Now I am a truck driver with little or no budget for IEM’s. In my world IEM’s are very much a consumable product with a limited life expectancy.
I mention this as the most expensive IEM I currently own would be the Xenns Mangird Tea 2, and covet the Thieaudio Oracle.
I have purchased a number of budget offerings over the years, and I had the HBB Mele which I enjoyed very much, sadly on one particular work site these expired, getting caught up in an argument between gravity and some bulldozer tracks.
I liked the concept of the Khan, with its dedicated low end driver and its tame manners in the higher frequency. I really was looking forward to there arrival from Linsoul.
The IEM’s themselves are light, manufactured from a plastic resin, the body of mine is dark almost black, and slightly translucent (not sure thats the right word… I and sure if you held a torch up to it you could see some of the internal anatomy).
For me IEM’s are about being on the move, doing other things, getting the stuff of everyday life done.
I might be mowing the lawns, painting trellis, working in the garden, vacuuming, washing the dishes or at the gym.
All those things you spend your day doing because you are busy.
So if I’m at home I am normally using the Xenns Mangird Tea’s, if Im at work I’m using something much more affordable (because of gravity and bulldozer tracks etc)
Enter the QKZ + HBB Khan….
I upgraded the cable to the QKZ Q1 Max cable, this comes with a choice of interchangeable input plugs, the 2.5mm balance, the 3.5mm stereo and the 4.4mm pentacon…
I have a seperate review on this cable, if you have not yet fallen asleep.
The other modification I apply to all my IEM’s are the Symbio Hybrid Tips which you can easily find on Amazon. These tips give me the reliable seal of a foam tip with the durability of a silicone shell, the perfect partnership.
I watched and have read a number of reviews on online prior to purchase, but as I say I’m a HBB fan-boy and enjoy the process of him talking me into my next purchase.
It is difficult to find a review on line that praises the virtue of the HBB Khan. Reviewers are comparing it to all assorts of IEM’s some worth hundreds of dollars and in one case thousand of dollars… critiquing the high-end being rolled off or the mid range been a little thin….geez are we listening to the same IEM?
I can honestly say the sound of the Khan is truely shocking… there it is you have wasted the last 10 minutes of your life, but for me the Khan is truely a wet fishing the face….
Its like the 1st time you hear your favorite song on a good car audio system, with unbelievable bass rich mid range tones and clear airy highs that are bout to become sibilant… but never do… all the time the thump and rumble of that bass…
Thats the signature of these IEM’s they remind me of good quality car audio…
I found myself listening to music like Angel by Massive Attack… why? Because its fun…. with the Khan. I was listening to a random play list on Tidal and Flowers by Miley Cyrus came on…. I nearly dropped my paint brush…. good grief…. the bass that hits about 30 seconds in was so unexpected…. These two pieces of music are not my normal go to sounds, but the Khan’s delivery is massive… everything is there, the bass, clear vocals and the high end all there and crystal…
I find myself listening to all my music as if truely hearing it for the 1st time, with all sorts of surprises throughout the recordings… if this sound is as bad as some reviewers have made it out to be… then ignorance truely is bliss.
The live recording of Simone Kopmajer at Heidi’s Jazz Club is a stripped back performance with a drum kit and brushes, a saxophone, double bass, a piano and Simone’s voice… there is no where for an IEM to hide any flaws here. The string plucks on the bass are strong and in your face, yet the piano is clear and present in the music… Then Simone, she starts to sing… it seems very intimate and personal… As I say The easiest way to explain the experience is like good car audio… with a sub in the boot (or trunk) and great speakers in the doors with the whole thing tuned in and setup for your listening position.
This is starting to turn into a book, so lets end this review by saying the bass on the Khan is not going to rattle out your fillings its not going to blow your head off, what it will do is allow the bass to get the attention it deserves and it will do this without sacrificing the vocals or the high end.
I have never listened to $1500 or $2000 IEM’s and I accept that I don’t know what I don’t know.
Or if you prefer my experience defines my reality. And so with these caveats in place, I can tell you that the HBB Khan will surprise you, it will make your music fun.
While the QKZ + HBB Khan may not technically be perfect in every way, at $40.00usd the Khan will make a lot of much more highly regarded IEM’s, well, just seem plain boring.