Thank you for the thoughts
I’ll have to go back over things, from what I had remembered of impressions this would not have been my take away vibe.
There’s a good chance I’d like the Quattro but even 2nd hand it’s 280-300 USD I don’t have, and it might not even be as much of an all rounder as the Serial already is to me. 3DD in the hand is worth 4DD in the bush I guess!
I never vibed with the Serial.
And I soured on the Okavango, better came out for less and the re- tunings that were not talked about. At the time I did that video and still today I feel its the second best Hisenior put out. T4 is first.
Now lets talk Xenns Mangird TOP and why I don’t feel the love for this one, even though I adore the UP.
NiceHCK DB2 - Big Budget Sounds
NiceHCK is a company which is best known for their line of high quality cables for iems. I myself have purchased and still own a number of these.
They also produce iems and I have recently reviewed their planar driver offering the F1 Pro and did like it quite a bit. Today I have in my ears for evaluation the $23 DB2.
The DB2 boasts a driver compliment of a single 10mm Titanium plated dynamic driver paired with a lone balanced armature housed in an attractive resin shell adorned with a stylish aluminum faceplate that comes in a few attractive colour schemes.
The DB2 is easy to drive and not as picky of sources as its stablemate the F1 Pro. Tip selection though is not to be overlooked. I went with a short wide bored tip for best synergy and a more neutral quality source for my listening impressions.
At $23 USD NiceHCK has brought to the table a worthy contender in the sub $50 category but read on to find out more.
Earphone plug type: 3.5mm
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Earphone sensitivity: 107dB/mW
Connector[image]etachable 0.78 2pin
Cable Length: About 1.2m±5cm
Cable material: High Purity OFC
Shell Material: PC+Aluminum Alloy
Whether with Mic: Optional, No Mic and With Mic
Drive unit: 10mm Titanium Plated Graphene Dynamic+1BA
Build, Fit & Quality:
The NIceHCK DB2 is quite an attractive IEM. The slightly frosted resin shells allow a nice view of the innards. Each shell is adorned with a beautiful faceplate and a few different colour options are available.
The DB2 is smaller in size with fairly prominent nozzle. As such, a good fit was easy to achieve and with long listening sessions comfort was never an issue. Apparent quality is good, and matches the better examples in this pricing category. The included accessories are all housed in a black bag in the box and include 2 small ziplocks of tips and the cable. The cable was just ok, but still a small step above that offered by for example KZ iems at this price point.
Retail presentation is all about the Waifu but it is tastefully done.
I was also sent their very attractive Cyan cable which came in my preferred 4.4mm balanced configuration. The Cyan cable is sheathed in a fabric coverwhich looks good but may fray over time. The haptics of this cable are good and it’s one I’ll hold on to.
The DB2 offers a bass that goes relatively deep with a midbass emphasis. The bass is the star of the show with the DB2. Bass is surprisingly clean and this is heard when listening to “Poem Of The Chinese Drum” by Hok-Man Yim. It was interesting to hear how much of the skin reverberation the DB2 was able to extract. The bass is well controlled, in fact impressively so. Deep bass impact was good never sounding loose and with natural decay. The same was heard with “Barley” by Lizz Wright. The low end of the DB2 stays well composed with good speed and control.
Listening to “No Worries” by The Robert Glasper Trio, the double bass was slightly back in the mix but played back cleanly. “In Passing” by the Robert Glasper Trio is a wonderful track for fans of double bass has a passage with the instrument front and center. The DB2 did well with taught bass sonics and good resolution.
If I were to nitpick, it would be that the DB2 lacked that last measure of bass definition or texturing. But I’m nitpicking here, in particular when considering the price and its closest competitors. The DB2 does very well overall and much better than the majority of its direct competitors when it comes to bass.
The NiceHCK DB2 offers a clean midrange with good definition. Detail retrieval is macro over micro details here but the balance is a comfortable one. There is some noted warmth here but not enough to cloud the mids. Harshness in the upper midrange is not an issue, unless the DB2 is pushed hard.
Vocals are slightly recessed but with good clarity. Female vocals have a moderate presence lift and male vocals sound more immediate than female.
Listening to “Tenderhearted Lover” by John Stoddart, a clean and expressive playback was heard. Likewise, on “Sweet Love” by Anita Baker, where her comparatively her vocals were more recessed but still clear and expressive.
Note weight is adequate but not class leading. Transients are relayed well but with a marginal softening of the leading edge. Timbre is ok but again not necessarily class leading. Layering and separation was enough to keep the DB2 from sounding congested. Listening to “Beautiful Lie” by Vick Lavender, the DB2 did well at lower volume but did suffer somewhat at moderate to higher volume levels becoming that wall of sound. This is a tough test and many much more costly iems have problems with this track.
The midrange of the NiceHCK DB2 overall does well. It offers good clarity and definition only suffering at higher volume levels.
The NiceHCK DB2 is moderately well extended. This is a safer treble tuning served as a compliment to the rest of the frequency range as opposed to making a statement on its own. Detail retrieval is adequate as is sparkle and air and the treble of the DB2 adds enough openness to the soundscape to keep the DB2 from sounding closed in. The treble is not harsh and remains composed unless pushed to higher than normal listening levels.
IMAGING AND SOUNDSTAGE:
The DB2 throws up a moderately sized soundstage with modest a size. Width is noticeably greater in dimensions than either depth or height. Even so, the DB2 has a stable image with decent instrument placement and does not sound congested.
At $25 the NiceHCK DB2 joins a number of other budget offerings that are constantly flooding the market. Thankfully the DB2 stands out with a bass that few in this price range can match combined with a midrange and treble that many will find pleasing.
NiceHCK has indeed brought a worthy contender to the sub $50 price bracket.
Great review Bennet
Here is the Monarch MKIII Video.
For me with all the talk and hype arround this set. I do believe its a great set overall it just didn’t move me or do anything special especially at $1000.00
OK this EPZ Q1 PRO is actually addictive. Honestly bass comes out of nowhere when called upon the mids are fantastic and the highs kick ass.
Mine has a 500 level nozzle filter and beautiful sounds are belting out!
But this stage thing is trippy so 3D . I actually tried all my sources because I thought there was some kind of 3D spacializer eq on. I checked again nope.
EPZ Audio you crazy guys what did you do?
Under $50 this kicks ass.
Is it TOTL level? Kilobuck killer? Thanks for the review.
Brand New from Meyer Audio
6 BA $399
Sonion Open Aperature Bass Drivers
Custom Sonion balanced amature mids BA’s
Custom Knowles High Frequency BA’s
This one is going to slay as well!
Another one Incomming 1+4
10mm Bio Diaphragm Dynamic Driver and Knowles BA mids and Custom BA Twwet & Ultra highs.
Please put your hands on the Prestige LTD. I read several opinions that they are better than Monarch MK3. But your opinion is more important.
Been hearing the same on my radar
I’ll add my voice to that. The LTD is imo the best thieaudio set. Its much more neutral than the MKIII and can come off as a bit bland in comparison. It slowly grew on me but after a day or two it became one of my favorite sets.