Today, we review the ThieAudio Hype 2 Hybrid In-Ear Monitors. It’s available now for $299 USD.
Disclaimer: ThieAudio Hype 2 was provided by Linsoul for the purpose of this review, at no cost. As always, the article reflects my unbiased opinion.
Established in 2019, ThieAudio specializes in the R&D of audiophile in-ear monitors and headphones. Their mission, as stated, is to serve as a creative platform, amalgamating the best engineering teams to oversee the design and manufacturing of high-performance audiophile products. Their approach is unique: for each project, they meticulously select the most innovative and renowned engineers in their domain and work jointly. ThieAudio has carved a niche in the industry in a relatively short span, offering products that cater to a wide range of price points. You can explore our other ThieAudio reviews here.
Today’s spotlight is on the Hype 2, a fresh addition to ThieAudio’s IEM repertoire and the first member of the new HYPE series. Let’s delve into its performance.
ThieAudio Hype 2
The Hype 2 is equipped with a 2DD + 2BA configuration and features interesting tech under its shell. It incorporates the IMPACT² technology, similar to what we’ve seen with the Monarch MKIII. This new subwoofer solution uses two 10mm composite diaphragm drivers in an isobaric chamber. The engineering team states that adding another 10mm subwoofer significantly enhances the bass’s power and texture. At the same time, the in-house designed isobaric chamber design ensures optimized pressure.
Additionally, the Hype 2 utilizes two of the latest iterations of Sonion drivers, the 2356 and E25ST, which have been critically acclaimed and used by many top brands in the IEM industry. ThieAudio states that after extensive testing with various driver types, the most recent versions of these drivers, the P2356HF/4 and E25ST001/D, were chosen for the Hype 2. The updated P2356HF/4 offers enhanced output with reduced THD, leading to higher resolution and clarity compared to other BA drivers in its class. On the other hand, the E25ST001/D super tweeter delivers an excellent tone, extending the treble audibly up to 18kHz. This super tweeter provides upper treble performance akin to the renowned electrostatic (EST) drivers but with a smoother and more coherent tone.
The Hype is priced at $299 USD and is now available on Linsoul. When buying the Hype 2, customers have the option to choose between two distinct faceplate designs. The unit I received sports the ‘Zicao’ faceplate, which stands out with its glittery design in a shade of purple. “Zicao” refers to a traditional Chinese root, renowned for its medicinal properties. Additionally, the ‘Indigo’ faceplate, characterized by its layers of blue shards, is equally impressive. ThieAudio continues to elevate its aesthetic standards with each release, producing visually stunning faceplates. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the performance and nuances of the ThieAudio Hype 2 together.
Specs & Highlights
Drivers: Sonion E25 (x1) + Sonion 2300 (x1) + 10mm dynamic drivers (x2)
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
Nozzle Diameter (Lip): 6mm
Nozzle Diameter (Stem): 5.4mm
Packaging & Accessories
ThieAudio maintains consistency in its packaging designs across its products. The Hype II follows this trend, arriving in the familiar ThieAudio packaging. The box, padded entirely with foam, is divided into two sections to ensure the protection of its contents. One compartment snugly holds the earphones, while the fabric-lined hard carrying case is next to it, containing the accessories.
The package includes three sets each of foam and silicone ear tips, accompanied by a silver-colored cable. The supplied SPC cable is identical to the ThieAudio EST Cable Mark I. It is a 4-braid cable with 5N 26AWG OCC with a silver plating layer in a litz structure. This design not only resists corrosion but also extends its longevity. The included cable is well-made, with good strain-relief parts and smooth ear guides, ensuring long-term reliability and durability. Sound-wise, it pairs harmoniously with the Hype 2’s signature, eliminating the immediate need for upgrade cables.
The hard-shell fabric carrying case is spacious enough to accommodate two earphones and a portable DAC/AMP. Its sturdy design ensures protection against potential damage during transit. Additionally, the case contains a ThieAudio branded cable tie and a polishing cloth.
Design, Build & Comfort
The ThieAudio Hype 2 features a UV resin shell complemented by custom-coloured faceplates. Its metal nozzle, fitted with a fine mesh filter, is 6mm wide. For those considering aftermarket tips, this measurement is essential to note. Wide stem ear tips such as JVC’s Spiral Dots and BlockEar+ fit seamlessly. The design of the shells is tailored to support the ear’s antihelix, ensuring that they sit comfortably in the concha area of the ear. The shell size can be classified as medium-large. It is not a relatively large earphone, especially compared to tribrids from ThieAudio, but it is not particularly small either.
The build quality is excellent; I noticed no manufacturing flaws, and the connection between the nozzle, main body, and other joints appears seamless. The design of the faceplate is striking. It is decorated with a unique pattern in shades of purple, reminiscent of a sea star. As usual with all the other IEMs from the brand, the ThieAudio name can be found in chrome lettering on both faceplates. There is also a metal mesh-covered air-pressure vent facing the front (when worn), most likely for the isobaric enclosure inside. Overall, Hype 2 has an aesthetic design and feels durable with its medical-grade UV resin shell.
In terms of functionality, the Hype 2 offers good passive noise isolation. Designed to follow the natural contours of the ear, the Hype 2 is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The included cable is skin-friendly, lightweight, and flexible, adding to the overall comfort. The Hype 2 promises a comfortable, effortless fit for those with medium to large ears.
The review continues on the next page. Click here or use the jump below.
Page 1: ThieAudio, Hype 2, Packaging & Accessories, Build Design & Fit
Page 2: Sound, Low, Mid, High, Technical Capability, Comparisons, Last Words