Hidizs MS1 Galaxy: take me to the Moon?
Hello there, and welcome back to The Neighborhood. We’re look at another dual dynamic driver IEM in 2023. Dual dynamics have certainly been a design trend in the last year or so, and Hidizs has decided to get into the game with their MS1-Galaxy. The prior released, Mermaid MS1-Rainbow used a similar shell design but only a single dynamic driver. So how does the MS1 adjust with two drivers instead? Let’s get inToit!
Hidizs seems to have built this one a shoe-string budget, but also with some thought to the design. For example, I like the reflective, metallic chessboard design that they incorporated into the faceplate, but its still a plastic shell with two economically sourced drivers inside: a 10.2mm PU and a PEEK composite diaphragm. One set of clear silicones and twisted, single-ended 2-pin cable is provided in the box. The cable has some inconsistencies in the twist, and its ear hooks are rather aggressive, but it terminates in a nice angled 3.5mm jack with rubberized strain relief and can be had with or without a microphone. I got the version with the mic, which sounded fine in use. I know its not customary to have a bead on microphone cables, but I still would have liked a chin sinch after the Y-split here if that could be added in future iterations. In any case, its light weight in its feel, small in its fit for a dual dynamic, and other than its face-plate, translucent in its finish. As a budget offering, there’s a lot to like here, and not really much to hate on.
The sound here has somewhat of a lightweight, airy, and ambient feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a V-shaped presentation, that is somewhat consumer like, but, at the same time, you can also tell that its steering its listener away from the consumer sound to a more audiophile listen. Even so, the subbass here is rather soft, and lower in its presence than the midbass. I think this may have been done intentionally to avoid an overly muddy sound signature. So, the low end is nimble, and dynamic, but somewhat flat and non-descript in its character. I was able to extract a bit more low-end depth from higher-powered, desktop amplification though. For a budget set, the low-end is neither striking, nor dreadful, but it does bleed a bit into the midrange. Speaking of mids, they aren’t overly recessed, so much as the bass and treble are pushed forward in their intensity a bit. The treble is decently informative, but again pushed a bit overly forward to the ear, yet still feels relatively rolled towards its tail. I haven’t seen a graph of the MS1- Galaxy yet, but it certainly sounds like the Mermaid’s graph depicts that set; but perhaps with additional forwardness, at least in the low-end, if not the upper mids as well. Still, I never really found the Galaxy to demonstrate any harshness or notable sibilance to my ears, even other sets with a similar airy tonality might tend to do so. Its overall character is a forward V-shape, but still rather relaxed.
The stage here is really quite nice for a budget set. It’s not necessarily the widest, but its decently wide for the assumed price-point, and has notable depth to its image too. I think that the name Galaxy was chosen well, as I feel like I’m watching a video zooming through space at times while I listen to it. Individual notes are punchy without producing fatigue, and dynamics swing with a certain amount of flow and feel to them. Transients and vocals are unremarkable, but the general level of detail is more than reasonable. With that said, details in the center are much better than details on the edge. In fact, peripheral details do tend to hazz out of focus and fall out of one’s awareness quite a bit. Resolution is appropriate for what I assume the price-point of these will be, but don’t expect miracles here, as there will likely be standout In-Ear-Monitors around its price that will out class the Galaxy in this regard.
In terms of comparisons, it reminds me a bit of the original Truthear Zero and the NF Audio NM2. Compared to the Zero, the MS1 Galaxy feels a bit lighter on its feet and more effervescent in its quality. Tonality is less warm and its note weight is less thickened. Dynamics are less forceful than the Zero and less fatiguing to the ear. The Zero may have a small leg up on the Galaxy though when it comes to resolution and clarity across the soundscape. Staging and presentation otherwise is very similar between the two sets.
I was also reminded of the NF Audio NM2, which I never fully reviewed, because it wasn’t a set that really stood out to me in any particular way to suggest that I do so, especially at $100 dollars. At the time of this review, I’m not sure what the cost of the Galaxy will eventually be, but I’m guessing it will be much cheaper than $100 bucks, and still the overall sound of the NM2 is more on the same level as the Galaxy than it is a step above it. In any case, even though I haven’t done a full review to date, I’ll talk about it here and compare it to the Galaxy. After you hear what I have to say about it, let me know in the comments below if you think it deserves a full review, and would like me to do one.
With that said, what reminded me of the NM2 was the Galaxy’s better than average staging characteristics combined with its airy and wispy nature; in spite of it being a rather V-shaped set. Such qualities and characteristics are also on display in the NM2- especially with its included Atmosphere Ear Tips installed. So, the sound overall between the two sets is relatively similar, but the Galaxy, although a bit less resolving and articulate, is smoother and less prone to sibilance or breaking down into harshness. The Galaxy also has a bit more bottom-end, and additional forwardness in the both its treble and bass, but is also somewhat more dynamic in general across its frequency response. Still, peripheral details are clearer in the NM2, and it’s a bit more balanced sounding in totality compared to the Galaxy, but it’s a compliment to be comparing the Galaxy to an IEM that I assume will be around twice its price, and I ultimately enjoy listening to the Galaxy more because it never ventures into harsh territory like the NM2 can at times.
So, Hidizs is getting a lot out of this economical driver pairing. It’s ultimately a consumer driven sound that leans audiophile in its direction. The delivery of sounds is punchy and dynamic, and forward in its bass and treble, yet smooth to the ear at the same time. It’s a fun sound signature which will main its listener's interest, and won’t fatigue their ears over the course of longer listening sessions. It likely won’t win any awards, but it’s not a bad sounding offering for Hidizs either. The Mermaid MS1-Rainbow is currently priced around $29 dollars, marked down from $65. The Galaxy comes in priced just below that, making it an even more competitive offering from Hidizs, if you're after the type of sound it offers.
Thanks to Hidizs for sending the MS1 Galaxy into the channel for review!
Hidizs Official Store: https://www.hidizs.net/products/hidizs-ms1-galaxy-dynamic-driver-in-ear-monitors