NICEHCK YOUTH Review: Dangerously Pumped up!

-Fun energic V shape tonality
-Fast attack speed
-Vivid Snappy treble
-Decent resolution
-Thumpy resonant bass that doesnt bleed on mids
-Good construction

-Borderline shouty
-Agressive treble
-thin bright timbre with metallic sheen
-not very well balanced
-tonally off
-not suggested for classical nor female singer
-lot of better offering in this price range


NICEHCK is an Aliexpress seller that turn IEM maker some years ago, offering mostly ultra budget hybrid like the DB3 which is well receive by audio enthusiast. As well, he create very good earbuds like the EBX or the EB2S I review some time ago HERE.

Today I will review the latest single dynamic driver IEM from this company, the NiceHCK Youth. Priced 90$, it use a promising 8.8mm Beryllium plated diaphragm dynamic driver. The sub-100$ price range being one of most competitive one in term of sound value, let see in this review if the Youth can represent a good bet for budget audiophile.


Built is very good, made of CNC alluminium, it feel very sturdy. Metal is surely thick since it have good weight to it, but the housing is quite small with an organic triangle shape that offer smooth ergonomic fit as well as good sound isolation. The 2pin connector aren’t deeply embeded in housing nor protuberant to help guidance of proper connection angle, so it’s a bit hard to fastly connect cable. Nozzle is rather short, but elongated shape make it not a problem for secure and comfy fit.
When it come to the design look, thats a bit subjective but the bright electric green color will be hit or miss for certain people, personally i would have prefer forest green color or at least 2 color choice. Their 3 screw that hold back metal plate, which can be interesting for easy but perfectionist modding, which i will perhaps try to do soon.

The included cable isn’t bad, its a 4cores silver plated cable that is soft and flexible, look good and sturdy enough apart the part that connect the 3.5mm plug, which isn’t hold or properly protec by plastic holder.

Packaging is so minimalist, their nothing to talk about apart that you go everything you need including carrying case. It come in a small box and include 7 pairs of eartips, including the very usefull Kbear KB07 wide bore eartips.


(gear used: Tri TK2, Tempotec E44, Questyle M15)

The tonality is something sure agressive and lively, between crisp W shape and bright V shape, with abrasive timbre and a sens of urgency in attack. It’s fast and fowards, with boosted presence clarity, boosted sub bass that deliver chunky addictive slam, boosted upper mids and upper treble. Indeed, the Youth have stamina, it’s brutal yet not out of wack, it’s unforgiven and will wake you up even if you already drink 10 espressos in a row.

That bass is to me the best part of the Youth, it’s both impressive in quantity and quality, it’s a bass that pound hard yet doesn’t create big resonance or warmth, it’s chunky and round and can extend very low so sub bass line are well render, with the physicality of a sub woofer . Sub bass line are well extract and quite clean in vibrancy, mid bass is flexible too and can deliver kick drum in tandem with bass line which is a proof of fast transient response imo. I guess the upper bass-lower treble is tamed a bit to permit this well define bass dynamic since male vocal are clean but not thicken with extra warmth. Texture is realist too, not overly emphased or too dark, making overall performance quite versatile yet not tonaly perfect. Still, cello have this authoritative grunt and slap bass have good snap with boosted low harmonic that add vibrance loudness. I’ve been impress to enjoy jazz with the Youth too, acoustic bass sounding quite good, with a sens of immediacy due to good texture abrasivity for attack lead and a boosted physicality in extension, due to crisp W shape tuning, this make both bass and percussions very fowards and snappy, so the listening experience is captivating and lively in expressivity.

As expected the mids are a bit less fowards than low and highs, still, resolution is rather crisp and presence is boosted in higher harmonic. Bright and a bit lean until the upper mids boost hit which make some instruments and vocal borderline shouty and can offer some instance of sibilance. It’s not that bad tough, but will sure displease treble sensitive people as well as does prefering warm breathy vocal and smoothed presence. Female vocal are more fowards than male vocal, they feel overly centered and a bit compress in openess, while not horrifious it’s not charming and my ears do translate this info like a scream. Still, the mids aren’t bloom by bass bleed and have good resolution in presence and decent transparency, as well as thin bright timbre that is everything but natural sounding.

The treble is the most agressive and boosted part of whole spectrum, pushing the clarity in razor sharp territory, this make the performance a bit imprevisible since sometime it can sound great with acoustic guitar hacve lot of bite, brilliance and sparkle, other time it feel too unbalanced and distrative pushing percussions details in front of the music as if their 2 drummer in the band. This is a perversly analytical kind of treble, that extract lot of micro details, sometime making texture timbral balance wonky. Yet, it add air on top too and a sens of urgency that can be very enjoyable. Treble head will love the Youth, but if at 38 years old I find the highs fatiguing, i’m a bit worry for youngsters hearing damage. If i consider the Youth W shape and not V shape its due to the extra upper treble spike, which improve sens of space as well as attack snap. About attack, it feel very very fast, even too excited sometime since in busy track like Skink from jazz-rock band Elephant9, the mix of cymbals and noisy instrument go messy and even splashy, making it very ahrd to perceive every instrument. Let say the highs are not for fainthearted.


VS MOONDROP SNOW (single DD-80$)

Firstly, the Youth is notably brighter and more V shape, it’s balance is more wonky and unbalanced in treble part. Snow is notably more refined and balanced, sounding neutral to mid centric yet with higher resolution, especially in mid range. Treble is better controled and more linear, making Youth feel dark in some part and overly boosted in other, more spiky and shouty.
Bass of Youth is chunkier and move more air, yet isn’t as realist in timbre. Male and female vocal are better with the Snow, with richer timbre and fuller body as well as cleaner presence.
Treble is a mess with the Youth, it feel more airy and snappy than Snow still, but in an unbalanced way while Snow deliver a smoother yet richer treble, less overly focus on higher harmonic making instrument like acoustic guitar tone more realist in timbral balance with fuller restitution of presence. Both these doesn’t offer biggest soundstage but the Youth feel wider and deeper due to extra treble air. Imaging is unrealistic with the Youth and become muddy in mid range faster than Snow, which have better transparency and more appropriate instrument placement and separation tough they can feel more compressed than the Youth.
All in all, the Moondrop is from another league here, both in tonality and technicalities and offer a more refined and mature neutral tuning which could be consider less fun and exciting for basshead and treblehead.

VS BQEYZ TOPAZ (1DD+Piezo-80$)

What hit first is how warmer and more natural sound the Topaz, as well as denser in timbre, suddenly Timber Timbre male singer have a lush full bodied voice with rounded edge that make it so much more enjoyable than the Youth, se we have more lower mids as well as better rounded upper mids (less sibilant too), making mid range instrument sound fuller as well as more realist in texture. When it come to bass, Youth is slightly more boosted and resonant, it have more rumble sustain too as well as less thick textured and opaque density. Let say it’s evident the Topaz is better balanced, smoother too in treble which doesn’t put micro details on front and lack a bit of air and sparkle compared to youth yet it’s less trebly and fatiguing and make musicality more cohesive, versatile and enjoyable. Youth being a more agressive V shape tuning, hacve scooped mids that give the impressions soundstage is deeper and imaging better, yet the imaging is not realist as said before and all about highs.
So, the conclusion could be the Youth have better technicalities if they were better controled, which isn’t the case, so their no doubt to me Topaz is better tuned and have a more natural tonality as well as less shouty and messy presentation at they end too.


The NiceHCK Youth is an energic and agressive sounding earphone with good bass authority and attack speed, it is certainly not aimed for treble sensitive people nor those that favorize natural timbe or warm cohesive tonality. Here it’s all about bass and treble, yet keeping the mids clean and present enough to not be bloomy, in fact, the Berylium plated dynamic driver seem to have great technical potential that alas isn’t fully exploit due to spiky balance.

While i’ve been impress with some music track, I find the Youth a bit imprevisible in musicality, sometime making music too bright and agressive with strange instrument tone and thin timbre. Vocal especially are hard too enjoy but the Youth offer fun and even captivating result for electronic music including some rap and even jazz too, thanks to it’s competent bass response.

All in all, this is guilty pleasure for a niche audio enthusiast crowd sitting between basshead and treble head. I’m not from this consumers target, yet can imagine some people being wow by the Youth.


PS: I wanna thanks NiceHCK for sending me this review unit. I’m not affiliated and 100% free of bias or official affiliation. As always, this is my subjective honesty.

You can buy the Youth for 90$ directly from NiceHCK store here:

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