Introduction

Magaosi is a Chinese brand that produces iems. They started out with the K3 and has since improved it to the K3 HD which I will be reviewing. I would like to thank Penon Audio and Magaosi for this review unit. The K3 HD is available on https://penonaudio.com/Magaosi-K3-HD and you can choose from 3 colours – Blue, Orange and Grey. The unit I will be reviewing is blue in colour.

upload_2017-8-27_19-51-22

Specifications

  • Driver Configuration:1 Balanced Armature + 1 Dynamic
  • Impedance:32 Ω
  • Frequency Response:20Hz—22KHz
  • Sensitivity:99db
  • L&R Channel Balance Sensitivity:≤2db
  • Max Input Power:10mW
  • Length:120cm±5cm
  • Wire Material:TPU
  • Plug material:3.5mm gold-plated
  • Earphone Plug:MMCX

Unboxing & Accessories

The K3 HD comes in a package with a plastic wrap. After removal of plastic wrap, the package comes with a smooth white cover. On the cover front, you can see the brand, model name, picture of the iem, driver configuration and that it is a detachable mmcx iem. On the top right corner of the cover, there is a sticker to indicate the colour of the iem. Moving on to the cover back, you get the specifications, diagram showing the components of the iem, description on what the package includes and the details of the manufacturer.

After removing the cover, you will be greeted with a black gift box with a red frequency image on the front. Next, inside the box, there are the iems, 1 pair of black silicone eartips, 3 pairs of black foam eartips (S,M and L) and a carrying case. The case contents consist of 2 cables and 1 pair of tuning filters. Below the case is the instruction manual to guide you on the usage of iem.

upload_2017-8-27_19-52-24

IEM Build & Design

The K3 HD has a rather small oval shell and it sits nicely in my ears. It has a glossy blue surface with the Magaosi brand name in white colour on both the left and right faceplates. There are 2 vents on opposite sides near the oval edge. On the outside of the mmcx sockets, there is a L and R marking to differentiate left and right respectively. The inside of each iem sports the K3 HD model name. The nozzle is slightly angled and has filters that can be removed. I find the Magaosi build quite solid.

Cable Build & Design

The K3 HD comes with 2 cables. Firstly, one of them is an oxygen free copper (OFC) cable that has 4 cores. It is quite flexible. The mmcx connectors are slightly angled and have L/R markings on both to identify. The chin slider and y-splitter are matte black in colour. It has a right angled gold plated 3.5mm jack in a black housing.

On the other cable, it is silver plated copper (SPC) and like the OFC cable, the mmcx connectors are slightly angled too. The L and R markings on the connectors are quite hard to see. It does not have a chin slider and it has a y-splitter in silver housing. Finally, the jack is 3.5mm gold plated straight in a silver housing.

Sound Analysis

Lows

The K3 HD has a deep sub-bass extension with a good rumble. The mid-bass is quite authoritative and I feel it adds a nice punch to my music. In addition, the bass is controlled and tight. It has a good decay and each bass note is presented well. The bass nature is fast and this makes the music more exciting. Bass texture is rendered well and the clean bass makes it an enjoyable listen. The bass also helps to add more body to the lower mids and ease the transition into the midrange. There is no shortage in quality and quantity and personally, I find it spot on.

Mids

The midrange is slightly recessed and I feel that the bass and treble works well with it. The lower mids on the K3 HD is not lacking in the quantity and it can tackle male vocals well. The upper mids are quite forward and it is rather detailed. The definition of the midrange is operating on a high level. It sounds crystal clear and transparent. Most importantly, it does not sound analytical. It is engaging and lively. For those looking for thick and syrupy mids, these may not be what you are looking for.

Highs

The treble has a good definition to it and it presents clarity. There is no sibilance and harshness on it. I find the extension pretty good and there is no graininess. It is crisp and there is a bite. The treble accentuates the nature of the music and I feel the sound is very dynamic. There is a good amount of air and slight sparkle that allows the performance to be full. There is no lacking in body in the treble too. It presents itself in a clear manner. There is extension, air and clarity.

Soundstage

The K3 HD has a good width of soundstage and it has average depth. I feel the width helps to improve the overall imaging. Vocals and instruments positioning are accurate. The soundstage gives an enveloping feel.

upload_2017-8-27_19-54-24

Comparisons

I use the iBasso DX200 for the comparisons.

Magaosi K3 HD vs Kinera H3

The sub-bass quantity on the K3 HD is more than the H3 and it has better extension. I feel that the K3 HD is more precise in bass articulation and the bass digs deeper too. The mid-bass of K3 HD has more authority and it gives the song more punch to it. The bass texture on the K3 HD is more defined and is rendered better. Each bass note is presented with more power. The lower mids on the K3 HD is thicker than the H3 and it sounds more full. It retains the speed. The upper mids on the K3 HD is more forward and it contributes to sounding more organic on female vocals. The details retrieval of K3 HD is better and the clarity is a level above the H3. For the treble section. the K3 HD has less air than the H3 but it is more clinical in presentation. I feel the details K3 HD produce is so much more than the H3. In addition, the K3 HD has more sparkle than the H3. In terms of soundstage, the K3 HD is superior to the H3 be it in terms of width and depth. Vocals and instruments positioning on the K3 HD is more accurate and resolution is better.

Magaosi K3 HD vs Ibasso IT03

The IT03 has more sub-bass quantity and extension than the K3 HD. It is clear that IT03 has the upper edge in sub-bass and is superior in the quality too. The mid-bass on both are approximately similar with K3 HD having a smoother mid-bass slam and it is more controlled. Bass texture on both is rendered smoothly. The bass note on the IT03 is slightly more accurate than the K3 HD. The IT03 excels in the bass control and the decay is faster. The lower mids on the K3 HD has more body than the IT03 and sounds thicker. It is more forgiving for male vocals. For the upper mids, IT03 comes across as slightly shouty to me while the K3 HD presents itself with control and precision to prevent it from being shouty. Female vocals are presented in an euphoric manner. It sounds very sweet and engaging. In the treble section, the IT03 has more air and sparkle but K3 HD is much smoother. I find the IT03 squeezes more details out. In terms of soundstage, I find them every similar but IT03 has a slight edge in the width. Depth of K3 HD is better. Vocals and instruments positioning on the IT03 is better. The stage helps to improve the imaging on the IT03 and shows its technicality. Resolution of IT03 is better.

Magaosi K3 HD vs Fidue A83

The K3 HD sub-bass does not extend as deep as A83 and the quantity is less. However, I feel the bass quality on the K3 HD is more refined. The mid-bass on the A83 has slightly more slam and the bass note on the A83 has more weight. K3 HD bass note is clinical and the decay is faster. It really depends on the bass nature one likes. K3 HD presents the bass in a clean way while for the A83, it shows more authority. The lower mids on the A83 is thicker than the K3 HD and it does male vocals well. The upper mids on the K3 HD is equally forward as on the A83. K3 HD has a smooth and organic upper mids. I find the A83 to have a slight grain here and female vocals sound less sweet. In the treble section, the A83 is extended better but the control on the K3 HD is tighter. There is emphasis on the treble articulation on the K3 HD. It has the better clinical performance. The K3 HD has more air than the A83 and sparkle on both are similar. I feel there is more bite on the A83 but it makes female vocals sound harsh. The K3 HD presents female vocals in a very controlled manner. A83 has the edge in depth of soundstage while K3 HD has the better width. Layering and separation on both is approximately the same. The width of K3 HD soundstage aids in the imaging of the sound. The definition both are operating on is around the same.

upload_2017-8-27_19-54-47

Conclusion

The Magaosi K3 HD is a brilliant v shaped sounding iem that still retains a midrange that can do vocals. The sound is engaging and sweet. The triumvirate of lows, mids and highs combine extremely well to deliver a pleasing and clear sound. Along with a solid build, an ergonomic design, 2 cables and a semi-hard carrying case, I find this to be a strong contender at its price point. I am really impressed by the overall package of the K3 HD.

upload_2017-8-27_19-55-3