Whizzer is a Chinese in-ear monitor manufacturer with a reputation for making visually stunning designs. In this review, I’m testing the Whizzer HE01 earphone. The HE01 a single dynamic driver unit with what Whizzer calls a “retro trendy” aesthetic. Its shape is based on the gorgeous Kylin HE03 model but has improved ergonomics and a smaller shell.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Lightweight and very comfortable
Engaging, balanced sound
Smooth and detailed sound
Only available in one colourway
Driver: 4th gen BRIGHT series 10.2mm dynamic driver
Earphone sensitivity: 112dB/mW
Frequency range: 14-40000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm Gilded
Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
Earphone interface: 2Pin 0.78mm connector
Cable: 5N OFC oxygen-free copper
Package and Accessories
Stealth is the name of the game when it comes to the HE01 box. The box is matte black and has debossed text on it which is near impossible to read. On the back of the box are a specifications list and a description of some of the features of the HE01.
Inside the box, things are laid out in typical Whizzer fashion which looks really premium and cohesive. Here’s what’s inside the box:
Whizzer HE01 earphones
Detachable 2-pin oxygen-free copper cable
Aluminium carrying case
3x pairs of vocal silicone eartips
3x pairs of reference silicone eartips
Design, Comfort & Noise Isolation
The Whizzer HE01 has a small and sleek design. On the faceplate, there’s a rose gold coloured Whizzer logo on a silver background. The faceplate is surrounded by a small aluminium ring which is also rose gold, matching the colour of the logo.
HE01’s shells are transparent plastic and provide a clear view of the 4th gen BRIGHT 10.2mm dynamic driver within. The aluminium nozzles have a metal mesh cover and a solid lip to prevent eartips from slipping off.
Comfort levels are excellent and the HE01 feels like it disappears in your ears. The lightweight, tiny shells fit naturally and you could forget they’re even there. Noise isolation is average and you’re not likely to hear much external noise while music is playing.
A 5N OFC oxygen free copper cable comes with the HE01. It has a 0.78mm interface with the increasingly popular C-Type shrouded 2-pin connectors. It has a light copper colour that matches perfectly with the accents on the earphones.
At the top are transparent 2-pin connector housings. Unlike most current cables, this one just has a short clear tube about 1cm in length for strain relief rather than long pre-formed ear hooks. I really like this approach as the lightweight cable can conform naturally to the shape of your ears. The straight 3.5mm plug, Y-split and chin slider are all matching gun-metal grey aluminium and the end of the plug has knurling which makes connecting and removing the cable a lot easier.
The Whizzer HE01 has a slight v-shaped signature with a smooth but clear presentation. It’s a very organic and slightly laid back sound but one that preserves good detail and tone. With a low impedance and reasonably high sensitivity, the HE01 is easy to drive and works well with any source including smartphones.
HE01 has a signature Whizzer bass (excluding the A15 Pro) which has a meaty leading edge and medium-paced decay. It is moderately boosted and lends some warmth to the midrange. It’s fairly linear from the mid-bass to the sub-bass and hits with slam and impact while also providing satisfying sub-bass rumble.
While not quite on a basshead level, HE01’s bass carries some serious weight. In Ice Cube’s “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” the mid-bass drives the song along while the sub-bass notes sound mighty but don’t smother the midrange. While it doesn’t create the most pristine stage, it’s one that is warm and inviting yet uncluttered.
HE01 has a smooth and organic midrange. The enhanced bass gives the mids warmth and fullness, which yields a rich and engaging sound. It’s a smooth midrange but because of the upper-midrange lift, it’s not dull.
HE01’s vocals are fairly neutral thanks to a good balance between the bass and treble but with just enough warmth to sound rich and natural. Female vocals are slightly more forward but males are still chesty and powerful.
Midrange notes have fullness but also good definition and clarity thanks to the lower treble peak. The strings in Bersarin Quartet’s “Sanft Verblassen Die Geshichten” sound resonant and full-bodied yet still have good clarity and airiness.
HE01 treble is defined by a peak at 8kHz and another one at around 12.5kHz with good top-end extension. This has the effect of providing clarity and definition to the midrange while also maintaining balance with the boosted bass. Furthermore, HE01’s treble does well at detail retrieval. While micro-details are sometimes covered by the bass, the detail level is consistently good.
This gives HE01’s treble energy but keeps it buttery smooth. There are no signs of harshness or sibilance but still sufficient excitement. This kind of tuning strategy can easily result in either an overly dark tone or sharpness (or both like the KZ ASF) but HE01 gets it just right. Sure, it doesn’t produce an entirely accurate tone but it’s one that is engaging yet non-fatiguing.
With more enhanced bass there’s always a risk of creating a murky sound. But the HE01’s treble extension creates ample air to maintain a fairly open stage. The soundstage is slightly wider than it is deep with a solid centre image. Due to the warmth of the bass, the stage dimensions are average but the instrument separation is good. Stereo imaging is good and the layering is fairly standard for something at this price.
iBasso IT00 ($69)
The iBasso IT00 has a single dynamic driver and plastic shells. It puts more emphasis on the sub-bass and has less on the mid-bass. Both IEMs have similar sub-bass quantity. IT00’s mid-bass is slightly faster.
IT00 male vocals are more upfront and have comparable clarity. Female vocals sound similar on both IEMs except for stage position which is more intimate on the IT00. Although the IT00 treble is a little more laid back, it’s close to the HE01 in transparency and detail retrieval.
KBEAR Diamond ($79)
The KBEAR Diamond is a single dynamic driver IEM with metal shells. It has similar sub-bass reach but a less-pronounced mid-bass. It doesn’t have the same amount of impact as the HE01 but a similar level of definition.
It’s in the midrange where the biggest difference between these two IEMs lies. The Diamond mids are more recessed and laid back. Although the tone and note weight is similar the HE01 has better vocal clarity. Resolution is comparable on both IEMs.
Diamond’s treble is smooth like the HE01 but the latter has more sparkle and energy in the highs while maintaining a similar smoothness. The level of detail is comparable on both IEMs too despite the HE01’s mids being more full-bodied and upfront.
When I saw the first images of the Whizzer HE01 my first thought was that I hoped it would have a sound that could match its great looks. And it does. Not only is it a beautifully designed and comfortable earphone, but it also backs it up with good audio quality.
The colour may be polarizing and for that reason, I would have liked to see an additional colour option available. But that aside, the HE01 is a great IEM overall and is my favourite Whizzer product since the original A15. If you’re looking for a solid entry-level earphone this is one to look out for.