Can anyone compare these to Etymotic Research HF5? Interested in nabbing of B3s, but if they are similar I probably wouldn't put the money down on them.
Havi B3 Pro-1 Impressions Thread - Page 2
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- 2,501 Posts. Joined 3/2013
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Nice topic, been enjoying them. Brought my pair to the La head fi meet and nobody was interested to give them a try so that was a bit of a shame. Brought them along when I was testing ciems and they performed quite well. The ciems sounded better but did cost quite a bit more.
Still been tip rolling them and been using some noble audio tips and the fit/sound has been quite good with them.
I have received an email from Penon audio and the mail confirms that Havi produced 3 different versions so far:
B3 Pro1, B3 Pro EX and B3 Pro2.
B3 Pro EX (Extra Bass) produced only in limited quantities and it is no longer in production.
All the happy users here reported that they have the B3 Pro1 version.
This clarifies the questions and discussions regarding the bad sounding B3 Pro samples... (which are either supposed to be B3 Pro EX or B3 Pro2).
If Havi put clear indications for the customers to understand which version they were purchasing it would be good...
Still the only way to distinguish the B2 Pro1 is to see a red dot sticker on the top of the transparent plastic package...
Edited by Baycode - 3/26/14 at 4:11am
I agree on that but they're very different from the Pro i.
I've removed the filters and the resistors on my pair of the Pro ii.
The soundstage on the ii is no way near that on the i but they offer the same natural voice reproduction with more bass emphasis. The bass is well contolled with very little bleeding in to the mids. The ii also is darker in overall presentation. They still are very good just not as technically impressive as the i.
Although I generally didn't have good experiences with Aliexpress sellers, I came across with this feedback (from a US customer) on Aliexpress while routinely checking internet for reviews...
"This is a true original HAVI B3 pro version one, be sure to use the right tip to have a good seal between Earphone and ear, with good sealed, the B3 Pro's sound quality sounds better than my Logitech UE900 and Westone W3. Shipping is fast and unit is wrapped in bubble wrap and nicely packed in a box."
Edited by Baycode - 3/26/14 at 11:20am
- 715 Posts. Joined 3/2014
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Now, I'm very new to the whole complex world of sound, so please take my words with a pinch of salt because I don't think I'm qualified enough to correctly describe the earphones using all the appropriate lingo.
(disclaimer: I am nowhere near a basshead. I have more of a neutral preference)
In terms of fit, the nozzles are quite thick, and for medium size ears like mine, it was quite difficult to fiddle around to get the correct fit. i switched over to the smallest stock tips, and surprisingly was able to get a secure and quite comfortable fit, even though it took some effort to achieve it.
the difference between a poor fit and good fit imo was mainly in terms of bass. with a good fit, the bass quantity was good in quality and very sufficient in quantity. the punchiness was above average but also controlled. comparing with the two other IEMs I own (Rockit R50 and Shure SE215 LTD), I would say B3 >= SE215 >= R50. Havi B3 can be said to be a slight increase of the SE215 bass but with the punchiness of the otherwise bass lacking R50.
the tone of the B3s are quite neutral, slightly towards the warm side. I wouldn't say they are too warm though, since there are a few other IEMs I've auditioned are definitely darker. the tone is actually the only issue I have of these, a preference related issue, because I prefer my IEMs to be either right in between, or slightly towards the airy side (like my R50s). most likely though, it's that I'm just simply not used to it, so it's not really an issue at all.
in terms of mids, the B3 is forward in it's presentation, which might not be to everyone's taste, but for me they are ideal. they are also very good in clarity and detail, which I suppose is quite impressive considering these are dynamic drivers rather than BAs? I believe they are slightly thicker than average, which gives it a healthy amount richness/fullness (I'm not sure if I found the terms to describe this correctly). it has to be noted that I am coming from my favorite IEM, the R50s, which from all accounts including my own experience, have virtually unbeatable mids and highs for it's price range, much less for 60 dollars. the B3s are definitely not on the level of the R50s, but the gap isn't very big, but just big enough to be noticeable. compared to the SE215LTD, I would say the B3s are better in detail and clarity, although that's not saying that the SE215 was bad in any way (the SE215 to me can be described as the jack of all trades but master of none, i.e they will never be the top of anyone's favorite list, but they will still be universally appreciated). in short, R50 > B3 > SE215LTD
in terms of treble, it is the part which I am most inadequate in describing, so please forgive me if I say the wrong things! the B3s are really nice as well. they have very good detail, clarity, as well as a decent crispness to it. they are neither tame nor sparkly, but I would say they are right smack in between. in terms of sibilance, when listening to Muse (Matt Bellamy has probably the most painful 'S' ever) some siblance can be detected. but with Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Phillip Phillips, Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake e.t.c, I couldn't detect any. again, the B3 simply cannot touch the R50 in terms of sheer quality, but they are a little better than the SE215s, and very near to the level of the GR01 and VC1000 based on the very short time I auditioned both. In short, R50 > B3 >= SE215LTD.
In terms of soundstage, the B3s are extremely good here. Width is absolutely fantastic. it's just so so fantastically spacious. I'm actually not really sure how to properly discern soundstage depth, but based on my limited understanding of what it means, I would that the B3s are definitely good here as well. The R50 I feel have very good soundstage for an IEM, and the SE215LTD are good too, but the B3 is indisputably better than both here. In short, B3 > R50 > SE215LTD
My setup listening to the B3 was IP5 --> Fiio E07K Andes --> Havi B3 with 320BR, and also 16bit FLAC --> Foobar2000 (Wasapi Event) --> Laptop --> E07K (through USB) --> Havi B3. Gain was set to 0. Treble and Bass were set to +2 each
Bottomline/TLDR version: I consider myself very objective driven and always make it a point not to be influenced by prior reviews which I read. For 60 dollars, I feel that Havi B3 represents fantastic value. They are a fun pair of IEMs which are excellent for playing Alternative/Alternative Rock. They have no real weaknesses, have 'universal appreciation' type of sound, and overall I would say that they compete very well with $150-200 IEMs (I haven't had the opportunity to listen >$200 IEMs though).
just for reference sake, I own/ have owned the R50, SE215LTD, Klipsch S4, and listened to the VSD1S, VC1000, GR01, DN1000 before. the B3 unquestionably belongs near the top of this list. It has been deemed worthy of my first ever write up (but only because the R50 is already so well known and the B3s are still a relatively unknown quantity lol)
I aplogize if some parts of my reviews do not make sense (I'm still an audio infant... mercy!). please help me correct terms where I have used them wrongly!
many thanks has to go first to bhazard, who plucked the B3 from obscurity to our attention, and also to those in the Chinese thread: baycode, mochill, peter, twister e.t.c. I hope you guys realize the magnitude of what you are doing. The Chinese audio market is becoming a force to be reckoned with, and you guys are the pioneers who have helped lay the groundwork for it to become more well known and appreciated. kudos to you all and keep up the good work!
Dear gyx11, your input is very valuable! Thanks for sharing. Also it is written very well!
I like to read comparisons especially.
I want to share my tip rolling experience for last night:
I was trying some other tips and Hifiman white silicone double flange tips gave me best results. Still not very secure but better than any other tips. Also sound changed drastically! This tip improved the sound for my ears! I pushed the tip all the way down to the body of the iem.
But I have to aware: there are 2 kinds of double flange Hifiman tips.
The one I am talking about is this one:
(photo: from web)
The other Hifiman double flange type (I also have, on the below photo) did not fit and sound well.
(photo: from web)
I hope triple flanges which Penon audio sent to me will give better results. For the sound I am more than happy. But I still have comfort and fit issues...
Most of the reports I read on internet shows that -while using triple and some double flanges- pushing the tip right up to the body of the iem is essential. Otherwise It can extend too much and have side effects on fit/comfort/sound.
Some people hit the target with the stock tips and if you're one of them you're very lucky!
Edited by Baycode - 3/27/14 at 1:11am