The Nicehck EB2 is an earbud using 14.8mm dynamic drivers that retails for $32.99 at the time of this review. The EB2 is sold by the NiceHCK Audio Store on AliExpress. I purchased the EB2 at a promotional price of $0.10 in exchange for this review. My thoughts about the EB2 are my own and I will strive to review the EB2 objectively.
I have used the Nicehck EB2 with the following sources:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Global > Nicehck EB2
Windows 10 PC > JDS Labs The Element > Nicehck EB2
Windows 10 PC > Hidizs AP60II > Nicehck EB2
I have tested these headphones with Spotify Premium high-quality streaming, Google Play Music streaming at 320kbps, and local FLAC.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
The Nicehck EB2 comes in a rectangular white cardboard box with the product name, manufacturer’s logo and an illustration of the earbuds on the front. Inside this box is a Nicehck-branded semi-rigid zippered carry case containing the IEMs, a shirt clip, and a selection of foam covers. The Nicehck EB2 comes with three set of solid foams and two sets of donut foams.
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
The EB2’s housings are squat, rounded cones with disk-shaped bases. The housings are made of metal apart from the black plastic ear-facing surface. Each housing has two semi-circular vents along each side of the back of the disk, and two small circular vents on either side of the top of the conical part of the housing. A cylinder made from the same metal as the housing extends to protect the cable and stabilize the earbud against the earlobe. The cylinders are marked with blue and red bands to indicate left and right. The ear-facing black plastic surface is covered in concentric rings of small circular holes. The cable is silver and is covered by a clear plastic sheath. The cable has a choker that comes up from the Y-split all the way up to the metal cylinder of each earbud. The EB2 has a straight 3.5mm jack with strain relief. There is no strain relief where the cable enters the metal cylinders, presumably because the earbud is designed to be worn cable-down only.
FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
The Nicehck EB2 is difficult to seat securely in the ear. When I first received the EB2, I was concerned that I had received a faulty pair because the sound was inconsistent depending on small movements of the earbud in my ear. Based on advice from Head-Fier mbwilson111, I put donut foams over solid foams on the EB2, which helped significantly. I have small ears, so this problem may be even more pronounced for other listeners. The EB2 is extremely comfortable, but since the EB2 is an earbud, so don’t expect isolation with them.
The Nicehck EB2 has a restrained and clear audiophile-friendly tuning. Sub-bass extension is poor. Mid-bass is lean but well-articulated. Bass transients are quick but bass texture is one-note. Mid-bass bleeds slightly into the lower mids. The lower mids are gently recessed. Male vocals are clear but could use more warmth. Upper-mids are emphasized, conveying excellent presence but a little too much bite. The emphasis on the upper mids combined with the lean bass can make the EB2 sound thin. Treble is mildly veiled, extended while not prominent. Detail resolution is excellent but I had to strain my ears to pick it out. Instrument separation is not great, especially at higher volumes.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING
The Nicehck EB2 benefits from dedicated amplification, which improves instrument separation and makes the treble less veiled. The difference is distinct but not night and day.
Nicehck EB2 vs QianYun Qian69
The Qian69 is more V-shaped. The Qian69 has better sub-bass extension. Bass dynamics are similar, though the Qian69 has more textured bass. The EB2 has less recessed mids. The Qian69 has more prominent treble and sounds airier. The treble on the Qian69 is more fatiguing. The Qian69 has a larger soundstage and slightly better instrument separation. The Qian69 is easier to drive from a smartphone but does not noticeably scale with better amplification.
Nicehck EB2 vs Monk Espresso
The Monk Espresso is warmer, with slightly better sub-bass extension and more mid-bass. The EB2 has better bass articulation, with faster attack and decay. Mids on the Espresso are more recessed than on the EB2. Lower treble stands out more on the Espresso. The EB2 has a slightly bigger soundstage. Instrument separation is slightly better on the Monk Espresso. Both scale with dedicated amplification.
Despite a unique design and impressive build quality, the appeal of the EB2 is limited by its dry, clinical tuning.