warning: this will be biased
As most of you will know, this is not a new model. This is nothing new.
I always wonder how can people pay for +$100 for the PK1. It looks cheap and I also assumed that earbuds in general simply can't produce a satisfying sound.
I had the opinion that paying +$100 for an intraaural earbud is madness !! madness I tell you !!!!!
Recently however, the PK3 came up for about $30 on a website I shouldn't mention (I'm sure a lot of you know what website it is).
I thought it's only $30 so why not, let's give it a try, even if it didn't sound good I wouldn't be disappointed.
I wasn't expecting much, I was sure it has major flaws in its sound (it's the lowest end model after all).
Recently It arrived on my doorstep and straight away I tried it with my FiiO X3 and wow......... I was so wrong!
Packaging / unboxing :
what.... kind of sorcery is this ?!!
It was only $30 but to my ears (may not apply to everyone) they are better than the brainwavz R1, better than the FXZ100, better than the E4c (sorry i'm really being biased)
In my opinion it has the lushious, crystal clear and detailed mids comparable to the UE700 and even better, it doesn't have the sibilance !
It has (to me) a warm, full bodied bass without leaking to the mids. However, its bass won't rumble like the bass from GR02 or the full sized Denons.
So yes, it lacks sub-bass but I don't mind it at all, it's an open earbud after all, I never expected it to rumble.
The highs are smooth and sufficient for me; it's just right, not too much or too little although it can be a tiny bit sibilant very occasionally.
I paired it with my AUNE T1 tube amp (tube used : telefunken ecc88) and it sounds... even more detailed! No distortion or any weird noises
I never thought I'd hear this kind of sound from a fragile looking $30 earbud....
I always buy low-mid end earphone that people hype just due to my curiosity.
The Vsonic GR02, Vsonic VSD1S, FXZ100, KSC75 for example, were bought simply because I was curious, and with everyone of them I was slightly disappointed.
They were good but they all had some major flaws to me and I ended up trading / selling / giving every single one of them away not long after I got them.
The PK3 however looks like something I'll be keeping for a long time! (hopefully it doesn't break)
The PK3's build quality is very poor and it's just something everyone will have to accept. The sound quality to me though, was enough to make up for this flaw.
It's also very comfortable (the earpiece is not too big that it hurts after a while or too small that it will fall out).
For reference, I have a medium sized ear, I tend to use small/medium tips for deep insertion and medium for shallow insertion when it comes to IEM.
Again, a reminder this is just an impression, or more like me rambling about how impressed I am with the PK3's sound.
TL;DR = I'm shocked by how good this sound; best $30 I've spent EVER. The PK3 is an impressive earbud with what I'd assume to be a warm and mid centric sound signature. It is able to compete with IEMs that are above the $100 price range when it comes to sound quality. It has poor build quality but the sound signature and price can make up for it.
It is really worth a shot. If you don't want to buy a new one at full price, just wait for a sale or buy a second hand pair.
Edited by kamcok - 8/29/13 at 9:18am