Advanced Sound GT3

General Information


FREQUENCY RESPONSE


DESCRIPTION



Hi-Res Audio Certified | What does it mean?
ADVANCED GT3 in-ear monitors are certified by the prestigious Japan Audio Society (JAS) to produce frequency over 40,000Hz making it an essential part of high-resolution audio (96kHz/24-bit) listening experience.


Extreme-resolution Audio
ADVANCED GT3 in-ear monitors provide an unprecedented level of resolution and sense of space through its integrated monitor design that consists of the proprietary driver, stainless steel acoustic housing, and quad-braided silver-plated copper cable. The resulting audio is a stunning mix of clarity, micro-detail, speed and extremely wide sound-stage.


Proprietary Driver Technology
The GT3's proprietary driver uses light-weight voice coil which is up to 30% lighter than a conventional counterpart. Its tremendously improved treble response is the core tuning philosophy of the GT3's driver. It is designed to pick up and replicate the smallest nuance in the high frequency above 4kHz and works incredibly well with the sound of acoustic instruments. The proprietary multi-damping structure of the driver aids in the sub-bass extension that does not affect or bleed over the mid-bass region, making its sound characteristic extremely similar to that of a pair of full-sized electrostatic headphones.


Indestructible Chassis, Tuneable Sound
The GT3 utilizes CNC-machined, elegant and indestructible stainless steel acoustic housing that minimizes in-chamber acoustic resonance and driver flex. 3 pairs of tuning filters are included to adjust the sound signature to each user's preference. The tuning filters are designed to adjust the 3kHz frequency, of which the human hearing is the most sensitive at.


Highly Scaleable through Amplification
The GT3 is highly scalable with additional amplification as it gains a boost in the sub-bass and mid-range, unlocking the true potential of the driver. If you are happy with the sound of GT3 directly through your source, you will enjoy that much more when it is properly amplified.


Interchangeable MMCX Cable
There is a total of 2 interchangeable MMCX cables included: a premium quad-braided silver-plated copper cable with a 3.5mm gold-plated plug, which is specifically designed to pair with the GT3, and a mobile 3.5mm plug cable with a 3-button remote / mic that is compatible with both iOS and Android phones.


Accessories
  • 1 MMCX silver-plated copper quad-braided cable
  • 1 MMCX mobile cable with 3-button remote/mic
  • 3 pairs of black foam tips
  • 3 pairs of black single-flange silicone tips
  • 3 pairs of black dual-flange silicone tips
  • 1 premium carrying pouch
  • 1 leather cable tie
SPECIFICATIONS
  • Driver uni: t Light-coil multi-damping dynamic driver
  • Impedance: 32ohm+/-15%
  • Sensitivity: 92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz
  • Frequency response: Ultra Wideband 10Hz – 40kHz
  • Rated power input: 1mW
  • Input power: 5mW
  • Cable composition: Silver-plated copper
  • Cable length (SPC): 1.5M
  • Cable length (Mobile): 1.2M
  • IEM connector: MMCX
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold plated

Latest reviews

Pros: Build Quality
Strong sonic characteristics: Speed, Resolution, Detail
Cons: Lower midrange
Treble may too sharp on Red nozzle
Sharp rear design might be uncomfortable
Advanced Sound GT3 Review

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Website – Advanced

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GT3 info

Specifications
  • Driver: Light-coil multi-damping dynamic driver
  • Sensitivity: 92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz
  • Impedance: 32ohm+/-15%
  • Frequency response: 10Hz ~ 40kHz
  • Cable length - Silver plated copper: 1.5m ; Mobile: 1.2m
  • Plug: 3.5mm, gold plated

Price
: U$D 200.

Warranty: 3 years!

First of all, many thanks to the Advanced team for arranging the GT3 unit for the review. I was able to use it for around a month to reach the final impressions on this IEM.

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The package on the GT3 is the usual treat from Advanced, which is nice and practical. The outer paper card box cover holds all the details and specifications of the GT3. The inner black cardboard magnetic box easily slides out and opens showing the GT3 unit safely arranged inside foam material. The silver nozzles are already installed, while the black and red are attached to the small metal holder. At the lower half there is the typical carrying case from Advanced holding the 3 sets of ear tips, the 2 detachable cables and extra paperwork. The silver plated cable has a leather tie attached to it.

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The ear tips’ selection consist of 3 pairs of single flange tips, 3 pairs of short dual flange tips, and 3 pairs of foam tips in black color. Worth noting that while the single and foam tips have a good grip on the nozzles, the dual tips do not fit well as the core are too wide; a similar issue was found on the M4 IEM. On the other hand, the nozzle width works well with many aftermarket tips such as the Sony, RHA, Spinfit, Spiral Dot and more.

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Design and Build Quality

The GT3 follows the good quality of the previous Advanced products and takes everything to a much higher level. Build quality on the earpieces is excellent with a well shaped design that combines durability and good ergonomics. The shells are made entirely of quality stainless steel, consisting of two pieces perfectly attached as a single unit. The main part has a straight cylindrical design that goes narrower towards the rear, while the inner section is wider and has a slight angle for the nozzle part.

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The three nozzles are identical in shape, material and weight, differing only in their paint (and probably in their mesh material used for the tuning). They are also made of a metal material (aluminum) and screw/unscrew easily and yet stay fixed to the shells. There is a short rubber ring at the base of the nozzles where they connect to the shells as to avoid unnecessary friction and improve the durability.

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At the main shells, the MMCX sockets are located at the upper side and are well covered by a rubber material too with the R and L markings. At the bottom part there’s the only vent found on the whole IEM, of about a ~1.5mm diameter. The inner side of the shells has the ‘ADV.’ writing on it, while the outer has the ‘GT3’.

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The GT3 pack includes two different cables with standard MMCX connections. The first one is a more standard one that includes the microphone and control options on the right side. The length is of ~1.2m, which can be a bit short for over-ear wearing style. It’s a very light cable with a compact y-split and ended in a thinner L plug. The upper half part has a rubbery covering while the lower section a cloth cover, and still is low in cable noise. Being the GT3 made more for an over-ear, the cables have both a pre-shaped fixed guides, but they are soft and comfortable enough.

The second cable is more of an ‘upgrade’ cable type, from its inner wiring, design and overall quality. The wire is silver plated copper and consists of four strands that are tightly twisted. The outer covering is transparent so the inner SPC material can be seen. It is also very low in noise effect, but it is much longer than any average IEM cable, of ~1.5m, which is quite unseen for a bundled cable. The plug on this SPC cable is straight, but larger and better relieved than the first cable. Same for the y-split that is identical in material and relief, and has the ‘silver plated’ writing around it. The cable slider runs effortlessly from the y-split up to the guides.

It’s worth mentioning that the MMCX connection is good enough for a standard type plug. I found the SPC cable to have a tighter connection to the MMCX socket without rotating too freely.

The fit with the GT3 IEM is very easy and can be actually used both cable up as suggested and also cable down (of course, with extra cables that do not hold fixed guides). Either way, it is quite comfortable thanks the slight angle and more rounded shape, though due the extra weight on the steel shells the over-ear configuration may be the better option for longer listening use. The only potential issue may be the at the rear part as it has a quite sharp finish; I don’t see the reason to make it like that as it has no obvious effect on the sound quality, and may be too sharp if it touches the outer ear part. Despite the vent, the isolation is good and there was no driver flex found with either the included tips or alternative ones.

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Sound Quality

Being an earphone with exchangeable tuning nozzles, before describing the main sound performance there are some details that should be mentioned about the included 3 nozzles and the perceived effect on the overall sound.

As the frequency measurement graph may suggest, the differences between each filters are mostly perceived on the upper midrange and lower treble regions. As expected the bass and lower mids are practically not affected, however the higher or lower treble presence may still have some impact on the low end priority and position on the whole presentation.

The differences are not difficult to notice, though they are less obvious when going from black (bass) to silver (reference) filters, and similarly from silver to red ones (treble). In fact, even when using different nozzles, black and silver (or silver and red) on each earpiece, the mismatch is not too much noticed. However, it is a different case when combining black and red filters, as the treble response and overall tonality and brightness can be more radical, and especially when using silicone ear tips rather than foams.

Even though, the main overall signature on the GT3 is of a solid V-shaped sound with a wider than average effect (as far as IEMs go – at least at this price range), and with a well defined right and left separation. The amount of treble and upper mids from the filters does not have a strong impact on the level of detail or air, and the dominance of the upper midrange remains in whichever setup.

Technically, the GT3 has a very capable single dynamic driver inside, carrying excellent speed, resolution, detail and extension on both ends. Personally, I found the black and red filters the best options for the GT3, despite their polarized effect, as they tend to compromise less with their aimed frequency. The silver filter, on the other hand, kind of limits both bass and treble but do not give any better midrange presence.

On the bass region, despite what could be expected from a V-shaped type of tuning, the mid-bass has very good control and is not overdone at all in terms of quantity. In fact, the sub-bass can be more perceived than the mid or upper bass region, carrying good rumble and moderate depth. The extension again is very good, and mainly the speed is very high beating some good balanced armature options without much effort. It is quite effortless, not really aggressive, fast in attack and normal in decay. The layering and separation is very good as well, though those who prefer a more abrasive mid-bass lift with a warmer tone might find the GT3 lacking.

The midrange has a sharp separation between lower and upper midrange regions. Thanks to great control and speed on the bass there’s no bleed into the lower mids, however they are fairly recessed and distant compared to the mid-bass and even more next to the upper midrange. The detail and separation is good indeed, but they sound thin in body and lack weight, and especially male voices do not carry enough texture on them. Upper midrange is more forward in comparison with more body and articulation. The overall midrange tonality is towards the cold side, not too dry though, but ‘sweet’ is not how it could be described. Despite the v-shaped freq. curve, female voices tend to stand out more, with more body and level of clarity. There is a peak, though, which is more aggressive with the red filters on and that may sound sibilant with some grain; with a DAP as the Hidizs AP200 it can be overdone, but has a good synergy with a more laid-back sounding source. That aside, the resolution and openness is a strong characteristic of the IEM.

Treble is bright and gets brighter with each filter. Extension is very good and the presentation is very effortless. The peak is limited mostly to the lower treble mixed with the upper midrange, leaving a smoother yet very forward upper treble. In occasions the extra treble amount can break the balance within the v-shaped signature but does not sound less coherent.

The presentation is wide within the IEM realm. It is more perceived by the stronger right and left separation that gives more expansion and sense of space. The depth is not as far as the width, but is the height that is less present. It has a more oval than a tridimensional spherical sound.

Lastly, as for nozzle filters preference, my pick would be the red or black ones over the silver option. Silver filter try to give a middle option between the red and black options, but as it sound more reserved it misses some of the better characteristics of the GT3 dynamic driver potential. I could even prefer foam tips with the black nozzle in order to achieve the warmer and fuller bass and midrange with a relatively more laid-back treble, or go with the silicone wider or double flange tips for a most airy and revealing sound.

Extra amplification is not a must for the GT3, but as the company suggested it does scale a bit higher. I got to try the GT3 mainly with small but strong DACs as the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red and new ZuperDACs from Zorloo. The Dragonfly has an excellent sound quality, though it may be too powerful for an IEM like the GT3; speed can be too fast and be more aggressive overall. The ZuperDAC is not as resolving, but it has a stronger bass response that adds some warmth to the mids and also has smoother treble, making a very good match for the GT3.

As for extra eartips, I found the Sony ‘hybrid’ (and even the clone ones) being a good option to add a bit more texture and body to the sound for a more even sound presentation.


So far the GT3 is the best earphone from Advanced. It carries a toughest build quality and provides a good fit and noise isolation. The sound quality is technically very strong, with great speed, high detail and above average wide stage in a spacious and airy presentation. It does arrive with some reservations, having a bit less typical v-shaped sound that has a less mid-bass lift, with a bright to very bright treble response, and more distant lower midrange. Nonetheless, the GT3 responds well to different sources and may scale even better with some amplification.

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Again, full credits and many thanks to the Advanced team for the GT3 demo unit for the review and looking forward to their new releases.


Specifications:


Driver: 1 x Dynamic Driver

Impedance: 32 ohms

Frequency response: 10 - 40,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 92 dB

Connector: MMCX

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Advanced in any way and do not benefit monetarily or in any other form for writing this review. This unit was lent to me by Zeppelin & Co. and I am simply giving my honest review of the product!

Thank You so much to the wonderful folks at Zeppelin & Co. for coordinating and setting me up to make this review a possibility. Links to their Facebook page will be available below, so do check them out!

Review by: "Charlie" from The Little Audiophile

Advanced Sound GT3 Retail Price (at time of writing): S$298 (US$218)

TLA Score
Physical Attributes
Comfort: 7/10
Durability: 9/10
Ease of Wearing: 9/10
Noise Isolation: 8/10
Microphonics: 9/10
Value for Money: 7/10

Sonic Attributes
Bass: 7/10
Mids: 5/10
Trebles: 6/10
Sound Stage: 6/10
Separation & Imaging: 7/10
Source Matchability: 6/10

ADVANCED, or Adv, in short, is a new name in the audio industry. Initially founded as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, ADVANCED has now grown into a reputable company, producing many excellent budget-friendly earphones such as the Adv S2000 and the GT4, to mid-fi IEMs such as the GT3 which we would be reviewing today.

Much like the iBasso IT03, I wasn't impressed by the GT3's performance at the initial listen. But after some tinkering with my source and giving it some extra "juice", oh boy, how much my opinions have changed.

THE BOX
I love Adv's approach when it comes to packaging. It does not try to "overpromote" the product or try to sell itself. Instead, it gives you all the information you would want when looking for a new pair of IEMs.



On the front, you'd find the usual photograph of the product with a minimalist type of facade. On the right, you'll find the company's slogan and philosophy. On the left, you'll get a comprehensive exploded view of the GT3's internals. On the back, you'll see a frequency response graph, packaging information, and product specifications.



Slide off the white sleeve and you it would expose the black magnetic-flip box. Open that up too and you will be greeted by a plethora of accessories (and I mean PLETHORA), along with the GT3 itself, with the cable detached.

Inside, you will find, yes, the GT3 itself with the reference filter attached, along with two extra pairs of tuning filters. In the carrying case, you will find 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 pairs of silicone tips, 3 pairs of bi-flange silicone tips, 2 cables, a magnetic clip, and 3 user guides in 3 different languages. Wow ADVANCED, wow.





BUILD AND DESIGN
Housing
Steel. Stainless Steel. We are all too familiar with this material, aren't we? The GT3's housing is practically unbreakable in your day to day use. Must I say more?

The interchangeable nozzles are made of metal too. Though I cannot confirm if it is stainless steel too as it does feel less dense of a material. I may be wrong here, but nonetheless, the nozzle is also very well built. One potential concern I would foresee is that the nozzles are screwed on, which means it is threaded. In a case where your threads do get damaged or misaligned, it could result in you not being able to attach or detach the nozzle.



The connector employed is the MMCX connector. This connector on the GT3 is particularly sturdy as it is shrouded in a thick hard-plastic and is not highly prone to denting or damage if handled normally. The cables lock in with a satisfying click and there is no wobble or jiggle when in the socket.



Overall, I'd say the durability of this product is nothing short of top notch!

Cable
As mentioned, the Adv GT3 comes with 2 provided cables. A 1.5 m SPC braided-cable and a 1.2 m "mobile" SPC cable with in-line controls and microphone.

Let's start with the 1.2 m mobile cable first.

1.2 m Mobile Cable
This cable looks... rugged and a little confused, to say the least. I have not seen a cable from any other manufacturer that has incorporated more variation of materials in a cable that this one. The 3.5 m jack is gold-plated and is housed in a black (rubber) and silver (metal) coloured shroud. Upwards the cable is sleeved up to the Y-split, in which the Y-split is again, black and silver. Upwards some more, the split cables are rubberized, which finally ends in the non-memory wire ear hooks, which are black again. It is just a horrible looking cable IMO.





On calls, the in-line microphone is decently clear and articulate. The receiver would have no problems with the intelligibility of your spoken words. There is a chin cinch on the cable, but it is just so ridiculously tiny that I suspect it might just break off over time.



The 1.2 m length is slightly shorter than average. I have made a similar complaint about the Audio Technica's ATH-LS50iS's cable which is similar in length. I am 1.85 m tall and this length is just "sufficient" for me.

Overall, this cable is decently built, though, I would not be too confident about the rubber cable region above the Y split. I personally do not dig this cable though, purely because of the aesthetics and the slightly shorter length.

1.5 m SPC braided cable
Amen ADVANCED has included a what I'd call "primary cable". This is godsent. The 3.5 mm jack is still gold-plated, but now, the shroud and Y-split are all black and the cables are all silver. It really helps with the overall fluidity of the design language.



This cable is also very decently built. It reminds me a lot of the ALO cable that came with the Campfire Audio Orion that I just reviewed recently, except that this cable is a little thicker and is, unfortunately, not a litz cable. Strain relief is adequate and the cable does not tangle easily.

At 1.5 m, this cable length is perfect and I can achieve very good mobility and range of motion. I believe this is the GT3's "audiophile" cable and therefore I would use this cable throughout the course of the review.

COMFORT
Comfort wise, the GT3 is fine. Personally, it takes some fiddling around to get a "balanced" seal on my left and right ear, and when you do, the ear tips actually sit relatively deep in your inner ear. The seal is by no means of the "airy" type and noise isolation is superb. I was using the single-flanged silicone ear tips by the way.

I did find some slight discomfort or soreness on the front of my outer ear after about an hour of listening. Changing over to the double-flanged ear tips did alleviate some of the discomforts but at the cost of sound quality. I chose sound quality over comfort here.

You might not have an issue with the comfort though and it could just be me.

This IEM would be suitable for people with smaller ears as the size housing is not substantial by any means and would not obstruct the insertion of the nozzle into the ears. Personally, the Campfire Comet and Atlas do not fit me well. I have to manually put down on the left housing just to get a good seal. This is not a problem with the GT3.

Overall, I am pleased with the comfort and fit or the GT3.



SOUND QUALITY
Note: Sound Quality was tested on my Astell&Kern AK Jr with a Fiio Q1MkII slaved as an amplifier. The 1.5 m SPC braided-cable was used, with the "Reference" filter attached.

The "driver war" seems to be in full swing in recent years, with companies trying to cram more and more drivers into their IEMs while inevitably cranking up the retail price. But the folks at ADVANCED knows better. The GT3 sports a single "lightweight" dynamic driver at its core.

To some of you, the GT3 might come across as an everyday carry IEM. An easy to drive, run of the mill earphone. WRONG! This little bugger needs power. If you try running this thing off the phone, I can almost assure you that you are not getting the most out of this IEM. In fact, even ADVANCED themselves claimed that the GT3 scales well on their product website.

So, how do they actually sound, with proper amplification?

Honestly and anti-climactically, I was a little disappointed. Here's why.

Soundstage, Separation and Imaging
The soundstage on the GT3 is wider than it is deep. There is a good sense of stereo width, but when it comes to depth, the soundstage does not stretch out very far, which when combined, results in a somewhat unnatural effect.

Separation, however, is superb for the price. Instruments and vocals do not feel congested or compressed together, which in my opinion, aids the IEM in appearing or sounding more detailed and spatial.



Sound Signature
The GT3 goes for a V-shaped sound signature with an unmistakable focus on trebles as opposed to the bass response. This IEM is extremely detailed for the price. The plucking of the acoustic guitar on Nils Lofgren's "Some Must Dream" has this sparkly effect which in my experience can only be achieved by a sufficiently detailed IEM.

However, the trebles sound disassociated with the rest of the frequencies for some reason. I believe it is because of the thin sounding mids, in which the vocals lack weight but still manages to be articulate. Pair this with an aggressive treble response resulted in a somewhat unnatural vocal or mid profile IMO. The same can be said for both male and female vocals.

Bass
The bass on the GT3 is very pleasant. Sub-bass extension is decent but remains unintrusive. The overall bass response is weighty but not particularly impactful, which might not satisfy the true and true bassheads.

There is a similar emphasis on sub-bass and mid-bass quantity and the decay in both the sub and mid-bass is very quick, especially for a dynamic driver. As such, bass sounds well controlled and very snappy. This bass profile also means that the mids or vocals are by no means muddy.

Mids
Mids... oh dear. Mids, as mentioned are thin and lack the weight needed to make vocals sound organic. The articulate vocals paired with the lack of weight gives a somewhat telephonic effect on the vocals. Mids can easily come off as unengaging or boring because of this effect

Sibilance is another problem with the GT3 in the upper registers of the mid-range. This easily translates to a fatiguing IEM over extended listening sessions. The upper mids feel disconnected from the treble region, as the trebles are just incredibly bright.

Trebles
The treble region is a hit-or-miss question. To start, the trebles carry impressive clarity, definition and speed which is honestly quite uncommon in a single-dynamic driver setup. It reminds me a little bit of the classic cheap chi-fi tuning where manufacturers boost the trebles up just to make the IEM appear detailed. The GT3 is indeed something like this, but it is more refined and more properly implemented, which IMO really works in its own favour.

However, there are some peaks in the lower-trebles which could come off as unnatural or intrusive to some. Another thing is that the trebles are so jacked up in terms of detail and quantity that is does not gel with the other frequencies and feels almost like the mids and bass are trailing behind or playing catchup with the mids. With the black filters installed, the overall frequency does seem to be more balanced and less "disassociated", but not to a very large degree.

CONCLUSION
The GT3 is marketed as an "extreme resolution" IEM as ADVANCED claims, and yes, I do agree with this claim. But again, it almost feels like the company overlooked the factor of the overall listening experience and coherency of the sound signature. I would recommend this IEM to someone who already has, or is considering to get an amplifier, has a competent source and is looking for an analytical sounding IEM.

For the casual lister, the IEM is a little too bright for my taste, though yet again, price wise, I'd say for S$298, the clarity and detail you are getting are phenomenal and I have not heard any other IEM in this price range which is able to replicate or perform as well as the GT3 does.


Again, for the money, you are also getting something virtually indestructible. The overall finish is phenomenal and would last you years.

Lastly, I should really say that as far as I do not especially dig the sound signature of this IEM and I might come off as putting this product in a negative light, I believe that given a chance, you should try out these pair of IEMs and see if they suit your preference or needs.

Thank you Zeppelin & Co. for arranging for a review unit, and thank you all for dropping by. The Little Audiophile out, see you in the next one!

Do check out our WordPress site at https://thelittleaudiophile.wordpress.com/ for more reviews!
Zeppelin & Co. Facebook Page: Click Here
voxie
voxie
Thank you for a balanced honest review.
Pros: Easy fit.
Comfortable to wear.
Solid vibrant sound.
Mic/phone combo work well.
Affordable.
Small ergonomics.
Good bass reach, more pleasing treble than other sub $200 IEM.
Cons: In a market hard to impress, this may get overlooked...it should not be...
Small for some.
Not much else...maybe bass light for some.
Advanced Sound Group GT3-A Path To Simplicity. $199 USD.

Website: https://www.adv-sound.com/collections/wired-earphones/products/gt3



Part of the time as a reviewer, you are lucky enough to participate in tours of some very fine gear. Other times, companies find out about you. You can also contact companies, especially when your compatriots have given high regard for said company. This would be the latter case, and I do not regret the “tying of the knot” so to speak with Adv-Sound. Upon contacting them, the company was gracious enough to correspond with a couple of quick questions, to which I responded and within a couple of days, the GT3 (the one, which piqued my interest) was headed for the heartland. Knowing my queue was full, I feverishly worked through some to clear my plate.



Upon arrival, I checked to ensure all was well and good (it was) and give a quick listen. I then attached the pair to my Shanling M5/M1 for “burn in.” Again, that is the way I proceed, and find no fault either way. I was intrigued by the missile-like shape, almost like a torpedo. Feathering the critter through my hands, I felt for misshapen halves/connections/etc. Satisfied, I put them away for the week, knowing the GT3 would rise to the top of the queue soon enough.







I want to thank Hannah and @AdvSound for the honor of reviewing their product. I am glad they show faith in the reviewers, as this is a good way for those who cannot get to the product to “listen” through the ears of others (mine are old and not very good, apologies…). All we mutually asked was that I provide an honest assessment, and I would have it no other way.



Specs:

Driver unit-Light-coil multi-damping dynamic driver
Impedance-32ohm+/-15% Sensitivity-92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz Frequency response-Ultra Wideband 10Hz – 40kHz Rated power input-1mW
Input power-5mW
Cable composition-Silver-plated copper
Cable length (SPC)-1.5M
Cable length (Mobile)-1.2M
IEM connector-MMCX
Plug-3.5mm gold plated


Perusing the thorough Adv-Sound website, I was provided with a full introduction to the GT3, including a very nice user guide. Cornering everything from the included accessories, to a kind of “how to” when it comes to attaching the cables as well as changing to one of the three included filter “systems,” one was met with a meticulousness, which was nice to see. Excellent detail, indeed.

Included accessories:

  • 1 MMCX silver-plated copper quad-braided cable (TRS)
  • 1 MMCX mobile cable with 3-button remote / mic (TRRS)
  • 3 pairs of black foam tips
  • 3 pairs of black single-flange silicone tips
  • 3 pairs of black dual-flange silicone tips
  • 1 premium carrying pouch
  • 1 leather cable tie

For the price, the included accessories seem on par with this price range. And you have the added plus of having a dedicated mobile cable, which works with both Android & iOS. Using MMCX, the connection is secure, allowing full rotation as one fits the earhook over-ear.



History:

Avd-Sound started as a Kickstarter project in 2015, and as shown below, have succeeded so far:

It was for the love of music. It was the respect for all musicians of the past, present and future. It was for the struggling instrumental buried under the heavy bass line. It was for the audiophiles craving that crystal clear and mind-blowing detail.

We began as a small Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and naturally grew into a bigger body that thrives on the enthusiasm and passion for music. We design, develop and produce ground-breaking audio products that span widely from earphones, headphones, DAC / amp to musical instruments. We are focusing on staying forefront with the latest proprietary audio technology, while continuing to explore creative ways to allow everyone to experience the audiophile-grade sound.

We have an open mind and open doors for new ways to collaborate with musicians, audio engineers, manufacturers and brands - as we strive to mature into a platform where the advanced sound converge.



Ranging from DAC/Amps to Planar Headphones, Avd-Sound runs a quality gamut of audio products for audiophiles as they espouse, while also catering to musicians. And, while many (most) manufacturers strive for the higher drive count, it is refreshing to see a company focus on making a single dynamic driver IEM better. Harkening back to my MEE Pinnacle P1, which had one 10mm DD itself, this is stimulating to see and as such I would have to utilize the ole’ cranial matter for a comparison. At the time, the P1 was widely acclaimed for its place among affordable high-end sounding IEM’s and as such became a benchmark for many to shoot. More later on the comparison of the two, as I had a very nice conversation regarding the two with another.





Comparos:

MEE Pinnacle P1
Kinera iDun
Simgot EM5
FLC8S

Shanling M3S
thebit Opus #2
MacBook Pro w/ iFi xDSD
iBasso PB3

Songs et al (standard list):

Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs (through both SD card & Tidal Premium), so there you go:

R.E.M.-Losing My Religion
Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
Coldplay-A Message
Coldplay-White Shadows
Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
twenty one pilots-Trees
twenty one pilots-Car Radio
twenty one pilots-Heathens
Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado


Unboxing:

Much has been said about the value (or lack) of unboxing pictures and verbiage. Often, I find myself in either camp. Sometimes I just want to experience the sound. Sometimes I want to get the whole experience, from sound to the container and all within. When I experience the latter, I do so while listening to the critter in question.




The GT3 would be of the latter. I definitely enjoyed the unboxing while listening to Los Lonely Boys, and it was worth it. A sleeve wrought with useful information, presented very professionally, yielded a simple straightforward inner box, which opens like a book. Within, there is a half-n-half compartment housing the case, IEM’s and the extra filters in a very nice screw in holder. A nice feature, which prevents one from losing the small filters.

A nice overall presentation with the right amount of “glitter” in my opinion. Well done.




Early impressions:

Having 4-5 units going at once can jumble things mightily. That said, it does give a rare chance in which to gauge all from the beginning and especially over time (usually a month). As such, I consider myself lucky as the critters on hand being tested ranged from cheaper to MUCH more expensive. A nice variety to gauge sound characteristics and a variety of approaches as well.

Since I have trouble with bright signatures (the reason I sold my P1), I immediately attached the black filter (promptly losing the mounted red filter for a good 2-minutes) and hoped for a good solid bassline sound. I was not overly disappointed. A nice balance between treble and bass, but not without a v-shaped sound came through my ears and the Shanling M3s. Mids are fairly recessed, and especially (to me) male vocals take a back seat). As mentioned in some reviews, fit is fairly critical. More critical than many I have tested lately and as such may not suit movement well (more later). Using the included foam tips (after trying both single and double flange silicon) gave me the best fit/isolation and allowed the IEM to stay put during movement. Isolation is quite good while allowing the bottom mounted bass port to still function.



In a conversation with Paul (@Brooko, thank you sir!), he mentioned how if I changed a single filter on one side I would hear a difference (I did), but after a while that difference would all but cease to exist due to our brain getting used to the differing signature. Calling it a good stereo imaging sound, I would concur. It does mess with the brain for a bit; until your cranial matter becomes accustomed to the sound. An interesting situation, and one in which those with differing hearing ability could play to “tailor” the sound to their tastes. Easier to do than with the FLC8S, this can give the user a quick listen in order to judge which filter might be best for the song or genre at hand.

It has also been said that the GT3 is good for classical and guitar music. Again, I would concur. It also sounds nice and taught with Reggae. Damian Marley’s Get High sounds full and quick of note. A wonderful string foundation is complimented by his vocals, a synthesizer, and an acoustic guitar. Quite a fun sound.

Follow that up with Damian’s So A Child May Follow, one of my current favorites and you get the sense that the GT3 can take all of the quick-paced music you can send its way. Vocals support a solid quick decaying bass, with further support from the piano and acoustic guitar. Clean, clear and crisp, so far, I do approve.





Delving further:



I don’t often like to separate individual sounds, as it can be tough for me to garner those differences. A loss I do not like to deal with, and one in which I must adjust my listening. But, with the GT3, the process is quite easy to distinguish. Something else I appreciate about the Adv-Sound product.

Laying a taught bass down gives the GT3 a nice foundation on which to build. While neither prominent in its thump, or particularly deep reaching, with good fit the bass can be pleasant and support the overall signature quite nicely. This is not a bass heavy IEM. When using something with more bass such as the Kinera iDun or FLC8S, there is more deep reaching bass prominent, but that should not be held as a slight against the GT3, rather a positive of the others. The bass is present in the GT3, just not as much as the others. The Avd-Sound IEM is tuned more for overall signature as opposed to highlighting any one. With a (what I would call) slight-V sound, the bass is ahead of the mids, but fall behind the treble. Think right-handed checkmark, and that gives a good impression, but without that being a big checkmark. Take the above with a grain, as this was run on the black filters, which give better bass response (and more) than the red or silver.

The mids are satisfying but do fall behind the other notes. Again, this is filter dependent. Using the black filter again (the one I used by far the most) vocals are very coherent and prominent, but that seems to come from an upper-mid push. The lower mids seem to take the hit here as a result. But still not bad in my mind. On Van Morrison’s excellent Take It Easy Baby, the sound is clean, clear and simply put marvelous. With distinct cymbal hits, vocals, and slap of the piano keys, you can certainly enjoy the ride. I almost fast forwarded past this song but found myself enjoying the clarity of sound emanating from the GT3. Followed by the live version of Clocks by Coldplay you get the sense that the GT3 can cross genre well.

In that conversation with Paul regarding the upper end i.e. treble, we discussed (OK, he replied, and I learned and inhaled the information he presented) how the Pinnacle P1 was still one of his favorites (but not mine), and how playing with the filters here yielded a similar note. I can certainly understand from where he comes, since we both have higher end hearing loss. But to me what hurt in the signature of the P1, is all but gone in the GT3. I did really like the P1 but found its bass response almost anemic; and I tired quickly of that treble push. Luckily, I found someone who enjoys (still) that signature so they found a good home. Even before my discussion with Paul, or reading his thorough review, my first inclination was to compare to the Pinnacle. That was one of my first reviews, and as such I knew little other than what I heard (or didn’t). And as both the P1 and GT3 retail for $199, a natural comparison was to be had. Consider that both also have a 10mm driver and you have a very valid comparison.



What drove me batty after a longish session with the P1 (unless I continually fiddled with the volume knob) was indeed that almost piercing treble. Now please do not take this as a slight against the P1, it was and is still quite good for what it does, and I almost (as mentioned) consider it the forefront of the sub $200 “high-end” market sector. It was (to me) a pioneer in that segment along with the FLC8S (sub $350), and a couple of others. It did well, and deservedly can hold to its accords. But that treble does not bother me on the GT3. Los Lonely Boys Everything About You highlights a very solid treble line, that allows one to gauge the intricate sounds, which spring from that song. Followed by their See The Light, and you get an vaporous-like sound, one in which I very much like. Here the GT3 trounces what otherwise would be a less than pleasant listen from the P1. Again, the P1 is very good and should not be discounted from my humble comments above.

Other sound vernaculars:

A satisfying sound stage is heard, one in which there is a decent out of head experience as on Los Lonely Boys It’s Just My Heart Talkin’. Width of acoustic guitars on either side of the gray matter give a very open space for Henry’s voice. This is a superb band period. But when used for auditioning, it gives one man more opportunities to listen. And that is good. Decent height comes along for that ride, but here depth falls a bit behind others of this price (to me). Not bad, though, and overall a slight out of head good sound stage.

Clarity of sound is distinct and laudable for a single dynamic driver, and there is air between the notes, which aid in musical separation. A commendable response for the size of the GT3, as the bullet shape is quite small. Aided by good detail response to each note, one can clearly hear each separate instrument on any of the assorted Los Lonely Boys songs I used. Porn Star is a good example what with their off-the-wall musical inputs at the beginning and during the song. A down low song, played well through the GT3.





Usable sources:

Having the Shanling M3s and Opus #2 on hand makes for very nice listening. If I want a warmer signature, I pop on the Shanling. More neutral (slightly) with a more reference quality, on goes the #2. From that I get a pretty good idea of what works well with the unit at hand. Sometimes I get surprising results, and like the less expensive Shanling when compared to a more expensive IEM (such as with the Simgot EM5). I was floored at how well the pairing worked together. In fact, the mutualism wrought jumped to near the top of my listening pleasures. Conversely with the Kinera iDun, it simply sung on the #2. And her in lies the quandary…Sometimes there just isn’t a good match, and sometimes the pairing shocks your senses with how good they are.

Luckily, the GT3 worked with both (and the MBP/iFi combo). I thoroughly enjoyed the purity of sound coming out of the #2/GT3 pair. If one wants a warmer sound (to tame those highs a bit), go with the M3S. If a more reference sound is to be had, by all means the #2 is stellar. And as luck would have it, I was able to listen on the exquisite Questyle QP2R for about a day before sending it on to the next. Of the three, this pair provided the best overall sound but maybe not the most satisfying. Heaven on the #2 is just sublime. It is on the QP2R as well, but it lost a certain “intimacy” in the pair. The Questyle is now my reference high-end DAP, and I will own one someday, but knowing that the Opus provided 90% of the sound, with a bit more “soul,” I found I liked the #2/GT3 a bit more.

That said, please don’t get me started on the UM Mentor V3/QP2R sound…I might go into a nirvanic state and not return…

Sitting in Patina’s Coffeehouse in our old haunting grounds of Wausau, WI; I utilized some time before my beloved better half landed down the road to join daughter-unit and I on a well-deserved Lake Superior vacation. Using my standard playlist from Tidal Premium, I hooked the GT3 to my MBP. Starting with Losing My Religion, one of not only my favorite R.E.M. songs, but of all time, I was met with a very pleasant full sound. The mandolin’s supporting Michael Stipe’s voice perfectly. The harmony of almost any R.E.M. song is music as it is meant to be in my mind. And the GT3 does not disappoint here. Laid back vocals let the mandolin and upper end snare/cymbal combo come through in very good harmony. Moving to one of my new standbys, Mark Knopfler’s excellent Laughs And Drinks And Smokes, the Irish sound is again well and full. Again, not as much bass as I would like, but this is a very pleasing IEM. Knopfler’s voice aiding that lack of bass nicely in support. Here the drum set provides the foundation, and all come together in a wonderful sound, which should lift anyone’s spirits after listening.





Comparo’s with the others…

Since I mentioned that my immediate thought upon arrival was of the Pinnacle P1, it makes sense to start there…Well, at the time the P1 (as mentioned above) was almost of new ground. And excellent single dynamic driver in the sub-$500 market. Some at the time thought the P1 was a giant killer, with clarity the likes of which had not been heard other than TOTL flagships. I bought into the hype and purchased a set. It was good, very good. But that nagging treble to me was the end all and I moved further upmarket. The P1 found a good home. On to the GT3, and I can hear the resemblance. Very much so, but to me it doesn’t not have that biting treble sound of which drove me to sell the P1. I cannot honestly state whether they are near the same or not, as time and distance has left that P1 sound, and I do believe my ears are less discerning. That said, I can listen to the GT3 for hours, without pain. I could not of the P1. Add in a deeper reaching bass, with slightly more and in my mind the GT3 has passed the P1 one in all manners. Take that as you will, because some here think the opposite.


Comparing to the FLC8S might not be affair fight, as the FLC8S costs 1.5x the price. That said, for what I paid, it is a perfectly competent comparison. With more filter changing abilities, I do believe one can achieve 36 different listening possibilities with the FLC. Me? Once I hit the bass response, which pleased me the most, I stayed put. And that bass is quite good for a plastic-shelled interchangeable filter IEM. I still use the FLC8S as my workout IEM in all but sweltering conditions due to that interchangeability, which aides in the ability to clean them easily. The GT3 does have a better treble response, to me. But that is with my preferred bass set up. If I change to the treble oriented filters on each, the FLC8S is better to me, with more reach and a bit more clarity and detail. This should not be taken as a slight of the GT3, no; but a response as to how bloody good the FLC8S really is. The GT3 is good, just not FLC8S good in my opinion.

The Simgot EM5 again might not be a fair comparison, what with the 3x price difference, but since I am coming off their review (and of the same age as the GT3, as in new), I think it valid to see how far the GT3 could reach. I am truly impressed with the EM5. For $500, it is a very, very good IEM and one in which I would recommend on its own merits (review can be found here: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/simgot-em-5.23214/reviews). But for giggles, I did. The Simgot has better bass response, what with its 5-driver set up working in its favor. But when isolated, the GT3 does hold its own. And on the top end, I can say the same, with the EM5 bettering it because of a dedicated BA for the high-end treble sound. With better clarity as well the GT3 just cannot compete. BUT, and I do mean but; the GT3 taken separately against the Simgot is a very nice alternative, and one in which you could justify as an alternative in your stable. With better ease of use, and excellent fit, the Avd-Sound is a very good compliment to the Simgot. Sound-wise I would rate the GT3 as 70-75% of what the EM5 is...not bad in my mind.



So…what are we left with?...



Finishing with Corazon Espinado, the GT3 surprised me…yet again. A very acceptable bassline held together the wonderful Spanish-American influence of one of my top three all-time bands, Santana. Such a cacophony of sound can emanate from any of their songs, that you would be wise to include them on a daily basis…and I do. From sultry vocals to Carlo’s sensuous guitar your ears are wrought with an almost eargasm of sound. Through something much, much more expensive and it is darn near righteous. Through the GT3, it is quite commendable in honor of the music.



As one finishes a review, you can be wrought will relief, distress or a lamenting knowing full well your time is up (such as with the Mason/Mentor V3 pair). Here the case lies somewhat in between. See Dem Fake Leaders by Ziggy draws to a conclusion this review, and I can find no better song in which to end. Here, the bass line is ample and supportive. Mids, including his voice clear and concise. Treble lets you know this song means business. What a wonderful journey it has been with the GT3. Fit in between an overload of samples, the GT3 has been that respite, which all reviewers need in order to revive their interests or revitalize what they do. And I am glad.

This is not the best IEM around this price point, nor is it the worst. It provides the listener with good clarity of sound in that search for your musical-bliss. And if not the end, then this surely is a step in the right direction down that road towards what we all strive. And, I for one am glad that this will stay within my humble abode, gracing my queue when it can. A lively satisfying sound emanates from the GT3 and should be worthy of a listen at this price. Don’t be fooled by the “need” for more drivers, or multiple-tubes of “newness.” No, sometimes the simple path is the best.

I want to thank Hannah and Advanced Sound Group for their faith in reviewers to do the right thing and be honest. It is also nice to see a successful Kickstarter program come through with something good…and they did. Give the GT3 a listen. Its simplicity will draw you in.

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