The HiFi BOY Dream, a dream for earbud lovers…
About HiFi BOY:
HiFi boy is a high-end Hi-Fi audio brand launched by China Chengdu Fallante Technology Co., Ltd. The company is an integrated research and development, production and sales technology. The company is mainly engaged in manufacturing, sales and development of hi-fi headphones, multimedia speakers and Bluetooth audio equipments.
Brand CEO, Mr.Chen combined with a number of acoustic engineers a team to make HiFi BOY to a cost-effective HiFi brand.
The HiFi BOY Dream Earbud was provided to me by HiFi BOY via Penon Audio for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with HiFi BOY or Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
The HiFi BOY Dream can be purchased on Penon Audio for 95,00 USD.
The Dream is the second Hi-Fi earphone and the first earbud of company HiFi BOY in a market with many competitors.
Package and Accessories:
The HiFi BOY Dream comes in a black chard box that has the silver HiFi BOY logo printed at the top of this box.
The card box includes the following contents;
- 1 pair of HiFi BOY Dream Earbud
- 4 pairs of foams ear pads
- 1 pcs.3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter
- 1 pcs Flight adapter
- 1 pcs HiFi BOY branded carrying case
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The HiFi BOY Dream’s main body is made of metal while the trim is made of plastic. The housing is available in 4 different color options, these are Gold, Silver, Rose-Gold and Brown. My unit is brown this looks very stylish to my eyes.
The biggest handicap for any earbud is to get a good/comfortable fit. The metal shell of the Dream is light weight and sits surprisingly comfortably in my ears. They are Left and Right markings that are visibly on both sides. They are also three bass vent holes on each monitor.
The Dream has a 5N OFC Copper cable that is 4 cores braided and coated with a brown plastic material that has a nice touch feeling.
There chin slider and y-splitter is made of a transparent plastic material. The 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack has a 45 degree metal housing with a Dream written printing. I did notice only a very low amount of microphonics due this review and think that this will not be a big issue.
The HiFi BOY OS V3 is a single dynamic driver earbud with a relative low impedance of 32 ohm.
Driver Type : 16mm Single Dynamic Driver
Impedance : 32 ohm
Sensitivity : 100dB / mW
Freq. response : 15-23000Hz
Plug/Plating : 3.5mm / Flat / Aluminum Alloy
Cable length : 1.2m
Wire Material : 5N OFC
Albums & tracks used for this review:
Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
Queen – Greatest Hits Vol. II (Apple Music)
Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (ALAC)
Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
Metallica – The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Sources used for this review:
Erabud : HiFi BOY Dream, K’S 300 Samsara, VE ZEN V2.0
DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Aune M2, Hidizs AP60II
The HiFi BOY Dream is a relatively easy to drive earbud that will work great with most media or audio players. The HiFi BOY Dream is with a impedance of 32 ohm not very sensitive to noise, but using a small headphone amplifier makes indeed a bit difference over the direct out from a DAP or Smartphone.
This review is written by me after an intensive burn-in process of 150 hours. I have use the stock full foams due this review.
The HiFi BOY Dream has an overall well-balanced sound signature with excellent clarity. A hint of bass warmth and a relaxed top end makes the Dream to an ideal erabud for long listening periods.
One of the first characteristics about the sound of the Dream, which I have noticed at the very beginning, is the smoothness and accuracy of its lows. They sub bass around 20-60Hz is slightly boosted but have clean characteristics. Texture is good with decent definition and body. There is no significant roll-off before the 60Hz barrier.
The bass around the 200 – 250Hz region is adding nice warmth without losing definition or making the sounding too muffled. The Guitar strings in Dire Straits – Money For Nothing sounds a bit bolder then in natural, but this side effect gives an additional emotion to the sound.
The lower midrange around 300 – 500Hz is well presented and is adding additional warmth to the midrange without making the sound too hot.
The midrange around 500 Hz -2kHz sounds dynamic and has a nice fullness that makes both male and female vocals sounding quite emotional and intimate. The transparency and clarity is in a good level for a sub 100 USD earbud. The detail reproduction, especially with string instruments is impressive.
The upper midrange between 2 – 4 kHz has a nice timber, with a slightly forward and well controlled vocal presentation. There is a very low level of sibilance for instance with Diana Krall’s beautiful performed song “So Wonderful”. All these features making the sound of the Hi-Fi BOY Dreams to a very engaging and relaxing experience.
The treble range around 4 kHz – 6 kHz have sufficient sparkle and detail to them without being too harsh. It sounds in general relaxed with a well placed spike that is avoiding a too hot sound presentation.
The upper treble tuning between 6 kHz – 20 kHz makes the HiFi BOY Dream to a quite airy sounding earbud. The upper treble range has just the right amount of brilliance without being sibilant or to have any harshness. For example upper treble extension and the cymbal strike in Lazarus A.D. “The Onslaught” is quite impressive for an earbud in this price category.
The Soundstage and Imagine:
The HiFi BOY Dream has a quite natural soundstage presentation that is good in width and depth. The positioning of instruments is impressive and the imaging is excellent with clear layers and accurate instrument placements.
Comparison with other Earbuds:
I have test out some of my TOTL level Earbuds and here are some comparisons.
HiFi BOY Dream vs. K’s 300 Samsara Version:
The K’S 300 Samsara Version is one of my favorite Earbuds to date. It sound very mature and the sound signature well balanced with a hint of bass warmth.
Build quality and Fit:
The housing of the HiFi BOY Dream is made of a nice looking and well made metal material (I think aluminum), while the Samsara is made of plastic with a glossy surface that feels less solid and attractive, when we compare it to the Dream. Both have nice finished cables and a stylish 3.5mm Single Ended headphone jack.
Both earbuds are comfortable to wear, but the Dream has the upper hand if you want this comfort for longer listening periods. The issue with the Samsara is, that it starts to hurt my ears after 1 hour, while the Dream is comfy after hours and hours.
Both earbuds have a relative balanced sound signature while the Samsara sounds a little bit darker and a touch warmer then the Dream. Both have a nice a nice controlled bass presence. The difference is the quantity and range. The Samsara has more mid bass presence, while the Dream goes lover in the sub bass department. Both have a nice bass response and the detail level is fantastic.
The Dream has a more upfront vocal presentation than Samsara, but the detail and clarity level is on par. The Samsara has warmer vocals and the Dream sound more natural to my ears. Both erbuds have a great performance in the upper midrange, while the Dream has additional clarity.
The treble response of these two earbuds is quite different; yes these are relative balanced sounding earbuds, but the Dream has more upper treble presence that gives additional sparkle and air to the sound, while the Samsara sounds warmer.
Both earbuds share a decent soundstage while the Dream has the upper hand in width.
HiFi BOY Dream vs. VE ZEN 2.0 (Red):
The VE Zen 2.0 is a special earbud with its powerful bass (for an erabud) and the full sounding midrange, which makes a smile on your face. But right after you change to a more neutral source you will notice that this tuning is quite unnatural.
Build quality and Fit:
The housing of the Zen 2.0 is made of a transparent plastic housing that looks relative weak compared to theses of Dream with its solid metal shell. Also of both HiFi BOY Dream and Zen V2.0 looks solid and well made.
The fit of both earbuds is quite comfortable and they are ideal to wear for long listening periods.
The ZEN V2.0 has this powerful and full sounding presentation that gives you a nice first impression. But after an intensive comparison with a relative neutral source like the Dream, you will immediately notice that the quantity of the bass and especially the mid bass is way too unnatural and overdone. The next thing you will notice is that the HiFi BOY Dream’s sub bass goes lover then these of the ZEN V2.0.
The strong bass and mid bass presence of the ZEN V2.0 makes the midrange sounding muffled and hollow in some situations. This makes the Dream to the better choice for critical listening with its quite natural vocal and instrument separation. Maybe some of us will prefer the bold and warm sounding Vocal presentation of the ZEN vs. the more lifelike reproduction of the Dream, but this is a matter of personal preference.
The treble range of the ZEN V2.0 sounds a little bit muddy, but is free of sibilance and harshness. They don’t sound as smooth as the HiFi BOY Dream, which has more detail and sparkle at the upper register.
The HiFi BOY Dream sounds more airy and the soundstage width is noticeable larger compared to those of the ZEN V2.0. The depth of both is quite good maybe a touch better on the Dream earbud.
In short, the Dream sounds overall more balanced and well tuned then the ZEN V2.0.
If you don’t have a powerful source or won’t to carry an amp with you, the HiFi BOY Dream is one of the best choices in the earbud market with its quite detailed sound, well balanced tuning and great build quality.
Summary (plus and minus):
+ Balanced sound signature with lots of detail
+ Easy to drive
+ Good build quality and fit
– None for this price