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Havi B3 Pro 1

71% Positive Reviews
Rated #133 in Universal Fit

Posted

Pros: Amazing Soundstage and Separation ...3D like

Cons: Fitting issue and Tip rolling is a must ....amp required for best result

Havi B3 Pro 1 - Pictorial Review 

 

Let me start by saying that ......the purchase of B3Pro1 has been long time coming ever since introduced by bhazard in the Chinese thread early last year (2013) and later its own Havi thread by Baycode. Recognition and respect to both guys for introducing Havi B3Pro1 to the headfi community.

 

When it was introduced at that time ...me still resisted buying for the simple fact ....that this B3Pro1 need an amp to shine ....at that point of time ...only had my 3 years old Blackberry phone and no amp so no buy B3Pro1.......

 

Been searching for an amp ever since ....last year June(Topping NX1) June(Little Bear B-2) and August(SMSL SAP-5s) ....with all that in place ..had to get ...must get with LMUE discount ....hell yeah about 51$ USD ....the wait and patience paid off.

 

For those following this thread ....please start from page one of this excellent thread started by Baycode ( http://www.head-fi.org/t/711582/havi-b3-pro-1-impressions-thread ) ....kudos to you man ....must read his review .....lots of details .......burn in time with detailed changes in sound .....in depth with excellent pictures and also autospy pic on how to dissect B3Pro1 ......LOL ......also other well written reviews by much more experienced headfi members. 

 

For the price ...its a steal .....its a deal .....its a IEm that will achieved cult status someday ....me prediction .......for those still on the sideline ....give it a try ......if you appreciate audiophile sound with budget pricing .....you will know this baby oozes plenty of "YES" factor .

 

Me review will not be as detailed or meticulous of some of very learned headfiers have done for B3Pro1 but more of a pictorial review for the simpleton in me ...easy and fun .....not gonna touch of the packaging and the thousands of accessories that comes with Havi ...please refer to their previous reviews with excellent pictures. 

 

Soundstage

 

Width and depth are the best me ever heard ....especially for a drum track used to test bass ....me can actually hear the drum beat travelling from the left to right with the precision of a hear surgeon .......LOL ......tooooo much ....I know .....but me don't care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D imaging

 

The imaging of B3Pro1 is so 3D like which hard to explain ...you gotta have one in your ears to really get a feel ....maybe this will help visually....LOL 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarity

 

Imho ...me feel they are good but ....TBH.....of cuz they are better one out there in the market but as a total package ....its a winner. 

 

 

 

 

Details and Separation

 

Me don't own high end gears as most me stuffs circa around 50$ and most of them are less than....damm even me Topping NX1 is cheaper than B3PRo1........but its THE BEST of me IEM among my gears and could even better than some much higher price IEM me have demo or heard from friends ..with the exception of cuz there are better one out there. YMMV

 

 

 

 

Instrument and Vocal Placement

 

The amazing thing with B3Pro1 ......you can actually locate precisely where the instrument and vocal are coming from ......its so surreal as if you can see the band in your head and where each band members are at what position.

 

 

 

 

Warning ...AMPING EFFECT

 

Without Amp

 

Sound is lifeless with weak source player and without amp .....without soul .....Count Dracula without fang .... Batman with no Robin ....Green Hornet without Kato to save his ass ......Kim Kardashian without the ass!

 

 

With Amp

 

B3Pro1 is like giving a kid a bag of sugar and see them run wild .....kickin' and screamin' ......everything just comes forward and so alive .....it actually entices you to really pay attention to listen to the song and that moment doesn't go away. This does look good huh ...LOL

 

 

Thanks for reading ...FYI ..this review was written last August 2014 and to show my LOVE for Havi B3Pro1..........Wokei style! 

 

 

 

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: Sturdy build, easy and comfortable fit, clarity, neutralish signature, good stage and imaging, overall design, EQ adaptable, very good value

Cons: Needs amplification or powerful source, can be dry sounding, male vocals can sound thin, channel imbalance can be common

INTRODUCTION

 

Because I’ve been involved with some review samples with my Australian brethren in the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to hear some IEMs I’ve been curious about in the last year or so, but haven’t been able to (or inclined to) purchase for myself. One of these has been the Havi B3 Pro1 – and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my Ozzie mate Vic for the loaner over the last 4 weeks.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity immensely.

 

For this review – I have abridged it slightly (compared to my normal reviews) mainly because the Havi arrived just as an IEM, with the circular case, and no tips – so I can’t evaluate the packaging or accessories. Also – I have grabbed a photo from Penon Audio (to cover for missing packaging and accessory shots).  I thank them for having the photo available – and duly give credit at this time.

 

Read on to find out my personal thoughts on the Havi B3 Pro1.  I realise I’m late to the party on this one.  Does it justify the huge hype it’s been given?

 

DISCLAIMER

 

I was provided the Havi B3 Pro1 as a loaner unit from fellow Head-Fier djvkool. I am in no way affiliated with the makers of this IEM - and this review is my honest opinion of the Havi B3 Pro1.

 

PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)

 

I'm a 47 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X1 > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83, Dunu Titan and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

 

I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

 

I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 47, my hearing is less than perfect.

 

For the purposes of this review - I used the Havi B3 Pro1 straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, X5, and X1.  I also used my Beyer A200p and also the E11K amplifier, and IMO they do benefit from additional amplification, and in fact need it if you’re trying to run them from a weaker source.  In the time I have spent with the Havi B3, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in), but am aware that my impression of their sonic footprint has changed over time with use (brain burn-in).

 

This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

 

THE REVIEW

 

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

 

As I explained earlier, all I will document here is what the Havi B3 Pro1 normally comes with, and include the pictures from Penon.  I can’t comment further as I have not seen either the retail packaging or accessory package.

 

The Havi B3 are packaging in a black retail box with red/orange and white text. Inside the box you should get (if purchasing from Penon):

  • A plastic box containing the Havi B3 and 3 sets of silicone tips
  • A zippered clamshell case
  • A microfiber cloth
  • Ear guides
  • Additional 3 pairs of black and 3 pairs of clear silicone tips
  • Cloth carry bag

 

Retail Box (image courtesy of Penon Audio) Accessories (image courtesy of Penon Audio)
Clamshell case Clamshell case with Havi B3 Pro1

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Type

Dual dynamic driver inner ear monitor

Drivers

Dual 6mm micro-dynamic driver

Frequency Range

10 Hz – 20 Khz

Impedance

32 ohm

Sensitivity

95 dB at 1 mW

Jack

3.5mm gold plated, 90 degree or “L shaped”

THD

< 0.1% (1kHz/111db SPL)

Cable

1.3m OFC quad core with kevlar enforced outer sheath

Weight

18g

 

FREQUENCY GRAPH / COMMENTARY

 

The only graph I can find at the moment are one from Innerfidelity and another at another site – but both appear to measure Havi’s with some pretty obvious channel imbalances.  So rather than post them, I’ll simply state my thoughts on what I’m hearing, and hope that someone else measures them later – so I can add a graph.

 

Update : I finally measured my new pair with a properly calibrated SPL meter - and I found channel imbalance on my pair also - ranging from 3dB at 125 Hz to 4db at 6kHz.  Interestingly enough, they did match pretty evenly in the 1-2kHz range. Not sure if this adds to the spatial sense of soundstage or not.  With music playing, I sometimes notice something doesn't sound "quite right" at first - but after my brain adjusts, I really don't notice any issues with the sound at all.  Something to note though.

 

What I think I’m hearing is a relatively flat mid-bass, and slow roll off into the sub-bass (it extends OK but definitely rolls off), a hollow or recession in the lower mid-range, small rise in the upper mid-range, and reasonably linear and well extended (but not hyper ‘bright” treble).

 

To make sure I was hearing correctly I also measured them with a simple SPL meter and test tones, and the largest peak was centered at 4kHz, but dropped back by about 3-4dB either side.  At 2kHz and 1 kHz (relative to the peak), there was steep drop – which is why male vocals can sometimes sound a little thin. I’ve included raw measurements I took – but haven’t included extremes of both frequencies as my gear simply isn’t that good.

 

Frequency  13 kHz   11 kHz   10 kHz   9 kHz   8 kHz   7 kHz   6 kHz   5 kHz   4 kHz   3 kHz   2 kHz   1 kHz   800 Hz   600 Hz   400 Hz 
SPL (dB) 87 88 88 89 90 89 89 90 93 89 85 73 69 64 60

 

BUILD QUALITY

 

The Have B3 Pro1 has what looks to be a mostly moulded plastic light weight shell, with a gorilla glass face plate. It’s ergonomically designed to be worn over ear. The body is a perfect size for my ears measuring 20mm from front to back, and 6mm in height. From faceplate to end of the nozzle is 16mm, and the nozzle itself is angled forward and measures 7mm in length and 5mm in diameter. The Have B3 is all in black matte and the inner part of the body is nicely shaped to fit ear contours.

 

Rear plate - gorilla glass. Vent hole can be seen at top of gorilla glass Side view

 

There looks to be a single vent or port – partially hidden by the Gorilla glass. The nozzle has a good lip, and is mesh covered to protect the driver. The Havi B3 has extremely good cable relief from the IEM body.

 
Front view showing mesh over nozzle Side view - note the "R" marking and very good cable exit relief

 

The OFC cable is covered in a kevlar reinforced rubber sheath, is flexible, but does retain some memory.  It is microphonic, but this pretty much disappears wearing them over-ear with the cable tucked inside clothing.  The Y-split is rubber, has good relief below the Y, and has a cinch / chin slider.  The most interesting thing about the cable is that below the Y it separates into 4 separate cables (1 L, 1 R, 2 separate earths). This would mean that if you reterminated the jack, it would be possible to easily run the Havi balanced.

 
Y split and cable cinch Gold plated jack - note 4 cable arrangement

 

The cable terminates in a right angled or “L” shaped gold plated 3.5 mm jack with good strain relief.  The jack has a small collar (or spacer) which allows it to fit perfectly into my iPhone 5S with case attached. The L/R markings are on the moulded rubber strain relief on the body of the Havi B3, and are very hard to see, however as the earpieces themselves are ergonomically designed, it is easy to tell left from right, even if not sighted.

 

Overall the build quality is really a very good standard for the cost, and I see no issues with the overall design or build quality.

 

FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

 

I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. I couldn’t try any of Havi’s tips – so I used Comply, standard silicones from my own collection, and also a pair of L Sony Isolation tips.  All of these tips fit brilliantly and gave me an excellent seal (I must really commend Havi for the angle of the nozzle).  For the review I used Comply T400 tips as they gave the best combination of fit, isolation and comfort – so they were used throughout the review.

 

Fit for me is excellent – the ergonomic design is wonderfully comfortable, and I have no issues getting a consistent seal each time.  They are also flush (slightly recessed) with my outer ear, so wearing them lying down is easy and comfortable.

 
Ergonomic internal shaping Comply sports tips - one of the many I tried

 

Isolation with a good insertion and correct seal (for me) is above average for a dynamic IEM, better than my Fidue A83 and Altone200. With music playing, most ambient noise is well and truly filtered out. Not sure about a long haul flight – but I think they would be worth trying.

 

So how does the Havi B3 Pro1 sound to me?

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

The following is what I hear from the Havi B3 Pro1.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).  Most of the testing at this point was done with my Fiio X5 as source, no EQ, and Comply T400 tips. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

 

Thoughts on General Signature

 

If I was to describe the default signature in a few words – I’d choose the words “clear and detailed”, “relatively balanced” with a “good soundstage for an IEM” (good sense of depth).

 

The Havi B3 Pro1 has a signature which mixes clarity in the upper mid-range with a relatively neutral bass response, and a nice sparkle in the lower treble without getting too bright or sibilant. The only issue I have with them personally is a bit of a recession in the lower mid-range which makes some of my male vocalists sound slightly thin, but conversely really helps with female vocals. It also has a tendency to make a lot of my music sound quite airy and light.

 

Overall Detail / Clarity

 

For this I always use both Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.

 

First up was Gaucho, and it is a geat presentation with everything from bass guitar, keyboards, vocals and sax nicely balanced.  There is plenty of contrast especially in the upper registers. The impact from drums is quite a bit less than my normal hybrids (A83 and Altone200), but this is not a bad thing with this track. Cymbals are audible without getting too splashy. The overall tone is relaxed. “Sultans of Swing” raises things a notch with great capture of detail, but never appearing overly etched or splashy.  Bass guitar matches perfectly with the vocals and lead guitar, and I just really love the overall balance with this track – and that includes Mark’s vocals.

 

Sound-stage & Imaging

 

For this I use Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”.  I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.

 

It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  The Havi B3 however has an open and reasonably expansive stage for an IEM, and it is quite a surprise – especially for an IEM at this price point. The imaging is also extremely good with positioning appearing very precise. Sense of both depth and width is quite good – and if anything the stage feels perfectly natural rather than being overly done.  I had read a few reviews talking about a massive sound stage – and thankfully this is not what I’m experiencing.  There is enough space to go slightly “out of head” but not enough to make it seem unreal.  

 

Next up was Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the presentation was again very good. Loreena’s vocals were excellent, the piano and cello are where they should be.  If anything the cello is missing maybe a little of the depth of timbre I’m used to – but that is nitpicking. In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd.  With the Havi, the applause is slightly behind me, but washes around me and feels involved. A nice achievement for a $60 IEM!

 

As a final test I queued up Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” which is recorded with an almost holographic quality to it.  The Havi was excellent with this track – enough to bring goose bumps. Fantastic sense of space, and wonderful separation and imaging.

 

Bass Quality and Quantity

 

The Have B3 so far has had good bass response – if anything relatively flat with slightly more mid bass, than sub bass. The bass is also relatively quick with no signs of bloat.  There can be slight decay (maybe the tiniest mid-bass hump?) when bass has a lot of impact – but this helps rather than hinders the overall presentation.

 

On tracks like “Bleeding Muddy Water” by Mark Lanegan, the bass impact is a little light, and the vocal presentation is not quite as gloomy and brooding as it should be.  The bass is there, but the impact is a lot less visceral than normal.

 

Switching to “Royals” and the impact is a lot better, enough to satisfy – but again a little lighter than I’m usual. Lordes vocals are crystal clear though, and there is some sub bass coming through to add a little bit of rumble to the bass guitar (less so on the kick drum). Switching to Armin Van Buuren’s Trance track “This Is What It Feels Like” and this time the Havi is lacking again.  It’s still enjoyable – but needs a bumb in the lower registers.  We’ll revisit this one later when we try some EQ.

 

To get a further idea of quality this time, I next played Zoe Keating’s “Escape Artist”. The Havi presents Zoe’s cello reasonably well – not as deep as I am used to – but it’s different rather than bad. Lighter for sure – but the timbre still comes through.

 

Female Vocals – A Special Note

 

I have added this section simply because around 60-65% of my music revolves around female vocals – be it jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera.  I’m an unabashed fan.  For me the sign of a successful IEM is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. Other IEMs I’ve owned in the past had sometimes struggled with some of the artists I like – and this includes IEM’s like Shure’s SE535 LE (upper-mids on the SE535 LE are quite forward).

 

This was always going to be a key test for me with the Havi B3, and I had high hopes – especially with the combination of small bump in the upper mid-range, and vocals not being too forward. One of my first tests (for my own preferences) is how an IEM handles an artist like Agnes Obel (some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right). The Havi B3 presentation was brilliant – slightly euphonic and very enjoyable. Cello in the background had a nice contrast too.

 

I then proceeded to play my normal medley of other tracks from artists including Christina Perri, Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, Feist, Julia Stone, Sarah Jarosz and Norah Jones. For me, it aced every track with no signs of hollowness or stridency. For my preferences I can say that the Havi are an easy choice for female vocals – perfectly capturing everything I love about these artists.  Feist and FATM may have both been a little short on bass impact compared to the Altones or A83 – but for $60 the Havi is incredible. Standout for me was Norah Jones – I could have listened to her “The Fall” album from start to end several times. 

 

Male Vocals

 

At the other end of the scale sits a lot of my rock tracks. 

 

The Havi had good speed and claity with everything I queued. It was very clear in vocal presentation, and excelled with acoustic instruments, but a lot of the male vocalists I listened to sounded just a little thin. An example of absolute strength was with Lofgren’s track “Keith Don’t Go”, and also with Seether’s “Immortality” cover.  These are both acoustic based, and the Havi really did shine with the guitar. But on both tracks I couldn’t help feeling that the overall presentation would have been close to perfect if it could capture just a little more of the depth in the vocals.

 

Time for what has become my litmus test with male vocals – Pearl Jam. Like the rest of the Rock tracks I’d already listened to, the Havi B3 was good with Pearl Jam – the overall balance in the track was very good – but Vedder’s vocals just weren’t quite as deep, the timbre and tone of his voice wasn’t quite as rich as I’m used to.  Don’t get me wrong though – I enjoyed every track I listened to – but the Havi’s won’t be replacing my A83 any time soon.

 

Genre Specific Notes

 

Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks

 

This is just very quick thoughts on where the strengths and weaknesses lie (for me) with the Havi.

  • Rock – already covered with the Male Vocal section above.  The Havi does rock well for the most part – and especially acoustic rock. Just a little thin at times.
  • Alt Rock – very good.  Floyd was great – especially the contrast.  PT’s “Trains” was equally as good – plenty of speed and Wilson’s vocals were well presented (the higher register maybe). Bass was well defined and even the bass impact was pretty good.
  • Jazz / Blues – Great. Portico Quartet was fantastic – I think the sense of space around each instrument really helped. Contrast and clarity was fantastic – couldn’t really ask for more. Switching to Blues, and Bonamassa’s guitar work was equally brilliant. Unfortunately again his vocals were just slightly thin – but again I’m nitpicking. I could still listen to this presentation for quite some time.
  • Rap / EDM – The Havi struggles just a little with overall bass impact compare to what I amused to with the hybrids, but still does pretty well with Lindsay Stirling and Little Dragon – less so with Eminem. The bass impact on “Lose Yourself” just doesn’t have that visceral quality to it – and the track is supposed to use this to convey Mather’s anger and frustration in this track.
  • Pop / Indie – Pretty good with most pop depending on how much bass you like, and perfect for the Indie artists I follow. Wildlight’s “Dawn To Flight” was magically dreamy, and Band of Horses was smooth, mellow and thoroughly enjoyable.
  • Classical / Opera – Not so good with male opera (Pavarotti), but excellent with female (Netrebko & Granca).  Does solo piano and cello passably well (would prefer a little more depth) – but very good with full orchestral pieces.

 

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

 

I covered this a little in the introduction. The Havi B3’s 32 ohm impedance combined with a low sensitivity at 95 dB @ 1mW means that it needs more current than some portable DAPs are going to be able to deliver. With my iPhone 5S, where I’d be normally playing at around 30% volume with my Altones or A83, I’m actually using double that with the Havi B3. My iPhone though is a good source and it doesn’t sound lacking at all – especially after comparing amped vs non-amped (volume matched iP5S vs iP5S + E11K).

 

With both my X5 and X1 I’m also using roughly double the volume I’d normally use for most tracks. The X5 doesn’t need any amping on any tracks I’ve tested – but both the iP5S and X1 on really well recorded dynamic tracks (mostly classical) started to run out of room on the pot with really dynamically recorded pieces – and this was where the E11K came in really handy.

 

WHAT ABOUT EQ?

 

There were two things I wanted to try with EQ – lifting the bass and sub-bass for EDM / Rap, and seeing if I could lift the lower mid-range for male vocals.  I tried the EDM / Rap bass boost first – using the X5’s EQ to lift the sub bass and lower mid bass by around 5 dB.  It definitely helped and the Havi responded well – but I still couldn’t get it to the visceral levels that both the Altones and A83 are capable of.  An improvement – but it’s not going to turn these into bass cannons.

 

Next up was concentrating solely on Pearl Jam – and this time adding my own hump from 125 hz, peaking at +5dB at 500 hz, and slowly dropping to normal again at 2 kHz seemed to do the trick – adding some needed depth and fullness.

HAVI B3 PRO1 - SUMMARY

I’d been looking forward to trying the Havi B3 Pro for a while.  I’d read the hype, and my initial reaction when seeing it compared to IEMs 2 or 3 times its price was that it couldn’t be real – and that the Head-Fi hype machine was working overtime (and that eventually the budget “King” was going to be picked apart). To be honest, when I first tried them I wasn’t wowed, and it did take a while for their signature to grow on me. But once it did, I grew to slowly like them more and more.

 

To sum up -

 

The Havi B3 Pro1 is a relatively flat IEM with a larger than normal (for an IEM – let’s put it in perspective) soundstage.  The idea (sometimes insinuated in discussion regarding the Havi B3) that this sound stage is massive and can rival full sized open cans is stretching things a lot. But I do genuinely like what I am hearing – this stage is believable (real) rather than overly expansive.

 

The Havi has excellent detail retrieval, very good vocal clarity, and reasonable bass speed and impact.  It can be a little thin with male vocals, but conversely lends a sense of euphonics to female vocals. It excels with acoustic music, and responds reasonably well to EQ.

 

It is very comfortable to wear and appears to be very well made, and at $60 provides exceptional value for money

 

So big question – would I recommend it?

 

Yes definitely – but would suggest that it won’t suit:

  • Anyone with a  weak source and no additional amplification
  • Anyone who prefers bass heavy music, and likes big visceral bass impact (bassheads avoid)
  • Anyone who listens to predominantly male vocal Rock and prefers a full rich warm sound

 

For everyone else, at this price it really is a no brainer.  How much do I like it?  Even though I don’t need one, and it won’t be my go-to IEM, I still bought one on-line earlier today.  I figure at least it’ll be a standard that will be good for review comparisons – and I’ll still listen to it regularly because it simply is that good.

 

Thanks again to Vic for the opportunity to try them.  Solid 4 stars from me – no regrets at all buying them, and can’t wait for my new pair to arrive.

 

Note - that with my new pair, there is minor channel imbalance - but it doesn't detract from overall enjoyment. YMMV

 

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: Size of sounds and the acoustic performance are better than closest competitors (but there is no magic)

Cons: No bass. Overall quality of the sound is not representing it's price level. Need for an amplifier is annoyingly high.

first things first... this earphone is selling for ~$60 and it's bass performance is far far far far far far far far below than a lot of models selling for $10-20. it's treble performance is okay, but that's it. it's only better than some models that absolutely bad. every other competitive model sound slightly if not certainly better. the only advantage of it's treble, is coming from the wider acoustic. thanks to that, treble gets well separated and that improves your reproduction experience but overall treble quality and detail level are still on the average side.

my first impressions about this earphone was good, because it was delivering one of the best acoustic performances, it's treble detail level wasn't bad too... but i was expecting more bass with an amplifier. after i tried with an amplifier, my final conclusion turned out as bad. personally, i'll not going to accept any model with an anemic bass like this.

so let's see what's more in there... of course the bass is not the only problem here. the mids are big, that's okay, but they absolutely sound cheap. a little quality check with koss plug is enough. same for the treble. so what we're actually getting for our man shooting $60 ??? a little bigger sound and good acoustics. the only problem is... brainwavz r1, moxpad x3-x6, koss & vsonic products etc. already delivers enough acoustic into our ears. havi is slightly better, no one says else but this can't be a game changer alone.

 

so why is this havi hype ? we sure not getting the best treble, we sure not getting the best mid quality, we sure not getting proper bass. but we sure closing our $60 fine for another weird company. if there was some bass in havi, i could consider it as a small weirdo but with this price and with this bass (which not exists), i'm sorry but you're nothing but a big weirdo mr. havi. and that "havi talking" people in the forums making you believe that you'll going to see a magical device this time, actually it's acoustic (soundstage they say) is just a little better and it's downsides are horrible.

this was one of the devices that made me happy when i get rid of it. before you ask, there was no problem with it's channels. keep that in your mind: i'm not just complaining about it's bass performance, i'm talking about it's overall performance + bass + price. you can always buy a better alternative with strong bass and use it without the bass. but you can't do the opposite... you got that ?

 

if it's price was $20-30 then maybe i could recommend it to the people who don't need any bass, but that's a big maybe... i don't know all of the devices in the market. if there's a model with acoustics close to havi in that price level (not has to be exactly equal) and at the same time offers better treble performance (like something close to ostry kc06a's treble), and i believe there must be, then i'll not going to recommend our mr. havi to anyone in anywhere on any planet in a solar system.

 

visit my table for further comparisons and informations

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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