A Headphones Reviews Blog
Prior to the review, I would like to thank Mr. Jack Fu for the review sample.
Hisoundaudio is a Chinese DAP (Digital Audio Player), IEMs and earbuds manufacturer, highly praised by audiophile communities all over the world for their Studio V and Rocoo DAPs. In 2011, Hisound has begun to push their earphones and earbuds more and more into the international market. Now, they get recognized not just for their DAP offerings, but also for their high end “Golden Crystal” IEMs. Too bad, their other IEM offerings are quite overlooked. Today I’ll review their “Popo”, a wooden IEM, with a bassy and fun sound signature.
Before we start, here are the Hisoundaudio Popo technical specifications (taken from Frogbeats):
|16 – 23,000 Hz|
9mm dynamic driver
Packaging: The Popo is packaged in a small transparent plastic box, which in my opinion, looks quite similar to the iPod Touch’s 3rd Generation’s package. The package looks quite cheap and unprofessional, but it means absolutely nothing about its content. There’s a small window, which you can see the Popo through. On the package there are some Dancer images printed, and specifications in Chinese on its rare side.
All of the included accessories
Accessories: The Popo comes with a shirt clip, 10 pairs of Eartips: 4 single flanged tip pairs (Small/Medium/Large, Extra Large), 3 pairs of Bi-Flange tips (Small/Medium/Large) and 3 pairs of Triple-Flanged Tips (Small/Medium/Large). Too bad, a case isn’t included, and without it, it would be pretty hard to carry the huge tips amount that comes with the Popo. In my opinion, the lack of a case is very bad, because almost all of the Popo’s competitors do come with a one. The rating is 7/10.
Building Quality and Design: Hisound states that the Popo is made of African Rosewood wood. It feels and looks like real wood, not in its raw shape, but its real wood for sure. The wood is solid and strong, and it seems like it had been brushed with some kind of a wood protection material. Near to the sound vents there’s a tiny venting hole. The sound vents are covered by thin cellophane filters, which come on almost all of the IEMs in this price range. The strain reliefs are pretty hard, even too hard, which makes them not really flexible. The pretty rubbery red cable is pretty thick and strong; Hisound even claims that it should resist even with 150 kilograms of weight on it, a thing which I didn’t manage to check yet. The cable ends with a straight 3.5mm jack. Most of the people would’ve probably preferred an L shaped plug, as it’s more durable. A missing thing is a chin slider, but I don’t think that if it would’ve been there I would’ve had to use it. The Popo feels like a very well built IEM, which can resist a very long time without any problems. The rating is 8.5/10.
Comfort/Fit: I didn’t manage check all of the tips due to the huge tips amount, but I did test a few of them. The most comfortable tips for me were the Medium single flanged ones, and the most uncomfortable were the medium Bi-Flanges. With the medium sized single flanges, the insertion is quite deep, with almost no pressure. The housings are pretty small, so they do not pop out of the ears. In the comfort section, these are one of the best IEMs I’ve ever tried, you just got to find the right tips, and you’ll get heavenly comfort. The rating is 9/10.
Isolation and Microphonics: The isolation is good enough for a vented IEM; In fact, it’s a lot better than many other vented IEMs’ isolation, maybe because the vent is quite tiny. The microphonics amount is quite average. It can be decreased by wearing the Popo over the ear. The rating is 8/10.
Sound Quality: Prior to the review, the Hisoundaudio Popo was burned in for at least 50 hours. No noticeable changes were detected.
The Bass: Bass,Bass and even more Bass. That’s the best way to describe the Popo’s sound signature. The Popo’s bass is monstrous and giant. It’s very punchy, and Hisoundaudio described it the best: “The Popo’s bass is the kind of bass that you can hear only in the disco” It’s punchy, powerful, heavy and contains enough texture. It’s clear and clean and well presented, it gives the songs a fun and energetic feeling. The only problem with it is that it’s a bit too dominant, which causes overpowering of the other frequencies.
The Mids are liquid and warm, but overshadowed by the bass, causing some of the instruments to feel a bit far from the listener’s ears. The mids aren’t forward but not laid back either; they’re pretty much in the middle.
The Treble has a nice extension, and it’s quite crisp, lush and smooth. It tends to be backwards to the Mids and to the Bass, falling behind them.
The Sound-Stage is quite big, very airy and has that kind of special reverberation that wooden housings use to provide. The instruments separation is pretty impressive, and it does help the imaging a lot.
The sound is overall bass biased, although it does not mean that the other frequencies were deprived at all, actually, they perform very well too.
The rating for this section is 8.5/10 in ratio to the Popo’s price.
In conclusion, The Hisoundaudio Popo is a great contender to the crown of the sub-100$ IEMs market. I believe that it’ll be a Bass-Heads favorite in Head-Fi for sure. Not just bass-heads would love the Popo, I’m not a one and I absolutely fell in love with it, due to its fun and energetic, disco-like bass. The overall rating is 9/10. The Popo gives an awesome value for the price.
Pros: Great energetic and fun bass, Comfortable, Good Cable, Great Design.
Cons: Bass can be too much for some, No carrying case included.
The Hisoundaudio Popo is officialy retailed for 89$, but it can be purchased for around 60$ via various resellers, like: Frogbeats , the top-rated eBay seller, bigbaragainonline or through Hisoundaudio themselves. You should check all of the retailers, as some of them provide with the Popo some extra accessories like cases, adapters, etc.