Today we’re reviewing the new HiBy Zeta tribrid IEM, the company’s new entry to the portable market. It’s selling for $1,399 USD.
Disclaimer: HiBy sent us the new HiBy Zeta for the purpose of this review. I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own.
HiBy Music is a company that specializes in the research & development of portable audio equipment. They have been in the industry since 2011. They designed and developed a wide range of products from DAPs to various Bluetooth devices and IEMs. HiBy is a very innovative company and they have a huge R&D team with over 40 professionals. Their HiBy Music App has a user base of 2 million users in over 100 countries around the globe.
They successfully launched many other DAPs and they’re continuing so. Our last HIBY review was no other than their highly praised RS8 flagship R2R DAP. I strongly recommend checking it out below, if you haven’t done so:
We also have reviewed several other HiBy products until now, and you can find them here.
Hiby is mostly known for its audio players, but they have quite an experience with IEMs too. They had previously launched the Lasya, Crystal 6, and Seeds, just to name a few. However, those models were aimed at the budget market. This time Hiby aimed for the upper mid to high range class, with a full tribrid model with a price of 1399 $.
As mentioned, Zeta is a tribrid. We have three different driver types here; 1 dynamic driver, 4 balanced armature drivers, and 4 EST drivers, combined with a 5-way crossover network. The impedance is just 9 Ω, with 112dB sensitivity.
The chassis is a CNC-processed titanium material. The cable is an 8-core OCC copper, with 2-pin, 4.4mm termination.
Packaging & Accessories
The new Zeta comes in a moderately premium box. For the price range, Hiby could’ve created a more premium experience with the Zeta in terms of unboxing though. However, the accessories and the overall presentation are quite satisfying. I would say the design of the box is pretty neat as well, with golden accents and an awful lot of information.
The carrying case is also premium, with soft inner material and nice leather on the outside. The leather is similar in material and colour to the protective case of the flagship RS8 DAP.
Other accessories include a cable strap -which I liked very much with magnet design-, silicone ear tips (6 pairs) and hybrid tips (3 pairs). There are two protective bags for the IEM shells, and a cleaning tool. Overall a very nice package.
Design & Build
Hiby Zeta has a full titanium design. Hiby tends to use this titanium material with its flagship offerings. Titanium is not a flashy material like copper, gold or aluminium, but I think Hiby is trying to stay away from these and try to be different. Titanium is a strong, lightweight and dependable material. To spice up the design, Hiby added silver design accents to the faceplate, with the CNC-carved HIBY logo. It looks quite cool, to be honest.
However, I can’t say the same with the stock cable. The cable has a blue/purple colour which looks striking but doesn’t complement the titanium design very well. HIBY should’ve gone with a better cable with this model, perhaps through a collaboration with a famous cable maker. As for the build of the cable, I have no complaints. It feels soft, has good braiding, and the terminations are awesome.
The quality of the shells is fantastic. There isn’t any tiniest dent or problem with the build quality, and the 2-pin sockets hold the cable very well. The titanium body feels excellent in the hand. The nozzles are unibody with the shell, and they have wax filters on the tips. Speaking of tips, they’re also high quality as well.
New Zeta has an ideal shape for most ears, and it’s more compact than most tribrid offerings in its price range. And since Hiby provides lots of tips inside, there’s a high chance to find the sweet spot for your particular use. I settled down with the “soft” silicones, which allow a deeper and flusher fit.
Isolation depends on the tips you use, but I find the soft silicones and hybrids to be the best for that matter. There’s a vent for the dynamic driver of course, but that doesn’t affect the isolation that much, especially with hybrid tips.
Hi, mr. Berkhan.
Thank you so much for your patient experience and detailed review. We appreciate your many positive comments and compliments about Zeta, and we also appreciate the suggestions you have made. Regarding the design of the original 8-core PCOCC cable, there is a special meaning behind it actually, and we have presented when we announced Zeta in China at the first time. The implied meaning of the “blue/purple” color is actually the color of Lapis Lazuli, which is a special blue color that has contained the imprint of global cultural exchange throughout human history. From ancient Egypt to ancient Babylon, from the Northern and Southern Dynasties and Tang and Song dynasties in ancient China to the Renaissance in Europe, we can see the presence of lazuli blue – from the golden mask of Tutankhamen, the Ishtar Gates , the Dunhuang’s Mogao Caves murals, to the frescoes of Giotto and the oil paintings of Raphael and so on. As I know, before the 18th century, natural blue was not easy to get, and the lazuli blue, a unique warm blue color with a slight purple tone, which was 90% originated from Afghanistan. Therefore, it was highly sought after by artists. The texture of lazuli blue is both uplifting and calming, providing a vast imagination and relaxing experience.
The cable is the bridge that connects the earphones to the DAPs. And as the first flagship IEM from HiBy, Zeta is also an important audio product that was released for the first time after three-year pandemic period. We deliberately broke away from convention and designed a cable color that is similar to lazuli blue, symbolizing our love to music and our desire to restart communication in diverse cultures.
To reiterate, the above is not meant to express any dissatisfaction with your sharing and views, but rather to supplement and explain the original intention behind the design of the cable color. Thank you deeply again, and I hope this would not disturb you.