Truthear HEXA Review: Competitive but Missing Something Special

I raved about the Truthear Zero when it launched and continues to be a fun sounding IEM I use when I go play music arcade games or just something to enjoy music with from time to time. The HEXA is their newest IEM coming in at $79.00 which means it competes with my favorite under $100 IEM, the standard Moondrop Aria. The HEXA is a hybrid design using a single dynamic driver and three balanced armatures. 

Quick shoutout to Shenzhenaudio for sending the HEXA to review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers or dealers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

Gear Used

IPhone 14 Pro Max with headphone adapter, Moondrop Aria, Shanling UA3 and SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit

The HEXA has a more industrial design this time with a semi transparent shell with a dark matte finish. The faceplate is a dark black metal finish that looks good as well. The shape makes this look somewhat like the much loved Symphonium Helios but only the shape from the front looks similar. These are lightweight and I can get a pretty decent fit with the HEXA. I like the way these look and I think they will be more attractive to the masses.

Isolation and sound leakage

As a hybrid IEM, it does passive isolation alright. About average against other vented IEM designs. The HEXA does leak some sound but it’s not super loud and at normal volumes in quiet areas, it might leak enough for others to hear. Something I think works well for commute use or on a plane.

Packaging and accessories

The HEXA comes in an average sized box and it comes with the IEMs, 3.5mm cable, two sets of tips and a carrying case. The tips are a mix of small bore and large bore tips plus a set of foams. This is a nice array of tips since I find the bore size and bore length can change the tuning of IEMs. The box and insert sleeve both have one of the Truthear mascots printed on it. I don’t normally care for the box waifu art but I think it will stay with IEM boxes for as long as big companies like Moondrop continue to print mascots on their boxes. The carrying case is more of a soft pleather pouch that locks up in a different way. I actually quite like it for their Zero IEM since I can carry it in my pants pocket without it taking up much space. I wouldn’t call the case very protective though. I think the set of accessories included works well and I have no complaints given the price.


These final impressions were done off the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These impressions are what the HEXA sounded like to my ears. This was also using the Spinfit CP100. I found the small bore stock tips provided the same sound to my ears but the long term seal held longer on the CP100. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The HEXA is tuned for a more mature and neutral sound. I like a little excitement in my IEM tunings so this was initially a real letdown on first listen. After a good chunk of time listening and A/B testing I think this is a very competitive set.  The low end is neutral with a light bass boost. Bass hits with decent impact but doesn’t sound overly full. Sounds average with the ability to slam slightly harder when called for. Mids have decent instrument details but vocals sound very good with a more natural presentation. The Vocals however don’t have as much life to them and sound like they’re lacking a little something. Upper mids are boosted but they still lack sharpness and rarely get sibilant. There is a lack of sparkle and bite at the end of instrument tones in the treble. Sounds softer than I would like. That being said, I still hear good details coming in. Which makes me feel the HEXA is absolutely capable given its price. I do find the overall tuning does feel slightly thin though. While it probably sounds like I hate the tuning, I honestly don’t. This is simply not a set that caters to my personal preferences but I think it’s a good option in it’s price bracket.


Staging is narrow width wise but depth is really good. I believe this helps with vocals and while I prefer a wider stage, I do like the staging here. Imaging was fine though It sounded congested at times to my ears. This could very well be the CP100 tips I used for my final impressions. I did find the stock small bore tips matched closely to the CP100 so wider bore tips like the ones included might offer a wider stage.


The HEXA is mostly driveable off most modern ~$100 dongles. I did notice the HEXA does like more power on the included 3.5mm cable and I found myself turning up the volume on some source gear and only slightly on other source gear. The HEXA isn’t sensitive so there was no floor noise when I tested it via a balanced cable.

Stock cable

This cable is the exact same cable included with the Truthear Zero so I’ll just paste in the same thing from that review.

“The stock cable is a black glossy rubber braided cable that is on the simple/cheaper side. I think it works perfectly fine but it does get tangled when I pull it out of a portable case with the way I wrap my IEMs for storage. I personally prefer a thicker cable but I plan to leave the stock cable on the Zero and use it as is. I didn’t cable roll other than to check hiss via balanced.”

IEM comparisons

Moondrop Aria

The Aria is my go to for under $100 and these two IEMs both cost $79.00 so I find this a more interesting comparison. I’ll say this right off the bat! The HEXA pulls in slightly better details but I find the Aria has a much more enjoyable and exciting tuning without any type of EQ. I don’t EQ but I normally find most people are able to get really good EQ results from neutral tuned headphones. When it comes to bass performance, the Aria hits harder and it simply sounds more dynamic with more energy overall. The mids are very close to my ears on both but I find the Aria has better decay and speed to the instruments and vocals. Vocals are better detailed and natural on the HEXA but I find there is more energy and life to the vocals on the Aria. The upper mids and lower treble are brighter on the Aria but I personally don’t find the Aria too intense for the most part. The details in the treble go to the HEXA again but just like the mids, the Aria simply sounds more lively in the treble. The end of tones have a good amount of energy and bite which simply sound better to my ears. I initially thought the  Aria had better details on first listen after the HEXA but only with intense A/B testing on the same CP100 tips, I found some extra details coming in on the HEXA. Finally comes the staging and imaging. The HEXA sounds closed in compared to the Aria and imaging is easier for me to pick up with the Aria as well. Both of these are extremely competitive to my ears and I find both of these IEMs very good. The Aria is still my number one pick however for my personal tastes.

I normally do a few IEMs for comparison but the next best thing is the Letshouer S12 and that isn’t the same style of tuning and comes in more than twice as expensive. I thought about running the Moondrop Stellaris against the HEXA but I find the Stellaris to be a bad example of a ~$100 IEM. The Aria Snow Edition does however sound very similar. Though I find the snow Aria does have a slightly hotter upper mids compared to the HEXA but I would call them similar enough. I would choose the HEXA over the Aria Snow Edition however.

Amping Combinations

Shanling UA3

The UA3 is a $110 dongle and I wanted something in the price range of the HEXA to pair with it. The UA3 provides more than enough power to get the most out of the HEXA IMO. The bass gets slightly warmer with a thicker sound. Mids and vocals sound warmer and almost on the hazy side. Treble is fairly laid back with less precision. I wasn’t a fan of this pairing and I would recommend a brighter sounding dongle for portable use. Something like the Moondrop MoonRiver 2 or for a more precise warm sound, maybe something like the Lotoo PAW S1/S2.


The HEXA does seem to like a little more power but I still find a full desktop setup to be overkill. All my sound impressions came from this setup but I’ll add a little extra to this section. I did try this with a few other desktop stacks I have on hand. I think the best sound does indeed come from desktop use vs portable gear but it’s not enough of a difference that I would recommend something better than a ~$100 dongle or even a cheap Schiit stack.

Overall thoughts

So how do I feel about the HEXA? I think it’s competitive but it really doesn’t sound special at all to me. I can tell it performs above its price point but it just lacks a little magic and excitement I personally want from a sub $100 IEM. I can easily give this a recommendation for the neutral lovers though. Especially those who might want to see if EQ can bring this HEXA to their preferred tuning. I was hoping for something fun sounding like their initial Zero IEM but the HEXA indeed goes for that grown up sound that I think a lot of people will end up really liking. The HEXA ended up not being an IEM I like and I think I’ll still recommend the standard Aria over it for a more exciting listen. I’m very interested to see what Truthear brings out next and continue to be excited to see what this company can do as they get more money to develop more expensive IEMs. Thanks for reading!!

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