Joining the lineup of THIEAUDIO’s audio gear, we have the new THIEAUDIO Hype 2 priced just above the budget market at $299.
Featuring a quad-driver setup THIEAUDIO has injected some of its flagship technology to give it a unique and competitive slant, namely IMPACT2
For those new to this series of IEMs, the brand moniker ‘Hype’ stands for hybrid performance, so we will be keen to see if it retains some of the high standards as set by their recently reviewed high-end Monarch MKIII.
The THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is a universal multi-driver IEM. It features a dual dynamic driver and dual-balanced armature setup. The company calls it the New Generation 2DD + 2BA setup for their latest HYPE lineup.
The dynamic drivers of the Hype 2 use the IMPACT2 or IMPACT Squared technology which THIEAUDIO claims is a new subwoofer’s isobaric design to enhance the power and texture of the bass without sacrificing tonal integrity.
The Hype 2 balanced armature setup features the latest generation of Sonion P2356HF/4 and E25ST001/D drivers.
The P2356HF/4 balanced armature is the one that will handle the resolution and clarity. Meanwhile, the E25ST001/D will be the super tweeter that acts like an EST to provide extended treble and excellent tones.
The Hype 2 is rated at 25Ω and 108 dB/Vrms @1kHz so it’s not a terribly demanding IEM. You can read more about our subjective testing of its rating on page 2 of this review.
The THIEAUDIO Hype 2 in this review is the blue with leaf pattern version. The design is overall black with the flares and patterns on the faceplate only.
Starting with the faceplate, the blue leaf pattern is an aesthetic new to me. It doesn’t confuse you when looking at it, rather it draws you in with the unique pattern.
Going to its shell, it’s simply a full-on black design. There are no patterns on it, instead, there’s a text label for the side orientation and a manufacturing label.
For the nozzle, it’s relatively short and wide. Most tips will fit it and it won’t bring any problems to anyone regardless of ear canal size. There’s also a small vent with a mesh filter near its nozzle as well. This mesh doesn’t seem to be replaceable.
Comfort & Isolation
Starting with THIEAUDIO Hype 2’s comfort, it’s just okay with how big its shell is. As someone with no problems in fitting IEMs, I can see people with smaller ears have an issue with it.
The nozzle isn’t a problem, but the shell is just really big and is something you’ll feel with usage. With prolonged use, the shell becomes a problem because of its size.
In other words, the THIEAUDIO Hype 2’s comfort is reliant on the ears of the user. For those with smaller ears, you will have comfort issues but for us with bigger ears, it’s not a problem.
For the THIEAUDIO Hype 2’s isolation, it’s excellent. Due to its shell size, no outside noise will get in nor any IEM sound go out.
I’ve had my fair share of “Why can’t you hear me?” moments from my siblings when I wear the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. The isolation is just that good.
For commute, this will block the outside noise but I wouldn’t recommend it since it will also block your environmental awareness.
The tips that come with the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 include a set of foam tips and a set of silicone tips. It doesn’t seem to be any special type of tips from my testing.
For the silicone tips, it’s a set of small, medium, and large tips. The type of silicone used for this doesn’t seem to be too different from regular silicone tips aside from being sturdier.
For the foam tips, it’s also the same small, medium, and large tips in size. They also don’t seem too different from the foam tips most IEMs come with.
In essence, both of these tips will do well for regular usage, but they won’t give an extraordinary experience or a premium feel.
In the box, the silver-white colored cable is already attached to the IEMs itself. This is a very fashionable cable.
Inspecting it more, it’s a 4-core cable that’s built well, sturdy and doesn’t tangle. It has a circle chin slider for those who need it. It has a 3.5mm gold-plated termination that’s enclosed by silver plating. It connects to 0.78mm pins strongly so you wouldn’t have to worry about it falling off.
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is large. The IEMs already being connected to the cable might be the cause for this.
Aside from the tips, cable, and IEMs, the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 also has a pouch for it. This is pretty big for its size and it won’t fit in your pocket too. That pouch is built fine and the design is something other IEMs also have. It’s rectangular with a zipper in front.
The following impressions were created using the Radsone ES100, a Colorfly CDA-M1P, and the CX31993 dongle with a smartphone.
This is the best part of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. The bass simply gives you a fun and exciting experience that anyone will enjoy. I’d also describe the THIEAUDIO Hype 2’s bass as full and plentiful. It has all the qualities of what good bass should be.
From the great rumbling that you’ll feel to the deep-reaching bass punches, I’ve experienced it with this set. Having this great head-shaking bass experience from the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is simply excellent. It’s something I definitely would want to experience in my daily usage.
I’d even say that all bassy music is given a lot of justice with the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. It won’t feel lacking at all once those lower frequencies are sent with a lot of quantity to you. It neither lacks quality nor quantity, instead, it’s just enough. It gets the balance right that most music needs.
Now this is a part that’s a hit-and-miss for the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. It does things good but has weird qualities that make it bad.
Starting with the good, the vocals are thick, either male or female vocals. It doesn’t sound thin at all and there’s a lot of body to them.
The vocals sound natural, but there’s this unusual veil to them. Especially with female vocals, there’s a veil that prevents female vocals from sounding correct. It has natural mids but it’s not correct. It’s like it’s replicating what natural vocals should sound like.
Adding to that, the mids of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 aren’t properly dynamic. There are times when vocals or instruments just dip into the background.
There are times of confusion in managing the layering of the vocals, instruments, and bass. Experiencing that unusual change of forwardness made me unable to fully enjoy its mids.
The mids also give a disjointed sound. The vocals don’t sound like it’s part of the music along with the instruments. I was able to notice that unnaturalness after comparing it with other IEMs. I’ll get to this in the comparison section of the review.
Like its mids, the treble of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is unusual and a hit-or-miss as well. Some parts of it are okay but some are simply just questionable.
For the good, it has absolutely no sibilance. Those hissing, cymbals, and ‘s’ sounds are tame and relaxed here. Anyone sensitive to sibilance should put this IEM on their radar. Even those high-ringing noises are well done here.
The sibilance and sparkle are very controlled to the point it’s excellent. I couldn’t hear any sense of fatiguing highs with it.
For the bad, let’s start with the detail retrieval. The detail retrieval of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is just average.
Compared to the competition, it doesn’t deliver the expected detail retrieval of a multi-driver IEM with supposed better-balanced armatures. There is detail in music you’ll miss with the THIEAUDIO Hype 2.
The next bad thing is the percussions. With cymbals and drums, they sound fake to the point I can’t unhear it the more I listen to the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. The hits, snares, and cymbals sound like a wall is being hit rather than a drum set. The drums sound dead due to this.
Staging & Dynamics
For staging and dynamics, unfortunately, it also suffers a similar problem as its treble. This time it’s more average than good.
Like its detail retrieval, the staging and imaging of the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 is average. Its performance is similar to something like a Truthear Zero or Moondrop Kato.
Its imaging is mostly centered with some left and right movement when the music calls for it. The small soundstage makes it difficult for the imaging to be placed farther apart.
Dynamics, on the other hand, is also a weak point. As I’ve said before, there are some random forwardness dips with the THIEAUDIO Hype 2 which is connected to its dynamics.
Which part is loud or soft in the music can’t be consistently determined by the THIEAUDIO Hype 2. When it gets it right then it’s correct, but when it doesn’t it messes with the rest of the track.
The experience where parts of your music change their volume and layering is annoying and ruins the purpose of IEMs: to enjoy music.