This IEM took me by surprise, not because I didn’t know HiBy was in the IEM business, but because, until now, their efforts were mostly lower-priced companion IEMs for their outstanding range of DAPs.
Zeta is far more than that. It’s a premium tribrid flagship IEM that combines 9 drivers in each titanium-steel earpiece, including four of Sonion’s newly-released third-generation electrostats. It also features a five-way crossover and five independent tubes that connect and conduct the mix of DD, BA and e-stat drivers, to great effect I might add.
To be honest, I’m quite surprised there hasn’t been more fanfare about this IEM, but perhaps what I hinted at earlier – that HiBy is better known for its DAPs – is the reason why. I think Zeta has the potential to change all that, or at least put HiBy in the mix when it comes to choosing a modern kilobuck IEM.
Package, design and fit. Everything about Zeta, from the unboxing to first impressions, feels premium. The multilayered box contains clever cutouts for the IEMs and different compartments for accessories, and it’s obvious that quite a bit of thought and preparation went into the unboxing experience.
The accessories themselves are premium too. HiBy includes a round (faux?) leather case in a similar blue-green colour to the leather case supplied with the flagship RS8 DAP. Inside the case is a very well-made, fully balanced (4.4mm) 8-wire, 2-pin pure OCC cable, sheathed in a soft and supple PVC that contains the exotic Lapis Lazuli compound (which gives it its blue hue). Also included is a full set of three different types of tips: medium silicone, soft silicone
(for a deeper fit) and silicone-wrapped foam (for better isolation).
Titanium seems to be flavour-of-the-month for premium products, and Zeta continues the theme with precision-milled titanium and stainless steel earpieces. Titanium is a lightweight metal, so despite their size, the earpieces are very light, ergonomic and silky smooth to the touch. Even with slightly thicker nozzles, I found fit to be very comfortable indeed, although there’s no way I’m getting a deep fit with these.
One thing to note is that the nozzle bores are quite large, and covered by a fine mesh to prevent dirt and wax from getting in the tubes, so I’d recommend a wide bore tip to maximise sound quality (I settled with JVC Spiral Dots after working through my armory of third-party tips).