The Moki Hyperbuds: the answer to low-budget sound.

I love music — I’m a function DJ, a musical lover, and a Spotify defender with too many playlists to count.

I am also a cheap-skate (that doesn’t have a lot of money to spend anyway).

I’ve spoken about earbuds recently, after purchasing a pair of KZ ZSTs and finding them to be rather underwhelming. I want to expand a little on my experience with the Moki Hyperbuds — the model of earbuds I’ve been using since way back in high school (at least seven years now!). Despite minor alterations to their packaging, the earbuds themselves have not changed.

Best cheap earbuds by far

The Moki Hyperbuds are my go-to choice for quick earphones in a pinch at Big W, and I highly recommend them for any student, or anyone with a definitively low budget. They’ve been on the shelves for longer than I can remember. They perform fantastically for a measly $9 at Big W. However, if you buy them directly from Moki International, they cost $14AUD — an inexplicable price increase that really only proves they’re much better to pick up directly in-store.

Not to mention, all three colours available are bright and eye-catching. If you’re one of those people who has a habit of losing their earbuds, the bright neons of the pink, blue, and green cords will give you a bit of an advantage in searching for them.

Can they play A Voice Someone Calls?

Yes — and here’s a quick re-cap:

Left to right: Moki Hyperbuds, Oppo R18Pro pack-ins, KZ ZSTs.

The Mokis are very similar to the KZ ZSTs, but the thump thumps are closer to the centre of your head (closer to the resounding heartbeat you hear with the Oppos) and the zzzzzzz vulture isn’t nearly as much in your face.

The Moki earphones I’ve been buying for a blue note at my local Big W since I was in Year 11 sound the same, if not better than the KZ ZSTs.

The KZ ZSTs kinda suck.

What are the cons?

Since you’re paying less than a blue note, it makes sense that you’re sacrificing build quality for sound. The Hyperbuds are a quick answer to a pair of headphones budget, so they’re not designed to take much punishment. Tugging on these too hard feels like they’re going to come apart without much of a challenge, and you will start seeing wear and tear around the buds themselves. In fact, you’ll be lucky if the bud’s housing doesn’t split apart within a year.

In addition, it’s stupidly easy to mistake the Hyperbuds for literally any other wired Moki earbuds — and the downside with Moki is that there are few good Moki earphones. If you accidentally pick up the Noise Isolation Earbuds, you may be stuck with a tinny, muffled, and excessively bassy sound.

I used to operate under the rule that if I ever saw the words “noise isolation” on a Moki pack of earbuds, steer clear — however, they’ve started adding that tag to the Hyperbuds too, despite the only “noise isolation” being the passive isolation provided by the silicon tips.

Specs

I remember the older boxes of Hyperbuds used to boast they’re gold-plated 3.5mm jacks. They’re still gold plated, but I guess it’s not considered much of a feature these days.

Hyperbuds do not come with additional silicon ear tips — the ones they pack in the box are the ones you’ll be stuck with. They aren’t exactly strong silicon either, so depending on how your ears react to standard, cheap earbud tips, they may or may not feel comfortable in your ears.

The Hyperbuds also have a standard cord, which isn’t the strongest or most comfortable cable ever. Compared to the luxury-plaited KZ ZST cord, the Hyperbuds are very ‘mid’. They don’t tangle immediately, nor are they the worst cord you can possibly imagine.

Hyperbuds are best used for…

…everything. Or, rather, almost everything. I’m not kidding when I say they perform pretty well under even the most intense pressure. However, if you like heavier kinds of tracks (things like Casey Edwards’ Bury the Light, for example) you may not enjoy how they sound. They’re not wholly unlistenable, but the bass tends to muffle most of the mids out of existence.

However, acoustic, big band and pop tracks really excel here. Here are some stand-out tracks that showcase the Hyperbuds skillz:

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