[In-Ear Monitor] Hidition NT-8 : The return of the legendReviews/Audiophile Review (ENG) 2018. 11. 1. 20:45
It has not been very long since I met ‘Hidition’ directly and began to get close to each other. Since bought Hidition NT-6pro iem 5 years ago, it has been difficult to get close to them because I have not had any chance to get in touch because they have not had any external activities or special events in recent years. After contact with them, I found out that the image of Hidition that I knew was entirely different from that of the real. They are a brand that puts more emphasis on customer needs than anyone else.
Hidition, the meaning of ‘High Digital Communication’, is a company based on the hearing-aid business that aims to communicate with customers with high unique technology. In 1994, they joined the technical team of the hearing aid manufacturing company. And they acquired a utility model rights license for custom-fit earphones in 2001. Therefore, including research and development term, Hidition is a 17 years old in-ear monitor brand. They are the only manufacturer in South-Korea that has been producing custom earphones for more than 10 years. Now, in 2018, they released new two products after 3 years.
They started their business with the concept of a product that can hear the sound while protecting users’ hearing and then created a flagship product like 'NT-6' in the past, but as time went on, ‘Hidition’ discovered that many audio-enthusiasts had their individual product preferences. They realized that there would be a lot of challenges in achieving the sound and design of a preference propensity. They have spent more than two years doing a questionnaire-survey on audio enthusiasts and specialists and gathering that data trying to get the products that consumers really want.
Their universal-fit iem series, which have been spending so much time and born, are intended to inform more people of the unique sounds of 'Hidition'. The 'NT-8', born out of 'NT-6', is manufactured with more expanded dynamic range and richer harmonic expression, released in two types, custom-fit and universal-fit version.
The most significant initial difficulty in creating universal and custom models was to reduce the "sound changes due to material’s medium and sound-insulation" caused by these two design differences. It was a huge issue to achieve it correctly for them, and they poured all the technical power into reaching the approximate value which is why the product line was released later than expected. As a result, the consumer price of the custom-fit and universal-fit model are said to be almost the same level.
Both universal and custom formats allow users to define customizing the color and design of the housing shell and plate, and they can choose between '2pin' and 'MMCX' type connectors, designed for use with 3rd party upgrade cables. The new design 'TEXTURE' plate art, which was launched with this new product line, is customized with natural materials such as wood, marble, and seashell according to user's requirements.
I was able to use Universal-fit and Custom-fit of ‘NT-8’ iem at the same time for more than one months. The biggest surprise was that the apparent finish level was significantly better than before. The first thing that came into my eyes was that the shells were made transparently without bubbles, and the seams between the plates and shells were as clean as they were hardly visible to the naked eye. Also, the art colors of the plates are well developed and clear even when enamel coated once more.
Unlike other universal-fit products, the universal has a long triangular shape, and its connectors are stuck out. By projecting the connector separately, the overall housing design can be made smaller, and the stress between its cable and connectors minimized while using it. ‘Hidition’ said that the nozzles are designed to be longer to maximize the contacted surfaces of the ear-canals and deliver the sound more appropriately.
Thankfully, unlike the uncomfortable concern because of long nozzles’ length, it was settled pretty well on my ear canals. The reason why the nozzles are designed in this way is for making a comfortable fit considering the protruding connectors and its bulged shells. However, there was one inconvenience point. Because of the protruding connectors in its design, when using with upgrade-cables which have long connector covers, the joints are quite long, making them uncomfortable to wear. Users who want to order a universal-fit version and try to match with an upgrade cable afterward, please be aware of this beforehand.
When ordered custom-fit version of NT-8, I was surprised to hear that three designs could be put in one single unit at the same time, because there have been few cases of putting two colors into the one single housing shell before. I wanted to know how much Hidition's technology level is, so I selected three arts that seem to be the most difficult. Then, the result is as shown in the picture. It has a fine resin coating on its surface, and it shines like a glass globe, and its color is bright and sharp.
Since the custom-fit units do not have a difference in appearance compared to conventional products, compatibility with 3rd party upgrade-cables is expected to be satisfactory. Also, its nozzle entrances of four bores are dented so that it is not irritating to the ears. Although they are deep fit into the ears, the surface areas in which the products touch into the ear is extensive and its weight is light, they can be used in everyday life without inconveniences.
Its stock earphone cable called 'KH2' cable is made of 7-core silver-plated conductors and is available in a total of 25 patterns using five colors insulation (black, white, red, blue, transparent). I applied a blend of transparent and blue color pattern for my custom-fit units. Even though using the resilient cloths, it is not disturbed by microphonic, but because of the stiff feeling, sometimes it was inconvenient because its ear-guide parts are not fixed well to my ear when sitting and listening occasionally.
It has a 3.5mm plug designed for smartphone bumper cases, and its Y-splitter is designed from Hidition's own and can adjust up over the top of its ear-guides. By tightening its adjuster to the top of its ear-guides, the earphone units are prevented from hitting each other when storing. This feature allows users to quickly store the iem in a container.
Name: NT-8 (New Tears 8)
Driver: 8 Balanced Amature drivers
(4way / 4 Bass, 1 mid, 1 treble, 2 upper treble)
Frequency Response: 10-19,500 Hz
Impedance: ~16.5 ohm
Warranty: 1 year
Made in South-Korea
NT-8 is the successor to the 'NT-6' model and has some part of the sound-signature characteristic of ‘NT-6Pro’ model at the same time. Although it has the flat sound-signature that was the biggest advantage of the previous product, NT-8 seems to be a V-shaped tone with a very light bend when actually listening because of some emphasized parts of frequency. The middles and treble spread in the middle of the listeners’ head evenly, and the bass is heard around the behind widely without any muffled.
The response characteristic of the middles and treble is high-speed even with the dense degree of reverberation on the treble, and the tone of the middle is close to achromatic and has a characteristic that it changes into a bright feeling as it goes up to the higher frequency. Since the instrument sessions are separated and heard one by one and rolling-off smoothly glassy apart, NT-8 did not miss the detail of the second half of the electric guitar and high-hat drum’s pyrotechnics of "Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused".
As the reverberation of upper-bass is emphasized, it shows a slower response compared with the middle and treble. It is emphasized enough not to muffle bass details, so there was no significant difficulty in enjoying music or distinguishing instrument sessions. NT-8 could get the accurate ambiance detail easily because the bass had a tone close to achromatic, but it might sound plain and dry for the users to enjoying to the bass.
Actually, compared to a custom-fit, universal-fit version still has a limitation with the brighter lighter feeling of overall sound-signature due to a little bit attenuated emphasis on reverberations at the bass. But, I am really amazed by their design concept that these can be judged to be the same. Looking at the bigger picture, they have no significant difference with actual listening except the matters.
Hidition recommends using their stock ear-tips when using Universal-fit products. They help to deliver the intended original sound by pulling the position of the bore entrance as close as possible to the eardrum. If have a third-party product that meets these prerequisites, users can use it properly. In fact, the use of the products without the feature has changed the characteristics of the treble so that it sounds harsh and irritating.
The NT8 shows stable output performance free from output noise, while the overall sound-signature is not easily distorted even when exposed to various device environments. The output stability of the equipment used together shows the difference in detail with the upper-treble and low-bass. I would recommend matching to the source-device that has a DAP (Digital Audio player) level output and the chesty smooth sound-signature.
The above contents are produced for showing Hidition's NT8 to the public. I was offered by the product support and the payment for the photography service.
Bigheadfiler, I have done my best to make reviews practical and useful to the readers, made contents by free will without color. Please take time and judge from the article whether this is honest.
All of the contents above are produced by Bigheadfiler.
The copyright of the pictures above belongs to "Hidition."
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