Hidizs is perhaps a strange name, but one regular readers will likely remember following my glowing praise for the firm's AP80 PRO-X portable music player and MS3 in-ear headphone combination – a portable hi-res system that has no business sounding anywhere near as good as it does for the money.
And it seems the classy Chinese audio specialist has done it again, with new affordable and beautiful IEMs also made to match that same cheap hi-res player. Only, these little beauties feature ultra-large 14.5mm planar magnetic drivers and are inspired by whales.
'Why whales though?' I hear you cry! Well, these wired earbuds are made in partnership with WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation), the leading global charity dedicated to the protection of whales, dolphins, and their ocean habitat. Hidizs is proudly supporting WDC’s Green Whale work and helping to raise awareness of the vital role whales play in the health of our oceans and ultimately the planet.
With WDC's assistance, Hidizs drew inspiration from whales' biological features, incorporating whale tail and rorqual pleat characteristics to create a smooth, ergonomic shape that promises to fit the human ear perfectly. Utilizing advanced molding and five-axis CNC carving, the headphone panel is divided into three parts with a twelve-layer milling pattern, resembling whale tail fins and pectoral flippers and I mean come on – it's beautiful, right?
And we haven't even covered the innovative three-pneumatic sound tuning filter replacement technology! The MP145 actually offers nine different sound styles complemented by ear tips crafted for vocal, balanced, and bass modes. How's that for catering to a wide range of music genres and individual preferences?
Pricing? Of course, the Hidizs MP145 wired planar magnetic earbuds are priced at $149 – yes really. And it gets better! A little birdy tells us a special Kickstarter offer goes live soon and will see them sell for $109 if you're quick (which is a trifling £87 or AU$170, or thereabouts).
Opinion: a rising star in affordable hi-res audio
I've said it before and I'll say it again: in hi-fi, compatibility is key. A high-end Moon amplification system will be of no use to you if you plan on hooking it up to a set of budget bookshelf speakers – and signing up for top-tier hi-res membership on one of the best music streaming services armed with only a $12 shower-friendly speaker would be a crying shame.
So, when considering some of the best wired headphones we've tested to complement a particular model found in our best hi-res audio players guide, you must tread with caution. Pair hard-to-drive headphones with a bijou player and you'll need extra separates to get anything like a meaty, cohesive, and detailed sound.
Here, Hidizs has done the hard work for us – the company actively recommends you use these IEMs with its own AP80 PRO-X player. Of course, had I not heard said Hidizs DAP with my own ears (along with a set of Hidizs' own in-ears), I would take the company's advice with a generous pinch of salt – and it's important to confirm I have yet to try this little partnership out. But I want to.
And given the ballpark figures planar magnetic earbuds tend to sell for (see the splendid Audeze Euclid as a reference – aka the premium $1,300 in-ears I'd buy if I could) Hidizs' proposition has my attention for reasons besides the fact that I love the Avatar-esque aesthetic. Check back soon for a more thorough appraisal.
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Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.