The old school hybrid design of the P3 uses a 10mm dynamic driver for the lower end and two BA drivers for both mids and highs. What really caught my attention is how revealing these twin BA drivers are, I was expecting it to be much more V shaped, which can be associated with most of the hybrid earphones. Instead it has a mild W shaped sound signature with excellent vocal clarity and details. And to my surprise the highs are not overpowering the mid range. The balance across the spectrum is something to be admired. Make no mistakes, the P3 is not a neutral sounding IEM, it has a bass punch like the Pola twins.
The P3 has a slightly bright tonality with the vocals and is much natural with rest of the spectrum. It is a lot easier to fall in love with the revealing nature and engaging tonality of this IEM.
I am using stock wide bore tip for the review.
The main reason behind the hybrid design is to keep the thumpy and slamilicious lower end alive without sacrificing the rest of the spectrum and man!! Does the P3 deliver. I haven’t had an encounter with a lower end like this in a long long time. The 10mm dynamic driver really pumps out one of the highest quality bass I have experienced in this price range. Before the P3 I was considering myself to be developing some intolerance towards bassy IEMs, either I was getting tired or I was losing interest but the P3 makes me look forward to the rumble and texture it delivers with every note. An experience I barely get with any IEM. Even the Shozy Pola doesn’t have this level of thrill. And for the usual, the sub-bass goes really deep with plenty of rumble and slam, It does not move a lot of air but the rumble makes it a lot more enjoyable. The mid bass is slightly less prominent when compared to the Pola, it is nicely rounded and gives the lower end a complimenting full bodied feel. The upper bass is not exactly bothering and blends perfectly with the lower end with plenty of details and clairty.
The level of details and texture delivered by this 10mm dynamic driver is simply excellent. The decay speed is not the fastest but it still is on par with the Pola. The marginally slower decay speed lets the P3 deliver a punch which leaves waves across the ear drum, it just has the visceral feel to it and when it hits, it just feels complete.
The bass is thoroughly engaging and impressive, so is the mid range. Unlike most of the hybrid earphones that tend to push the mid range to the back seat for reasons unknown, the P3 doesn’t try to pull that trick. The single BA driver responsible for the mid range delivers very accurate and detailed notes. Coming from the slightly thicker sounding TSMR 4 pro the P3 has a much more resolving and transparent sound. The P3 delivers some of the best micro details and accurate tonality for around $500.
The transition from upper bass to lower mid is lacking a slight bit of energy which leads to much better separation and layering. The highlight of the P3’s mid range is its vocals. The exceptional layering and separation shows its ability as it places the vocals right over the bass notes without any of the notes losing their essence. Both male and female vocals have very good texture and accuracy while the tonality is spot on. Male vocals have the organic and throaty feel, rarely seen with BA drivers in this price. Vocal notes have fantastic depth and articulation, the contrast of background and foreground delivers a very clear and transparent sound. Mid range notes have accurate finishing with the right amount of sharpness and thanks to this, vocals really shine and take the center stage. Instruments have precise base and accurate decay. The P3 has the right balance of bite, attack and aggressive presentation as the instruments maintain excellent crispiness without any offensive characteristics. The Upper mid is not very attacking and is clear of any sibilance or harshness. I do not mind sharper notes here but the P3 strikes a very good balance between staying relevant and keeping out of any discomfort.
The P3 has a single BA driver for the treble region which pours into the same bore as the mid range driver. It delivers equally impressive accuracy and details. The whole treble region is slightly less energetic than the mid range, keeping it clear of any type of sibilance or piercing.
P3’s inherent W shaped sound signature makes the transition phase at the upper mid to lower treble region take a step back while retaining good amount of energy but when compared to the rest of the spectrum it can be a bit on the calmer side. More expensive IEMs like the Avara AV6 or Audiofly AF1120 mk2 do better. A slight better linearity in this phase would have made it in line with the vocals. Even with this slight lack of forwardness the P3 maintains fantastic spark and transparency. The notes have excellent tonal accuracy and details. The instruments are lively and agile with natural attack and precision, the thrill which I was missing with the TSMR 4 pro is intact with the P3. Let it be Cymbals or percussions, all of them have similar emphasis with very good texture and shine. The excellent contrast of background and foreground delivers the crispiness I always look for.
The treble extension is very good but the Fibae 3 has a slightly deeper and more consistent energy across the spectrum. Needless to say that the P3 has excellent layering and separation with very good amount of space between instruments.
The sound stage of the P3 changes with the power it is getting from the source. It is clearer when I switch my Shanling M6 from low gain to high gain, the Z axis expansion is superlative. The stage is nicely rounded with very good width and height and slightly smaller depth. The sonicality of the P3 is much more impressive than the Fibae 3 and 4. In whole the P3 has much bigger than average stage which is nearly as big as the Shozy Pola. The P3 manages to play both foreground and background instruments without any hiccup making the imaging and resolution of the P3 is mighty impressive.
TECHNICALITY and MATCHING with SOURCES:-
The P3 has a very user friendly resistance of 25ohm which lets even the weaker sources drive the P3 without much problem. My mobile devices do a fine job too and any flagship will drive it without breaking a sweat. There are some compromises though, the biggest one being the sonicality followed by stage size. The LG G7 does a fine job but it still kind of messes up the crosstalk a bit and the finer details are not as apparent as they are with the Shanling M6.
Driving it with low end sources like Tempotec V1a makes thing worse as the V1a on its own is not exactly a very complete sounding DAP, it makes the P3 sound sloppy and less consistent. But the Sony A35 does a much better job as it doesn’t have any coloration or muted regions in its spectrum. On the down side the A35 too lacks a slight bit of intricate details and technicality.
Driving the P3 out of a much powerful DAP like Shanling M6 brings the best out of it. The bass notes gain more control and are more focused, notes have much better definition and the background instruments have far better details and clarity. Using the Hip DAC has a similar effect but the stage is not as big as it is with the M6.
A well fed P3 yields better results but driving it out of low end DAPs like A35 or Flagship devices doesn’t feel like a deal breaker either.