Geek Wold GK3 — IEMs with 3 dynamic drivers
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IryxBRO

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Geek Wold is new name to a general HiFi geeks audience but the company that is behind this brand is not new to other market vendors. As far as we know ChengDu FaLanTe Technology company acts as an ODM manufacturer for other brands for a significant amount of time. Their current vision is entering the market of IEMs under their own brand with further plans of releasing new dynamic and hybrid models.



Our review would cover Geek Wold first attempt to appeal to HiFi audio fans with their initial GK3 IEMs — low priced 3 dynamic driver model.

Geek Wold GK3 technical specifications:
  • Drivers: 3 dynamic drivers
  • Frequency response range: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impendance: 8ohm
  • Sensitivity: 102db
  • Cable: 1.2m, high quality 4 core 5N oxygen free copper wire
  • Plug type: 3.5mm, 90deg angle, 3U gold-plated plug
No additional information about the size of drivers or crossovers that are used. Pretty common situation for a brand at their first attempt and pretty general specifications. The only thing that stands out is the low impendance value — seems that these IEMs would be an easy load even for a regular smartphone and which also means higher background noise. But we’d check that later.

Packaging:



No relevations here either. Strict and simple black carton box with gold brand name, company name inprints and technical information on ugly white sticker — looks like an inevitable legacy of most of OEM|ODM suppliers.



The insides look much better developed — IEMs are placed on a foamy podium in lovely heart shape with additinal openings for exchengeable eartips.



Box contents are minimalistic:
  • GK3 IEMs
  • 3 pairs of silicone eartips (S|M|L size)
  • warranty card


There is no IEMs storage&protection case which we treat as a drawback. Providing such case to prevent excessive dirt and accidental damage is always a good idea.

Build quality, design and materials:



This is the strongest part of GK3 product. Despite being made of plastic, those IEMs have a really appealing look. Geek Wold put much efforts to create an expensive feel that exceeds the price and expectations. Back plate made of curved transparent plastic cover and carbon fiber base with golden brand name engraved. Perfectly aligned with glossy black plastic body — no signs of gaps or movement when squized hard. Y-splitter is also made of aluminum with brand name inprint.



Output nozzles are covered with non removable metallic grils and there is only one compensation opening on the inner part of the body — close to the nozzle.



Cable leaves nothing more to be desired — soft silicone, 4-wire, copper, twisted that ends up with transparent curved heat shrink tubes from one side and 90 degree gold-plated 3.5mm plug from the other. Cable fracture protection — soft rubber caps — seems adequate enough for a long reliable operation. It might have been even better if Geek Wold would make it detachable…, but it is not.

Aesthetics here is not the only advantage! Wearing comfort is on the high level as well. Despite 5.9mm nozzle diameter, S-size eartips fit perfectly and overall GK3 shape and weight sums up to long painless wearing periods. Moreover, the isolation is better than usually provided by bullet-shape IEMs creating the additional effect of intimacy of sound.

Sound quality:

Audio sources used for tests: Hidizs AP80 DAP, AP200 DAP, Sonata DH1000 DAC&AMP, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 smartphone



Lows:

Despite some lack of texture, low bass has good presence and representaion. We like its depth and reasonable balance with other frequencies. It stays in legible boundaries and doesn’t superimpose over the entire AFR. This is a clear advantage of having 3 separate frequency-dedicated drivers. Decay and overall articulation is fast which aids the dynamics of drum and base saturated tracks.

Midbass is not so prominent here and most of instruments in this section sound more distant and less powerful in comparison to hybrid or armature type of IEMs.



Mids and vocals:

Mids are hanging behind lows and treble section. Not too much but apparently several dbs lower. This doesn’t mean that mid portion instruments or vocals would suffer much from it cause those are still delivered well. Or point is that some music genres would be more appropriate than others. Vocals have a good portion of intimacy and moderate resolution of details. The best part is that that there are not a single sign of sibilances. GK3 could be a salvation after hours of listening to armature drivers in this respect. And again — thank to 3 driver design — mids have a good feel of air in the mix.

Treble:

GK3 deliver a good control over treble with no hisses and sibilances. For this specific model treble is perceived as being in more or less good balance with lows and standing a bit infront of mids and vocals. Good amount and presence. Not much of details resolution, though. Treble lovers would be complaining much about this unless IEMs are used with bright source.

Sound stage and channel separation:



Average experience here. As already mentioned several times — it seems that incorporating 3 drivers leads to good channel separation and instrument contouring. Such approach with the additional technical layering helps to define stage with a good split and positioning of each single sound. On the other hand, in contrary to most of the other IEMs on our tests, GK3 fails to deliver wider vertical and horizontal distribution of instruments on the stage in monaural recordings. Some controversy spotted here. We like GK3 stereo panorama but the stage feels narrow.

Overall sound picture:



In overall GK3 sound signature could be described as warm, intimate, V-shaped with a tendency to dark sounding. The best music genres would be something like jazz, blues and bass-oriented compositions. Keep in mind that GK3 IEMs sound signature, SQ and amount of noise heavily depend on sound source — the better and more powerfull it is — the better is the overall SQ. Moreover, the best AFR balance was reached when paired with brighter source like Hidizs AP80. AP200, which is more neutral, sounded much darker with a constant feel of lack of treble and upper mids.

Compared to KZ ED16:

We understand that comparing budget dynamic to budget hybrid IEMs is almost useless due to the tremendous difference in sound… Still we can conclude that GK3 is a better choice due to much more pleasing listening experience. Piercing sound of KZ ED16 is hard to bear…

Compared to MaGaosi HLSX-808:

HLSX-808 are another V-shaped but much brighter IEMs with lots of additional details in treble and midbass section. Mids have more presence as well. But those could be less attractive if you don’t like excessive crispness of highs toghether with presence of sibilances and if you want more deep bass.

Conclusion:



It is really hard to formulate single and precise conlcusion for Geek Wold GK3 IEMs. Customer satisfaction here would be based on many factors like quality of audio source, personal sound preferences, music genres, etc. What we can definitely state that the advantages are:
  • build quality
  • fit
  • good AF separation
  • good bass section
  • price
On the other hand, there are some apparent disadvantages:
  • distant mids
  • dependency of SQ of audio source
  • narrow stage
  • lack of resolution
Consequently, we would stay away from further conclusion and recommendations — there would be people who’d love and who’d hate this product. In our turn, we tend to leave GK3 aside until we’d need some rest from bright sound of hybrid or armature IEMs.

Geek Wold GK3 at PenonAudio
 
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Koolpep

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Great impressions, thanks. I share the same observations. Smallish sound stage, warm sound but not overly bassy. Not the most detailed sounding iem. But for $20 it’s quite good. However, there are alternatives that sound better at the same or slightly higher price range. Not sure if the three drivers in this case add any value over a good sign,e driver iem. But again, $20 gives you a solid sound, polarizing as it might be though. I like it but it wouldn’t be the first recommendation for me.
 
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IryxBRO

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Great impressions, thanks. I share the same observations. Smallish sound stage, warm sound but not overly bassy. Not the most detailed sounding iem. But for $20 it’s quite good. However, there are alternatives that sound better at the same or slightly higher price range. Not sure if the three drivers in this case add any value over a good sign,e driver iem. But again, $20 gives you a solid sound, polarizing as it might be though. I like it but it wouldn’t be the first recommendation for me.
Good. At least you've proved me that my ears are still working :)
Not a first recommendation for me either in case of the only IEMs but might be an example of how such 3 dynamic drivers work.
Thanx for sharing your thoughts.
 
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IryxBRO

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You should post this in the sub$100 thread. This one does not deserve its own thread.
I have already shifted to reviews instead of creating threads. If there is an option to delete it - I would. In future - I would make the review first.
 
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