Before starting this review, I would like to share technical aspects and package details.
Driver type (per channel): Balanced Amateur x 2 Dynamic x 1 Ceramic x 1
Sensitivity: 97dB@1kHz / 105dB@2.5kHz
Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz
Cord: 2pin CIEM 6N OFC 1.2m
Plug type: 3.5mm mini stereo
Hyla earphone with stock cable
Foam eartips (S M L)
Silicon eartips (S M L XL)
Nylon earphone case (Van Nuys collaboration)
Lotoo Paw Gold Titanium
Astell Kern AK120
Astell Kern AK70
Package, Design & Isolation;
The Hyla-CE05 comes with a box that can be considered as elegant. While the box has a simple structure, the inner surface of the box is covered with a quality satin-like finish. The contents of the box may be relatively simple. High-quality VanNuys case comes with Hyla CE-05. Also, 3 sets of foam, 4 sets of silicon tips are come out of box. Unfortunately, it does not come with a PW No5 cable like Oriolus, but the CE-05 includes the highest quality stock cable. Probably this is the best stock cable I’ve ever seen.
The design of the CE-05 has high-quality design and the material quality is top notch. The CE-05 has standard 0.78mm 2-pin design. There is no blemish and no defect in the body that made of German resin. The body is transparent purple color that I really like. There is no logo on the body, only the serial number is on the side of body. However, you can easily recognize of the body when you see due to its unique design.
The CE-05 has a slightly large body, but it fits ergonomically. It is possible to use it for long hours without any pressure on ears. Nozzle is neither too long nor too short and it is quite comfortable on the ear.
The sound character of CE-05 is like V-shape. The upper frequencies are accompanied by lower frequencies in similar amounts, while the mids are slightly backwards. The vocals are not far behind, but it’s I think a little bit forward. The vocals have a relatively forward presentation even though the mids are behind in the overall spectrum. Also vocals have a very sweet tone and color. Non-aggressive presentation of the vocals can make you feel urge to listen to the vocals for long hours. The treble is incredibly detailed and resolute, thanks to the piezoelectric driver. I didn’t expect such a drastic and detailed treble response. The dynamic driver on the other hand, creates stronger and deeper bass which probably best I ever heard.
Details. Lots of detail in the treble. The treble of CE-05 can be easily my favorite frequency range of the CE-05. The upper frequencies are quite pronounced, but they are also spreading over a very wide area. It is possible to hear lots of instrument details from every part of soundstage. It is possible to feel friction of each part of biceps crashing into each other. You can hear even the smallest nuance in the voices. For some people it may feel a little bit shiny and bright, but it is not disturbing. Though it can be a little tiring in the long listening, it offers a unique experience in terms of speed, frequency and resolution. The well-extended trebles also maintain control of fast sections. The sound does not tend to metalize when you increase the sound level. There is a thin line between sibilance and losing control, which is distinctive and pristine, and this line is stable. I listened to different types of music and I expected to hear some sibilance but I didn’t hear it which I tried with my all sources. Of course, the source used here is also very important. I would also like to mention that I have provided the best harmony with warm character sources. Mostly. I liked AK120 and AK70 with the CE-05. I can say that the CE-05 doesn’t paired good with the LPG. Trebles can be sharp and aggressive.
CE-05 has clean and energetic trebles. If you think to upgrade stock cable, I would recommend to upgrade with pure copper cable. Also, I believe that the result will be really satisfying copper-hybrid cables.
The mid frequencies are detailed, but it is slightly behind the lower and upper frequencies. The voices of the instruments are very clear and effortless. Even though mids are behind in general spectrum, the vocals are positioned in front and it performs smooth sweet tones. The overall instrument sound is slightly thinner than natural, but I cannot make a fair approach due the lack of reference earphone. The separation of strings is flawless and it has high level of detail by virtue of bright top mids. There is a slightly pressure of the lower mids because of the powerful low frequencies, but this does not cause an obvious mid-hump. I really liked to presentation of vocals. Although the vocal presentation is in the front even the overall presentation is V-Shaped. The vocals have soft and velvety tone like cream. It is very enjoyable to listen to the both male and female vocals. Overall resolution level of the mids is extremely high. You can hear the drums distinctively on a separate level and you can feel the rumble.
CE-05 has amazing slam and well extended bass which I love. It has strong bass that does not lose control. For my personal taste, the tonality and quantity of the bass is almost exactly what I want. I feel that, when I found bass level not enough it doesn’t satisfy me, so this situation impacts my musical pleasure negatively.
The extension of sub-bass is quite successful, there is no roll off. There can be bloating in bossy tracks sometimes but it does not feel any hoarseness. If we talk about bass, I always prefer dynamic drivers because it is airier and impactful. There is a strong dynamic driver inside of CE-05 and it reminds you the strong bass in the tracks. I think that listeners who has a similar authoritative bass taste as mine, will like CE-05`s bass quantity. The lower-mid and bass harmony is really good. Bass level does not leave other frequencies in the shade. Its quantity and impact level provide comfortable easy listenability. Bass is slow according to armature driver`s bass but its recovery time is quite short. Bass is not dry as armature driver`s bass.
CE-05 is the best earphone I have ever listened in terms of bass quality.
CE-05`s soundstage is quite airy and spacious. Stage width is not the best I have ever heard, but it is higher than average. Instruments spreads in a wide spacious area. Background is very dark and silence. There is not any issue like mixing the instruments which makes the positioning easier in the soundstage. You can make the distinction that every instrument plays from a different position. The space between instruments is perceptible. It is amazing to feel and be in the great atmosphere of floating, continuous notes of an instrumental track. CE-05`s performance is successful and above its price about separation of instruments.
CE-05 is detailed, musical and it does not compromise of it is details. It can be counted as powerful, able to go deeper into a certain place. CE-05 can be preferred by anyone who desires a wide soundstage. The CE-05 is a very successful headphone for V-shape lovers, with its full lower and high treble frequencies. This is a type of headphone that I will keep and never sell. Hyla is a young company but it proves that it can produce very successful and satisfying products with the advantage of previous Oriolus experience. I am looking forward to try the new Hyla products in the future. They deserve much more attention.