QKZ HBB Hades IEM Review: Blistering Bass but at What Cost

Driver Setup: 2 9mm LCP Dynamic Drivers

Price: US$50.99


Disclaimer: The QKZ Hades was provided to us at no charge courtesy of Linsoul. However, this was done in understanding I was to give my honest thoughts and opinions of the Hades. The QKZ Hades is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your links.

QKZ has a soft spot in my heart from the time of the original VK4. It was the first ultra budget IEM that I fell so in love with and the tuning and sound signature it had for its price point was phenomenal. Having my hands on only my second QKZ since then, it feels a little nostalgic after so long, and there definitely will be expectations. This QKZ presents itself as a collab with reviewer HBB and seems to be targeting bass lovers. Without further ado, let’s dive in.


The box is brightly designed and comes with quite a spread of accessories for the rather budget price. It comes with a metal coin which serves no purpose to me but collectors might love it. It also has a hard plastic case which is a nice inclusion as not many earphones at this price range come with one. The cable is as basic as it gets, in typical QKZ fashion. You can choose between the mic or no mic option for the cable.

Build Quality and Fit

Build quality of the buds themselves are not bad, with a translucent iridiscent faceplate that’s quite a unique aesthetic I’ve not seen before. The fit of the buds are quite good with well-rounded edges and they also provide a good seal. This is crucial in ensuring you get the most out of your bass response. The cable quality is a little lacking though, and is what you would typically see on $10-$20 IEMs.



  • Lotoo Paw S2
  • Fiio BTR7
  • Kiwi Ears Allegro

Music listened to

  • Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
  • The Killers
  • Maroon 5
  • Kygo
  • The Vamps
  • Nutcracker Suite
  • Martin Garrix
  • etc


The bass is indeed at the forefront of the entire sound of the sound signature. It is not the cleanest bass, and is very mid-bass rich. Listening to pop tunes on these are quite headache inducing with how bloated and muddy the midbass is. I would have appreciated more punch and detail in the bass lines. The bass drum hits are very loose sounding and have a slow decay that makes the whole sound very sloppy. There is a lot of bleeding of the midbass into the mids as well and it generally overpowers the vocals and other melody lines.


I find it hard to appreciate the mids. There is very little separationg between melody lines and instruments, and the timbre and tonality both sound quite off. It sounds like I am sitting in an echo chamber with the bass being pumped up in my face artificially. It all just sounds like an EQ gone wrong. Vocals are very muted and seem to just take a backseat to the basslines.


There seems to be a quick treble rolloff and not a lot of activity in the highs. It is definitely not sibilant and not fatiguing in the highs, not considering fatigue from bass. This might be a good pair of earphones for long sessions of FPS gaming, but don’t quote me on that as I am not much of a games person.


There is a chance that my playlist doesn’t go well with the Hades, but I struggle to find a song in my playlists then bring out the strengths of the Hades. Soundstage seems pretty closed in with the boomy bass being very focused and claustrophobic-feeling. Timbre of instruments aren’t natural at all and tonality is quite off.


Unfortunately, I can’t find an aspect of the Hades that worked for me. This is quite a pity given how pretty these IEMs are. I find it difficult to imagine a crowd that these would appeal to but there is a slim possibility I speak a different language from the bassheads so if your opinion differs from mine, do go easy on me. Many times I was left wondering if I received a bad pair, but I think I will just leave it at the bass and overall tuning of this IEM just does not appeal to me. I do get that QKZ specialises in ultra budget IEMs and their drivers may not be top notch but they have done it before and I choose to believe they can do better than this going forward.

Overall Grade: D

Click HERE for our grading list for earphones

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *