Truthear Hexa

Hexa – Does the hype equal the ‘truth’?

PROS: Very good value for money, minimalistic design of 3D printed shells, easy to like well-tuned sub-bass boosted neutral-warm signature, good tonality and timbre, competitive technical performance for the price. 

CONS: Not much to complain if you consider its pricing. Nitpicking – Recessed 3.5k-7.5kHz region results in a softer, warmer presentation which lacks some energy and excitement. Bass, vocals and instruments have lesser attack, bite and crunch compared to reference, stick and string attack of percussive and stringed instruments are on the softer side. It could’ve used a bit more air up top. 

Links – Truthear Hexa (Shenzhen Audio)

TruthEar Hexa Box


Technical Specifications.

  • Driver: 1DD+3BA
  • Diaphragm of dynamic driver: PU + LCP
  • Impedance: 20.5Ω土15% @1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 120dB/Vrms @1kHz
  • THD: THD≤1% @1kHz (94dB)
  • Frequency response: 8-40kHz (IEC61094, Free Field)
  • Effective frequency response: 20-20kHz (IEC60318-4, -3dB)

Included in the box.

  • Truthear HEXA
  • Ear tips – Narrow-bore silicone ear tips (S, M, L), Wide-bore silicone ear tips (S, M, L) & Foam tips (2 pairs)
  • Leatherette carry case

TruthEar Hexa Ear Tips

Build Quality.

Hexa has 3D printed shells with a minimalistic design. They are DLP-3D printed by Heygears, the company that also made the shells for Moondrop Blessing2 and Softears Volume.  The shells are translucent black while the faceplates are solid black, bolted onto the shell with a single screw. This is a no frills design; there are no imperfections anywhere and the build quality is actually pretty sweet for the price. I quite dig the well thought plan to keep the design costs low and invest most in what truly matters – the sound. 

TruthEar Hexa Solo 1

Cable – Hexa comes stock with a basic black 4 core braided cable with 2-pin connectors and a 3.5mm jack. It’s not the best cable for an IEM in this price segment, but it does its job; it is fairly supple, has minimal microphonics and pairs well with Hexa aesthetically. 

TruthEar Hexa Cable

Case – Hexa comes with a leatherette pouch case. It’s just a leatherette patch folded to create a pouch with snap buttons on top. It is soft and fits the IEMs well but isn’t the most secure carry case for EDC rough and tough use. 

TruthEar Hexa Case

Fit and Comfort.

Truthear offer 3 varieties of ear tips for you to customise the fit as per comfort but I had even better fit with tips like BGVP A07 and Azla Sedna Earfit light. The shells are quite small and fit my ears extremely comfortably. They’re very easy to live with for long listening sessions. No complaints here at all!

TruthEar Hexa Solo 2

Sound Analysis.

Knowing Truthear was started by an ex-Moondrop engineer, it comes as no surprise that he too likes to go for a tuning close to the VDSF target curve. Hexa in fact follows Blessing2’s style of tuning more closely than any other Moondrop IEM. So, with a 1DD+3BA hybrid design, is this really a Blessing2 (1DD+4BA) for the cheap, with one less BA driver? Not really and we shall talk about that more, later in the review. But first, let’s see how Hexa’s signature sounds. 

TruthEar Hexa

Graphs are measured using an IEC60318-4 (IEC711) setup. You can compare all the graphs on my IEM Graph Database here – Animagus Squiglink.

Summary – Hexa has a neutral-warm signature with a very linear 7dB sub-bass shelf, fairly neutral lower-midrange, a forward upper-midrange presentation with around 8.5dB of pinna gain @ 3kHz, warmer lower-treble in the 5-7.5kHz region with a single 8kHz peak and fairly neutral upper-treble extension, which actually lies on the warmer side of my neutral target curve. It’s actually quite well tuned for its asking price but there are quite a few nice players in this segment that aren’t the easiest to defeat. Also, the dipped 3.5-7.5kHz takes it a bit away from accurate tonal presentation and also effects the technical performance, which we shall discuss in detail below. 

So, let’s dig in deeper…

TruthEar Hexa Solo 3

Bass – Hexa’s 7dB bass shelf has good amount sub-bass rumble and very slightly boosted mid-bass but it sounds lesser boosted than the 7dB bass shelf would have you expect. It sounds more on the neutral side and the sense of punch and impact are both on the softer side of reference-neutral, which makes me wonder if the dynamic driver was over dampened to achieve the bass shelf. It’s also not the most technically proficient when it comes to the initial leading attack of the bass note, a lot of which can be attributed to the dipped 3.5k-7.5kHz region and warmer upper-treble. 

Midrange – Hexa has fairly neutral lower-midrange and a nice, forward upper-midrange with around 8.5dB of pinna gain. It has very well done midrange from 250-3kHz but the dip in the 3k-5kHz region of upper-midrange takes instruments slightly away from a proper reference presentation, with them sounding on the softer side and lacking the proper bite and crunch required for them to sound perfect tonally. 

Treble – If you like neutral warm signatures, then Hexa’s treble will seem perfectly fine to you and you can just ignore what I say next. But if you’re a reference head like me who likes a very accurate presentation, here are my nitpicks – The dip in the lower-treble region of 3.5k-7.5kHz is primarily responsible for Hexa’s softer than neutral instrument attack and presence. Vocal clarity (5kHz), stick attack of percussive instruments (5kHz), clarity of acoustic guitars (2.5k-5kHz) and top end of electric guitars (6-7kHz) all lie in this region. So, with this region being a bit south of neutral, the presence, clarity and initial attack of instruments as well as the overall tonality comes across slightly softer and warmer, which leads to Hexa lacking some instrument definition, energy and excitement overall. With that said, the 8kHz lower-treble peak does make up and help add in the lower-treble sparkle, but with the upper-treble presence also being slightly on the warm side of neutral, Hexa overall makes for a neutral-warm signature – which makes for easy boosting of volume for some louder enthusiastic listening. But in an ideal world, I would’ve liked a bit more gain in the 5k-7.5kHz region and a bit more sparkle and air post 10kHz.

TruthEar Hexa vs Animagus Preference

Technical performance – Hexa has good left to right separation but the soundstage width is more on the intimate side because of dipped lower-treble and warmer upper-treble presentation. A nice airy upper-treble balance helps greatly with perception of soundstage expansion and that is what I primarily feel lacking in Hexa. Besides that, it actually has pretty good detail retrieval and separation for its neutral-warm signature and its asking price. 

Comparisons.

Moondrop Aria.

TruthEar Hexa vs Moondrop Aria

Moondrop Aria is a 1DD IEM. It has more sub-bass rumble as well as mid-bass punch than Hexa. It’s not just the quantity but its bass also has better authority, punch and slam with better attack. I personally prefer Hexa’s more linear and neutral bass shelf more but it’s the slam and note attack is the thing that I miss. Both have a neutral lower-midrange but I prefer Aria’s upper-midrange pinna gain more as it has more accurate presentation in the 1k-3kHz region and better vocal presence as well as instrument bite and crunch because of a better curve and more gain in the 3.5k-5kHz region. Aria has slightly better lower-treble in the 5k-6kHz region but has a mid-treble dip, which Hexa does better. It’s Aria’s airy 14kHz upper-treble peak that adds in the sizzle and excitement and saves it from the same fate of neutral-warm as the Hexa. This leads to a more engaging listen and also better sense of resolution and detail retrieval. It’s like shining a spotlight on the stage from the top which light up the whole stage better. Aria has better instrument bite, presence and definition with better defined width boundaries of soundstage. In an ideal world, I’d like a hybrid between these two IEMs, with Hexa’s linear bass shelf and lower-midrange presentation till 1kHz but with a less dampened and more open and punchy sounding DD like Aria’s, Aria’s upper-midrange’s pinna gain curve and lower-treble, Hexa’s mid-treble and then Aria’s upper-treble peak. That would make for an IEM that could defeat both these IEMs for sure! Ha!

Moondrop Aria Snow Edition.

TruthEar Hexa vs Moondrop Aria SE

Since Aria and Aria Snow Edition are more similar than different, the comparison section between Aria vs Hexa is perfectly valid for Aria SE too. But there are some things that I’d like to add for Aria SE. With slightly lesser sub-bass quantity than Hexa, Aria SE sounds even cleaner but still has better bass note definition, attack as well as punch and authority than Hexa. The definition and attack is again because of better pinna gain curve, lower-treble as well as the airy 14kHz peak. The better upper-midrange pinna gain in Aria SE results in instruments have even better definition, bite and crunch than both Hexa and Aria. More neutral 5k-6kHz lends better stick and string attack in case of percussive and stringed instruments respectively. Plus the airy 14kHz peak adds excitement to the signature and also adds on greatly to technical performance. Aria SE has the cleanest, most open soundstage out of the three as well as stronger and cleaner imaging. I also perceive better depth layering in Aria SE. If you’re a bass lover, you’d like Aria more than Aria SE as well as Hexa. 

Moondrop Blessing2.

TruthEar Hexa vs Moondrop Blessing2

I’ve seen a lot of people call the Hexa a cheaper Blessing2 but it’s more hype creation than the truth! Blessing2 has better technical performance outright, period! You might prefer Hexa’s neutral warm tuning as a preference but for a reference head like me, I’d choose the Blessing2 every time. Sure the Blessing2 can use slightly more sub-bass, slight EQ-ing down of the 6.5k-10kHz of the treble region and slightly better, more linear mid-treble presence but the rest of it is pretty darn good for a reference-neutral IEM of its asking price. Hexa has slightly more sub-bass rumble but Blessing2’s bass has much better technical performance, be it speed or note attack and precision. The only thing Blessing2 lacks is outright punch and slam due to the nature of its slightly neutral-bright tuning. I much prefer Blessing2’s midrange balance, especially the upper-midrange, which is more neutral and results in much better instrument bite, crunch and definition. It also has better 5k-7kHz lower-treble which results in better instrument attack and presence than the Hexa. Hexa has better mid-treble but Blessing2 has better upper-treble extension in comparison. Blessing2 has much better technical performance overall – a cleaner, more open, wide and deep soundstage, better micro-detail retrieval and layering as well as stronger, better imaging. One may prefer Hexa’s warmer take on Blessing2 style of tuning in terms of tonality but don’t expect it to perform at the same level when it comes to instrument presence, clarity, definition or any category of technical performance. 

Conclusion.

If you ask me for suggestions under $100, Truthear Hexa will definitely be one of them, in fact one of the top 3 and probably the top suggestion for people looking for neutral-warm signatures. It’s very well tuned for its price and most of my nitpicks are me wanting to present a more accurate view of its performance amongst all the hype this IEM has been receiving. I bet I’ll get a lot of questions from my readers asking if it performs better than Aria SE or Aria, so let me get that out of the way right away. It really depends on the kind of signature you prefer. If you prefer a warmer and slightly softer presentation of instruments, Hexa will be the one for you. But for my personal preferences, it lacks a bit of instrument attack, bite and crunch as well as accurate treble balance in some key areas of the treble region which results in it lacking some energy and excitement for my tastes. With that said, Hexa is an excellent offering in the sub-$100 price segment, one that I expect will satisfy majority of the buyers, especially fans of neutral-warm signatures. I really dig its minimalistic design and looks, and the sound performance is very capable and highly competitive, if not the outright best objectively or for my own preferences. Hexa is definitely a very safe IEM for one to try blind and for that reason it is an easy recommendation from my side! 


Gear used for testing and review.

  • DAPs – iBasso DX240 | Shanling M6 Ultra
  • Laptop – Apple Macbook Pro 15″ with iBasso DC05 and DC03 Pro
  • Phone – OnePlus 7 Pro with iBasso DC05 and DC03 Pro

Artists I like and listen to.

  • Rock – Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, Daughtry, Green Day, MuteMath, X Ambassadors, Dave Matthews Band, Vertical Horizon, Our Lady Peace, Lifehouse, Fall Out Boy, Breaking Benjamin, Muse, ACDC, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Biffy Clyro, I Am Giant, Normandie, Paramore, Slash & Guns N Roses, 3 Doors Down.
  • Pop Rock – John Mayer, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, James Bay, Hunter Hayes, Niall Horan, Keith Urban, The Bros Landreth, Bryan Adams.
  • Progressive Rock/Metal – Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Karnivool, Tool, Dead Letter Circus, Periphery, Lamb of God.
  • Pop/Soft Rock – Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, The Script, Gavin James, Magic Man, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Oasis, Panic! At the Disco, TwentyOne Pilots.
  • EDM – Chainsmokers, Zedd.

2 thoughts on “Truthear Hexa

  1. So The Aria and Hexa are neck and neck? Or the other one is way better than the other?

    I want to buy the Aria, but I’m considering saving up for more for Hexa, but it’s gonna take me a while to go for Hexa.

    Are both IEM’s good for Metal and Rock music?

    Like

    1. Hexa and Aria are priced exactly the same at $80! It depends on the tonality and signature you personally prefer when choosing between the two. Yes, I like both of them a lot for rock and metal music, in fact, all kinds of music!

      Like

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