Let’s check out the original Hibiki’s successor, the Shozy Hibiki MK2 in today’s review. The first one was a great budget IEM already, and it made it to our Universal IEM Recommendations.
Around last year in November, I reviewed the original Shozy – AAW Hibiki and I was quite impressed. Particularly for its premium design language, good build for its price and the open sound that it presents. Now I have the MK2 version in my hands, and I can directly compare it to the original.
There also is a Special Edition of the Hibiki that costs 130$ with its authentic design. But the configuration is the same inside as the MK1. I’m not sure if this version is still up for sale, but since the MK2 has been released, it’s easy to say that people will prefer the newest version.
Shozy is a brand from Hong Kong, mostly producing portable DACs/Amplifiers together with Digital Audio Players. I don’t know how all the people started to have knowledge about Shozy, but in my case I heard their name with their Alien & Alien+ DAPs. Shozy’s offerings stand out with distinctive design language, especially their audio players. They offer very good build quality with their products at the same time.
Here at Shozy we share the same passion for music as customers.
Shozy started to produce In Ear Monitors lately and they’re climbing up quite well. The start up was with the Zero & Star IEMs, and now they continue with this Hibiki model. In the mean time there are other fresh models as well, such as BG 5BA, CP 3BA and Pentacle. The latter is a collaboration with Advanced AcousticWerkes like the Hibiki.
The Hibiki MK2, on the outside, is a small update to the original model with incremental adjustments. I will talk about them very shortly. The sub-100$ range is a highly competitive field in the market. There are a sheer number of products at this level, and we do our best to cover a certain number of those. But the original Hibiki was one of the best ones I’ve tried in this range.
It had its problems in sound, like all the earphones at this level, but the overall performance was very good for the price. The new model aims to solve and balance out some of those issues. Let’s see if it accomplishes that or not, shall we?
BUILD & DESIGN
The Shozy Hibiki MK2 is an identical earphone to its predecessor. Yet, there are subtle changes in the design which are worth mentioning. First of all it retains that premium look for a budget monitor which is very nice. Some of my fellow audiophiles thought that the original Hibiki costed double of the actual price because of its looks. Well no, it was around half of what they expected.
The face plates have that carbon fiber look once again, but the logo has changed to a Shozy & AAW collaboration logo. It’s nice, but I also liked the “Hibiki” logo on the first edition. I’m OK with either of those, as they both complete the design very well. The inside of the shell is no longer a stealth looking matte material. It instead is replaced with a shiny plastic which looks even better to me. The previous design was a little dull and it gets somewhat dirty with excessive usage. It looks sleeker this time round.
Build-wise things are the same here. I didn’t notice any differences with its craft, however there’s a slight difference in the cable. The previous one was braided a little loose, but the new cable feels tighter, which is a nice plus. Other than that, there isn’t any noticeable difference with the cable.
The IEM retains its shape and there’s no change in that regard as well. I’m not sure whether the new shiny inner part would make a difference or not in terms of the feel inside the ears. It’s still not a very flush fit because of the short nozzles. I’m a guy who is an addict of isolation, therefore this is not the best IEM for me.
On the other hand it again is very comfortable to wear, even for long periods and especially once you find the best tips. I admit it’s a pretty bulky shell, but it’s ear friendly. The shell is quite smooth and round, and that helps having a very easy fit. It’s a very light earphone as well, and after some time you forget they’re in your ears, literally. So thumbs up for comfort, but not so good for isolation.