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3 way hybrid - DD bass, Planar Mids, BA treble

NICEHCK F3

Rating:
4.5/5,
Tags:
  • Specification:
    1.
    Product Name: NICEHCK F3 flagship planar-magnetic 3 unit hybrid in-ear earphone
    2. Brand: NICEHCK
    3.
    Model: F3
    4.
    Earphone type: In-ear
    5. Impedance: 16Ω
    6. Earphone sensitivity: 95dB/mW
    7. Frequency response range: 20-28000Hz
    8. Plug Type: 3.5mm Straight
    9. Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
    10.Color: Silvery
    11.Whether with cable: Yes
    12.Earphone connector: 2Pin connector
    13.Whether with mic: No mic
    14.Whether can replacement cable: Yes
    15.Driver unit: 1*Planar Driver Unit + 1*BA + 1*DD hybrid 3 driver units each side (Planar-Magnetic Driver + Balanced Armature Driver + Dynamic Driver)
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    IMG_20190508_163021.jpg
    HTB15u2vRNTpK1RjSZR0q6zEwXXaw.jpg
scottsays likes this.

Recent Reviews

  1. FastAndClean
    NICEHCK F3 - Resolution first
    Written by FastAndClean
    Published May 10, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - incredible amount of details, very fast transient response, high dynamic range, specific and accurate imaging, big soundstage, clean, tight and uncolored bass, forward high quality mids and treble, build and comfort, very nice packaging, high value
    Cons - very bright out of the box , needs a lot of burn in, the bass is very neutral, will sound lean for some, treble is forward, not for treble sensitive, you will hear every flaw from your recordings, not good all rounders, will make some of your other in ears mushy sounding
    IMG_20190508_163154.jpg


    Source for the review - Sabaj DA3.

    Songs used for the review
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons [DVD-A] 96-24 (album)
    Jim Keltner - Improvisation
    Eric Clapton - My father's Eyes
    Nah Youn Sun - My Favorite Things
    Inception - Dream Collapsing
    Steve Strauss - Youngstown
    Stimulus Timbre - Expression
    Diana Krall – Let's Fall in Love
    Trevor Jones - Clear The Tracks!
    The DALI CD - Zhao Cong , Moonlight on Spring River
    Baba-Yaga, for orchestra, Op. 56
    Rebecca Pidgeon - Grandmother
    Sara K - Maritime
    Trevor Jones - Promentory
    Patricia Barber - Regular Pleasures
    Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick
    Dave Brubeck - Take Five
    Marcin Przybylowicz - Go Back Whence You Came
    James Horner - Going After Newt
    Hans Zimmer - Dream Is Collapsing
    Hans Zimmer - Molossus
    Harry Gregson - Emergency Launch
    Shpongle - Shpongle Spores
    Dizzy Gillespie - Could it Be You
    Dominik Eulberg - Bjorn Borkenkafer
    Trentemoller - The Forest
    Kryptic Minds And Leon Switch - Ocean Blue
    Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York (Album)
    Xiomara Laugart - Tears and Rumba (2015) [192-24](Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2006) Xiomara (24-96)(Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2010) La Voz (24-88)(Album)
    Steve Strauss – Just like Love – Stockfisch(2005) SACD (album)
    Plug - Drum 'N' Bass For Papa 2CD-1997-FLAC (album)

    specs
    3 way hybrid, 5mm dynamic woofer, 10mm planar magnetic midrange driver, BA for treble
    Brand: NICEHCK
    Model: F3
    Earphone type: In-ear
    Impedance: 16 ohms
    Earphone sensitivity: 95dB/mW
    Frequency response range: 20-28000Hz
    Plug Type: 3.5mm Straight
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Earphone connector: 2Pin connector
    Shell Material: Aviation Aluminum Alloy

    I bough NICEHCK F3 with a discount from Jim from NICEHCK store.

    I sold my Moondrop Kanas pro not long time ago. Not because i don't like them, i was ready for something new. Bought CCA C16 and that was the beginning of a new era for me. I started to listen my BA sets more, ER4S and CCA C16. One thing was standing out compared to dynamic driver in ears, the speed. It began to impress me more than before.
    I purchased the F3 because it has planar magnetic driver inside and also the looks, i was not sure what to expect, just hoping for fast and tight bass response. That was my only concern. What i got is something that is ready for war with ER4S.

    Packaging

    IMG_20190508_162754.jpg
    IMG_20190508_162905.jpg
    IMG_20190508_162943.jpg
    IMG_20190508_163021.jpg
    You get a good looking box, semi hard carrying case inside, 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S,M,L) and 8 core silver plated copper cable. The tips are very good quality, soft and comfortable, no need for aftermarket tips. The cable is soft, durable and very well made. Zero microphonics.

    Build, fit and comfort.

    IMG_20190508_163232.jpg
    IMG_20190508_163154.jpg
    ee6d8875.jpg

    The build is very solid, similar to Kanas pro, all metal build but the F3 is made of aluminum alloy. They look shockingly good in person, like a jewelry. Surgical precision in their build quality. The fit is great, the shape is like a semi custom earphone. Comfort is very good.

    Isolation.
    The isolation is good not great, they have vent in the front.

    Overall sound signature.
    The sound is neutral in the bass with mid and treble focus and extreme resolution.
    EDIT - They need minimum 150 hours of burn in, the planar driver is producing treble as well (not only the BA driver), after burn in they sound very improved, overall less treble and more musical sounding mids.

    Bass - 5mm dynamic driver
    The bass sound completely flat in a DF target curve, think of ER4S bass without the roll off under 50hz. With a tactical feel to it, is not big in quantity but you can feel how it pushes air in the lower octaves with very fast hits.
    The control is better than anything that i have right now, it doesn't sound like a typical dynamic driver. Extreme speed and tightness. The speed is similar to fast BA woofer but the texture and details sound more like a planar driver. The bass is deep, clean, always under control and very detailed sounding. No warmth from the mid bass or something like that. Technical bass response, it can sound lean for some people.
    I really enjoy how clean and uncolored it is, you can appreciate that kind of bass with real instruments, kick drums, bass guitars and so on.

    Mids - 10mm planar magnetic driver
    Planars are usually very good in the mids, F3 is no exception. The lower midrange is neutral, uncolored, forward middle and upper mids, female vocals, strings, violins and everything in the midrange area sound clean and well separated. Male vocals are not left behind, they are just not thick sounding, realistic without color. That was evident when i tested the male vocals with Steve Strauss – "Just like Love" album, the correct tonality was there from the first song. Dynamic and lifelike vocals, male and female. Similar to Ortofon Q5 but better, the Q5 have some mid and upper bass boost that was coloring the midrange, not the F3. One of the best mids to date for me.

    Treble - BA driver
    The treble is forward similar to the mids. A lot of air and details, the treble is boosted but is not harsh to me, cymbals sound natural with snap to them. Revealing, if you are listening to bad recordings the F3 will show that, but with well mastered recordings you will be amazed by the amount of details and resolution. The extension is excellent.
    If you are sensitive to treble be aware. They will attack you with the wrong track.


    Soundstage and imaging.
    Soundstage is wide and deep. Changing depending on the recording. If the recording is wide it will present that, if it is intimate will show that as well.
    Accurate and specific imaging, never confused, no matter how complex the track is, it will separate every sound in a instant, i have earphones with good imaging but not like F3, the F3 is in a whole other level.

    Detail retrieval and transient response.
    Fast earphones are very enjoyable for me, they can show more, recover quickly without smearing. That is a strong point of F3, every driver inside is fast. Detail retrieval is very high and effortless. It will show everything in your music, that makes them unforgiving with bad recordings.

    Comparisons.
    With Kanas pro (by fresh memory)
    Bass
    KP has more bass, dramatic and rumbly. F3 is more precise, faster and light.
    Mids
    KP has neutral midrange with sweetness, very musical and liquid, F3 is more forward with better dynamic range and clarity.
    Treble
    KP has a peak in the upper treble with a dip before that, F3 has the whole treble area boosted.
    That makes the treble of F3 more even sounding because there is no depression in the lower treble like KP but it is more aggressive, also the treble on F3 is faster sounding. The texturing is finer and easy to hear on F3.
    Soundstage and imaging
    Stage size is very similar, the imaging on KP is very good but F3 is a step above. F3 reacts better under pressure with fast and complex tracks.
    Overall the KP is more musical sounding, F3 is more technical and clean, the speed is big advantage for F3 in the whole presentation. KP is more forgiving to bad recordings, it will show imperfections but F3 will show more.

    With Final E5000
    Bass
    E5000 has more bass, the bass sound very boosted in comparison to F3, E5000 has tight and fast bass(faster than KP), F3 is a lot lighter but faster and cleaner. F3 has the fastest bass response of the three.
    Mids
    Because of the boosted bass the mids on E5000 are warm and euphoric, F3 has very neutral lower mids but the upper mids are forward, cleaner and more dynamic sounding on F3. More musical and romantic on E5000.
    Treble
    E5000 have clean and neutral sounding treble, but because it has big bass line and warm mids the treble can sound subdued in the whole signature, F3 has more treble and is cleaner and more airy in comparison.
    Soundstage and imaging
    E5000 has wide soundstage, F3 has similar width but more dept.
    Imaging on E5000 is like KP, very good, F3 is better.
    Overall E5000 is very musical, more than KP, with good technical performance, despite the warmth it is surprisingly detailed, F3 is more analytical and clean sounding, they differ greatly in the sound signature.

    With Etymotic ER4S
    Bass
    Similar quantity but F3 goes lower and has tactical feel to the bass that is very rare, the texture is better on F3. ER4S still has clean tight bass but not as detailed as F3, the speed is hard to compare though, both are very fast.
    Mids
    ER4S sound more neutral in the mids, calmer also, F3 has more mid energy and better dynamic range, it is more revealing than ER4S. Lower part of the mids sound similar but middle and upper mids are more pronounced on F3.
    Treble
    ER4S has very nice clean treble, it is fine and airy but it lacks body sometimes, F3 have more body to the cymbals and overall more treble. The treble on F3 sound more realistic and dynamic.
    Soundstage and imaging
    The soundstage on ER4S is not very wide, F3 has bigger stage size, ER4S has very good imaging, specific, similar to F3 but F3 has bigger soundstage, for that reason the separation of the instruments is more distinct.
    Overall ER4S is closer to the sound of the F3 than the other two dynamics, but F3 sound like a extreme version of ER4S.

    Conclusion.
    Masterpiece of a earphone, amazing build quality and look, very technical sound but not musical, pick your poison.

    Have a good one.
      phthora, volly, SoundChoice and 5 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. FastAndClean
      if the treble is too much for you use them with foam tips, they are not for treble sensitive people, it will be too aggressive for them
      FastAndClean, May 11, 2019
      scottsays likes this.
    3. Karendar
      Glad to see your review. My impressions of these are pretty much on par with everything you said. I still haven't burned them in sufficiently, but treble is tamed already. The fit is what's killing these for me. I can't get a good, consistent seal even though I tried at least 12 different tips... Also, seems ported in back and front on mine. I imagine it's necessary for the planar driver.

      Still wondering if I'll keep these or resell.
      Karendar, May 22, 2019 at 5:26 PM
    4. FastAndClean
      try with longer tips, like those from Sony mh1c, also triple flange work great for me but they are uncomfortable
      FastAndClean, May 22, 2019 at 5:28 PM

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