Advanced Sound GT3

Advanced Sound GT3 Review

Website – Advanced

  • Driver: Light-coil multi-damping dynamic driver
  • Sensitivity: 92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz
  • Impedance: 32ohm+/-15%
  • Frequency response: 10Hz ~ 40kHz
  • Cable length - Silver plated copper: 1.5m ; Mobile: 1.2m
  • Plug: 3.5mm, gold plated

Price: U$D 200.

Warranty: 3 years!

The package on the GT3 is the usual treat from Advanced, which is nice and practical. The outer paper card box cover holds all the details and specifications of the GT3. The inner black cardboard magnetic box easily slides out and opens showing the GT3 unit safely arranged inside foam material. The silver nozzles are already installed, while the black and red are attached to the small metal holder. At the lower half there is the typical carrying case from Advanced holding the 3 sets of ear tips, the 2 detachable cables and extra paperwork. The silver plated cable has a leather tie attached to it.

The ear tips’ selection consists of 3 pairs of single flange tips, 3 pairs of short dual flange tips, and 3 pairs of foam tips in black color. Worth noting that while the single and foam tips have a good grip on the nozzles, the dual tips do not fit well as the core are too wide; a similar issue was found on the M4 IEM. On the other hand, the nozzle width works well with many aftermarket tips such as the Sony, RHA, Spinfit, Spiral Dot and more.

Design and Build Quality

The GT3 follows the good quality of the previous Advanced products and takes everything to a much higher level. Build quality on the earpieces is excellent with a well shaped design that combines durability and good ergonomics. The shells are made entirely of quality stainless steel, consisting of two pieces perfectly attached as a single unit. The main part has a straight cylindrical design that goes narrower towards the rear, while the inner section is wider and has a slight angle for the nozzle part.

The three nozzles are identical in shape, material and weight, differing only in their paint (and probably in their mesh material used for the tuning). They are also made of a metal material (aluminum) and screw/unscrew easily and yet stay fixed to the shells. There is a short rubber ring at the base of the nozzles where they connect to the shells as to avoid unnecessary friction and improve the durability.

At the main shells, the MMCX sockets are located at the upper side and are well covered by a rubber material too with the R and L markings. At the bottom part there’s the only vent found on the whole IEM, of about a ~1.5mm diameter. The inner side of the shells has the ‘ADV.’ writing on it, while the outer has the ‘GT3’.

The GT3 pack includes two different cables with standard MMCX connections. The first one is a more standard one that includes the microphone and control options on the right side. The length is of ~1.2m, which can be a bit short for over-ear wearing style. It’s a very light cable with a compact y-split and ended in a thinner L plug. The upper half part has a rubbery covering while the lower section a cloth cover, and still is low in cable noise. Being the GT3 made more for an over-ear, the cables have both a pre-shaped fixed guides, but they are soft and comfortable enough.

The second cable is more of an ‘upgrade’ cable type, from its inner wiring, design and overall quality. The wire is silver plated copper and consists of four strands that are tightly twisted. The outer covering is transparent so the inner SPC material can be seen. It is also very low in noise effect, but it is much longer than any average IEM cable, of ~1.5m, which is quite unseen for a bundled cable. The plug on this SPC cable is straight, but larger and better relieved than the first cable. Same for the y-split that is identical in material and relief, and has the ‘silver plated’ writing around it. The cable slider runs effortlessly from the y-split up to the guides.
It’s worth mentioning that the MMCX connection is good enough for a standard type plug. I found the SPC cable to have a tighter connection to the MMCX socket without rotating too freely.

The fit with the GT3 IEM is very easy and can be actually used both cable up as suggested and also cable down (of course, with extra cables that do not hold fixed guides). Either way, it is quite comfortable thanks the slight angle and more rounded shape, though due the extra weight on the steel shells the over-ear configuration may be the better option for longer listening use. The only potential issue may be the at the rear part as it has a quite sharp finish; I don’t see the reason to make it like that as it has no obvious effect on the sound quality, and may be too sharp if it touches the outer ear part. Despite the vent, the isolation is good and there was no driver flex found with either the included tips or alternative ones.

Sound Quality

Being an earphone with exchangeable tuning nozzles, before describing the main sound performance there are some details that should be mentioned about the included 3 nozzles and the perceived effect on the overall sound.

As the frequency measurement graph may suggest, the differences between each filters are mostly perceived on the upper midrange and lower treble regions. As expected the bass and lower mids are practically not affected, however the higher or lower treble presence may still have some impact on the low end priority and position on the whole presentation.

The differences are not difficult to notice, though they are less obvious when going from black (bass) to silver (reference) filters, and similarly from silver to red ones (treble). In fact, even when using different nozzles, black and silver (or silver and red) on each earpiece, the mismatch is not too much noticed. However, it is a different case when combining black and red filters, as the treble response and overall tonality and brightness can be more radical, and especially when using silicone ear tips rather than foams.

Even though, the main overall signature on the GT3 is of a solid V-shaped sound with a wider than average effect (as far as IEMs go – at least at this price range), and with a well defined right and left separation. The amount of treble and upper mids from the filters does not have a strong impact on the level of detail or air, and the dominance of the upper midrange remains in whichever setup.

Technically, the GT3 has a very capable single dynamic driver inside, carrying excellent speed, resolution, detail and extension on both ends. Personally, I found the black and red filters the best options for the GT3, despite their polarized effect, as they tend to compromise less with their aimed frequency. The silver filter, on the other hand, kind of limits both bass and treble but do not give any better midrange presence.

On the bass region, despite what could be expected from a V-shaped type of tuning, the mid-bass has very good control and is not overdone at all in terms of quantity. In fact, the sub-bass can be more perceived than the mid or upper bass region, carrying good rumble and moderate depth. The extension again is very good, and mainly the speed is very high beating some good balanced armature options without much effort. It is quite effortless, not really aggressive, fast in attack and normal in decay. The layering and separation is very good as well, though those who prefer a more abrasive mid-bass lift with a warmer tone might find the GT3 lacking.

The midrange has a sharp separation between lower and upper midrange regions. Thanks to great control and speed on the bass there’s no bleed into the lower mids, however they are fairly recessed and distant compared to the mid-bass and even more next to the upper midrange. The detail and separation is good indeed, but they sound thin in body and lack weight, and especially male voices do not carry enough texture on them. Upper midrange is more forward in comparison with more body and articulation. The overall midrange tonality is towards the cold side, not too dry though, but ‘sweet’ is not how it could be described. Despite the v-shaped freq. curve, female voices tend to stand out more, with more body and level of clarity. There is a peak, though, which is more aggressive with the red filters on and that may sound sibilant with some grain; with a DAP as the Hidizs AP200 it can be overdone, but has a good synergy with a more laid-back sounding source. That aside, the resolution and openness is a strong characteristic of the IEM.

Treble is bright and gets brighter with each filter. Extension is very good and the presentation is very effortless. The peak is limited mostly to the lower treble mixed with the upper midrange, leaving a smoother yet very forward upper treble. In occasions the extra treble amount can break the balance within the v-shaped signature but does not sound less coherent.

The presentation is wide within the IEM realm. It is more perceived by the stronger right and left separation that gives more expansion and sense of space. The depth is not as far as the width, but is the height that is less present. It has a more oval than a tridimensional spherical sound.

Lastly, as for nozzle filters preference, my pick would be the red or black ones over the silver option. Silver filter try to give a middle option between the red and black options, but as it sound more reserved it misses some of the better characteristics of the GT3 dynamic driver potential. I could even prefer foam tips with the black nozzle in order to achieve the warmer and fuller bass and midrange with a relatively more laid-back treble, or go with the silicone wider or double flange tips for a most airy and revealing sound.

Extra amplification is not a must for the GT3, but as the company suggested it does scale a bit higher. I got to try the GT3 mainly with small but strong DACs as the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red and new ZuperDACs from Zorloo. The Dragonfly has an excellent sound quality, though it may be too powerful for an IEM like the GT3; speed can be too fast and be more aggressive overall. The ZuperDAC is not as resolving, but it has a stronger bass response that adds some warmth to the mids and also has smoother treble, making a very good match for the GT3.
As for extra eartips, I found the Sony ‘hybrid’ (and even the clone ones) being a good option to add a bit more texture and body to the sound for a more even sound presentation.

So far the GT3 is the best earphone from Advanced. It carries a toughest build quality and provides a good fit and noise isolation. The sound quality is technically very strong, with great speed, high detail and above average wide stage in a spacious and airy presentation. It does arrive with some reservations, having a bit less typical v-shaped sound that has a less mid-bass lift, with a bright to very bright treble response, and more distant lower midrange. Nonetheless, the GT3 responds well to different sources and may scale even better with some amplification.