NiceHCK M6 review:
PRICE VALUE: 8/10
HCK have been quite busy in 2018, creating numerous new IEM including this 2 dynamic drivers plus 4 balanced armature beautiful metal universal custom call NiceHCK M6.
Having been disapointed lot of time lately by budget multi drivers IEM, I decide to take the plunge and buy these little more expensive chi-fi beauties once on sale in Aliexpress, at 100$ my expectation was way higher than with sub-50$ iem I buy and I didn’t want to deal with an immature or experimental soundsignature that sacrifice overall musicality with a lack of engineering knowledge often found in this hypertrophied audio market…because let admit it : chifi earphones rarely are know for masterful multi drivers treble calibration. Well, the M6 isn’t perhaps the final words in term of treble management but it sure is a well made and must of all musical, dynamic and alive sounding one.
CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN & ACCESSORIES :
The M6 come with all the basics we need, including a case and lot of extra eartips. But about eartips, I would have love some silicone one with bigger hole, so it fit exact size of iem nozzle and permit to the sound to breath better, for this result I use the KZ starline eartips, wich give the best result for sound and fit.
As said before by other M6 users, cable is underwhelming in quality, more a mimic of a good cable thant a real one, as well, it tend to warm the sound and push the bass more fowards, I prefer using any cheap SPC cable over the included one.
For the iem construction, it is top notch as well as extremely similar to the BGVP DMG. Perhaps its an OEM of those that have same or different drivers configuration (2DD+4BA) but I can’t say for sure as I did not try the DMG and some people report the sound is different. Anyway, these are the type of iem that feel confident in hands with its solid heavy alluminium-magnesium housing that feel thick and organic in its form. Design of housing is excellent and give extremely good fit and comfort-it slide there and stay there.
The M6 are among the must comfy earphones I have and I can even use smaller tips because it do not tend to fall from my ears, thanks to the super solid but light housing.
About TIPS, there a bunch of different one included but I find the KZ Starline to be the best, because the eartips hole is bigger and same size as nozzle hole of M6 and IMO it open the sound and give proper fit too because of a thickest silicone that do not slide out of ears.
All in all, the M6 feel and look as an above 100$ IEM even if the cable is just average.
SOUNDSTAGE is perhaps not the more vast and airy I ever heard, but it sure is above average in term of widness and especially deepness because of a very well made imaging that give illusion of 3D sound space. Yep, not a lot of air between every instrument but at least its clear and precise and feel at the right placement and never congested, this is like being in a great audiophile room with 2 speakers at each side and a sub in the middle and its a real treat. Instrument layering with M6 is just phenomenal for its price range.
SOUNDSIGNATURE is the U shape, with and extra push in the middle, so, more a W I would say. Weighty punchy low with wide fowards and well detailed mid and smooth but well extended treble that do not hide details but will not show it like if you pass your music trough an IRM.
AMPING : At 17ohm, these are VERY easy to drive, it do not benifit from amping, just from a good clear trustable source with basic stable amping (yep, even a phone can do it right here but not if the sound is colored with pumped up bass).
FIT TRICK : I like these insert DEEP into my ears, so I use medium KZ starline and not the large size as im use too.
OFFICIAL GRAPHIC RESPONSE:
BASS is more the punchy way than the boomy way, it have lot of weight in mid bass and dig low but do not have a pumped up sub that will make shake your skull with your trap rap collection, still, yeah, it sound freaking good with trap music, but try DnB or IDM, man, thats a killer mix! M6 give a warm, punchy, thick and energic bass, that isn’t ultra detailed but have good attack and decay and especially a right placement in sound space where it do not mix badly with other frequencies, we have barely a little mid bass echo that float under the mids and I like this warm caress that give a little more body to them.
MIDS are the sweet miracle of these IEM, by miracle I mean its a vast and wide presentation for such an energic bassy soundsignature, even if it slightly have upper bass bleed its not to veil the mids but to uplift them with a hint of warm, wich give more body to vocal and do not stole anything really. I even test these with choral ensemble (Trio Medieval) to be sure vocal are impressive and man its a delight, all voice of ensemble are layered clearly and do not feel mixed up, it isnt too textured and bright, and have very good sirupy body that is perfect for laidback immersive listening. With solo violin it surpass my expectation another time, delivering a weighty musicality where we can feel the bow attack that give proper note decay to the instrument, for me, this is call pure musicality but not in a critical listening approach more an avid music lover one that know how instruments should be feel. Great layering help the mid to breath even if I wouldn’t call the M6 an airy sounding iem cause of a little lack of dept and air between instrument, its more appropriate for small to medium instrumental music group than a full symphony or ultra crowded music.
HIGHS aren’t fowards and bright, they are smooth with extended treble that do not have harsh peaks anyhow and is perfect for treble sensitive people. This refreshing approach proove a maturity in sound engineering where you aren’t force to find a compromising sinergy to enjoy full sound palette. In sub-100$ iem, I feel there too often highs colouring to push the microdetails fowards to give easy wow effect wich became annoying when you discover how unbalanced certain songs can became or upper mids or highs can be grainy, shooty, splashy or way too agressive. Music should be healing, especially when its about beauty, so when highs are sharped like trowing knifes I feel betray by the IEM and just can’t stand this anymore, thanks god the M6 don’t take this easy road and offer plenty of micro details that can be found under multiple music layers as it should be, if you crave you will find them easily but its not trow at you like noisy stone. I tremondesly enjoy this approach, where percussion have great decay and natural timbre and never sound artificial, too metallic or splashy. No details porn here, but lot of complex and mysterious musical eroticism to undress for sure!
With Kinera H3 : At 100$ H3 feel like a pimped joke that sound like a failed prototype, the bass feel weak, thin and grainy, mids way too harsh in upper mids and highs kind of erratic compare to a well rounded M6 sound where everything feel right in place even if it give a more bassy soundsignature that strangely offer better and more vast mids too. Its less detailed but just in upper highs because well, it sound right compared to the H3.
With MACAW GT600S : At 80-100$ these do not sound bad and have a wider soundstage than M6, but thats about it because it sound veiled and trebly too and lack weight and impact in low and mids. M6 sound seriously from another league here with a better layering and clearer sound that have as well more energy and attack-decay. Mids are very annoying and harsh with the GT600S, so who need a wider trebly soundstage? Not me.
With FIIO F5 : F5 are quite good IEM, especially if we think of whole package we get for 60$ (now) and they are the more serious contender among 3 iem I compare the M6 too. Soundstage feel wider and more around your head than M6, mids are a little more recessed but quite clear and enjoyable even if bass bleed is more problematic due to a single dynamic drivers. As well, highs are more sharp and can be problematic for treble sensitive people but this give a more sparkling upper range than M6. M6 has way better layering and more deep and 3D soundstage. Even if M6 isn’t colored in highs as much than F5 it have more details due to a fuller frequencies response and no extra treble that can hide some details to the cost of other micro ones. When it come to whole price value perhaps the F5 win because of all accessories that come with the product (including 2 mmcx cable-1balanced-1 with mic) and a great sturdy metal construction, and as said, the sound is really good too, even more with a SPC cable. BUT if sound and only sound is your priority, for 50$ more I’ll say the upgrade is not far from 40% better, wich is exceptional in this price range where 50-100$ iem can sound kind of in same league must of the time.
CHANGEABLE NOZZLE is more a gimmick than a proper soundsignature switcher, because lets be honnest, filtering can only tame or open some very limited frequencies range, its not like an EQ and even if yes it give a hint more treble in upper mids or some more DB in lower bass, its very very subtil and not really thinked for a pristine result so as always with changeable nozzle I stick to the standard one wich is the green and surely the one used by audio engineer to calibrate the whole sound.
Even if I humbly admit that I did not have try more than 10 chifi iem pairs in above 100$ price range – but sure alot more with overpriced other iem brands like Sennheiser, Audio technica or Westone- it do not stop my overwhelming enthusiasm about this incredible NiceHCK M6. For me, it hit all the right sound corners, and that with a weighty dynamic sound that is very revealing of its sound layers with a beautifull and natural transient response in all frequencies range. Even the slightly coloured sound in mid bass do not feel artificial or too much bassy for me, this punch is quite needed in fact and is far from a boomy approach even if critical listener would have perhaps prefer a more linear rendering, the fact is that this punch help the M6 to be the perfect all arounder in sub-200$ iem world. As well, if you need extra treble in upper mids, the changeble nozzle kind of do the trick, less so for bass but you have anyway 3 slightly different soundsignature to play with (if you have time to loose). Construction as well as engineering is Top Notch for this price and if M6 are the same as the BGVP DMG (but I heard M6 are less trebly-sibilant) I really now understand the big hype around it, because yes, this is a IEM that stand appart from the crownd and will sure be a keeper for a long long time if your a collector or it could be the perfect first daily hifi 100$ IEM for real music enthusiast with diversify taste in music, for this lucky consumer, it could be the end game and a welcome elexir to a bothersome quest for the utopical perfect IEM. Because even if M6 isn’t perfection in term of supreme clarity and details, I now know too that an Hifiman RE-2000 is very far from this type of perfection and offer a warm musicaly addictive sound at 2000$ that cannot sound as versatile than M6. Yes, NiceHCK M6 is THAT goooooood and if you search a more than capable non fatiguing IEM that will never sound boring and be able to offer an above average lively imaging with plenty of energy and weight, search no further : the M6 is Magnificently Muscular & Musical.