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NICEHCK F3

Rating:
3.66667/5,
Tags:
  1. Dsnuts
    NiceHCK F3.
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Jul 17, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Large spacious engaging dimensional sound. Excellent build and fit.
    Cons - Comes with a cable that enhances the treble area which is already enhanced.

    NiceHCK F3

    I would like to thank Jim at NiceHCK for the review sample. He is always helpful and wanted to know how I am hearing one of his newest hybrid planar earphones the F3. I was excited to try out this new shiny earphone as Jim and the NiceHCK marketing team labelled the F3 as a “flagship.” level earphone. I went into hearing the F3 with an open mind. The folks at NiceHCK most definitely know by now that I have no issues telling them how good or bad an earphone is so with that in mind I will go over the F3 on this read. I have used the F3 exclusively for the past month in everyday situations using some of my daps and players listening to a vast variety of genres classical to modern. Overall I have to say I am impressed with the F3 in form fit function and most importantly sound. However not all is perfect for this “flagship” model and I will get into that later.
    DSC06665.JPG

    So the F3 has some very interesting tech going on. Solid aluminum alloy shell with 5mm dynamic doing bass duties 10mm planar for mids and a single BA for the highs. While weighly in its moderately bulky form it doesn’t feel like it will fall out of my ears or cause undue fatigue due to the weight. Overall shape is very similar to that of the IBasso earphones and in fact fits identical to them as well. The build quality is strong with this one as in fact as shiny as the coating that is on the F3 I wonder how they did it so it won’t scratch so easily. My only other in ears that are this shiny is my AndromedaS and those scratch if you look at it strangely. I managed to use it for the past month with absolutely no sign of wear and tear and this is me throwing it in the pouch it came with every time I stash it away. Even with the earpieces banging on each other when I stash it away. Build is absolutely outstanding.


    Specs are as follows:

    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)

    DSC06666.JPG


    The included pouch, case and set of silicone tips is standard for NiceHCK. What these needed was a complete set of foams and a larger variety of silicones at least 5 different sets and a cable that doesn't enhance the sonic flaws of the F3. It comes with a nice 8 core SPC cable that does the job. However based on observations of the sound tuning NiceHCK would have done better with a pure copper variety vs SPC on this one. I was recommended by Jim to try out a different cable. It has been documented that the F3 has some treble emphasis that has the potential to fatigue a treble sensitive listener. I found this to be entirely true using the stock cable. In fact after doing the bulk of my listening using an aftermarket ISN 16 core pure copper cable. Going back to the stock cable it was immediately noticeable using the same sources on the same tracks at the same exact volume. It went from a very listenable balanced sound to a much brighter fatiguing symbol crashing shimmer inducing brighter tone for the treble.


    My question is why include a cable that will actually enhance an area of the sound in an earphone that is already enhanced? Open box listen was a bit on the difficult. I had to fast forward to the next tune using my Shanling M5 simply due to the brightness. Stock tips are usable but nothing special. I opted for my Symbio W tips peeled. I would stay away from wider bored tips on these earphones. Wide bored tips like the Spiral dots will enhance and highlight the treble area. So I was getting an earful of bright sunshine using the Spiral dots in conjunction with the stock cable. Now I know when people read brightness and earphones folks will stay away. However this is not all bad news. In fact, much to my surprise. It did take a bit of experimenting to find out what the F3 is truly about but in the end. The F3 has more positives than negatives when it comes to the sound.

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    Overall tuning is a balanced approach with a bit of an extra emphasis in the treble region. Has a larger roomier side of sound with excellent detail retrieval and imaging. While the presence range in sound does a good job at throwing out the details of the sound, enhancing clarity and air for instruments and vocals.Truth be told I am absolutely addicted to how roomy and airy the F3 can sound. I don’t find sibilance to be an issue with the F3 but more crash cymbals and hi hat notes having a bit more shimmer, sheen, bite with an extended decay for the sake of high fidelity. This is the area of concern on the F3. Treble extension is very good but with the extra emphasis in the treble presence region. Without the right tips and using the included cable. These will cause ear fatigue.

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    However with the correct tips and using the right cable that smooths out the region, the F3 is more than capable of hanging with the big stars of my stable. Simply put, with stock stuff on the F3 the F3 does not get the thumbs up at all. So why would a person buy a $200 earphone only to shell out more money for another cable and more tips? In the pursuit of optimized listening, basically I am saying. Get yourself a new cable, preferably a pure copper variety and experiment with tips. The stock accessories does nothing for the sound of the F3 but actually enhance its flaws.


    Best performance of the F3 was when using my daps in balanced mode vs single ended. Balanced out of both my Cayin N5ii and Shanling M5s was the reason why I have become addicted to the sound of the F3. When the sound of the F3 is optimized. I have to say it is one of NiceHCKs better works. But do not expect these to sound good out of the box.


    The positives of the enhancement in the presence range is that these will pick off details and will have no problems letting you know treble highlighted effects and micro details are clearly in the mix. The BA doing the treble duties will have no problems letting you hear your treble detail. Sure it could use a slight tweak of the region but to be completely honest it sounds great a completely different animal from the stock setup once you find a good matching cable for the F3.

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    The mids of the F3 is most definitely the strong suit and shows the Planar ability to project the mids with exacting imaging, speedy precision and has a great ability to present with very good layering. Which is helped out by the larger spacious dimensional sound these have. Vocals be it male or female have equal footing on the mids and has one of the better fleshed out imagery for mids I have heard in the price range. Spacious, fluid,full bodied and smooth comes to mind. However here is a bit of a missed opportunity. With the mid range being this good. Only if the treble had a more even keeled balanced and smoother approach. VS here is extra emphasis for your treble to go with your smooth full bodied mids. Yes the treble can sound a bit excited at times even with an optimized cable but I do notice this happens mostly with tracks that have a lot of treble energy from the get go. EDM tracks with a lot of over sampled high notes especially is noticeable. . The planar driver used here seems to have no problems throwing out the musical details we love in our music all done in a roomy spacious manor with a slight lift for vocals. Vocals sounds wonderful on these.


    The F3 has excellent bass presentation. The 5mm dynamic gives a tight accurate and a dynamic low end when hitting them low notes. With a proper tuning to not interfere with mids. Bass kick sounds proper and can rumble with authority based on the track used. Does a great job of not sticking out in the mix. It has a good tight presentation that does not seem to be overly cooked or the opposite being too limp. In fact the bass to mids emphasis is not only proper but seamless in transition. The cohesion here is tops in my book. Only if the treble was the same way.

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    Extension is excellent in the bass region and is evenly matched up with the mids planar. Bass has plenty of speed, tightness and can rumble when called for. For the price paid the bass and mids are represented well. Again it comes down to the treble region of the F3. It may sound like this is a death sentence to an earphone but on the contrary.


    I actually found myself enjoying the F3. Sure I had to figure out a different cable for it and use an aftermarket tip that was not included with the F3 but hey at least I got it to sound cohesive, smoother and actually enjoyable. Build quality is premium and for the most part so is the sound but man oh man what can you say about a peak in the 5-6Khz range. Either your OK with it or your not. That my friends is up to you to decide. I am happy to say these turned out much better than I initially thought and the lower treble emphasis is simply not that terrible for me.

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    What is more concerning is the fact that these have clearly not had enough testing done with the final tuning to make them realize what is good and bad about the sound. Why include a cable that actually enhances the detail of the earphone when treble is actually enhanced from the tuning?. Also I would like to challenge NiceHCK into truely looking into more optimized tips for their earphones. The standard fare for tips is just that standard fare. At least they didn't throw in a lot of the tips to collect dust. Truth be told out of the dozen or so NiceHCK products I have heard. I use approximately zero of their included tips on anything I own.


    In this case, cables and your best tips do make a big difference. If the included cable was the only choice I had. Well lets just say this review would not be too much fun to write about. With the stock cables and tips the above statements apply and I don’t know if I would actually enjoy listening to these.


    If I was to give a grade just on included items in the box for the sound I would give it a C grade. Even with the treble enhancement it sounds good enough but the fact that you have to find your own cable that will not highlight the highs as much as the stock cables do. With aftermarket cable it gets a B+ for sound. Believe it or not the sound is actually done really well. Can be very enjoyable with the caveat that one must absolutely find the right cable and tips to match up with the F3. And for the guys that don’t believe that cables and tips has any influence on the base sound of an earphone. It is simple, the F3 is not recommended for you. The F3 will be a whole lot of edginess for your listening pleasure.
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    If you go at these with an open mind and not have any reservations on optimizing an earphone with the idea of modding it using different cables and your own optimized tips. The sound is airy, spacious, detailed with a musical euphoria that surrounds you. Highly recommend balanced listening using the F3.


    Ya so there is a lot of criticism here. It is a shame most folks will not be able to hear how good the F3 truly can be. But how can they when I am probably the only person on this planet with my exact cable and tip combination I am using with the F3. My best advice for folks at NiceHCK. Take your time with releases. It is the small details in a new phone release that can make or break an earphone. With so much competition now a days. Be better than the others. Please include optimized cables, considering you have so many cables you sell from your website. Please throw in better more optimized variety of tips. As a consumer if you charged me $20 more because your throwing in cables and tips that matches up with a sonic ability of the earphones. I would be glad to pay it. Just because you are using state of the art process for earphones. Does not mean you have a state of the art earphones. How about state of the art accessories to match up with it?


    Imagine Usane Bolt running with a pair of crocs. You get the idea. Thanks for reading.
    usain-bolt-earned-325-million-in-the-year-running-up-to-the-2016-olympics[1].jpg
      Zelda and DannyBai like this.
  2. Wiljen
    NiceHck - A detail Monster but needs treble adjust
    Written by Wiljen
    Published Jun 13, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Great build, extremely fast drivers with good transients, linear lows and mids.
    Cons - Bass wont satisfy some, bright treble with notable 5kHz bump that can be fatiguing.
    [​IMG]

    NiceHCK F3

    disclaimer: It comes as no secret that I have reviewed a good number of products by NiceHCK and speak with their representative fairly frequently via facebook and email. Recently when rumblings about a new planar in-ear started surfacing, I ask him when they would be available. He agrees to ship me one at a reduced but still fairly substantial cost to try out. The F3 is a listed as a Flagship for NiceHCK with a CNC machined Aluminum shell and a triple driver hybrid (dynamic, planar, ba) so is quite a departure from the all BA flagship they currently sell.



    Unboxing / Packaging:

    I have to admit, that packaging for the F3 was no different than for any of the other current NiceHCK lineup. The brown lift-top pressboard box has the rubber soft case inside with everything else nestled inside it. The package has the earpieces in individual plastic bags to help prevent scratching and the cable in a separate bag. Three sets of white silicone tips round out the package.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Build/Fit:


    Shells are machined and polished aluminum both inside and out and the level of polish is fitting of a flagship model. Seams are tight, connectors are flush, surfaces are all smooth and mirror bright. It is hard to take pictures of the F3 without getting your reflection or that of your camera displayed in the photo. Those with the NiceHCK EP10 will recognize the finish. All surfaces are that highly polished. Nozzles are a seperate part based on the exploded diagrams but could pass for being a machined part of the inner shell based on color and polish level. I’d put the quality of the shell right up with the Magaosi K5’s custom molded resin or the RHA CL2 with its ceramic shell. The shells are on the larger side and are designed for tip-up wear but due to the level of polish and rounding of the corners makes the F3 a comfortable fit. With the heft of an all metal shell, once positioned, the F3 has little if any tendency to shift or move even during exercise. I did find that some tip rolling was necessary to get the best fit as none of the provided tips got a good seal and were comfortable for me.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Internals:

    The F3 sports 3 newly designed drivers, one each Planar, dynamic, and balanced armature. The planar driver is the largest at 10mm and handles the middle range with the 5mm dynamic added specifically for handling sub-bass and the balanced armature added for upper range. Nominal Impedance is listed at 16Ω with a sensitivity of 95dB/mW. The F3 can be driven very minimally by a phone or tablet but definitely is not at its best as it sounds thin and mid-shy. It prefers a more potent source and sounds better from things like the Opus #1S or AK70 Mk2 and even better from the xDSD or xCAN paired to those sources. The F3 really opens up with the Burson Fun, although it was possible to find the noise floor with the big Burson as a audible hiss developed as volume increased. This wasn’t so much evident during music playback, but gaps between tracks would have an audible hiss if I pushed above about 20% on the volume knob. (Not really necessary as 10-12% provided adequate volume for comfortable listening).


    Cable:

    The cable with the F3 is a very pliable silver coated copper in clear sheathing. The jack is of the straight type and is gold plated with a brushed aluminum casing and a short strain relief at the exit point. I did find it a bit odd that the earpieces were high polished and the cable had brushed fixtures instead of matching the polish of the shells. A velcro cable tie is provided for storage without tangles. The Cable itself is a 6 wire braid up to the splitter (also brushed aluminum) then breaks out to 3 wire braids above it. A clear bead operates as a chin slider and above that pre-formed earhooks without memory wire terminate with brushed aluminum housed .78mm bi-pin connectors.

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    Sound:

    [​IMG]
    Inner Vent blocked with Millipore tape
    The F3 likes power. It is not the headphone for use with cellphones and tablets and may really tax some lower end DAPs as well. My sound notes were taken with either the xDSD or the Burson Fun providing the output power and the Opus#1s or Burson Swing acting as source/DAC.



    Bass:

    The F3 is deceptive in that bass is only present when called for and while it can produce sub-bass, it will only be there when the track really calls for it. It does not add any emphasis of its own to the mix. This will give some the feeling it is bass light when in fact is very close to neutral if a touch on the warm side. My one complaint regarding sub-bass is that it is not particularly sensitive to EQ and it takes several dB of adjustment to hear any audible change in the range below 100Hz. Mid-bass is very cleanly presented and has good tonality but lacks authority at times as well. Mid-bass has impressive amounts of detail present and no bleed or bloom was noted. Overall, the F3 has the hallmarks of planar bass as it is very linear, has excellent speed of attack and decay, and good transients, it is just tuned a bit shy of neutral. Mid-bass reacts to EQ better than sub-bass and can be brought forward. Overall the bass is less tunable via EQ than many of its competitors, but unlike most that need the bass tuned back a notch or two the F3 is in need of a slight push forward at times.



    Mids:

    Beginning with the transition from mid-bass to lower-mids, the F3 starts to reveal its strengths. Mids are very linear with great detail. This is helped by the planar speed of attack/decay as the clarity of the F3 is really on a level with things well above it. Mids are definitely the sweet spot of the F3. Vocals are well rendered regardless of gender or pitch. Strings are particularly nicely done with good tonality and timbre which is a very hard thing to get precisely right. Acoustic guitar is also very well voiced and separation of instruments is above average. This is well displayed by 40 Fingers – Flying ants with 4 guitars all very easily distinguished from one-another.



    Treble:

    Lower treble begins to rise quickly as we move from the upper-mids and peaks at about 5kHz before dropping back slowly. The dip between 7.5 and 10kHz on the chart is nearly inaudible to my ear as I didn’t hear any gaps or recess in the upper treble range until you hit the roll-off above about 12.5kHz The forward push of the treble gives the F3 a bright signature and at times leads to a bit of fatigue. I found that pulling the 5kHz range down by 3dB helped immensely with the fatigue and didn’t detract from the signature notably. Cymbals are well presented without sounding tinny and snares have a nice sharp crack to them. Detail is quite good, even with the EQ correction. Another thing to note the BA seems to be very well paired with the planar mid-range driver as the speed of attack and the transients are not notably slower in the treble than they are in the midrange. Those who are treble shy will not appreciate the F3 as it is undeniably bright. I know NiceHCK has been given the suggestion to tweak the signature by myself and others and maybe a later revision will back off the brightness a bit. For now, they do respond well to EQ for those times you find them a bit on the bright side.



    Soundstage / Imaging:

    Soundstage is another deceptive aspect as it is very source dependent and will not show its true colors until you find a track that really forces it to open up. Tracks like the Cowboy Junkies – I’m so lonesome, or Keith Richards – Running too deep are both capable of really showing what the F3 is truly capable of. At its best, stage has good depth and is slightly wider than deep with a good sense of height. Movements around the stage are easily tracked and other spatial cues are equally well handled. With the clarity and instrument separation, it is easy to seat the orchestra in your head and little if any overlap of instrumentation occurs.





    Comparisons:

    Kinboofi Mk4 – Build and kit wise, these two are close. The metal shell is definitely more eye catching on the F3, but the poured acrylic shell on the mk4 is no slouch either. Sound wise, both are near neutral with more mid emphasis on the Mk4 and more treble emphasis on the F3. The option to tune the Mk4 to your liking scores points in its favor and even the default tuning is more linear than that of the F3. Attack and decay are faster on the F3 if only slightly and detail also slightly favors the F3 probably partially as a result. The MK4 is more lyrical and easier to listen to for extended periods but doesn’t convey the energy that the F3 does especially on vocals. I continue to be really impressed with the Kinboofi, but can see a successor the the F3 giving it a serious run for its money if some adjustments are made to the treble tuning.



    Brainwavz B400 – Build wise, the F3 wins hands down, not even close. Kit wise the B400 takes it with multiple cables, tips, a better case etc. Sound wise it is a mixed bag. The F3 is more dynamic for sure, while the B400 is closer to neutral. Extension is better at both ends on the F3, but control is a bit better on the B400 at the low end. What to me is the most interesting is that for two models that would seem to have a lot in common, they sound nothing alike. The F3 is bigger, more detailed, and more lifelike, while the B400 is more reserved, controlled, and a bit dull at times. When you say near neutral at the $200 price point, you have to include the b400 in comparisions, but here there is little common ground.



    Moondrop Kanas Pro – Build is quite good on both so no clear winner here although kit may be slightly better on KP. Sound wise, the KP has more and deeper bass but isnt quite as clean as the F3 in its presentation. Mids are near neutral on both with the KP being a bit more fluid while the F3 is a bit more analytical. Dynamics and details favor the F3 as its transient response is better than that of the KP. Treble is the weakest area for both with the KP having a bump in the upper treble that will bother some and the F3 having a fairly large elevation at about the 5kHz range. The treble sensitive will probably shy away from both although the two bear little resemblance to each other except both are bright if for different reasons. Stage is good on both and imaging about equally good on both as well. Overall the KP is better for casual listening while the F3 is better for analytical work.



    Thoughts / Conclusion:

    The F3 is a visually stunning, technologically advanced design, that packs more detail into the sound than about anything else I have tried, at or near its $200 price tag. Transients are as good as any iem in my collection as the speed of attack/decay on the planar mid-range driver and BA treble driver are well synced and very quick. Bass is nearly neutral or just slightly shy of it which is a nice change of pace as frequently I am sent samples that are supposed to be neutral only to find a 4-5dB mid-bass boost. I can really appreciate the linearity of the F3 in the bass and mids. Treble is a bit forward, but yields both good detail and plenty of air and sparkle up top which is also a rare commodity in the $200 price range. The fly in the ointment is the 5kHz range which is just a bit too far forward and instead of adding life, contributes fatigue to the mix. This singular flaw prevents the F3 from being an easy recommendation as it requires that it be EQ’d or long listening sessions will result in a good deal of fatigue. As it stands, the F3 is a guarded recommendation as for those willing to tinker with EQ, it has a lot of good things going on. For those unwilling to EQ an in ear, either you need to like a very bright signature, or you probably will want to look elsewhere at least until a rev.2 comes out.
  3. FastAndClean
    NICEHCK F3 - Resolution first
    Written by FastAndClean
    Published May 10, 2019
    3.5/5,
    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, if you are treble sensitive RUN, 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

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    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.

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    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


    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.
      trellus, rayliam80, phthora and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Karendar
      I'll try that, thanks for responding. I tried them with a pure OFC cable instead of the Nicehck SPC that they supplied in the packaging and it tamed the brightness a little further if ever anyone is curious to try.
      Karendar, May 23, 2019
      FastAndClean likes this.
    3. FastAndClean
      i purchased high purity 16 core copper cable for them, that is a good news that they react better with copper cables without silver plating
      FastAndClean, May 23, 2019
    4. Karendar
      I just tried using Monster gel Supertips and their foam/Silicon hybrid. Never could get used to those tips on any IEM... These seem to fit the bill for me. I get a much better seal, thus better bass response.
      Karendar, May 23, 2019
      FastAndClean likes this.