I've spent a little more time with H3 this afternoon mostly from Sony Walkman NWZ-F806. I think they're a fine sounding hybrid.
Maybe a little on the warm side for my preferences in overall tonality and there's a fraction too much mid-bass for purists however I find the staging, imaging and overall presentation really enjoyable, smooth, involving. They have the perfect amount of weight in the mids for vocals to sound rather creamy and detailed right through the lower-upper mid range, it's not the most natural timbre I've heard however between the house sound of F806 Walkman and H3 it's certainly unique timbre. I will try with a brighter source, I did for a brief moment with my Studio V unit and got much closer to a tonality I'd purchase however the hiss was too much.
For my preference though who leans for upper mid-range emphasis (think like ER4S), I prefer a brighter upper-mids that can extract aggressive detail from recording it's partly what gives me my music buzz. H3 would never be my preferred signature however pushing that aside they're a very pleasant IEM I could live with and I think Sony took the right road to please a majority of buyers. I personally won't be trying the tape mod, I don't find the bass overwhelming or annoying me to such extend.
Moving onto the fitting of these units I can understand Sony kept this approach for the angling of their dynamic driver though while they fit me with a little persuasion, they may not be user friendly to people with strange shaped ears, and because of this design wind noise is a concern also comfort is slightly decreased . They're just kind of fiddly to insert and seat properly, this takes up valuable seconds of your life before enjoying the music.
Build is edging on the best I've ever seen - in real life you can stare at them in ore (for at least 45 seconds) thinking deeply "whoever put this together knew what the hell they were doing"
I don't know if it's been mentioned but our tour pair has a loose connection on the left earpiece, it was like this when we sent it out, and I don't like this at all. I"m not sure how durable these Shure like connections Sony went for are. It's a downright annoyance especially when it cuts out mid-song. We do believe it may just be a cable issue and their owner awaits the return to confirm this. However, tut tut to Sony as this unit was almost brand new to my understanding, you don't need these kind of issues with such a wonderful looking expensive product.
It detracts from H3's beauty.
>I don't know if it's been mentioned but our tour pair has a loose connection on the left earpiece, it was like this when we sent it out, and I don't like this at all.
that's true. the other shure cable was working ok with it. The other cute thing is - Sony doesn't seem to sell spare cables (although this would maybe be a wty issue). I think the pair djvkool sent has the memory wire bit on the left ear bent too much and steeply.
wind noise is indeed fun as well because of the shape.
overall I still like them a lot since i like the house sony thicker mids sound, but I do think they sound a bit clearer with a bit less 150-300 or so (as i said maybe the 250-300 bit is placebo). Try eqing them on the clip :P . the bands are above.