TFZ Secret Garden 3 review

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Mostly Serious, a bit musical

8.6 Not bad at all

If you are came here because you have a TFZ dynamic driver IEM and want a upgrade with similar sound signature, this earphone is not for you. If you are after precision and details, you are welcome.

  • Sound Quality 8.6
  • Build quality 8.5
  • Matching with sources 8.3
  • Feel inside the ear 9.2
  • Value For money factor 8.3
  • User Ratings (5 Votes) 8

HOW DOES THIS SOUNDS:-

The 3BA driver with a tuning switch system delivers a versatile sound. It houses three Knowles BA drivers, the all so popular 22955 is responsible for the bass, 29869 holds up the mid range and the 30095 is responsible for the treble region.

Coming from the sub-$200 dynamic driver IEMs the SG3 delivers a lot more details with precision. Technically it is a clear setup from them. The tuning switches can be handy in tweaking the signature a bit but In any case it doesn’t deviate far away from its base tuning which is being balanced. The bass is not very voluminous but flick the switch and you will gain better volume and slightly better thump. The mid range is nicely full and treble has good amount of bite to it. The Overall sound signature is well balanced (with a slight W signature to it), colorless and slightly gloomy. The tonality and timber are natural but there is a slight hint of metallic ring across the spectrum.

I am using Shanling M6 and stock grey-red tips for this review. Both the switches are up for the default sound.

BASS:-

Even when the SG3 is tuned to sound balanced with equal emphasis across the spectrum the bass is not of the typical dry and thin type. The Knowles driver inside the SG3 has better bass presence compared to typical BA based earphones like EM-5H or AF1120. The Bass region is well defined and paced with good amount of precision resulting into very good amount of details. It delivers lively and juicier notes while moving good amount of air. The sub-bass is not very deep and rumbly like the Fibae 3 but is deeper, has good rumble and presence compared to most of the BA based earphones in its price bracket. The mid bass is more prominent with a more rounded and fuller body. The upper bass is well controlled with good amount of details and clarity.

The level of texture and is good but is not as good as the TSMR4 pro in this regard, it is the same story with organic feeling too. It is good but not the best in this price but when it comes to resolution though the SG3 clearly pulls ahead. Another thing which is really impressive is the decay, it is fast while leaving some breathing space for the note to make their presence felt. The SG3 has a lot of control over notes. It delivers an enjoyable lower end with a nice and weighty approach. It is neither thin nor unnecessarily thick, maintaining good note thickness and accuracy.

MID RANGE :-

The mid range is delivered by a single BA driver and it delivers a lot of details with very good clarity and transparency. It is well balanced with the rest of the spectrum. The transition from upper bass to lower mid range is lacking a bit of forwardness and energy, it still maintains good clarity.

Vocals sound crisp and clear with a very close to natural tonality (a hint of metallic vibe is there). The decay is paced with both precision and musicality in mind, giving the notes required amount of body. It is not thin like the AF180 or thick like the Fibae 3. Vocal notes have appropriate amount of fullness. Both male and female vocals sound accurate while resolving good amount of details. Male vocals have slightly slower decay helping with notes thickness, giving them a nice throaty feel. Female vocals are sharper with accurate notes depth and are a delight with good amount of bite. Vocal have very good texture and transparency. It manages to deliver accurate still enjoyable vocals. Instruments have good attack and bite to them. Notes are not very sharp or blunt. The upper mid range is well under control with good amount of details and clarity. It doesn’t sound lush or overly sharp. The mid range is enjoyable and fun without losing precision and details. All in all the SG3 barely misses out on any micro details.

Layering and separation is of top notch with good amount of air between the instruments. The stage size is bigger than a handful of earphone in this price range like the Shozy Pentacle and Fibae Black.

HIGHS:-

The SG3 has precise notes presentation across the spectrum and it holds true for the treble section too. It doesn’t shy away from a sparkly and energetic presentation filled with plenty of details and class leading transparency, transparency which is not there even with more expensive earphones like Fibae 3. Some earphones try too hard to exhibit better transparency and clarity with sharper notes but the SG3 doesn’t belong to that bunch either. SG3’s notes are energetic and sparkly but are not over the top.

The transition phase from upper mid range to lower treble region has a small drop in energy which keeps any type of peak or harshness at bay while maintaining very good transparency and clarity. The SG3 has very good treble extension and even when it goes deep into the spectrum notes maintain good amount of energy and clarity. The amount of details, resolution and energy is very good. Needless to say that separation and layering is up to the mark with good amount of air and space between instruments. The treble stage is well spread and has good density to it. The bigger than average stage size helps a lot with instrument placements and density. If you love treble, tingling instruments and minute details the SG3 will not disappoint.

STAGE AND IMAGING :-

It doesn’t have the biggest stage in this price still the size is fairly above average. The stage is nicely rounded with very good depth, the width and height are slightly smaller. If you consider the out of the head expansion it beats the big boys like Fibae 3 and Af1120. The lower notes and most of the mid range are projected inside the head, while the upper mid and treble range has more out of the head presence. The natural expansion of stage provides good amount of air and space between instruments. Even when the stage is a bit more inside the head the imaging with evenly spread instruments provides good sense of space and layering. Thanks to accurate notes body and precision the resolution is fantastic.

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About Author

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!

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