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Custom item created by seamon, Sep 12, 2017
Pros - Excellent Technicalities
Cons - Bass Quantity
Viento-Reference is the flagship IEM of Hidition. This utilizes 4 full range BA drivers per ear with Bass and mid-range switches. This review was done with both switches ‘on’ as I feel that’s the definitive way to listen to the Viento.
The review score guide
I will score CIEMs on a scale of 5.
· 1 point for Technicalities (Imaging and separation).
· 1 point for Bass.
· 1 point for Midrange.
· 1 point for Treble.
· 1 point for Soundstage and Air.
· I will also deduct up to 1 point for sibilance.
Do note that the score grading will be done extremely harshly and getting a full point in any criteria would be almost impossible no matter how good the IEM is. This grading system is relative to all the other TOTL IEMs out there. For a reference in any category,
· 0.0 – 0.1 = Bad
· 0.1 – 0.3 = Average
· 0.3 – 0.5 = Good
· 0.5 – 0.7 = Superb
· 0.7 – 0.9 = Amazing
· 0.9 – 1.0 = Best in Class; No other IEM in the world does this better.
If an IEM manages to score even a 3/5 then it can be considered a TOTL piece. A 4.5 essentially means the perfect IEM. The score is also subject to tiny changes over time as I try to perfect this grading system.
Also, the score at the top does not reflect this score but how the IEM performs with respect to every other IEM in the world. Pretty much all IEMs that I review will be TOTL pieces so that score will most likely be a 5.
I am more of a music lover than a true Audiophile. I prefer musicality but I will try to make my review as objective as possible.
Technicalities (Imaging, Separation)
Viento is a reference IEM. Naturally, technicalities are done extremely well on the Viento. It’s not not even funny how technical the Viento can get. Notes are exactly at the right spot, Imaging is excellent, while I have heard better (Zeus *ahem*), this is as good as it gets in the mortal realm. The star of the show is the cleanliness of the stage and the separation. These 2 are insane on the Viento. The stage is spotless clean and every note has its own spot and space. The notes never collide and you can distinctly make out every note separately no matter how crowded the song gets.
Score – 0.9/1
I think bass will be the most polarizing part of the Viento sound signature. No one can doubt that the bass is incredibly detailed. The texture is simply legendary. The texture is solid, rough, agile and of very high definition. Viento slams hard. Mid-bass impact is superb and moreover it’s pin precise. It strikes exactly where it needs to strike and it strikes hard. This is typical BA bass performance. It’s extremely agile and fast. Then comes the Achille’s heel of the Viento sound signature. Viento lacks bass quantity. It’s my second time making this statement in this review – it’s not even funny how lacking Viento bass quantity is. Even with the bass switch on, it just lacks bass. Bass just lies there in the background. You know it’s there but the bass will never showcase itself, it’ll never say “Look at me”. It just lies there like an introvert sitting lonely and quietly in the dark.
Score – 0.65/1
Midrange is again very good on the Viento. It lies on the Musical side. It is positioned exactly at the right spot, not too intimate and not too laid back. Male vocals sound very good and natural. Female Vocals are sweet and musical but border on the verge of being harsh. They do sound harsh sometimes. Midrange is also very engaging.
Score – 0.85/1
Viento without a doubt has a very clear and transparent Treble. However, the quantity is just too much. Quantity is the polar opposite of Viento bass quantity. Moreover, the Treble is not entirely smooth, there are some peaks which make the Treble fatiguing and harsh after some time. The harshness starts at the upper mids and continue onto the Treble. Being very sensitive to Treble, I can’t handle the Viento for more than 15 minutes.
Score – 0.8/1
Soundstage + Air
Viento has a very well-defined soundstage with almost equal width and depth to it. Soundstage is not the greatest attribute of the Viento. While, it’s small, it’s nothing special. This is normal run of the mill soundstage. People coming from IEMs with bigger soundstages like A12, Andromeda, Zeus will find the Viento a little lacking but it’s not too bad.
What the Viento does well however is the cleanliness of the stage. I mentioned this before but I feel compelled to mention it again. Viento stage is extremely clean which is just splendid.
Viento is pretty darn airy. This might be one of the more airier IEMs I have heard. However, the average soundstage holds back the airiness. If Viento had a larger soundstage coupled with its airiness, the result would have been phenomenal.
Score – 0.7/1
Viento is very sibilant. Viento has a bad habit of emphasizing sibilance if the recording has some. If the recording has even the tiniest bit of sibilance, Viento will drag it forward, beat it up and present an extremely ugly form of it in front of the listener.
Score – -0.7/-1
64 Audio A12 ADEL – A12 has a moderately larger soundstage. Technicalities, Viento just destroys the A12. Viento resolves much more, images better and in separation, there’s just no competition here. Bass performance is a tie imo, A12 goes deeper and has almost triple or quadruple the Viento quantity. Viento slams harder in the mid-bass and has better definition and texture. Midrange is again a tie in my opinion. A12 with its slightly laid-back midrange envelops you in its warmth and the sweet vocals make you forget everything else. Viento keeps it real. Vocals are still sweet and musical but it never envelops you in its sound. A12 is dreamy while Viento is down to earth. Treble, Viento takes the cake. Even though it’s harsh, the definition of Viento Treble is insane. A12 has a very bad Treble response in my opinion.
Campfire Audio Andromeda – Andromeda has a moderately larger soundstage than Viento. Viento is a moderately better than Andromeda in terms of technicalities. The difference in technicalities is much less than A12 vs Viento. Andromeda is midway in-between A12 and Viento in terms of bass performance. Viento has better definition, texture and slam than Andromeda. Andromeda has double the Viento bass quantity. Andromeda has the worst mids among the three in my opinion, they are on the verge of being dry. Viento mids are much sweeter and musical. Andromeda Treble is smooth and not as fatiguing as Viento but Viento Treble has much better definition.
Note: The only cable I had with the Andromeda was a Gold/Silver alloy which according to the owner makes the Andromeda bass and mids thicker.
Listening to the Viento has been absolutely a pleasure for the brief period I had it. This is what a true reference IEM should be in my opinion - excellent technicalities and yet keeps it musical. Viento offers technicalities that can only be rivalled by the likes of Zeus. Overall, the IEM scored 3.2/5 which I would consider to be a very good score.
The Nobleman Viento stays classy. He doesn’t like to dwell too much on the low end but is all about that high life. The secret to his success is organization and he manages to keep every aspect of his life separate.
I would like to express my thanks to
@Barra – For organizing the Hidition tour because of which I was able to hear this masterpiece.