Review - Myer Audio CKLVX D41

Review - QKZ x HBB Hades

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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - QKZ x HBB Hades

The QKZ x HBB Hades have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. Linsoul have not made any requests and I will, as always, try to be as unbiased as possible in my review.

The Hades are available via Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/qkz-x-hbb-hades

As usual, this is a non-affiliate link.

To avoid being repetitive in my reviews, you can find all the info about how I create the reviews, equipment used, how I receive the products and how to interpret my reviews by visiting: About my reviews


Intro…

I need to start off by being totally transparent as to the why of this review. I am not going into this review without knowing anything about the Hades, I had seen measurements of these IEMs before they were released and I have also read multiple comments, some good and some bad, about these IEMs. As usual, I ignore comments by others until I get to listen to something myself as, although there are people I know and trust that have similar tastes to my own, my opinions on something may be nothing like those of others.

The reason I mention this is because I knew long before hearing these IEMs that they are absolutely nothing like my personal preferences in tuning. In fact, I totally expected to hate the Hades and although I do try to avoid expectation biases, consciously or not, they are always there unless I know nothing about the IEM in question.

Let’s actually take a look at the graph of these IEMs now rather than waiting for the sound section to see what I am talking about:

As you can see above, these IEMs are far away from my personal preferences. However, these are a set of IEMs that have been aimed at exactly that, being something that is completely different, and I knew that before even saying I would review them. 

Therefore, I can’t base this review on personal preferences (which you could already guess what I would say) and I need to put my tastes to one side and try to review these for what they are, a set of bass monster IEMs aimed at the bass heads out there, so please bear with me as I try and put the experience into words 😊


Presentation…

The box is is comic inspired, with black and white artwork and images of the IEMs in large. The text, such as the logo, the model, etc. is purple to match the colour of the IEMs on the cover, although the IEMs themselves are actually lighter and more of a blue than the purple shown on the box. I have to say that the box is refreshing as it is a break from the usual packaging we find on IEMs.

The outer sleeve also shows the measurement and some specs on the back, although the measurement doesn’t really give you a grasp on the actual FR you will hear once you plug these in. I am not saying the graph is wrong but as it doesn't have a reference, it doesn’t give you a real idea of what to expect. One thing I found strange was that the text on the back of the box seems to be upside down, but I guess that depends on how you flip the box.

The contents are almost identical to those that were included with the QKZ x HBB Khan. I say almost because it’s only really the 2 pin connectors on the cable that are metal rather than the recessed versions on the Khan.

That is to say that it includes the IEMs, 3 sets of silicone tips, a generic cable and a gold coin with the HBB logo on one side and the QKZ logo on the other. They also include the same rigid storage/transport case that was included with the Khan.

Honestly I am not sure of the reason behind the coin, I’m sure there is a reason but I would have personally preferred a slightly nicer cable and no coin.


Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs are very lightweight and feature a plastic shell that is a tinted translucent plastic on the inner shell and a blueish purple tinted faceplate with a sort of ribbed window effect under the flat faceplate. I honestly don’t know how to explain the faceplate in words, or at least I can’t find the words to describe it, so the photo above is the best option to understand what I mean.

The cable, which is fairly thin and generic, features an inline microphone in my case. This can come in handy for the odd call here and there but I don’t think that the tuning of these IEMs really lends itself to voice intelligibility for calls.

I haven’t mentioned the price of these IEMs yet, which is just under 50€, placing them inside what I consider the ultra budget range. However, although I do consider them a budget option, I don’t feel that the actual content is really anything special for the price. Yes, you get everything you need along with a storage case (and a coin) but the contents do seem to be bare minimum as far as build quality is concerned. In other words, they all work and do their job, they just don’t give any sensation of being quality items (even at 50€), but I guess that leaves more budget for the actual IEMs themselves.


Sound…

All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc.)

So, moving into the sound section and here is where things get… let’s say, special.

I already posted the graph earlier in the review and said that the sound of these IEMs is not something that I can look at from my typical personal tastes point of view. These IEMs are aimed at giving bass and there is no doubt that bass is what they give!

This also renders my usual test track list almost useless, except for a few tracks, as these IEMs certainly do not work well for the majority of the list, which is to be expected. In fact, I find that these IEMs work for very specific kinds of music and even then, not all music that would fall under that genre.

For example, I find that they work well if you are someone who wants a lot of bass presence in EDM, however, EDM (at least how I think of it) can cover a lot of different subgenres and lots of different styles inside those subgenres. I find that for things like 90’s techno and rave, at least most of it, they work rather well, giving a lot of authority to those bass beats while maintaining a cleanliness in the lower frequencies that is pretty remarkable considering the quantity they are delivering. However, things like Dubstep, or more modern electronic dance that has a lot of bass drops can really suffer with the Hades, due to the sheer quantity of bass presence. 

The same can happen with Hip Hop. I am a fan of Hip Hop and have been since being a kid in the late 80’s. During the late 90’s and early 00’s I was heavily involved in the scene (doing lots of live shows and even some brief touring) and, although it is by no means the music that I most listen to nowadays, it still gets a lot of play time. I still dig out underground stuff on occasions from groups who would have probably had a completely different outcome if YouTube was a thing back then. 

The reason I am saying this, apart from the fact that I am rambling as usual, is because there are many subgenres of Hip Hop also. There is the electro inspired stuff from the 80’s, the simple early 808 based stuff, the 90’s gangsta stuff, the millenial commercial stuff, the jazz fusion stuff, there really are a lot of genres out there (that a non Hip Hop lover would never even believe).

As with EDM, I find that the Hades works better for certain genres of Hip Hop than for others. With styles that feature large quantities of bass in the recordings, then I find the Hades to overdo it, making the bass the center of attention and overshadowing the rest of the track and even the vocals. Some will obviously like the huge emphasis on bass and who am I to disagree but, while I do like bassy Hip Hop, I still like the vocals to be the center of attention as, to me, lyrics are 90% of Hip Hop.

With other Hip Hop that is not so prominent in the bass department, in the recording I mean, then the Hades can make it a lot of fun.

Now, there is of course one thing that I cannot not include in a sound review of mine when talking about bass… “Chameleon”. I am sure you will have heard this track by now if you are someone who reads my reviews but if you haven’t, then I must point out that this track is brutal in the bass range. When a set is too bassy, it makes this track become even nauseous, which is the case with the Hades. I knew this before I even listened to “Chameleon” but I had to give it a try anyway and I was not disappointed, the Hades + “Chameleon” will check for any loose fillings you may have 😁


Conclusion…

Would I buy the Hades? No.

But I am not you.

Should you buy the Hades? It depends.

The Hades are a different animal and I think the term “animal” is quite fitting. If you are looking for a good all rounder IEM, then I think that you would be way off track with the Hades.

If you are someone who enjoys copious amounts of bass that actual performs fairly well given the quantity on offer, then the Hades is a budget offering that will meet those requirements.

I really don’t think the Hades is designed to be a “one and only” IEM (although I may be wrong as I didn’t design it), it is more of a “gimme more bass” set that will work for specific genres and tracks far better than others. If your library only consists of these kinds of tracks, then maybe it could be your “one and only” but I see it more as a complimentary set to other sets that you just grab when you want that experience. 

Let’s face it, the majority of people who are reading this review are probably not “one and done” kind of people anyway 😉


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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