MS4 has an interesting tuning. I remember reading someone calling it atypical, which is quite true. The lower half of the spectrum is warm and the upper mids and treble are clear and sparkly. This makes for an interesting listen and is the USP of MS4.
Bass duties are handled by a 10.2mm dynamic driver. Sub-bass is well present and goes low and deep. It has good rumble, is warm and impactful though the attack and decay isn’t the quickest. The mid-bass isn’t as dominant as sub-bass so some gnarly overdriven tones aren’t as upfront. Clean bass playing in songs like John Mayer’s Gravity and Belief is commanding and prominent. Bass notes are identifiable but aren’t as sharp. Overdriven bass tones in bands like I Am Giant, Karnivool and Muse are again dominated by lower bass more than mid bass.
MS4’s mids sound natural and tonality is quite good too. Lower mids are warm but upper mids have better clarity. Kicks have good impact and snares have good body and depth. Vocals sound warm and never nasally or sibilant. Acoustic guitars in songs like John Mayer’s ‘Stop this train’ and ‘Who says’ sound nice and warm, have good body, string clarity and separation too. Hard Rock and Metal guitar tones of bands like Alter Bridge, Porcupine Tree, Periphery and Lamb of God, all sound clear and have good note definition. Heavily layered songs don’t get mushy or clustered; separation in mids is very good for the price and for it being a relatively warm sound IEM.
Treble is where the MS4 takes a complete U-turn from being a warm sounding set. The treble is crisp, clean and clear. Cymbals are well heard and distinguishable though never splashy or piercing. The clarity in treble adds sparkle to falsettos and acoustic guitars. Drums shells have good stick attack and definition. All this makes MS4 interesting way more than the average warm tuning some sets have.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation.
Soundstage is on the average side. Imaging in on point though bass does take up a bit more space. Separation is particularly good for the price and it being a relatively warmer sounding set down low.
MS4 vs Tansio Mirai TSMR-3 Pro
MS4 has more bass presence than 3Pro, though 3Pro’s bass is more on the neutral side with faster speed and decay. 3Pro’s lower mids are cleaner as compared to MS4. Both IEMs upper mids and treble have good tonality and character. 3Pro is a more analytical and cleaner sounding IEM.
MS4 vs Shozy BG
Shozy has a thinner character overall. MS4 has more bass presence but BG’s bass is more controlled and balanced. BG’s mids are thinner whereas MS4 mids sound fuller. BG’s treble is again on the thinner side whereas MS4 sound richer.
MS4 vs LZ A6
LZ A6 is a triple hybrid whereas MS4 is a dual hybrid. LZ A6 sound signature is energetically tuned with treble taking the lead. In comparison MS4 sounds better balanced with more bass presence, fuller mids and easier treble.
MS4 as a whole package is very good. Everything inside the box is very well designed and has great build quality. Even though MS4’s sound signature is a bit uncommon, it still makes for an interesting and fun listen. In my opinion, the bass is not as fast and is a bit more prominent than I like plus the lower mids could’ve done with a bit more clarity but MS4 still handles most of it with ease and has separation that is great for its price. The sound signature will surely keep enthusiasts happy, who want their music to be fun and enjoyable. Bass heads who like prominent bass yet want good clarity and separation will surely dig this set.
Gear used for testing and review.
- Logic Pro X session with hi-res test tracks played through Universal Audio Apollo or Focusrite Clarett Pre X audio interface headphone out.
- Hiby R6 Pro
- Oneplus 7 Pro
Reference Songs list.
- Foo Fighters- The Pretender, Best of you & Everlong
- Coldplay- Paradise, Up in flames & Everglow
- Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
- Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
- John Mayer- Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train & Say
- Gavin James- Always & Hearts on fire
- Switchfoot- Meant to live & Dare you to move
- Linkin Park- Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
- Maroon 5- She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
- Lifehouse- All in all & Come back down
- Karnivool- Simple boy & Goliath
- Dead Letter Circus- Real you
- I Am Giant- Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
- Muse – Panic station
- James Bay – Hold back the river