Three years of word salad reviews, crappy ipod touch 6G photos (oh yes!) and funny then regressively more and more salty memes


Symbio W Peel by Mandarines

Also avaliable on ebay

Symbio W Peel by Mandarines

Symbio W Peel by  Mandarines have arrived!

It was suggested first of all on one of the Campfire Audio threads on Head-fi  by Head-fier Dsnuts to try removing the foam from the Symbio W Mandarines (its main selling point being thick foam within silicone).

What!? Doesnt that defeat the purpose and turn them into Spinfits? Well, no. The silicone is quite thicker on the Symbio and is similar to the JVC Spiral Tips. It holds the lows and with the W tips allows more spaciousness. A very clean sound.
And the fit is excellent.

I will still use some of the Mandarines with foam for a few of my IEMs.

A few of us tried and adopted this method using the Campfire Audio Solaris with stellar results.

Later I got back in touch with Symbio and told them of the popular mod and suggested the name ‘Peel’. Soon this new edition borne from the community became an official release.

Give the people what they want :)

Symbio/Mandarines are also planning to release new sizes soon XS and XL.
I am looking forward to that.

Symbio W (bore diameter 4.5mm)
Symbio N (bore diameter 3.8mm)
Sizes: S, M, L

Symbio Wa eartips!

The Symbio Wa has bore diameter cca. 2-2.5mm, neutral influence to the IEMs sound signature. Allows high frequency details and energy. Perfect seal for best bass.
No more seal problem.
These eartips comes with adapters for IEMs like Shure SE846 (…) Westone UM Pro 50 (…) and all In Ear Monitors with 2-2.5mm stem diameter.

Symbio Peel – Simple Single Flange Silicone Eartips

Symbio Peel Wide Bore – Simple Single Flange Silicone Eartips.
Bore diameter 4,5mm. Price for one set.

Thanks for sending Head pie the  Symbio W Peel by Mandarines (again).

Ok, I finally moved into the Brave New World #holdout

Shun/ShoonTH is fairly new to the earbud scene and this is their first attempt at the crowded budget ≤$10USD price range. Let’s find out how it fares against other buds.

P.S. I was sent a demo unit from them. As always, take everything I say with a bucket of salt.


Comes with clear Sennheiser MX760/ Beyerdynamic DP100 shells! Not your typical MX500 type! It's a brave new world! Seriously, earbud manufacturers should experiment with other shell types in the budget range. Other than the Qians, there’s the one that has PK shells on the EMX500 AliExpress page (confusing, I know). YOU GUYS, THERE ARE OTHER TYPES OF SHELLS! And I know a lot of people who prefer smaller shells *wink wink*.

They also come with white cables. Simple, nice and sturdy. Reminds me of those Apple EarPods and those that come with Monks and Hi-z buds for their simplicity and durability. COMES WITH A CHIN SLIDER! Y3S!

Packaging is subpar with a plastic ziplock and my unit comes with no foams. But that’s ok. Hey it’s $10. And I feel like the sound will be too muffled with even some donut foams. Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself.


As stated above, I prefer em without foams. Even though I have elephant ears, the foamless mx760/dp100 shells somehow have nice fit on me conchas. The unit has been burned-in for more than the recommended 50 hours.


PC > Chord Mojo > Schiit Magni 2 playing songs from Spotify. Oh no, lossy.



James Blake - Limit To Your Love

Ohio Players - Sweet Sticky Thing

Hanna - Stranger

Blondie - Heart of Glass - Remix

Belle Epoque - Miss Broadway

M & O - House

The Seshen - Oblivion

Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot

Golden Rules - Never Die (feat. Yasiin Bey)

PREP - Cheapest Flight


Bass is enough. There’s depth to keep things thumping but not a lot of quantity to satisfy bassheads. There’s thickness on the mid-upper-bass that makes the whole signature sound warm. Fast attack and clean texture.


The upper bass hump carries on to the lower mids to give vocals some bodayyy. T H I C C. The thiccness makes it a bit unforgiving to poorly-recorded songs just like Belle Epoque’s Miss Broadway listed above.


Early treble roll-off which gives the sound a non-fatiguing , some would say veiled nature and makes the soundstage a bit intimate. Cymbals and other percussives are a bit recessed.


VE Monk+ w/o foams:

Also not for bassheads. The extra hump on the midbass makes songs like Ohio Players’ Sweet Sticky Thing more enjoyable with the Shunbuds. Mids on the monks are a bit more recessed on the Monks. Brighter trebs on the Monks make it more fatiguing to listen to when coming from the Shunbuds.

TY Hi-Z HP-32 w/ thick foams:

More quantity and extension on the bass with the Hi-z’s. Mids are more recessed on the Hi-z’s. Cymbals take a backseat with the Shunbuds. The clap thing on The Seshen’s Oblivion is a bit glaring with Hi-z’s heightened treble.

Vido w/ thin VE Monk foams:

More quantity and extension on Vido’s bass. Vido's upper bass emphasis makes it sound a bit warmer and slower. Vido’s mids are clearer in comparison. Details and bells and whistles are more upfront.

EMX500 w/ green cables & full foams:

More quantity and extension than the Shunbuds. Mids are about as warm. As with Vido’s case, mids are clearer and the more balanced tuning of EMX500 makes the overall sound presented in a more coherent way.


Everything about Shun/ShoonTH’s attempt to infiltrate the very crowded ≤$10USD price range is looking good. It’s a departure from convention; from its shells to the kind of sound it wants to present i.e. warm and non-fatiguing.

End of year and New Year Head pie perhaps overly optimistic projection of possible reviews completion 


Brianwavz B400

iBasso DX120

FiiO M9

Yaxi earbuds

Plussound X-Series cable

Campfire Audio Solaris

iBasso SR1 headphones

Shozy 5BG

HifiBoy OSV3 review

"HiFi BOY OS V3 2 Balanced Armature + 1 Dynamic Driver Hybrid Audiophile 2pin 0.78mm In-ear Earphones

Balanced Armature & Dynamic Hybrid Driver

OSV3 uses 2 Balanced Armature & 1 Dynamic Driver, two-way program, have both vigorous bass and delicate mid & high frequency of dynamic.  7mm composite Dynamic Driver is responsible for the bass and atmosphere, one Balanced Armature is responsible for the mid & high frequency; the other Balanced Armature is responsible for ultra-high frequency, clear sound level, transparent and powerful." -via Penon Audio website

Unboxing and build


Brand: HiFi BOY
Model: OS V3

Drivers: 2 Balanced Armature & 1 Dynamic Driver (Ultra-high frequency Balanced Armature + high frequency Balanced Armature + 7mm strong magnetic composite diaphragm Dynamic Driver )

Impedance: 19 Ohm
Sensitivity: 109 dB
Frequency response 20Hz-20KHz
Cable Length: 1.2 m
Plug: 3.5mm rhodium-plated
Wire: 5N OFC silver-plated cable
Connector: 2pin 0.78mm

-Specifications via Penon Audio website:


US$143 - US$159 on Penon Audio

"Resin cavity
OSV3 is made of resin, using high-end custom headphone technology, pure hand-made to complete, with a beautiful shiny appearance.
Extremely easy to drive
OSV3 is very easy to drive ensures compatibility with more devices, mobile phones and audio players can easily drive.
Fit Ergonomic
OSV3’s shape design referenced a lot of ear type, earphone used streamline, perfectly fit the human ear, superior comfort.
Silver-plated cable
High-spec silver wire with 18K gold-plated 0.78mm pins, make the sound more balanced and enduring." via Penon Audio website


I had heard many positive things through the various audio grapevines about the Hifi Boy OSV3 and was quite interested in giving them a try.
At US$149.00 they are just above the budget set and slightly below the first threshold of $200-$300.

Coming in a range of colors from straight black to the pictured here red and blue the Hifi Boy OSV3 can appeal to most tastes.

The shells were of a medium to large size, with a thin nozzle that is tapered so most users can get a good fit, either deep within the ear canal or just on top of it. It is in a universal custom shape.

The cable is pliable and has low micro phonics.

Price is everything and most audio shoppers want the best bang for their buck. Its easy to see the many portable audio set ups and drool over them and want the best that ones money can buy. An endless merry go round of reading forums, impressions and biting on nails enthuses before each purchase. No one wants to make an incorrect purchase and with many TOTL in ears now over US$1000 which can be out of reach for many budding audiophiles the pool of under US$250 is much larger and more prone to mistake purchases. of course the best option is not only reading but to try before one buys. But I do realize that not everyone has that option which is why reviews can play a part in many peoples purchases.

The Hifi Boy OSV3 is a hybrid earphone with 2 BAs and 1 DD. Popular choices for 2017/2018.
Some were done ok, some bad and some good and excellent.
The Hifi Boy OSV3 falls into the good category, which is why I wanted to try it after hearing good reports from friends.

The OSV3 is a fairly smooth IEM, not offensive in the slightest.
I did find that the bass tightened up considerably after some play time, perhaps allowing the DD to get a bit loosened up. It is solid, smooth and deep.
I enjoyed the V shape sound signature of the OSV3 which is unusual as I am not a big V fan. The smoothness and decent clean mids giving it a bit more naturalness and forgiveness.
The highs/treble are not fully extended which again makes that V shape more palatable, but there is still enough extension and sparkle to please.
generally the OSV3 has more depth to the soundstage than width or height but I did notice a slight variation with different daps.

Daps used: iBasso DX200 with amps 6 & 7, DX120, FiiO M9, Shanling M0 and Hidizs AP80.


The Hifi Boy OSV3

Price is US$149.00

The Hifi Boy OSV3 is an enjoyable V shaped earphone, decent bass that is solid, fast and smooth. Mids that are fairly natural but not so recessed as to turn it into a valley bereft of emotion, there is enough mids there to please and give it life. Treble is clean and and does not extend into annoying sibilance.

Accompanying it with a stylish looking cable, a few accessories and arrangement of varying tips makes it an attractive package.

I would like to have seen a few more thicker silicone tips included myself. The lip on the nozzle is quite small so I kept to the stock tips for the review. No sense trying and having a tip left behind in my ear canal.

The cable is satisfactory, I did try with a few other aftermarket cables and noticed some improvements in larger sound stage, more mids, better control etc depending on which cable was used. But with a US$150 or so earphone and aftermarket cables being the same price or more most will stick with the stock.

The Hifi Boy OSV3 is an earphone that is sure to please most users, although it is in the V shape camp it is not an overly strong representative of that signature sound with enough mids and softer treble taming it somewhat to an acceptable level that can help make listening a pleasurable and non fatiguing series of moments.


Thank you to Penon Audio for sending Head pie the Hifi Boy OSV3 for review