HiBy Yvain, Knight of the Lion, Servant to Great Sound


As you may know, HiBy was established in 2011, more than 10 years ago.

In the past ten years, we have firmly established ourselves as a service provider to HiFi enthusiasts in need of portable audio equipment of truly high fidelity, with a particular emphasis on portable digital audio players.

In every aspect of the portable DAP hardware space, HiBy possesses complete vertically integrated design, research and developmental capability, and possesses fully independent IP in many key technologies.

HiBy OS has now become the most widely used operating system among professional DAPs, and there are now more than 5 million users of the HiBy Music app worldwide.

It is evident that we have long strived with great perseverance to deliver higher fidelity portable audio sources to more people around the world.

But listening to music goes far beyond that.

Yet the long series of highly accurate transmission and then analog conversion of digital signals still need to be capped by transduction into mechanical vibrations, air vibrations and actual sound before the high-resolution music they represent can reach our ears and stir our emotions.

Therefore, in the context of truly portable HiFi audio, HiFi earphones are an essential capstone.

Steve Lin:

In my formative years, I was blessed with direction from one of the leading conductors of China in learning and performing with vocal music, who shaped my understanding of the performance of music and in turn how one listens to a performance:

“No matter the size of the ensemble, each part, each member, each instrument must ensure that each musical note is clearly expressed; at the same time, as each member holds to the rhythm, moving forward the performance as one, they also need a guide to pull their performance together in a harmonious and expressive manner.”

I started playing with portable DAPs more than 20 years ago, and later participated in testing and review of some classic players, recorders and earphones.  In the later 10+ years, I also became entwined in earphone R&D and market operations of various brands.  This gave me deep understanding of the musical expression of various audio products up and down the portable audio chain.

Throughout this journey, I understood that in terms of the understanding and listening of music, different people have wildly different expectations.

But no matter how great a gulf in knowledge exists between people,

music stands as a bridge connecting us all.

Therefore, I have always hoped to design a “universal” IEM in the truest sense of the world--one that may be used for monitoring as well as musical listening, one that may be enjoyed for gear enthusiasts and music lovers alike, for listening to a wide variety of genres old and new, as well as the nuances of any upstream equipment.

So, we made the Yvain.

This is HiBy’s first attempt to design a fully enclosed, low distortion, highly comfortable IEM for stage and recording monitoring.



Because the Yvain is designed firstly as a stage and recording monitoring IEM, we must pursue a fully sealed enclosure, preventing feedback from the earphone transducers to any microphone as well as isolating from any outside noise.  And, the ergonomic wear design and acoustic tubing diameter must also be accurately designed, to yield a highly conforming wear experience for as many users as possible.

And because of this, we specially kitted the Yvain with several sizes of silicone eartips that emphasize sound details as well as memory foam eartips that conform completely to any ear canal shape, giving a custom-mold IEM level of fit and isolation even to universal IEM users.

But experienced earphone users may know that fully sealed IEMs may suffer from a constrained or unnatural soundstage.

Therefore, we carefully chose and compared among the mountains of transducer designs from all the leading brands of the world, and strived to simplify the integration design to ensure that each driver may play the most of its part in restoring every musical detail.

At the end, we decided on the current complement of 4 balanced armatures per side, thanks to their maximal performance in a sealed enclosure.  However, BAs are not full-range transducers; using too few of them on one side would lead to deficiencies in tone or bandwidth, leading to deficiencies in expressing certain voices or instruments.

But increasing the number of drivers leads to an increase in the number of drivers playing the same frequencies, leading to an undesirable increase in sound density, which may lead to early listening fatigue in creative or listening sessions. In light of this, for the midrange frequencies that humans are most sensitive to, where the fundamentals of most sounds can be found, we chose to use only two Sonion fullrange BAs, played together through a single sound tube, to maximize synchronization of sound waves, unleashing the maximum sonic resolution.

At the low frequencies which serve as the rhythmic foundation of most music, we chose the largest, highest efficiency Knowles BA in current existence, and the tubing is of a resonant damperless design for the strongest relative SPL output, letting every low frequency dynamic thrust come through clearly, leading to highly toe-tapping rhythm.

At the region responsible for high frequency extension, we chose the hi-res HF BA drivers also from Knowles, which is known for outstanding HF extension and harmonics expression.  Coupled with the fully sealed enclosure and deep insertion design, they can realize the widely varying instrumental timbres that different recordings demand.

To minimize the interference of same frequencies from different drivers, the low, mid and high drivers are fully separated both physically (independent acoustic enclosures as well as tubing) and electrically (true 3-way electronic crossovers).  The parts of the crossovers are carefully chosen for their high fidelity and low distortion, and networked with exacting mathematical precision to achieve the desired frequency response curve.

And in terms of interconnects, the Yvain is also armed to the teeth, with Estron OCC single-crystal copper inner cabling connecting the BAs as well as Litz Type4 coaxial-would OCC single-crystal copper balanced external cabling.  Coupled with HiBy’s latest 4-pin modular locking end-plug, easily plugging in place with additional screw lock mechanism, one cable is compatible with both 3.5mm and 4.4mm outputs.

To conclude, whether you’re performing on stage or passing the time in commute, the Yvain can block all distracting noises and create a soundscape that is equal parts authentic and spectacular.  And that’s what the Yvain was designed for.

The Yvain is like its namesake, in turns pursuing the richness of the wide world of music and serving to return to the roots of great sound.

The HiBy Yvain, your knight, your servant.