Today, I’m reviewing the Hiby Zeta In-Ear Monitors. This set represents Hiby’s flagship entry into the high-end IEM market, priced at $1,399.
I’d like to extend huge thanks to Eiji, who coordinated this tour, and to Joseph from Hiby for lending us this set for review. Although this unit is part of a tour, rest assured that my thoughts here are entirely my own and uninfluenced by any external entities, including Hiby.
Disclaimer: Reviewing audio gear is highly subjective. There are many factors that influence the sound characteristics of a product, such as ear tips, fit, music choice, prior experience, and more. What I experience may not reflect what you experience, and vice versa. So please take everything I say here with a grain of salt, and always cross-reference reviews. So now, let’s proceed.
- Well refined & mature sound/tuning
- Quality driver performance
- Authoritative and great bass
- Built like a tank
- Packed with driver tech inside
- Comfortable despite its size
- Technical capabilities could be improved especially soundstage
- Average package inclusions
- Vocals are somehow laid-back
About the Hiby Zeta
HiBy is a company with a strong background in the portable audio industry, specializing in high-fidelity music players and audio products. Founded in 2011, HiBy Music, its main brand, focuses on the development of portable digital audio players (DAPs), earphones, and USB DACs. With over 15 years in the field and a dedicated team of over 40 professional audio R&D staff, HiBy has built a reputation for innovation and quality in the realm of portable audio devices.
- Impedance: 9Ω.
- Sensitivity: 112dB/mW.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-40kHz.
- Max Input: 100mW.
- THD+N: <1%.
- Weight: 10.6grams(each earpiece).
- Dynamic+BA+EST Tribrid Driver Configuration.
- Enhanced ElectroStatic Drivers.
- High-Performance Balanced Armature Drivers.
- 10mm Powerful Liquid Silicone Surround Dynamic Driver.
- High-Quality Kevlar Composite Diaphragm.
- 5-way Independent Physical Acoustic Chambers.
- 5-Way Electronic Crossover.
- Premium Titanium Alloy Housings.
- CNC-Machined Finish.
- Spatial Harmonic Enhancement Structure.
- Ergonomic & Lightweight Design.
- High-Purity 8-Core OCC Copper Cable.
- Fully-Balanced Litz Braided Cable Structure.
- True 4.4mm Balanced Termination.
- 0.78mm Two-Pin Connectors.
What’s Inside the Box
- Carrying case
- 3 various types of eartips
- 4.4mm balanced cable
- 2x IEM protective pouch
- Nozzle cleaner
- Cable organizer
- Hiby Zeta IEMs
After spending weeks carefully evaluating the Hiby Zeta, I’ve come to view it as an L-shaped signature IEM. I don’t consider it V-shaped, particularly because the treble region isn’t as pronounced. This opinion is based on my experience with various V-shaped transducers, such as the Beyerdynamic DT series.
In this review, I used my Cayin N6ii and Venture Electronics Abigail Pro amplifier with Spotify and Tidal as music sources.
Frequency response of Hiby Zeta courtesy of Practiphile.
First, let’s talk about the cable as it’s the first thing that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s made from high-quality materials, but I find it a bit too stiff for my liking.
I wish the cable had more flexibility like the Celest PhoenixCall, which offers high quality with minimal resistance. The stiffness causes an issue with the ear hook; it doesn’t sit properly over my ear and tends to float above instead.
Moving on, I must appreciate the Zetas’ build quality. Constructed from high-quality CNC machined titanium, they are clearly built to last!
I also admire the fit of the Zeta; although the shell is somewhat bulky, its design prevents it from protruding or creating pressure points when worn. However, it’s important to note that fit can vary depending on individual ear shapes, as we all have unique ears.
The Hiby Zeta exhibits a monstrous bass impact. This is probably the bass-heaviest set I’ve listened to in a while! Despite that, it features controlled bass that doesn’t bleed into other frequencies, which is great because you can enjoy the quality bass without sacrificing the clarity of the other frequencies. It’s fast, and the decay is on point! I particularly enjoyed this set with the latest ‘Godlike’ LP release by Thy Art is Murder.
However, when it comes to mids, I wish they were a bit more forward. This would make my listening experience more complete and engaging. Male and female vocals sound a bit recessed for my liking. To put it in perspective, if the BQEYZ Winter is near my forehead, the Hiby Zeta is closer to the back of my head in terms of vocal placement.
Despite this, the vocal quality itself is impressive. It sounds organic – just about right, in my opinion.
The treble presents a similar scenario; it’s somewhat more laid back than I prefer. While it still delivers quality treble, it lacks that extra sparkle and nuances. I believe pairing it with an analytical source, which I unfortunately haven’t done, might bring out a bit more energy in the treble. But that’s just my assumption.
This is the reason why I considered it an L-shaped in-ear monitor.
My only complaint about the Hiby Zeta when gaming is its limited soundstage. It doesn’t offer a wide auditory field, which means you might miss hearing cues from incoming enemies.
Overall, the Hiby Zeta provides a richly textured and robust experience during close combat scenarios in gaming.
I can see how the Hiby Zeta would appeal to some listeners. It offers a fatigue-free and fun listening experience! However, it’s not quite my cup of tea, as I prefer more pronounced mids and sparkling highs in the treble region. Though, now, I started to appreciate this kind of signature, all thanks to this set!
Nonetheless, I’m glad I had the opportunity to try out this IEM and experience a sound signature I don’t usually listen to.
For those who already own a treble-focused or analytical set, the Zeta could be a great addition, especially if you’re willing to invest $1,399 in your audio experience!
You can purchase the Hiby Zeta on the links below (non-affiliated links):