If you frequent the tech channels on YouTube or any kind of review site on the net, you’ve likely seen Advanced Sound’s Model 3 floating around. As a frequent runner, it’s always intrigued me. I definitely enjoy the freedom afforded by wireless in-ears however, my foray into the category was lukewarm at best; riddled with unreliable fully-wireless options and awkward neckband implementations.
The Model 3 caught so much attention as it is quite the opposite. With ergonomic and immensely stable housings, solid wireless connectivity and, most importantly, a warm but detailed sound, Adv’s wireless in-ear does the form factor justice. And, with a very reasonable $79.99 USD asking price, the Model 3 is attainable for just about everyone. This is an affordable wireless in-ear that finally deserves your time and money.
I would like to thank Hannah from Advanced very much for her quick communication and for providing me with the Model 3 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
The model 3 has a pleasing unboxing consistent with Adv’s other products. The front showcases the earphones through punchy print and brandishes their high-res certification.
On the back is the earphone’s frequency response and specifications. Advanced Sound also include basic feature, function and accessory lists.
Inside are the earphones connected to the wireless cable in addition to a standard wired cable. Adv provide a larger zippered hard case that comfortably holds the earphones, accessories and a small mp3 player. The Model 3 includes a nice tip selection with 3 pairs of silicone tips and 3 pairs of memory foam tips. I don’t personally get a solid seal with the stock silicone tips, but at the very least, they’re well-moulded and don’t collapse in the ear.
The foam tips provide a better experience. Previous batches had some issues but Adv quickly responded to provide a more malleable tip that better conforms to the ear. Combined with the Model 3’s sealed design, they provide excellent noise isolation perfect for travel.
Who says a Bluetooth earphones have to be unwieldy and awkward; that they can’t fit like a high-end wired IEM. Sleek, clean and ergonomic all aptly define the Model 3. Though meagre in asking price, the Model 3’s acrylic housings feel sturdy and well-assembled. Their design is reminiscent of earphones like Westone’s UM Pro line with a pod-shaped housing that is stable and smooth.
The earphones themselves are modestly sized, similar to the UM 30 Pro but smoother and more rounded on their internal face. As such, they are very comfortable, creating no hotspots over time. With an over-ear design and long, slender nozzles forming a deep fit, the Model 3 also produces very high levels of passive noise isolation and great stability in the ear.
Resultantly, they are perfect for commute and activity, easily providing adequate isolation during a recent flight and failing to budge even during a vigorous cardio workout. The Model 3’s transparent housings are also captivating to look at, providing a window to the dynamic micro-drivers inside. They have checkered internal reinforcement that gives them a confident rigidity in the hand.
Up top is one of the M3’s most outstanding feature, a removable MMCX cable system. Not only does this enable users to swap out broken cables in favour of an affordable replacement, it also enables the Model 3 to switch between a wired and wireless connection. The wired cable isn’t anything special, it’s thin and rubbery with minimal strain relief. That said, it isn’t cumbersome and features a well-constructed right-angle 3.5mm plug. In short, perfectly usable should you run out of battery but not ideal.
By contrast, the Bluetooth cable is far more interesting; with a rather unique style of wear and a pleasing construction. The cable is split with sweat resistant rubber wires running to the in-ears and fabric braided cables running from the electronic module to controls. Though the rubber section is a bit tacky, it never comes into contact with clothing and doesn’t present any issues as a result. The Bluetooth cable also features pre-moulded ear guides that were nicely shaped for my ears, producing a stable fit.
And, though none of the terminations are especially well-relieved, the cable looks almost new after a month of heavy use with no hardening or fraying. I’m also a fan of the finish on the module and controls; both are coated in a tactile matte texture as opposed to a rubberised finish that may become tacky over time. The 3-button remote also provides nice feedback with a nice click to each button, however, as they aren’t well separated, it can be difficult to delineate between them. Perhaps the best part of this cable is that it can be used with any MMCX earphone, enabling all of them to benefit from Adv innovative implementation!
The Model 3’s wireless implementation may be its most distinct feature. Rather than utilising a bulky module, neckband, or enlarging the earphones themselves to house the electronics, the Model 3 assumes a necklace-like wear style. In particular, a compact 3-button lies at the front with the larger battery and electronics at the rear, resting on the back of the neck. This design keeps the bulk of the electronics central and stable while keeping controls in an easily accessible location, and is by far one of my most preferred wireless implementations for active use. The remote at the front also houses a well-placed microphone that delivered clear audio during my testing.
The Model 3’s controls also proved to be quite practical. As with most Bluetooth in-ears, holding the centre button on the remote powers them on with a longer hold entering pairing mode. Connection status is denoted by an RGD LED indicator within the button. Once paired, the Model 3 promptly auto-connected to my HTC U11 and laptop after every power on without issue. The Model 3 supports Apt-X which enables higher quality streaming and I noticed no interference or cutouts and just a handful of stutters during regular use. Wireless range was also impressive, far better than the vast majority of wireless in-ears I’ve tested. For instance, the Model 3 did not cut-out when my phone was on the other side of my body as some tend to. In fact, I was able to completely leave the room with undisrupted audio.
The power module at the rear has two magnetic halves that separate for easy wear. When separated, one face reveals a micro-usb charging port that is otherwise covered to prevent liquid ingress. Battery life is rated at a modest 5hrs which is middle of the road for a wireless in-ear and respectable given the dimensions of its electronic module. I managed to regularly meet that claim at volume 15/25. Of note, the volume control on the remote does not control the source but cycles through 25 levels on the earphones themselves.
Should battery life not be sufficient, Adv offers a carry case with integrated 800mah micro-usb charger called the Power Pack through which they claim an additional 7 charge cycles. It’s a practical way to keep the earphones topped up and staves some of my nervousness with battery operated devices.
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