[Review] Hidition NT-1 custom-fit in-ear monitor: The Great things come in a small package.Reviews/Audiophile Review (ENG) 2019.08.10 14:35
Thinking of ‘Hidition’, what product comes to your mind? ‘NT-6’, ‘NT-6Pro’, ‘NT-8’, ‘Violet’.. Those of you who read this article probably mention these high-priced ciem products in your mind. Before launching new product ‘Violet (11 BA drivers ciem)’ in the public, I already had experienced it with one week. Also, I had experienced to write a review article about ‘NT-8’ ciem and iem officially. In the meantime, I found something really awkward.
(Hidition NT-8 review link is here: https://bigheadfiler.tistory.com/15)
There is no one talks about the entry models of ‘Hidition’ in public. Definitely, ‘NT-1’ does. I had an excellent opportunity to review the flagship product ‘Violet' officially, but I wanted to address something easily accessible and significantly valuable to more people. I managed to reject the temptation of ‘Violet' which made me insane by its amazing and great sound-performance so that chose to review ‘NT-1’. I will let you know here why made this decision.
‘NT-1’ was released in 2011 and has been only sold in South-Korea until 2018. Even with the release of higher specifications products, ‘NT-1’ have not changed the sound design and only its design options have been added. One more exciting thing is that the most popular product in South-Korea is ‘NT-1’, not ‘NT-6’ or ‘NT-6pro’. Audiophiles, sound engineers or musicians who like the flat sound-signature have chosen this entry model exceptionally many times and have always compared it to Etymotic’s older ER4 series.
‘NT-1’ has received much praise from South-Korean users as it is called Custom in-ear monitor version of ‘Etymotic ER4-S', as it uses Knowles ED-series BA drivers and maintains out-put power reliably in a variety of acoustic environments. Even since the price is lower than ‘ER4 series', many have bought ‘NT-1' a lot as a replacement. Actually, ‘NT-1’ has some similarities with the older version of ER4 series, but Hidition told me that its experience and intent they want to give users is entirely different from ‘ER4-S'. I also agree after having experienced it in real life.
In first impression, I had to double-check 'NT-1' ciem because I couldn't believe that performs overwhelming stable acoustic details of mid-frequency. Under 500 USD priced ciems included with customized faceplate design never shown like that before. Its mid and treble frequency have neutral-colored sound-signature, and a little bit dried reverberation. Its FR graph measurement and actual listening of mid and treble nearly perform like Etymotic ER series. This comparison is because why many listeners or owners of Hidion ‘NT-1’ ciem always keep mention that it is a custom-fit version of ‘Etymotic ER4'.
In the actual FR measurement graph, it shows sharp peaks at around 11kHz, but in real listening, it feels significantly weaker than what is seen on the date. Thanks to this characteristic, its mid and treble did not show any compressed of muffled feeling and the quality of the percussion instrument was appropriately expressed to distinguish between the texture and the residual, so that could not feel the lack of musical mixing, video work, and monitoring. This characteristic also helps you can enjoy listening to music looking for mid and treble details.
While working on this article, I found that there was a big difference in the bass which affects to overall sound-signature between Hidition ‘NT-1’ and Etymotic ER4 series, so that is why I had to admit that these two are separate as an entirely different product, as the engineer said. It has emphasized at around upper base slightly gives weight to overall sound-signature of mid and bass and more natural reverberation so that able to distinct to tell the location of the stage where percussion or wind instrument are played more comfortable than expected.
However, ‘NT-1’ couldn’t express the remnants of the instrument in detail, like a super high-end priced ciem product costing more than 1,500 USD. It didn't do the perfect job of expressing deep bass detail, but just only one single balanced-armature driver of it was able to capture most of the expressions delivered in the music, so that couldn't find a shortage of in-ear monitor to be used in professional areas.
The ultimate strength of ‘NT-1’ is flexible and stable output to operate in a variety of acoustic environments. It requires slightly higher output power than can be seen in the spec, so except that the volume needs to be set higher than the typical situation, a stable listening with less output noise can be achieved even in poor acoustic environment settings. In Mini-XLR, 2.5 BAL, or 4.4 BAL terminal, distortion of mid and treble didn't sound easy. Bass varies clearly and widely depending on the stable output, and in almost all environments covered with its spec, distortion or noise does not occur either in mid and treble.
‘NT-1’ basically has universal-fit and custom-fit versions over than at least 85 colored designs. Although Hidition said they tuned as much as possible to make sure that there is no gap between universal-fit and custom-fit version, there’s a lot of difference between them in actual listening. So, unfortunately, I don’t think they are the same product.
Compared to custom-fit, Universal's decreased sense of volume on bass reduces a lot of details, and its accentuated peaks on 11kHz sounds stronger, giving a brighter and lighter overall. It’s a good thing if the characteristics of universal-fit version suit your taste, but since want a more refined detail of treble and bass, the price difference between the two shapes is only 50 USD, please check the tone of the overall sound-signature feeling through the universal-fit version and make sure to order the custom-fit version.
The custom-fit version can apply to almost all designs currently available on the market and have a unique and exclusive design called ‘Texture Art'. ‘Texture Art' is based on the users' desired basic design and is said to be randomly designed with an artistic sense of 17 years skilled designer in Hidition depending on the nature of the material. I wanted to get my custom-fit version as possible, so that didn't request any select option and just ordered plain black-matte colored faceplates.
(You can see examples of ‘Texture Art’ following this link: http://hidition.co.kr/artist, They are going to update English text descriptions and more designs soon.)
All of Hidition products are shaped to go deep inside the ear canals, but it has been used for more than four hours to show a stable fit. I wanted to use the third-party upgrade cables I have, so ordered 2pin socket type at this time. When placing an order, please note that it can be built with the desired connectors.
Hidition ‘NT-1’ has shown high performance and output power reliability even though the entry model, but it has also demonstrated amazed all-rounder uses in professional devices environments and personal listening. It's a bit disappointing for Universal-fit version, but I think it's the most recommended in an appropriate method of purchasing you can get for less than 500 USD, even if adding custom-fit and custom art design option. It is expected to be used as the best product for professional acoustic engineers and musicians who want a high-performance and low-priced in-ear monitor.
Name: Hidition NT1 (New Tears 1)
Type: Universal / Custiom-fit
Frequency response: 20Hz~17kHz
Driver: Single balanced armature driver
Production: Made in Korea
Zeppelin & Co. (Singapore)
Preasto (Hong Kong)
Bigheadfiler Studio is not affiliated with Hidition. The above contents are produced for showing Hidition's NT1 to internationals. The 'NT-1' samples (including universal-fit) and the payment for the photography service(4 photos) are offered for making this article.
Bigheadfiler Studio has done our best to make articles 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.
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The copyright of the pictures above belongs to "Hidition."
Head-fi.org review link:
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