- Special, limited and refined version of one of the best planar IEMS of the year 2023.
- Slightly improved profile, perhaps due to the use of a superior material such as titanium.
- Subtly more distinguished, richer, realistic and lusher sound than the standard version.
- More sensory and deeper bass, with better texture.
- Clearer, cleaner and more transparent midrange, fuller and closer vocals.
- Less harsh, finer, more controlled treble.
- Better instrumental definition.
- More open soundstage, with greater dynamics and better resolution.
- Includes two cables with SE 3.5mm and BAL 4.4mm plugs.
- Three tuning filters and 9 pairs of tips with different sound tuning properties.
- They cost twice as much as the standard version.
- They don’t come with a zippered case.
- I would have preferred a single cable with a slightly thicker conductor and interchangeable plugs.
Link to the WEB
As usual with the great Hidizs models, they have released a limited edition of their latest IEMS model with planar technology. This is the Hidizs MP145 Limited Golden Titanium Edition. It is available in a limited run of only 199 units. The packaging includes two types of cables, one with a 3.5mm plug and one with a 4.4mm plug, as well as a 10th anniversary badge. Each product has been uniquely numbered in the world. Again, Hidizs uses titanium known for its superior properties that make it ideal for making Hi-end capsules. Of course, it still includes the filter system and a hand-signed card with the limited edition serial number.
It is clear that the MP145 was one of the best planar IEMS of last year, so what can you expect from a limited version like this? It is true that the use of titanium in its gold version means a clear increase in price, from $159 for the standard version, to $339 for the limited version. This is certainly a doubling of the starting price. Of course, the bottom line is that this is a version limited to 199 unique pieces in the world. There is also a substantial change in its construction: titanium. Not only that, but the frequency response has undergone some slight changes. Let’s take a look at the differences in this review.
- Driver Type: Hidizs 14.5mm Ultra-Large Planar Magnetic Driver
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-40kHz.
- Sensitivity: 104dB.
- Impedance: 30Ω.
- Capsule Construction: Titanium.
- Jack Connector: Includes two cables, one with a 3.5mm SE plug and one with a 4.4mm BAL plug.
- Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm gold plated and pure copper plated housing.
- Cable: 4 strands of 6N silver plated monocrystalline copper wire.
- Cable length: 1.2m.
- Weight approx. 19g excluding cable.
The Hidizs MP145 Golden Titanium comes in a sober black box with dimensions 193x162x43mm. On the main side you can see the outer face of the capsule in the centre, above is the brand logo and below are different logos (WDC, Planar Technology and Hi-Res Audio), as well as a short product description. All of this is printed in the same colour ink as the capsules. On the back side are the specifications in several languages, including Chinese and English, as well as the brand’s branding. All in silver ink. There are also the logos of the different certifications it holds. The first thing that stands out after opening the box is the hand-signed and hand-numbered card from the company’s CEO. This is white, and there is also a black card describing the contents. Underneath the cards are 4 compartments protected by black cardboard. At the top left are the capsules, encased in a dense foam mould. To its right is another mould containing the brand’s tenth anniversary insignia. It is a metal piece in the shape of the South American continent, with a sort of threaded golden button. I didn’t really know what it was at first until I read the description card. On the other hand, it is curious. I thought it was some kind of key ring, because of the hole in the top corner. In the lower half there are two identical boxes containing the black leather pouches with each cable, as well as the filters. Below this first layer, on the left, is the mould containing the three types of silicone tips. The complete contents are as follows:
- The two Hidizs MP145 capsules.
- 3 pairs of tuning filters.
- Two storage bags.
- 1 cable with SE 3.5mm plug.
- 1 cable with 4.4mm BAL plug.
- 3 pairs of SxMxL size tips for vocal tuning.
- 3 pairs of tips size SxMxL for balanced tuning.
- 3 pairs of tip sizes SxMxL for bass tuning.
- 1 card hand signed and numbered by Hidizs CEO.
- 1 limited edition product description card.
- 1 user manual.
- 1 warranty card.
- 1 social media card.
I miss a zippered case again. And instead of two cables, I would have preferred a cable with a thicker conductor and interchangeable connectors, as is the current trend.
Construction and Design
The design of the product is the same, «only» the material it is made of changes: Titanium. However, to distinguish it from the standard colours, it is a gold-plated version. The capsules are burnished and you can see the fine lines of the polishing, especially on the outer side. The outer face has a raised Y-shaped part. This is actually the tail fin of a whale. The adjoining parts on each side of the fin form a staggered pattern, a twelve-layer milling pattern, also inspired by the pectoral fins of whales. On both sides of the whale tail there are two ventilation slots. The shape of the capsule is slightly elongated and has 7 sides, 4 on the bottom and 3 on the top, if you take the top where the cable connection is. The part near the nozzles ends in a slightly tapered arrow shape. The 2Pin 0.78mm connection is completely shallow and the plastic part containing the contacts is integrated inside the capsule. Of course, the connectors are gold-plated.
The inner face grows with a regular slope from the connector area towards the nozzles. The surface is curved on both sides of the sloping line. Above it and near the connector, one can read «HIDIZS X WDC» and towards the inside, there is a mole with the channel lettering. The ink used is dark grey. Near the nozzle, but offset from the slanted line, there is a hole. The nozzle is cylindrical and ends with a thread to secure the filters. There are 3 filters, the standard filter is the balanced gold filter (Balanced / Rose Gold). The filter for high frequencies is grey (Quiet Silver) and the red filter (Charm Red) enhances the low frequencies. The diameter is 6.9mm. The total length of the mouthpieces with the filters is slightly more than 5mm.
As I say, in this special version, there are two cables, each with a different termination SE 3.5mm and BAL 4.4mm. The sleeve of the plug is cylindrical, regular, very smooth, has a golden ring near the cable exit and on it you can read the brand name. The cable consists of 4 strands of 6N silver-plated monocrystalline copper wire. The splitter piece is simple, another small, smooth, shiny metallic cylinder. The pin continues this minimalist style and is a simple metal ring in the same pattern. The cables have over-ear guides and the connector sleeves are two cylinders to match the rest of the metal parts of the cable, which have two grooved and painted rings to indicate the channel. The two pins protrude from a transparent plastic disc and are gold-plated. The 4.4mm plug is gold-plated and protected by a translucent plastic sleeve.
The cable has a shiny silver plating, each strand is of good thickness, forming a cable of a midrange thickness, attractive enough and of good quality that I don’t have to change it. It is also comfortable, has good flexibility and the balanced 4.4mm termination makes me forget about looking for a replacement cable. However, being a special version, I would have preferred a single cable, with detachable plugs, with a slightly thicker conductor. In short, a more premium cable to match the titanium level of the capsules.
It is clear that the capsules have a considerable size. With the change of material the weight has changed, it is clearly heavier. Even though the specifications still state the same value. This time, the collaboration with WDC is more evident and is engraved on the inside of the capsules.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
Yes, only the material has been changed, the fit and ergonomics are the same. What affects this section is the weight. Being significantly heavier, it can contribute to fatigue on long listens.
As mentioned above, the shape of the Hidizs MP145 is unusual and its size is clearly large. However, the elongated and bulky shape of the capsules does not compromise the ergonomics. The slight arrow shape, where the tip part coincides with the position of the mouthpieces, favours positioning and placement. Fortunately, the inner shape of the capsules is flat, smooth and gently rounded. The other end of the capsules stretches beyond the pinna. In my ears the integration is very good. With the right tips, the capsules float on the pinna and don’t rub anywhere except on the bottom, where they sit lightly. The mouthpieces are not very projected but they have a good angle and I don’t find any fault in their placement, being the fit firm and durable. It is true that the capsule can rotate, but its optimum fit point is at the end of its travel, as soon as further rotation is no longer possible. The whale tail shape and folds make it easy for fingers to adjust the IEMS in the ears. With a shallow or light insertion, the level of sound insulation can be high, provided that suitable tips are found. As usual, I have used my large foam-filled tips that I make at home, and both the fit and ergonomics have been quite good. But I don’t dispute that the size, shape and perhaps also the weight might be controversial for other people.
Finally, the position of the over-ear cable and the fit of the capsules does not feel compromised by their combination. Thus, the cable does not disturb or negatively affect the fit of the capsules or rub uncomfortably on the ears. At least, not in my case.
As the specifications state, the profile fits the Harman 2019 curve. The profile could be categorised as U-shaped or soft w-decreasing. The bias towards the sub-bass is linear, without being predominant. But there is a good extension towards the midrange. The sub-bass end is subtly higher than in the standard version. The transition into the midrange is smooth, generating body and density in the initial zone of the midrange. The rise towards the midrange is even smoother than in the standard model. Once there, it stays fairly linear into the treble, which adds an explicit and fairly extended high range. Although, on this occasion, the treble is clearly softer than the standard model, as measured. Those who want a little more spice in this transition zone between midrange and first treble will not be so convinced, choosing the treble filter, as the differences between the two filters are quite slight. Switching to the low-cut filter limits the midrange and first treble even more, although it retains its extension into the air range. However, the difference between the three filters in the bass area is subtle.
The use of the red low-cut filters limits the volume slightly and orients the sound towards a darker, denser profile. Voices lose some sparkle, both female and male. Bass becomes more prominent, but some of the representative grace of the balanced curve, such as the great balance between the three bands, is lost.
The use of the silver filters for treble subtly cleans up the midrange and first treble, gives a little more transparency and a more detailed and analytical character. As mentioned, the difference between the treble filter and the balanced filter is very slight. However, it is very similar to the curve with the balanced filter of the standard model. Even the Titanium model has a little more sub-bass and is still softer in the first half of the treble.
It seems to be clear that the characteristics of the titanium chosen for this limited edition generate net differences compared to the standard version. The result is a minimal sub-bass boost and a clear smoothing of the midrange and first half of the treble.
For this review I have used the Silver filter to achieve the best possible detail.
For clarification I will write GT to refer to the Golden Titanium version.
As I mentioned, the MP145 GTs with the Silver filter are more like the standard version with the Rose Gold filter, but with more controlled treble and a subtle lift in the sub-bass. What is noticeable in the bass is a certain deeper, more sensory feel. The pure tone test describes the audible end in that way, there is a more physical behaviour in the lower notes, with a low audible sensation. This behaviour interchanges as the hertz increase, reaching a rather powerful presence at the sub-bass limit. However, although the audible presence is not very noticeable in the lower frequencies, both the response and the performance seem quite natural, offering a low sensation of colouration and a quite realistic, slightly dark behaviour. It is certainly not a performance like an excellent dynamic driver, as it has less texture, but its sound is clean, polished and refined. In my opinion, the MP145 GTs pass the pure tone test with flying colours.
Moving on to real music testing, the MP145 GTs have a firm, powerful, concrete, very restrained, dry, tight, very fast recovery hit, which translates into a smooth behaviour, with a little rough texture, but that can vary and improve depending on the source. The decay is fast, as are the transients, the aftertaste is very low, the rubbery or elastic sensation is reduced, just enough to draw an attractive, but not too voluminous bass, which occupies a good space, even so, contained. There is a good physical presence, but it is never violent, but very classy, withstands a lot of sound pressure and still performs in a very full and clean way, which means very low distortion. When it comes to reproducing dirty, unfiltered, saturated and complex bass, the MP145 GTs excel in their performance, being very agile, drawing the lines in a restrained, tight and concise manner. They manage to dominate the most adverse situations without mussing their hair, maintaining a very high level of cleanliness, sounding deep, with very little colour, layering the layers with subtlety and mastery. Most importantly, they never become saturated or overpowering. Without a doubt, the MP145 GTs possess a very high level of refinement, demonstrating that planar bass can be very technical, with just the right amount of power and volume, all without intruding on the rest of the band, sounding very separate, slick and powerful. What do I miss in all this? Well, a little more lift in the sub-bass, I would have liked the curve not to have flattened out at 40Hz. Otherwise the behaviour is simply canonical.
The tuning gives a certain presence to the lower frequencies, generating a decreasing w-profile, as I have already mentioned. Even with the Silver treble filter I don’t find the sound bright, but it’s not dark either. They sound like a fine, balanced and restrained S12, lowering the energy of the midrange and treble, but without losing the light, nor sounding so dense or upfront. The low end tucks into the lower registers of the vocals with corpulence, but without burying them. Although the strings, drums and basses are still slightly forward. Meanwhile, the timbre feels very organic, analogue, very restrained, slightly warm, without getting dark. Undoubtedly, this is a dense, almost opulent base, which thins out as the frequencies grow. In this way, the lower male voices feel physical, quite full-bodied, although they are not clearly the protagonists. However, the nuances of those lower registers do possess more power, as well as a more accentuated ornamental richness, much to be enjoyed.
The centre of the range ends in a zone of midrange dip, accentuating that lower-case v-character of the central range. Meanwhile, the rise to the midrange is relatively smooth, generating controlled bell gain, but with a slight imbalance in favour of the female voices and early treble outbreaks, gaining an incipient clarity and a splashy sense of realistic detail, which never becomes abrupt. The sibilances are kept at a low-key, controlled level, with a certain sparkle that gives them a realistic rather than penetrating feel. It’s not a matter of nuancing them, but of executing them in a more pleasing way, maintaining a certain brightness, refining the sound at that conflicting peak. In this way, you can tell that the MP145 GTs have a high level of distinction, elegance, exquisiteness, delicacy and finesse, even at the most compromised points.
However, the balance is achieved between the lower registers of the male voices and the higher registers of the female voices, reaching, almost, a presential tie. In this sense, the female voices are also fleshy, despite not being in the foreground.
The MP145 GTs are not analytical, but they do have a remarkable level of resolution and definition. It doesn’t go so far as to explicitly tease out micro details, nor does it foreground them, but is able to handle them in their corresponding layer. Admittedly, I would have liked a little more descriptiveness in this respect. But it is true that, possibly, certain virtues that make his sound more natural, musical, harmonious, lush, elegant and euphonic would be lost. The result is still a fully expressive sound, clear without being bright, transparent without losing body or density, remarkably well separated, complex, rich and differentiated. The ideal way to enjoy a midrange at just the right distance.
The top end of the MP145 GT feels more restrained if anything. It’s had a modicum of power taken out of it, and it shows in that it doesn’t get splashy, or crisp. The extension is still wide, but the power has been refined in the first stage. In this way, Hidizs once again gives a further twist to the planar treble, redefining the high notes, dressing them with a restrained sparkle, nothing sharp, but retaining a level of extended brightness that makes them appropriate, natural and delightful. The integration of the treble in the MP145 GT’s profile demonstrates a balance that seeks a musical and pleasing sound, explicit and descriptive, controlled and comfortable, homogeneous and full, but without giving an overt, obvious and intense presence to those high notes. And all this, without the timbre suffering or the harmonics being lost.
The MP145 GTs, with their large capsule volume and openings on the outer side, are characterised by a wide, broad and open sound, which disputes the predominantly frontal feel of the other planar models. Without a doubt, this model has one of the most airy and voluminous sounds among the models with this technology that I have tested. In them, the transparency is felt, but does not stand out, although it is perceived as superior to other models with a denser and fuller profile. In this aspect, the sound wall is not impenetrable, but the separation and the light is able to circulate among the music, facilitating the layering, the generation of levels, the distance between them and between the elements. It is even more ethereal, enveloping, managing to volatilise details, although integrating them into the music in a very descriptive way, without being analytical. In this version, the bass is a little heavier, while the treble has less energy. The result is a warmer profile than its standard sibling. But the level of technical refinement has not been lost at all, nor has its good precision in mounting the image and placing the elements in it.
Hidizs MP145 With Rose Gold Filter (Balanced)
The most obvious thing to do is to check whether there are differences between the two siblings. The graphs say there are. The GTs have a bit more sub-bass and a less energetic treble. Even the Silver filter of the GTs is less treble than the balanced filter of the standard version. And that’s going to be my comparison now, because, clearly, comparing the rest of the issues is a bit short: the GTs are made of a different material, guess which one? Their packaging is a bit different, with two identical cables, but with different plugs, SE 3.5mm and Bal 4.4mm. And even though the specs say they weigh the same, without having a precision scale to check it, I think the GTs think more.
Do the differences justify the price increase? Of course, it depends on how much money you have and the value you place on it.
In the low end the GTs are a little darker, with a little more texture. You seem to feel that slight touch of emphasis in the sub-bass that gives it a fuller, more rounded bass. It also seems to have a little more energy. There is a little more colour in the standard version. It seems that, despite the close resemblance between the two, using the treble filter produces a slightly cleaner and clearer bass.
In the midrange, the same sensation is perceived: the GTs have a point of greater clarity, cleanliness and transparency, achieving voices with more body and closeness. There also seems to be a point of greater instrumental refinement and definition. The GTs manage to bring out micro detail in a more obvious way without having to resort to the brighter tuning of the standard version. And that is something that is noticeable in all ranges.
In the upper area, the extra brightness of the standard version gives it a slightly rougher and more extended feel. The GTs are more restrained and their flare is not as stretched. This benefits a more peaceful listening, without losing detail and delivering a more controlled, even slightly thinner treble.
In terms of the scene, the GTs appear more open. The cleaner and more transparent feel adds a closer perception of the elements, more dynamics and better definition. The standard version looks flatter and a bit more cloudy.
I can’t comment that there is a night and day difference between the standard and GT version. There is a difference between the profiles and that is something that the material can provide. In this sense, being able to use the treble filter by subtracting that energy level in the high end that can be critical, benefits the GT version. As is usual with special versions, there is a point of refinement, clarity and presence closeness in all ranges that makes the GT a more polished, less abrupt and more transparent version. It is clear that every point of improvement costs money. But does the price increase make a difference? Money has the value that everyone wants to attach to it. I, without considering this difference, will stick with the GT.
At a very similar price point and without being a limited edition, the LetShuoer S15 is the brand’s third-generation planar IEMS. They are not just any planars, because they incorporate a 6mm passive filter module called R-Sonic.
The first major difference is in the design. The large titanium capsules of the MP145 GT are heavy. Meanwhile, the capsules of the S15 are 3D printed in a bluish-grey resin with a matt look and feel. Their outer face is made of aluminium alloy. They are not really small, but they are distinctly lighter than the MP145 GT. I have to say that both fit me very well, it’s surprising how well the Hidizs, being so big, do well. But the lighter weight of the S15s gives them an edge in this respect. On the other hand, the presentation of the LetShuoer is special, while the cable lives up to its price, being, moreover, modular.
In terms of profile, the S15s are slightly more balanced and somewhat darker than the MP145 GTs, whose profile is more V-shaped. The biggest difference is in the midrange and early treble, which is what gives the S15s their more restrained, matte sound.
In the bass, you can feel the increased energy in the MP145 GTs, which have a bit more texture and roughness. Meanwhile, the S15s are drier, darker, tighter and more compact. The LetShuoer’s sub-bass is subtly more sensory and physical, there’s a little more colour in the MP145 GTs. However, in that darkness of the S15s lies something very nice that makes them very appealing, it’s a different touch, perhaps a little forced, but very interesting. The Hidizs are a bit more visceral, but with a more common sound. That darkness of the S15s also works in their favour in the vocals. Their lower energy gives the midranges more prominence, with the vocals being at a more advantageous presential level and a little closer. Granted, they are matte in colour and feel less glossy, but they exude an intoxicating analogue and organic feel. On the other hand, the MP145 GTs are more splashy and perhaps have a more realistic and natural timbre. Instruments have more bite and, in general, the midranges seem to be more harmonically complete. The more sparkling exuberance of the MP145 GTs clashes with the more romantic sound of the S15s. They are certainly two ways of understanding the midrange, the quality of which is very high in both cases, and only personal preference can tip the balance one way or the other. I have a hard time making up my mind.
There is more sparkle, life, light and brightness in the high end of the MP145 GT. Everyone knows that the S15’s treble is smooth, nuanced and rounder. Meanwhile, the MP145 GTs retain a more realistic representation that gives the sound more transparency and more emphasis on detail. Meanwhile, the S15s feel more opaque.
The scene of the MP145 GT is larger, more voluminous, expansive and open. The feeling of more light also helps a higher perception of it.
Both, in their own way, are quite detailed. However, the colour of each and the way they express such detail is different. Change the timbre, change the execution. The same detail sounds different on each. The MP145 GTs are more realistic, while the S15s have an ability to reinterpret the music in a somewhat different and peculiar way, which can also be quite lovely. The more concrete sound of the S15s seems to bring a bit more separation. But their stage is more intimate and upfront. In this respect, the MP145 GTs clearly win out.
It is clear that both IEMS offer a different taste musically speaking. There are clear differences between them, but I could not say that one is superior to the other qualitatively speaking. Each has its own special characteristics. The Hidizs MP145 GT are more canonic, more natural, with a more realistic sound. On the other hand, the LetShuoer S15s have a special, euphonic sound that is sure to appeal to many fans thanks to their special touch.
It seems to be the norm for Hidizs to release a special, limited version of their best products. This time it is the turn of the great MP145, possibly one of the best IEMS of the brand, despite being their first IEMS created with planar technology. Something so special could not stay with its collector’s version. Hidizs has a passion for the finest materials, such as copper and now gold-plated titanium. Without a doubt, this is a collector’s edition, limited to 199 copies, each one of them signed by the CEO of the brand himself on an authenticity card that gives it that special and distinctive character. For this occasion, both 3.5mm and 4.4mm cables are included, but the price has also been increased to double that of the standard version. It is clear that they are made of a very special metal, which also gives them different sound characteristics than the original version. Yes, the graphs don’t lie and this version is subtly more emphasised at the low end and has a slightly softer midrange and first treble. It is a slightly different profile, with that extra refinement, class and elegance in sound that only the best materials can give to an already excellent product. A qualitative twist on one of last year’s best planars.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Hidizs DH80S.
- Hidizs S9 Pro Plus.
- Aune Yuki.
- Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.
- Burson Audio Playmate II.
- Aune M1p.
- Tempotec V3.