(Last Updated On: March 28, 2019)

People tend to overestimate how tough their IEMs and earbuds are until they start falling apart or get water-damaged.

A question from Reddit: “How to store earbuds so they don’t get damaged”

They keep them in flimsy cloth pouches or, even worse, just chuck them inside their pockets or bags.

Occasionally, you will find carry case thrown in by the manufacturers along with the IEM. Some of these carry case are half-hearted at best, providing nothing but a false sense of security for your precious earbuds.

Needs protection from cats too!

How do I store and protect my earbuds / IEMs?

Any decent carry case should at least respect these basic form factors:

  • A hard exterior case cover to resist impact
  • A soft interior to absorb any damage
  • Waterproof sealing to prevent water from getting into the case

And you have it all in the FiiO HB1.

I first noticed this hardcore-looking cover in Lau’s review of the FiiO FH1. It seems slightly over-the-top to be completely honest but I was curious to see if it was just all smokes and mirrors.

What is the FiiO HB1?

It is a waterproof carry case that you can store and protect your precious earbuds and IEMs with.

FiiO HB1

“The FiiO HB1 provides a heavyweight solution to your IEMs protection. With the price at < $20, I feel it is a cheap price to pay to protect your IEMs.”

Pros:

  • »Tough polycarbonate exterior
  • »Soft TPU interior
  • »Waterproof
  • »Lightweight

Cons:

  • »Bulky
  • »Prone to micro scratches
  • »No internal compartments

What’s great about the FiiO HB1?

Rugged Exterior Made From Polycarbonate

The tough-looking exterior looks like those badass pelican cases where you store super expensive cameras or equipment.

From https://www.pelican.com/us/en/product/cases/travel-case/storm/im2750

The material in question here is Polycarbonate (PC).

PC is made from a special type of plastics that is impact-resistant, lightweight and heat-retardant. It is a popular material that has been used from bullet-proof glasses to astronaut helmet.

Impact Strength Chart. Image from ptsllc.com

Due to the nature of PC, you will find that the box is slightly bendable when pressed. This helped HB1 in withstanding greater pressure.

Interior lined with Soft TPU

While the PC exterior protects the IEM from external forces, the inside of the case is lined with soft thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

TPU is a hybrid between silicone and hard plastic. They are well known for absorbing impact. A popular usage for TPU is phone cases.

Waterproof Capability

Aside from impact protection, the HB1 has proper proofing to protect water from seeping into the case. I have done a test by dipping HB1 into a bowl of water and found that the waterproofing capability is up to the task.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lightweight

Despite its hardcore materials, it is pretty lightweight. It only weighs in at 100g.

What I don’t like about the HB1

As much as I like the HB1, I do have gripes with it.

Bulky

At 112 x 82 x 40mm, it is not a small thing to carry around. It takes up a portion of space in the bag.

It is great for IEMs that have larger drivers or longer/thicker cables but otherwise, the size can be sort of overkill.

A side-by-side comparison of HB1 with a 13in’ MacBook Pro.
Size specification of FiiO HB1

Micro-scratches

Due to the glossy nature of the PC, it is bound to get scratches and I can see it all over the case. If you are iffy about this, this will irk it. I will prefer a matte cover.

No internal compartment/velcros

The inside of the HB1 is minimal. There are no elastic pouches to store things like ear tips. There are no velcros to keep the earbuds in place. It can get quite messy in there.

FiiO HB1 with Tin Audio T2 Pro
FiiO HB1 with Tin Audio T2 Pro

Conclusion

The FiiO HB1 provides a heavyweight solution to your IEMs protection. If you have an expensive IEM or just someone who generally wants to take great care of your audio gears, the HB1 will definitely do the job.

Where can I buy the FiiO HB1?

With the price at < $20, I feel it is a cheap price to pay to protect your IEMs. This carry case can be bought from their official Aliexpress store.

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