A fresh take
There are barely any hybrid earphone in this price range which can do what the AQ3 has done. Keeping things balanced while delivering a detailed and transparent mid range. The treble could have been slightly more exciting.
Matching with sources
Feel inside the ear
Audiosense is one of the most consistent Chinese IEM makers with plenty of followers and admirers. They have a handful of IEMs ranging from single BA to 8BA flagship. Audiosense has been making plenty of waves in the mid range segment with their T800. The 8BA earphone priced at around $300 has people swear by its quality and abilities. Recently they have launched a couple of lower mid range earphones. The AQ3 and DT200. DT200 is a two BA earphone with semi custom style shell and the AQ3 I am reviewing here has two BA drivers paired with a 10mm dynamic driver comes with a slightly watered down design without a semi custom type shell.
Priced at $179 the AQ3 has only one color variant, slightly smoked shell with carbon fiber face plate. It will face tough competition from TSMR 2, BGVP VG4 and a lot other earphones in this price range.
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PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:-
The AQ3 has a very simple type of packaging with a black theme. The paper cover has a very simple design and barely has any information about the AQ3. The cardboard box contains a pelican style water resistant case and everything is placed inside it. The transparent upper cover does reveal the earpieces even before opening the case. All the accessories are placed inside a paper box. There are 3 pair of silicone tips in S/M/L sizes and 3 pair of foam tips in one size. The cable too is tucked inside the box. The cleaning tool and couple of documents ends the list of things out of the box.
HOW IS THE CABLE:-
Most of the Chinese brands have been shipping their earphones with good cables these days, both aesthetically and functionally. AQ3 from Audiosense is no exception either. It comes with a classy looking SPC cable. It looks strong and will withstand some abuse. The mmcx Detachable cable has 8 Strands 19core with silver plate copper in it. It has a skin friendly tpu layer on the cores which is fairly supple without any microphonics to worry about. There is good amount of protection at the 90 degree 3.5mm jack. The y splitter has a minimal design and the cable slider helps in keeping the IEM arranged.
All in all a good stock cable out of the box.
HOW DOES IT FEELS:-
The AQ3 looks slightly dull with an off white type or say smoked shells but the carbon fiber type face plate gives it a classy look. The AQ3 has shell made with 3D printing technology while using skin friendly resin it feels fairly solid to the hand. What really impresses me is that all the three drivers have their own bores, a rare design in this price range. There is small opening or near the mmcx port for the dynamic driver to breathe.
The metal nozzle is long enough to escape the shallow title. It goes deep enough inside the ear and provides a secure fit. The shell has no wings to provide more traction inside the ear. Ergonomically it is not the best but still on par with the likes of TSMR 2 and Spring1. The cable guides provide nice support and helps in keeping the IEM in place.