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Exploring Linsoul IEMs, Edition 5: Simphonio PB10, Kiwi Ears Singolo, HarmonicDyne Black Hole, QKZ x HBB Hades, Sivga Nightingale

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Hardware 0

Welcome back to another edition of Exploring Linsoul IEMs! This time, we have quick hit reviews for the Simphonio PB10, Kiwi Ears Singolo, HarmonicDyne Black Hole, QKZ x HBB Hades, Sivga Nightingale. Are any worth your hard-earned money? Find out in this edition!

The Exploration Begins Again… What Is It?

As a tech reviewer, I’m lucky enough to try lots of different gear. I’m also an audiophile, so the prospect of trying different headphones and earphones is always exciting to me. Often, these products get full 1,800+ word reviews where we dive deep. But, as I looked over the “to be reviewed” pile, I decided to take a different approach to get this content to you faster in a “straight to the point” format.

I have two goals with this series. First off, to share neat products that might resonate with you. My hope is always to share something that might enhance your life and to help warn you off of things that won’t. Second, it’s to cut through a lot of the “extras” that would leave you waiting on these reviews for weeks into the future. We’re going to look at different products and get right down to it: how do they sound, what makes them special, and are they worth picking up for yourself.

This series won’t replace full reviews. We’ll still do those for the majority of audio gear. But with the holiday season upon us, these shorter mini-reviews may help you to find the perfect gift for a loved one, or a treat for yourself, without having to wait so long to get that information. We’re gamers. We’re music and entertainment lovers. That’s the angle we take with our reviews and we’re proud to be one of the few outlets that covers this tech with both viewpoints in mind. 

With that said, let’s start with the reviews!

Kiwi Ears x Crinacle Singolo

Graph Credit: Gizaudio via Squig.Link

  • Current Price: $79 (Linsoul, Amazon)
  • Drivers: Custom 11mm Dynamic Driver + KIWI Acoustic Resonance System (KARS)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108dBSPL/mW
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Earphone Material: Resin
  • Cable Length: 1.2 meters
  • Cable Interface: 0.78mm
  • Plug Type: 3.5mm Mini-Jack
  • Inner Nozzle Diameter: 4mm
  • Suitable Ear Tip Size: 4-4.5mm

Crinacle is no stranger to collabs at this point. His prior releases (such as the Moondrop DUSK) have earned him a good deal of fanfare, and as such this new release carries a fair bit of hype. I’ve been listening to it off and off for the last few weeks and think that it’s a respectable set for the money. At only $79, you’re getting a good taste of Crin’s tuning prowess in a comfortable stylish package, akin to other Kiwi Ears releases. 

At such a reasonable price, you shouldn’t go in expecting DUSK levels of performance. At the same time, if you’re on a sub-$100 budget, I think this set offers a very solid take on the V-shaped tuning. The bass is prominent and rumbly, the mids are smoothly presented (if a bit average), and the upper-mids and highs bring out a fair bit of energy to make music sound lively and engaging. 

One interesting thing to note about these IEMs is that they use a new resonance system called the Kiwi Ears Acoustic Resonance System or KARS for short. Like the AFUL MagicOne, it uses an acoustic tube to create a Helmholtz Resonator to improve bass performance. It works well here and amplifies the body and low-end presentation.

Details and soundstaging are only average. I wouldn’t choose these for gaming unless I didn’t have another option. They’re definitely more of a music set; they’ll work for games but won’t lend you any kind of advantage of added immersion like some other sets on this list will. For only $79, though, they’re a solid buy.

QKZ x HBB Hades

Graph Credit: Vortex Reviews via Squig.Link

  • Current Price: $49.99 (Linsoul, Amazon)
  • Drivers: 9mm+9mm LCP Diaphragm Dual-Driver
  • Sensitivity: 95dB
  • Cable Connector: 0.78mm 2-pin
  • Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Distortion: 1%

Like Crinacle, Hawaii Bad Boy (HBB) of the Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews has collaborated with many different brands at this point. Even still, the Hades is something special and dare I say… unique?! With so many IEMs released all the time, they can start to blend together, but this one definitely stands out. 

The Hades uses two 9mm dynamic drivers and all about that bass (no treble). Not literally, of course, but this is 100% a basshead set if I’ve ever heard one. HBB has described it as catering to the hip-hop portion of his library. Big Boi - Kill Jill is a staple in his reviews, and if we use that as the benchmark, it’s pretty clear he achieves what he was going for. Big, powerful, subwoofer-like bass. 

For hip-hop, it works… but for other genres, the returns diminish very quickly. Upper-mids and highs are recessed and cloudy, masking a lot of detail for instrument-driven tracks. This isn’t a set I’ll be returning to personally, but if you only listen to rap, hip-hop, and other bass-driven genres, it could be a good pull. 

Also... they're beautiful. Seriously, the transparent faceplate with the purple haze may be one of my all-time favorite IEM designs. Kudos to HBB and QKZ for that.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole

Graph Credit: SoundCheck39 via Squig.Link

  • Current Price: $99 (Linsoul, Amazon)
  • Driver Unit: 50mm Dynamic Driver
  • Acoustic Structure: Semi-open
  • Input Impedance: 32Ω @1KHz
  • Frequency Response: 10-40KHz (free field)
  • Sensitivity: 110dB/Vrms @1KHz
  • Harmonic Distortion: ≤0.15% @1KHz 100dB SPL
  • Audio Cable: 1.5 meters Oxygen-Free Copper Cable
  • Cable Connectors: 3.5mm
  • Ear Cushions: Special Velvet
  • Product Dimensions: 210x175x105 (mm)
  • Product Weight: About 305g

I have been a big fan of HarmonicDyne’s headphone releases over the years. There are certain things they nail every time and others that vary from release to release, but one thing that has always been true is that they all fill a unique space in the company’s catalog. That is definitely the case with the Black Hole. If the Zeus and Zeus Elite were about balance, the Black Hole is for trebleheads.

See the mountainous right-hand side of the graph above. The highest point is a resonance peak from the testing microphone, so don’t worry too much. But the incline leading up to that point represents the mids scaling all the way into the treble. In practice, that makes for a bright-sounding pair of headphones. It’s great for acoustic tracks and classical, but I found rock and metal to be fatiguing almost instantly. This tuning brings details forward, though I didn’t find them to be the most revealing. This is an important distinction because higher-performing headphones will let you hear more while the Black Hole offers average detailing that’s just easier to hear.

Their comfort is exquisite, however. HarmonicDyne headphones are consistently some of the most comfortable to wear. Velour pads all the way, baby.

The soundstage on this set is pretty good which nice depth and deeper than expected imaging. This surprised me because they’re a semi-open back instead of a true open back (the vents are around the rim instead of having a full-face grille. 

Get this set if you like the clarity and easy-to-hear details of spiky treble. For something a little more balanced, I recommend the Thieaudio Ghost, which is about the same price and nearly as comfortable. 

Sivga Nightingale

Graph Credit: Vortex Reviews via Squig.Link

  • Current Price: $279 (Linsoul, Amazon)
  • Style: In-ear
  • Driver type: Planar diaphragm
  • Driver size: 14.5 mm
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz - 40K Hz
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB +/- 3 dB
  • Impedance: 16Ω+/-15%
  • Cable length: 1.2 M +/-0.2 M
  • Plug size: 4.4 mm
  • Weight: 15g

We’re ascending the price ladder here, but I love this set. Everything about it, from the wooden faceplates to its exceptional detail and great vocals, the Nightingale is easily one of my favorite planar magnetic IEMs at the moment. To my ear, it leans into the crispness and detail that planar magnetics do so well better than most others, though admittedly at the expense of some bass presence.

The Nightingale is a good example of why graphs shouldn’t be used as an end-all-be-all judgment on a set but rather a single data point. You might look at the graph here and think the Nightingale is bass anemic but is absolutely isn’t. It actually reaches quite low. The bass it does deliver is very high quality: fast, tight, textured, and precise.

The details in this set are excellent, as is the technical performance. It leans brighter but isn’t sibilant and instead comes across as revealing and clear. Vocals are slightly forward but are very naturally presented. The soundstage is also surprisingly deep and the imaging offers strong positionality. This are a good set for music and gaming alike, and if you need some extra bass, they respond well to mild EQ.

Simphonio PB10

  • Current Price: $449 (Linsoul)
  • Unique Planar and BA Driver Hybrid Driver Configuration
  • Specially developed Planar Magnetic Driver with Ultra-Thing 2um Composite Bio-Diaphragm
  • Stunning Looks with Unique Hand-Painted Face Covers
  • Ergonomic Ear Shells For Comfortable Fit
  • Premium CNC Machined Aluminum Alloy Ear Shells
  • High-Purity 392-Core 6N Copper & Silver Cable

This is an interesting set. It’s the most expensive pair of IEMs in the round-up today at $449, but some listeners have dubbed the PB10 as P0-Lite. That matters because the P0 sells for just under $5,000. The design and aesthetics of the set are indeed very similar, but without having heard that set for myself, I can’t say for sure how alike they are in tuning. 

What I can say is that the PB10 is very well-tuned and enjoyable. There’s more bass presence than the Sivga Nightingale and vocals are more forward, but there’s no less detail. The resolution is excellent and the imaging is very positional with a wide and deep soundstage. You’re paying for this performance, and with IEMs like the Moondrop DUSK out there, it’s harder to justify spending so much more. But the PB10 is significantly smaller and more comfortable and is more resolving overall. 

I think this set would fare much better at a lower price, but it’s really something special. Simphonio needs to release more IEMs at accessible price points. It clearly knows how to tune a great set.

Final Thoughts

And with that, we’re through the current crop! There are some real gems here. Do any catch your eye?

Stay tuned to MMORPG.com for more audio reviews with a music and gaming slant! We have some really unique ones coming up soon that haven’t gotten nearly the attention they deserve.


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight