The Advanced Sound Group is not necessarily a well-known brand in earphone circles, but with the GT3 earphone the company shows it is ready to make its name and is jumping right in the ring with the traditional big boys. Three years after being pushed out of the nest via a 2015 Kickstarter funded-campaign, Advanced Sound Group’s $299 GT3 universal-fit earphones are an unexpected uppercut set to surprise and daze the competition.
Truthfully, I was right there with many of you and did not have Advanced Sound Group on my radar before the GT3’s arrived for their review. Upon unboxing and inspection the GT3’s made a great first impression as notably handsome earphones that are immediately pleasing to the senses. The GT3’s stainless steel housing has a nice hefty weight and stylish curves that immediately enforce the perception of a well-engineered product. The GT3 comes supplied with your choice two detachable interchangeable MMCX cables: a premium audio cable for dedicated listening or a mobile 3-button remote/mic compatible with iOS and Android when you are listening on the go. (Note: I used the showpiece silver-plated copper premium cables for most of my listening sessions as I composed this review.) The attractive build is topped off by the user’s choice of three colour-coded tuning filters set to fine tune the GT3’s sonic output to your specific tastes (neutral, bass heavy, treble accentuating). The filters also offer different characteristics within the 3kHz region that Advanced Sound claims to bear the most influence on hearing.
Advanced Sound Group says that the GT3’s dynamic driver design is proprietary. Design details are scant, but we are still able to ascertain a few facts about the driver design. Advanced’s goal in the GT3 design was to reproduce sound as closely as possible to what headphone veterans might expect to find in a high quality full-sized electrostatic headphone. Some of the sonic traits Advanced associates with this notional electrostatic headphone-like sound are a strong separation of instrumental and human voices in the bass and midrange, a nuanced micro-detailed treble response, a widened soundstage, and a speedy attack.
In order to accomplish these specific goals, the GT3 has CNC-machined stainless-steel housings that were designed from square one to downplay in-chamber resonance caused by driver flex. Building off the low resonance housing, the multi damped driver structure centres around an extremely lightweight voice coil, said to be 30% lighter than the competition (but not specified as to what competition it was measured against). The GT3 was also designed with scalable amplification in mind, so if you have the means to pair them with a higher performing headphone amplifier we would encourage you to do so.
The GT3’s performance leaves no doubt Advanced Sound Group has made a special earphone with a shockingly holographic and three-dimensional soundstage. Black Keys albums are always a raw example of no frills “in the studio” atmospherics and listening to 'Black Mud', from Brothers[Nonesuch] easily illustrated the GT3’s greatest strengths. The GT3’s had full control of a sludgy bottom end, an extremely musical midrange, and a graceful treble with much more space to breathe than I had expected. The GT3’s had an outstanding top to bottom cohesiveness and I found myself more than once unconsciously turning my head around to look for the razor sharp details I had just heard The Keys drop into the mix behind me in a riveting 3D presentation.
In the reviewing world I had the good fortune to try out the GT3 before I had a chance to be biased by its price tag. This can be an ordeal by fire for some, but instead showed just how good these earphones really in absolute terms. After a lengthy audition, I had taken the GT3s to be a well over $300 set of earphones. Imagine my surprise, then, when I learned that they retail for just $299. The GT3s are an unbelievable value; without a doubt, you can expect to be knocked out by their well-placed sonic punch.
Advanced Sound Group GT3 universal –fit earphone
Type: Light-coil, multi-damping, dynamic driver-equipped universal-fit earphone
Frequency response: 10Hz – 40kHz
Sensitivity: 92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz
Weight: Not specified
Price: $299 US
Accessories: MMCX silver-plated copper quad-braided cable, MMCX mobile cable with 3-button remote/mic, three pairs of black foam ear tips, three pairs of black single-flange silicone ear tips, three pairs of black dual-flange silicone tips, premium carrying pouch, leather cable tie
500 Northern Blvd, STE 004
Great Neck, NY 11021