Alpha & Delta D3

Rating:
4.3/5,
  1. Cinder
    An Absolute Steal!
    Written by Cinder
    Published Mar 6, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality, great price-to-performance ratio, good warranty, great accessories, top-notch bass response, pleasing midrange tonality
    Cons - Some dropped details, minor treble roll-off
    Alpha and Delta D3: An Absolute Steal!
    Alpha and Delta is a Singapore-based company run by audiophiles. They have been designing and selling IEMs for a good amount of time now, with their bread and butter being durability. They’ve consistently released IEMs that outlast their competitors, and this year they have decided to up the ante and release a budget IEM that outclasses many more expensive products in terms of build-quality and style. But does this aggressive bet pay off in creating a compelling purchase?

    You can find the D3 for sale here, for $30, on Alpha and Delta’s official web-store. As of writing it has been discounted to $28.

    Disclaimer: This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.

    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoyability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.

    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.

    Source: The D3 was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Sound Signature
    Initial Impressions:

    The D3 features a fairly warm sound signature. It has a notable mid-bass with a surprising level of sub-bass presence which naturally results in a recessed midrange. I’d wager that the D3 is aiming squarely at the sub-$50 basshead market.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy

    Treble is articulate and inoffensive. It handily outperforms its price-bracketed peers that share a similar sound signature and provides a natural and even timbre to the high-range of my test songs.

    The D3’s treble brings out a good amount of background details too. The high hats in the background of In One Ear were audible throughout the entire song as was the top end of the crunch of the rhythm guitar.

    The upper end of the D3 was free from sharpness or sibilance. I could listen to any and every song in my collection without any concern of discomfort. Even Satisfy was a pleasure to listen to.

    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams

    Midrange separation, on an absolute level, is average. As a result, the number of concurrent instruments that are clearly articulated isn’t too high. This is a product of a combination of factors: the aggressive nature of the mid-bass and the budget quality of the D3’s driver.

    That said, I found timbre and tonality to be quite good, if not a bit warm. Guitars sound great, particularly in rock-related genres, as do drums and bass guitars. The additional presence of the lower-midrange also helps fatten up some lazily mastered songs/songs that were mastered in a “neutral” style.

    Vocals are pushed forwards by 2dB–4dB lending them some much-needed separation from the rest of the instrumentation. This additional emphasis also gives the vocals a small amount more of intelligibility.

    The midrange has a health attack and decay too. There’s no clipping nor distortion from resonance.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    The D3’s bread-and-butter is its bass. By all meters at this price point, the D3’s bass is top-notch. It is quick and impactful, making excellent use of a mid-bass hump. The D3 also serves a quite generous helping of midbass that gives it a classic dynamic-driver rumble. Bass-heads will be unequivocally pleased by the D3’s bass response and bass signature.

    Packaging / Unboxing
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    The D3’s packaging is small, simple, and economical. It is simply a cardboard box with a plastic tray inside it. Nothing fancy.

    Build
    Construction Quality

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    Alpha and Delta are quickly warming up to become my favorite IEM builders. The D3 is the second product I’ve received from them that implements extremely impressive construction techniques and makes use of high-quality materials that are often times only found on products many times its price.

    The shells of the D3 are made from die-cast metal and coated with a reflective gun-metal coating. The shell is built from three individual pieces and is sealed quite well. It has no panel gaps anywhere on its build.

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    The cable is similarly impressive. At this price point, you seldom find quality rubber cables, let alone a braided SPC cable! There’s also no visible compromises on the assembly either; the stress relief on the Y-splitter is built from a single piece of plastic and does a really good job dispersing force.

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    The cable is terminated with a 3.5mm jack housed in plastic. It too has a good amount of stress relief, though mechanically the 45-degree angle plug is the least likely plug to survive drops and hits. That said, since this particular permutation of it is actually quite well made I’d say you won’t ever run into those issues outside of some extreme situations.

    Comfort

    The D3’s shells are very small, and as such, quite ergonomic. They are worn over-ear and provide a medium-depth seal. I find that they work well with my ears using the included double-flanged eartips and my seal is phenomenal. I experience no fatigue or discomfort after some very long listening sessions or while listening during a nap.

    Accessories
    The D3 is very well equipped for a product that’s so cheap. Inside the box you will find:

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    • 1x pair of double-flanged eartips
    • 1x pair of foam eartips
    • 3x pairs of silicone eartips
    • 1x shirt clip
    • 1x leather cable wrap
    • 1x leather carrying pouch
    • 1x silicone earguide
    I am very impressed with the D3’s selection of accessories. Not only are the eartips included varied and high-quality, but they come alongside the same leather case and cable-wrap that come with the far-more-expensive D6.

    Summary
    The D3 is an absolute steal. For such a tiny amount of money, you get a bass cannon that still articulates itself decently, a rarity in even the audiophile market. The D3’s solid build quality, good warranty, great accessory package, and alluring visual design solidify it as one of my favorite budget IEMs, and certainly my favorite IEM at this price-point. If you’re a bass-head with an extra $30 to drop, I heavily recommend you check out the D3. It’s a winner all around.
    1. H T T
      I have been more than impressed with the D6. The D3 sure seems to be a steal. I should have picked one up when Alpha and Delta had their Chinese New Year sale.
      H T T, Mar 8, 2018
      Cinder likes this.
    2. Cinder
      The D3 is the Yang to the D6's Ying.
      Cinder, Mar 8, 2018
      H T T likes this.
  2. Dobrescu George
    Alpha & Delta D3 - Affordable, Smooth and Fun
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Jun 24, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Price, Build Quality, Smooth, Relaxing, Good Package, Good Value, Design, Comfort, Portability, Controlled Bass, Clarity for the price
    Cons - Steep decrease in frequency response after 5kHz, Very colored to smooth and warm means all music sounds smooth with them

    Alpha & Delta D3 - Affordable, Smooth and Fun

    Alpha & Delta is a company from China with two IEMs in their current offering, D3 and D6. We're going to review both, but today we're taking a look at the cheaper one, D3, which is really really affordable, and which enthused a lot of music lovers with their build quality and sound. Let's see how they stack to other IEMs in this price range.


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    Introduction

    Alpha Delta is a friendly although somewhat new company from China. Their two models, D3 and D6 are both pretty well received, and they are both current models still in production, with a lot of people looking forward to both of them as a really pocket-friendly solution for their music listening experience. We had very nice conversation with Alpha & Delta, and we consider them to be a great company to work with, we recommend them to provide you service and a good level of communication.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Alpha & Delta, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Alpha & Delta or anyone else. I'd like to thank Alpha & Delta for providing the sample for this review. The sample was provided along with Alpha & Delta's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with Alpha & Delta D3. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Alpha & Delta D3 find their next music companion.



    About me

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/about.html



    Packaging

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:


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    Alpha & Delta packages are pretty nice and include the minimum amount of accessories necessary to enjoy their products, like tips and a carrying case. To be fair, they also include ear Hooks with their D3 IEMs, but we consider those to not be very useful, and to be rather counter-productive in practice, as wearing the IEMs over-the-ear without hooks is more comfortable for most people.

    The overall package looks nice, it doesn't look or feel cheap, and it Alpha & Delta has ensured that their IEMs will be safe during shipping. The outer package is made from a sleek-designed cardboard box, with beautiful graphics of D3 drawn on it, while the inner box is made from a holder made of plastic.


    The IEMs themselves actually come with double flanged tips installed, and to our amazement, they actually have another pair of double flanged tips, three parts of single-flange tips, and even a pair of foam tips. This wouldn't be extremely impressive if those were priced higher, but for a IEM priced at 35 USD, they actually come with more than some IEMs costing many times more do.

    There is a clip shirt included as well, but happily D3 doesn't suffer from microphonic noise, so it won't be necessary to use the clip.


    All in all, we are extremely intrigued and impressed by the package of Alpha Delta D3, and we aren't sure how Alpha Delta managed to pull off such an amazing package for such a low price, and we hope that more companies will follow suite in this aspect.



    What to look in when purchasing an entry-level In-Ear Monitor

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/what-to-lookl.html



    Technical Specifications

    Driver Unit: 6 mm micro dynamic driver
    Impedance: 16 ohm
    Rated Power: 1mW
    Frequency Response: 10Hz-20 kHz
    Speaker Sensitivity: 92+/- db/mW
    Cord Length: 1.2m silver plated copper cable
    Plug: 3.5mm



    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

    The build quality is incredible. We are reviewing a 35 USD IEM, which also goes on sale on Massdrop for less sometimes, and it has a build quality it can only be happy about. The main IEM body is made out of metal, and the IEM itself looks and feels very solid. The cable is braided, and has a really nice look to it, it is very flexible, and it is slightly translucent.

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    The Carrying case is made from what seems to be leather. In fact, it looks and feels more like leather than most actual leather cases, we feel that this is most impressive. The case is somewhat soft, so it won't offer much protection to D3 in case you needed the case to protect them, but it is pretty sexy, and we can't stress enough how nice to the touch it is.

    The IEM is sleek with its metallic shape, and it looks really sexy, and even the 3.5mm jack is actually custom made for them, and it has a unique design, looking a little like an arrow.

    When it comes to their fit and comfort, like for most IEMs, they fit better in the ear while they have a single flange tip rather than the double flange tip they come with. This usually happens because most ears feel much more comfortable with the shallower single flanged tip. The fit is pretty universal and we haven't detected any kind of issues with their fit, especially since the IEM bodies are rather small. The wearing style is preferred with the cable over-the-ear, thing which reduces microphonics.

    On the other hand, we did detect some driver flex, but very little. It should be undetectable to most users, but it still is there.


    All in all, the fit and comfort is heaven-like with Alpha Delta D3, they really stay well in ears, they don't slide out of the ears, and they can even be a jogging IEM. The build quality is also nice and we have nothing to complain about, instead having only things that impressed us at this price point.



    Sound Quality

    The sound quality is pretty much what you'd expect it to be at 35 USD. The signature is bass-driven, warm and a little thick, with the bass and the midrange being the centric elements of their sound. The detail levels are good, and since D3 is a 35 USD IEM.

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    The bass is strong and fairly well-controlled, it has a good depth, and good clarity. In all fairness, the impact is also fairly good, thing which gives them a pretty nice low end.


    The midrange is pretty much dropping off after 300 Hz and it reaches a low level around 1 kHz, where it has a dip of around 15 dB compared to the sub-bass and the mid-bass. There is a peak at 2-5kHz, where it reaches similar levels as the sub-bass and the mid-bass, after which it goes out steeply.

    This entire sound can be described as a meaty bass and sub-bass, with a recessed lower midrange, which tries to give them a better clarity and detail to the midrange, but can take out some power from male vocals. The peak ends at 5 - 5.5 kHz, which means that violins and female vocals are also a bit recessed and aren't emotional.

    The brigt side to all their signature is their level of fatigue, which is zero. With the treble being almost 25 dB quieter than the rest of the bass and the midrange, the sound is extremely smooth and can only be named relaxing, it basically cannot be fatiguing to any ear, it will be smooth, soothing and relaxing regardless of what you're playing through D3, nothing can sound harsh or bright, and all music will come off as smooth and relaxing. This isn't exactly a good effect if you're listening to a lot of metal music, but this can be especially nice if you're into Jazz or low-fi music in general. Electronic music doesn't have treble sparkle, but the bass is pretty nice and if you prefer your electronic with less sparkle in the treble, then those are a good choice.




    Soundstage

    The soundstage of D3 is not bad at all, being actually impressive for a IEM at this price point. It reminds us of the soundstage of Shozy Zero, which was also quite impressive for 50USD. There is a good amount of holographic effect, along with a good amount of space between instruments, although they still are somewhat on the more intimate side of things. The main thing that we like about their soundstage is that the instruments aren't too focused all together, so you can distinguish a lead guitar from a rhythm, along with certain effects in electronic music.



    ADSR / PRaT

    The ADSR and PRaT (Texturization) is slow to natural, the recessed treble enhancing this feeling. The bass isn't particularly slow, but the resolution and texture revealing are as good as 35 USD goes, so on music like that of mindless self indulgence you can expect to hear the macro textures, but most micro textures will be played too smooth to be able to distinguish them, but in all fairness, this is not an issue considering their price point, the overall textures being possible to be better on some IEMs at those price points, but only when the IEM itself is brighter and tuned with a more revealing tuning in mind, so if you're looking for a smooth signature, D3 provides a nice performance.




    Portable Usage

    The portable usage is excellent.

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    The IEMs themselves are small, they are lightweight, they isolate fairly well, and the cable is really nice for walking while wearing them.


    The over-the-ear wearing style helps a lot with using D3, as they don't have microphonic noise, and it also helps with comfort. The cable is soft and has a shape that is easy to change, so you have a really nice experience when it comes to using them while on-the-go. The cable and the IEM bodies are extremely light in their weight, so you can barely tell that you're wearing them. You can literally jog with D3 without noticing that you're wearing them, resulting in an excellent overall portability.

    They are easily driveable from any source and don't scale much with the source, so you can safely enjoy them from the most basic music player device, like a very inexpensive smartphone, or even an old MP3 Player.

    In short, AD D3 is a really portable IEM which is great to take on a road trip.



    Comparisons

    We haven't reviewed almost any other IEM at a similar price to Alpha Delta D3, so most comparisons will feel a little unfair, since a 60 USD IEM is almost double D3's price, and many of the lowest priced IEMs we reviewed are priced starting with 50 USD.

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    Alpha Delta D3 vs Kinera Seed - Starting with the build quality, Kinera Seed has a plastic shell, but has a detachable cable, where Alpha Delta D3 has a more flexible cable, and a metallic IEM body. D3 manages to come with more tips, although the selection included with Kinera Seed can be considered adequate as well, especially for this price point. The wearing comfort is very similar, and both IEMs are very comfortable. The sonic performance of Kinera Seed is good, with more treble sparkle, more detail, and a more balanced overall sound, although Kinera Seed also comes at almost double the price of Alpha Delta D3.

    Alpha Delta D3 vs Shozy Zero - Starting with the build quality, Shozy Zero is actually made out of wood, and this alone makes it a very interesting little IEM, especially for the 50 USD it costs. The package is very good on both IEMs, but D3 manages to include more tips in its package. The comfort is similar between the two, although Shozy Zero had some driver flex, where D3 doesn't have any, and D3 is mainly made to be worn over-the-ear, while Shozy Zero can be worn either straight down or over-the-ear. The sonic performance is quite impressive on both, and they have a somewhat similar sonic signature, although Shozy Zero has a warmer, thicker and more dynamic sound, with more treble extension, and a slightly larger soundstage, while D3 tends to be smoother, and to have slightly more control and precision over its bass.

    Alpha Delta D3 vs Final E2000 - E2000 is an interesting offering and comparison point for D3 because it has a closer price than the other IEMs in the comparison list. The build quality is quite good on both, both IEMs have a metallic body, with a fixed cable, and both IEMs have a good cable by default, although D3 has a braided cable, while E2000 has a lean cable. Both cables move easily and neither has any kind of wearing issues. The comfort is similar, although E2000 can be worn both straight-down and over-the-ear, and they are a bullet-type of IEM, which means that their shape tends to be quite comfortable for most ears shapes, but D3 has a really tiny body which makes up for its body having a different shape. The isolation is better on D3 since E2000 has a larger vent and is generally vented, and both IEMs are easily driveable from a portable source. When it comes to their sonic performance, both IEMs do well in most aspects, both IEMs have a similar level of detail and clarity, and both IEMs are fun and slightly colored, but E2000 has a considerably better treble extension and it is more balanced, universal and versatile, where D3's smooth signature either works or doesn't work for your ears and music tastes, being more specific. Both IEMs are good value at this moment, with D3 being cheaper, especially if you order it from massdrop.



    Recommended Pairings

    Alpha Delta D3 is very little dependent on its source, sounding fairly similar from most sources, so we don't recommend using it with a very expensive source, as it simply doesn't scale very well. Better DACs nor Better AMPs don't have much effect on their signature, and even using some EQ can be a little complicated, although it can balance out their natural signature, making them a little more universal and versatile. Being a 35 USD IEM, we need to mention that D3 isn't quite that revealing of the source, this thing being a double-edged truth, as it means that you can't really improve by adding a better source, but this also means that they will sound excellent from the least pretentious smartphone.

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    Alpha Delta D3 + Cayin N5ii - N5ii is a great source due to many reasons, including the fact that it is easy to use, it has a good battery life, it has a good price, and it has streaming services, along with two microSD slots, so you have quite a bit of fun prepared for you when you're purchasing it. The sonic signature of N5ii with D3 is interesting, because it helps even out their original signature, a little bit, but not a whole lot, although it adds a bit more detail than the typical smartphone.

    Alpha Delta D3 + FiiO M7 - FiiO M7 is a nice solution from multiple aspects, including its battery life and price, but the thing it does really well is bluetooth in all its shapes and sizes, which won't be used by this pairing. This still makes M7 a very compelling purchase because you know will be able to use it for a long while, with a wide range of headphones and IEMs, especially if those are or will be based on the bluetooth connection. As for its sonic performance together with D3, M7 sounds quite good, it brings a little more treble to the mix, making them a tad brighter than the typical smartphone, which is very welcome, considering D3's signature, but not enough to mean that you can get away without using EQ unless you really like D3's smooth and relaxing original signature.

    Alpha Delta D3 + Shanling M2s - Shanling M2s will quickly be replaced by its successor, but this makes it a great deal while you can still find it in stock, as now it should be on sale, and at a great price. Right now, it is a great little device if you prefer controlling a device without a touchscreen, and it still has quite a bit of power under its belt. It has some bluetooth powers, like APT-X, but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of M7, being also priced more pocket-friendly. When it comes to its sonic performance, M2s is a pretty thick-sounding DAP, and this is also transcribed to D3, as they sound a tad warmer and thicker, but M2s doesn't bring much more brightness or treble to the mix, thing which would have been welcome considering D3's really smooth and quiet treble.



    Value and Conclusion

    Alpha Delta D3 is a really pocket-friendly IEM, with a price of just 35USD, and which also goes on sale pretty often, sometimes for far less than this. This makes it one of the least expensive IEMs we reviewed recently, and this also makes it a really interesting choice for the music listener in need for a really affordable option.

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    The package comes with more than other IEMs come with at this price point, D3 coming bundled together with foam, double-flange, and single-flange tips, thing which is quite outstanding on its own, and D3 also comes with a shirt clip and ear hooks, thing which is also quite welcome for them, and they even come with a leathery carrying case, making one of the best equipped IEM we reviewed at this price point, thing which is impressive on its own, but even more at their price point.

    The build quality and aesthetics are two things we really love about D3. It is a metallic-body IEM, and it is simply beautiful, being hard to place in words just how cool they look in person. The silvery - white - translucent cable is also beautiful and the whole IEM looks outstanding, much much better than you'd expect any 35USD IEM to look like. They feel solid, and they seem like they can take a beating and come back asking for more.


    Sonic performance, on the other hand, is something we have mixed feelings about. The Signature is very colored, and tuned with a very specific tuning in mind, being something you either like or not, and since they don't change much with source, and since they don't respond very much to EQ either, you need to be sure that this is the kind of signature you're looking for. The main signature, if you like music like this, is pretty impressive, in detail and dynamics, they have an enhanced, thick but well-controlled bass, a recessed lower midrange, and an enhanced mid range, after which the upper midrange, lower treble, and upper treble fall steeply to a 25dB lower level than the main midrange and the bass. This means that they sound musical, warm, smooth, happy and playful, but they lack sharpness and treble bite, being a really relaxing IEM tuned for those who like to lean in their armchair and just enjoy the music without much excitement of treble symbols and cymbal crashes. For low-fi music, hip-hop, jazz, and trip-hop, they are a perfect match, but for metal music they sound overly smooth and calm, being something that you might like, if you prefer your metal music to be presented in a calmer and more friendly way.

    At the end of the day, we're talking about a 35USD IEM that really outshines its price point, and we really can hardly fault, considering its build quality and package, and since the detail levels are really good for 35USD, we can't say that their colored sound is a downside necessarily, just a matter of your subjective preference. The smooth and relaxing way they convey music will surely satisfy and be a delight to those listening to a lot of Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Low-Fi, Jazz and other quaint music styles, and it will be a true revelation for those who like their music with very little treble as well, like say those who are easily fatigued by too much treble.


    Don't worry, we're also working on a review on their D6, so you'll also have a good idea how both their IEMs sound like, especially compared to each other.


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    If you're looking for a very impressive and durable IEM for 35USD, be sure to check out Alpha Delta D3, and if you like your music warm, smooth and relaxing, this might be your best choice, and with their beautiful design, they'll surely make a nice addition to your portable listening arsenal.




    I hope my review is helpful to you!


    Stay safe and remember to always have fun while listening to music!



    Contact us!
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      voxie likes this.
  3. Kervsky
    Easy Like a Sunday Morning
    Written by Kervsky
    Published Aug 14, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great bass, warmth, clear treble, modern pop music tuning, unique looks, great build quality, good cable, great accessories, good value.
    Cons - Nozzle length could be a little longer (to fit deeper ears)
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    Introduction: Alpha & Delta is an audio company that started 2015, steadily building up their products till their other recently released IEM, the D3. "Based in Singapore, Alpha & Delta is a work of love by a group of audiophiles with experience in the earphones retail industry. Being avid audiophiles ourselves, we understand what audiophiles want and we strive to produce quality products at an affordable price." - a quote from their website, and it shows their dedication to that vision with the D3.

    I would like to thank Alpha & Delta for providing me with a review sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can buy the Alpha & Delta D3 at Lend Me UR ears or locally if your retailer has them in stock.

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    Specification:
    Driver Unit: 6 mm micro dynamic driver
    Impedance: 16Ω
    Rated Power: 1mW
    Frequency Response: 10Hz-20 kHz
    Speaker Sensitivity: 92+/- db/mW
    Cord Length: 1.2m silver plated copper cable
    Plug: 3.5mm

    At 16Ω and 92db the D3 is can easily be driven by most modern phones, offering more than adequate volume for most ears. I'm basing this on my notoriously low volume output Xperia XZ Premium, 13/15 volume steps is enough for good music. As always, using better gear like dedicated music players or DAC/Amps will reward you with better audio output.

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    Unboxing: The Alpha & Delta D3 came in a cardboard box with a slide out tray for the contents, it's pretty compact but has a lot to offer inside:

    The Alpha & Delta D3 earphone
    A leather carrying pouch
    A leather cable strap
    A shirt clip
    1x pair of foam tips
    1x pair of double flange tips
    1x pair of triple flange tips
    3x pairs of single flange silicone tips (S, M, L)
    1x pair of silicone ear hooks
    A user manual

    The accessories that accompany the D3 are pretty generous and all are usable, much thought was made on these offerings for different use cases or ear anatomy. Plus that pouch and strap are good looking, handy and made of real leather. The accessory package as a whole is definitely something I hope other companies can take note of and maybe someday emulate. (I realize in one of the pictures I forgot the cable strap, sorry.)

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    Cable: The 4 core Silver plated Copper (SPC) cable is pretty, thanks to the clear sheath and the simple and effective braiding, which contributes to then strength of the cable and also reduces microphonics to near nothing. The strain relief is made of hard rubber for the 45° gold plated plug, Y-split and chin slider, which should mean better longevity overall and with good enough flexibility. Cable softness is pretty good and is not spongy like some of the cables found in the same and lower price range which puts it at a good value for the price.

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    Build/Design: The shells on the D3 are quite small, made from die-cast metal which adds to the durability of the D3 as well as giving it a shiny jewelry like appearance. Though the D3 shells are made of metal and have some heft to them, they are not heavy and can be worn comfortably without fatigue. The strain relief on the D3 shell is hard plastic that feels more rigid than flexible but it should still help protect the cable. In the inner side of the shell near the nozzle and usually hidden by the tips, is a vent for preventing driver flex. Even with that vent, isolation is alright, surrounding sounds are muffled, though as I'm typing this and no music is playing, I can hear the key clicks on the mechanical keyboard, but it's not very distracting. When music is playing even at low volumes though, most ambient sounds fade away.

    The AD logo on the shell is not easy to see as it's rather low profile, but can be visible in the right angle of light. The nozzle has the right amount of length and a prominent tip tip for the included tips to stay securely on. For some 3rd party tips though (like my favorite Symbio W), they can be a little loose. The overall shell to nozzle length though (for me) seems a bit shallow, deeper ears (like mine) will definitely need the double flange tips to help the D3 stay securely in your ear. Considering it's design and that most of the women I know have shallower ears, the D3 fits them nicely with any of the included tips and by it's small form factor, can be worn cable down or over the ear with no trouble.

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    Sound Analysis: When I first tried the Alpha & Delta D3, I knew this was tuned for modern song selections with it's V shaped signature. Having good bass, a bit of a recessed middle frequency and a smooth but crisp treble fits most modern pop music sound engineering and makes them sound really enjoyable. I used the D3 on my music player for 200+ hours before I made this review, and assessed using the stock double flange it came with out of the box with a few sources (but not limited to) my Sony WM1a, Hiby R6, Audirect Beam, Xperia phone and Zishan Z1.

    Bass: The sub-bass on the D3 will please you with it's capability, considering it's a small IEM with a 6mm dynamic driver. Way Down Deep's intro drum sounds great with a good level of sub-bass quantity, a little better than average extension and it's natural sounding rumble. The bass impact is within expectation, with an average level of weight to each hit that is felt but isn't strong enough to surprise or overwhelm you, which also translates to not a basshead's first choice of IEMs. Decay is a tiny bit slow which lends to the nice rumble and slight linger that's fun to hear. Overall, the D3 bass is warm, smooth and enjoyable.

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    Mids: The whole middle frequency is a little recessed, but the warmth in the bass lends to some thickness in the male vocals which gives Ed Sheeran's voice a bit more presence in Photograph. The upper mids share some of the lower mids smoothness and gain a bit of a frequency boost which helps female vocals gain some energy and let Nora Jones have a near emotive performance with Come Away With Me. There is an average level of detail and transparency here but may sound congested on busier tracks.

    Treble: The D3 has a good level of treble extension (peaks at around 5k) which helps give some air, clarity and a bit of crisp. There is a good level of control that prevents sibilance and harshness to occur, but the rather deep dip in the 10k range gives cymbal crashes a less natural sound that gets cut off instead of trailing away. There is some excitement with instruments and voices that reach the peaks and generally is rendered in a smooth manner.

    Soundstage: The D3 is a bit intimate in stage, with an average horizontal width and a closer level of vertical depth. Vocals and instruments can mostly sound within the ear canal though it can extend to around an inch or so outside in both directions. Complex tracks can make the stage seem smaller and thus congested, but the boost in the upper mids and treble help space it out. Positioning is pretty average and on par for the price.

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    Conclusion: The Alpha & Delta D3 is a fun V shaped sounding IEM that offers a warm and fun basstastic experience with a great value package that's goes down easy like a Sunday morning. An additional note, the D3 signature lends well to modern pop music (think The Weekend/Daft Punk - I Feel it Coming, No More Sad Songs - Little Mix, Havana - Camilla Cabello, yeah, even Despacito) as they sound foot tappingly fun on the D3 and even if it's tuned that way, other genres can sound good on it too.

    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6 and Zishan Z1(for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)
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  4. B9Scrambler
    Alpha & Delta D3: Micro Boomer
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Apr 24, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Ergonomic, durable housings - Powerful bass - Great accessories
    Cons - Dry, unnatural treble - Lacking relief at ear pieces
    Greetings,

    Today we're checking out Alpha & Delta's entry into the budget micro-driver market, the D3.

    Alpha & Delta (A&D) is the in-house brand of the popular retailer out of Singapore, Lend Me Ur Ears. The brand was launched with a simple but rugged sports earphone, the D2, which was well-received within the portable audio community. That was followed up by the dual dynamic AD01 which warmed the hearts and ears of many. Since then, the brand has expanded further with a number of new products. The JAAP is a fully wireless Bluetooth earphone with competitive specifications like 6 hours of battery life. The audiophile-targeted D6 that I recently reviewed offers up strong performance with great detail and clarity from a fairly neutral tune. Lastly, we have the D3 that we're checking out today.

    The D3 features ergonomic, solid metal shells within which are competent and shockingly powerful 6mm dynamic drivers. Attached is a high quality, silver-plated cable that helps make the D3 look more expensive than it is. It all combines into an attractive little package, so let's take a look at it in greater detail.

    Disclaimer:

    A big thanks Dennis with Alpha & Delta for reaching out to see if I would be interested in reviewing the D3, and for arranging a sample unit. All thoughts within this review are my own and do not represent A&D or any other entity. There was no financial incentive provided. At the time of this review the D3 could be picked up for 35. 52 USD over on Lend Me Ur Ears' site; http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta-d3/

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer unique examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Source:

    For at home use the D3 was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, Walnut V2S, or Shanling M1. The D3 sounded fine through a cell phone but I found it most pleasant paired with a neutral to warmer source. And in typical micro-driver fashion, should you choose to amp it, mild benefits could be witnessed in the form of tighter, more controlled bass.

    Specifications:
    • Driver unit: 6mm dynamic driver
    • Impedance: 16 ohm
    • Rated power: 1mW
    • Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 20 Khz
    • Speaker Sensitivity: 92 dB/mW
    • Cord Length: 1.2m silver plated copper cable
    • Plug: 3.5 mm
    DSC03211.JPG DSC03212.JPG DSC03189.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The D3's packaging is pretty simple with a light to dark grey gradient in effect as you move down and to the left across the package. Laid over top is the usual image of the earphone, branding, and basic feature list that is commonly placed on consumer friendly packages like this. On the rear is another image, this time of the 45 degree angled jack and y-split, and a few additional features outlined via bullet points. There is also mention of the one-year warranty which isn't bad, but not as impressive as the three years backing the D6. Special mention to the images of the earphone which are quite pixelated and low resolution. But whatever, it's a box. What's inside is what matters, and it's plentiful. Inside you will find;
    • D3 earphones
    • Leather case
    • Leather cable strap
    • 1 pair of ear guides
    • 1 pair of foam tips
    • 1 pair of dual-flange tips (pre-installed)
    • 1 pair of triple-flange tips
    • 3 pairs of single-flange tips
    • 1 shirt clip
    The inclusion of the leather case (same one included with the D6) was extremely nice to see with an earphone in this price range. It is of excellent quality and much nicer than the generic clam shell cases you get with most earphones, including the 800 USD HiFiMan RE800. The included tips are nothing unique to the D3 and in my experiences over the years are durable and should work well enough to avoid the need to replace them anytime soon.

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    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    The D3's die cast metal shells are durable with good fit and finish. Seams between the two halves of the shells are clearly visible but still fairly tight. The nozzle lips take on a very odd shape being that they are angled; not something I've seen before. It does make installing some tips a bit of a challenge, but once on they are very secure. Strain relief leading out of the housing is reduced to a little rubber nub, too stiff to provide any real support for the cable. Not a huge issue given the quality of the attached cable.

    It is a silver-plated and tightly braided cable that is a touch on the stiff side with some memory. Strain relief is fantastic at the 45 degree angled jack and y-split, and you even get a handy little chin cinch to tighten up fitment for exercise or more general use. Cable noise is present but pleasantly restrained. Despite the tough sheath and slight stiffness, this cable has no issues staying securely behind the ear if you choose to wear the D3 cable up. Overall thickness is good below the y-split, slimming significantly above. I found that after a couple weeks the thinnest sections developed a waviness to them that prevents the cable from fully straightening. Annoying, but hardly a deal breaker.

    Comfort is fantastic given the D3's highly ergonomic shape. The light curves allow them to fit equally well cable up or down since they always seem to conform to the shape of your outer ear. It's a very subtle design queue that not only looks attractive, but is functional too. Given the curves and lack of defined edges, the D3 does not cause any hot spots or discomfort.

    Passive noise attenuation is pretty great too, despite these being a vented dynamic driver earphone. The dense metal shells and ear hugging fit do a great job of preventing external noise from bleeding in. If you're someone that likes to wear earphones at the gym or while studying in noisy areas, the D3 would do the trick.

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    Sound:

    Tips: I didn't find the D3 particularly sensitive to tip style, yet found the stock bi-flange tips the most pleasant pairing. With the single flange and foams, treble was coming through a bit grainy and unnatural. Same with third party tips. The included bi-flange seemed to mitigate this for the most part and smooth the D3 out. Your experiences may vary of course.

    The D3 has a stereotypically fun *gasp, the word fun in an earphone review, unsubbed* signature with highly elevated bass, treble, and a crisp yet coherent midrange that isn't overshadowed by all that low end grunt. This is a pretty common tune for earphones in the ~35 USD price range they play in, but few do it with quite the level of control.

    Treble on the D3 is elevated with a strong, well-spaced and airy presence. It has a somewhat dry presentation which gives them a mildly dull and unnatural feel. Cymbals and other effects sounds off, lacking the shimmer you would expect, pretty easy to hear while listening through Supertramp's “Crime of the Century” album front ot back. Overall detail and clarity is good though with lots of information on tap. Decay is quick enough. It's a decent presentation that you get used to after a while.

    The D3's mid-range fares much better. Despite being a very bassy earphone. I found there was very little bleed into the lower mids. The well placed mid-bass hump and enthusiastic lower treble really help lift up the vocals and overall mid-range clarity keeping it crisp and intelligible. Some of the dryness present in the upper ranges is found here too but instead gives the D3 some extra character. On Aesop Rock's “Shere Khan” both him and the female guest vocalist are equally engaging and charismatic.

    Bass on the D3 is its sweet spot, even if it doesn't extend as far as it's brashness would imply. This is very evident when listening to Kavinsky's “Solli” where the comparatively bass light Kinera SEED clearly hits the opening notes with greater depth and sub-bass presence. Still, the mid-bass is punchy and quick with tons of slam and shines on drum and bass tracks like Calyx and TeeBee's “Scaramanga”. Texture is also fantastic with the D3 able to pull off some seriously grungy and layered bass lines.

    The D3's airy upper ranges give it a spacious presentation free of congestion. It's staging is fairly even and rounded off with well-defined edges. It lacks the width of some other similarly priced micro-dynamics like JVC's HA-FXH30 of the Final Audio E2000, but at least against the JVC does a better job with depth. Layering and separation are also quite good, easily handling King crimson's erratic jazz improv fairly easily.

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    Select Comparisons:

    Brainwavz Jive (28.00 USD): The Jive is a very traditional earphone with a straightforward barrel-style metal shell, a familiar rubber sheathed cable, a handy 3-button remote. It looks very simple beside the D3 and lacks the flash of their chrome housings and braided silver-plated cable. Overall build quality and fit and finish is comparable, though the D3's cable feels more durable. While the D3's curves hug my ear perfectly, regardless of whether I'm wearing them cable up or down, the Jive's simple shape is just as comfortable, though not as stable since they stick out further.

    Whereas the D3's signature places emphasis on the low end, the Jive's bass is much more reserved lacking the impact, depth, texture, and focused control of the D3. It is much more neutral leaning than Alpha & Delta's budget earphone and engages the listener in other ways. Such as the mid-range which is slightly more forward, thicker, and more natural sounding without the dryness present in the D3's vocals. Treble of the Jive is similarly elevated but tighter and with more shimmer and sparkle giving cymbals and instruments a more realistic tonality. Overall detail and clarity is quite good across both. Sound stage across the two was nigh identical with the D3 showing more varied nuance in channel to channel panning. Despite it's bassier signature, I found it equally as impressive in terms of layering and separation.

    DZAT DT-05 (~30.00 USD): The DT-05 is a dual-dynamic earphone with a very unique and eye catching design that tops the D3's which is still unique and interesting in it's own right. In terms of build quality the metal shells and braided cable of the D3 take the cake. The DT-05 looks and feels nice, but lacks the solidity of the D3. Comfort is pretty much a wash for me with both being exceptionally comfortable. The D3's smaller profile and ease of wear cable up or done should make it the more universal of the two since the DT-05 goes cable up only thanks to the shape and preformed ear guides.

    Sound profiles are in the same vein with both having a somewhat dry, bass heavy sound. The D3 has a thinner presentation which really helps take it's clarity to another level especially through the mid-range. Neither offer much in the treble regions with the D3's lower lift once again helping with coherence and clarity. Heading into the low end the DT-05 hits the low notes with more authority but lacks the texture and control of the D3. Sound stage is similar in size with the D3's leaner presentation giving it a clear edge in imaging accuracy, layering, and separation.

    TFZ Series 2 (45.00 USD): The Series 2 uses the same large, over ear only shells found on numerous other TFZ products and is more than twice the size of the compact D3. It's all-plastic shells certainly lack the panache and visual appeal of the D3's chromed metal shells, at least to me. They definitely feel like the cheap product, but they're not. In the Series 2's favor is the removable 2-pin, silver-plated cable which is more plush, flexible, and free of memory than the D3's. The D3's cable over time has developed a wavy pattern above the y-split that prevents the cable from ever fully straightening, something TFZ's cable does not do.,

    In terms of sound the Series 2 certainly doesn't lack bass but it's toned down compared to the D3, putting more focus on the mid-range and treble. In terms of clarity, detail, and overall control, you really see where the TFZ earns the extra dollars. It has a much larger and more spacious sound stage with improved layering, separation, and more accurate imaging. Tonality, especially in the treble, is more realistic too, though the brighter presentation is not without fault making the TFZ the more fatiguing of the two. Cymbals hit with significantly more vibrancy which will be too much for some.

    Final Thoughts:

    Alpha & Delta are doing a good job of bringing to the market high value products, evident through earphones like the D3. While it's treble could be improved upon, the rest of the package more than makes up for it. Punchy bass and crisp mids packed within a very ergonomically sound and visually attractive metal shell makes them a pleasure to use. Extras such as the leather case and cable strap are not only useful, but of higher quality than what you get with competing brands and add to the premium air the D3 gives off.

    If you're in the market for an affordable, tiny, attractive, durable, and bassy in-ear, give the D3 a shot. You might be surprised at what a well-tuned micro-dynamic can do.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album)
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album)
    Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
    King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco - F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt - Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bone) (Album)

    images

    1. up-down.jpg
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  5. audio123
    Alpha & Delta D3 - Warm & Smooth
    Written by audio123
    Published Feb 28, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Warmth, Laid-Back, Build Quality
    Cons - Lack of Crisp
    Introduction

    Alpha & Delta is a Singapore brand that features a lineup consisting of AD01, D2, D6 and JAAP that targets different users. Their latest addition is the D3. I would like to thank Lend Me Ur Ears for this opportunity to review their latest iem, Alpha & Delta D3. At the moment, you can purchase the D3 from http://www.lendmeurears.com/alpha-delta-d3/ .

    [​IMG]

    Specifications
    • Driver Configuration: 6mm micro dynamic driver
    • Impedance: 16 ohm
    • Rated Power: 1mW
    • Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 92dB/mW
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The D3 comes in a grey package that sports the brand logo, model name, description and image of the iem. There are specifications at the back of the package. After opening the package, there are instruction manual, ear guides, shirt clip, pack of tips and a leather carrying pouch which contains the D3 iem with a leather cable wrap.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IEM Build & Design

    The D3 is small in size and its shell is gun-metal in colour. On each side of the iem, there is the brand logo printed at the back. The nozzle is slightly angled with metal mesh for earwax prevention. It has an ergonomic design and I am able to fit it in my ears comfortably. In addition, it has no detachable cable. The D3 has a nice construction with good build quality.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is 4 core braided and there is strain relief on each side. On the strain relief, there is a L & R marking on the left and right side respectively. There is no memory wire area. The chin slider and y-splitter are black in colour. There is strain relief. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm 45 degrees angled gold plated. The housing is black in colour and there is strain relief.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The D3 has moderate sub-bass quantity and it is extended decently. The sub-bass reproduction is not very authoritative but instead, it operates in a smooth and unoffensive manner. The rumble and bass decay are modest. Each bass note is articulated with moderate precision. There is a weighted mid-bass slam to provide impact to the overall sound. The bass definition is moderate.

    Mids

    The midrange on the D3 is conservative. There is a moderate quantity to the midrange. There is a decent transparency to it and at times, it may sound slightly congested when tackling busier tracks. The lower mids has a nice amount to it and male vocals are presented well. The upper mids is not very forward and it limits the expression of female vocals. There is a lack of crisp. Resolution on the D3 is moderate and the midrange takes on a less exciting manner.

    Treble

    The treble is extended decently with a good control. It showcases a moderate level of finesse and there is no sibilance and harshness. The treble is presented smoothly. The level of details retrieval is good. The amount of air rendered is decent and congestion can occur at times.

    Soundstage

    The D3 has a decent width in its stage and the depth is slightly closed in. The overall expansion is rather natural. Positioning of instruments and vocals is fairly accurate.

    [​IMG]

    Comparisons

    Alpha & Delta D3 vs Earnine EN120

    The D3 has more sub-bass quantity than the EN120 with a greater extension. It is able to stretch further. The sub-bass reproduction on the D3 has a higher engagement level. The D3 has similar speed as the EN120. Rumble and bass decay operate on the same standard. The mid-bass slam on the D3 has a more weighted feel than the EN120 which helps to deliver a greater impact. Bass texture on both is moderately smooth. The lower mids on the D3 has slightly more quantity than the EN120 and male vocals do not sound dry. The upper mids on the EN120 has more forwardness than the D3 which benefits female vocals. Next, for the treble section, both have similar extension and operates in a smooth manner. Treble is slightly brighter on the EN120. The articulation on the D3 is more precise. Details retrieval on both is moderate. The amount of air rendered on the both is very similar. In terms of soundstage, the D3 has a wider magnitude while the EN120 has an added depth.

    Alpha & Delta D3 vs TFZ Series 2

    The D3 has more sub-bass quantity than the Series 2 but the Series 2 is able to extend better. The rumble on the Series 2 is slightly quicker. Bass decay on the Series 2 has more pace. The mid-bass quantity on the D3 has a greater amount which helps to emphasize the slam better. The D3 demonstrates a smoother bass texture. The mid-bass quantity on the D3 is slightly more and contributes to a greater slam. The lower mids on the D3 has more body than the Series 2. Male vocals are expressed well without sounding hollow. The upper mids on the Series 2 is more forward with crisp. Next, for the treble section, the Series 2 has slightly more air. D3 presents it more smoothly. In terms of soundstage, the D3 expands naturally. The width is similar and Series 2 has the better depth.

    Alpha & Delta D3 vs Alpha & Delta D2

    The D2 has more sub-bass quantity than the D3. The D3 is able to extend better with a more defined sub-bass reproduction. Each bass note on the D3 is articulated with precision. Bass decay on the D3 is quicker with more agility. The bass texture on both is similar. The mid-bass quantity on the D2 has more amount and the slam has a heavy weight. The D3 sounds musical as the mid-bass is moderately presented. The lower mids on the D3 has more quantity than the D2 while the upper mids on both is not very forward. In terms of treble, the D3 has a smoother top end and the amount of air rendered is slightly more. Lastly, in terms of soundstage, the D3 has better width and depth.

    Conclusion

    The D3 is a balanced sounding iem with a nice tinge of warmth. It is able to display good bass texture but does not fare as well for its treble. There is a great overall smoothness and it is fatigue-free. In addition, it comes with a nice braided cable and the iem is constructed well. The D3 looks great and brings with it a smooth sound.

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    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
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