Truthear is one of the many new players in the ChiFi audio game that have cropped up in the perpetual budget IEM race. Prior to the Truthear Hexa you see in this review, the company had only one other IEM to its name – the Truthear Zero of Crinacle fame. The company is far from inexperienced, however, as its chief engineer is (supposedly) from Moondrop.
All eyes were on Truthear when the company revealed the Hexa, a 1DD + 3BA IEM, as a follow-up to the dual dynamic driver Zero. This is because early measurements of the IEM show that it measures quite similarly to the esteemed Moondrop Blessing 2, which was – and still is, to an extent – the benchmark IEM in the $300 price point.
And so, many hailed the Truthear Hexa as a “budget Blessing,” and that’s solely based on its price and frequency response graph. For $79.90 (about RM360) on SHENZHENAUDIO, let’s see if the Hexa can bring the same excitement as the $49.90 (approximately RM225) Zero.
What It Is
Packaging of the Truthear Hexa is a step above your average ChiFi IEM packaging with quite a few goodies included in the box. As is the current trend in the ChiFi space, there is (naturally) an anime waifu pictured on the box of the Hexa. There’s even a standee version of “Virgo” the waifu to display on your desk, if that’s your kind of thing.
There’s also a pretty nice synthetic leather carrying pouch that’s bundled with the Hexa. While the pouch feels extremely plush, it doesn’t really offer much protection from say, being squashed in your backpack. It’s still a sweet inclusion nonetheless.
Tip selection is quite extensive, with options for narrow and wide bores in S, M and L sizes; there are even M-sized foam tips thrown in for good measure. The wide bore ear tips should provide more treble emphasis, while the narrow bore and foam tips boost the low-end at the cost of less air in the treble region.
The cable that comes with the Hexa is…decent. It’s an all-black 2-pin cable that’s thin and quite prone to tangling up. It’s actually the same cable that ships with the Truthear Zero, so if you’ve come across that IEM, you’d know what to expect.
Design wise, the housing of the Hexa is a translucent, smokey black shell that’s 3D printed by HeyGears – the same folks that print several Moondrop shells, including the aforementioned Blessing 2. Black anodised aluminium alloy faceplates are secured to the housing by a screw, with only the right shell bearing the Truthear branding. It’s a departure from the glittery blue faceplate of the Zero, but the sleek and minimalist look isn’t bad at all.
Interestingly, the Hexa’s shells are lightweight and smaller than conventional IEM shells, but they fit very comfortably in my ears. I don’t feel any discomfort or fatigue after long listening sessions, and isolation is above average as well.
How Does It Sound?
Overall tuning of the Truthear Hexa leans towards neutral, with a focus on treble and a slight bump in the sub-bass. It also isn’t the most dynamic set of earphones, but what it lacks in energy is made up in clarity.
Imaging and technicality of the Hexa is quite impressive, while instruments are clear and clean while still sounding very natural. The BA drivers are definitely putting in the work in retrieving detail, and it does so with precision.
As a quick sidenote, the Tripowin Rhombus is one example of a dynamic and balanced armature driver combo that doesn’t work too well together. On that IEM, the BA drivers did most of the heavy lifting, while the dynamic driver was barely noticeable. On the Truthear Hexa, you can clearly hear the coherence that was missing from the Tripowin set, and no single driver type stands out from the other.
Soundstage wise, the Hexa has decent width, but vertical depth and height leaves much to be desired. Still, the more intimate presentation lends well to the detail and clarity of the earphones.
Sub-bass of the Hexa is bumped up a tad, but to my ears, there isn’t quite enough rumble and extension. Mid-bass also takes a step back with a more modest presentation, though it’s still fast, clean, and should still be sufficient for most genres of music.
The tame bass of the Hexa leaves the mids well alone with no bleed whatsoever. But this also makes the mids “drier” with a thinner note weight. Vocals could benefit with a touch more warmth, but they still sound organic as it is. Even with the more intimate soundstage and emphasised treble, vocals on the Hexa are not at all shouty or overbearing.
In treble region, the Hexa really flexes its muscles – or rather, drivers. The high-end is quite well extended with ample amounts of air, and cymbals in particular have a nice, clear sparkle while still being smooth and not at all shrill. Again, there’s none of the usual metallic timbre commonly associated with BA drivers.
Is It Worth It?
The Truthear Hexa isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but the IEM do go against the grain and stand out among the typical Harman target ChiFi options. It makes full use of its single DD and triple BA configuration to produce a balanced, coherent sound signature.
With a more tame bass shelf, the Hexa isn’t the most dynamic set of earphones. But its organic timbre, impressive technicalities, and comfortable fit make it an excellent contender in the sub-$100 price range, going against popular offerings like the Moondrop Aria Snow Edition.
I can’t say for sure whether I’ll consider the Hexa to be a budget version of the Moondrop Blessing 2, as I unfortunately do not have that IEM in hand to compare. But I do know that Truthear, as a newcomer, has done it yet again, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the young brand.
Li Jin Soh contributed to this review.