Current testing methodology is v1.2
June 8, 2023
5.08 x 5 x 3.31 in
The Hidizs MS3 is a pair of earphones from the Chi-fi brand Hidizs. Based in Shenzen, the brand is known for manufacturing earphones, amplifiers, portable music players, and audio accessories.
These earphones cost around $110 to $170, depending on where you get them. Yes, it’s pricier compared to many Chi-fi branded earphones out there so you may be wondering what makes this pair special.
The threshold of a budget set ends when it sets foot in the $100 price range. In this bracket, tuning won’t be sufficient to justify the price and a relatively good chunk of the expectations include the technicalities being more than capable.
Now, let’s see how the Hidizs MS3 performs!
An extremely competitive set tuned to Harman, teeming with rhythm, vibrance, and energy
The Hidizs is a hybrid IEM. Under its dark cowl are a precise rhythmic bass section, a vibrant, expressive midrange with an astute sharpness, and a bright and resounding upper end that’s snappy and brimming with detail.
With its build quality, design, ergonomics, and sonics, the MS3 is placed at an extremely competitive position in the market that’s sure to captivate the hearts of those who can appreciate an energetic Harman approach.
- Driver: 10.2 mm Polymer Composite Diaphragm Dynamic Driver + 2 Knowles SWFK-31736 BAs
- Frequency response: 20-40,000Hz
- Impedance: 18Ω
- Sensitivity: 112dB/mw
- Earphone connector: 0.78mm 2-pin Gold-plated Socket with Replaceable Cable Design
What’s in the Box?
- Hidizs MS3 earphones
- 3.5mm or 4.4mm earphone cable
- 3 pairs of tuning filters
- 9 pairs of ear tips (S, M, L)
- Faux leather carrying pouch
- User manual
- Warranty card
Stuff I like
- Fast, rhythmic, and sufficiently deep low end
- Vibrant and energy-driven midrange and crisp and snappy treble
- Immaculate clarity and resolution, plus impressive technicalities at its price range
- Robust and high-quality cable
- Tuning filters tweak the listening experience
Stuff I like less
- Slight recession in the lower midrange
- Can be fatiguing to listen to for long sessions
- Tricky source matching due to low impedance
- Running on balanced causes sibilance in most genres
The Hidizs MS3 comes in sleek black packaging that’s unlike the standard packaging on budget sets. This is somewhat expected because this IEM is, in no way, a budget IEM.
The unboxing experience is quite nice as the MS3 is well-presented in a velvety mold that fits the IEMs snugly. Under the mold, you’ll find the included accessories such as the cable, tuning filters, and ear tips. There’s also a faux leather pouch for storing the IEMs. It’s a nice addition but it’s kind of expected at this price point.
My first listening session with them had that initial wow factor and I was certain they were a success in both their engineering and sound. What I’d say about them though is that their tuning is catered to a niche of listeners and won’t mimic the safe tuning all-rounder sets tend to go with.
The sound is pretty colored as well, which is subjectively good or bad depending on the listener.
While there are some nitpicks present, I think the Hidizs MS3’s value holds up well in today’s very competitive market. Instead of dominating the landscape and selling out like hotcakes, they’ll be owned and appreciated by a good number of people who like the Harman and bright sound signatures.
The build quality of the Hidizs MS3 has got to be one of the best under $200. It’s made from aviation-grade aluminum alloy carved by a 5-axis CNC machining process and the faceplate is adorned with what looks like protruding wings. There are also rose gold outlines on the edge of the rim.
Both the faceplate and the backend of the shell have an anodized matte black finish that keeps the surface smooth and clean while striking a mean pose. Its design borrows some of its cues from its older brother, the Hidizs MS5.
Honestly, the design emits a very classy and brooding mood, since they themed both siblings to dark angels. It reminds me of the angel core aesthetic and paints intrigue. I admire pieces of artwork and lore relating to fallen angels, so this one is spot-on for me.
The cable is a high-purity copper cable with the right amount of thickness and rigidity. The stranding is done beautifully, plus the terminations look and feel premium as well. It may be hands down the best cable in its price range.
Overall, the materials are all top-notch and the design was well thought out and executed. I’d be hard-pressed to find a set that achieves a similar feel for the price.
Fit and Comfort
The Hidizs MS3’s shells are modeled to conform to the ear’s natural shape so the wearing comfort and fit are excellent. The isolation is also decent as it blocks out a considerable chunk of noise from the external environment.
Long story short, they’re a killer. There’s not much to say about these earphones regarding the wearing experience – just that they fit like a glove in my ears, especially when using Spinfit 100s or JVC Spiral Dots.
The Hidizs MS3 comes with tuning filters and, oh boy, these aren’t a gimmick so I’m quite happy about it. This IEM promises sound tweaking with its pneumatic tuning filters that shape the sound to fit your listening preferences.
In my experience, the rose gold filter designated as “balanced” provided the best timbre and technicalities. The silver filter designated as “treble” sounded almost identical to the balanced filter, with only a slight increase in brightness on top.
The red filter designated as “bass” makes the low-end meatier and the upper mids more level, but I find 8KHz to be particularly sharp and introduces sibilance more frequently than I’d like. Equalizing around minus 3dbs down at 8KHz may make it more listenable though.
The red filter has a bigger bass shelf, which makes bass lines and kickdrums more satisfying by adding weight and presence to the low end. While the bass filter does have more girth and quantity with its bass, the balanced filter is by no means mild or lean.
Overall, a slight cutback in resolution and clarity is apparent with the red filter and I find myself using the balanced filter as my de facto choice. It sounds the most balanced, tonally correct, and technical.
Now, let’s talk about the sound of the Hidizs MS3. I’ll dissect each frequency band and describe what I hear as detailed as possible.
Some sets decide to go with a flatter bass response and while I do think this removes much of the mud in the replay, I find that this makes the low-end sound a little too light and listeners are left wanting more. The flip side is the bass head camp where the trade-off with getting relatively good amounts of presence is extra bloat.
I love bass, but I don’t like it interfering with any of the other sound bands. I don’t like the low end to be passive, but I also don’t want it to be too domineering. The Hidizs MS3 succeeds with its bass region because it manages to place itself in the middle.
It can produce a good amount of rumble in the subfrequencies while also being rhythmic and impactful with its mid-bass.
The presentation is more balanced, perhaps a tad milder on the balanced tuning filter, where it’s fast and engaging with lower amounts of rumble versus the bass tuning filter, where the bass is more authoritative and satisfying in quantity.
Oddly enough as well, vocals and other instruments in the purview are also appreciable. This balance is superb and while I do love bass, being able to appreciate it with the midrange is a massive cupid arrow to the heart for me.
The midrange beholds the true power of the Hidizs MS3 with its Knowles balanced armatures. Voices, especially that of female singers, are just breathtakingly beautiful.
Artists the likes of Laufey, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and UMI, where vocal technique involves breathy delivery, key switching, and dynamics- were just fantastic. Dare I say this attribute extends to almost every female voice, perhaps some Lyn Lapid, NIKI, Tiffany Day, Karen Carpenter – I could do this all day, but you get my point.
There’s a slight recession in the lower mids at 800Hz and I find this affects the position of the singers more so than note weight. Male singers like Brendon Urie, Engelbert Humperdinck, George Benson, and Dhruv retain the vocal heft of their ranges. I’ll agree that female voices do sound slightly better but that’s likely because of the accentuated upper mids.
There’s something else that dip at 800Hz does though. Sometimes when I find the vocals a little too distant to my liking, I raise the volume a little to compensate and while this works up to a certain degree, it’s also very easy to drive the Hidizs MS3 to the edge of sibilance.
I wish the lower mids were a little more intimate. Volume control is crucial here and I find moderate listening volumes yield the best results. The overall midrange is expressive, breathy, and vibrant. Energy and power behind voices are heard, putting emotions at the forefront of the listening experience.
The tuning on the upper end can produce a highly technical sound. The treble has two very specific peaks in the Hidizs MS3’s graph – there’s one at 4.5KHz and one at 8KHz. These two peaks are primarily responsible for clarity and technical ability.
Although I have a slight aversion to peaks at 5 and 6KHz, I still find the peak at 4.5kHz bring out one of the most rhythmic and flowing performances with genres like metal and J-pop. Instrumentation and transients are immaculately crisp and resounding.
Treble-sensitive folk may be averse to percussions sounding afloat and while I do agree that the upper mids need a little taming, culling these frequencies by using an impedance adapter leaves the premise mistaken. I found out that the magic of the Hidizs MS3 fades away and it just becomes mediocre.
Moving on to the mid-treble, I think the MS3 has some of the best clarity in this price range. I wonder if it can stack up to some of the planar options out there but I imagine they’d be pretty close. If you’re coming from a set that’s around $80, the jump from resolution is astounding. The higher treble extends well past 10KHz and this makes the sound open and highly resolving.
This treble isn’t holding back at all and while the lower treble is somewhat unnaturally forward, the Hidizs MS3’s sound is thanks to these peaks.
I guess, you’ll either love it or hate it, and EQ does exist but for those who want a milder response without equalizing – just switch to a lower voltage source. Undeniably, the treble is one of the Hidizs MS3’s most valuable strengths.
For the price, the Hidizs MS3 does amazing on the technical side of things.
I find that it does excellently on every front. The layering is clean and fleshed out, while the sound separation is tidy and distinct. The staging sounds open and sufficiently spacious in width, depth, and height, plus the transient response and dynamics are just phenomenal.
The resolution and resolving ability are also a standout, especially for the price. The technical section is what makes the Hidizs MS3 a pretty killer set and I must say, it knocks it out of the park, no sweat.
The Dark Kin descend upon the Chi-fi market with wings as black as night. Sinners rejoice, darkness has landed. The seventh horn has not sounded. Salvation or destruction? The Dark Cherub has arrived.
The Hidizs MS3 is without a doubt one of the best value propositions in its price bracket. Going back a couple of years, a set like a Moondrop Starfield dominated the market despite being more expensive than it performs.
I do have some nitpicks with it but they’re quite minor. It has a very incisive characteristic on 4.4 that can be too intense for its own good. It doesn’t need extra voltage as it gets considerably loud off of a phone.
Running it on balanced makes the peak at 4.5KHz even more accentuated and raises brightness by a few notches just enough to make your ears tread the lines of sibilance. I made the mistake of trying it on a VE Megatron on its balanced port that had 300mW/32ohm, which almost literally blew my head off.
Again, these are just nitpicks and they’re not deal-breakers.
Overall, I think the Hidizs MS3 deserves a spot in everyone’s collection as it’s something that’s not only well-tuned and competent but very unique as well.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.