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
VS TSMR2 ($189):-
The TSMR2 houses just two drivers and is more balanced than the AQ3. Aided by switches it can change its sound signature to an extent.
The bass is less thumpy, sub-bass has similar quality but lacks a bit of quantity and moves lesser amount of air. Mid bass is less fuller, the decay speed is slightly faster than AQ3. Mid range is more energetic with better micro details and slightly better bite. Vocals are very similar tonality with equal amount of texture. The upper mid is slightly more energetic. Treble has better extension and is more sparkly. Treble stage size is bigger than the AQ3. Overall stage size is bigger than the AQ3. Both have similar sonicality.
The TSMR 2 is technically more capable but is very analytical and can be less intriguing to those who like some thump with their music.
VS Mee MX4 rpo ($199):-
The Mee MX4 pro is a hair more expensive than the AQ3. It houses 3BA drivers and one dynamic driver.
The MX4 pro is fairly bassier than the AQ3. It moves a lot of air with a meatier and fuller slam. Sub bass has better rumble while the extension is similar. Mid bass too is meatier and fuller while giving up some decay speed. It doesn’t sound as detailed as the AQ3. Mid range is slightly in the V with less transparency for micro details. I like the notes depth and accuracy but it is slightly off with tonality. Treble is similar with extension but has better energy deep in the spectrum. Stage size is similar with width and height but is better depth.
AQ3 is the more technical one here with a more balanced approach.
VS Spring1 ($139):-
Both have similar approach with notes presentation. Where is Spring1 is slightly on the sharper side the AQ3 keeps things less sparkly.
The Spring1 has bigger bass slam and air. Sub bass has better extension and rumble. Mid bass is fuller and slightly woollier with more texture and slower decay. Mid range is in the V with less transparency and forwardness. Vocals sound slightly sharper than natural. Treble has better extension but is not as detailed. Stage size is slightly bigger than the AQ3 in every direction.
The problem with the Spring1 is its inconsistency with notes depth. The AQ3 is technically far more capable unless you are looking for a bassier signature.
The AQ3 manages to deliver one of the most sublime mid ranges with barely any flaws to it. It doesn’t stand really out with its bass or treble presence. They have the supporting act for the mid range in lead role. Neither bass is lacking details or clarity nor the treble is bad but compared to V shaped IEMs and analytical sounding IEMs it kind of feel a bit less intriguing. A bit of treble energy deeper in the spectrum would have made it an absolute stunner. But that is me, for those who like the treble on the calmer side will absolutely love it.
All in all AQ3 from Audiosense is a very capable earphone with fantastic clarity, resolution, details and transparency. It has very good accuracy with notes depth and thickness. If you love details but don’t want it to be strident, the AQ3 is what you are looking for.