HiLisening MaGaosi Newest High end Detachable Design K3 In-Ear HiFi Earphone 1 Dynamic and 2 BA 3-way Hybrid Earbud Sport Detach Earhooks Headset Head

General Information

MAGAOSI HD Hybrid 3-way Driver EarphoneModel:K3Speaker drive mode: 2 Balanced amature+1 DynamicImpedance: 32 ±15%Frequency Response: 20Hz--20KHzSensitivity: 99±2dbL&R Channel Banlance Sensitivity: ≤1dbMax Input Power: 10mWLenght: 120cm±5cmwire material: tpe Plug material: 3.5mm gold-platedMicrophone compatibility range: noneEarphone Plug: MMCX MaGaosi K3 Professional Review on Head-Fi.org http://www.head-fi.org/t/820747/chinese-asian-brand-info-thread-portable-headphones-and-iems/5445#post_13229487

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Pros: High price to performance ratio,
Good detail and clarity,
Nice and solid metal housing,
Many cables (great to see a free Bluetooth cable)
Cons: No backup for the small sound filters,
Missing of some dynamism of the sound,
Only two pairs of silicone eartips, but lots of foam tips
Magaosi K3Pro 2.0
The bang for The buck!


Introduction:

Magaosi is a brand of HiLisening Co. that is located in Guangdong - China. The Magaosi product line is covering products series marked with M, BK, K, DT and B. The M series have mainly a metallic housing with Balance Armature and /or Hybrid Drivers. The BK series have wood housing with Balance Armature and/or Dynamic Hybrid drivers.

The K3Pro 2.0 is the updated version of the original K3Pro with additional upgrade cable, which belongs to the top of the line product category with 2 (BA) +1 (DD) Hybrid driver configuration.

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Disclaimer:

Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 was provided to me by Magaosi via Penon Audio for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with Magaosi or Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.



The Price:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is available on Penon Audio for 109,90 USD.

Purchase link: https://penonaudio.com/magaosi-k3-pro.html



Package and Accessories:

The Magaosi K3.Pro 2.0 comes in a black cardboard box with the Magaosi Logo, which is printed in gold color. This box has a transparent plastic (pvc) window, where you can see the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0

This box containing the following items/accessories;

  • 1 pair x K3Pro 2.0
  • 1 x MMCX cable with L-shaped plug
  • 1 x MMCX cable with Mic and straight plug
  • 1 x MMCX Bluetooth cable
  • 1 pair x Silver & Gray tuning filters
  • 1 pair x L and S sized silicone eartips
  • 1 pair x L/M/S sized foam eartips
  • 1 x USB cable for charging of the Bluetooth cable
  • 1 x Cary Case
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The carry bag that comes with the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is made of a faux leather coating, which is well made and quite useful with its dimensions.

The foam and semi transparent (white) silicone ear tips are quite comfortable.

There are also 2 different types of sound tuning filters. The black one came preinstalled, which boost the treble range by a small but noticeable margin. The silver sounds more balanced and is my favorite filter, which I will also use during this review.

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I would advice you to be carefully while replacing the filters, because these filters are very small and there is no backup included to the package.

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Cables:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 comes with 3 different cables that are included to the package.

The first cable comes with a microphone that was compatible with my Samsung Galaxy S8+ with Android OS.

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The cable is in black and has a straight plug that is made of metal.

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The MMCX connectors are also made of metal and have Left and Right markings. The ear guides are a bit stiff but without any discomfort.

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The second cable is the upgrade cable, which has a stylish appearance with a transparent coating and thick, braided cable wire that sports also a Y splitter, which is made of metal and a plastic chin slider.

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The MMCX connectors and the headphone plug have a housing that is made of metal. These MMCX connectors are marked in red for right and blue the left channel.

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The 3.5mm headphone jack (TRRS) has an angled connector housing that looks quite stylish with its design.

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The third and cable, which comes with the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is a Bluetooth cable with build in DAC and amplifier with build a build in battery, which is in my opinion a very nice addition.

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This Bluetooth cable is lightweight and made of plastic material. There are 3 buttons and one mic for phone conversations. The sound is not bad at all for a free accessory, while the battery life is approx. 2.5 hours.



Design and Build Quality:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is an In-Ear Monitor with a pretty small size and ergonomic design, which is made of a all metal aluminum alloy that looks and feels quite solid in its appearance.

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The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is available in 3 different colors; those are gray, silver and blue. My review unit came gray color that looks pretty nice.



I have read that some units at the first batch of the original K3Pro have had connector issues, which has been solved according to Magaosi. The MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors of my Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 review units have had no interruption issues during this review.

The nozzle is slightly angled (around 45 degrees) and has a detachable sound filter for fine-tuning of the sound.

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Fit, Comfort and Isolation:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is an In-Ear Monitor (IEM) with a small and ergonomic design. I didn’t have had any discomfort issues due this review and could wear it for many ours without any noticeable fatigue my ears. The noise isolation of the K3Pro 2.0 is above average and good enough to use it in quite noise public environments, but not ideal for the stage.

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Some Technical Specifications:

  • Driver Configuration : 2x Balanced Armature + 1x Dynamic Driver (Hybrid Configuration)
  • Impedance : 16 Ω
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz - 30 KHz
  • Sensitivity : 120db
  • Connector Type : MMCX
  • Interface : 3.5mm (single ended)
  • Cable length : 1.2m±5cm
  • Weight : 30g


Drivability (Impedance):

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is a sensitive IEM, which is easy to drive from almost any source. The nominal impedance that is 16 Ohm makes it suitable for the use with portable devices like Smartphones, Tablet’s or DAP’s without the need of any amplifier.



Sources:

a) In Ear Monitor : Magaosi K3Pro, MEE audio Pinnacle P1,

b) DAP/DAC : Hidizs HD1000, Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Ipad Air2



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c) Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Sertab Erener – Aşk (Spotify)
  • Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
  • Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Morbid Angel – Drum Check (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Metallica – Sad But True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
  • The Glitch Mob – Mind of A Beast (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
  • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
  • Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
  • Gothart – Jovano, Jovanke (Spotify)
  • Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
  • GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Charly Antolini’s – Duwadjuwandadu (Tidal Hi-Fi)


Sound Analysis and Comparisons:

Please note that this review is written after a burn-in process of more than 120 hours. I have use the semi transparent silicone eartips, the silver filter and the upgrade cable that are included to the package.

Please note that this is an entry level mid-fi IEM and all my comments about the sound quality are in consideration of this price range.



Sound Signature and Tonality:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 has a slightly V shaped sound signature with a warmer than neutral tonality that is adding some musicality to the overall presentation.



Bass:

The Magasoi K3Pro is a solid performer in the bass department, which is focused on the mid-bass area.

The sub-bass is there but not in the foreground or better say the highlight of this IEM. It is reachs to a pretty low register, but is missing a bit of rumble and weight, which offers otherwise great control and texture.

The bass, especially the mid-bass area sounds quite controlled and has good speed characteristics. The K3Pro have had a very good performance with Morbid Angel’s – Drum Check, which is my new reference song regarding to speed and control, which has show me how good a Chi-fi IEM in this price category can perform.

The mid-bass are a real highlight of this IEM. It extends well, has good texture and nice slam when it called for. There is a nice transition between bass and the midrange, where I didn’t hear any remarkable bleed of the mid-bass to the midrange.

Some instruments like drums, bass guitars etc. sounding quite natural and are exiting.


Midrange:

The midrange sounds clean and transparent, with velvet like presentation. It doesn’t sounds thin or very full and has a nice balanced presentation. There is a nice amount of warmth that comes fro the lower midrange, which is avoiding a dry and too analytical presentation and is adding musicality to the overall presentation.

Vocals are one step behind of instruments and sounding in a quite natural way. Here is also a nice sense of space and where you can find enough air between instruments. Both, male and female vocals are represented in quite realistic way and have enough emotion to bring you in to the middle of the stage. The midrange shares also some nice definition, with pretty good detail retrieval at this price range, where string instruments like violin, guitar etc. have a nice presentation.

The upper midrange of the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 sounds dynamic and fairly controlled, without to be overly harsh or ear piercing. People who are sensitive in this regarding will like the tuning of the K3Pro 2.0.


Treble:

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 has a quite balanced treble presentation that doesn’t sounds too bright or harsh and the overall control in this area is pretty good for an IEM in the mid-fi category.

The clarity level and definition is pretty good and the general treble presentation is at the natural and relaxing side of IEM’s with a V Shaped sound signature.

There is also a nice rendering of air that opens space for instruments, which is especially good for songs with many instruments like Charly Antolini's - Duwadjuwandadu. The treble extension has an above average performance, with no significant sibilance thanks to the fairly balanced tuning in the higher frequency region of the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0.

The upper treble region has a fairly good level of resolution, together with a crisp and airy presentation, which is a great ability especially in this price category.



Soundstage:

The soundstage of the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is quite expansive with its wideness, while the depth is in a moderate level. Instruments are placed in a horizontal direction where the vocal is in the middle of the stage.

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Some Comparisons:

Vs. iBasso IT01

The iBasso IT01 is a very capable IEM with a very energetic and crisp presentation.

When I compare the iBasso IT01 with the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0, one of the first noticeable differences is in the treble response. The treble range of the IT01 is more energetic and crisp than those of the K3Pro 2.0, which has less presence, especially in the upper treble range. The Magaosi IEM maybe doesn’t sounds as energetic as the IT01 in this department, but offers better balance and has also slightly more control.

Instruments and vocals are slightly more upfront with the iBasso IT01, while the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 has a touch warmer and darker presentation. The difference is very low, but the K3Pro 2.0 offers additional detail level and slightly better separation of instruments. The upper midrange of the iBasso IT01 sounds a bit more lifelike.

The iBasso IT01 has more bass impact and rumble, which makes the overall presentation more dynamic. The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 on the other hand has slightly better extension. The bass speed of booth IEM is nearly identical maybe a touch faster with the IT01, while the K3Pro 2.0 sounds a bit more controlled.

The soundstage of the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is slightly deeper then those of the iBasso IT01 while both are nearly identical for wideness.



Vs. MEE audio Pinnacle P2

The MEE audio Pinnacle P2 and Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 have similarities for tonality; both are on the warmer side of neutral, while the Pinnacle P2 has slightly more bass emphasis a bit more roll-off of at the treble range.

The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 sound a bit brighter and has a smooth and fairly controlled treble tuning. The Pinnacle P2 on the other hand sounds darker and has a noticeable roll-off in treble range. The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is the more capable IEM, due the better extension and more authority in the treble range. The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is also slightly faster, especially with music genres like metal music, for which are both not very suitable.

The midrange of the Pinncale P2 sounds a bit veiled and grainy compared to the more transparent tuning of the K3Pro 2.0. The Pinnacle P2 sounds engaging but a bit too thin and dry, especially while listening to male vocals. The Magaosi IEM sounds also a bit more detail and has the better instrument separation. I can also confirm that the upper midrange of the Pinnacle P2 is slightly more forward and has a bit more definition, while K3Pro 2.0 offers better control.

The iBasso IT01 has more bass impact and rumble, which makes the overall presentation more dynamic. The Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 on the other hand has the slightly better extension, while the speed of both IEM's is nearly identical maybe a touch faster with the IT01.

The soundstage of the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is slightly deeper then those of the iBasso IT01 while both are nearly identical for wideness.



Conclusion:

I can easily say that the Magaosi K3Pro 2.0 is a real bang for the buck. It has a good sound, a solid metal housing (no plastic used) and lots of accessories, which makes it to one of the best options in this price category.



Pros and Cons:

  • + High price to performance ratio
  • + Good detail and clarity
  • + Nice and solid metal housing
  • + Many cables (great to see a free Bluetooth cable)
  • - No backup for the small sound filters
  • - Missing of some dynamism of the sound
  • - Only two pairs of silicone eartips, but lots of foam tips

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This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
https://moonstarreviews.net
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Attachments

Pros: Great fit, Removable cable, Great clarity and detail, Great treble extension and air, Wide soundstage
Cons: Uneven treble, Some bass definition issues, Noise isolation, Intimate soundstage depth
Introduction –

If you’re a Head-fi frequent, you’ve probably observed the buzz surrounding these earphones. If not, the K3 Pro should still make your shortlist as perhaps one of the most impressive sub $100 earphones on the market. With a gorgeous full-metal construction augmented with a removable cable, the K3 Pro’s make a strong first impression from audio newcomer Magaosi. And behind that lavish facade beats a comprehensive triple hybrid driver setup complete with two proprietary balanced armature drivers mated to a graphene dynamic. And while competition is as fierce as ever, the K3 Pro immediately stands out both internally and externally. Let’s see if the K3 Pro can live up to the hype and realise the promises of their advance internal acoustics.



Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Chi Kong Hui from Penonaudio very much for providing me with the K3 Pro for the purpose of review. There is no monetary incentive for a positive article nor do I allow any manufacturers or resellers to edit my writing. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.


Accessories –

The packaging of the K3 Pro is quite refined and well-presenting though the print quality and renders don’t flatter the buyer like the Oriveti Basic for instance. Of note, the packaging still states K3 even for the updated K3 Pro model.



Sliding off the top cover reveals a very nice textured box with metallic embossing denoting the Magaosi brand and model number, again with absence of the updated pro moniker. Inside, the earphones are showcased within foam with a section underneath containing the carrying case.



The case is very large though excessive padding means internal space is surprisingly limited. It’s another well-presenting but impractical offering that really offers minimal benefit in daily use.



The case contains the two MMCX cables, one with a remote/mic for smartphone usage and one pure audio cable of higher quality. In addition, Magaosi include 2 pairs of silicone tips in addition to 3 pairs of elongated foams that provide improved isolation for travel. The K3 Pro also has an interesting filter system that provides some basic tune-ability. Two filters are included from factory, a transparent filter and a filter that attenuates high frequencies. It’s definitely one of the best-implemented solutions I have come across, they simply screw into place, locking into place via a small rubber o-ring.



Design –

The K3 Pro is a stunning earphone, especially considering its more modest asking price. Among earphones from TFZ, Simgot and more household brands like Shure and Westone, the K3 Pro is undoubtedly one of my favourites. The all-aluminium construction is impeccably finished, ergonomically styled and feels nothing but rigid in the hand. The K3 Pro’s are available in two colours, silver and grey as pictured in this review. Both are striking though the grey model is arguably more distinct. A few users have mentioned QC issues though I did not notice anything like that, rather, the K3 Pro has one of the nicest constructions I’ve seen around this price.



Utilising the typical monitor style housings, the K3 Pro is reminiscent in shape to earphones from Shure and Westone as opposed the more atypical TFZ King, Simgot En700 and Oriveti Basic. But manufacturers adopt this design for a reason and through this tried and tested form factor, the K3 Pro achieves fantastic ergonomics that put their rather awkward competition to shame. Considering the triple driver configuration housed within, the earphones are compact, smaller than the SE215 for instance, and their low-profile fit and replaceable cable makes them ideal for sleeping. As such, they sit deeper in the ear and avoided forming hotspots during my usage. The inner face is absolutely smooth with a perfectly angled nozzle integrated into the metal housings. The nozzles are quite long enabling a deep fit, and are of wider bore; CP100 Spinfits just fit with some stretching though wider tips like the JVC Spiral Dots are more suitable.



With an over-ear fit, the K3 Pro’s proved to be very stable during use, easily staying put during exercise and general daily commute. Due to the presence of two small vents on the outer face, they aren’t the most isolating earphones, though they suffice for public transport. Foam tips do improve isolation and they may be just adequate for air travel with noticeable volume increase. Long term comfort is also good, the earphones are well shaped and will suit those with smaller ears. They aren’t quite as comfortable as the exemplary Oriveti Basic’s with mild discomfort forming at the back of my ears during extended use. Still, they are one of the most ergonomic earphones I’ve used around this price.



The K3 Pro has a removable cable using the traditional MMCX connector allowing for countless aftermarket options should the stock cables be unsatisfactory. One thing to note is that the K3 Pro has very loose MMCX connectors. While sound never became intermittent and the cables never accidentally detached during my usage, the earphones may be more prone to these issues later down the road.



Two cables are included from factory, a remote cable and audio only cable. The remote cable is honestly pretty cheap feeling, very plasticky with far too much memory for my liking. Though it will do in a pinch, this is obviously not how the K3 Pros were designed to be experienced. Luckily, the audio-only cable is far more pleasing, perhaps not as much as the braided cables on the King and En700 though those units are non-removable in return. Instantly, the silvery audio cable is more catching with a lustrous internal braid. All connectors are beefy with great strain-relief that puts many more expensive earphones to shame. The actual wire is reasonably ergonomic with a smooth texture and a decently supple feel. The cable conforms to the user with well-shaped heat-shrink ear guides that are easily more favourable than memory wire. The right angle plug is low-profile, easily fitting within my phone case. Acoustically, the silvery cable has a drier midrange and more sub-bass snap, high frequencies are a little unrefined. Cable swapping is not an economical way to adjust the K3 Pro’s sound though those with a few MMCX earphones may want to give cable swapping a go as they response reasonably well.


Sound –

It’s been said countless times before that the driver array really amounts to nothing, more marketing than meaning. Because without tuning of each and every acoustic element, the housings, filters, tips, etc, a multi-driver earphone can very easily sound worse than single driver equivalent. So of course, I was hesitant of the K3 Pro’s meagre asking price, postulating that a triple driver could not possibly be refined enough to compete with stunning single dynamic driver earphones like King, En700 Bass and Basic. Thankfully, any doubts were very quickly dispelled upon first listen of the K3 Pro; even fresh from the box, they were delightfully engaging and simply well done. They aren’t the first to pull of the hybrid driver format at this price, those accolades go to the notorious 1More Triple Driver, though the K3 Pro holds numerous advantages over that model in both sound and design. But though the K3 Pro performs better than I had hoped at this price, the earphone is still bested by other triple driver setups like the Dunu DN-2000 and Oriveti New Primacy, of course, both are around triple the price. Ultimately, the K3 Pro embodies value as others embrace diminishing returns, Magaosi have done their homework with proprietary drivers producing a sound that is similarly unique and desirable.


Tonality –



The K3 Pro’s are tonally excellent without being particularly tonally accurate. Balance is adjustable though the two included filters, and while each has its own distinct sound, the changes are merely tonal with the underlying characteristics remaining untouched. The stock grey filter provides the unaltered sound in all of its revealing glory. With this setup, the K3 Pro is delightfully clear but also quite piercing in the high frequencies and I’m not usually one to shy away from treble. Switching in the silver filters provides a more agreeable listen with just the right amount of attenuation and they are definitely more tonally correct to my ear in this configuration. Highs are still sparkly and just as extended but never become sharp and grating. Mids are granted more presence, or rather are less recessed and bass retains its full, organic character. With my preferred silver filters attached, the K3 Pro sounds mildly v-shape, vivid and engaging. All comments will be with the stock large silicone tips and silver filters



Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

The K3 Pro also has a really nice if not well-rounded soundstage with special mention going to width. With a very ovular presentation, tracks with encoded soundstage details just reach out of the head width with substantially more intimate depth. Height is mostly non-existent though most earphones don’t tend to reproduce this axis well anyway. As such, the earphones do sound spacious while retaining a very strong centre image. This comes at the cost of imaging where details tend to be pushed to the sides with some absences at the front besides the very centre. In listening, the earphones actually sound very nice though the aforementioned weakness with imaging is easily noticeable in comparison to most other earphones. When listening to a live recording of Eric Clapton’s “Layla”, vocals were very well centred though the instruments and audience were pushed to the side, missing out on some details and accuracy. In addition, the K3 Pro’s are one of the more separated earphones I have heard around this price though treble can get a bit busy. By comparison, the Simgot EN700 Bass, another fantastic earphone at this price, was more rounded with better instrument placement and a similarly strong centre image though its more forward midrange and smaller stage compromised separation. So while the K3 Pro shows some minor faults, its performance is hardly mediocre overall, they avoid sounding either congested or claustrophobic.


Drivability –

The K3 Pro’s are of average sensitivity (99dB) with a higher 32ohm impedance. While that may sound like a negative, I’m actually quite happy they aren’t ridiculously sensitive and their higher impedance lends them well to higher output impedance portable sources, sounding quite consistent across devices. The K3 Pro can struggle slightly with low power sources, sounding a little flat from my iPod Nano 7G, but they quickly scale up with even modest smartphones like my HTC 10 and Galaxy S6 Edge. From my Chord Mojo, the K3 Pro didn’t noticeably improve beyond some additional soundstage space, separation and detail as expected. They are notably less sensitive than the Oriveti Basics, Simgot EN700’s and TFZ King, all of which are all quite sensitive, but in return, the K3 Pro is much less sensitive to hiss; they sounded almost silent from my Fiio X5 III while the TFZ King revealed a very distracting amount of hiss. I think this approach is better suited towards buyers around this price range who don’t want to spend an obscene amount of money on a dedicated source, the K3 Pro is neither source sensitive nor is it especially difficult to drive unless you’re using something like an iPod Shuffle as your daily source.



Bass –

Bass has a modest boost, adding a little extra deep bass and more mid-bass fullness to the overall sound. I would characterise the entire low-end of the earphone as slightly warm though among $100 earphones, they are one of the most balanced in the low-end; the Simgot EN700 Bass, TFZ King and especially Oriveti Basic all provide increased bass emphasis for listeners looking for more low-end. Sub-bass extension is decent but not fantastic regardless of tip choice. Mid-bass has extra punch, leading into a warmer upper-bass response and lower midrange that well avoids spill and any tubbiness or bloat to bass notes. When listening to Bruno Mar’s “Locked out of Heaven”, the K3 Pro’s were lacking a bit of slam to bass drums but bass notes had nice decay and texture. Compared to the Oriveti Basics, the K3 Pros were the immediately more balanced earphone though the Basics held an advantage with sub-bass extension and slam with a similarly tight mid-bass response. The Basics are also the cleaner sounding earphone with greater separation between bass and midrange though the more linear K3 Pro has more consistent texturing and detail to bass notes. Bass resolution on the K3 Pro’s is also a little hazier than I am accustomed to, and though they are no worse than the EN700 Bass, earphones like the Basic and TFZ King do portray clearer delineation between tones and complex passages. So the bass response on the K3 Pro is well judged in tuning, has impressive texturing and imparts a great sense of rhythm into the earphone’s sound without becoming bloated or excessive. Despite this, the earphones are still a long way off from other, admittedly pricier, triple driver hybrids that splice through complex passages that the K3 Pro tends to mince.



Mids –

The first thing that stood out to me on first listen was the clarity of the K3 Pro’s midrange. Both male and female vocals have great clarity, albeit at the cost of sounding somewhat unnatural. Instruments are similarly hyper clear, making for an incredibly satisfying listen that enhances a lot of source material. After some adjustment, the midrange never sounds off or unpleasing, vocals are simply slightly thinner and raspier than usual. Resolution is also good and the K3 Pro’s technical shortcomings are well masked by the boosted clarity; niggles such as vaguer layering and a loss of micro-detail are less apparent than more laid-back earphones. Otherwise, the midrange is again, well-tuned, with a slightly darker balance that places a little extra emphasis on male vocals. Mids do retain pleasing balance but can sound somewhat recessed on already vocally recessed tracks such as Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. Similarly, female vocals can sound a little distant, for example, when listening to Egoist’s “Departures”, the forward female vocals sounded slightly strained and thin if pleasingly clear. And this character really persists with most material, detailing is really nice amongst the competition and the K3 Pro continually trades transparency for engagement. That being said, they still sound more balanced to me than the L-shaped, laid-back Oriveti Basic and the super aggressive TFZ King though buyers looking for a balanced sound will still want to look into the Vsonic GR07 and Hifiman RE-400/600. For everyone else, the K3 Pro will sound immensely impressive with glossy vocals, aggressive but not fatiguing detail and enough technicality to maintain glimpses of micro detail and atmospheric effects that a lot of earphones around this price skip over entirely.


Highs –

Unsurprisingly, highs tell a very similar story as the more vivid the tuning, the more polarising the earphone. Treble is reasonably forward even with the more attenuating silver filters and high notes do tend to sound splashy and a bit thin on most material. But this presentation also comes with great detail retrieval and a fantastic sense of air and sparkle up top. So the K3 Pro isn’t at all a bad performer when compared to the rest of the competition; they extend really well, further than Oriveti Basics and EN700 Bass while still sounding a little more even than the TFZ King. They actually remind me of the 1More Quad Drivers in their treble presentation, albeit, they are markedly less refined. When listening to Radiohead’s “Creep”, cymbals were quite realistic, just slightly thin and tizzy but texturing was among the better $100 earphones. High-hats were especially well reproduced with nice timbre and sparkle without coming off as strident. Still, treble does get busy as aforementioned in the soundstage section. While the midrange sounds very separated, the bass and treble responses can get a little congested with some material, Creep being a perfect example. The EN700 Bass might just be my favourite performer around this price, it has really spot-on body and texture, and perhaps most importantly, it is vastly less peaky than the K3 Pro. And while the K3 Pro is very detailed and extended up-top with copious sparkle and air, they can get fatiguing after an hour or so of listening, some middle treble notes can sound overly forward when listening to genres such as rock and metal though this boost does impart the sound with very aggressive detailing and crispness. So for everything else, the K3 Pro provides such a vivid sound that it becomes hard not to enjoy their response despite their shortcomings.



Verdict –

When an earphone hits the forum with immediate applause and appraisal, I’m often quite apprehensive. Because a lot of those immediately impressive earphones can be overly sculpted and unrefined though haste for an early impression forgoes these shortcomings in favour of that initial wow. And that’s not to the discredit of other reviewers, everyone has their own preferences and no one is exempt from subjectivity. There’s also no doubt that the K3 Pro is a fantastic earphone but they still aren’t the earphone that a lot of users have set them up to be; they didn’t immediately outclass other earphones I’ve heard around this price nor modern earphones at higher prices. And that was hard for me to admit because I really like the K3 Pro, they have my ideal sound signature and form factor all at an attainable price. But ultimately everyone has their own definition of perfection and the K3 Pro, for all of its strengths, does suffer from some fallbacks which I haven’t heard echoed nearly as much as their strengths.



But despite lacking realism, linearity and even transparency, the K3 Pro doesn’t sound bad at all, rather, they sound very nice. And I think the K3 Pro’s cult success illustrates the underlying notion within the audio hobby that individual preference will continue to triumph over technicality. The K3 Pro isn’t a natural or outstandingly technical proficient earphone, but they are one that are incredibly vivid and engaging. And my guilty enjoyment of the K3 Pros idealised sound stems from the unending yearning to be moved as listeners. When we start to analyse sound, we tether our music to reality and the hobby can very quickly become a chore. And that’s because music wasn’t invented to mimic reality, but to enhance it, and it’s in this regard that the K3 Pro excels.

Overall – 9/10, The Magaosi K3 Pros are the perfect definition of idealism over realism, the complete opposite of the Hifiman RE-600S V2 that I just reviewed. But what separates the K3 Pro from consumer models that similarly colour the sound is their very tasteful balance between lows, mids and highs all built atop a solid technical foundation. Their hot treble may not be for everyone, but few will find issue with their textured, organic bass and super sweet midrange. The K3 Pro is a fantastic sounding, great looking and solid feeling earphone that glorifies your music.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please have a look at my website for more just like it:
https://everydaylisteningblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/magaosi-k3-pro-review/
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Pros: Lively, full-range sound. Detail. Comfort, easy to drive, Metal construction.
Cons: Shallow fit. No Android remote on cable. MMCX Connectors come apart easily.
I have been an enthusiastic headphone user for many years now. I have multiple pairs of headphones including full sized, earbud, in ear monitors and bluetooth wireless - each have their uses. For critical listening though I tend to always go with in ear monitors. I have definitely developed a preference for balanced armatures since owning a pair of Etymotic ER4P headphones and I now have a couple of pairs which also feature conventional drivers for improved and deeper bass response.

I have the following headphones in my collection:-

V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
Audio Technica ATH M50x
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10
1More Triple Driver IEM’s
Apple Earpods (wired)

Along with many pairs of assorted bluetooth earbuds which I tend to use when walking the dog and at work.The reason why I wanted to list these headphones is to demonstrate that I know what to listen for regarding good sound quality and know what good headphones sound like.

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One thing that immediately stuck me about the K3 Pro’s was their build quality which is truly excellent. Made from metal rather than plastic, they are of a smooth construction and look far more expensive than what they actually are. The K3’s come supplied with an additional cable which features a Play/Pause/Answer/Hang Up button and a microphone. This additional cable is made from a different material and also has a straight jack plug - I personally prefer the angled jack plug so I haven’t bothered to test this.

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The K3 Pro’s are designed to wrap the cable around the back of your ears rather than hanging straight down. I personally prefer this style of in ear monitor as they tend to stay in place better when you’re moving around and this results in a more stable sound quality. Unfortunately they also feature MMCX connectors on the headphones which, although offering the advantage of easy cable change, do tend to unplug far too easily which can be somewhat frustrating. This problem is made even more annoying as I tend to have them unplug on me just about every time I put the headphones on. The good news is that they can be plugged back in easily enough but I’m sure the resulting wear and tear on the plugs and sockets will cause problems in the future - I suppose only time will tell.

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I previously owned the excellent Shure E500 in ear monitors and the K3 Pro follows the same basic design but with a couple of exceptions. Firstly the K3’s are considerably smaller and secondly the K3’s sound one hell of a lot better. The Shure’s sounded nice and full with wonderful mids but the top end was significantly recessed and this did spoil the sound somewhat. What I did really like though was the way the headphones fitted and I have been looking for a pair of high quality in ear monitors which use a similar form factor - I was hoping that the K3 Pro’s would fit the bill.

One thing that’s immediately apparent though is that the K3’s are considerably smaller than the old Shure E500’s and this creates a bit of a problem for me because I have to fiddle about with them quite a bit in order to get them to fit in my ears which in turn tends to loosen the connections. After more than a few attempts though I have come up with a ‘routine’ which seems to work quite well and the cables tend to stay put now - well for most of the time. I still have a problem regarding fit though as the insertion depth on the K3’s is somewhat shallow when compared to to original Shure’s for example. The end result is that the headphones don’t offer the same degree of isolation from the outside world. This is something that takes some getting used to. After much experimentation I think I’ve found a pair of tips in my rather extensive collection that offer the best combination of fit, isolation and easy insertion. Perhaps I just have crazy-shaped inner ears.

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Sound Quality

As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the sound quality. I can tolerate a degree of minor discomfort if the sound’s good enough. The good news is that, as long as you get a reasonable seal, the K3 Pro’s are bloody outstanding!

The first thing that you really take in when trying these out for the first time is the sheer bandwidth these things kick out. They offer an outstanding degree of detail and it’s so easy to decide which instrument you want to listen to and then effortlessly follow it all through the song. Chorus or massive crescendos no longer mask micro details and it’s easy to pick out individual voices if you wish. The headphones are pretty efficient - being easily driven from your mobile phone or any regular portable electronics. I got some truly excellent results pairing them up with the AgpTEK H01 and Benjie S5 MP3 players. I wouldn’t want to listen to these headphones on any more than about 50 - 60% on either of these players though - it would be just too loud. I pretty much got good results with anything I plugged them in to including the Acer Chromebook, Moto G4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5.

Initially I was tempted to class the K3’s as ‘slightly bass heavy’ but the more I listen to them the more I feel that it’s just the additional bandwidth being beamed into your ears. They’re pretty flat - right across the board - it’s just that the board is longer than most - does that make sense? There’s an incredible amount of detail being presented with these headphones and as I have recently been focussing on bluetooth headphones (with all of their limitations) and as a result, the K3 Pro’s sheer degree of detail has come as a bit of a shock to me.

I know it’s a cliche but these headphones show new details to familiar tracks. Whilst this can sometimes be overwhelming, it’s also surprisingly relaxing. What I mean is that it takes so little mental effort to immerse yourself into the soundstage and follow whatever element of the track you like, it’s really quite a revelation.

Comparisons:

K3 Pro vs Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10
I shall always like the Triple Fi’s - they’re my first experience of truly excellent in ear monitors but are perhaps now showing their age somewhat. Whilst good quality sound never goes out of fashion, they don’t have the excellent analytical details that the K3’s have. Insertion depth and external noise reduction is definitely better with the Triple Fi’s but the K3’s appear to have more ‘bandwidth’ and dynamic range.

K3 Pro vs 1More Triple Driver IEM
I do like the 1More’s. The cables hang down from your ears rather than wrap around which results in a less secure fit. Like the K3’s, the 1More’s tend to let a fair amount of external sound and again, like the K3’s appear to have a nicely extended bass. The treble is very nicely controlled on the 1More’s and they are certainly nicely detailed but I think the K3’s offer just a little bit more top end detail and also a greater sense of depth in the soundfield.

K3 Pro vs V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
It’s fair to say that in many ways these two headphones are chalk and cheese. Their differences far outweigh their similarities. Strangely though they do share a similar deep bass with ‘slam’. One thing I really like about the Crossfade Wireless headphones is their ability to project music with a real sense of power - both when used wired or wirelessly. The K3’s also possess this drive but also offer far more detail to the mids and top end. All said and done though I still like the Crossfade Wireless a lot.

Conclusion

The K3 Pro is an outstanding in ear monitor. I still feel that the perfect tip for them is out there somewhere and I strongly suspect I will continue to look for some time to come. I personally would have preferred a deeper insertion and better noise isolation from the outside world (or better seal perhaps). The sound quality is truly first class and very highly recommended - especially for their price. They’re very easy to drive and sound like they tend to make the most out of any player you can throw at it. I found that they paired really well with the tiny Benjie S5 MP3 player and offered some of the best sound I’ve ever heard from a portable system.

Due to their shallow fit, I personally wouldn’t want to use these headphones outside. I suppose if you’re paranoid about being able to hear traffic then they may be a good idea but I can’t help thinking that all that external noise would spoil the listening experience. This is where a more bass-heavy headphone like the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless is more appropriate in my opinion. Sat at home with your favourite music player by your side, this remarkable little IEM really is an excellent choice. Very highly recommended.

Update:

After trying out a wide assortment of different eartips I think I just might have found the combination which works best - the largest foams (supplied with the headphones) but with a couple of rubber rings scavenged (cut up) from another set of tips slipped onto the stems first to push the tips out a little more which, in turn, enables the tips to go slightly deeper into my ears. Comfortable and, more importantly, creates an acceptable seal which has improved the bass and consistency of sound. I’ve also learned to put them in my ears a different way which makes less strain on the cables and stops them from disconnecting. I still prefer to use the K3’s whilst stationary as their super sound quality is wasted when outdoors.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X1FHH9N?th=1 from amazon.uk
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X415QTR from amazon.com
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