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Blox ANV3se First Impressions

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Okay, first post here. Here's my first impressions on the Blox ANV3se earbuds.

 

After reading such positive things about Blox earphones on Head-Fi I waited patiently through Chinese New Year for the original ANV3 to be available for sale again and was disappointed to find they were completely sold out.

 

I sent an email and was pleased to get a very polite and apologetic reply from Woo saying they were working hard to satisfy all their customers and were working on something that "might be something you would like to have".

 

I watched the Blox website daily and took a gamble on the ANV3se as soon as they appeared despite the higher price and was glad I did as they were sold out by the next day!

 

Last Saturday morning I was excited to see a red card from the Post Office on the doormat and off I went to the local office to collect! I opened the box immediately, slipped on the foamies, plugged them directly into my rockboxed clip zip and popped them in my ears.

 

As soon as I heard them I knew that it had been worth the wait. These things are great!

 

I only have about 10 hours on these as yet so they may improve further as they burn-in.

 

Sound:

 

The sound is very clear and balanced and, to my ears, very satisfying. I can forget they are there and just enjoy the music.

 

The bass is solid and tight without excessive flab or boom, the mids are detailed and the treble is clear and smooth.

 

 

Even unamplified and without equalisation, these are a step up from all other earbuds I have heard and are well worth the money asked for them.

 

Physical:

 

I don't own any other Blox earphones but from the pictures others have posted they look like they share the same housings as M2C and ANV3.

 

The housings, while not particularly expensive looking are good enough to do the job. The cable at least is better than the stuff on my Sony MDR-E888SP and though there is no visible strain relief where it enters the housings I don't have any misgivings about the build quality. They are comfortable enough in my ears and I am happy that the effort has gone into the sound rather than flashy housings or celebrity endorsements.

 

Specifications on the box:

 

ANV3se

 

Driver: Dynamic 15mm

Frequency Response: 20Hz-18Khz

Impedance: 32 ohm

Sensitivity: 107dB/mW @ 1KHz

Cable: TPE 1.2m. (3.5mm plug)

 

 

Driveability:

 

At nominally 32 ohms they are easy to drive even for players with less robust outputs. FLAC files on my Rockboxed Clip Zip sound just great with plenty of tight low end control and there is more than enough volume available for me. A quick check inserting a CMOY amplifier in line showed no major difference to the sound so unless your player is particularly feeble I'd expect the improvement from amplification (if any) to be subtle rather than night and day. They should match well with most unamped portable DAP's. So far, I have not felt the need for any EQ which bodes well.

 

 

Isolation:

 

As with any earbud, they are not particularly isolating. For use around the home this is not an issue and is useful when you need to remain aware of your surroundings for pedestrian use too.

If you need something to use in very noisy environments you should probably consider a decent IEM instead of an earbud anyway.

 

 

Comparisons:

 

Compared with Sony MDR-E888SP (Modded):

 

A more laid back and comfortable sound than the E888. The treble is more recessed than the Sony and the ANV3se is a smoother and more satisfying listen overall.

 

Compared with ER4S (Glider tips, Amplified):

 

The ANV3se sounds warmer overall and the bass a little more forward than the ER4S. The ER4S has a thinner sound but perhaps more absolute accuracy and detail. They are both enjoyable to listen to and my preference between them depends on the environment they are used in. For portable listening at home or walking on quiet streets without an amplifier I find myself preferring the warmer and more relaxing sound signature of the ANV3se. For noisy environments like bus travel or visits to the gym I prefer the ER4S with a Fiio E06 portable amp and custom Rockbox EQ.

 

 

Pseudoscience:

 

A sine sweep of 20hz-20khz sounds nice and smooth with no glaring bumps or holes in the bass and mids and only relatively small ripples up high which may well be due to my own ears response as all my phones seem to do this on a sweep to a greater or lesser degree.

 

A quick and very unscientific test with pink noise and the Audio Kit spectrum analyzer app on my iPhone shows a reasonably flat response with a small dip at around 6.5kHz and a slight peak around 8.5kHz. I realise these results are scientifically worthless as I do not have an ear simulator and the iPhone mic is not a calibrated reference mic but I find them interesting all the same. I think the HF rolloff above 12kHz and the dip around 17kHz are due to the iPhone mic frequency response as I've seen much the same with my other phones.

 

 

[Edit] My Audio Kit screen capture won't display here for some reason.

 

[Update] Just realised I haven't been here long enough to have image posting permissions. I'll fix it once I have.

 

{Edit] Fixed

 

 

 

Summary:

 

Thumbs up from me. If you like earbuds, you should definitely try these if you are lucky enough to be able to get some.

 

In the unlikely event that you don't like them there are probably many folks who will take them off your hands at full price on eBay.

 

Pros:

 

Great sound.

Excellent value for money.

Easily driven - work well without amplification.

No EQ needed. (For my taste at least).

Stealth - They look quite ordinary so are unlikely to attract undesirable attention.

Low Isolation - You can listen at low levels and still remain aware of your environment.

 

Cons:

 

Availability - Hopefully this will improve in time. Blox make great phones but it seems the demand for them is greater their capacity to supply them at the moment.

Only average quality housings. - May not survive as well as more expensive phones in the hands of those who are careless or abusive with their stuff.

Low Isolation - As with any earbuds, not really suitable for noisy environments. If this matters to you, consider IEM's instead.

 

 

That's my two cents. I'm looking forward to hearing what others think of them and especially how they compare with the other Blox models.


Edited by Astir - 4/23/13 at 2:15am
post #2 of 33
Thanks for the feedback.
post #3 of 33
Thank you for impressions and hope you keep us updated with the burn in process and sound change and I for one know that if you use fast heavy bass track to burn in these on full volume the will change quickly smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astir View Post

Summary:

 

Thumbs up from me. If you like earbuds, you should definitely try these if you are lucky enough to be able to get some.

 

In the unlikely event that you don't like them there are probably many folks who will take them off your hands at full price on eBay.

 

Thanks Astir - excellent, very informative review, plus as you can see from the classified in my sig I'm one of those people that you mention who would gladly pay full price for Blox earbuds if someone isn't 100% happy with them. I'm dying to get my hands on some but keep just missing out when they go up for sale!

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind comments on my first review. Unfortunately the ANV3se burn-in came to an unexpected halt on Monday when our cat Lucy decided to bite clean through the cable. I need to be more careful where I put my phones - the same cat bit through our tree lights at Christmas too. Fortunately I managed to convert the wounded ANV3se to a handy short cable version today with the help of.a very nice quality Neutrik 3.5mm right angle plug. They are now perfect for use with my Clip Zip clipped to my jacket and still sound fantastic so the cat is officially forgiven. At least I have an excuse to get an extra pair now! Burn-in continues as of an hour ago. Did anyone else receive theirs yet?


Bitten!



Lucy, ravager of cables...



Gotta love Neutrik...



The exclusive ANV3se "Short Edition"
Edited by Astir - 4/23/13 at 2:46am
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Heads up for those wanting Blox earbuds. I heard from Woo that ANV3se will be available Monday 22nd April. He also said they will likely sell out within a day or two as before. Get in quick if you want some!
post #7 of 33

blink.gif I still wonder whats the difference between 1st ANV3 and ANV3se

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonta-Kun View Post

blink.gif I still wonder whats the difference between 1st ANV3 and ANV3se


I doubt there is any audible difference. They just knew they could sell ANV3 for more.

post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonta-Kun View Post

blink.gif  I still wonder whats the difference between 1st ANV3 and ANV3se

As I understand it, the ANV3se is a tuned and improved version of the ANV3. As they share the same housings and drivers, they are likely to sound quite similar and only a direct comparison of the two will really reveal any difference in sound. If anyone actually has both, please tell us how they compare. All I can say is I am very happy with the sound of ANV3se and I'll be buying another pair when they become available again. (Which should be tomorrow). If ANV3 sounds similar for $30 less then the people who were lucky enough to get them got a truly amazing bargain.
post #10 of 33

It is available now.

post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by knives View Post

It is available now.

Thanks Knives! Just ordered my second pair. I guess it's already Monday in China. I wonder how long before they sell out again?
post #12 of 33

5hrs later, already sold out

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by F900EX View Post

5hrs later, already sold out


yeah, its so hard to get a pair of these!

post #14 of 33

Just recieved the Hisound Living and the Vsonic UU2.....Who are dun caught the Blox ANV3se, then you maybe feel very happy if you get the Living or Vsonic UU2, they sound fantastic. Especially the Living ( if you are not an bassheader ) they're really fanstatic earphone I've ever tried. And the handosme dirt cheap guy Vsonic UU2 also sounds lovely to my ears as all things I expected from Vsonic ( low price, lovely sound, lovely looking design ) L3000.gif ( sorry my bad English ).


Edited by Goldenpig3888 - 4/22/13 at 9:28am
post #15 of 33
Sunrise audio are comming out with more iems soon , I just might burst with excitment from these awesome earbuds that are comming out very soon and I'm sad that I couldn't get the anv3se frown.gif
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