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.
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:
- Drop off IEM at HQ. They make sure nothing is broken.
- 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.
- Measure and examine the IEM. This step ensures that the original drivers are functioning correctly, and establishes a baseline reference for the finished product.
- Send the IEM and impressions to their factory.
- Finish the CIEM and run final measurements.
- 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‘.
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.