HiBy Beans In-Ear Monitor Review

 

 

 

 

 

HiBy Beans In-Ear Monitor Review

 

Introduction:

HiBy was established in 2011 and is specialized in research, development and sales of Hi-Fi grade portable audio products such like DAP’s, USB & BT DAC’s and earphones. HiBy has also an experienced software team that has developed HiBy OS which is also one of the most widely used professional portable audio Operating Systems (OS) on the market.

 

 

The Beans is the new entry level Universal In-Ear Monitor of the company that features a 10mm diameter Dynamic Driver with carbon nanotube (CNT) diaphragm and a Silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable with 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors.

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank HiBy for providing me the Beans as review sample. I am not affiliated with HiBy beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.

 

 

Purchase Links:

The actual price for the HiBy Beans is $69.00 USD and can purchased from the link below;

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The HiBy Beans comes in a small black cardboard box with some product brandings and the illustration of the IEM on the top that is including the following items;

  • 1 pair x HiBy Beans In-Ear Monitors
  • 3 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips
  • 1 piece x Detachable SPC Cable with 2-Pin Connectors
  • 1 piece x Leather Storage Case
  • 1 x User Guide

The leather case that came with the HiBy Beans has a premium look and a nice textured surface.

 

 

Design and Build Quality:

The HiBy Beans is a lightweight In-Ear Monitor with a quite comfortable monitor shape that has a bullet style design. The monitor is a combination of two main parts the front and the rear body.

The main/back housing is made of aluminum material in brushed silver color, while the front part is made of gold plated pure copper material with a shiny surface.

One surface of the main housing sports the HiBy logo while the other surface shows the Beans branding.

The rear side of the main body has a round indentation.

At the bottom is the 2-Pin female connector, a small vent, and the Left/Right markings.

Near the 2-Pin connector is a color indicator, which is a guide for the right insertion of the 2-Pin male connector on the cable. The indicator is in blue color for the left connector, while the right connector has a red indicator.

On the front part features, the straight profiled sound nozzle, which has a fine woven metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of ear-wax, dust, etc.

The overall build quality of the HiBy Beans is very sturdy with high quality components, especially for a product at this price level.

The HiBy Beans comes with a detachable cable that features a 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connector. The cable is made of Silver Plated Copper (SPC) wire material with a transparent TPU insulation.

The 2-Pin connectors do have transparent plastic housings with Left & Right color markings.

This cable features also a y-splitter and chin slider made of metal material in metallic color.

The cable of the HiBy Beans has a 3.5mm (TRS) gold plated pure copper headphone with a straight profiled aluminum housing that features a transparent plastic train relieve for extra durability.

The cable is quite successful in terms of microphonic effect and overall durability.

 

 

Comfort & Isolation:

The small and rounded shape of the HiBy Beans monitor shell makes it to an In-Ear monitor that is comfortable to wear for long listening periods, while the noise isolation is on an average level that is sufficient for the use in noisy environments like the bus, train, etc.

 

 

Drivability:

The HiBy Beans has an impedance of 32ohms and a sensitivity of 109dB, which makes it to an ideal earphone for the use with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets and smaller sized DAP’s and pairs very well with the HiBy R2 Digital Audio Player and HiBy FD1 DAC/AMP.

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Driver                          : 10mm Diameter Dynamic Drivers with Carbon Nanotube Diaphragm
  • Frequency Range        : 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance                  : 32Ω
  • Sensitivity                   : 109dB
  • Max Input Power        : 30mW
  • Cable Material            : Silver-plated oxygen-free copper (SPC)
  • Connectors                 : 0.78mm 2-pin with 3.5mm TRS Plug
  • Cable Length              : approx. 120cm

 

  

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • IEM’s                            : HiBy Beans, Shozy Hibiki MKI, VE Monk Smalls
  • DAP/DAC/AMP          : HiBy R2, HiBy FD1

 

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • George Frederic Handel –Sarabande in D Minor (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • The Dave Brubeck Quarted – Take Five (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • No Doubt – Hella Gut (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Long Distance Calling – Immunity (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)

 

 

 

The Sound:

The HiBy Beans is an In-Ear Monitor with a slightly warmer than neutral tonality and a mildly V shaped sound signature. The bass is impactful and controlled; the midrange shows a good clarity and musicality, while the treble range has a moderate level of extension with good amount of airiness.

PS: The review was written after a burn-in for about 60 hours and is based on my sound experiences with the HiBy R2 Digital Audio Player & HiBy FD1 USB DAC/AMP.

Bass:

The HiBy Beans shows a lower frequency character with a warm and soft tonality that is able to produce strong impact and sufficient depth, while it sounds in general fairly balanced in terms of quantity and intensity.

The 10mm diameter CNT Dynamic Driver of the Beans is able to produce a subbass that has sufficient depth and extension, which is successful with instruments from the contrabass, up to synthetic bass notes like those in electronic music. The subbass region sounds in general pretty controlled and shows a sufficient amount of intensity and rumble.

The tonality of the midbass is soft and musical, while the slam effect is quite impressive in combination with the rumble that comes from the subbass region. Instruments like the cross drums do sound accented, while trumpets are full bodied and fast. Other instruments like bass- and acoustic guitars do have a warmish tonality and are quite musical.

The bass of HiBy Beans is in general pretty tight, fast and controlled, without to show any remarkable/noteworthy negative situations such muddiness, mixings or midbass hump.

 

Midrange:

The midrange of the HiBy Beans shows a warmish and lush tonality along with a moderate level of transparency and airiness. The midrange is slightly recessed due to the mildly V shaped sound signature while the level of clarity and detail retrieval can easily compete with IEM’s around the 100 – 150 USD range.

The lower midrange of the HiBy Beans shows a moderate level of depth and fullness along with a neutral tonality. Male vocals are not too thin or too thick, they do show a balanced tonality. The male vocal presentation is in general detailed and pretty realistic, but slightly recessed compared to female vocals.

The HiBy Beans is slightly more successful with female vocals than male vocals and offers soft, emotional and pretty transparent tonality. Female vocals do sound detailed and have a good level of extension due to a slightly boost of the upper midrange, without to show issues/situations like sibilance or over-sharpness.

When it comes to the instrument presentation, I can say that the HiBy Beans do offer a pretty good performance in terms of separation and clarity. Instruments do sound in general musical and have a nice timbre. Instruments like electro guitars are slightly warm, bassy and soft, while violas have a warm and quite emotional tonality.

  

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The HiBy Beans has a mildly boost upper midrange region tuning that offers a pretty controlled and soft transitions. What I like about the Beans is that it doesn’t shows any unwanted sharpness and over-brightness, while the tonality remains in general musical and smooth. Instruments like violins are slightly bright and have a sufficient level of extension, while pianos are represented in a slightly warm and soft way.

The treble range of the HiBy Beans shows a sufficient level of extension and sparkle and is quite successful in terms of speed and control, especially for an IEM with Dynamic Driver at this price range.

The emphasis in the treble range is generally located in the low treble region, while the quantity and intensity decreases towards the upper treble region in a controlled manner. Overall, I can say that the treble performance of the HiBy Beans is pretty good for an IEM at this price range when it comes to speed, intensity and control.

 

Soundstage:

The HiBy Beans offers a sufficient performance for an IEM under 100 USD when it comes to separation and positioning of instruments and vocals. Both the soundstage depth and wideness do show a moderate level of expansion, which is just fine for a product at this price range.

 

 

Comparisons:

 

HiBy Beans versus Shozy Hibiki MKI:

The Shozy Hibiki MKI has strongly V shaped sound signature compared to the HiBy Beans that offers a sound character that is more balanced.

The HiBy Beans has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth and rumble that the Shozy Hibiki is missing and is also slightly more successful when it comes to the midbass impact and quantity, while the Shozy Hibiki performs slightly better in terms of speed and tightness.

The midrange of both Shozy Hibiki is slightly more recessed compared to the HiBy Beans due to the more aggressive V shaped sound signature. The midrange tonality of the Shozy Hibiki is a bit dry and neutral, while the HiBy Beans shows a lusher, full bodied and musical tonality. The upper midrange of the Hibiki is slightly more highlighted and aggressive compared to the Beans. The Hibiki has a brighter and sharper tuning with a more detailed presentation in this area. However, the bright and sharp nature of the Hibiki makes it also quite prone to sibilance.

The HiBy Beans shows a more accented, accurate and lively treble presentation than the Shozy Hibiki and has the upper hand in terms of treble extension and intensity.

The soundstage of the Shozy Hibiki is slightly more successful in terms of soundstage wideness, while the HiBy Beans is superior when it comes to the depth.

  

 

HiBy Beans versus VE Monk Smalls IEM:

The overall tonality of the HiBy Beans is more natural than the Monk IE Smalls that has a quite warm presentation with noticeably less sparkle.

Both the Beans and the Monk Smalls are showing a pretty noticeable sub-bass rumble, while the VE Monk Smalls shows more quantity but lower extension. The Beans sounds also more controlled in this area compared slower bass response of the Monk Small’s.

The Monk IE Smalls has more bass impact than the HiBy Beans, but sounds a bit too hot compared to the Beans, which has a more balanced and mature tuning.

When it comes to the midrange presentation, I can say that the HiBy Beans sounds more transparent and natural and is more realistic with both male and female compared to the Monk IE Smalls that sounds a bit veiled in this area.

The instrument clarity, separation and detail level of the HiBy Beans is superior to the Monk IE Smalls that has some clarity problems.

The treble range of the HiBy Beans is brighter and with more sparkle, while the Monk IE Smalls sounds noticeable warmer and less airy then the Beans. The upper treble range of the Monk IE Smalls is softer than those of the HiBy Beans, but has less extension.

The soundstage of the HiBy Beans is more successful in term of separation and positioning of instruments and has the upper hand in terms of soundstage wideness.

 

 

Conclusion:

I didn’t have try the previous In-Ear Monitors of the company, but can say that the HiBy Beans IEM has been impressed me with it’s very high price to performance ratio, both in terms of sound & build quality and also when it comes to the comfort. The Beans can easily compete with products at a higher price tag, up to the 150 – 200 USD range.

 

 

Pros and Cons:

  • + Nicely tuned mildly V-Shaped Sound Signature
  • + Bass Speed & Control
  • + Midrange Clarity & Musicality
  • + Treble Control & Above Average Extension
  • – Soundstage Wideness
  • – Only 3 pairs of Silicone Ear Tips
  • – No other remarkable negatives for a IEM at this price level

 

Thank you for the read!

 

 

 

 

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