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Sunday, April 7, 2013

LG HSS-F450: Quadbeat

Disclaimer: This IEM was donated from an user at, named 궁금중. I should appreciate him for the contribution.

In September of 2012, upon releasing their high-end cellphone, Optimus G, LG also introduced an IEM called HSS-F450, which was better known as Quadbeat. Manufactured by iSound of South Korea, Quadbeat was designed by Y.H. Na, a senior manager of the core technology lab, mobile communications division at LG. As a stock IEM of Optimus G, the MSRP of Quadbeat was set at around 20 USD, which was quite affordable.

And as further provided its frequency response certification, the publicity of the IEM just sky-rocketed, with some even claiming that the Quadbeat's electroacoustic performance is on par with or better than Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro. (And my take on the claim is here) The Korean public's demand well-exceeded the manufacturer's supply, and Quadbeat was considered an absolute steal.

PRO: Virtually free of distortion, well-matched drivers, and linear impedance characteristics.

CON: 5~6 kHz peaks are little too harsh, and stock sleeves are absolutely horrible as they simply crumble upon even a slight pressure, causing leak. On top of that, bulkiness of the housing makes the IEM unusable by the users with small ears.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: Although Quadbeat is quite free from the effect of insertion-depth, deep insertion, which is almost impossible to achieve due to the size of the housing, is essential for high frequency linearity.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: Interestingly, the stock damper, which is attached on Quadbeat, has relatively high acoustic resistance. This is definitely due to the peak at 5~6 kHz range, and a single layer of HiFiMAN filter alone does not help much as seen above. On top of the stock damper, application of multiple layers of microfiber cloth is recommended.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #3: Blocking the top vent yields slightly better sub-bass response, as the mid-bass plunges.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #4: Does $20 Quadbeat really outperform Triple.Fi 10 Pro, of which the original MSRP was set at $399? Here's my take on the claim, and the overall analysis data indicate that while Quadbeat does better job in some aspects, Triple.Fi 10 Pro simply does better job in reproducing higher fidelity. So the answer is NO.


  1. I know how to read fr graphs and all that but every other graph I don't understand. Can you please help me understand stuff like the sprectral delay? Also for $22 how are the sq on these (disregarding the boosted bass because I actually like that)

  2. There's a 6~7 kHz ringing and super fast sub-bass decay, which contribute to Quadbeat's wide-soundstage, yet hollow tin can-like sound quality. SQ is not bad for the price, but Sony MH1 simply pwnz this IEM in terms of natural tonality. Blocking the top vent with an electric tape definitely helps, as the sub-bass becomes a lot more solid & punchy.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Ouch, I totally missed the link. I haven't analyzed that product yet, but the data surely indicate its sound quality is far from hi-fidelity.

    2. So is it worse than the earpods?

  4. Hi. What do you mean "sealed" it cuts of mid bass very effectively. How can we do it?