Pros: Bass extension, Bass texture and Subbass Rumble, Versatile Tuning, Build Quality and Aesthetics
Cons: Technical Details, Coloured House Tuning, Premium Pricing
Driver Setup: Sonion E25 (x1) + Sonion 2300 (x1) + 10mm dynamic drivers (x2)
Disclaimer: The Thieaudio Hype 2 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 Hype 2. The Thieaudio Hype 2 is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to review a pair of earphones from Thieaudio. One of the first few earphones I reviewed on this site was the Thieaudio Legacy 3, which was a very memorable one, with a tuning I really enjoyed and one that got me into this hobby of reviewing. In a few years, Thieaudio has established itself as a powerhouse with iconic models and lines such as the Monarch and Oracle.
The Hype 2 is the start of the new HYPE (Hybrid Performance) line and as the name suggests, it is a 4-driver hybrid comprising of the latest Sonion BA drivers and Thieaudio’s IMPACT2(Impact Squared) Subwoofer Dynamic drivers
Accessories (Score: 8.5/10)
The packaging is well designed and included is a large zippered case which has sufficient space for your earphones and perhaps a dongle. Included is a microfibre cloth and a selection of silicone tips as well as foam tips. The included cable is pretty well made and aesthetic. It has a twisted design with each wire having a rather thick core. I like the design of the plugs and the splitters and the choice of materials exudes a rather premium vibe, which is good considering this IEM is on the pricier side.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 7/10)
Since the beginning, Thieaudio has stuck to its winning formula and never fails to impress with its IEMs and designs. The Hype 2 is no exception, with the typical resin shell but Thieaudio once again delivers with the faceplate design. They have been quite creative and experimental with the designs and with 2 options to choose from, I believe they both look stunning and you can’t go wrong either way.
The overall build quality is impressive and is more than I would have expected even at this price point. The shell sits snugly in the ear and is really comfortable to wear for hours on end. The vented design of the IEM also helped. What Thieaudio could have done to take it to the next level was perhaps provide an option for 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced cables, or perhaps even a modular cable.
Sound (Score: 8.8/10)
Frequency Response of the Thieaudio Hype 2
- Lotoo Paw S2
- Hiby R5
- Fiio BTR7
Music listened to
- Post Modern Jukebox
- Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
- Michael Buble – To Be Loved
- The Carpenters
- The Eagles
- Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra
- John Mayer
The bass has got to be the star of the show on the Hype 2. The extension into the subbass is very impressive and there is a very airy natural rumble that is immensely satisfying. Personally, the best part was that it wasn’t over the top to the extent it overpowered the melody lines. Instead, I found it done very tastefully. The Impact Squared Isobaric Dynamic Driver configuration that Thieaudio has designed does make an impact for sure. Such innovations are very welcome and they definitely give Hype 2 its niche and help it to stand out from the competition. For this reason alone (and how well the Sonion Drivers go with the Bass performance), I can see myself recommending the Hype 2 to certain people.
The Thieaudio house tuning seems to favour a more forward midrange. However, with limited BAs handling the midrange, the level of detail and separation in the midrange is limited. However, what the Hype 2 does well is how smooth the Mids are and it picks up seamlessly where the bass drivers left off. Some might use the word “coherent” to describe how the tuning is. Vocal presence is good and authoritative. Instruments like saxophones and clarinets really shine and come through with the forward presentation of the midrange. The only issue is that on more complicated and crowded tracks, the different melodic lines seem to blend together and can come across as congested at times. (Note: this is with respect to the expectations at this price point)
The first few things that I noticed about the Hype 2 was how laid back the treble energy was. A quick measurement of the frequency response also reflected how quickly the highs rolled off. It is a very tame and safe treble, so if you fear sibilance in the highs, this one seems to steer clear of it.
This IEM is touted to be the little sibling of the Monarch Mkiii. I believe they share similar characteristics in the lower end and with the limited drivers handling the mids and highs on the Hype 2, there have got to be limits to what it can achieve. Hence I would expect this to be solved in the Monarch Mkiii.
The Hype 2 has a rather coloured tuning and is not as tonally accurate. If that is something that bothers you, then this is worth noting. This might be a byproduct of the house tuning of Thieaudio but it was something that immediately stood out to me. The tuning is quite warm and quite versatile across genres and lies more on the “fun” side of things. The limited treble extension gives the impression of a smaller soundstage. Imaging is fine but not stellar as well. Overall separation is decent but I believe more can be expected from an IEM at this price point.
The Thieaudio Hype 2 has a sound that took a while to grow onto me. Admittedly it didn’t blow my mind away on first listen, but it was the IEM that I found myself reaching for subconsciously on some days I wanted a chill tuning. It has a playful and active bass region and a rather laid-back and soothing upper mids-high region. This can also be its Achilles heel as some would find that the Hype 2 does not deliver in terms of technicalities, which is a fair statement for those looking for a more analytical tuning. Moreover, the Hype 2 is slightly on the pricier side considering the competition. That said, the Hype 2 has a niche in its bass texture and fun tuning and fulfils it well. Hence, I am sure many looking out for these in an IEM would be duly satisfied.
Overall Grade: A-
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