The Earbud with a Kind of Magic…
About NiceHCK Audio Store:
The company NICEHCK Audio was founded in 2015 in Shenzhen and is a professional dealer and trader of Chinese Hi-Fi Audio products, such as: Hi-Fi Earphone, Portable Player, Amplifier, Cable, Accessories. The main goal of NİceHCK is to provide Global Audiophiles with the best Chinese Hi-Fi Audio products through online stores like Aliexpress and Amazon.
The NiceHCK EBX earbud was provided to me byNiceHCK Audio Store for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with NiceHCK Audio Store beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
The NiceHCK EBX can be purchased on NiceHCK Audio Store for 138,00 USD.
The NiceHCK EBX is the first Non-DIY flagship grade earbud of the company.
Package and Accessories:
The NiceHCK EBX comes in a small brown chard box that has the silver NiceHCK logo printed at the top of this box.
The box contains the following items;
- 1 pair of NiceHCK EBX Earbud
- 10 pairs of foams ear pads
- 1 pcs. 3.5mm Gold Plated Cable with MMCX Connectors
- 1 pcs. Shirt Clip
- 1 pcs. NiceHCK carrying case
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The EBX main body is made of silver and black painted metal, while the speaker grill is made of a plastic material with a black color.
The earbud is available in 2 different color options, the so called Elegant Gold and the Classic Black model. My unit is the Classic Black model that is very well made and has no visible quality issues like burrs, gaps, etc..
One of the best things about this earbud is its cable upgrade capability. The EBX has a MMCX (Micro-Miniature Coaxial) connector that worked with all my tested cable with MMCX interface.
On top of the housing is a small bass vent right over the NickeHCK EBX marking.
The cable of the NiceHCK EBX is one of the sexiest looking stock cables that I have ever seen on an IEM or Earbud in this price range.
The 8 core copper and silver plated cooper mixed MMCX cable has a very nice touch feeling without any noticeable microphonic effects.
This cable has no chin slider, but there is a y-splitter that is made of a silver colored metal material that has a nice fashion look. The cable has a straight plug with a 3.5mm gold plated headphone jack and a nice looking carbon fiber texture.
The NiceHCK EBX is a single dynamic driver earbud and has a relative low impedance of 32 ohm. The driver is made of PET diaphragm and has a N48 type high magnetic magnet. The sound pressure level is according to NiceHCK specs around 200mV.
Some Technical Details:
Driver Type : 14.8 mm Single Dynamic PET Driver
Impedance : 32 ohm
Sound Pressure : 200mV
Sensitivity : 120dB ± 3dB (1kHz)
Freq. response : 20-20000Hz
Plug/Plating : 3.5mm Gold Plated straight plug
Wire Material : 8-core copper and silver plating mixed MMCX Cable
Cable length : 1.2m
Albums & tracks used for this review:
LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
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)
Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
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)
Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Sources used for this review:
Erabud : NiceHCK EBX, K’S 300 Samsara Version, VE Zen 2.0
DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Aune M2, Hidizs AP60II
The NiceHCK EBX has a relative low impedance of 32 ohm. This low value makes the EBX to an easy to drive earbud that will work great with most smartphones, media and audio players.
This NiceHCK EBX review is written after a burn-in process of 120 hours. I have used the stock donut foams due this review.
The NiceHCK EBX has a V shaped sound signature with a hint of bass warmth and a small emphasis to the top end. The first thing you will notice about the sound of the EBX is the extreme clarity of its overall presentation with almost any source.
You can immediately notice that the lows of the NiceHCK are very accurate and controlled, without sounding overpowered or too shy. I must say that the bass quality and quantity of this earbud is really good and has the most convincing bass responses I have heard from any earbud in this price range.
The Bass presentation, especially in the sub bass area reminds me to this of the Rose Masya, that have the same wow effect with its headphone like presentation. The bass texture is really good with a decent definition and body.
The right definition for the midrange of the NiceHCK EBX is in one word “Crystal Clear”. This is the most impressive part of this earbud, because the vocal presentation of both male and female artists sounds amazing!
The midrange of the NiceHCK EBX is slightly laid-back and there is only a small amount of coloration that comes from the mid bass, which adds vocals a hint of warmth and fullness without to affect the transparency and clearness of the presentation.
The vocal performance of the NiceHCK EBX in “Saskia Bruin’s – The Look of Love “ is a good example how well this earbud performs. There is also good attention to micro details that makes the EBX to one of the best earbud choices for critical listening.
There is only a very low amount off upper midrange harshness around 3 kHz that is noticeable in some bad recorded studio albums like those of Metallica, LoL.
The treble range around 4-6 kHz is well presented and gives the EBX this effortless clarity and definition. This range is not over-boosted, so that there is no harshness that would otherwise irritated your ears after long listening periods.
Instrument like flutes, cymbals and guitar strings sounding detailed and having this very nice crispiness. The Instrument presentation in C.P.E Bach Emmanuel Pahud’s – Fluet Concerto sounds lifelike.
The upper treble tuning around 8-10 kHz gives the NiceHCK EBX a nice energy with lots of air and a beautiful sparkle. The treble extension is quite good and the overall resolution improves the separation and gives a nice detailed presentation.
The Soundstage and Imaging:
The NiceHCK EBX is not a open back earbud but is has a quit good soundstage presentation, better that many closed back competitors.
The depth is impressive, but what the EBX makes special is the wide stage, that is even better than my beloved Rose Masya, LoL. The placement and the air between instruments are great.
The overall imaging is accurate and the instrument separation, even in some complex tracks like Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti is stunning.
Comparison with other Earbuds:
I have compared the NiceHCK EBX with some of my High Level Earbuds and here are some examples.
EBX vs. Rose Masya:
The Rose Masya is one of the favorite earbuds in my collection due its special out of the head sound.
Build quality and Fit:
The NiceHCK EBX has the upper hand for build quality due the well made metal housing versus the 3D printed plastic shell of the Rose Masya. Both earbuds have cable upgrade options but they are using different connectors. The Masya has 0.75mm 2 pin connectors, while the EBX has an MMCX interface. The cable of the EBX is the best I have ever seen in this price category and those of the Masya has no change against it.
The fit of the Rose Masya is little bit problematic due the large housing. The NiceHCK EBX is more comfortable and has the better fit and feel.
The Rose Masya and the NiceHCK EBX have similarities in the subbass department. The quantity on both is nearly identical with a share a good speed and control. They the main difference starts with the bass quantity, especially the midbass quantity.
The Rose Masya has more midbass that make it sound a bit fuller and warmer then NiceHCK EBX. The bass and mid bass of the EBX is more balanced and has also additional texture and resolution.
The midrange of the Masya is more forward that makes the vocals sounding more intimate and emotional, but the EBX has the upper hand with its great definition and clarity.
There is no noticeable stress and remarkable harshness in the upper midrange. High octave female vocals or instruments like cymbal, piano etc. sounding quite controlled.
The NiceHCK EBX wins in treble clarity and micro-details and sound a litte more controlled than Rose Masya.
Both, Rose Masya and the NiceHCK have a nice sense of space, with a great extended soundstage. There is not a high difference but the NiceHCK EBX has additional depth and a better imaging that Rose Masya.
EBX vs. K’S 300 Samsara Version:
The K’S 300 Samsara Version is one of my favorite Earbuds together with the Rose Masya. It sound very mature and the sound signature well balanced with a hint of bass warmth.
Build quality and Fit:
The NiceHCK EBX has the better build quality with its more robust metal housing. The Samsara on the other hand has this classical plastic MX500 like housing with a glossy finish that is very common for DIY earbuds. The EBX is more flexible due its advantage for a cable upgrade option, but both have a nice and sturdy cable while the EBX cable looks sexier to my eyes.
Both erabuds have a relative good fit without being uncomfortable after some hours.
The EBX and the Samsara have a relative balanced sound signature, while the Samsara sounds a bit darker and a touch warmer then the EBX.
The Samara has more bass presence, while the EBX has a bit more sub bass. They are very capable earbuds in the bass department, with nice controlled and well textured presentation.
The Samsara needs a lot of juice (it’s a 300 ohm earbud) to show its real potential, while the EBX is easy to drive and relative efficient.
The main difference begins with the midrange. The Samsra has a darker, warmer and a bit grainier vocal and instrument presentation, while the Nice HCK EBX sounds more lifelike, vivid and transparent.
I like the Samsara more with male vocals, while the EBX sounds to me better with female vocals, but this is a bit subjective and a matter of personal preference, but it doesn’t change the fact that both earbuds are very good in micro detail and overall resolution.
The treble response of these two earbuds is a bit different. The Samsara sound more controlled and balanced, while the EBX has more treble presence that gives it additional sparkle and a sense of airiness. The Samsara is very controlled, even in very loud volume level with is high ohm advantage (300 ohm), while the EBX can loose this control sometimes in high volume levels.
Both earbuds share a decent soundstage, but there is a small difference. The EBX has more width and the Samsara more depth.
The NiceHCK EBX is a masterpiece for “Sound Clarity”. It is a great example to show us, that earbuds have a great potential for real HiFi sound. The great build quality and sexy cable that can be upgraded is a nice additional feature that is highly regarded these times.
Summary (plus and minus):
+ Lifelike sound with great resolution
+ Easy to drive
+ Wonderful build quality (both monitor and cable)
+ MMCX connection means cable upgrade option
+ Awesome Price to Performance Ratio
– Maybe a touch bright for some people