Review - Tangzu x HBB Xuan NV

English | Español

TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Tangzu x HBB Xuan NV

The Tangzu X HBB Xuan NV have been sent to me by Linsoul for me to try them out and to publish my opinions in this review. Linsoul have not made any requests, they never do, and I will do my usual best to be as unbiased as possible in my review.

The Tangzu X HBB Xuan NV can be found via Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/tangzu-xuannv

As always, 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…

Can anyone say for sure how many collaborations HBB has? Can HBB even name them all without looking them up? I know that I lost track many moons ago 😁

Seriously though, I don’t think HBB or his collaborations need any introduction at this point in time and the Xuan NV is his latest (or maybe not?) with the brand Tangzu, who he already collaborated with in the past. While I didn’t get to listen to the Heyday, his previous Tangzu collab, I do know that there were plenty of people who enjoyed it. This time, we have moved from the planar in the Heyday to a dual dynamic driver in the Xuan NV and the price has also dropped from 190€ to around 70€ for this model.

We are used to collaborations from HBB being very different from previous models, so, what do we get with the Xuan NV?


Presentation…

Tangzu have a habit of using classic looking artwork on their packaging and the Xuan NV is no different, with a box cover that is still anime inspired but more traditional in its intent. The reference to HBB is also quite subtle, with just his logo appearing on the bottom right corner, without further reference to him on the packaging. The back of the packaging shares some basic specs of the IEMs and plenty of QR codes to scan.

Opening the box we get the IEMs, a pouch style storage case, 6 sets if Tang Sancai tips (3x balanced and 3x wide), plus a set of simple white silicone tips installed and the cable. Nothing extraordinary but plenty to allow us to enjoy the IEMs.


Build and aesthetics…

The shells are 3D printed in medical grade resin, with a transparent red colour to them and gold design on the faceplate to represent a butterfly wing on each IEM. If you look very closely, you will see HBB in lettering on one wing and Tangzu on the other, although you will have to look very very closely, as it is very hard to make out.

The internals contain 2x dynamic drivers, one 10mm ceramic and the other an 8mm PU+LCP. The overall impedance of these drivers is quite low, 8.5 Ohms, but so is the sensitivity at 98dB. I have found that these IEMs do need quite a bit of power to get them to my usual listening levels, so those of you who listen loud (the majority listen louder than me), will need to make sure you have a decent dongle or amplifier, I don’t suggest trying to run these from a phone.

Overall, the IEMs look decent enough, they are very lightweight and I find them to be comfortable even for long listening sessions.


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.)

As I said a moment ago, HBB has a lot of collaborations and also has the habit of each one being different. I am not sure if he is trying to collect tunings like Pokemon but here is a quick recap of the tunings he has had so far (and I am probably missing quite a few):

Well, the Xuan NV manages to find yet another variation in tuning, so call HBB whatever you want but he certainly isn’t boring when it comes to choosing a tuning:

So, to put this into perspective against my usual preference curve that I use as a reference, this is what it looks like:

So let’s start off with “Chameleon” as usual and talk about subbass. There is plenty of rumble for my tastes although it is not the cleanest of low notes that I have heard. By that I don’t mean it does a bad job, far from it, it is controlled but it does seem to blend the subbass notes together slightly when this track is at its fullest. To be honest, it is a brutal test for IEMs anyway, as there is a lot of low end there and the Xuan NV don’t fall apart. I have heard better but I have heard many sets that are much worse.

With something a little less overloaded, like “No Sanctuary Here”, there is more clarity, things don’t suffer quite as much. I still wouldn’t say it is amazing in the lowest notes but it is certainly decent enough. There can be just a little too much going on in “Royals” but if we move to something more midbass focused, such as “Sun Is Shining”, then things get a lot better.

Mids are pretty decent and if we don’t overload the lowest registers, the tonality and performance of the mids is more than acceptable. There is a rather large boost around the 3kHz mark which serves well to counteract the subbass but can leave things a little harsh when we take tracks that are not really bass focused, such as acoustic songs like “Tears in Heaven”.

I find that it works much better for some of the older hip hop tracks that are not overly heavy in the subbass but still have enough in the bass department for the vocals to not be overly harsh due to that 3k boost.

One thing I will say is that there is absolutely no harshness to my ears from that 5kHz region, something that I really appreciate. To me a boosted 3kHz is much more tolerable than a 5kHz peak, although each person is sensitive to different frequencies, so your mileage may vary.

Sibilance is also kept in check, or reduced rather, with no sign of sibilance in the usual suspects like Patricia Barber in “Code Cool”.

The treble extension is not great, with a noticeable roll off that does give a sensation of lacking air. This interacts with the overall signature to present a rather laid back presentation that is not the most detailed.


Conclusion…

I seem to have tried out quite a few IEMs lately that have a “relaxed and laid back” presentation, some more than others. In the case of the Xuan NV, it is an enjoyable set of IEMs for the most part, although I do find it to be lacking detail retrieval in general and it can also become a little overwhelming if we pump overly (sub)bassy music into it.

While I don’t have any specific issues with the Xuan NV, I really don’t find it to stand out above other similar alternatives at similar price points. This is not to say that you won’t enjoy it, if you are looking for a presentation that is of this style, then I think that you will enjoy it, I just feel that there are other alternatives with a similar laid back style that can compete.


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

To comment or contact, visit any of the following social media platforms: