HiFi BOY, the New BOY in the Town
About HiFi BOY:
HiFi BOY is a high-end Hi-Fi audio brand launched by China Chengdu Fallante Technology Co., Ltd. This is an integrated research, development, production and sales technology company. It 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.
My special thanks to HiFi BOY and Penon Audio
The HiFi BOY OS V3 IEM was provided to me for free of charge by HiFi BOY via Penon Audio as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Penon Audio or HiFi BOY beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, but subjective (I am a Human) opinions about the product.
The HiFi BOY OS V3 can be purchased on Penon Audio for 199 USD.
Package and Accessories:
The HiFi BOY OS V3 comes in a black chard box that has the silver HiFi BOY logo printed at the top of this box. The box contains the following accessories;
● 1 pair of HiFi BOY OS V3 In Ear Monitors
● 4 braided Silver Plated Copper (SPC) cable with MMCX connectors
● 3 pairs of silicone ear tips (small, medium, large)
● 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter
● Flight adapter
● 1 pcs. of HiFi BOY branded carrying case
The HiFi BOY branded carrying case is bigger then regular zipper cases and can store all in the package included accessories.
My HiFi BOY OS V3 came with a 4 braided Silver Plated Copper (SPC) cable that has MMCX connector, but HiFi BOY made an update and the OS V3 will now be sold only with 2 pin connectors.
The cable is transparent and looks pretty good. The cables is right angled and has a rhodium plated 3.5mm SE jack that looks and feels sturdy.
The cable itself has no microphonics and the memory wire is made of a transparent shrink tube coating that is comfy.
Design and Build Quality:
The HiFi BOY OSV3 is an In Ear Monitor (IEM) that is made of a resin based shell. My unit is in black color and has a beautiful shiny appearance. HiFi BOY offers the OS V3 also in Blue and Red colors. The OS V3 is handmade but it has a great build quality without any noticeable flaws (burrs etc.) and looks rock solid.
It has to bores on the nozzle, one for the dynamic driver (bass) and the other for the 2 balanced drivers (mid & treble).
It has also one bass vent on each monitor at the sides.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
The HiFi BOY OS V3 has a custom like molding that can be called semicustom like the StageDiver Series of the German company InEar Monitoring. The OS V3 has a very good fit and seal due this semicustom like housing and I had no comfort issues while wearing it for many hours (with pausing every 20min. I don’t expect a Custom IEM (CIEM) like isolation form the OS V3, but I think that it has a very good isolation for a Universal IEM (UIEM).
◦ Drivers: 2 Balanced Armature + 1 Dynamic Driver (Ultra-high frequency Balanced Armature + high frequency Balanced Armature + 7mm strong magnetic composite diaphragm Dynamic Driver)
◦ Impedance: 19 Ohm
◦ Sensitivity: 109 Db
◦ Frequency response: 20Hz-20KHz
◦ Cable Length: 1.2 m
◦ Plug: 3.5mm rhodium-plated
◦ Wire: 5N single crystal copper silver-plated cable
The HiFi BOY OS V3 is easy to drive and a quite sensitive IEM with an impedance of 19 Ohm. The OS V3 is ideal for all type of portable Digital Audio Players (DAP’s) and even my Samsung Galaxy S8 and IPad Air 2 could push the HiFi BOY to very high volumes without any noticeable struggling.
Albums & tracks used for this review:
◦ 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)
◦ The Police – Every Breath You Take (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
◦ 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)
◦ Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
◦ 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)
◦ Twenty One Pilots – Fairly Local (Tidal Hi-Fi)
◦ Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
In Ear Monitor : HiFi BOY OS V3 (Whizzer A15 Pro and Rose Cappuccino MK2 for compare)
DAP/DAC : Aune M2 Pro, Chord Mojo, Zishan Z2, Ipad Air2, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
This HiFi BOY OS V3 review is written by me after an intensive burn-in process of 100 hours. I have used the stock provided silicone ear tips due this review.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
HiFi BOY OS V3 can be classified as an IEM with a V-shaped sound signature. The lows and the treble frequencies have more weight in comparison to the slightly but not too much recessed midrange. The OS V3 sounds warmer than neutral in almost every track I have listened with it so far.
This frequency range can show some variations depending on the paired up source. For example; the HiFi BOY OS V3 sounds softer, warmer and more musical with sources like the Chord Mojo or the IPad Air 2. The Aune M2 Pro in the other hand sounded more balanced and effortless while the Zishan Z2 had a thinner and brighter presentation.
Lows (Sub Bass and Bass):
The low end presentation of the HiFi BOY OS V3 has this typical character of a hybrid IEM with deep impact and nice rumble that is produced by a relative small 7mm diameter dynamic driver.
The sub bass quantity is well done, has great texture and is not overpowered in its general sound presentation. You can feel the sense of power that comes from this region, but as mentioned before, the sub bass quantity that is reproduced from the single dynamic driver (the 2 BA drivers are for treble and mid presentation) is not on a bass-head level. The sub bass representation of instruments like kick/bass drums, bass guitars and electronic synthesizers are great.
For example the song of “Twenty One Pilots – Fairly Local”; the sub bass right at the beginning of the track has a nice wow effect, the impact and rumble is quite impressive.
The bass notes have more presence than the sub bass in the lower frequency region. The bass reproduction of the HiFi BOY OS V3 is giving a nice solid layer to the sound with good rumble. The good thing about the OS V3 bass presentation is, that there’s not too much bass emphasis to be found unless the track is asking for.
For Example the legendary song of the group “The Police – Every Breath You Take” is one of my favorites when it comes to analyze a bass guitar presentation. The HiFi BOY OS V3 excels very well in this area by presenting a smooth and tasty bass rhythm.
The company HiFi BOY did a good job by tuning the lows of OS V3 relative balanced and not too dominant. Thanks to this choice, the HiFi BOY OS V3 didn’t sounded boomy or muffled while listening to some bass intensive and complex tracks.
Mids (Lower midrange – Midrange – Upper midrange):
The HiFi BOY OS V3 is not a mid forward IEM and has a V shaped midrange.
First of all, nice to hear that the bass doesn’t bleed in to the lower midrange, that could otherwise result a hollow and muffled presentation. The lower midrange of the HiFi BOY OS V3 is adding only a touch of warmth to the mids that is a welcome for some lower-stringed instruments like acoustic or electro guitars etc.
Acoustic guitar passages in “Otto Liebert & Luna Negra’s” song “The River” sounds lifelike and delightful.
The midrange provides a nice engaging and balanced sound that is not too analytical or warm for my taste. Both male and female vocals sounding relative realistic and emotional, but I think that female voices sounded more delightful to me. The voice of Diana Krall in her song “So Wonderful” sounds lush and emotional.
The HiFi BOY OS V3 is maybe not the most detailed IEM in my collection, but I can easily say that the detail retrieval of the midrange is quite impressive for a 200 USD IEM.
There is a small roll-off in the upper midrange area that is not to overdone. This is a good thing to avoid sibilance & harshness and is a good tuning, if you are listening music for long hours like me. This tuning also avoids an upper midrange stress that is normally common for hybrid IEM’s and it reminds me to this of the AZLA-01R; very relaxed.
Highs (Treble – Upper treble):
The treble presentation of the HiFi BOY OS V3 is coherent and very balanced. The clarity level and definition around 5K is great. The treble of the OS V3 is in general not too upfront, but that doesn’t mean that its sounds grainy or too dry, in contrast; it sounds natural and relaxing.
Instruments like Cymbal, Piano or Violin sounding quite realistic and have a nice sparkle.
For example; the big cymbals in Megadeth’s legendary song “Sweating Bullets; seconds 0:11, 0:14 and 0:21; the bells sounding realistic and have great transition without loosing any control, that’s a really great capability for this price point.
The top ends of the HiFi BOY OS V3 has enough air & brilliance, and is luckily not over boosted that would accentuate hiss or cause ear fatigue after long listening periods.
For example; the upper treble extension of the OS V3 in Emmanuel Pahud’s (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx side flute (transverse flute) performance is satisfying and quite realistic.
The treble presentation of the HiFi BOY OS V3 has impressed me due the review and I think that it is a great performer for a 200 USD priced IEM.
Soundstage and Imaging:
The soundstage of the HiFi BOY OS V3 is not monstrous or claustrophobic it sounds quite realistic. It has more depth than width and there is enough space and air between the instruments that makes it possible to locate each ones position, even in complex passages.
Vs. Whizzer A15 Pro (125 USD):
The Whizzer is a fantastic IEM for its price, especially the build quality accessories and detail level it provides makes it to a no brainer.
The first comparison comes to the fit. The HiFi BOY OS V3 has the better fit and ergonomics due the semicustom design. The OS V3 is also lighter than the A15 Pro that makes it a better choice if you are listening music for long hours. The build quality on both is great, but the Whizzer A15 Pro has a metal shell vs. the resin based shell of the OS V3. The package and accessories that comes with the Whizzer is a lot more an on a higher level compared to the prices that they ask for.
When we compare it for the sound, I can say that these two IEMs have not too much together. The A15Pro sounds more analytical and bright in comparison to the OS V3, which has an overall warmer sound signature. The detail level of both is in a similar level, the OS V3 has a little more micro detail then the A15 Pro.
The Vocal presentation of both is great for the price they are asking for. The bass response of the OS V3 especially at the bass and lower midrange is better tuned and has more presence. The Whizzer A15 Pro is missing some bass that makes it not to a real all-rounder. When it comes to soundstage and imaging, both are quite capable in its own way. The A15 Pro has a wider soundstage while the OS V3 wins in the depth.
The OS V3 is a good all-rounder with perfect fit, while the Whizzer A15 Pro is more suitable for those who prefer a brighter and more analytical presentation.
Vs. MEE audio Pinnacle P1 (200 USD)
The MEE audio Pinnacle P1 is a very capable IEM for the price. It has a very good accessory package, great build quality and a great looking stock cable. The fit of the Pinnacle P1 is great as the OS V3 and but the OS V3 is bit more comfortable. The isolation of the OS V3 is better due the semicustom design. The sound signature of the Pinnacle P1 is very similar to the Whizzer A15 Pro that I have mentioned above, but it has more bass weight that makes it more balanced. The P1 sounds brighter, thinner and has more sparkle at the top end. The OS V3 on the other hand has a more balanced coherent sound signature than the P1. The P1 sounds a bit thin and dry at the midrange and there is also missing some bass weight and warmth that is not suitable for male vocals and instruments that needs thicker notes. The Pinnacle P1 sound a bit more airy and spacious. Both IEM’s have similar good soundstage presentations. The OS V3 has a deeper stage while the P1 has a slightly wider presentation.
Both IEMs are great performers in the 200 USD price categories, but the HiFi BOY OS V3 is the better all-rounder for me.
Vs. Rose Cappuccino MK2 switch ON (350 USD):
The Rose Cappuccino MK2 is one of my favorites IEM compared to the price. It has a wonderful stylish and comfy housing with two sound signature options, ON for a more reference and balanced sound and OFF for more bass emphasis, ideal for genres like Pop, Edm etc.
I will compare it with the HiFi BOY OS V3 in switch ON position cause for the more reference type song.
Both are small, handmade and nice looking IEM’s, the MK2 has the upper hand for customization, because you have a wide variety of color and faceplate design options. Both are comfy hand have a good seal. The Rose Cappuccino MK2’s build quality is good, but the HiFi BOY OS V3 looks more solid and better crafted in direct comparison. The Rose Cappuccino MK2 has also a V shaped sound signature but with even more prominent top end lower end. The bass of the MK2 goes lower has more rumble and has a better definition. The HiFi BOY on the other hand has a more balanced reference like bass tuning that is one of the best in the 200 USD price league. The midrange of the HiFi BOY is more in foreground and the vocal presentation feels more intimate as those of the MK2. The Rose Cappuccino has more boosts in the treble range, has more sparkle and sounds vivid, while HiFi Boy decided to make an IEM with a more overall balance. Both have an airy presentation and similarities for soundstage. The soundstage of the MK2 sounds similar in the width while the OS V3 has little more depth.
Both IEM’s sounding great in its own way regardless of the price. If you pay attention to price and for a more balanced sound go for the Hifi BOY OS V3, but if you have more money to spend and want two different sound signatures the Rose Cappuccino MK2 could be a good choice.
The HiFi BOY OS V3 is a nice looking semicustom like IEM with great built quality, nice stock cable and a great sound performance for the price. Nice to see new brands like HiFi BOY that makes such great products for a relative reasonable price.
Pros and Cons:
+ Built Quality
+ Great Fit and Comfort
+ Good Amount of Detail and Balanced Sound Signature
+ Nice Stock Cable
– Would prefer some more sort of silicone/foam eartips