A Headphones Reviews Blog
REVIEW: Hippo VB
14/03/2012Posted by on
Prior to the review, I would like to thank to Uncle Wilson and to his Jaben team for the sample.
Before we start, here are Hippo’s VB technical specifications:
Frequency Response: 18Hz~22 KHz
Cord Length: 1.3m
Packaging: The Hippo VB comes in a simple and quite plain black cardboard box, with a big picture of the VBs printed on it.
the included hard shell case
Accessories: The following accessories are included in the package: A hard shell zipper case, 3 bass port pairs (One Dot/Two Dots/Three Dots), three pairs of gray single flanged tips (Small/Medium/Large) and three pairs of barrel styled Bi Flanged tips (Small/Medium/Large). The included accessories are quite nice, in my opinion; they’re pretty much the standard amount of accessories in these price ranges. The supplied case is one of my favorite cases because it’s not too small as some of the others, but it’s not too big either. Also, it protects the IEMs quite well, considering that it’s a hard shell case. It’s pretty functional too – inside of it, there’s a storage section covered with a net, where I store the supplied tips and bass ports. The rating is 9/10.
the supplied tips
Building Quality and Design: The aluminum-made housings feel pretty solid and strong. On them, “Hippo VB” is written in white. On their other side, there are Left and Right markings printed too. The strain reliefs are a bit too hard and not so flexible, which in the mean time can cause them to break and to leave to cable’s connection to the driver exposed. The cable is of excellent quality, it’s quite thick, but it’s pretty flexible either. The Y-split is very good, it’s well strain relieved. The cable ends with a pretty big L shaped 3.5 millimeter jack, which feels quite sturdy and strong, it’s one of the most durable looking jacks that I’ve ever seen. The rating is 9/10.
Comfort/Fit: The barrel shaped housings are not too heavy, but they’re still quite big compared to other IEMs. Due to their size, they can sometimes cause some discomfort in the outer ear, though, I haven’t experienced it too much. I have found the supplied tips a bit too rigid; they weren’t very comfortable for me, so instead of using them, I preferred to use some generic black tips instead, which offered me better comfort and fit. In conclusion, the comfort and fit are ok, the comfort isn’t too good, but it isn’t too bad either. The rating is 7.5/10.
Isolation and Microphonics: The isolation that is provided is quite average, mainly due to the venting holes in the bass ports, which cause outside noise leakage. The microphonics are pretty average either, though, when worn over the ear, they can be decreased. The rating is 8/10.
Sound Quality: Prior to the review, these were burnt in for at least 50 hours. There weren’t any noticeable changes.
The VB’s sound signature is bass driven, warm, and has an “Alive” feeling to it. Due to the three included interchangeable bass ports pairs, the sound signature can be changed, it can become a lot different with every different bass port.
The Bass: The bass is definitely the most dominant frequency, though, it remains quite well controlled. The extension is very deep; it goes way down on the spectrum. It’s quite layered and has some detail too. Also, it’s pretty nicely textured.
The Mids: The mids are pretty clean and clear, and have almost no bass leakage. They have good body, but they’re a bit laid back due to the bass’ dominant nature.
The Treble: The treble is quite crisp, clean and clear. It has an aggressive, intense and quite edgy nature. It has some quite a bit of sibilance, which can be pretty annoying and ear-piercing. Some of the times, it can be quite harsh too, which can make the listener tired after some listening time. Also, there are some pretty noticeable spikes.
The Sound-Stage: The sound-stage is quite airy and has a bit of wideness to it, though, it is nothing spectacular. It has a quite good instruments separation and positioning.
The rating is 8/10. It’s rated in ratio to the price.
In conclusion, these are one of the most bass-head pleasing IEMs I’ve ever used; I believe that every bass-head will be very appreciative to their impressive bass response. Other than that, it offers a great building quality and nice accessories too. Some will find them a bit uncomfortable, due to their quite big housings, but most, won’t have any problems with them. The overall score is 8.5/10.
Pros: Bass heavy (can be one of the cons too), nice accessories pack, well built.
Cons: The housings might be too big for some, isolation is only average, microphonics, the supplied tips are quite rigid, fatiguing treble.
The Hippo VB can be purchased through Jaben’s online store for 79$.