Hisound Audio PAA1-Pro Earbud Review
Company Name: Hisound Audio
Company Website: http://www.hisoundaudio.com/
Headphone Model: PAA1 Pro
Headphone Style (Open, Closed, On-Ear, Over-Ear, IEM, CIEM): Earbud
Frequency Range: 17-22Khz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Isolation: Not Listed
Warranty: 1 year
Describing Sound: http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary
Pros: Light weight, bass is great if you love bass, decent build quality, price, the only set of headphones I have ever seen a QC sticker on sealing the packaging.
Cons: Bass is strong, isolation is non-existent, earbuds are larger than average ear buds so may be uncomfortable for people with small ears.
Rating scale Breakdown (1-10)
1-2: Very Bad
5: Not Bad/Not Good/ Neutral
8-9: Very Good
Audio Quality: 6
Overall Rating: 6
- Audio Quality: How good a set of headphones sounds in relation to other headphones I’ve heard. This will be subjective with any set of headphones that are reviewed.
- Micro-phonics: Noise that can be heard from the cable being moved around. The less noise the higher the value, the more noise the lower the value.
- Comfort: How comfortable a set of headphones is over a prolonged period of time.
- Design: How well a set of headphones are designed. This includes cables, reinforcement points, jacks, and materials used.
- Isolation: How well a set of headphones blocks outside noises and allows you to hear the music you’re listening to. This also includes sound leakage from the headphones to others around you.
- Value: Performance to cost ratio. If performance exceeds cost this value will be high. If performance is on the low end for the cost the value will be low. This will be subjective based on audio quality. Everyone hears different things.
- Accessories: How well the included accessories stack up compared to other headphones of similar style.
- Overall Rating: This is the average of the other 7 criteria summed and divided by 7
- Shirt Clip
- 2 sets of replacement foam covers
- Hard shell case
- Rubber fish bone shaped cable manager
Initial Listening Impressions
Ive never been a fan of ear buds. In fact I throw them away whenever I acquire a set. High end IEM’s is where I focus most of my HeadFi energy at. However, I enjoy trying new sets and for the $10 review opportunity at HeadFi.org I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
Right out of the box I really liked them. I enjoy a balanced sound signature with a slight bump in the bass frequencies. These offered more than a slight bump. My first thought was I can use these in the office due to lack of isolation as I have to answer the phones on occasion. These are not like the other IEM’s that I have grown accustomed to. These allow me to listen to the music and I can hear the phone if needed making them perfect for work.
Initially these seemed like they have a nice tonal balance with tons of bass.
The earbuds are a black matte plastic that has a nice metal grill and foam cover that covers the outer edges of the housing. The back of the earbud has a matte black soft rubber touch to it and 2 vents and a metal insert with the model number on them. Each earbud is labelled for left and right.
As you move to the cable from the ear bud the first thing I notice is the lack of a strain relief. The cable exits a hole in the center of the stalk and just hangs there. The cable has a nice rubber feeling to it that doesn’t seem to tangle too easily. At the Y split is a very beefy relief. There is no cable cinch either.
Moving down the cable to the 3.5mm jack the cable is standard thickness and terminates into a straight gold platted 3.5mm end. The end has a nice strain relief on it and has the word Hi imprinted on it which gives it a nice finished touch.
The case has a nice leather feel on the exterior with the word Hi in the top of the case. Its about 3”x3” and is zippered. Inside the case is a felt lining. On the flip top is a mesh net for storing the other accessories such as the shirt clip and replacement foam pads and the cable management accessory that comes with it.
The case itself is nicely made, but is rather thin. It will be good for transporting, but may not make it very long in a backpack or suitcase if you are rough with them.
The first song I played was Adele’s Rumor Has It. The first thing I noticed was the lack of separation and staging in instruments. It felt very closed in. The highs are clear, but not over powering. The bass and midbass is where this ear bud shines.
The second song was Imagine Dragons Radioactive. Immediately the bass took control. The highs were still present, but seem muddy thanks to the over powering bass. This song has an prominent bass line that’s present throughout the majority of this song.
For the third song I wanted to use something that wasn’t focused around the bass so I picked Alicia Keys No One. There is a lot less bass in this song than the previous two, but its still not absent either. The highs are clear, but not piercing.
Overall these are a fun headphone if you’re a bass lover or don’t care about imaging. They are good in a quiet environment or a place where you need to be able to hear the outside world and listen to music at the same time.
Its always important for readers to know what the reviewer has heard in order to find out where their point of view comes from. It helps in determining if the reviewer has the same preferences in sound signature as the reader.
I have multiple sets of headphones that I have reviewed and at my disposal. The list of headphones that I have heard and reviewed are as follows: VMODA Crossfade LP, Grado Labs SR80i, Shure SRH750DJ, Brainwavz R1, Dunu Topsound I3CS, FocalPrice CK700, iPod ear buds, iPod ear pods, Heir Audio 3.Ai, Aurisonics ASG2.0, and Gorilla Ears AT5.
Overall these earbuds are good for the money, however compared to similarly priced IEM’s such as the Brainwavz R1’s, I much prefer the R1’s. These are too big for my ears to get a comfortable fit that actually stays in.
On the sound side of things the bass is the strong point. I prefer a balanced sound signature with a slight bump in the bass frequencies, but these are a little too strong for my tastes.
If you’re a bass head with mid to large size ears these are for you on a budget. If you are looking for anything but a headphone with an emphasized low end or have smaller ears these probably wont be your cup of tea.
On a side note working with Hisound on this review was great. They were fast with communication and fast with shipping to the US. These came packaged ready to go through a war zone.