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Havi B3 Pro 1

75% Positive Reviews
Rated #128 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Imaging, Soundstage, Clarity, Accessories

Cons: Needs an amp to run correctly.

My first quality IEM purchase was the Hifiman RE-400 when they first came out. I was used to low end Skullcandy sets at the time, and I really wanted to see what "reference sound" sounded like for a reasonable price of under $100. At the time, I felt anything above that price was absurd for me to purchase.

 

From the first listen, the RE-400 showed me what quality sounded like. I was hooked. It started my headphone/earphone addiction that continues to this day, and I have Hifiman and Head-Fi to thank for that. I didn't think there would be a higher ranked, better sounding IEM for the price for a long time... until I heard the Havi.

 

The Havi B3 Pro 1 is my favorite in ear monitor, and has been for a very long time. It has quite a bit of a storied history however, as the product would not exist anymore today if Head-Fi members had not requested Havi to re-release what is now called the B3 Pro1.

 

Inititally, Havi offered two versions of the B3, the "Enhanced" version, which was basically trying to mimic a bass heavy, consumer directed Beats sound (which sounded poor), and the "Professional Version", which is now called the Pro 1. The Pro version promised near transparent, balanced sound with lifelike vocals and a pristine soundstage. Audiophile oriented IEMs just do not exist for $45, which is what the initial promo price was. I was very intrigued and took a chance on ordering them through Taobao.com (A huge chinese marketplace). Havi was a brand new company at the time, and there was no information about them or the B3 whatsoever. There was no other way to purchase them either, it had to be done through a forwarding service (I use Mistertao.com) and shipped to me from overseas.

 

When I received them and listened for the first time, the experience was jaw dropping. They easily bested the RE-400, and they bested the KEF M200, a $200 IEM which was all the rage at the time. The clarity, imaging, soundstage.. I had not experienced anything like it. $45 bought me a balanced, neutral, reference sound quality dual dynamic akin to $200+ IEMs. I found a gem, and everyone needed to know about it. A few other people were lucky to experience them as well, but then something awful happened.

 

Havi discontinued the Pro version, without warning. The only models available were the "Enhanced" and "Pro 2" version. The Pro 2 was not an upgrade however. It turned into another bass heavy tuned version which could not match the Pro 1, but was better than the Enhanced version. Pro 2 was just another run of the mill V shaped $60 earphone.

 

Luckily, Head-Fi members and those who could interact with the company begged and pleaded for the return of the Pro 1. After a good 4+ month hiatus, Havi brought them back. Almost a year later, this IEM ranks amongst the best value/performance buys of all time.

 

Design:

Yes, the design borrows heavily from the Sennheiser IE80, but the tempered glass casing and four wire tangle free flat cord offer a classy touch. The four parallel wire approach was mentioned as a first in IEMs (as well as the tempered glass). The casing is a small, square plastic case similar to what the Xiaomi Piston comes in. Looks great, and would make a stellar gift.

 

Initially, the accessories were just the plastic case and some mediocre tips. Now, you get a carry bag, carry case, and a lot of good quality tips.

 

Comfort:

The right tips make all the difference. If I do not use Sennheiser double flange type tips or Sony Hybrids, the Havi does not seem comfortable to me, nor does it seal well. With them, it fits very well. They can be worn over or under ear with no issue, and I often sleep with them on.

 

Isolation:

It keeps the busy noise of NYC and commuting out of my head. Mission accomplished.

 

Sound:

Incredible. I've preferred it's signature to Flagship IEMs such as the Dunu DN-2000. While the Dunu is technically a little more capable and has a bit more clarity, it does not have some of the things the Havi does, which at $300 vs $45 is unacceptable to me as a value conscious audiophile.

 

The Pro1 signature is dead flat.. balanced.. neutral. Nothing in the frequency range overpowers another. There is no bloat, no piercing highs, no sibilance... just pure, transparent excellence.

 

The main feature it has which I believe is near world class, is it's soundstage and imaging. Simply put, the soundstage envelops you completely, and you can pinpoint each instrument or effect from its exact location in your ears. It's kinda freakish, and it has to be heard to be believed. I can pinpoint everything in a mix, something people spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on equipment to be able to do. It is on par in that effect to Planar Magnetic headphones like the HE-500 (which I also sold off and no longer have). The Havi isn't going anywhere.

 

There is one caveat to all this. The Havi MUST be amped to sound good. It absorbs power like no other. A simple smartphone or laptop headphone jack will no be able to drive them. Luckily, there are several low cost amps out there now like the Topping NX1 which can drive the Havi perfectly. On a high quality source, the Havi scales incredibly well.

 

All of this, for $45 (now $60). Insanity. Instant GOAT status, and it is still widely unknown. I vastly prefer these to other major budget gems as of late like the Ostry KC06/KC06A, Tenore, Xiaomi Piston, Vsonic VSD3S, etc etc...

 

If you love music, you owe it to yourself to try these.

 

HAVIB-3_zps65f3a8dd.jpg 

Posted

Pros: massive soundstage, neutral sound, prestine vocals and midrage, affordable, great design, great build quality

Cons: Requires Patiences when finding the right eartips, Very Power- Hungry(Amps help save battery) but able to run off portable devices

The Havi B3 Pro 1 is a dual dynamic driver earphone that is taking head-fi by storm, as being a fantastic option for a neutral, but with one very atypical aspect for an earphone under $100. That’s the soundstage, the Havis have soundstage that is absolutely MASSIVE, and not just for its price, its massive, PERIOD.

You can read more about the Havi here (http://www.head-fi.org/t/711582/havi-b3-pro-1-impressions-thread_ Many thanks goes to @Baycode for his continual contributions in this thread, and for exposing many of us to this great earphone.

 

Here is my video review of these earphones:

 

Warning: Havi has released 2 versions of this earphone, the Pro 1 (the one being reviewed here) and the Pro 2 (which is essentially a bass-enhanced version of the Pro 1). There has been some discussion on the thread posted above regarding the Pro 2 having more bass compared to the Pro 1, which tends to sound leaner and more open sounding.

The Havi Pro 1 is priced at $62 USD on Lendmeurears (http://www.lendmeurears.com/havi-b3-pro-i/) and $65 USD on Penon Audio(http://penonaudio.com/HAVI-B3-PRO).

 

Accessories:

The Havi B3 Pro 1 comes with a lot of goodies, with a wide array of eartips (3 sets) of various shapes and sizes, a hard- shell carrying case, a carrying pouch, a cleaning cloth.  Havi has covered all the bases in terms of accessories needed for an earphone especially at this price point

*note- (Patience is needed selecting the right eartip, because this earphone is very sensitive to different eartips see more in the sound quality section) It took me nearly 1-2 weeks to find the perfect eartip for me.

 

Overall: 9/10

 

Design/ Build Quality:

I think these earphones are quite handsome looking, it has a glass sheet over the face of the earphones (which can be cleaned easily with the included cleaning cloth). 

The earpieces are made of plastic but it does not feel cheap but does lack that premium feeling that a special metal convey on a more expensive set of earphones. 

The cable is well relieved and beefy, but it is rather interesting, the top half is thinner compared to the flat, wide bottom half, and it ends in a L shape jack.

Overall: the build quality of this earphone is great for the price and I can see myself using these for a quite a while. 8.5/10

 

Comfort:

These earpieces rather unorthodox looking, and are on the larger side, so those with smaller out ears may not find the B3 Pro 1 to be comfortable. For me they are about average in comfort, just because the rounded edges rubbing against my outer ears a bit.

Overall: 7/10

 

Weight: The earpieces are light, but the lower half of the cable does add a bit of weight, so it does bounce around and makes its presence felt when moving about.

Overall: 7.5/10

 

Isolation/ Portability

The Havi B3 Pro 1 is semi vented housing, and with the right eartips I found isolation passable for commuting on the bus and train. As quoted by Baycode over head-fi being semi vented in the Havi B3 Pro Thread.

Overall: 8/10

 

Sound Quality:

Two things before going into the sound quality:

  1. AMPING: There has been a lot of talk on the forums regarding amping these earphones (their listed at 32ohms and at sensitivity at 105 dB.) But I think Havi needs to measure them again, because the Havis need a lot of juice off my 4th Generation Ipod Touch (I’m hitting about ½ or 8-9/16 on the volume) when I’m usually hovering around 4-5/16.
  2. Different eartips:
    1. I find that with more narrow eartips, like the coloured Vsonic, or Sony hybrids tend to warm up the sound quite a bit, giving it a bassier, warmer sound signature while compressing some of the soundstage.
    2. A lot of head-fiers recommend the black Sennheiser Biflanges that’s comes with the Havis, because it made the sound leaner, more open sounding. Of course, experiment and find which is best for you! I had used the Medium JVC Xplosive Eartips for this review (which has a wider nozzle).

With that aside, The Havi B3 Pro 1 are just spectacular! I am floored how great these earphones sound, and not just for $60 but just in general with either the narrow or the wide eartips. They are neutral, very transparent and covers the entire sound spectrum very well.

 

Bass: The bass on the Havi B3 Pro 1 are pretty flat, and organic and it reproduces the recording very well. It bass line will thump when the original recording is meant to thump. It reaches very low and very fast and tight as well. The bass here will not satisfy bass heads, but if you want high quality, versatile bass, the Havis will give you plenty of that.

 

Mids: This is my second favorite part of the B3 Pro 1, and only by a close margin. Vocals are natural and are just reproduced with startlingly clarity, and it reproduces micro details so well, like the timbre in a person’s voice, and the layering between the background and male vocals are superb. Vocals carry some warmth and have a intimate and enveloping feeling to them, I can easily get lost listening to both male vocals (Micheal Buble and Chris Martin) and female vocals like (Ailee and Mariah Carey).

 

Treble: The treble is again, very revealing with great extension and carry a great sparkle to it (again when called upon in the song). The treble is not for those those favoring more dark sound signatures, but its not harsh either. I’m a fan of the treble, and I do not detect any sense of haze or artificial nature to it. Beautifully executed along with the bass and the mids.

 

Soundstage: This is by far one of the most open sounding earphones, I have ever heard/owned, a real out of the head experience. It has a very 3D nature to its soundstage, you can place instruments and synths either in front or behind one and another. It does make every song sound bigger and more expansive (some may argue that this might not be the most natural soundstage but its imaging is just pure enjoyment for me).

 

Overall: 9.8/10 (I would like just a smidge less treble (just personal preference, it would help cater to a wider audience,  for those that like a darker, more forgiving sound)

 

In Conclusion:

I think the Havis are just an amazing option and it really deserves all the attention it gets and more for being essentially a 60$ Giant. It may not fit everyone’s ears and you will need patience to find the right eartip (for sound and comfort) but its Its built well, looks great, it’s sound signature works well for basically everything and your basically carrying around an earphone that sounds almost as big as a full size closed headphone).

Posted

Pros: Reference tuning, soundstage, accessories

Cons: Size, comfort (maybe?)

The B3 from Havi is one of the best values for a reference-style IEM I've ever heard. In a time where most IEMs being sold for under $100 are tuned for the masses (i.e. V-shaped sigs that are easy to drive) the B3s refuse to conform. Here we have a dual-driver IEM that gives the budding audiophile a chance to get in on the neutral sound game. 

 

Sound

 

Bass - Tight, textured, and fast. Bassheads should certainly look elsewhere. Anyone wanting to get bass as it was recorded presumably in studio can rest assured. The B3's deliver. 

 

Mids - Rich and in place. Neither forward nor recessed. The mids are very lifelike in they're portrayal of texture and detail. Vocals sound excellent as do keyboards and guitars.

 

Treble - Where it's at. No treble boost or extra zing here. Just clean, airy, spacious upper end that effortlessly handles the upper range of the violin in a string quartet as well as the jazz ride cymbal.

 

Separation/Imaging/Soundstage - Best I've heard in a sub-$100 IEM. Period. Details are retrieved effortless and as such, imaging is quite natural. The soundstage on these guys is just excellent - very out of head. 

 

Aesthetics & Ergonomics

 

The look of the B3 is pretty unique, what with it's pseudo-balanced cable design, red and black color scheme, and gorilla-glass faceplates. I like the cable/Y-split/strain reliefs, although some mention that they have an unpleasant memory effect. The only gripe I could think of for these guys in the awkward size and shape of the housing. It's a little on the large side and doesn't fit in my ear particularly easily. Not uncomfortable per se, but I'm definitely not going to fall asleep with them in anytime soon.

 

Driveability

 

A word about the B3's power needs. Yes.

 

Feed the beast! They can be driven from a phone but if you want to up the bass, and further widen the soundstage, give em some juice! Fed mine with the budget iBasso offering, the D-Zero with excellent results. Just for fun I even plugged 'em into my Pan Am and certainly enjoyed the soundstage the Mullards offered :)

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, I'll say what I said before. If you want to get away from boosted bass/treble sounds that play well with electronic and pop music but hang classical and jazz or prog out to dry, look no further. The B3 Pro I from Havi is a giant-killer in this niche and should be seriously considered by anyone looking to hear what their records sound like before a bunch of digital enhancement.

Posted

Pros: Pleasant sounding highs

Cons: Right is much louder than left

I am not sure how these got such rave reviews.

 

As background I've used DBA02 Sony XBA3 prior to purchasing these. I was interested because of its double dynamic drivers.

 

After receiving them, I was really underwhelmed. They lack in clarity, sound grainy, no high or low end. And worst of all, the left channel is like half the volume of the right channel.

 

Even considering the price they were not worth it. 

 

This may be a quality control issue but I wouldn't take the risk again considering how hard it is to order this (shipped from china).

Havi B3 Pro 1
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Description:

HAVI B3 Pro I is a flagship product of high-quality material. The tone is thick and full, smooth. Rich in detail, giving a strong sense of the music satisfaction and a sense of security. Three frequency distributions balanced strong bass, MF generous, sweet treble, overall sound broad, strong musical layering. Dual unit high and low, easy to manage various types of music, giving the relaxed comfortable listening experience.

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