful creation by Hidizs which is pointing towards a very promising future.

Test playlist

Copyright – Petros Laskis 2023.