Hisenior Mega5EST 7th Anniversary Limited Edition Review – All-in-One Megavitamins

Hisenior Mega5EST 7th Anniversay Limited Edition tribrid IEMs. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Hisenior Mega5EST 7th Anniversay Limited Edition tribrid IEMs. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

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With the right ear tips and fit, the Mega5EST offer stunning performance and sound quality.

Hisenior Mega5EST 7th Anniversary Limited Edition

(90%)
Our Review Guidelines ⧉
Evaluated over: 4 weeks
Bottom Line

The Mega5EST positions you in end-game IEM territory, transcending the deluge of budget options. Undoubtedly a bargain for top-tier performance, they excel across every dimension. With the right ear tips, the Mega5EST deliver a resounding "wow." A versatile standout, they master every genre, unveiling details with clarity. The Mega5EST secure their place as a personal favorite—an enduring testament to Hisenior's excellence.

90%
General Usage
96%
Audiophile Usage
  • Design
    good 80
  • Build Quality
    outstanding 100
  • Comfort
    good 80
  • Pairing
    good 80
  • Value
    good 80
  • Bass
    outstanding 100
  • Mids
    outstanding 100
  • Treble
    outstanding 100
  • Sound Quality
    outstanding 100
Form
IEM
Driver
Dynamic, BA, Est, Tribrid
Impedance
25 ohms
Sensitivity
105 db/mW
IP Rating
-
Weight
6 g
What We Like 😍
  • Balanced, revealing sound
  • Smooth, seamless coherence between the drivers across all frequencies
  • Ergonomics, comfort, and isolation are above-average
  • High-quality materials, fit, and finish
  • Excellent included accessories
What We Don't Like 🤢
  • Extraordinarily ear tip and fit sensitive
  • Nothing especially stands out; a generalist for all genres
  • Slightly relaxed treble may limit detail and EST driver potential
  • The shells are subdued for a special edition
  • The FEBOS acronym is confusing
I purchased the Mega5EST directly from Hisenior. As is my standard, I did not read any reviews before my evaluation.
The Anniversary Edition with the WhiteWhale cable will work with just about any source, so long as it has a 4.4mm balanced output. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The Anniversary Edition with the WhiteWhale cable will work with just about any source, so long as it has a 4.4mm balanced output. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Hisenior has recently made quite a splash with the stunning design of the less expensive Okavanaga model. While its product portfolio is small and growing, Hisenior is taking its time to emphasize and produce high-quality gear.

The Mega5EST are currently available as the Anniversary Edition, Clear Shell + M22 Art FB (standard version), and as a custom configuration with the choice of almost 50 unique faceplates (for USD$50 more). These are the second generation of the Mega5EST and now have smaller shells, a new sound nozzle, an improved inner driver configuration, and new air vents.

All of the current Mega5EST are now “Anniversary Editions.” The website may be out of date or incorrect. For example, the pic of the Clear Shell + M22 Art FB shows an incorrect cable. They all come bundled with the WhiteWhale cable now.

Unboxing and First Impression

Watch: Hisenior Mega5EST (Unboxing + First Impression) #shorts

Design and Build

The resin shell is smooth, ergonomically sculpted, and provides a claimed -20db of passive noise isolation. The faceplate feels securely attached to the shell and appears coated over to create a seamless effect to the touch. The metal nozzles are collared, wider than average in diameter, and covered with a filter.

The vent hole and metal nozzle. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The vent hole and metal nozzle. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Hisenior uses a vent hole to optimize air pressure, increase comfort, and reduce fatigue. Presumably, the hole affects the tuning as well. I do not experience any driver flex.

Cable

The included premium Hisenior WhiteWhale braided cable is quite a beauty. Due to the ultra-soft PVC Insulation and anodized aluminum plugs, it looks as smooth and slick as it feels. Even though it’s flexible, the 24AWG UP-OCC (silver-plated) wire results in a secure weave that won’t likely come undone.

The WhiteWhale cable comes only with a balanced 4.4mm plug and anodized aluminum alloy parts. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D
The WhiteWhale cable comes only with a balanced 4.4mm plug and anodized aluminum alloy parts. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D

The cable terminates in a 4.4mm balanced gold-plated brass straight plug, securing to the IEM bodies with gold-plated 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. Despite lacking a recessed connection, the fittings seem secure.

That black smudge mark is near impossible to see without magnification. Presumably, it indicates the right channel, as the other side has a miniscule red mark even further from view. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
That black smudge mark is near impossible to see without magnification. Presumably, it indicates the right channel, as the other side has a miniscule red mark even further from view. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Distinguishing the left or right side is nearly impossible without a magnifying glass or the eyesight of a hawk. Only a spec of black or red ink appears under the plastic cover.
Don't be fooled by this clear macro photo; the red dot is near invisible to the naked eye. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Don’t be fooled by this clear macro photo; the red dot is near invisible to the naked eye. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Comfort

The universal fit Mega5EST are very comfortable despite their large size.

The ear hooks are not easily reshaped. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The ear hooks are not easily reshaped. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

The sculpted, ergonomically shaped bodies work almost perfectly for my ears. I experience some fatigue due to the tight cable ear hooks and the weight of the cable.

The body shape is highly contoured and fits me very well. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The body shape is highly contoured and fits me very well. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
As with all IEMs, the right ear tips and seal are crucial to realize the best sound and isolation. It is always worth experimenting until you find what’s best for you. Please reference our Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Perfect IEM Ear Tips.
For their size, these IEMs are lightweights! (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
For their size, these IEMs are lightweights! (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Under the Hood

Each Mega5EST houses 5 drivers:

  • 10mm bio-cellular diaphragm dynamic x1 for low-frequencies (bass)
  • Sonion balanced armatures x2 for mid-frequencies
  • Sonion electrostatic super tweeters x2 for high frequencies (from 7kHz and higher; super high frequencies extend up to 80Khz)

Hisenior has employed a 4-way integrated passive crossover, triple-bores, and three dampers. The electrostatic super tweeter leverages dual electret technology with a miniature transformer.

A look inside through the clear shells of the standard option Mega5EST. (From: Hisenior.com)
A look inside through the clear shells of the standard option Mega5EST. (From: Hisenior.com)

How Do the Mega5EST IEMs Sound?

For evaluation, I listen to a great variety of music through numerous sources, including DAPs (FiiO M15S), phones (LG V20, LG V60), portable DAC/amps (HELM Audio Bolt, DB12 AAAMP, TempoTec Sonata E44, Khadas Tea, Qudelix-5K) and desktop DAC/amps (S.M.S.L SP200, HIFIMAN EF400).

I use and listen to headphones, IEMs, and other gear for at least 15 hours to thoroughly assess them for my reviews.

After spending over a dozen listening hours to the Mega5EST, I was unhappy and a touch irritated.

The sound was oversharpened and oddly inflected in a way that was out of sorts with my expectations. I found the bass lacked authority with most of the silicone tips. The widest bore tips exacerbated this deficiency, accompanied by hot and shouty upper mids and lower treble. The foam tips slightly improved the sound.

Tips, tips, and more tips. And none worked for me. I went with the Divinus Velvet tips and everything drastically improved. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Tips, tips, and more tips. And none worked for me. I went with the Divinus Velvet tips and everything drastically improved. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Grumpy, I experimented with my extensive ear tip collection. I finally mounted the Divinus Velvet tips and literally shouted out loud, “WTF?!?!” I’m glad no one was home.

My experience flipped from pain to pleasure after all those hours of listening and evaluating. Now, the Mega5EST are not just better; they are outrageously excellent.

Man, I was mad. Why?

My prior evaluations were entirely invalid, except for discovering that the Mega5EST’s sound is drastically affected by the ear tips, and a complete redo of my assessment was necessary. Grrrr.

Sound quality and bass performance vastly improved with the HiFiGo Divinus Velvet tips.

Hisenior states that the Mega5EST are Harman IEM Target referred. A read of this graph leads us to believe that these are well-balanced. (From: Hisenior.com)
Hisenior states that the Mega5EST are Harman IEM Target referred. A read of this graph leads us to believe that these are well-balanced. (From: Hisenior.com)

Now, the Mega5EST sound more like what I expect from the graph – overall, neutral-warm. The Mega5EST are among the most brilliant and coherent implementations of a tribrid configuration I’ve heard. Smooth and, at times, stunning.

No EQ is necessary – the balance is exquisite.

The tone is gorgeous, lush, deep, and full. There is so much texture and musicality that I get lost in my music. Natural resonance is supported by the bass, while the detail is clearly beyond what dynamic drivers can deliver, save for the very best available. I hear no BA timbre or metallic sheen in the sound profile.

The soundstage and sense of space are impressive without any part of the sound presenting as artificially distant. Imaging sounds precise and accurate. Speed and resolution sound like an easy-to-listen-to-balance.

With an impedance of 25 ohms and a high sensitivity of 105 dB/mW, the Mega5EST are easy to drive from any source. With the 4.4mm balanced connection, you’ll likely have excess power available anytime.
The Mega5EST are classy, not flashy. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The Mega5EST are classy, not flashy. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Bass

The 10mm dynamic driver is well implemented, finding an almost perfect balance between depth, punch, resonance, and warmth. The bass is plentiful and weighty without ever overwhelming other frequencies or rattling to distortion. At times, the bass can sound boosted, maybe too much. Give it a minute – nope! Not too much.

The bass texture is marvelous and musical. This must be experienced, as it’s not easy to translate into words.

I am biased toward dynamic drivers for low-end reproduction, and the Mega5EST reinforces my bias. The driver’s speed is moderately fast. It never sounds thin or boomy and helps reproduce an organic-sounding low-end.

Hisenior WhiteWhale cable with a less white whale. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Hisenior WhiteWhale cable with a less white whale. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Midrange

Full-bodied and superbly present.

Deep sigh… simply beautiful. Everything sounds present with male and female vocals. Neither are hidden behind the music unless it’s intentional in the mix. The complement of the bass and midrange are seamless and addicting. Vocals are balanced and present, well-placed between intimate and distant. There is nary a note of sibilance to be heard.

Mega5EST powered by the fabulous FiiO M15S. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Mega5EST powered by the fabulous FiiO M15S. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Treble

The treble is smooth and pleasant with no aggressive spikes, which is surprising, given the Mega5EST’s inclusion of EST super tweeters. Paradoxically, treble is restrained and has excellent resolution and clarity without making me wince and afraid my ears will bleed. I’m not missing much “air” in the upper treble.

The treble extension sounds much greater and more detailed than the graph suggests.

Comparisons

The most apparent comparisons I can conjure up are the exceptional Kinera Nanna 2.1 Z-Tune Edition and SHUOER (now LETSHUOER) EJ07M. All three are tribrids with similar configurations and Sonion BAs and ESTs.

Bottom line: they are more similar than different in sound and performance.

Still, the Mega5EST bests them both in almost every way, especially if you prefer a warmer, more full-bodied sound. Bass is the lightest on the Nanna 2.1Z, with the EJ07M next and the Mega5EST overpowering them both.

The Nanna 2.1Z is the most politely balanced and audiophile-like neutral with the finest grain micro-detail by a hair. The EJ07M has more intensity in punchiness and crispness with high treble energy. The Mega5EST has more weight, body, tone, and texture than both without losing significant detail and resolution.

If you’re trying to decide and evaluate beyond the sound, all three have taken a vastly different approach to design, ergonomics, packaging, presentation, etc. The accessories included with all three are distinct and excellent.

The most significant difference is the badge and price tag each wears, with the Nanna 2.1Z being far more expensive: 40% more than the EJ07M and a whopping 70% more than the Mega5EST at their current asking price (with a USD$100 discount from MSRP).

Bottom line, I have no debate or reservation in saying that Mega5EST are the most enveloping and engaging of the three, followed by the EJ07M. The Nanna 2.1Z are the most polite, reserved, and safe.

Excuse me while I return to listening in my happy place with the Mega5EST.

At just the right angle with the right light, you can see the deep sky faceplate. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
At just the right angle with the right light, you can see the deep sky faceplate. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Where to Buy

The Pelican case is excellent, though far too huge for pockets. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The Pelican case is excellent, though far too huge for pockets. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Who Should Buy This?

If you can afford the Mega 5EST, they could be end-game IEMs for anyone who wants to experience sound vastly superior to the deluge of budget models available these days. I stand by my assertion that these are a bargain for top-tier performance. The Mega5EST are simply outstanding across the board in every dimension.

The nozzle diameter is larger than average. If you get aftermarket ear tips, make sure they will fit. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
The nozzle diameter is larger than average. If you get aftermarket ear tips, make sure they will fit. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

Final Thoughts

With the proper ear tips, the Mega5EST deliver an unqualified “wow” experience. They perform well with every genre and generally sound fantastic. There are tracks I prefer not to listen to as the Mega5EST transmits every detail and will only smooth over the minor issues.

There is a trend of intentionally introducing noise into tracks that sounds like the popping and crackling of an old record player, which I find grating and intolerable. It becomes even more noticeable with the cleanliness and clarity of the Mega5EST. For example, you can hear this noise at the start of Popular Monster by Falling in Reverse.

Perfect recordings play back perfectly.

After I resolved my emotional overreaction to all of my reviewing rework, I cannot stop gushing about the Mega5EST, which are now easily one of my all-time favorites. The more time I spend with them, the more I love them. They are nearly perfect.

The Mega5EST are my first experience with Hisenior. I took a risk to buy these, sight unseen and sound unheard. The Mega5EST are easily worth their cost, feel built to last, and I cannot imagine tiring of their magic. 做得好 (well done) Hisenior!

Lots of premium accessories. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)
Lots of premium accessories. (From: Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D.)

What’s in the Box?

  • Hisenior Mega5EST Tribrid In-ear Monitors
  • WhiteWhale Premium Cable
  • 1010A Gen2 Pelican protective case (waterproof/crushproof)
  • Eight pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L) + two pairs of foam tips
  • Cable clip
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Stickers

Technical Specifications

  • Style: In-ear monitor
  • Shell Material: Resin
  • Drivers: 5 drivers per side (one 10mm bio-cellular diaphragm dynamic, two Sonion balanced armatures, and two Sonion electrostatic super tweeters)
  • Impedance: 25 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW
  • Frequency Response Range: 10Hz – 50kHz
  • Plug Type: 4.4mm balanced gold-plated brass straight plug
  • Pin Type: 0.78mm 2-pin
  • Cable Length and Type: 1.2m (4 ft) WhiteWhale silver-plated cable
  • Weight: 6 grams/IEM (including ear tip)

💬 Conversation: 2 comments

  1. Great review.. couldn’t agree more. Have had this set for 4 months and they are in my daily rotation with my MMKIII’s. EndGame quality!

  2. “The metal nozzles are collared, wider than average in diameter, and covered with a filter.”

    What is the nozzle width?

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