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Micro driver 3D printed universal custom

ALPHA & DELTA KS3 3D Printed Earphones

Rating:
4.5/5,
  • Alpha & Delta KS3 3D Printed Earphones
    Features: 3D printed resin housing ensuring quality and affordable universal custom housing 6mm micro dynamic driver for overall small and comfortable housing Balanced Sound Signature Paired with 2 pin 0.78mm 8 core silver plated copper cable

    Specification and Accessories
    Specification: Driver: 6mm Micro Driver Impedance: 16 ohm Rated power: 1 mW Frequency Response: 10 Hz- 40 kHz Speaker Sensitivity: 105 +/- db/mW Cable: 1.20m 8 core silver plated copper cable

    Comes in two colors
    KS3 comes in two colors: Dark Blue and Gold Nugget

Recent Reviews

  1. B9Scrambler
    Alpha & Delta KS3: Micro Daily
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published May 5, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Compact, ergonomic shell with good isolation - Amazing cable - Tuned well for mobile use
    Cons - Implementation of the 2-pin system needs to be refined - Not the most detailed earphone
    Greetings!

    Today we're checking out Alpha & Delta's (A&D) newest offering, the KS3.

    Hailing from Singapore, A&D is the in house brand of Lend Me UR Ears, a retailer known for both their web store and brick and mortar locations. They have quite a few products under their belt, of which I have tried and reviewed the JAAP, D3, and D6. The KS3 is an all-new earphone currently going through a campaign on Indigogo. What makes it interesting? It has 3D printed housings that use a familiar shell design, but are 20% smaller than the competition. It features 2-pin removable cables. The KS3 also incorporates a 6mm micro-dynamic into the design. In my experience this driver type tends to combine aspects of balanced armatures and larger dynamics, namely speed and bass presentation.

    Is the KS3 worth supporting? Let's find out.

    Disclaimer:

    Thanks to Dennis with Alpha & Delta for reaching out and asking if I would be interested in reviewing the KS3, and for arranging a sample for the purposes of this review. All the thoughts within this review are my subjective opinions based on time listening to the KS3. They do not represent Alpha & Delta, Indigogo, or any other entity. If interested in supporting this product, you can check out and back the campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/alpha-delta-ks3-3d-printed-earphones#/

    Personal Preference:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. My preferences for earphone tuning are quite relaxed and as such their is no one signature I look for. The HiFiMAN RE800, Brainwavz B400, and Massdrop x MeeAudio Planamic are examples of earphones with wildly varied signatures that are enjoyable for different reasons. I generally listen at very low volumes, so keep this in mind when perusing my thoughts on how an earphone sounds.

    Sources:

    Mobile: Shanling M0 with the Periodic Audio Nickel amp, or, ZiShan DSD by itself

    @home: ZiShan DSD or Asus FX53V laptop plugged into a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp

    Phones and DAPs can get the KS3 up to volume no problem, but like most micro-dynamics it benefits from the extra output from an amp. It cleans up the presentation and makes the sound more dynamic. Amping isn't needed, but it is recommended.

    Specifications:
    • Driver: 6mm micro driver
    • Impedance: 16 ohms
    • Sensitivity: 105dB/mW
    • Rated Power: 1mW
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz to 40kHz
    • Cable: 1.2m 8 core silver plated copper
    P1020337.JPG P1020341.JPG P1020377.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The KS3 arrives in a large, black cardboard box. On the front is the usual branding and model information along with a large viewing window through which you can see the KS3 earpieces nestled in some white foam. There is also a brief description of the the product; “2 pin detachable in ear monitors with 8 core silver plated copper cable.” While not a huge deal, detachable is spelled incorrectly as 'detaehable'. Hopefully Alpha & Delta addresses that before these go into mass production. Flipping to the back is a large stick containing the product specifications, accessory list, notification of a 1 year warranty, and a contact email for Alpha & Delta. Lifting the lid off the box reveals a Pelican style case tucked into another cutout in the foam, just below the earpieces. Inside the case you find all the accessories. In all you get:
    • KS3 earphones
    • 2-pin 8 core silver plated copper cable
    • Hard shell carrying case
    • Small bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
    • Wide bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
    • Mushroom shaped foam tips (s/m/l)
    • Standard foam tips (m)
    Overall a great kit of extras. The hard shell carrying case is the same as that provided by a few companies, such as Rose and TFZ, and is a quality inclusion. It's durable and spacious and even water resistant thanks to the rubber seal that traverses around the inner edge. The foam tips are really high quality with an expansion speed that is neither to slow nor too fast. Both silicone options are welcome as well since they slightly alter the signature. The wide bore tips offer a well balanced sound while the small bore set warms up the signature, boosts bass, but also makes the mid-range sound somewhat hollow.

    P1020379.JPG P1020381.JPG P1020382.JPG

    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    As seems to be the trend right now, the KS3 features 3D printed resin housings. The nozzle is a separate metal section with a sheer cloth mesh protecting the 6mm driver within. Just in front of the 2-pin receptacle on the top of each ear piece is a small pinhole vent in place to help the driver breath. On the face is the simple but attractive AD logo neatly printed in silver font. What I like so much about these housings is their size. There are a number of earphones that take on a similar custom-like shape (KZ ZS3, Kinera IDUN, Tenhz P4 Pro, InEar Stagediver series, etc.), yet none of them are anywhere near as small as the KS3.

    A&D claims a 20% size reduction which doesn't sound like much, that is until you have the KS3 in your hands. This design is already immensely comfortable, but shrink it down this much and it just gets even better. The natural curves and bumps wrap around the outer ear and hug it as if they were long lost friends. It feels right, you know?

    The cable feels right too being that it is more or less a removable 2-pin version of the cable attached to the D6. That is a very good thing. This 8 core, silver-plated gem is flexible, memory and tangle resistant, and features some high quality hardware, like the 90 degree angled jack. It features a tightly wound spring in place of a more traditional rubber strain relief and simply oozes quality. The Alpha & Delta branded y-split is quite nice too thanks to it's metal and rubber construction with useful strain relief at both ends. The metal 2-pin plugs are colour coded, red for right and blue for left, and are the only aspects of the KS3 that causes any worry whatsoever. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the plug is designed for a recessed port, yet the port on the KS3 are not recessed. TFZ made the same mistake as it means those two delicate pins do pretty much all the heavy lifting and are susceptible to damage, or all-out snapping, if too much sideways pressure is placed on them. The second concern is that the plugs are keyed, but since the ports are not recessed these keys are not used letting you plug the cable in however you want. My set happens to be wired out of phase so one key faces in and the other out. Plugging the cables in with the keys facing the same direction leads to a very hollow sounding mid-range, among other oddities.

    The good thing about all this is that the KS3 is still in development. Since they are 3D printing this earphone, changes can easily be made and improvements applied with little effort. Brainwavz has done a great job of this with their earphones, making minor adjustment here and there to improve durability. I see no reason why A&D cannot do the same.

    When it comes to isolation, the KS3 is above average. The curvaceous shells fill the ear making it difficult for outside noise to penetrate it's way inside and disturb your listening session. I had no issues using the KS3 at my normal, very low listening volumes in the local Tim Hortons coffee shop, and when walking around town on my nightly walks. Things improve further with the included foam tips. The KS3's great isolation makes it a good choice for daily driver duty.

    P1020384.JPG P1020393.JPG P1020402.JPG

    Sound:

    The KS3 is a potent little earphone with a powerful microdriver. While it doesn't do anything particularly groundbreaking with it's mildly v-shaped signature, it does make for an entertaining listen.

    Treble is smooth and elevated with a slightly metallic edge to the presentation, likely a result of the lower treble focus. Upper treble sparkle is still present though, as heard on Gramatik's “You Don't Understand”. Chimes that crop up throughout the track sound crisp and enlightening. Clarity is good with well defined notes striking with a relatively quick decay. Overall an energetic sound. Treble sensitive folks night find issue with the lower treble bump, but for me it's just fine.

    The mid-range is slightly recessed with an uptick in the upper mids. It carries with it a satisfying presence and weight. Male vocals are less prominent than female vocals, as evidenced running through Big Gram's “Run For Your Life”, but they both sound good. Sibilance is present but isn't too aggressive or too offensive. Tonality and timbre seem fairly accurate, if not a little on the light side as noticed on King Crimson's live rendition of “Cat Food”. Guitars are full of detail and well textured but lack the crunch I would expect.

    Bass is also mildly elevated with mid and upper bass being the primary focus. Extension is decent with the KS3 providing a pleasing sub-bass tickle, though roll off is evident on trailing notes that die out earlier than expected. The tiny 6mm driver is nice and punchy without any bloat. Notes are controlled and well-defined even with rapid double-bass such as that heard on Havok's “D.O.A.” Texture is reasonable giving the KS3's low end a presentation that seems more about being smooth than informative. Even still it is quite dynamic, avoiding the feeling of being one-note.

    The KS3's sound stage is slightly above average showing off more width than depth. Listeners sit at a fairly intimate distance as the default but effects can trail well off into the distance. Take for example many of the opening sound effects (footsteps, howling, etc) on Michael Jackson's “Thriller”. Imaging is excellent with notes transferring the channel to channel with great accuracy. I found the KS3 quite nice for gaming as a result since it was pretty easy to pinpoint sounds. Layering is good with instruments playing on their own plains, and separation is too with the KS3 only losing composure when things get really busy, such as in a particularly intense action scene in a film, punctuated by a massive orchestral score.

    DSC_0705.JPG DSC_0711.JPG DSC_0715.JPG

    Select Comparisons:

    Alpha & Delta D6 (~98.00 USD): The D6 has a more neutral-leaning signature than the KS3. The D6 is brighter with greater clarity and more detail. The KS3's mids are less forward and warmer with similarly good timbre, though again the D6 sounds more crisp and clear. Bass on the KS3 is more mid-bassy, digs deeper, and is more impactful, but isn't as textured. Sound stage is wider but not as deep on the KS3. D6 images more accurately with better layering and separation. If you enjoyed the D6 but wanted something bassier, warmer, and less clinical, the KS3 is a great alternative.

    When it comes to build I have to give it to the D6. The gunmetal chrome housings are beautifully machined and a joy to look at and hold. The D6 uses the same cable as the KS3 (but with a longer spring for the strain relief), although it is fixed in place whereas on the KS3 it is removable. I don't consider this much of a negative though. The cable is quite durable and it well relieved, so I doubt it'll break or be damaged under normal use. In terms of comfort, the KS3 is the clear winner. In the D6's favour, it has a more universal barrel shaped housing which can be worn cable up or down.

    Kinera IDUN (139.00 USD): These two have a very similar tune. IDUN is slightly brighter thanks to it's hybrid setup with the armature handling treble bringing with it better clarity and more detail, though it sounds a touch less controlled. The KS3's mid-range is warmer with a more accurate timbre, but again it gives up clarity and detail to the IDUN's slightly more forward mids. Bass on the IDUN digs deeper and is more textured but isn't as quick and well controlled. KS3 brings with it more mid-bass. Sound stage on the IDUN is smaller and more focused with similar imaging but better layering and separation.

    In terms of build, the IDUN is the more refined product. The acrylics look better and the wooden face plate on my sample takes it from being a fairly average looking product to something much more premium. Like the KS3, the IDUN's 2-pin plugs are designed for a recessed port, but are not recessed leaving the pins susceptible to being easily damaged. Both earphones have excellent cables and I'm not sure which I'd say has the advantage. The KS3's cable is better relieved and feels slightly more durable, but the IDUN's cable is more flexible and the preformed ear guides are a nice addition. In terms of comfort, it is close but the KS3's smaller size and similarly ergonomic shape pull it ahead.

    Shozy & Neo CP (165.00 USD): The CP is much more neutral-leaning than the KS3 with it's triple armature setup. The CP's treble is smoother and more detailed with more upper treble energy and better control. The CP's mid-range is more forward, thicker, warmer, and slightly more detailed. Timbre is quite similar in presentation. Bass on the KS3 is much more satisfying. It digs deeper, is punchier, has more texture, and doesn't really come across any slower. Knowles' 22955 low range armature has really failed to impress in most applications I've heard it in, and this really sticks out when comparing it to a snappy little micro dynamic like that in the KS3. In terms of sound stage, KS3 takes the cake here too. It's wider, deeper, and sets the listen back further as standard. The CP offers up cleaner imaging, layering, and separation though.

    The Shozy & Neo CP is one, if not THE best built acrylic earphone I've ever seen with quite literally flawless construction. Like the KS3 it has metal nozzles, though the CP's can be swapped for another set giving you the ability to mildly tune the overall signature. Shozy's cable plays in the same ballpark as Alpha & Delta's, and again I cannot really say which I prefer. Much like the IDUN's cable, the CP's is softer and more flexible but not quite as durable feeling. The CP's smooth rounded shells don't conform to the ear in quite the same way the KS3's does and as such isn't as stable during vigorous movement, but it is just as comfy, if not slightly more.

    Final Thoughts:

    The KS3 slots nicely into Alpha & Delta's existing lineup. The JAAP satisfies truly wireless needs, the D3 your budget minded basshead, and the D6 aims for the audiophile crowd. The KS3 finds itself acting as the all-rounded and perfect daily driver earphone. The small, highly ergonomic shell and good isolation combined with a slightly bassy signature is perfect for on the go, an area where bass light earphones like the D6 tend to suffer. Add to that a comprehensive accessory kit and a beautiful cable and the KS3 is a great all-round package.

    I hope Alpha & Delta addresses the issues outlined with the 2-pin system and it's current implementation. That said, even as-is it is still plenty usable and as long as you are not careless, will last a long time. I know from experience thanks to my time with products from TFZ. Though, moving to MMCX might even be a wise idea. Users won't have to worry about plugging the cable in backwards. MMCX ports usually have the port flush with the body of the earphone vs. the recession the current 2-pin system needs, which means little would need to be changed. Just something to think about.

    Overall, at the 99 USD the KS3 is going for in it's current Indigogo campaign it is a good buy and well worth the cost of entry. At it's MSRP of 150 USD it is still a good earphone and holds it's own against other competitors at that price.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (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 Bonet) (Album)
    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
      NymPHONOmaniac likes this.
  2. NymPHONOmaniac
    A Faultless Achievment
    Written by NymPHONOmaniac
    Published Apr 9, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clarity, Balanced sound, lush timbre, great bass control, clean mid range, crips high and good details retrieval, around your head soundstage, ultimately good construction, excellent design, very generous accessories, excellent value
    Cons - NONE.
    ALPHA & DELTA KS3 REVIEW :

    P1011230.JPG

    SOUND: 9/10
    CONSTRUCTION: 10/10
    DESIGN: 10/10
    ACCESSORIES: 10/10
    VALUE: 9.5/10

    Alpha & Delta is a young audio company from Singapore.

    They have been around for about 4 years now, when they lauch their first model call the AD01. It was a dual dynamic drivers with modular metal housing leaning toward a very bassy soundsignature, wich wasn’t really audiophile targeted.

    THEN they lauch the Alpha & Delta D6, wich was a big hit among audiophile, this time the sound was more bright and balanced and offer incredible level of details and a very rich mid range. The construction was as well jaw dropping, using a dual air chamber housing with a magical 10mm dynamic driver in it. And must of all, the 8 cores silver plated cable was so good that it can even make jealous way more expensive earphones in term of quality and durability. D6 still is one of my favorite earphones and stand test of time unlike lot of other earphones on the market.

    The time pass, and they lauch bluetooth earphones and other budget friendly Delta series earphones, but nothing as exceptional as the D6. So, I was thinking, perhaps this company just do not want to create any new high quality iem like the D6?

    THEN Dennis from Alpha & Delta tell me a secret : we just finish post-production of a new universal custom with micro dynamic drivers. It will be call KS3.

    P1011235.JPG

    To say I was excited like a kid that just discover he have the hability to make appear candies with its mind is not even an enough powerfull metaphor. I want to heard the KS3 NOW. But I wait and wait and finally it was ready.

    With such pumped up expectation, I should’nt be as much impress than I am when I hear the KS3 for first time one month ago, but in fact, this incredibly comfortable and well built universal custom just gain beauty with time as an old wine. The 3D printed shell is a work of art in term of look and fit, and finally, we have the very same ultimate quality of D6 cable but in a 2pin detachable version. This is pure joy, as I can use it with other earphones and give them a luxurious look.

    Now the question is : if its so luxurious and TOTL looking and sounding, the price should be crazy high? The answer is NO, it’s still budget earphones that hit way above its price range, even more than D6. Suggested price is 150$, BUT you can grab them now on INDIEGOGO for as low as 99$.

    By the way, the cable worth 100$ (!!!!) by its own….and this isn’t the only accessorie so. Hum. Yeah, this-is-a-real-crazy-BARGAIN.

    Let’s see why in this review.

    If you miss your chance on Indiegogo campaign, you can still buy the KS3 from LEND ME UR EARS

    You have the choice between two color, the dark blue that I review and this sumptuous black golden nugget color.
    1.jpg ks3goldnugget33.jpg 3.jpg

    INFO & SPECS :

    Alpha & Delta KS3 3D Printed Earphones
    Features: 3D printed resin housing ensuring quality and affordable universal custom housing

    6mm micro dynamic driver for overall small and comfortable housing

    Balanced Sound Signature

    Paired with 2 pin 0.78mm 8 core silver plated copper cable

    Specification and Accessories
    Specification:

    Driver: 6mm Micro Driver

    Impedance: 16 ohm

    Rated power: 1 mW

    Frequency Response: 10 Hz- 40 kHz

    Speaker Sensitivity: 105 +/- db/mW

    Cable: 1.20m 8 core silver plated copper cable


    ACCESSORIES, CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN :

    P3050882.JPG P3050883.JPG P3050886.JPG


    UNBOXING is a dream come true, because you have more than you can wish for. Firstly, the box is beautifull and have a good presentation with a little window to contemplate the KS3 sexy body. But when you open it, you feel quite spoil. There a high quality protective case. 4 pairs of high quality foam tips. 6 pairs of different type of silicone ear tips. The KS3. And. The. Fanciest cable on planet earth. As said, just the accesories worth the asking price, as if the main product was just a bonus. Yep, I feel overwhelmed by such generousity.

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    CONSTRUCTION is TOTL to me. I see way pricier earphones with way cheaper construction. The 3D printed housing is just gloriously glossy.This type of resin plastic molding is rarely find in this budget price range, add high quality metal nozzle and you know you have a serious audiophile iem in hands. Simply put, when you take these in your hands you know its durable high quality housing because its really hard to tell this is stick togheter, it really feel like one piece molded universal custom. Other aspect is how good is the grip, even if slippy and organicaly shaped, the housing design is molded for your ears AND your fingers, so you can insert it without ever struggling and achieve ultimate comfort. This again, is extremely rare and a proof of how seriously Alpha & Delta designer work on housing shape. There no other universal custom like this AD KS3 and I hope they patent this housing wich is genius workmanship.

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    As already said, the cable is phenomenal, just not for conductivity, but for durability and loo too. This is a real high end 8cores silver plated 2pin cable. It have a L shape jack with a tension relieve spring above ité The 2pin connector look very durable, as they are protect by a metal cylinder with blue and red marking for easy differenciation.

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    DESIGN of the KS3 resin housing is just marvellous, and I have seen and use alot of universal custom make of different type of plastic, still the KS3 stand appart and feel from another league. I guess there mroe work than we think behind the creation of this housing, because the complex shape sure could only been made with a top of the line 3D printer. Its about 2.7cm long, 1cm thick from 2pin connect part and 2cm thick for nozzle part….but this is just impossible to measure as the form is to organic and have curve and bump without any harsh angle. The 2pin connector is tightly seal in housing as well as the metal nozzle. The type of nozzle mesh it use is very intriguing and promess to share give transparent sound from housing instead oftaming it. It have 1 little venting hole above the micro driver. All this little details, again, aren’t normal for this price range but proove Alpha & Delta realyy give lot of care and attention to design and construction.


    ISOLATION is great, its really block intensely well outside noise and sound leakage is minimal to non existent. I crank up the volume and test it and do not even heard nothing. I guess at normal volume nobody can hear you, even people suffering from hyperacusis in a completly silent public library will not hear you if you sit at its side.



    SOUND IMPRESSIONS :


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    There were a time i feel obligate to love bassy sounding earphones because the audio market was flooded with them, so, i was considering it enough balanced when the mids where pushed fowards by some tuning or multi drivers tweak. Now, at 35 and listening mostly to jazz and classical, i really get enough of badly tuned U or V shaped soundsignature and will just care about the one that offer incredible bass performance like the IKKO OH1.

    I was pretty sure Alpha & Delta KS3 was not going to take the vulgar basshead road and learn with there experience that they gain way more respect from audiophile crowd with there W shaped mid centric D6 model than there AD01 boomy one. Still, I was thinking KS3 would sound quite similar to the D6, but with perhaps bigger soundstage, but in fact they push balanced sound even further and choose a real monitor soundsignature, a mature one, an audiophile targeted neutral one with extra bass emphasis.

    When I say neutral, i do not say completly flat and boring, just less bright and coloured in mids and upper treble than the D6, wich make the KS3 less peaky sounding and more coherent and versatile.

    Clarity is what impress you first, after its how balanced and welll layered this whole sound presentation is...and after more listen a revealation happen : TIMBRE is just Perfect.

    More I think about timbre rendition of KS3, more i’m blown away, how could it be so rich yet not too bright or grainy at all? Is it illusion….nope, its critical listening that get rewarded. With bright or overly coloured soundsignature, the earphones do the ‘’critical listener’’ job by trowing at you specific amplify frequencies range as well as treble tweak that will over emphase texture or attack of soundwave. For me, real good tuning is being able to stay as truthfull to original music mastering without killing musicality with a too flat rendition and the KS3 really excell in this type of neutral and lively approach.

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    SOUNDSTAGE have more deepnest to it than widness, and feel as your in an acoustic room with 2 big monitor speakers from each side at some distance to you. Its an immersive around your head experience, not particularly holographic, but very natural with good air to it.

    LOWER END extend to 20hz but isn’t over emphased, its very controled even if you can have some rumble that do not move lot of air. In track like ‘’Canadian Hillbillie’’ by Georgia Anne Muldrow wich have big sub line in it, the KS3 show its talent offering tigh well rounded off sub that do not overshadow rest of tracks and let the kick be punchy and well defined. Unlike with too V shape sounding earphones that make sub invade whole tracks and mix with mid bass and affect vocal clarity, the KS3 sub keep its transparency and body with great agility. For timbre, its quite smooth and transparent, cello or acoustic bass sounding enough rich, but I find timbre richer in mid bass. To note : In very sub heavy and complex track, sub can show its limit at very high volume, there will be no distortion, but the rumble will became less controled.


    MID BASS is really extremely enjoyable with the KS3, it have great natural impact and weight, making kick drum very realist with enough decay for a lively presentation. Here, we have something special, its subtle, but listening to ‘’Tingvall Trio’’ Cirklar album, I really enjoy drum presentation and its near neutral approach. Kick have nice tigh body and impact more some air as it should, the attack is superbly controled and timbre have just enough tichness and texture to give extra energy without feeling forced, too bright or fowards. As its ultra agile, bass do not bleed on lower mids and instead have a natural smooth transient response to it, that help KS3 to keep a balanced approach and not use colouration to push mid range fowards.


    MID RANGE is fully cover with the KS3, there no artificial peaks or harshness to it. I hear it has a smooth natural curve that neither make the vocal too fowards or recessed, if there lot of instrument playing at same time in 1khz-6khz register, none of them will stole the attention of other. For some, it will make them think mids are recessed wich isn’t the case at all as we can hear with ‘’For We Believe’’ song from signersongwriter Happy Rhodes. Her voice sound rich and full, very detailed as we can hear her lips licking, as well, there multiple vocal playing at same time and its very well layered, the acoustic guitar sound in background with great clarity and brilliance. Must importantly, there no sibilance even if the vocal are nicely detailed with rich transparent timbre.

    I cannot say this type of mid range approach will be enough foward for audiophile enjoying very mid centric soundsignature with less bass too, but you do not have to be afraid about vocal being too recessed at all, as its the range with more presence even if it continue its curve ascencion in high frequencies.

    TREBLE extension is mind blowing, and to me, this is the most spectacular feature of KS3 micro drivers. This is tuned to offer extreme clarity with extra emphasis in mid and upper treble that give excellent grip and attack to instrument, and that, without harshness. Even if enough sharp and vivid, the highs just feel right. Timbre isn’t too thick so it not too textured or grainy and permit good realist transparency to the sound. Micro details are easy to find and there extra presence in upper range texture.

    Listening to ‘’Kamelsnurr’’ from ‘’Furuland’’ experimental folk album from great Geir Sundstol norwegian slide guitar maestro, the presentation is delicate and lively, with extremely clear instrument separation that do not mix different guitars playing togheter, extracting whole complex richness of different texture, plucking cords, percussions and toms, all this with an airy yet intimate presentation is sincerly a guilty pleasure and nobody cannot be wowed by KS3 high resolution presentation here. In fact, i just cannot stop listening to it on repeat. Here, guitar note have fast decay and lot of brilliance, every single note is well defined and accurate, and other instruments have same clear treatment making the level of clarity exceptional and free of over saturation even if chords texture is very hearable it feel natural. When it use slide guitar at same time as other guitars it stay in the background, well layered and transparent, and here sens of space and deepness is even more evident.

    Yep, the KS3 are exceptional in term of clarity, timbre, attack and decay, the mature tuning is extremely rewarding with well recorded music and still enough smooth to be permissive and very versatile unlike too bright or peaky earphones.

    LOWER END: 9/10
    MID BASS: 8/10
    MID RANGE: 8.5/10
    TREBLE: 9/10
    TIMBRE: 9/10
    ATTACK: 9/10
    SOUNDSTAGE: 8/10
    IMAGING: 9/10



    COMPARAISONS:



    VS Final Audio Design E4000 :
    P1011241.JPG


    Firstly, it must be noted that the E4000 are harder to drive and will sound weak without proper amping that expand soundstage and give clearer imaging and better controled bass. So, here I compare those 2 with and without portable amp.

    In some sens, we have pretty similar tuning here, that tend towards neutral and balanced with little mid bass push. The KS3 have as well upper mids push and more extended treble response.

    SOUNDSTAGE feel about same widness but have more of an around your head feel with KS3 due to deeper spatiality.

    BASS of the E4000 feel thicker with more natural timbre than the brighter low end of KS3, wich have less sub bass body and more mid bass emphasis. Punch feel faster with KS3 even if its far from sounding too slow with E4000.

    MIDS of the KS3 are brighter than smooth E4000 and feel more pushed fowards due to upper mids presence, it have more grip and attack. E4000 have more linear and adequate timbre and sound fuller but more intimate than airier KS3. I feel we can crave more details in 1khz to 8khz with the E4000, but that KS3 will have more decay and sparkle in upper mids-lower treble region.

    TREBLE is more extended with the KS3 and surely go up to 16khz before a drop unlike the E4000 that begin a drop around 14khz wich affect highs sparkle and brillance but help to give a more neutral sound approach as well as more resolved lower-mid treble rendering due to more controled highs frequencies that will never sound splashy. With KS3, some percussions type can be fowarded and other one backgrounded, but we aren’t into crazy treble peaks either and overall treble is quite organic in fact, it offer more brilliance than decay and give extra airiness to soundstage.



    VS BRAINWAVZ B400 (200$) :
    P1011240.JPG


    SOUNDSTAGE of B400 is deeper but less wide, as well, KS3 feel more airy and around you head.

    BASS of KS3 have more body and impact and extend lower than faster B400, wich have softer timbre as well. Its harder to hear properly bass line with B400 than with KS3.

    MIDS of B400 are more fowards and have more wide presence, they feel in front row compared to more balanced-linear KS3. Still, timbre is richer with KS3, and vocal have more body but less transparence as well. Here the B400 sound slightly breathy while the KS3 slightly bright. Both do not create sibilance and are greatly layered by surrounding instrument. KS3 being more intimate and centered while the B400 cover whole instrumental with transparent mids.

    TREBLE feel a little more extended with KS3, as well as brighter, giving more richness to timbre and crips highs, B400 have extra imaging talent due to is 4BA configuration and can extract more gently the microdetails, wich are clear but not as crisp than KS3. Both have good attack, KS3 having a little more grip and decay.

    AMPING isn’t needed for B400, while its very suggested for KS3 as for this comparaison I always need to play with volume to achieve same volume level.

    CONSTRUCTION is way better with KS3, and i’m pretty sure anybody will consider them as the more pricier. Even if the B400 have 2 cable, they are of poor quality while the KS3 is high end 8cores SPC cable. Comfort is quite similar tough, but the KS3 are easier to fit in ears properly due to great grip the form factor give while the B400 are slipy.

    All in all, both are very good iem and its hard to tell wich I prefer, but I can say the KS3 are more neutral and balanced even if bass is more present and the B400 more mid centric and agile with imaging giving an intimate holographic presentation.




    VS IKKO OH1 (130$):


    P1011132.JPG

    SOUNDISGNATURE of OH1 is a well done U shape with warm lower mids and bright upper mids and upper treble, while KS3 sound more neutral and mid centric.

    BASS of OH1 is more powerfull and impactfull especially in sub department, where the note feel better resolve, thicker and with better controled attack than the struggling sub part of KS3, this give a moe energic approach to IKKO without sacrifiing to much. Mid bass is similar to KS3 but again its more full bodied.

    MIDS of OH1 feel slightly artificial in treble and too warmed up in lower mids, wich give more body to low mids and some sibilance and light harshness to upper mids, KS3 again is more balanced with a smooth push in mids that give extra clarity to vocal but do not feel in front row, more well centered in midde, still, OH1 sound more dynamic and energic, giving extra separation to mid section, where KS3 linear approach and soft timbre make it lack in overall attack.

    TREBLE of OH1 is quite extended but not always constant, as it colour more ranges than more neutraly balanced KS3, anyway, this give more sparkle and air, wich give more sens of space and layering, and decay and brillance...so, yes, KS3 lack some treble sharpness comapred to OH1.

    SOUNDSTAGE is about same widness, but OH1 here feel deeper and airier.



    VS Alpha & Delta D6 (100$) :
    P1011242.JPG


    SOUNDSTAGE of D6 is notably wider and about same deepnest, but feel even more airy (depending of numbers of instruments playing togheter).

    BASS is dryer and more agressive, with less sub extension but a more fowards mid bass, way brighter and less well rounded up than more natural and round mid bass of KS3 that have more sub extension as well.

    MIDS are brighter and more agressive, they can make sibilance as there big bump in upper mids, lower mids are less detailed than the KS3 compared to mid and upper register. Vocal feel way more fowards and this is real mid centric earphones compared to more neutral and balanced KS3. We have an analytical approach with the D6 that sure impress but can be too bright and agressive at high volume, KS3 feel richer in whole mid range and more linear, but have less sparkle and decay, still, as texture is less opaque we have better transparency and instrument separation than D6.

    TREBLE is more emphased with the D6, especially around 6-10khz, this can give near too much details sometime and can be overwhelmingly saturated with it, this make the D6 dangerous for treble sensitive people, while the KS3 have just extra brilliance in highs that feel delicate and accurate. D6 lack transparency compared to KS3, as well, cymbals sound more splashy while they are ultra controled and realist with KS3. Imaging is more accurate than over saturated D6.

    AMPING is more needed with KS3, but both iem like powerfull sound source to sound there best.

    CONSTRUCTION is incredible with both, KS3 have very same cable than D6 but its detachable. Comfort and fit is way better than big heavy D6 too.



    CONCLUSION :

    P1011228.JPG

    Without a doubt, Alpha & Delta surpass themself by creating such well tuned and constructed earphones, and I say this forgeting the price with all my honnesty. If I begin to think about the 150$ price, as a reviewer that is obsess about price value, i’m still puzzle how cheap the price is and how generous the accessories are. It’s just really to good to be true.

    When it come to the sound, its how well balanced and natural that impress the must, level of control and agility in all frequencies range is just masterfully tuned. No harsh peaks, great timbre and details, beefy sub bass, smooth and present mid range, crips highs, everything is taken care off wisely and deliver an exciting lively musicality free of any artificial behavior.

    The KS3 can be love by anybody, should you listen to rock, electro, classical, folk, jazz or even metal, you will be impress by how versatile and articulate the sound is. As well, this type of top notch construction in a budget price range is just unseen until now. So, if you either search for a monitor universal custom or an all arounder with well balanced musicality that offer a vivid, lively and detailed sound presentation with rich timbre that never feel forced or too harsh, i'm more than confident that the Alpha & Delta KS3 is one of the best earphones buy you can make in 2019.

    For more audio reviews and impressions, give a look to my BLOG
      HK_sends, paulindss and Fawzay like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Fawzay
      the Quote "best work" referring to the Planar iem that i'm waiting for. I work very closely with LMUE and i have tested several of their (Prototype) iem's and what stand out the most among them is the Planar iem, imagine what would it cost for a planar iem outside? dayum EX!, but in case for LMUE ahahah! always offer relatively inexpensive iem. They(LMUE) believe in the customers :)
      Fawzay, Apr 9, 2019
    3. NymPHONOmaniac
      okay. it look nice no doubt. but we talk about ALPHA & DELTA. Lend Me Ur ears is a distributor. A nice one....but your intervention is, again, confusing. My sentence is: ALPHA & DELTA KS3 is the best achievment from this very audio company. D6 is second. And that's about it for great achievment.
      NymPHONOmaniac, Apr 9, 2019
      Fawzay likes this.
    4. Fawzay
      In respect of your sentence, is indeed the best achievement to date no doubt, my intervention is rather an update about the newer model they have planned and its made from them(son and father workmanship) - Alpha & Delta. Moreover A&D KS3, KS - is derived from their names :) and sorry if i have confused you in many ways. In conclusion, A & D KS3 is the best iem they have now :) and i forget mentioned your review is wonderfully written :)
      Fawzay, Apr 10, 2019
      NymPHONOmaniac likes this.

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