HiBy WH3 TWS Earphone Review
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 HiBy WH3 is the first True Wireless (TWS) HiFi earphone of the company that offers some very interesting features such like a 3 adjustable crossover modes, 1 + 1 Hybrid Driver Configuration (1x Knowles BA + 1x Dynamic Driver), Qualcomm’s new flagship BT SoC QCC 5121, Charging case with Qi Wireless charging and many more.
I would like to thank HiBy for providing me the WH3 TWS earphone as review sample. I am not affiliated with HiBy beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.
The actual price fro the HiBy WH3 is $159.00 USD and can be purchased under the link bellow;
- HiBy R3 Pro Saber: https://store.hiby.com/products/hiby-wh3
Package and Accessories:
The HiBy WH3 came in a relative small but robust cardboard box in white color with a illustration of the WH3 on the top and some technical detail at the backside.
This box contains the following items;
- 1 pair x HiBy WH3 True Wireless Earphones
- 1 pcs x charging case
- 4 pairs x Silicone Ear Tips 1 pair came pre-installed
- 1 pcs x USB Type-C cable
- 1 pcs x Cleaning Tool/Brush
- 1 pcs x User Manual, Quick Star Guide, Warranty Card
The cleaning tool which came in the box is a nice addition that I have seen for the first time inside a box of a TWS earphone.
Design, Build Quality, Fit & Comfort:
The HiBy WH3 is the first True Wireless earphone of the company with a pretty familiar design language that we have seen with products like the Apple Airpod’s, Oppo Enco or Huawei FreeBuds with a protruding stem.
The outer shell of the WH3 is made of plastic in white color looks of high quality compared to many other TWS earphones on the market. It is lightweight (6grams per earpiece) and very comfortable to wear thanks to the shape that fit perfectly to my medium sized ear concha.
The HiBy WH3 has no ANC function while the passive noise isolation offers an above average performance thanks to the wide variety of silicone tips selection. The deep insertion ability of the silicon tips makes the WH3 also an ideal TWS earphone for on the go or while exercising.
On the front of each earpiece is a multifunctional touch surface which has a glossy surface.
The front surface of the stems sports the WH3 branding.
At the rear side of each stem is a LED status indicator, left and right markings and the charging connectors.
The rear side of each earpiece features also the sound nozzles made of metal with a gird to avoid any insertion of unwanted particles like dust, earwax, etc. The cleaning brush is a very useful tool that can be used for the periodic cleaning process of the grids.
At the bottom of the stems are microphones for voice conversations and commands that can be used with your phone or tablet.
On the top of each earpiece is a small bass vent for the dynamic driver.
The charging case of the HiBy WH3 is made of the same plastic material in white color and offers Qi Wireless charging to keep your earpieces topped. The charging chase has a 400 mAh built-in battery and is pretty lightweight with only 63grams together with the earpieces.
On the top of the protective charging case is the HiBy Brand logo, while the bottom shows information of the product model and some industrial standards and certification.
On the front of the case is the LED status indicator that gives information like the remaining power of the battery and the charging process.
When you open the case you will see the seats for the earphones. These seats have a magnetic surface to ensure the right connection for the charging process and to avoid that the earphones drop out.
In the middle, right between the two magnetic seats is a pairing button.
On the left side is the NFC logo, while the USB Type-C charging port is on the right side of the charging case.
The protective charging case of the HiBy WH3 has a good build quality and is very portable thanks to the small form factor and the use of lightweight material.
Some Remarkable Features:
a) 4-way DACs and Amplifiers for Balanced Out:
The HiBy WH3 features a 4-way DACs and 4 Amplifiers for Balanced Out. Each earpiece do have two dedicated DAC’s and Amplifiers, 1x DAC+ AMP for the Balanced Armature Drive and 1x DAC+AMP for the Dynamic driver. The output power of each earpiece is according to HiBy approx 125mW.
b) Hi-Fi Type Hybrid Driver Configuration:
Each WH3 earpiece features 1x Knowles Balanced Armature Driver + 1x Dynamic Driver with a polymer diaphragm. This driver configuration supports HiBy’s patented and In-house Researched Adjustable Digital Crossover technology.
The digital crossover technology used inside the HiBy WH3 has 3 modes which are the BA-Dominant, Dynamic+BA Hybrid and Dynamic Dominant modes that you can fine tune with a slider that can be adjusted over the HiBy Blue application.
c) High Definition Standard:
The HiBy WH3 supports 96kHz and 24bit audio input. You can simply pair the WH3 with your smartphone or player like the HiBy R3 Pro and above to listen to your Hi-Res audio library.
d) TWS Plus Support:
The HiBy WH3 is equipped with Qualcomm’s new flagship Bluetooth SoC that supports the “TrueWireless Stereo Plus” technology which is a right-and-left independent communication technology. By using a compatible Smartphone, the left and right earphones are connected to the Smartphone independently. As the communication between the left and right disappears, the stability of signal transmission increased and a longer playback time had been accomplished.
- Driver Type : 1x Knowles Balanced Armature + 1x Dynamic Driver
- Bluetooth SoC : Qualcomm QCC 5121
- Bluetooth version : BT5.0
- Bluetooth Codec’s : UAT/aptX/SBC/AAC
- Battery Case : approx 400mAh
- Bluetooth distance : approx. 10 meters
- Earphones battery : 45mAh for each earphone
- Continues Playtime : about 5 Hours (AAC, SBC)
Each HiBy WH3 earpieces comes with a 45mAh built-in battery that offers an average playtime of approx. 5 hours with the SBC and AAC codec. The battery case on the other hand has a 400mAh battery that can charge the earpieces up to 4.5 time which means a total playtime of about 22 hours.
Supported BT Codec’s:
The HiBy WH3 supports the following Bluetooth codecs;
- UAT (to be used with HiByOS based audio player hardware; support for use with HiByMusic app on regular smartphones in the future)
Signal Strength, Pairing, Latency & Call Quality:
The operating distance of the HiBy WH3 is about 10 meters and is fairly stable in both indoor and outdoor conditions.
The pairing process of the HiBy WH3 is quite simple. You only need to push the pairing button that is located inside the charging case near between the seats. After you put them out your player, phone or tablet, etc with shows the WH3 earphones so that you can pair it with your device.
After you have done the pairing for the first time, you only need to push the pair button whenever you put the out of the case, your device automatically recognized the WH3 earphones.
The HiBy WH3 is a pretty successful TWS earphone when it comes to BT latency performance. I didn’t have notice any significant lip sync issue, while I have watched to some Netflix Movies or YouTube videos with my Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or Apple iPad Air2 tablet.
The HiBy WH3 the 8th gen CVC (Clear Voice Capture) technology that is supported by Android and iOS devices. The call quality paired with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus was on an average level.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : HiBy WH3, HiFiMAN TWS600
- Source : HiBy R3 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9+, iPad Air2
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Spotify)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Twerl – Lishu (Spotify)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- 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)
Sound Characteristics of the 3 Crossover Modes:
a) Balanced Mode (BA Dominant):
The balanced crossover mode makes the Balanced Armature driver more dominant and shows a slightly more vocal oriented presentation compared to the other two digital crossover sound modes.
b) Dynamic Mode (Dynamic Dominant):
The Dynamic mode is enhances the lower frequency region and offers a more impactful bass presentation. Instruments such like drums, bass guitars or violas do have more intensity and depth compared to the Balanced Mode while the difference in the lower frequency region shows less difference if you slide to the Hybrid Mode.
c) Hybrid Mode (Dynamic + BA):
The Hibrit Mode offers a nice harmony between the Hybrid and Balanced armature drivers and has the richest instrument tonality and better harmonics compared to the other two crossover modes and is also my favorite one of the three. The review of the HiBy WH3 will be mainly based on the Hybrid mode.
The HiBy WH3 is a TWS earphone with a fairly warm tonality that shows a V shaped sound signature with pretty high fun factor. The WH3 has a bass response that is pretty deep and strong, the midrange is musical and lively, while the treble range is fairly and bright in its presentation.
PS: The HiBy WH3 shows a great synergy with the HiBy R3 Pro that I have used as my main source during this review.
The HiBy WH3 shows a very impressive bass reproduction with a good subbass depth and extension for a True Wireless earphone. The subbass has a good amount of intensity and rumble which is quite enough for genres such like Pop, RnB or EDM music, while the overall speed and control is on a sufficient level.
The midbass region of the WH3 shows a performance in terms of impact and tightness that I didn’t expected form a TWS earphone especially if you slide slightly to the dynamic crossover mode. The midbass depth and extension is on a moderate level without to show any remarkable “midbass hump” or muddiness.
Instruments like bass guitars and or the bass trombone have a good amount of fullness and body for a TWS earphone.
The midrange of the HiBy WH3 is slightly recessed due to the V shaped sound signature and has a warmish tonality. The lower midrange has a fairly good body and depth that is not too overdone.
The midrange shows a moderate level of airiness and transparency. The upper midrange is slightly highlighted and offers enough detail and extension for a True Wireless earphone.
Male vocals like Sting in “Englishman in New York” or Eric Clapton in “Wonderful Tonight” has a sufficient level of depth and sounds also pretty emotional.
Female Vocals are slightly more pronounced, lively and detail compared to male vocals, while instruments like pianos, violins and flutes do shows moderate level of extension.
The treble range of the HiBy WH3 is smooth and fatigue-free which makes it ideal for long listening and for those who are a bit treble sensitive. The upper treble shows a roll-off, but don’t get me wrong, the WH3 offers a sufficient level of extension and detail retrieval for a TWS earphone, especially at this price range.
The treble range of the HiBy WH3 has the right amount of clarity and definition, while the level of sparkle is on an average level.
The HiBy WH3 offers a sufficient sense of soundstage depth while the wideness is pretty good for a True Wireless Earphone. The separation of instruments and vocals quite successful with good amount of air between the instruments.
HiBy WH3 versus HiFiMAN TWS600:
The HiBy WH3 is a TWS earphones with a warmer and more musical tonality compared to the HiFiMAN TWS600 which has a brighter, thinner/leaner and more neutral overall timbre.
The WH3 has the upper hand for both subbass and midbass depth and extension. The WH3 offers more subbass rumble and intensity which makes it more successful with genres like Trance, EDM or Pop music. The midbass region of both In-Ear Monitors is quite successful in terms of control and speed, while the TWS600 is slightly faster.
The midrange of the HiFiMAN TWS600 is more upfront compared to the HiBY WH3 and shows a more sterile, neutral and a bit too dry tonality compared, while the WH3 offers a warmer and more musical character.
Both male and female vocals do sound more emotional and musical with the HiBy WH3. The upper midrange of the TWS600 sounds a bit dry and unnatural in direct comparison to the WH3 which sounds more realistic with instruments like violins and flutes.
The treble range of the HiFiMAN TWS600 shows slightly more intensity and extension compared to the Hiby WH3, while both TWS earphones are successful in terms of detail retrieval and sparkle.
The soundstage of the HiFiMAN TWS600 shows slightly more depth, while the HiBy WH3 has the upper hand in terms of wideness.
The WH3 is the first TWS earphone of the company but offers a pretty impressive sound performance with its bass that is pretty deep and strong, a midrange that sounds musical and lively, and a treble presentation which is smooth and fatigue-free. The HiBy WH3 has also some interesting features such like 3 adjustable crossover modes, 4-way DACs and Amplifiers, a Hybrid Driver Configuration, Qi Wireless charging and many more.
Pros & Cons:
- + Overall Bass Performance
- + Musical Midrange Presentation
- + Smooth and Fatigue-free Treble Response
- + 4-way DACs and Amplifiers
- + 3 Adjustable Digital Crossover Modes
- + Fit & Comfort
- – Upper Treble Roll-Off
- – Mediocre Voice Transmission Performance
- – Average Soundstage Depth