The TRUTHEAR HOLA has good textured bass, full and hearty instruments, and good imaging. Pairing that with its exceptional comfortability, it’s hard to fault it despite its obvious sibilance and clarity issues.
Despite being a new name in the audio world, TRUTHEAR has quickly established a full lineup of affordable yet well-tuned IEMs.
With TRUTHEAR’s success in both the $50 and $100 market with their TRUTHEAR Zero and TRUTHEAR Hexa respectively, they’re back with the TRUTHEAR HOLA for the $20 IEM market this time.
With how they’ve released and tuned their previous IEMs, the TRUTHEAR HOLA looks to replicate that impact and hype once more but with less stress on the wallet.
The TRUTHEAR HOLA features an 11mm single dynamic driver, which they claim to be improved to give punchier, deeper, and less distorted bass. Their dynamic driver diaphragm is made of a PU (polyurethane suspension) plus LCP (liquid-crystal polymer) dome composite diaphragm.
With those changes, the improved single dynamic driver can be expected to give a cleaner and fuller sound than the competition which only uses LCP drivers.
It has a sensitivity level of 120dB/Vrms at 1kHz with a 28Ω impedance rating. It also uses a universal 0.78mm 2-pin jack so numerous cables can be used as an alternative for it.
With that sensitivity and impedance, the TRUTHEAR HOLA should not pose a driving challenge with moderate sources, dongles, and DAPs.
The TRUTHEAR HOLA has a 3D-printed opaque resin shell by Heygears, the company that also 3D-printed the Moondrop Blessing lineup’s resin shells. We can trust that the HOLA will have a durable shell from that information.
The faceplate features a flower or snowflake design depending on what you see. It has a delicate and smooth feeling when you run your fingers through it.
Its shell is on the rougher side compared to the faceplate, but nothing uncomfortable. You may even call it grippy once you wear the TRUTHEAR HOLA.
Both IEMs have markings for the left or right side which makes sure you won’t connect the cables incorrectly. Two vent holes can also be seen on its shell.
One vent hole is near the nozzle, the other nozzle is by the edge of the shell. These vents will reduce the pressure your ears receive which lets you use the HOLA for extended periods.
Compared to other budget IEMs, the TRUTHEAR HOLA is definitely on the thinner side. With its size, it won’t give anyone fit issues regardless of their ear size.
Comfort & Isolation
The comfort of the TRUTHEAR HOLA is unmatched. This simply sinks into my ears and can even be worn in my sleep.
This is the IEM I can wear despite being a side sleeper. This simply does not bring any discomfort to the ears even with prolonged use.
The HOLA is extremely lightweight. This is a big advantage for prolonged usage since it won’t interrupt your music, movies, or gaming sessions.
At certain times as well, I feel that the HOLA is simply invisible whenever I wear it. It gives near zero pressure in my head or ears that I sometimes forget I’m wearing IEMs.
But, if you plan to use this as earplugs to block outside noise, it won’t do a great job with that as it bleeds in a bit too easily for my liking.
The TRUTHEAR HOLA comes with grippy, not sticky, silicone tips. They were even kind enough to include both wide-bore and narrow-bore tips.
For the wide bore, the sizes are small, medium, large, and extra-large. Meanwhile, the narrow bore tips only have small, medium, and large sizes. The tips I used for this review were the wide bore large size type. I prefer hearing more detail and a wide bore helps with that.
Firstly, these tips seal unexpectedly well. It’s grippy to the ears so shaking your head won’t remove them out of place.
Secondly, they are easy to clean. They seem to have this soft powder finish that wiping them with a towel or tissue is enough.
Lastly, its wide array of sizes would mean all of the ear sizes should be covered by it. No need to buy third-party tips this time!
I’ll get this out of the way: The TRUTHEAR HOLA has the best cable I’ve seen or used in any of the budget gear IEMs.
For the specifics, the HOLA’s cable doesn’t have a mic, has a 3.5mm termination, and has 0.78mm pin connectors. It’s a 2-core, oxygen-free, copper cable with a great no-nonsense minimalistic design.
For general use, it’s a great cable that doesn’t tangle up, makes noise when it rubs on your clothing, and is sufficient for length in most cases.
Package & Accessories
The TRUTHEAR HOLA comes with a warranty card, a manual, and a character info sheet for their mascot, Shiroi. Aside from that, the cable, IEM, and ear tips are packed in a relatively small box.
The following impressions were completed using a smartphone as the primary transport combined with a Radsone ES100 MK2, and a 7Hz SEVENHERTZ 71 dongle DAC.
As TRUTHEAR stated, their improved 11mm dynamic driver brings deeper and punchier bass, and I can confirm this is true. The bass quality of the TRUTHEAR HOLA is one of the best in the budget market.
From its sub-bass, the rumble for those low frequencies is pronounced and has a high impact. The mid-bass has enough punch but does not overwhelm lower-register male vocals or muddy them up.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t bleed into the mids as much as its other competitors. The driver limitations for it are apparent and heard when your music has a lot of things happening.
The bass clarity gets hit and things suddenly become muddy. The bass will sound like a distorted mess due to it messing up the higher frequencies.
Aside from that, its bass is mostly clean with minimal distortion and a fit for bassheads who enjoy more bass quantity.
TRUTHEAR HOLA’s mids are good. It has enough body for male vocals while retaining just enough cleanliness for female vocals.
Unfortunately, vocal clarity is just average or even worse for it at times. You’d hear the vocals become veiled and mixed up with the other instruments when it’s not the only thing playing.
Female vocals in particular get overpowered by the bass at certain moments. Male vocals, on the other hand, stay the same throughout the music.
Its tonality leans onto the warm side so stringed instruments will shine with the HOLA. Meanwhile, its timbre is more on the natural sound.
It doesn’t have a clinical, fun, or boring sound, rather it’s natural. Instruments and vocals have that extra heft that gives it that good note weight.
With instrumentals, acoustic music, lo-fi, and those of similar genres, the HOLA will undoubtedly sound great. That note-weight punch gives thick-sounding instruments.
The TRUTHEAR HOLA has an average treble extension. It has a faint sense of sparkle when the focus is on those treble
Unfortunately, the HOLA also has a weird sense of sibilance. The cymbals and hissing can feel like it’s piercing in certain tracks. Its sibilance isn’t always present in tracks, unlike its other competitors. It only has times when it’s sibilant like in NewJeans’ song, ETA.
You’d hear the HOLA’s sharp sibilance with those bells or chimes at the start. Throughout the track, it gets more apparent once the cymbals hit.
There is just average sparkle for it, where sometimes it can sound magical when the music calls for it but most of the time it’s not. With how extended its treble is, this isn’t surprising.
Separation is also just average. When the track isn’t too busy, you can point out which instrument is playing, but once it gets busy, then separation becomes below average. Note decay is slow here as well. There’s some delay with note transitions with faster music.
Soundstage & Imaging
TRUTHEAR HOLA’s imaging is average and gives an in-head experience for the staging. It doesn’t one-up the competition in this regard.
Its soundstage is small but the placement of instruments is correct enough. It goes from left to right only with no up or down panning.
It doesn’t isolate the different layers and tracks in music that well. It felt cluttered at times but I was still able to point out certain instruments with enough focus.
7Hz Salnotes Zero
The 7Hz Salnotes Zero comes with a smaller single 10mm dynamic driver. It has a 108db/Vrms sensitivity and 32-ohm impedance, so it’s also easy to power like the TRUTHEAR HOLA.
The 7hHz Salnotes Zero has a plastic chassis while having a stainless-steel faceplate. Unlike the HOLA, the 7Hz Salnotes Zero faceplate is prone to scratching. They’re both ergonomic to the ears but this is thicker and has sharper edges which might be uncomfortable for some.
Compared to the TRUTHEAR HOLA, this has less bass and a lower midrange that gives a cleaner sound to female vocals but thinner male vocals. For the treble, the HOLA is better tuned due to it being less sibilant than the 7Hz Salnotes Zero.
With TRUTHEAR’s continuous success with their recent IEMs, they were also able to get a 3rd run hole-in-one with the HOLA for the $20 market. From its design, packaging, tuning, and accessories, this is an amazing deal.
The HOLA has good textured bass, full and hearty instruments, and good imaging. Pairing that with its exceptional comfortability, it’s hard to fault it despite its obvious cons.
Now who should buy it? For people who have lots of female artists in their music library, this might not be for you. But for those who have lots of instruments and male vocals in their music library, the HOLA is a great choice.
Despite the unusual sibilance and clarity issues with messy tracks, the HOLA is still a good choice and a good buy. Good bass, great note weight, natural timbre, and excellent comfort are what you’ll be getting here.
TRUTHEAR HOLA Technical Specifications
Driver Type: 11mm 1 DD PU Suspension + LCP Dome Composite Diaphragm