A Short Tour of Hidition’s HQ in Seoul! (And brief impressions of their CIEMs)

Editor’s Note: Victor is another one of our new young staff writers; he’s been working on an overview of the Shure SE846 (so look out for that) but takes a detour here for some much-needed coverage on a notable Korean maker of custom in-ear monitors.

On July 25th, I had a chance to visit Hidition‘s headquarters, located in Seoul, Korea. It was an incredibly cool experience, so I thought I should share my experience with everyone!

Hidition (하이디션) is a Korean custom in-ear monitor manufacturer specializing in balanced armature driver IEMs. They are also a hearing-aid company, and hence their experience with BA drivers and ear anatomy is extensive. Upon entering the store, I was greeted by their marketing director. I introduced myself, asked him if I could take some pictures, and write a few paragraphs about Hidition. He granted me permission, so here it is!

In addition to an awesome line of CIEMs, they also offer a local reshelling service, so the main reason I visited their HQ was to get my Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors reshelled (I dropped them on accident — don’t follow my example). Since their earpieces have been receiving widespread acclaim from Korean audiophiles, I thought it was worth a shot.

My broken UERMs.
My broken UERMs.

For those interested, here’s the pricing for getting my UERM reshelled (which also had broken filters):

  • Reshell (1-4 drivers): 275,000 Won
  • Filter Replacement: 11,000 Won
  • Connector Replacement and Cable: 55,000 Won

That’s 341,000 Won in total, or approximately $340 USD. If you decide to keep the original cable connectors, you only have to pay 275,000 Won, around the same price Unique Melody ends up asking for reshells.

I requested for a clear shell with a Hidition logo on it. Turnaround time is approximately three to four weeks.

On the side note, I mentioned my concerns regarding clear shells yellowing over time, but the manager told me that they coat their entire CIEM with a special coating (which UE only used on parts of the CIEM), lessening yellowness and keeping the CIEM looking clean.

So, here’s how the remolding process works:

  1. Drop off IEM at HQ. They make sure nothing is broken.
  2. Get an ear impression taken. Since Hidition also offers hearing aids, they had all the equipment and skill necessary to get the ear impression taken at the HQ.
  3. Measure and examine the IEM. This step ensures that the original drivers are functioning correctly, and establishes a baseline reference for the finished product.
  4. Send the IEM and impressions to their factory.
  5. Finish the CIEM and run final measurements.
  6. Return to owner with a 30-day complimentary refit period.

For more details and cautionary tips regarding reshelling (especially with respect to universal-fit IEMs), you can read Yeo’s article: ‘Universal to Custom Reshell: Things to Know Beforehand‘.

I got ear impressions done at Hidition.
I got ear impressions done at Hidition.

Anyway, you are probably more curious about their CIEM lineup. To begin with, Hidition is well-regarded by multiple reviewers on various websites. Their NT6 and NT6 Pro have wowed many an audiophile with their superb technical abilities, so I was definitely looking forward to listening to them.

Please note that the demos I listened to were universal demos with foam tips, and hence will be different from the actual custom version that a customer will get. Read Yeo’s explanation on universal demos here. Indeed, the marketing director told me that the universal demos had a slightly bigger peak at 10k and slightly decreased bass in comparison to the fully-customized version. I auditioned their CIEMs with these aspects in mind.

A note on build quality — the shells are thick and free from any major bubbles. I did notice a few very small air bubbles, but bubbles that size were also present in CIEMs from other companies as well. Overall, I’d say that Hidition‘s build quality is solid.

The connectors protrude a little bit, kind of like UE’s connectors, and utilize the typical 2-pin type connection. The cables are flexible but durable.

Next Page: Impressions of the NT6 Pro, NT6, and Viento-R

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13 thoughts on “A Short Tour of Hidition’s HQ in Seoul! (And brief impressions of their CIEMs)

      1. Do you have a preference out of the NT6-PRO and the Viento? I’m trying to decide between the two, but they seem to have quite different sound signatures. Is the isolation not as good with the Viento?

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  1. I personally prefer the warm colored sound of Viento. If you are looking for warm and mellow sound, Viento is the way to go. If you want fun V shaped sound, NT6-Pro is the way. Isolation is pretty much the same for both.

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  2. Hello, so new Viento-R is not even slightly bright sound? I was interested in NT6-PRO, because most CIEM are warm or dark and I wanted something with a little brightness. Is Viento-R as good as Shure SE846? Thank you.

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    1. You can probably say that with the switches off, it is brighter than it is dark, but it’s clearly less bright than both the NT6 and NT6PRO. The Viento is excellent and it is no worse than the SE846 in terms of technical performance but gives you the tuning switches and added isolation as opposed to the exchangeable filters. You’ll have to decide what’s better — the fit and comfort of a CIEM or the convenience and resale value of a universal.

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      1. Thank you. Are the mids recessed in the Viento-R? Or are they in line with the other frequencies or forward? What kind of source did you try it with?

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      2. No, the mids are never recessed. The midrange boost switch will make the mids a little thicker and a little more forward. Sources: LG G3 (Victor) & Sony F886 + FiiO E11K (Mr. T)

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  3. Didn’t know Hidition had a new earphone. So the bass switch boots the sub-bass a bit, but what part of the mid-range does the other switch boost? Does it push the vocals forward? Thanks in advance for the response

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    1. The second switch does push the vocals forward, but mostly makes it sound thicker and fuller. Of course the drawback is that clarity is slightly reduced and the whole signature begins to skew toward warmth a bit as well. Both switches are more subtle than anyone might think, but the aggregate effect is still quite noticeable.

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