Let's start immediately with a "provocation": if the Xiaomi Hybrid were sold for 50 euros, they could still be considered a good buy.
With the excellent response from the public for the previous Piston 2 and Piston 3, Xiaomi wanted to raise the bar, bringing us a product that could be just the exact conjunction of the two aforementioned headphones.
In short, how these sound Xiaomi Hybrid? Find out in our review!
Xiaomi Hybrid Dual Drivers, the review of Gizchina.it
Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones - Sales package
Let's start with a "defect" (perhaps the only obvious): the sales package. For heaven's sake, the packaging is not bad, with this white that makes minimal chic and a "funny" design on the front of the package that vaguely resembles a face. But it is still a normal standard cardboard box as we can see many.
Nothing to do with the packaging of the Piston 3, far superior, both in materials and in the concept, which gives the product, in addition to the convenience of being able to be transported in its box, that feeling of premium product absent in the packaging of the Xiaomi Hybrid . Even if, thinking about it for a moment, one would think that it was certainly a choice made on an economic basis: cut the “superfluous” in order to increase the audio quality while maintaining the same price range.
Beyond this small disappointment, the packaging is still well made, with a practical tab that allows us to easily extract the main box and the one containing the rubbers, here present in 3 sizes (XS, S and L), 4 if you consider those already attached to the headphones.
On the bottom of the package we can find the logo of 1More, a startup founded by former Foxconn employees, with whom Xiaomi has collaborated for the realization of these Hybrids (in addition to the previous Piston 3).
Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones - Design and build quality
Structurally we see kept the same cable of the Piston 3, made in kevlar with a woven weave for the prevention of tangles formation (effective as usual), up to the Y bifurcation, where the cable goes to be silicone.
On the silicone cable of the right earphone we find the inline controller, made of knurled metal, containing the integrated microphone for calls; it would seem that the criticisms on the Piston 3 controller have been heard, as Xiaomi has finally added small cleats on the buttons, so that we can recognize by touch which key we are about to press.
As we can see, the controller and the mini-jack connector are silver-colored, unlike those on Piston 3, which are darker in color (though they are also made of metallic material). Definitely a choice dictated by the concept of these Xiaomi Hybrid, in which we have one reintroduction of metallic materials, not just for controller and connector, but also for the headphone body.
Regarding the design, the ergonomic curvature is identical to that of the Piston 3, designed in such a way as to offer greater comfort for the ear while listening. The shapes are, however, quite different: we no longer have a large body, but a cylinder that ends with this ring, called "Iron Ring" by Xiaomi.
Here is the list of technical specifications of Xiaomi Hybrid:
- Impedance: 32 ohm;
- frequency range reproduced: 20 20.000-Hz;
- sensitivity: 101 dB;
- power: 5 mW;
- signal / noise ratio of the microphone: 58 dB;
- length: 1.25 m;
- weight: 14 grams;
- standard: GB / T 14471-2013
Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones - Audio quality
The first question that may be asked is: "Why Hybrid and not Piston 4?"
For the Hybrids, Xiaomi has decided to use an interesting technology, named by the company Klippel Drivers.
From this point of view, the world of headphones is divided into 2 categories: dynamic driver or balanced armature driver. For those new to the topic, i balanced armature driver they are normally used for the management of medium-high frequencies. Their advantage is a very precise, clear and accurate frequency response, in addition to the fact that, by not moving air, they do not require any vent opening in the body in which they are enclosed, thus guaranteeing greater acoustic insulation.
Not being, however, of important dimensions and not moving air inside, it results in a natural flaw in the management of low frequencies, and this is where the dynamic driver. Structurally larger, inside there is a diaphragm anchored to a moving coil, which, when subjected to current, moves, moving air and moving, therefore, the diaphragm. In fact, as we can see, there is a small air vent on the body of the Hybrids.
Hence the name "Hybrid": a hybrid mechanism. Inside the unibody body, realized with CNC process, are in fact enclosed both drivers, whose combination allows the headphones to have a three-way audio: driver with balanced armature, two-way, deals with managing the medium / high frequencies, while the dynamic driver, more full-bodied and "hot", takes care of the low frequencies, thus bypassing the problems deriving from having all the frequencies managed with just one driver, thus minimizing any distortions and deficiencies.
In this way, Xiaomi has virtually joined the two "worlds" of Piston 2 and Piston 3, taking the sound vivo, warm and "V-shaped" of the Piston 2, and combining it with the sound of the Piston 3, more balanced and organic, thus obtaining a sound so full, with enhanced bass and treble, but never exceeding, maintaining a balance.
A further advantage of the presence of the dual driver is undoubtedly the sound stage, very well reproduced, thanks to which spatiality is given to the various instruments present in the songs, as well as offering the listener a feeling of "surround" during the listening.
Moreover, thanks to the 101 dB of sensitivity, we have a substantial volume increase compared to the 3 Piston.
A small detail: dynamic drivers usually need a minimum running-in. This does not involve a significant change in sound, but you may notice a greater "heat" in the audio reproduced after a few days of use.
As for the tests carried out, the Xiaomi Hybrid were used mainly for listening to audio files in FLAC 16 bit - 44.1 kHz, as well as, obviously, for listening to the most common .mp3 files, strictly a 320 Kbps. The types of listening were decidedly different: Rock and Metal in the most varied shades, Electronics, from the most aggressive to the most minimal, Acoustic, Classical, Hip-Hop and so on.
The results, in all these contexts, have always been more than satisfying, on rare occasions the equalization has been changed, but more for taste than for real need. Surely one of the music genres that most benefits from the performance of the Xiaomi Hybrid is the electronics, in all its facets, given the low body and crisp, intelligently managed by Dual Driver technology. No problem even with more complex musical genres, with perhaps many instruments and / or instrumental parts intertwined with each other, such as Progressive Metal / Rock.
Telephone part also satisfactory, with an excellent headphone sound and a microphone that does its job well.
One flaw in use: if you are iOS users, know that the volume keys on the controller do not work on Apple devices.
Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones - Conclusions
We are definitely looking forward to yet another well thought out product and more than successful by Xiaomi, a company that with these new Hybrid Earphones stands out again like point of reference in the low-budget headphone market (and not only), ensuring a build quality and audio at times unthinkable, if we consider the amount to which this product is sold.
Please note that Xiaomi Hybrid Earphones are available for purchase on Everbuying at a price of approx 16 €, with free shipping from China.