Hey there. So, this is new ground for the channel, as we’re taking a look an earbud: the HZSound Bell Rhyme. And this thing is a bit of a game changer in my opinion, so, without delay, let’s get InToit!
The HZSound Bell Rhyme is a budget device, which can be picked up for around $25 dollars. And for $25 dollars you get a heck of a lot of sound. I’m not even going to sugar coat it. These are probably my favorite things at or under this price range right now- IEM, headphone, earphone, or otherwise. Although I will also point out that new HZSound Waist Drum, which I love as well, is also only a few dollars more. Nevertheless, I’d say the sound of the Bell Rhyme actually compliments the Waist Drum, and vice versa, rather than either really replacing each other.
But sticking to the Bell Rhyme for this review. The build here is pretty simplistic. It’s a metal bud housing, with a plastic driver covering, and an attached rubberized cable. My version came with an in-line mic, which didn’t appear to negatively impact the sound, and wasn’t the best microphone for communication purposes, but was passible for short term conversations. The termination of the cable has some stress relief and a slim-profile, right-angled, standard, TRS connection. I’ve used these a bunch over the course of the last few months, and the cable rolls and unrolls relatively easily, with limited memory to its wire.
It also comes with a bag made from a blue jean material and 4 total sets of foam earbud coverings, 2 open (with a circular cut out in the middle), and 2 enclosed (without this circular cut out. I preferred the foam coverings with the cut out, as I found those without it to be a tad hot and shouty in comparison.
But, let’s talk more about the overall sound of the HZSound Bell Rhyme. Simply put, these impress, especially for their measly price of around $25 dollars. These are arguably just as good as any of the Koss Headphones with Yaxi Pads, but these can obviously fit into your pockets, which to the right customer, is a tremendous advantage! Like a classic Koss Headphone, the Bell Rhyme excels with at imaging, instrument separation, and layering. The soundstage is wide, immense, and expansive, and definitively the reason to make this purchase. Resolution and clarity also excel beyond its cost, but these aren’t going to out-resolve other means of personal audio reproduction beyond the $100 dollar price point. Nevertheless, for its price, the Bell Rhyme is still a steal.
Timbre is rather neutral and natural in its presentation; leaning slightly bright, if in any particular direction. Outside of the Bell Rhyme, my only experience to date with HZSound has come in the form of experience with the Heart Mirror; an IEM, which is significantly brighter in its tonality in comparison to this earbud. As of the date of this video, I have not made a video regarding that IEM, but I’ll place a link in the description below to a written review, which covers the Heart Mirror in more detail, in case you’re interested in what I thought of that set. And I don’t mean to spoil your viewing of that review, but I will attest here that I find the Bell Rhyme much more capable and agreeable to the ear overall; which is saying something, given the colt following that that IEM has and the general praise that it has received from the audiophile community.
The Bell Rhyme struggles with things those other earbuds struggle with, such as maintaining an even bass response down into the sub-bass, and there is also some degree of roll-off in elevated regions of the treble. But given that these are earbuds, one should somewhat expect this. Needless to say, isolation shouldn’t be concerned if you interested in earbuds. Having said that, the note weight and the overall presentation that the Bell Rhyme produces does lean towards the learner side of things, with its initial transient response being somewhat sharp, even if sonics decay well globally.
Nevertheless, within the categorical context of other earbuds, I actually think the Bell Rhyme does quite well with both its low-end and high-end reproduction. In fact, when I was initially asked by KeepHiFi to review the Bell Rhyme, it had been a spell of time since I had heard any earbuds. So, being the competent reviewer that I am, I made sure to go out and purchase another “competent” earbud for the purposes of comparison. What I settled on for this purpose was the NiceHCK EB2S, as it has also received excellent marks from others in community. But let me tell you, compared to the Bell Rhyme, the EB2S is basically a joke, and, in the end, it can’t really hope to keep up. At this point, I’m not even sure I’m even going to review the EB2S separately, as it simply isn’t worth any type of review other than in serving as a brief comparison to this set.
In comparison, the EB2S just sounds wonky. For example, vocals and other mid-centric instrumentation sound brittle and acostic to my ears in comparison. Vocals and other sonics are oddly pushed forward in the mix oddly at times, and recessed strangely at others. Music reproduction doesn’t even come close to what the artist intended, or how said tracks reproduce on most other devices. Furthermore, it doesn’t take very long for my ears to become fatigued when auditioning the EB2S.
In contrast, while there is somewhat a dearth in the low-end response of the Bell Rhyme, it is certainly much more even sounding overall and more faithful to the audio reproduction as a whole. Vocals on the Bell Rhyme are clean, clear, crisp, and forward enough without going overboard or assaulting one’s ears.
For $25 dollars you really can’t go wrong with the Bell Rhyme. Bass-heads are likely to be disappointed, but earphones really shouldn’t be on a bass-head’s radar anyways. Instead, the Bell Rhyme is a mid-centric listening experience with enough low-end to satisfy most, and a sufficient amount of treble to cause one to forget that they are listening to an earbud. Staging wise, these are special, and they image well to boot. If you’re looking for something that is similar to wide-staging, Koss headphone experience, and you also want it to fit in your pocket, then look no further than the HZSound Bell Rhyme.
In fact, in my experience thus far, these are some of the best earbuds that I have ever heard, prices notwithstanding. But I must also admit that I am not super well-versed in earphones in general, especially higher echelon ones. Having said that, compared to the NiceHCK EB2S, which came recommended by others, the HZSound Bell Rhyme seemingly stomps the competition. So, if you’re interested in what earphones can do, this is likely a great starting point, and I definitely am impressed by the overall sound of the Bell Rhyme, especially at their budget price. I mean, aside from $25 dollars, what else do you have to lose? And with that, I’m out… for now…
*Thanks to KeepHiFi for sending in the Bell Rhyme for review!
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