1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice

qdc Anole V3

  1. yukitq
    The All-Rounder
    Written by yukitq
    Published Jun 25, 2019
    Pros - Top marks everywhere across the board
    Great sound
    Cons - Asking price
    Jack of all trades, master of none
    Full Review: https://audiorambles.com/qdc-anole-v3/

    Packaging and Accessories

    The packaging of the Anole V3 is very well presented. The outer shell of the box is solid, hard cardboard, maintaining a turquoise-black aesthetic. Open flipping the cover open, the IEMs are nested in a malleable yet hard foam. The turquoise cardboard below it hides the generous spread of accessories provided by QDC.

    Accessories provided include:

    – A rectangular hard leather case

    – Earphone Cleaning/Tuning Tool

    -Myriad pairs of silicone tips

    -Airplane adapter

    -3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter

    It’s a fantastic haul of accessories, and I especially need to talk about the absolutely gorgeous leather (perhaps pleather?) flip-case QDC provides. The case feels and looks premium, coloured a beautiful shade of brown, and is above all, functional given its compact size and rugged build quality. It’s a premium experience all round.

    Build Quality, Fit, Comfort and Isolation

    Aesthetics (9.5/10): The Anole V3 is simply beautiful. A brilliant shade of dark blue treated with gold flakes and sparkles throughout the shell. On the faceplates, “QDC” and an artistic impression of “V3″are plated in shiny gold. Simply breathtaking to look at. They also come in various other designs upon requesting customisation, which I’m sure will turn out just as pretty.

    Build Quality (9.5/10): The build quality of the Anole V3 is stellar. Tough, resilient shells that look like they can withstand quite the beating. Tuning switches which are negatively profiled so as to avoid unnecessary avoidable surface damage. QDC has also implemented their proprietary cable sockets, which are sturdy and not easily made loose. My only gripe might be the black braided cable provided by QDC in most of their IEM lineup which could be made tougher, but that’s just nitpicking as they are satisfactory for most users.

    Fit and Comfort (9.5/10): The custom-universal shape the Anole V3 takes enable them to sit flush and comfortably inside the ear, and from that moment on they’re practically glued in. As a result, you’d often forget they’re in there. Exemplary fit and comfort, perhaps only second to custom-fit in ear monitors. They’re just slightly bigger than average size though, so if you have small ears your mileage may vary.

    Isolation (9.5/10): Unvented, sit perfectly flush in the ears, and block out A LOT of sound. Once again, second only to custom-fit in ear monitors.

    The Anole V3 manages to be resolving, yet natural and smooth. It’s not class leading sound at $500 USD, but it’s very capable. The slight U-shaped sound profile of the V3 makes it an extremely relaxing listen for hours on end, although I would never consider the V3 anywhere near bright. It’s a fun and enjoyable listen.

    Bass (7.5/10): BA timbre does come across here, and there are noticeable problems especially regarding subbass extension. It goes low, but lacks real sufficient rumble on the lowest registers , as most BA set-ups suffer from. It does try, and it’s audible, but there isn’t enough of it, especially on tracks like Lorde’s “Royals”. Texture and decay is sufficiently natural, and it delivers good impact when called upon. The slam is still lacking compared what a competent dynamic driver can produce as it moves more air, but is more than needed to get your toes tapping. Good detail and control, never sounding overtly loose and bloated (in the default tuning). It’s slightly subbass focused, though a very balanced presentation overall.

    The frequency is just mildly emphasised, enough to get you in the rhythm, but will not satisfy any hardcore bassheads. It’s find it a very pleasant amount of low end, enough to make it fun-sounding, yet restrained enough to avoid fatigue.

    Mids (7.5/10): The midrange of the V3 can be thought to be just slightly recessed, but not in terms of resolution, detail nor clarity – it just sits a little bit behind the bass and lower treble in terms of placement and emphasis, but is still very very compentent.

    On initial listens, the slightly warm tint on the midrange caused me to perceive a thin veil upon the midrange, hampering resolution. As I spent more time with the V3, the clarity became more apparent, especially on acoustical tracks on “Boyce Avenue” playlists. Details are quietly there for you to pick out, though they’re not particularly apparent or in-your-face.

    Male and female vocals both sound great, with a greater emphasis on the upper midrange compared to the lower. Vocals are natural, airy, and carry good note weight, with male vocals textured, and female vocals sweet sounding. The slight pushback on the midrange while maintaining it’s quality lends itself to make the midrange of the Anole V3 an unfatiguing and relaxing listen.

    Highs (7.5/10): There’s a hump present at lower treble on the Anole V3, but it is never sibilant nor harsh, maintaining smoothness all the way into the upper treble, hitting my personal treble target curve beautifully. It adds a bit of excitement and air to the sound, as well as improves perceived detail. It’s wonderfully tuned, though the upper treble is a little bit rolled-off, but it’s detailed and natural in quality. Hi-hats and cymbals on Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” have great decay and air, and are a joy to listen to.

    Soundstage, Imaging, Seperation and Timbre (8.5/10): There’s great width to the soundstage, and depth is fantastic, giving the Anole V3 a very holographic presentation especially on live recordings. Instrument placement is very well replicated on tracks like “Killing in the Name” by RATM”. In terms of seperation, despite the relatively slower speed of the Anole V3’s midrange due to its warmer tint, it handles complicated tracks like “Little Talks” competently. Timbre is fantastic on the V3, with a very natural and realistic from top to bottom.

    Tuning System Impressions
    Strong Bass Mode (1,0): Reduces lower treble quantity, pumps up the midbass and thickens the lower midrange. Bass can be a bit bloated, but it works for just a bit of added fun.

    Smooth Vocals Mode (0,1): Brings the entire midrange forward in placement, but in particular the upper midrange. Lower midrange can sound comparatively hollow as a result.

    High Sensitivity Mode (1,1): Essentially a treble boost. Upper treble especially becomes more prominent, lower treble becomes a bit more prone to sibilance, though definitely tolerable. Adds a significant amount of airiness to the soundscape, at the expense of timbre as the sound becomes a little thin.

    I really like the QDC Anole V3. They score top marks everywhere on the board, and sound great to boot. Easy to listen to for hours on end due to their smooth signature, and look drop dead gorgeous while doing so. The USD $500 price tag is a lot to ask for, however. The asking price range is in a bit of a dead-zone for IEMs – not cheap enough to compete with very good offerings lower than that, yet not amazing enough to compete with IEMs at the top. Try them before you buy them, and if their signature sits well with you, they’ll definitely be a keeper.
      jaxtrauma and Redcarmoose like this.
  2. Redcarmoose
    Written by Redcarmoose
    Published Mar 28, 2019
    The qdc Anole V3
    Dqdc v 3.jpg

    You would have to be living under a rock if you didn’t notice China made IEMs are taking Head-Fi by storm. There has been the Kanas Pro IEM, the BGVP DM6 5 BA IEM hysteria, FiiO FA7 hysterics and a multitude of crazy KZ popularities! Most of these popular IEMs are priced under $100 to $400, but sound like more expensive models.

    Who knew a name like The Fragrant Zither or “TFZ” would become a household name at Head-Fi? The list goes on and on with Fearless making a huge splash subsequently redefining what IEM value is for 2019. This popularity has primarily been driven by BAs being historically expensive purchases in 2014 to now becoming 5 BA hand-made works-of-art for $200 today! Not only are these IEMs made by hand but many companies offer full custom fabrications and “universal custom” options.

    What exactly IS a “universal custom” or “semi-custom” IEM?
    More on that later!

    You can have a stabilized-wood exterior on your universal IEM or even choose heart shaped sequins if you so desire. Normally these custom options are expensive but in this surreal China landscape you can go custom extras for as little as an extra $25.

    This Chi-Fi phenomenon changes shape every 90 days with new Chinese products somehow one-upping themselves in a crazy game of IEM leapfrog? Welcome to 2019 Chi-Fi!


    Interestingly there has been qdc. A little talked about company outside of China, probably due to it’s offerings not following the bang-for-the-buck template in marketing. qdc IEMs are more expensive and some members here feel better realized than what we normally find from China. It’s safe to say that with the Anole V3 qdc introduced a new and different style of balanced armature bass. qdc has not disclosed their bass balanced armature unit, but it may be the revolutionary Knowles 22955? Such a giant BA literally redefined what we thought BA bass could be in both late 2018 FiiO FA7 IEMs and the BGVP DM6 IEMs. Interestingly the Magaosi K5 uses 5 BAs and includes the Knowles 22955, but maybe due to the resin solid build didn’t go quite so low frequency wise!

    The Second Wave:
    The second wave that hit in December of 2018 was the new hype created by the semi-custom form factor. This isn’t the place to go into specifics on the new 2019 “semi-custom” phenomena, but let’s just say the Chinese were way ahead at determining that all human ears had roughly the same inner dimensions. qdc is the public IEM company for the Chinese military owned QDC. In my experience the Anole V3 was the first “semi-custom” I was to find. The Anole line was also special due to small dip-switchers on the body of the IEM which give you a range of tuning response curves. So depending on your mood or genre of music you can instantly choose one of four sound-signatures.

    So from a revolutionary perspective qdc is doing some pretty amazing personalization here. The semi-custom form factor is like you put some putty in your ear and had a custom made IEM to literally fit inside your ear, with the form filling all the extra space resulting in better outside sound occlusion and comfort. Still you have use of your favorite universal tips and there is never any worry of losing fit like some folks report with years of use after having full-custom IEMs made. You also have easy resale as the IEMs basically fit everyone.

    So the elephant in the room is it’s a $549 3 BA IEM.


    As consumers and hobby enthusiasts we have to be pretty impressed to spend so much for a Chinese IEM with only three drivers per side? In this review I will try and delineate how or why someone would chose this over the giant and growing competition. Audio is a terribly subjective endeavor with what is a value to some being a wash for others. And to cut to the chase, I’m not sure the Anole V3 is going to puff air up everyone’s skirt?

    It’s going to puff some air, but maybe not $549’s worth?

    lucky 13 013.jpg

    “There is a natural way about it due to a cohesive complete sound-signature providing the dynamics and energy required for a slam-dunk-immersion into today’s music.”

    This review will concentrate on the values at hand. As far as Chi-Fi goes the qdc Anole V3 IS different. So we will find ourselves exploring those differences and why I actually paid full price for a pair, and full price for a back-up pair!

    In my exploration I was able to demo almost the full qdc range of IEMs. Though I have to admit I’m no expert in the qdc line and have not heard the entry level “Neptune” nor the new $2500 Flagship; the qdc Anole VX. Also let me say right now there could be better sound signatures for your taste going slightly up the qdc line to the six BA Anole V6. The Anole V3 is known as the more bass-included IEM and the Anole V6’s little brother.

    Sound Signature:
    Truly there is probably only one thing the Anole does not do. It does not sound that great at low volume. Maybe due to the recess in the midrange from the subtle V signature but the Anole V3 always asks for more volume to come alive. In fact at low listening levels there is really nothing to write home about.

    When I first purchased the Anole V3 I had the crossover settings set at maximum bass. Though after two days of physical and mental burn-in the settings were replaced back to a stock flat response curve and have remained so. One of the best IEMs to compare would be the $199 BGVP DM6 IEM. The DM6 also is an IEM with the Knowles 22955 so it goes super low in the bass department. So both IEMs have great bass, though they maybe have almost the same medium soundstage; though the DM6 offers a more pronounced upper-midrange and treble response. And.....in all fairness the DM6 has a slightly wider soundstage.

    So while the best of the Anole V3 comes across from a smoother bass and way less aggressive sound signature than the DM6, if anything it’s almost too smooth, showing none of the grain noticeable in the DM6. For your money your getting a less intense listen allowing longer listening runs than the DM6. Though remember the penalty is you have to crank the volume for livelihood. The response of the Anole V3 could even bend towards a subtle L response? Due to these characteristics the IEM is excellent at both Metal and EDM pushing home the bass emotion in a smoother way than I’ve ever heard a non-DD IEM do.

    Timbre ability is always noticeable combined with a very natural do all personality.

    Taking the Anole V3 to the next level!
    Having two pairs of the Anole V3 makes it really easy to quickly switch the 3.5mm cable V3 with the other 4.4mm Anole V3. So while the IEM plays great with the nice included single ended cable from an Apple phone, getting a more powerful Sony WM-1Z or Sony WM-1A balanced power supply really makes the party start. Even switching from single ended to 4.4mm balanced with the WM-1Z is a dramatic sound improvement. Much of what we were looking for by turning up the volume is now found at safe 4.4mm volume levels. So never let anyone tell you the Anole V3 doesn’t like power.

    DAP personality and amp personality:
    There are authoritative, naturally big sounding IEMs like the $2000 Sony IER-Z1R which exude a dynamic and dramatic response from anything. In regards to the Sony Walkman 1Z; the more flat sounding Walkman 1A can get us a great pairing with the IER-Z1R. In contrast the Anole V3 is going to come off slightly stale and colorless from the Sony 1A. What takes it all to the next level is joining a Han Sound Zen 4 wire OFC cable to the Anole V3 and the other 4.4mm connector to the Sony Walkman WM-1Z. Just that slight bigger soundstage, slightly brighter treble and authoritative personality wakes the Anole V3 from it’s sleep. Amazingly the Sony TA-ZH1ES Desktop Headphone DAC/amp is too dark for the Anole V3. So the TA is known for being slightly dark anyways, but it’s just the wrong combination here, failing to get us the treble energy we need to get out of the woods. In fact the Anole V3 is the only headphone or IEM which doesn’t work with the amp in my experience.


    To sum up sound:
    The Anole V3 comes off as a slight V shape with maybe less treble frequencies than your normally going to find in a subtle V.

    Still our rendition is totally cohesive and natural offering an analogue smoothness rarely found in balanced armature arrays. Due to the smoothness at hand it lends itself to super long tireless listening runs. Amazingly it can go to any human listening volume you choose with no noticeable distortion. It’s well rounded enough to be used with a phone but scales up with “almost” any of your better home equipment or dedicated DAPs at hand. So your maybe asking yourself why I haven’t gone into the extra frequency response settings? Basically it does make you curious if you could switch a setting and make the Anole V3 a vocal centric midrange monster? In theory this all seems like the way to go? In fact the upper Anole qdc line with the 10 balanced armature flagship; the $2500 VX, has even more sonic switch choices. Still in practice I felt using the switching lacked the naturalness I was hearing in stock mode. Also adding bass was fun for a day but maybe too far from reality as a place to daily live? All and all my ideas lend myself to believe the qdc Anole V3 is going to pair well with bigger soundstage and brighter sources and amps.


    First off we must concentrate on the size. Take two pieces of bubble gum, chew them up and then place them on your ears. That’s the suction placement the V3 gets. Only they are even more low weight than the gum making them some of the most comfortable IEMs your ever going to find. This design also adds to the outside noise occlusion. Noise isolation comes in at a dramatic 26dB rating no doubt! They sit flush with your ear fitting better than any lower cost “custom-universal” on the market today. They fit noticeably better than the TFZ King/Queen. Better than the TFZ Secret Garden. Way way better than the slightly heavy FiiO FH5, better than any KZ I have tried. They also are hands down better fitting than the BGVP DM6. Of course much of this phenomenon is due to only three balanced armatures inside, as well as the Teflon-covered-over-ear permanent-bend cable.

    Fit wise the Anole V3 is closest to the Magaosi K5 but slightly better due to being lower in weight. Still that’s where comparability ends with the two IEMs showing polar opposite sound frequency response curves. Actually if the sound signatures of the Anole V3 and Magaosi could be combined it would be incredible. A love child showing the midrange complexity of the Magaosi K5 and the warm jacuzzi jets of the Anole V3 low end would be something to die for!

    Simply gorgeous Anole V3 build-quality in all regards. As seen in the photos they come only as clear navy blue with real gold flakes. A custom IEM option is available as well as a custom red/ gold flake color. Each pair comes with it’s own serial number. The nozzle ends have a beautiful sculpted ring which hold tips on like no other.

    After using the Anole V3 you start to wonder why every manufacture of IEMs doesn’t copy the nozzle tip ring design? Just like the great hand-made acrylic shell form-factor design, the best nozzle end design has been arrived at here for the world to study.

    They come off as the first non-electronic noise canceling headphones I have ever used.

    In fact due to their form and build style they actually end up being the ultimate outside IEM. They stay glued to your ears on any outside activity as long as your “OK” with the dramatic sound situational awareness decrease. They end up as my favorite walking around IEMs which are wired. Place an IPod in your front pocket and it’s no hassle wearability for hours on end. With Sony Hybrid Tips they stay in place like they are a part of your being.

    Attention to detail:

    Closer examination shows smooth edges and a nice polished surface. Cables are a unique qdc propitiatory design which will accept standard two pin with no issues; though polarities are reversed. If ordering from qdc directly a choice of cables comes into play as well as a number of aftermarket cable makers offering custom cables with qdc designed connectors included. Shown in the photos is a regular two-pin OFC braided straight cable with the polarity reversed, as well as a photograph showing the included black Teflon style cable.

    The Competition:
    The next IEM to go against the Anole V3 will be the Fearless S6 rui. Priced at $424


    I will add an amendment to this review with the outcome. I’m not really fixated on driver count, as we all know it’s more about implementation and tone.

    Overall Value and Sound-quality Value:
    Is it a solid value for $549? Well value is subjective. On a scale of 1 to 5 I would probably give it a value-score of 4. And of course for simply a three BA IEM they seem slightly expensive today? Still after you start using them they are special. They are maybe slightly a sleeper where nothing jumps out at you on first listen except the great bass response. It’s after you get used to the natural no frills midrange and treble that you start to understand what they are aiming for. Still they are detailed enough in essence for me to discern between DAP firmware updates, showing what’s real and what’s not. But the detailed and smooth character they offer is special causing the Anole V3 to outperform most of the cheaper ChiFi offerings listed here. Which as the V3 costs slightly more, that really is not saying much, though in the end they really are different. They are laidback (almost to a fault) and don’t offer the midrange complexity freely found even at lower prices. They just are not detailed in the classic sense of the audiophile word; deriving detail in the upper midrange and treble department. In that specific area they just get the job done, yet it comes off without an ounce of grain staying miles away from any strident treble or sibilance.

    Even when you find a ChiFi performer like the DM6; going head to head, the Anole V3 wins out in fit, quality of bass and smoothness of top end. There is also a special level of bass detail in the soundstage which even the 5 driver DM6 can not reach to. Yet at the same time the DM6 has slightly better overall detail and slightly better soundstage even with the existence of added grain. In the end it’s a series of trade-offs as it always is. Though if someone was to use the Anole V3 day-in and day-out there ends a special closeness and honesty provided. It really does it all but in a laid back, understated and slightly dark kind-of-way. With these abilities it ends up playing most genres well, does well with poorly recorded music and takes the edge off anything you put it with. This ends as a great performer with slightly bright sources and amplification, but at the same time wakes with authoritative responses.

    Pop, Rock and Electronic Music!
    And just as they were designed, the Anole V3 delivers the goods with modern popular music offering a robust and rhythmic bass department, completely fast responses and integrated textures with all that’s going on in today’s music styles. Out and about town the low end goes even further at low safe volumes to help block out external noise, or interior airplane rumble.

    Good Points:
    1. Great Fit
    2. Fun Sound
    3. Great Fit
    4. Fun Sound
    5. Great Fit
    6. Fun Sound
    7. Special Style Bass Response
    8. Laid-back to a fault.....almost
    9. Super low weight
    10. Easy to order from Amazon or return :)
    11. 4 switch mode sound-sculpturing
    12. Pretty
    13. Nice Case Included
    14. CIEM and red color option at your discretion


    1. Priced heavy against a completely different marketing platform
    2. May not have the treble or midrange for some
    3. Priced heavy against a completely different marketing platform
    4. May not have the treble or midrange for some
    5. Special Style Bass Response
    6. Laid-back to a fault......almost
    7. Semi preparatory cable setup

    Surprisingly the V3 does offer a value, even if it’s in a different perspective than we typically find from made in China IEMs. It’s a great outdoor IEM letting build quality and bass quality occlude any outside sounds at healthy volume levels. Also the V3 comes in use as a great home IEM as it scales up and up with your best gear, ending complementary and a guilty necessity for bass emotion with popular modern music. I have to admit using it singularly for months and months on-end as my go to fun IEM. Such a well made and beautiful IEM ends up a joy to behold, though it’s inherent darkness is a double edged sword.

    With all this talk of swords and darkness you may get the idea the Anole V3 is somehow crippled and not up for ownership in the end. While I am being critical and this is a review after-all, the qdc Anole V3 is one of my favorite IEMs of all time. It’s completely amazing the way it propels my daily listening genres putting a party between my jaded ears every time. There is a natural way about it due to a cohesive complete sound-signature providing the dynamics and energy required for a slam-dunk-immersion into today’s music.




    Model:Anole V3

    Input sensitivity :105-108dB SPL/mW

    Frequency response range: 10 Hz - 20000 Hz

    Impedance: 27-33 ohms

    Drive unit: 3 miniature balanced armature units

    Noise reduction: 26dB

    Headphone plug: 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) plug

    Technical features: 3 frequency division, 2 sound holes, tone can be changed

    Frequency response type: 4 kinds of tuning curves

    Wearing method: in-ear type, earbud type

    Applicable music types: pop, rock, electric

    Connection type: wired

    Microphone: no microphone


    Instruction manual*1

    Original headphone cable*1

    Headphone box*1

    Aviation plug and 3.5 to 6.5 plug*1

    Features & details

    • Anole V3 is the latest model of the Chameleon series. The V3 and V6 also have 4 stereo basic tunings. The V3 is designed to be miniaturized as much as possible, and the size is basically the same as that of Neptune.
    • Using the new version of the customized low-frequency unit, there is a stronger low-frequency indicator in the balanced armature unit, the low-frequency can be down to 10Hz.
    • The basic tuning is dominated by pop music and ACG, and the low frequency enhancement is more suitable for the needs of electro-acoustic music as well as drum and bass music.Of course, we have not forgotten the pursuit of medium and high frequency details by vocals and classical music. Smooth Vocal is for you.
    • Multi-tone Changes To Find The Fun Of Tuning -Four tone switchers(Tuning switch):Standard Mode,Strong Bass, High Sensitivity,Smooth Vocal.
    • Qdc uses the shape of the custom ear canal to enhance the sound insulation more comfortably.
    abstract top qdc anole v3.jpg qdc 5 top blue.jpg DSC_0008.jpg last.jpg album cover.jpg ergesg.jpg DSC_0023lmom.jpg done.jpg DSC_0028qdc.jpg DSC_0033.jpg DSC_0046.jpg qdc detail side.jpg DSC_0056.jpg anole v3 qdc photo first.jpg one front qdc.jpg anole v 3 bright side.jpg top qdc anole v 3.jpg anole v3 side side qdc 3.jpg anole v 3 qdc side.jpg anole v3art.jpg detail anole v3.jpg anole v3 side 2.jpg anole v3 side.jpg 5CA2A5E4-993F-4322-82B1-431C53590D97.jpeg


    1. anole v 3 bright side.jpg
    2. j peg 13.jpg
    3. qdc single side.jpg
    4. DSC_0069.jpg
    5. header anole qdc 3.jpg
    6. qdc anole v3 5.jpg