Today we look at the Hidizs MD4, the latest IEM from the Chinese brand, a new model selling for $199.
Disclaimer: the Hidizs MD4 was sent to us free of charge by the brand, in exchange for our honest opinion.
Founded in 2009 by Tamson Tan, Hidizs offers a full range of DAP, DAC/Amp and IEMs which all share the same DNA: good sound, affordable prices. And if their first model, the AP100, was one of the quirkiest devices I ever held in my life, it remained a solid alternative to FiiO’s or Shanling’s players, for a lesser price.
Then, for their second generation player, the AP200, the brand decided to launch a Kickstarter, which appeared to be quite successful as Hidizs managed to raise no less than $280,000, with 943 backers. A great success that pushed the brand in a whole new direction, with best-sellers like the AP80 series – we even reviewed the AP80 Pro-X recently.
And this week, we are reviewing the Hidizs MD4, a new model packing four balanced drivers paired with a tuning switch system. Enough to make the difference? That’s what we’ll see today.
Design & Build Quality
For a sub-$200 IEM, I have to say that Hidizs nailed it with the MD4. There are now plenty of very good-looking in-ears from China and above, in this price range, but with its multi-layer design and glossy faceplate, the MD4 looks quite catchy. If available in three different colors, Black, White, Indigo, I received them in the last variation and was quite impressed by how cohesive the whole shell appears in real life.
It’s a lot like the first generation FiiO FH5 / FH7, minus the ripple design, which is a really nice thing if you ask me. And, if you look closely, you’ll see that the rose gold tinted plate, intertwined between the outer and inner shell, matches the nozzle which also gets the same finish. A nice gimmick, enhanced by the golden logo, emblazoned on the faceplate, so everyone can see where your new IEM comes from: Hidizs.
And the brand would be right to chest out: it’s a really well-built IEM. The casing itself is quite robust, even if the Hidizs MD4 feels a bit light in the end – but who wants an heavy-weighting earphone – they don’t crack and don’t feel prone to break if you let them fall. Even the faceplate, which is made of acrylic and not aluminum like the main body, feels confidently thick, like any premium IEM should be.
But, once again, this isn’t a premium IEM, the MD4 is available for just 200 bucks. A lot for chi-fi I know, but for an established brand, making audiophile products, that’s not a lot of money. The only other IEM I could think of that outperforms the MD4 while being cheaper, would be the FiiO FD3 Pro, but this one tends to be less and less available where I live…
The only drawback in my opinion would be the 2-pin socket. I know that Hidizs added a little lid, to help you fit the cable more tightly and avoid unwanted pressure on the socket – brilliant idea by the way – but I’m still a bit unsure about that, compared to MMCX. Time will tell!
In the ears
With a semi-custom design and lightweight braided cable, the Hidizs MD4 feels quite good in the ear. The design isn’t perfect, as I could still feel some (very) slight hindrance above the nozzle, but on the long run it’s still a solid alternative once properly paired with the right tips.
I tried a few of them, but always ended up with the regular one, mid-size: the basic of the basic. On top of that, Hidizs bundled the MD4 with a very good cable, so you should be good for a long time.
Noise insulation is very good but some high-pitched sound still managed to pierce the various layers of the IEM. That said, once you play some music, the noise disappears and allows you to enjoy your songs in the best conditions. If you want to get a little more isolated, go for the foam.
So, time to check the specs!
Inside the box
The bundle is quite scarce, with just a handful of tips and the IEM. But luckily, the Hidizs MD4 comes with a really nice looking faux-leather box, where you can fit your ears, and an little DAC like the ddHiFi TC44C or FiiO KA2.
- the Hidizs MD4
- a very cool cable, mixing copper and silver braids with 3.5mm termination
- the brown carry case
- a full set of silicon and foam tips
You can get two things here to enhance your experience:
- a balanced cable, either in 2.5mm or 4.4mm that will allow you to connect the IEM to a…
- … audiophile source like a DAP or a DAC/AMP. Even something small like the ddHiFi TC35C should be enough, or an AP80 Pro-X if you’re in for a player
Sensitivity / Hiss
Impedance is super-low (8 ohms), sensitivity is mild (102dB) making the Hidizs MD4 quite easy to drive, even with relatively small sources like the iFi Audio Go Blu. It’s a bit prone to hiss in treble mode, but in every other mode, I never encountered any of that.
4BA drivers + Tuning switches
The Hidizs MD4 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, embedding 4 drivers only – which is the same number of drivers the 64audio Fourté packs – all Balanced armatures one, driven by a 3-way crossover PCB. Don’t get me wrong, getting more drivers doesn’t automatically makes an IEM better, but FiiO, Shanling and BGVP made me greedy and nowadays, everything has to be hybrid, with dynamic transducers for the lows.
In the case of the MD4, Hidizs decided not to put a DD, but 2BA. It’s a classic setup, which when properly done can deliver massive lows with little to no distortion so you get “ thicker bass, incredible depth, tight response, and rich texture.”
For mids and highs, the MD4 is a bit more conservative and gets one drivers per each frequency range – all tailor-made for the brand. The promise ? Intoxicating texture, unbelievable vocals, more extension, crisper sound, and richer details.
But, the real feature here, is the tuning switch system, something that I’ve already seen in the like of Shanling’s ME800 or BGVP’s DM8. You get two switches, that unlock four different signatures:
- Balanced: Classic Hidizs tuning, suitable for most people’s listening styles.
- Warm: excellent performance at all frequencies, stronger musical sense. Suited for folk & pop music.
- Treble: remarkable highs/ultra-high. Suited for rock and electronic music
- Bass: boosted bass with excellent speed and a tight response. Suited for symphony and classical music
We’ll see later on if that really makes a difference, or not.
- Model: Hidizs MD4
- Type: IEM
- Style: fully balanced armatures with a 3-way crossover
- Drivers: 2x BA (lows) / 1x BA (mids) / 1x BA (highs)
- Socket: 2 pins (0.78 mm)
- Cable: 60 high-purity silver wires + 60 high-purity oxygen-free copper cable
- Shell: aluminum + celluloid faceplate
- Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- Sensitivity: 102dB
- Sound Isolation (up to): up to 23dB
- Cable length: 120cm
- Weight: 14g
- Price: $199
The review continues on page 2, or just after the page break.