ISN AUDIO NEO 3 2DD X 1Planar Universal IEM

General Information


ISN Audio NEO 3 1 Planar Driver + 2 Dynamic Driver Hybrid 2Pin 0.78mm HiFi Audiophile IEMS


ISN Audio NEO series, different tuning style
Medical grade resin material, light and beautiful, comfortable to wear.
3 drivers hybrid earphone

Brand: ISN AUDIO NEO Series
Model: NEO 3
Drivers:1 Planar Driver + 2 Dynamic Driver
1 x 5.8mm planar driver for high frequency
1 x 6mm dynamic driver for middle frequency
1 x 6mm dynamic driver for low frequency
Impedance: 15ohm
Sensitivity: 105dB
Frequency response: 10Hz-20kHz
Connector: 2pin 0.78mm
Cable : 8 strands , 19 cores per strand OCC wire

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Sold @ $199.00 on

Latest reviews


1000+ Head-Fier
ISN Neo3 - The Promise of Planars
Pros: Terrific bass, timbre & coherence
Cons: Technical performance takes a backstage to tonality
The path of innovation is a trek through the dark unknown, into the light of discovery.

Years ago Campfire Audio released the Supermoon which captured attention for using a planar driver.

Planars work differently than the usual dynamic drivers, and like balanced armatures respond faster than DDs but without the unsatisfying bass decay of BAs. Suddenly planars were perceived as the hot new innovation destined to permeate the market, yet predictions of planar supremacy proved unfounded.

So when offered a set of the new ISN Neo3s that use a 1x Planar 2x DD configuration in exchange for a review, I immediately wondered if they'd suffer the usual planar drawback...

Metallic tonality - every planar earphone I've heard has had questionable timbre, and hybrid IEMs mixing planars with other drivers have had coherence issues too.

So I'm approaching this review with trepidation, concerned adding a planar may create more problems for the Neo3s than it solves. Let's discover out how successfully ISN have made this approach work.



The USD $199 ISN Neo3s arrive in a small cardboard box, inside is a leather carry case which closes magnetically.

Inside are the earphones & stock cable, three sets of silicone eartips in 3 sizes, a shirt clip, IEM cleaning tool, and a small plastic accessories case.

The included ISN C8 cable arrives in your choice of 2.5mm, 3.5mm or 4.4mm termination, utilises OCC conductors and retails for $32.50 when sold separately. It's extremely supple & flexible, and gives the impression of being more solidly built than most IEM stock cables at this pricepoint.



The Neo3s' distinctively orange medical-grade resin shells are fully vented & decently large, which is explained by their driver configuration - all three drivers in each earpiece are quite chunky, and you can see them clearly through the resin.

Luckily the shells are very smooth and fairly ergonomic. Their weight is slightly above the norm for hybrid IEMs with lower driver counts but nothing too dramatic and I wouldn't label them heavy.

They're are a little on the larger side, so though I find them decently comfortable can't nominate comfort as one of their outstanding attributes. The larger shells do isolate very effectively however.

Sound Impressions


I tested the Neo3s with my my Astell & Kern SR35 in high-gain mode, requiring a volume level of 35. They're very cohesive & fairly midrange centric with satisfying bass output & very dark treble.


Bass is punchy & slightly north of neutral as expected from an ISN earphone, with higher bass quantity than the ISN Neo1s but less than the Neo5s. Midbass is emphasised over sub bass with a fairly even balance between them, and bass texture is quite good -not pillowy- though I'd love a bit more rumble.

There's sufficient bass here to capture bassheads' attention, but not quite enough that bass is truly dominant at the expense of other areas.



The Neo3s deliver an impressive sense of fullness with terrific note weight for the price, thanks to a generous lower midrange emphasis that infuses male & female vocals with plenty of body. There's also enough midrange resolution to articulate lyrics with impressive clarity.

The tuning emphasises tonality over technicality, and the inclusion of a copper rather than silver-plated cable accentuates this. Aided by cohesiveness the Neo3s are warm & musical, and the omission of BA drivers has resulted in a superb tonality, with none of the metallic timbre associated with planar drivers.


Though not quite as dark as the Penon Quattros I recently reviewed, the Neo3s are on the darker side of the spectrum with treble being quite subdued. This makes them smoother & less fatiguing if you're treble sensitive, but does compromise their technical performance.

This encourages you to focus on the midrange & bass in a way that suits many genres, but perhaps not those like classical where string instruments benefit from treble with a bit more bite & zing.

Technical Performance


Due to their tuning it's fair to say technical performance isn't what the Neo3s are optimised for.

They're superbly cohesive, which is a pleasant surprise as I was concerned ISN may have issues integrating a planar driver successfully - instead this is a real strength.

However the presence of those two other DDs means means the Neo3s aren't as nimble as a BA-based hybrid might be, so they'll occasionally having minor difficulty keeping instruments separated during busy passages - thankfully a minor quibble, as they don't struggle as dramatically as many budget IEMs.

Note weight is superb for their price range, though dynamics aren't quite up to the same level being middling, as is imaging which lacks pinpoint accuracy. Soundstage depth is very impressive, though width is merely average as is resolution which is best through the midrange but poorer elsewhere.

IEM Comparisons


I compared the Neo3’s with several IEMs at hand, using my Astell & Kern SR35 in high-gain mode, with the Neo3s requiring a volume level of 35.

ISN Neo1 – 1xDD (USD $39)


Despite being only slightly smaller the Neo1 shells are significantly lighter, and also tend to be more slender in the areas that contact directly with my canals so I find them much more comfortable than the Neo3s. Needing 35 volume on the SR35 they’re similarly easy to drive.

The Neo1s are budget single-driver IEMs and that’s immediately apparent with their lower resolution, narrower & flatter stage, and inability to render individual instruments as distinctly during busy passages of music as effectively as the multi-driver Neo3s can.

The Neo1s are very coherent, but possess less bass quantity than the Neo3s and bass texture isn’t as satisfying either. Note weight is lower and dynamics are poorer, they’re actually more neutral with less warmth than the Neo3s and feel a little brighter but less like bonafide basshead IEMs than the Neo3s do.

NiceHCK F1 Pro – 1xPlanar (USD $99)


The F1 Pros are slightly smaller than the Neo3s with similar weight, and feel a bit less snug in my ears which improves comfort. Needing 47 volume on the SR35 they’re a bit harder to drive.

Far more V-shaped, the F1 Pros are much brighter and I find their treble jumps out from the rest of the frequency spectrum quite a bit. The Neo3s have a lot more lower midrange warmth whereas the F1 Pros can sound quite cool & clinical.

The F1 Pros’ soundstage is wider but flatter, bass does not go as deep and I find their bass texture a little pillowy. The Neo3s are much thicker with better note weight, are smoother & more relaxed and more bass dominant. Imaging feels a touch clearer on the Neo3s and resolution between the two is fairly similar.

Simgot EA1000 - 1xDD 1xPR (USD $219)


The EA1000s are smaller but quite a bit heavier due to their stainless steel shells, but I do find their shape more comfortable. Requiring 28 volume on the SR35 they’re very easy to drive.

The EA1000s have a more excited v-shaped tuning that’s much brighter than the Neo3s, with a thinner & cooler sound that emphasises the upper midrange more. EA1000 bass quantity is lower and bass texture isn’t as satisfying, vocals don’t have as much weight behind them but do feel more articulate.

Resolution & dynamics are slightly higher on the EA1000s and their drivers seem slightly quicker to respond, but the Neo3s are more musical & less fatiguing.

ISN Neo5 – 4xBA 1xDD (USD $289)


The Neo5 shells are similarly sized but thinner in the parts that make contact with the canals so I find them significantly more comfortable. Needing 30 volume on the SR35 they’re easy to drive.

The Neo5s’ DD is more sluggish which has the benefit of making bass decay slower & more satisfying, but means they have more trouble keeping up with faster music than the Neo3s. Bass quantity is even higher on the Neo5s and bass texture is better, and they’re more v-shaped & brighter overall.

Neo5s dynamics are much more apparent, their soundstage is slightly deeper but similarly wide, and they’re a bit more resolving. The Neo5s are more exciting but possibly too much so if you’re treble sensitive whereas the Neo3s are smoother, more politely tuned and warmer.

Penon Quattro – 4xDD (USD $399)


They’re similarly sized but the Quattros are a little bit heavier and stick out more, but I find comfort of the two IEMs is similar. Needing 50 volume on SR35 the Quattros are more difficult to drive.

To my surprise the Quattros are actually less warm & relaxed than the Neo3s, but boast higher bass quantity and their bass texture is also more satisfying. The Quattros’ midrange is more forward & aggressive but also more resolving and refined, and upper treble also feels more prominent.

The Quattros are more dynamic, have a blacker background with sharper imaging and a far deeper soundstage, though it is narrower than the Neo3’s.

Cable Comparisons

I tested the Neo3s with a number of cables to gauge how effectively they respond to cable rolling.

NiceHCK BlackSoul (USD $50)


BlackSoul increases midbass to create more satisfying note weight with a darker background.

Unfortunately the stage feels narrower than with the stock cable, and treble has been rendered darker so I don’t care for this pairing.

Penon Vocal (USD $69)


Vocal emphasises the lower midrange to create a warmer, smoother sound.

Imaging feels a bit sharper, but dynamics seem better with the stock cable who’s stage is also a little wider and treble emphasised more, so I'm not impressed with this pairing.

NiceHCK FirstTouch (USD $89)


In this decent pairing the Neo3’s dynamics improve, the background feels a little blacker with slightly more defined imaging and resolution improves a little.

Unfortunately treble feels darker which I don’t particularly care for, creating a tonality that’s more relaxed and less v-shaped. Sub bass also feels slightly more powerful.

Penon ASOS (USD $169)


The ASOS creates the widest stage of any of the cables tested, though stage depth feels similar. Tonality seems a little smoothed out and more refined, with better note weight and dynamics.

Resolution is also higher in this impressive pairing that makes the Neo3s feel more spacious & detailed.

Effect Audio Ares S 4 Wire (USD $179)


Midbass feels deeper and more impactful, and imaging is a bit sharper with treble slightly elevated against a darker background.

Dynamics have also improved, but overall the pairing feels merely decent as the magnitude of each change is quite modest.



The ISN Neo3s have been a surprise, definitely not what I was expected!

They're incredibly coherent with fantastic tonality, almost as if ISN challenged themselves to produce the least planar-sounding planar possible.

These are a solid choice if you're looking for a set of dark, bassy IEMs under $200.

However ISN set a very high bar for themselves, so if you're basshead I recommend spending the extra $90 on the Neo5s which remain my favourite IEMs under $300.

ISN did a great job implementing a planar driver without the usual timbre or coherence issues, and I'm very keen to see what they can do with these drivers in future.
Sentences start with a capital letter X2, you learn that in 2nd grade. 2nd cables are measured with our ears. You can doubt all you want (plus you can not believe) except 1/2 of Head-Fi believe there are differences. Cheers!
@Redcarmoose :smile:ridiculous, not even one proper argument. thanks for remembering me why i stopped reading your spam in the early 2010ths. and only because half headfi are "believers" like you doesnt mean you are right at all. 80% here are beginners, onetimers or fanboys and pure psychoacoustics and you would know that if you would have tried to develop, but you do you..


Headphoneus Supremus
Quality bass with above average details
Pros: Layered and wholesome bass
Very good sub-bass perforamce
Decent mid rage clarity
Very good sonic ability
Accurate tonality and timber
Relaxed treble
Build quality is good
Cons: Treble lacks a bit of definition
The cable is below average
It's raining IEMs left right and centre. No one wants to miss out. There is a fear of missing out and one of the brands that is giving FOMO to other brands is Penon and its sister brand ISN.

Penon started by making some high quality cables. When Penon arrived with their IEMs they were already high quality. I still remember the Orb, its cohesive timber and tonality was addictive. Their ISN H40 and D10 were some of the most loved bass head IEMs till date. Soon after that Penon decided to jump into EST and flagship IEMs. They too were received well. I do remember trying the EST50 couple of years ago but that wasn't that impressive sadly. Then Penon showed us their tuning capabilities with multi DD IEMs. In came the Serial. It was one of the best IEMs for texture, timber with cohesive decay and reverb. Very recently they launched the Quattro and that houses 4 DDs, which is getting a lot of attention.

Penon and ISN are not afraid of experimentation and the ISN NEO 3 is a good representation of it. It has 2 6mm DD paired with a 5.8mm Planar. Interesting isn't it? Do we still get the usual Penon timber and cohesion? Priced at $200, available in orange shell, this is priced to intrigue and attract DD lovers mostly because of the fact that Penon has mastered the bass tuning.

I will compare this with QoA Aviation and Oriveti OD200. I don't think this IEM tries to be accurate like Falcon Ultra or Simgot EA2000 so I will try not to include them in my comparisons.

Get one from here:








There isn't a lot of info about the build but they have used medical grade Resin shell. I love this semi transparent design but this color might not be intriguing to all. We get rounded corners which are fairly comfortable inside the ear and we get a semi custom kind of wing on the inner side of the shell. Another thing that helps is the light weight and size. It barely has any heft to it and thanks to the size it will fit most ears without any issues. There is little to no pressure on the ear and it's longer than average nozzle helps with stability. We have a small vent on the shell to let the DDs breathe.






We get an 8 core OCC cable with 19 wires inside each core. We get a decent looking cable with decent behavior. It's not the supplest or soft cable we find at this price but this cable doesn't have cable guides which add to the comfort. There is no microphonics to worry about either. The 4.4mm jack, y splitter and 2pin jackets looks decent but I feel the jack a bit on the larger side.

Quality wise, I will suggest everyone to ditch this and get something decent. Even a good quality $20 cable will do better than this cable. It clearly limits the dynamics and stage size.



I tried a handful of sources with this and I didn't had any issues with most of them. The planar was not mid behaving and the DD were not looking for more power either. I was able to drive it out of lower mid range dongles like Simgot DEW4X without much to be desired. Use a decent source and we are good to go.


Okay, here are two things I want to have our attention at. Neo 3 is a bass head level IEM. Doesn't make a lot of sense if you don't a lot of bass and if you aren't a bass head, you might be reading about the wrong IEM.

In any case, Neo 3 is an excellent IEM for a bunch of us. I know, I am not a bass head and this much of bass tires me out after a while but those who love bass will enjoy this a lot.

Notes have the extra bit of reverb and cohesion. Mid range and vocals are very good too. There are no issues with timber or tonality. What we get is a L shaped signature where the bass dominates while the rest of the spectrum plays supporting acts. Neo 3 is not all about the bass thankful, there is a grandness to it's mid range notes too, making it standout of the competition.

I am using stock cable and tips for this review.


Penon is known for its high quality bass. They know how to make a DD dance and Neo 3 is a perfect example of that. It won't be wrong to state that bass runs the show here and this 6mm DD is tuned to perfection. It has the weight, vim and vigor behind it yet is fairly soft. Movement of air is well controlled. It's like the notes are big and powerful but will not be overpowering the rest of the spectrum. What I like a lot is its lack of excess wooliness. I won't go as for to say that its control is excellent but it's good.

There is a bit of unique delivery here. We get excellent layers and they don't move in but move away from the head with a lot of rumble while fading, keeping things clean as making way for newer notes. So where do the bass notes go? They move up and over the ear. Basically, the whole spectrum is placed inside a semi-circle created by the bass note. You can imagine the magnitude of the area of impact. No mud or wooly feeling but yes, the decay isn't the fastest and notes do have reverb that last long. This affects the dynamics as its upper bass notes aren't that clean but this is not tuned for accuracy so it's fine.

Needless to say but Neo 3 has very good sub-bass extension and rumble while the mid bass is slightly loose but fuller and meatier.



This mid range is tuned like safety wheels. It provides much needed balance of power. Overall balance is still in favor of bass but the mid range does put its powers on display. The 2nd DD does a good job of keeping things clean and clear while delivering very good definition and resolution. There is a slight bit of W shape here as the vocals pop a bit more than the instruments around them. There is no blunt or extra sharpness to be wary about but they can feel a bit sharp in comparison.

I am happy with the vocals too. They are a bit taller with very good body and texture. We get a bit more finishing energy with both male and female vocals. Timber and tonality are on the neutral side but can feel crispy, this enhances the technical aspect of the Neo 3. Instruments on the other hand play in the background and play the 2nd fiddle. The do have decent transparency and clarity but can feel a little less emphasized. They lack a bit of height too. What's good is the speed. There isn't much energy in the upper mids to worry about so that's a good thing.


Bass is excellent, mids are very good, how are the highs? Neo 3 has a 5.8mm planar to take care of this but it's a bit on the softer side. This lack of definition and kind of veiled presentation reminds me of the OG 7hz Timeless but that was super bad, this isn't. I was expecting a bit more attack and spark nevertheless. Treble notes aren't much transparent or tall either. Extension isn't bad but I definitely was looking for a bit more upper treble energy. Layering and separation are just average. There is distance between instruments but that space isn't very clean or clear. It doesn't have much air to talk about. Of all the things, surprisingly this slight lack of treble clarity and details isn't bothering me. This IEM is not about treble and I have to respect that.


Last time I worked on an ISN IEM, I was kind of unpleased with its very tall yet closed in stage. Thankfully Neo 3 is much better than that. I am relieved that the towering stage is now converted into a well spread one. We get very good height, decent width and nice Z axis depth too.

Bass notes are placed inside the head. Same is true for majority of vocals too. Only taller and background vocal notes escape the head. Treble notes are evenly distributed with presence both in and out of the head. Imaging though is very good with very good accuracy, and instrument placement. I like the sonics too, we get very good reverb and nice transient effects.


Simgot LC7:

I like this pairing but you might not. LC7 is a bit V shaped and tightens the bass notes. Neo 3 retains the rumble and layers but the sub-bass body is not that big while the mid bass is a bit more pronounced. Mid range and treble enjoy a bit more air between instruments while the treble notes sound a bit cleaner while the extension is slightly better too. One of the best things is the bigger stage, it doesn't get taller but the width is improved.

If you like bass this might not be the best cable but I like it.




I know this is not an IEM for everyone but there is big "BUT" here, this IEM is so cohesive and filled with texture that it's hard not to like it and for a bass heads, they will feel like home. It's weighty, full bodied soft attacking layered bass filled with rumbles should put a smile on anyone's face.

One very good thing is Neo 3 barely has any issues with tuning. Yes, some might feel this is not very smooth or may feel it's slightly energetic at some points but they are far from uncomfortable. If you don't have a very sensitive hearing, this IEM will not induce any discomfort.

I would have liked it even more if it had a bit more extension and energy into the upper treble but that's fine because this is for pure hearted bass heads who want good definition and resolution without a lot of energy, except in the right areas.
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alexandros a

1000+ Head-Fier
Orange is the new Dark...
Pros: To my ears this is the definition of how a dark orientated set of monitors should sound like
The most balanced set from the entire ISN line till now
Tremendous value for money at this price range
Top notch spatiality of elements across the stage towards all directions,really above this price range....
Thick / Dense / Lush timbre - tonality
Retro & Sentimental musicality ,very analogue feeling overall
Completely natural mids/vocals - vinyl alike representation
Really satisfying and true to life body and note weight
Robust,Authentic but not dominating bass reproduction
Tall and deep soundstage ,definetely a BIG sounding monitor
Smooth , organic treble , no strange peak or artificial feeling
Beautifull & small transparent / jewelry like shells that easily fits absolutely anyone out there
Cons: Not a technical beast actually but who cares anyway ??
Not exactly the best resolution out there....but this one really pays off in terms of emotional response and engangement....
Bass can sound a bit boomy or bloated from times to times , this depends on the quality of the recording actually at most of the times
Not a polished sound but this is not necessarily a minus at this case, cause it contributes to the exceptional analogue vinyl alike perception of the sound overall
Listening at very high volumes can sound congested occasionally at very complex electronica tracks but this depends on the recording as well............

Hi everyone, today i am going to share my thoughts on the latest set of monitors coming from ISN AUDIO the ISN NEO 3.
Straight from the beggining i want to make one thing clear regarding my evaluation on this one .I would have given NEO 3 a straight five star if i wasn't to compare it with some much higher end models coming from a completely different price range.So the 4,5 stars comes directly from those comparisons which you are about to find out later on.
..... That's because over the last two years i only purchased a few monitors from a higher price range so unfortunatelly i won't be able to give you some important comparisons from nowdays sets that belong to the NEO 3's price range .
This reflects NEO 3's obvious & unique value in today's market against much higher priced sets of monitors, and in some cases with some really sophisticated implementations



has been an old player in the industry with some solid releases back in the day ....
They have started some years ago (around 2020 if i am right ) with the mighty H40 , a hybrid model with the configuration of 3 Balanced Armatures: Custom 1 BA for middle Frequency + composite 2BA for high frequency plus one Dynamic driver : 9.2mm taking care of the Bass region
....... back on those days H40 was really an ABSOLUTE BANGER !!!!!! An absolute VFM set regardless of any price range coming out for those audiophiles who really appreciate BIG/WARM & BASSY signatures with NATURAL TIMBRE all the way........ .This was my introduction to this company and since then i have purcashed numerous sets from those guys yet to be dissapointed from them.............



Drivers:1 Planar Driver + 2 Dynamic Driver
1 x 5.8mm planar driver for high frequency
1 x 6mm dynamic driver for middle frequency
1 x 6mm dynamic driver for low frequency
Impedance: 15ohm
Sensitivity: 105dB
Frequency response: 10Hz-20kHz
Connector: 2pin 0.78mm
Cable : 8 strands , 19 cores per strand OCC wire





Purchased NEO 3 with my own money using a discount code which was provided for Penon members coming directly from PENON AUDIO , and here¨s a link in any case you get interested..... NEO 3

Gear used for the purpose of this review : iBASSO DX 160/170 / Shanling M3X / HIBY R5 GEN II
Just for the record.. NEO 3 had allready completed a total burn in period of 72 hours before any kind of critical listening.
Have used the stock cable and Tri Clarion ear tips for the purpose of this review,all thoughts following below are completely and absolutely subjective,,,,




Package is pretty simple (and that has become a tradition for all ISN monitors even the most expensive ones)
as for accessories goes, yοu get two sets of silicone tips in 3 sizes, , and a unique dark blue stylish magnetic case ,a metallic shirt clip and a black plastic cleaning tool for the nozzles.
NEO 3 comes with a unique ISN cable (8 strands , 19 cores per strand OCC wire) very beutifull and soft, obtaining 2pin 0.78mm , ending in 3,5 / 2,5 / 4,4 balanced (termination of your choise)
Fit wise, i would consider NEO 3 the closest anyone can get to custom fit,in my case at least fits like a glove to my extra large ear cavities and having tried several tips (symbio,azla sedna,sony hybrids e.t.c.) in order to find the ABSOLUTE BEST ISOLATION quickly ended up using Clarion Tri tips ,founding that those served the best sound overall. As a matter of fact at the NEO 3 the deep insertion plays a crucial role in my humble opinion for the lower frequencies to find their way to your ear and be more dominating,alive and vibrant .........the deepest you get the better the outcome will be as far as bass reproduction is concerned.







As i stated at the beggining on the Pros of NEO 3 this is the definition of how a Dark orientated earphone sould sound like to be realistic and believable to the listener.
This one and Oriveti OH700VB which i purchased late December 2023 and belongs to a completely different price range up to 699 $. we ll see how it goes against it later on...
Now......NEO 3 a warm , dark , analogue or even vinyl alike presentation which results to a natural reproduction of sound regardless of any recording.

i consider their tuning as balanced with bigger emphasis on the very low end ,slightly elevated mids and more subdued treble region that sits behind the other parts of the spectrum being smooth and organic with no strange peaks whatsoever....
Note weight is on the thicker side of things,so is the body all over the FR from the lower to the highest notes. Tonality is dense and thick but lush at the same time especially talking about the midrange this feeling of lushness is all over the place there..
As far as Soundstage / instrument placement goes.. what you get is a really wide holographic scene elliptical you might say. Sound expands easily towards any direction ending in a certain amount of ambience hard to be achieved by any monitor at this price target for sure.....and this is the strongest characteristic of NEO 3,the strongest by far,it amazes me each and every time i use them with multiple music genres.The sound spatiality here is something memorable beyond this price tag no question about's tuned and supposed to be like that....elements from the recordings travel easily inside/outside your head,front and back,right and left providing a sonic headroom outside the periphery of your head....
There is an accurate placement of instruments, right on spot, giving a strong palm of realism in every track even if image is not a strong asset of NEO 3.
Detail retrieval is not something that you take notice at first audition but it's pretty descent. Not in your face of course, in the background ...taking a back seat creating this way a unique atmospheric sense of the recording.i would characterize NEO 3 as an utterly atmospheric beast being so dark and mysterious sounding.

Big and bold but controlled at the same time with fast attacks and descent decays for acoustical instruments in this region
the one and only downside is that ocassionaly bass can be sound a touch boomy but it's not an everyday issue that one....
Never bleeds into the midrange,to be more precise the transition into the mids is smooth as butter, makes you think there is only one driver working in the entire FR providing cohesive steady solid sound.but the biggest feature here is the sub bass impact
To be more specific about it, in the sub bass region (20 - 60 Hz) NEO 3 does pretty good job ,seems that despite the fact that there's only one small 6mmDD taking care of that region it manages to push a lot of air there effortless resulting in this exciting outcome.....
Even at the lowest volume levels you can feel that woofer tickling your ears and that makes a huge difference....
it΄s almost like you can feel the music rather than just hearing the sound.
I suspect partially due to their fantastic tuning and unique implementation and also due to their unique custom like fit which allows everyone regardless of their ear cavity size to experience a most unique fitting experience (the closest you can get to custom monitors as i allready have mentioned)

one small 6mmDD taking care of the midrange as well and once again the cohesiveness is trully admirable,there is a noticeable airy feeling between voices and instruments a balance hard to find at this price range
Spacious,emotional,lush with weight at the same time,seems like ISN AUDIO enginners found the right spot between thick and thin mids resulting to a unique and very realistic timbre.
Enganging and euphoric vocals is what should be expected from NEO 3 midrange reproduction
Furthermore, the amount of air, especially in the midrange is really remarkable for any iem at this price range, and i would easily compare the airy atmosphere in the mids (which is trully amazing) to the Oriveti OH700VB which is way way more expensive monitor.

Now this is something never being tried before...something unique for ISN AUDIO. One 5.8mm planar driver handles the higher frequencies lower and higher region and it sure does a pretty good job there....
Clearly this part of the region takes a step back regarding the rest of the spectrum cleverly avoiding this way any unnecessary fatiqueness or unatural feeling.
Extended but subdued taking a gentle approach , sparkly but fatigue free at the same time.all the upper region details are there ,not at your face ,at the background moving slowly inside your head filling you gently with all the information present at the recordings.
its a relaxed laid back treble providing at the same time an absolute fatique free experience suggested for long term listening sessions
Not hot,neither artificial,whith no strange peaks obtaining zero glare / grain or harshness , but on the contrary natural and forgiving even at the poorly recorded tracks.


Angel Olsen - Endgame


This is a unique opportunity to test NEO 3 in female vocals and besides that to find out about it's tremendous capacity regarding the spatiality of sound elements across the stage as well....
Olsen's angelic voice floats above / and in-between every single instrument at this case in a ethereal way,meanwhile the majority of the percussion included at this recording (drums/timpanis,plates,cymbals,hi-hats etc.. )as well as the rest of the orchestra instruments travels with ease from left to right and vice versa providing a most fascinating sense of openess to the song.everything feels comletely natural and authentic here , the space and headroom with NEO 3 is nothing less than spectacular at this one.....

Roger Fakhr - East of any place


A perfect example, of how natural sound should really sound like
This one was recorded in a single day sessions in the late 1970s, the song remain untouched, preserving the rawness and authenticity of the moment with impeccable folk-driven arrangements and lyricism shining throughout
Roger Fakhr's lower male vocals comes out with authority and emotion as well while acoustic quitars dancing around the main stage note weight and decay coming from the acoustic quitar players here is just as it should be in real life , like if you where attending this session sitting somewhere inside the studio during that recording. astonished............

Röyksopp - Sorry


Jamie Irrepressible's dark and profound voice is reproduced here with a feeling of sincere emotionality while the lows are taking care of the whole atmosphere being created pulsating and vibrating with distinct presence not overwhelming the rest of the spectrum resulting in a unique ambience and a most remarkable headstage for the listener,the depth of the scene here is trully admirable... NEO 3 is made for this kind of recordings , being such a strange atmospheric beast makes you forget of the less important stuff in music and gives you the unique opportunity to focus on the most important ones .....emotion and musicality.........

Anonymous Various Artists - Contact


This is most probably the best Electronica Compilation for 2023 coming again from Touched Records late December.
All artists here remain completely anonymous while i choosed "Contact" (probably Jon Hopkins behind this gem) as an example for the vibrating low end reproduction that NEO 3 is able of providing not blurring any lines or bleeding in the midrange in any way but giving a spacious and open feeling across the FR in the best possible way around....

Futureheaven - Imber


Nevertheless....if anyone really wants to have a taste of NEO 3's tremendous sonic abilities have certainly to listen to Imber from old school but at the same time modern shoegaze anthem. This one is a clear evidence of NEO 3's amazing sonic demonstration...
The headroom being created by the tones of reverb/delay/echo using pedal effects are beyond anyone's imagination.........
the voices sound like coming from inside a cave , the depth of the scene is something else here....the sonic expansion is crazy ,makes NEO 3 a true refference of how a dynamic earphone should sound like nowdays.....

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

Last but not least and speaking in terms of integrity/originality and unmistakable - natural reproduction i could not slip away from this track...
Everything here....meaning really everything sounds so unmistakably correct to my ears the pianos,the sax,electric bass,the percussion,Bowie's vocals.....
Piano notes from the lowest to the highest octaves dancing around your head with just totally perfect timbre and decay,the sax sounds so original and physical,electric bass providing the pace in just the correct place with an utterly correct tone....i could listen to that track all day long just using NEO 3.
Such a treat for my ears and soul !!!!!



vs H40

with a 9.2 DD & 3 BAs (1BA for the mids - 2BAs for the highs) H40 is a bass focused hybrid ,the epitomy of a FUN SIGNATURE SOUND a much beloved for many headfiers monitor and a personal favorite.NEO 3 is the more balanced and the less bulky one between them.Its the one with a prominent sub bass emphasis against the vast bass signature of the H40s which from time to time, dominates and thus overshadows the rest of the frequency range. Vocals on NEO 3 are more organic and smoother than H40 and the airy feeling is more noticeable too. Treble is not H40s biggest advantage too,resulting in a more polite sound experience,its not like NEO 3 is more aggresive at all.its just that H40 is more prominent in the bass region due to its tuning, Regardless of that both are great hybrid monitors with NEO 3 due to its tuning and implementation ,being the more airy and balanced sounding between them obtaining a more ¨out of the head experience¨to the listener.
Anyway... FYI I still consider till this day H40 for their cost, an absolute VFM ideal all rounder........



Configuration : 1 Coil OBC Driver + 1 Bass Dynamic Driver + 2 Mids BA Drivers + 2 Treble BA Drivers
Obviously what comes first in mind is the question : is this a fair comparison ? i mean come on...1kilobuck monitor versus a 199 bucks iem ???????
Got the MEXT about a year ago so lets start with a major downisde of the MEXT........It is by far the biggest monitor I ve ever tried, and certainly not the most comfortable experience for the average user....
it is a bass friendly monitor with a HUGE FUN SIGNATURE closer to H40 than NEO 3
MEXT is indeed a perfect all rounder, ideal for bass lovers obtaining a huge soundstage,top tier resolution ,fantastic mids and fascinating treble response.
nevertheless i have to admit that I was quite surprised during this comparison cause MEXT is my one and only kilobuck monitor and i realised with certainty, that those are quite overestimated (in terms of pure cost of course) against monitors like ISN NEO 3
In terms of natural/analoque reproduction of music i would say NEO 3 is pretty close there ..
in terms of timbre / note weight both are natural and realistic with note weight being a bit more on the MEXTs side due to it's tuning mainly.
But.. in the other hand NEO 3 being more airy obtains a touch more open feeling in the midrange leaving room for the vocals to breathe....
MEXT is a dark sounding monitor along with NEO3, and both obtain a more "heavy feeling" more basshead friendly if you like...with the MEXT being the more refined one,the more polished one if you like so... but if you consider their HUGE price difference the fact that NEO 3 is really really close in terms of music represantation is totally/absolutelly remarkable


vs EST50s

EST 50s was to me love Love at first audition and still is one of my all time favorites monitor. ISN AUDIO is a true master as far BASS goes and in this case their flagship EST50s is the perfect proof of what happens when a group of proffesional engineers who happens to love bass frequencies a little more than the rest of the spectrum........... are doing their best effort to bring such a miracle as the EST50s.Off course the impact from 20 to 250hz is obviously bigger at EST50 's case, and of course the transients over this region become quickly more than noticeable and distinctive but it's supposed to be this way around.. cause we re talking about the flagship of a company dedicated to Authentic Bass reproduction since it's origins....BUT this does not mean in any way that NEO 3 is lacking at this department.Not in terms of texture. body and quality..On NEO 3 bass comes in waves like a wall of sound,mid bass is vast with minimal bleeding over the lower mids providing a strong sensation of organs and leading the's an ISN monitor it just couldn't be any other way..
Now on the mids....Here the midrange is taken care by a SONION BA driver which make the mids so ,so ,so, beautifull and sweet ,up to the point where you can simply forget how marvelous the bass sounds ,and the upper treble uses 2 Sonion ESTs micro tweeters so this results in a perfect natural representation of the higher regions. strangely enough NEO 3 sits really close to that ISN flagship if you can live without the overly dominating and authoritative bass impact of the EST50s and appreciate the more balanced and fair bass & overall tuning of the NEO 3 then everything becomes easier as a choise.....
other than that.......Midrange is more refined airy and polished on EST50s but this is expected as Sonion is the best BA over there ,and the details on the treble region of the EST50s are purely suberb and more natural and sparkly than the subdued treble of the NEO 3. at this case i am afraid i would go for the EST50s it is a hell of a monitor.......
..........though giving a second thought and taking under consideration their big price difference ..can't help but thinking both are really close in terms of overall representation of sound and providing equally a 3Dimentional open stage.. with NEO 3 being the slightly less refined one...


vs PENON 10th AE

This is a tough one for sure...
During 2023 i was lucky enough to get one of the most value for money monitors i ever purchased 7 years now in this hobby, and that is the PENON 10TH AE.As far as i am concerned this is a TOTL KILLER , a truly unique set of monitors with tremendous personality/value and capabilities,it happens to be one of my all time favorites and i consider it the absolute most balanced sounding monitor i have till now
......compared with NEO 3 is not fair enough its more than double NEO 3's price with far more sophisticated implementation but anyway............NEO 3 is darker ,far more darker and warmer monitor with more fat and wide bass like a veil while PENON 10th's bass is impactfull with definition but more "inside the lines" with longer decays and faster attack and presence.midrange over the NEO 3 is more moisterous and analogue/vinyl alike while on the 10ths is more airy and spacious more vivid and exciting one.Particularly in the midrange PENON 10TH AE sits among the the clearest you can get regardless any price range...10THs midrange is just so crystal clear and transparent one like a lucid dream that makes it a real struggle for most of the monitors to follow there.... The treble on the 10ths is the most fascinating and fatique free EST treble i ve ever heard more extended than NEO 3s treble with more energy and details there....But still both obtain a relaxed and fatique free treble region with the PENON 10th being the more sparkly and exciting one as far treble goes,....but providing that the note weight across the FR is substantially thicker on NEO 3 imho....and given the fact that anyone outthere looking for a more analogue like sound representation easily picks NEO 3 over the 10TH AE because the first sounds more vinyl alike and a bit more natural, both these factors makes for me at least.. so difficult to choose between those two.....overal in most of the cases i prefer NEO 3s more analogue reproduction and it's better sense of stage depth due to it's tuning....


vs Oriveti OH700VB

another unfair comparison follows right after.........:sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile: lol...................
cause new on the market hybrid Oriveti OH700VB for 699 $ playing easily at the same range of 1K plus monitors is not what you consider as a fair battle...............

i think so..............:sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:
Despite all that i consider NEO 3s sound overall as the "twin brother" of OH700VB
Both are dark, warm , analogue and utterly atmospheric animals with the OH700VB being the more refined one from those two but just ever so slightly more refined..considering their big price difference that is....
Both are FUN SIGNATURE orientated and i have to make clear at this point that OH700VB is my personal definition of a Fun absolutely atmospheric monitor regardless any price range till now. it is dark but not as dark as NEO 3 with impactfull bass response when it is called upon and furthermore providing you with the unique choise of a switch over the faceplates that offers two different tuning styles to the listener.Turning the switch up and everything goes balanced,turning the switch down adds 3dbs of additional bass and impact to the lows thus turning into an atmospheric animal with a unique depth and spatiality of sound elements across the entire FR.
In the midrange OH700VB provides a touch more airy feeling and space between the instruments so ends up being more 3Dimentional in terms of reproduction of the stage and a bit more accurate in terms of instrument placement in the stage but nevertheless NEO 3 is really very very close overall to this utterly atmospheric representation of sound.
Treble sits behind in both of these sets providing a more relaxed laid back response sharing lots of similarities there..
NEO 3 shares the same DNA as far as spatiality of elements and soundstage goes ,and besides that both sound very very analoque alike the absolute opposite of a digital sound. both share this unique feature of a very realistic and natural timbre with OH700VB giving bigger proportions to the stage and having more texture and definition to the bass department.but NEO 3 really follows very close to OH700VBs reproduction just being slightly less refined and polished overall,if i had to purchase one of them right now i would easily go for NEO 3 given that you can get the same atmospheric sound outcome without breaking the bank..............



At this hobby it has always been a matter of personal taste and flavor when it comes to the choise of getting an iem that suits any individual΄s different point of view.
From my side at least i cannot reccomend enough ISN NEO 3. imhoc ISN audio engineers really surpassed themselves making this fabulous set of monitors.For any audiophile out there that is on the look for a dark / warm / analogue and atmospheric as well as utterly natural sound reproduction without having to spent a fortune this is an absolute killer , for it's price its absolutely a no brainer and one great value regardless of any price to faithfully reproduce any kind of recording or music genre effortlessly ,and the main point is that NEO 3 has nothing to envy from much higher priced monitors coming from well established companies , or monitors using more sophisticated implementations.
All this for barely 199 bucks.....
Nowdays you don't have to spend a fortune in order to get a descent all rounder,and NEO 3 is a solid proof of that, along with NEO 3 you 're getting a mature sound not usually related with monitors at this price range..that and only that makes NEO 3 a unigue gem, trust me guys
Thanks for reading.............

* All things stated above are purely subjective opinion of mine and everyone here is welcome to argue on that, cause each and every person as we all understand hear things quite differently here, and everyone's opinion on things is always appreciated.


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Last edited:
Excellent review! Very comprehensive.
Thank you for referring to Oriveti OH700VB as 'dark iem'. I'd wish that it would be easier to find dark setup, as it isn't as common signature as bassy.
alexandros a
alexandros a
@michaelkevin NEO 3 is the closest I have heard to OH700VB you know..


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