Audio

Great sound even when wireless

The Advanced Sound Model 3 earphones are great for commuting, as they are light and comfortable.
The Advanced Sound Model 3 earphones are great for commuting, as they are light and comfortable.PHOTO: ADVANCED SOUND

New York-based audio firm Advanced Sound first started selling its products via crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

The popularity of its products eventually led it to operate its own business and website.

However, audiophiles here now no longer have to order from its website and wait for the products to ship. Local retailer Zeppelin and Co, at Sim Lim Square, has secured the rights to distribute them here.

Advanced Sound's latest toy, the Advanced Sound Model 3, is a pair of convertible in-ear earphones which can be used either wirelessly or wired.

Its earbuds come with micro-miniature coaxial connectors - not something you usually see on a pair of earphones - which can be connected to a wired 3.5mm connection or to a wireless module.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $189

    DRIVER UNIT: Custom-tuned single dynamic driver

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz - 40kHz

    WEIGHT: 14g (wired); 21g (with wireless module)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5

    OVERALL: 5/5

This module's design is pretty clever. An inline control, used to adjust the volume or to pause or skip songs, is connected with nylon cabling to a magnetic clasp, which also houses the module's charging port.

A single charge is good for about 5hr of use, with a full charge taking about an hour.

The earbud's transparent plastic shell feels sturdy and looks good, although I felt it clashed with the default black cables that come with it.

To keep the earphones secure, the wireless cables sport an over-ear design, with a hook, like the one popularised by Shure.

The Model 3 is also the only set in the Advanced Sound line-up capable of high-resolution audio playback of up to 96kHz/24-bit.

These earphones pack a punch, even when used wirelessly. I was hard-pressed to discern any drop in sound quality when swopping between wired and wireless use.

The earphones connect to your music player via Bluetooth 4.1 and support high-resolution technology such as AptX to get high-res audio streamed wirelessly.

They are more coloured than Advanced Sound's first earphones, the M4, with a deep, pronounced bass and a pleasingly warm tone.

They lose some detail in the midrange, but vocals still come through cleanly, if a bit mellow.

The Model 3's highs are also very pleasing, with a very natural presentation. On songs like Lana Del Rey's Young And Beautiful, the Model 3 presents the orchestral background and her soulful vocals faithfully, with good balance and distance between the different instruments and vocals.

The earphones also went wonderfully well with Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing, providing a very convincing reproduction of his pulsating, rotary guitar soundscape.

These are excellent earphones for commuting, as they are light, comfortable and not fatiguing to listen to over long stretches. Their sound isolation is a plus as well, as they seal music in well and block out ambient noise quite effectively.

• Verdict: The Model 3 is what Bluetooth earphones aspire to be, with great build and sound quality, even when used wirelessly.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2017, with the headline 'Great sound even when wireless'. Print Edition | Subscribe