Pros: Dreamy Sound
Technicals are HUGE on RS6
Kickdrums never wane
Mids spray music at you like a fireman
Perfect companion to the RS6
The Hiby Crystal6 II was loaned courtesy of Joe Bloggs as a little runners up gift for their latest review tour.
Disclaimer: People being nice to me influences my opinion and makes me want to say nice things.
I joke, these are just sound impressions to my ears.
From everything I’ve read Hiby IEMs have been considered companion products to their DAPS, one of which I was also sent the Hiby RS6. This review is a mix between sound impressions from the RS6 and from my regular android phone the Oppo Reno 8 Lite.
The Crystal6 II is my first all BA IEM, if i’m being upfront, impressions of BA only IEMs always seem to have some caveat:-
“I can’t believe an all BA is able to produce this sound”
“This is the best bass i’ve heard from a BA”
"I can't even pick up on that dreaded BA Timbre"
You’ve read the rest of them. But suffice to say caveats don’t come across as particularly confident and I’ve never really considered an all BA set.
Well it’s safe to say after some pretty extensive listening across devices that I genuinely like this IEM simply as an IEM.
I won't be able to give my impressions without referring to pre-conceived notions I had prior to listening to this, so away we go
First of all, I find the shell with it’s opalescent streaks, understated but beautiful. They aren’t flashy enough to make you feel like it’s jewellery or an over the top statement piece but they do have a lovely up close look that makes me want to move to Cooper Pedy to dig for opals.
Another plus before sound is that the Crystal6 II can run perfectly well from a 3.5 aux smartphone. I find this pretty important. I like having a phone to sort my music, DAP always seem to come with some kind of downside, my least favourite of which is on board storage space, sd card restrictions and physical size. When I say it can run perfectly fine, I mean that the sound isn't noticeably unenjoyable, the technicals are dramatically reduced on a smartphone but the tone of the frequencies still work together well.
While the Crystal6 II sounds truly extraordinary from the RS6, the sound can still be considered from an Android.
Sound Impressions - Without DAP
I never originally thought I was a basshead, but after getting into this hobby I’ve discovered that I undoubtedly am. However I do listen to bass heavy music, so for me, it isn’t about being a basshead, but having an accurate representation of bass as the genre requires. When I hear subdued bass, music doesn’t sound neutral to me, but neutered.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that “BA Bass” is just bass. Yes, the tuning here gives more punch and depth than width and weight but it’s actually preferable in some circumstances and I’ve found myself missing it’s clear speed and sharpness when going back to Dynamic Drivers. Circumstances where it isn't good is where you want big wide bass like in Psybass or Drum n Bass but for trance it actually works quite well.
Sub bass is not affected whatsoever by the lack of a dynamic. I find the Sub-bass here more powerful and enjoyable than many other pairs I have. However, here is the most impressive part and a little discovery. . . .
It deserves it’s own paragraph. Kickdrums in convoluted electronic music have always found themselves subdued in busier mixes as other elements come over the top. The consistency of this experience has led me to assume that this is the result of the mix itself, producers purposefully dialing bass back to keep things clean and put focus on melodies. NOPE.
It’s a result of drivers dialing themselves back to make space for the rest of the sound. But this experience is completely different on the Crystal6 II. Throughout none of my testing did I notice a change in tone or volume of kickdrums.
Still, kickdrums are a jab rather than a round house kick, but be assured, you’re still getting hit.
Might be the star of the show.
Picture a fire man with a fire hose spraying his water up and down. That’s what it feels like the mids achieve from these little tubes. A barrage of sound waves spraying out at you, just like the fire hose, you can feel them as they oscillate up down and around. This is the experience I thought a planar was going to give me, but I find this much more enjoyable.
They are still well presented and balanced over the bass notes sitting more or less in line with the treble. Voices come across with prominence and when called for a delicateness. Ambient tones are smooth but not quite reaching silky smoothness.
Acid lines in Goa Trance comes across furious and powerful, keeping composure in even the busiest of tracks.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call anything here “Spectacular”, these aren’t quite reference, they don’t grab the microdetails and you aren’t getting the widest presentation of sound. But there is a smooth cleanliness to the sound.
You’re able to drive these quite loud to get more of those clean mids into your ear holes and across your brain which is pure joy and it’s easy to get lost in a track.
I’ve heard the new Hiby Zeta before listening to this which has tainted my experience somewhat. Had I not heard that, I would have said that the highs have great detail, no sharpness, aren’t hot, cymbal crashes roll of delicately and there is very fine balance of frequencies.
And I will still say all that, because it’s true. But i’ve seen the light, or rather seen the light shone on the treble when 4 EST drivers are being used.
It’s not fair to compare, but after this revelation i have to say that the highs are fine, portrayed true to form, not offensive but not the star of the show.
Are not all that and detract from the sound. From a smartphone they are right on average. They don't improve the experience, but they also don't make the experience worse. However for me, I need atleast a big soundstage, it's one of my favourite parts of hearing music. Separation is still good but without the wider stage the imaging is bang on average. You can place instruments but once powered with a DAP the placement becomes much more precise and accurate.
In a lot of ways you can summarize the overall sound like this. The Crystal 6 does everything right, has a smooth presentation and is a fun way to listen to music. I was surprised to see myself enjoying the sound presentation of an all BA set more than the Planar 7HZ Timeless, it’s smooth sound presentation along with the design and driveability make it a great IEM.
Now all that’s without any help from the Hiby RS6
Sound Impressions - With Hiby RS6 DAP
The soundstage opens up immensely, I didn’t have much to say on technicals earlier because they sit on average and there wasn’t much to say, it didn’t take the enjoyment away but it also didn’t increase the enjoyment. Now they are wide, deep, out of head, the delicate nature of the sound is smoother and moreish. There is a nice rounded off distant stage that instruments sit within and curve around without even a chance of bumping into one another.
Without the DAP these were a smooth, clear and enjoyable listen. With the Hiby RS6 the Crystal 6 II sounds unreal. Cohesion is the first thing you will notice with sound flowing at you in a singular fashion. Everything previously mentioned with the lows, mids & highs is maintained but amplified. Bass is still the same but has more power and assertion behind it, they feel like they have more colour within them AND Psytrance kickdrums have that beautiful crack behind them.