Hidizs MS5 English Review


The Black Angel Is Not a Fallen Angel




Construction and Design




  • Great low end, very enjoyable.
  • No typical tuning.
  • Rich, dense, organic, slightly warm and descriptive mids.
  • Soft mid-highs.
  • Excellent soundstage, very three-dimensional, airy, great separation, clarity and transparency.
  • Outstanding design.
  • Very good level of detail, technical skills, resolving power and definition.
  • 3 interchangeable mouthpieces.
  • Good cable.
  • Quality of accessories, zipped case of remarkable value.




  • Slight inconsistency in the treble.
  • Its tuning, with big bass, dense, warm, warm and slightly dark mids, as well as its particular treble, may not be to the liking of all audiences. But I’ll be happy with any IEMS that sounds like this.
  • The size of the capsules can be a bit large.
  • The cable, while excellent, can be uncomfortable around the ears and at the point of connection to the capsule.
  • Such a good cable deserves a balanced option as a purchase option, not as an accessory.
  • If anything, I would miss hybrid tips, or more exclusive ones, as many brands are trying to do now.


Purchase Link




Link to the WEB






It has been more than a decade since Tamson founded Hidizs in 2009, driven by the desire to dedicate all his efforts to making lossless HiFi music players. He brought together a group of experienced audiophiles and after 3 years of research launched the brand’s first pocket-sized DAP, the AP100, which was unveiled at CES in 2012. More than 10 years later, Hidizs is still creating pocket DAPs, but has also made several forays into the design and manufacture of IEMS. And today, it is set to unveil what could be its most ambitious in-ear model to date. This is the Hidizs MS5, a 5-driver-per-channel (1DD + 4BA) hybrid IEMS. The custom 10mm liquid silicone dynamic driver has a Kevlar body with a thickness of 0.03mm, surrounded by 0.45mm liquid silicone. This DD is accompanied by 4 Sonion BA drivers. The 17A003 for the low frequencies, the 2389 for the mid frequencies and the composite BA E50DT for the high frequencies. With the intention of being more universal, Hidizs has incorporated in this model 3 interchangeable mouthpieces, to slightly tune the sound: balanced (Rose Gold), high frequency (Quiet Silver), low frequency (Charm Red). In its structure, the MS5 adopts a one-piece aluminium alloy cavity. The outer panel is made of skin-friendly resin and is hollowed out to present the image of angel wings. Between the outer panel and the inner cavity is a rose-gold pierced panel. The cable it mounts fuses silver-plated 6N monocrystalline copper strands and pure copper strands. Finally, the set is accompanied by a storage box made of high-quality PU leather. Let’s see what more surprises the new MS5 has in store.





  • Driver Type: 4BA (low + mid-high + 2 highs) + 1DDD 10mm liquid silicone + Kevlar.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz + 40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 104dB
  • Impedance: 5.3Ω
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Jack Connector: 3.5mm SE
  • Cartridge Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm gold plated.
  • Weight of each capsule without cable: approx. 13.6g.





The Hidizs MS5 comes in a relatively large black box, measuring 202x129x85mm. All inscriptions are done in dark, almost coppery gold ink. On the front is a realistic photo of an MS5 capsule. In the upper right corner is the name of the model and below it a short description. There are also the logos of Hi-Res Audio and Sonion. On the other side is the Hidizs logo. At the bottom are more product descriptions, in several languages. On the back side are the specifications in white ink and several languages. At the bottom are the brand markings and on the right are the three frequency response graphs for each filter. After lifting the lid, the capsules are embedded in a dense foam mould, which has a glossy black cardboard, where you can read the model and the brand slogan at the bottom. At the top is the brand logo, all in the same coppery gold ink as on the outside. Under this first layer is another mould containing 3 sets of tips and the plate containing the filters. At the bottom is the zippered case, inside of which are the rest of the elements. To sum up:


  • The two MS5 capsules.
  • Three pairs of Vocal tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of Bass tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • Three pairs of Balanced tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • A metal plate containing two pairs of mouthpieces/tuning filters (treble – bass). The third balanced filter is screwed onto the capsules.
  • A storage box made of high quality PU leather in light cream colour.
  • Instruction manual.
  • Card with the three frequency responses.
  • Warranty card.
  • Cable with 3.5mm gold-plated 3.5mm plug and 0.78mm connection.


The packaging is relatively large, it contains many tuning possibilities, as in addition to the three mouthpieces/filter, there are also three different sets of tips. The storage box is medium sized, hard on the sides (it has iron plates), soft and velvety on the inside, as it is lined with flannel. It has a double-headed zip. The inside has a small mesh bag, ideal for storing the plate containing the filters.
The cable consists of 8 strands and a special design in the part of the 2Pin connectors.
It is an elegant presentation, in black and golden copper, quite complete, although I miss the classic foam tips or even more different ones, now that every brand is trying to bring some relatively «revolutionary» tips to the market.



Construction and Design


Hidizs has certainly wanted to impress with the new MS5. From its exterior design, in black and coppery gold (now rose gold), to its interior design made of one-piece anodised aluminium alloy. The outer face made of black resin has been hollowed out to form a kind of dark angel sculpture, presenting an image of black angel wings. Through its openings, a rose gold pierced panel can be seen. The inside of the earcups are soldered with Hidizs’ unique composite material, containing gold-plated tin wire, to improve the transmission of the electrical signal.
The capsules are relatively large, of semi-custom design, quite thick. The outer face is shaped like a stylised African continent from the middle downwards. The rim of the outer plate is rose gold. The rest of the capsule is polished black and shiny, but smooth and slippery enough to keep fingerprints at bay. The standard mouthpieces are the balanced ones and are rose gold. On the edge opposite the apex is the model name, in white ink, as well as the mole indicating the channel. Underneath is a deep hole flanked by a metal cylinder, at the bottom of which is a white cloth protected by a grille. There are no other holes on its surface. The inner face is not too pronounced in shape and its curves are smooth and not very pointed. The base of the mouthpiece has a good projection and allows for a slightly deeper insertion. The mouthpieces have a diameter of 6mm and a length of 4.2mm. Finally, I return to the edge of the capsules to note that the 2Pin 0.78mm connection is flush with the capsule. Both female connectors are inside a translucent plastic plate and are gold plated.
The cable consists of 8 strands, half of which are 6N monocrystalline copper wires and half of which are silver-plated 6N monocrystalline copper wires. In total there are 504 wires. The outer layer is made of environmentally friendly black PVC. The connector is 3.5mm SE gold plated. The plug sleeve is a smooth, shiny and polished black cylinder with a gold-plated ring at the end towards the cable. The last part is black again and the brand name can be read on it in gold lettering. The cable has a white Velcro strap with the marking written on it. The splitter is also cylindrical, smaller than the plug sleeve, with two ridges at one end. The pin is a narrow, hollow ring. The cables have over-ear guides, but quite closed. The cable swivels 180° at the part near the connection, worsening the ergonomics. The sleeve of the 2Pin 0.78mm is harpoon-shaped, transparent and thick. It doesn’t help comfort either. The pins are gold-plated.
The MS5s mount a custom 10mm DD driver made of 0.45mm liquid silicone and 0.03mm Kevlar fibre. The rest of the drivers are Sonion BA, E50DT composite for the high frequencies, 2389 for the mid-high frequencies and 17A003 for the low frequencies. No mention of a crossover filter.
As I say, bold design, looking for personality, a story of its own and a distinctive look with the black angel wings in between, plus the touch of rose gold that is so popular in the East.
As for the cable, I miss a balanced option, or even the modular cable that is so typical these days. I think that not including a cable with this connection is hardly defensible. As good as the 3.5mm SE cable is, it’s a pity it doesn’t have a balanced option.



Adjustment and Ergonomics


The first negative point is the very closed shape of the over-ear cable guide. It is clear that this is to fit the contour of the capsules. But, coupled with the stubby harpoon shape of the body that incorporates the 2Pin connections, it rubs against the outside of my ears, which forced me to replace it as soon as I could. It’s a pity, because it’s a very good, thick and well-shaped cable. But the combination of both of the above-mentioned details proved to be fatal for the fit.
As for the capsules, their semi-custom shape and their relatively large size could be uncomfortable at first sight. But the projection of the mouthpieces and the smoothness of the inner curves achieve several things: the insertion can vary from semi-deep to shallow, depending on the tips used. The inner part does not rub against the pinna and the protrusion is fair and useful, rather than annoying and obnoxious. In this way a fit is achieved that allows the capsules to be rotated until they settle into their proper place. Depending on the tips used, the fit can be quite durable or insufficient, both to achieve good isolation and to enjoy the best sound that the MS5s can produce. This aspect should be investigated with the standard tips, as well as with tips from our collection.







The graph suggests a U-tuning with several aspects to take into account. The sub-bass is linear and extends into the mid-bass, implying that the lower section is large. The U is very well represented in the mids, flat and wide, not too far away either. The rise towards the mid-highs is smooth and does not seek that forced emphasis in this region for impostural brightness, greater transparency or any way to draw attention to itself, extending the gain of the canopy. In the treble there is ambivalence. With the bass mouthpiece and balanced, it moves into a tuning similar to that of the planar IEMS. Similarly, it then drops off at around 12khz. In this case, the drop is more significant, something that can give an uneven feel in the overall treble representation. My question is clear in that respect, is that drop deliberate? It is clear that it is not an error because it is contrasted with other measurements. But any noticeable imbalance may imply some incoherence in the final sound. Or, at least, some strange way of solving an existing problem in another part of the spectrum. Be that as it may, it is performed in a region that is not as vital as others, but its impact is there.

The MS5s have 3 different mouthpieces: balanced (Rose Gold), high frequency (Quiet Silver), low frequency (Charm Red). The Silver mouthpiece enhances the first treble in a way that the balance is lost inside my head. I was thinking of compensating the bass strength with this bass, but it was the other way around. It’s a personal matter, everyone is affected by tuning in a different way. In my case, the Silver filter didn’t work for me. However, the Rose Gold filter suits me perfectly. This was the filter used for the review.
As for the Red filter, in the search for my preferred IEMS I am looking for bass and an analytical sound. Well, in many filter combinations I tend to choose the filter that emphasises the low end. But, in this case, the MS5s already have plenty of bass in any configuration, so my search is for detail retrieval. And that’s where the Red filter doesn’t work for me. If you take a look inside the red mouthpieces you can physically see the filter. Certainly, that material gives a different sound and in the graph you lose a bit of that first treble. But the impact on the detail is extrapolated to the whole response, which is subtly softer. As the treble filter doesn’t fit in my head, the balanced filter is the one that’s left. But it actually works very well for me.





The first thing that struck me about the MS5s was how big their bass was, their size, their presence and their impact on the sound. It is clear that I like bass, that I look for it and miss it when it is not there. But I am surprised that IEMS of this price (for a reviewer unaccustomed to analysing IEMS of this level, it is a relatively high price) have a tuning with a predominance in the low end. The bass is big, quite deep, has a certain viscerality, power and punch. It also takes up space, is physical and brings a lot of volume to the stage. It has a dark colour, which gives it a double sense of depth and sensitivity. And so it shows in the punch, the kick drums move a lot of air and in the eardrums it picks up that punch that is able to get down to a physical and sensory point. In that respect, the MS5 shows rage and that visceral ability I’m talking about. But it is also skillful, technical, tight and quite fast, both in its development and in its decay. It’s true that a bass of this size does leave a aftertaste, but don’t look for it as if it were a mass that has no beginning, no end. The MS5s are much more competent than all that. Able to discern between dangerous bass drums and sub-bass lines with great definition, able to differentiate bass layers and stratify them with astuteness. It is surprising that their technical performance in this range is like this, given the level of presence, volume and physicality that the lower range possesses. One might think that all that bass magma must collapse at some point, that it must falter at some point, that it might falter in some passage. But this is not the case. The MS5’s bass holds its own even in the worst scenarios. The negative point may be in your preference, is that all you want? I do, because, at that vigorous, almost massive limit, it has refinement, descriptive texture and can be tamed depending on the sources used. Suitable for audiophile BassHeads.
Finally, the behaviour in the very low frequency pure tone test demonstrates the duality of the drivers used for this MS5. It is clear that there is a DD, but in the description you can also read that there is a Sonion BA 17A003 driver for bass. And this is how it is reflected in the test. The very low frequency tones have that classic BA oscillating performance, but at the same time there is a sensory perception of the sub-bass, which gives it a dark colour and a less audible, but more physical sound. It seems that the DD driver restrains the BA colouring and sonority, adding an additional physical behaviour, being able to move a good amount of air, something that my eardrums pick up to a good degree.





The gentle descent of the bass into the first half of the midrange implies a warm, physical, bodily and relatively dense beginning. Warmth and intensity is carried over from the bass. The transition is clean in definition, but there is an initial emphasis that adds a lot of grounding and depth to the male vocals and instruments in this phase, as if it were a low aftertaste. As the frequencies advance, this perception normalises and the presence relaxes. Fortunately, this sensation is not muddy, but rather dark and dense. Nor does it imply a presence that is too close or invasive, because the U-tuning manages to relativise the distance. The bigness of the sound also plays a role: the bass is big, the stage is big, and the sound is deep. As the separation is very good, helped by the high resolution, the space to expose each element is ample. There is no congestion, no veiling, and although it is not a bright mid-range, it is quite airy. Transparency has nothing to do with brightness, but it does have to do with the distance between notes and the silence between them. All these parameters combine with each other, synergistically, to enhance their effects. The result is a quite three-dimensional and surrounding sound, with a lot of depth and remarkable height. The laterality is extreme, and you can feel the music flowing backwards through your ears. Compositions with few instruments are never intimate, quite the contrary, the immersive feeling is strong, as if the listener is in the centre. Thus, the centre range has the necessary distance to generate this sensation. It also helps that the pinna gain, that is, the emphasis on the mid-highs, is very controlled, in a way that the top end can sound a bit subdued, lingering on the warm/dark feeling of the mids. Overall, the mids fit the bottom of the U, are relatively linear, with a smooth and controlled growth, which has its climax in the early treble, the point of influence of the filters. This point can remain controlled or more triggered, depending on the mouthpiece. But, going back to the bottom of the U, the midrange is reflected like this: the extremes are projected, so both the base and the high notes are strong, while the centre is flatter. The result is a more organic, analogue, almost romantic sound, complex in its base, explicit in its overtones, but calm, relaxed, smooth and broad in its centre. It lacks a certain sparkle and the brightness starts in the treble.
In this way, the MS5s favour powerful male vocals, adding more substance and power to their bottom end. The bass and drums come across as very meaty, with a very descriptive thickness and remarkable texture. The female vocals feel organic, passionate, musical and even silky. The timbre of the notes is on the neutral-warm side, without much attack in the zone of clarity and presence, but with good definition and harmonic sharpness.





This is perhaps the most controversial area. The initial part can be quite linear and extended or splashy at the beginning, depending on the filter. This could generate an enhanced treble character, due to its upward projection in this phase. But it contrasts with a powerful drop from 10kHz onwards. This cut causes a point of incongruity, as it can stop the natural brilliance of the sound in its tracks.
The tuning may be reminiscent of the new planar IEMS, but with a different sonority, although a little more forced, not so well resolved, perhaps reminiscent of the classic BA timbre, despite the quality of the Sonion drivers used.
While the bass is very well executed, the treble is a little more incoherent, which affects the timbre. In its favour is the level of resolution and definition, notes are sharp and fine, but without being cutting or penetrating. This can work well to curb some sibilance. Although this may depend on the filter and our point of sensitivity to treble.



Soundstage, Separation


Arguably, the size of the scene is the strong point of these IEMS. Based on a large, deep and quite physical low end that takes up a lot of volume, the size of the soundstage is also wide in width. In this way, the lateral sensation of the sound is very clear. The perception is that the music passes through our ears, both backwards and in height, generating a three-dimensional and immersive representation, in which the listener is at the centre of a sphere. Perhaps the obvious impression of openness is the result of the perforated grilles on the outer face.
The representation of the music is as I have already described, the extremes are more lateral and deep, while the centre range occupies the middle distance. The bass works to extend the depth and the treble to provide air, while the centre range gains in height. The U-tuning works by rotating on itself, to generate three-dimensionality and an excellent image, where it is very easy to locate the elements.
On the other hand, all this would not be possible without a large separation. It is clear that the drivers have the technical ability to control every note generated with the utmost precision, starting with the dynamic driver, such as the 4 BA drivers. This also results in a high level of resolution, capable of extracting a great amount of detail, being evident at the macro level, quite good at the micro level, but without being fully analytical. This may prevent certain micro details in the central area.
Worthy of mention is the space between notes, the darkness between them, their background and the silence that seems to exist in between. It is clear that all this generates the volume that the music generated by the MS5 occupies, a musical grandeur.



Synergy With Hidizs Sources


I have tested the MS5 with many of my sources, but I have used 4 of them to make some extra comments. The cable of choice was the Penon Fiery with 2.5mm balanced connection. Firstly, I used the Hidizs DH80S. This source has an output impedance of over 2Ω per BAL, something to be taken into account, especially when MS5s have an impedance as low as 5.3Ω. In this case, the 1 / 8 rule is not satisfied, which may imply some change in its frequency response. I have not measured the resulting FR to check if this is the case, but what I have found is that the bass has a special colour, although what is most noticeable is the difference in texture. However, this difference is clear in the Hidizs S9 Pro, Hidizs XO or Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE. While on the dongles, the texture is always rougher, on the AP80 PRO-X it is smoother, rounder and softer, to a certain extent more pleasant. On the DH80S it is more raw and pronounced, on the S9 Pro it is more mature and descriptive and on the XO it is more energetic. Really, these are different flavours, even different sizes. The more visceral power of the DH80S stands out against the technical volume of the AP80 PRO-X.
In the mid-range the AP80 PRO-X seems to lose out in the struggle for detail, but it’s just a different execution. It is also different in the S9 Pro, its maturity is appropriate in the balance between musicality and detail. The XO won in the race to extract minute nuances. But at the stage level, the AP80 PRO-X excels, the smoothness of its bass not limiting the sense of depth, but expanding it. The cleanness of its sound widens the distance between notes and their separation. Finally, the resolving power of its treble is matched by a high level of transparency, air and clarity. The DH80S seems denser and more congested, but also deeper, although its treble seems softer and less pronounced. The XO combines good soundstage size, plenty of air, more realistic depth and remarkable descriptiveness in the high end. Finally, the S9 Pro seems the most neutral in every way. Its soundstage doesn’t feel exaggerated, depth is tangible and the sense of air is restrained, while treble is realistic and natural.





Penon Globe


Immediately after I tried the Hidizs MS5, the Penon Globe came to mind. With a price that could be relatively similar, it is a hybrid model consisting of a 10mm 1DDD, a Sonion 1BA for mid frequencies and a Knowles 1BA for high frequencies. It is true that the MS5s have 2 more BAs in total, but there is also a similarity in their tuning. The Globes have a more classic semi-custom shape, while the MS5s have a distinctive design. The Penon are lighter and have shorter mouthpieces. They also have a hole in the rim of the capsules.
In terms of sound, the Globes are still warmer, with softer treble, but extended in a similar way. While the Globe’s weight is clearly in the bass, the treble tuning is similar, but with less energy. The Globes are a little more extended, but lose out in the air phase, where the Hidizs come back up. In a first comparison, the Globes are even more sensitive. The low end is wider and penetrates a little more into the mids, being warmer, a little darker and denser. It also doesn’t help that the mids are quite smooth and the pinna gain even more controlled. The sound is quieter and more muted, you feel that extra warmth. The MS5s are punchier in many ways. The bass punch is more concise, faster and more defined. The Globe’s feel thicker and don’t return as quickly. This, coupled with the bass lines being more swollen, gives a less clean and more cohesive, less technical feel. You notice how the low end is more precise, more skilful, tighter and more textured in the Hidizs. And that strength in the hit offers a superior response in visceral yet controlled forcefulness, moving more air and offering a sensation of superior violence. In the Globe’s favour, the bass colour is darker and more sensory, there is no BA tone or timbre.
The female vocals suffer from the Globe’s greater warmth, appearing more muted and less lively. Their performance in the MS5s comes back to life, regaining light, projection, sparkle and extra resolution. In the Globe, the extra softness and musicality nuances the sound, losing definition and separation. It is a more romantic and musical sound, silky and relaxed. The Hidizs increase the technique, offering a more explicit and descriptive splurge.
In the Globe, the male voices are even more grounded and have a denser, darker body. Their representation is deeper, more cavernous, less explicit, becoming less natural, with little juice. The MS5 recover a more natural sonority, with more nuances, details and harmonics. The result is more incisive vocals, something that can be extrapolated to the guitars, bass and drums. Stringed instruments, in general, are more descriptive and harmonic. The Globe are more sparse and nuanced in these respects, lacking a bit of sparkle and grace, offering a more restrained and cohesive sound.
The Globes offer a subdued, relaxed and smooth treble, with less resolution. If the MS5s seem excited in the treble, the Globes control this sensation. But they lose incisiveness, energy and penetration. Detail is present in them, but the better resolution and ability to separate notes in the MS5s, better definition in the Hidizs, are a step above. The same goes for the soundstage: everything is cleaner, clearer, more transparent, separated, three-dimensional, wider and fuller on the Hidiz MS5s. The more cohesive and continuous sound of the Globes works against them in these respects.





The Hidizs MS5 are the brand’s flagship IEMS. Without a doubt, this is a daring project, in which Hidizs has put a lot of effort into its design, construction and sound, as well as its promotion. There is no doubt about that. But, in the end, it is the public that passes judgement. As reviewers, each in our own way, we try to describe our thoughts about the product. First of all, with such high expectations, fans may be a bit scared by the size of the bubble before they get their hands on the product. And what is the first impression of these IEMS? Of course, the design stands out. Hidizs wanted to create a story behind the model, with the image of the black angel depicted on the outer face of each capsule. It’s a publicity stunt that adds to the product’s appeal, but may have little to do with the end result. And then there is the sound. First of all, the MS5s have 3 mouthpieces that allow the sound to be tuned, and the frequency responses of each were previously shown. On paper, technologically speaking, the internal configuration remains traditional. They are 5-driver hybrids: 1DD 10mm proprietary and 4BA from Sonion. What’s special about it is the Kevlar and liquid silicone dynamic driver and, if you like, the use of one driver for bass, plus one for mid-high and two for treble. But have we guessed what the tuning is like before testing them? I’m sure some of us did. I have to admit, though, that I was surprised by the MS5s. My definition of a high-end sound is based on analytical ability and very high quality bass. These new Hidizs feature a big, powerful, almost visceral low end. It is this aspect that strikes me, such a big bass in a reference product? It seems that bass is all the rage. But big, powerful bass coupled with technical prowess is not always possible. But here, yes, the MS5 achieves it. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, is this enough for a U-tuning in my opinion? Yes, to a remarkable degree, although it is true that I expected more. Where is it better? In the scene, in its size, in the image and in the separation. Therein lies the second great power of this model. Big bass, three-dimensional and big soundstage. Very good! It fits me. We are left with the treble, there is a good level of energy that can generate an ambivalent opinion. Perhaps it is the weak point of the set, in my humble opinion. But as long as you compare it with the rest of the quality already offered by the other bands, which is quite high. And how to describe the sound? As a whole, the sensation offered by the Hidizs MS5 is musical, wide, deep, airy, immersive, pleasant, at the same time powerful in its bass, splashy in its treble, descriptive, resolute and subdued in its centre, like a sweet sunset.

Finally, the price/performance ratio. The Hidizs MS5 has a starting price of $499. But they are currently available for $379, which means that the price/performance ratio is very high. As soon as the model returns to its retail price, the battle will be much tougher and the ratio will undoubtedly be lower.



Sources Used During the Analysis


  • Hidizs S9 Pro.
  • Hidizs XO.
  • Hidizs DH80S.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper LE.
  • EarMen Colibri.
  • Aune X8 XVIII Magic DAC + EarMen ST-Amp.
  • Aune Flamingo.