nicehck db3 Driver Units Best In Ear Earphone Monitor
Details nicehck db3
Product Name: NICEHCK DB3 1BA+2DD Hybrid 3 Driver Units In Ear Earphone
Earphone type: In-ear
Earphone sensitivity: 106dB/mW
Frequency range: 20-22000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm Gilded
Plug Type: L curved
Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
Color: Black, Blue
Whether with cable: Yes
Earphone interface: 0.78mm 2Pin connector
Whether with mic: Optional
Whether can replacement cable: Yes
Driver unit: 1BA+2DD hybrid 3 driver units
Overview nicehck db3
Build is actually good, better than most KZs and you can actually feel it on the shells. Plus the nozzle has a pretty big lip to hold tips very securely.
The TRN IM2 is a touch smaller and better shaped and fits more securely. The DB3 is still comfortable and isolates enough though it doesn’t conform to the inner ear as much as the IM2 does. Please take that into consideration. Overall, it’s still a good-enough design.
Bass is fast, tight and visceral. I missed this kind of bass. It hits you harder due to its speed and depth. Not boom, but actual, guttural depth, especially with the right tips. I love it. And since Chi-fi is now saturated by IEMs with (some poorly) elevated bass, this is a pleasant departure from today’s norm.
Mids and Highs are very detailed. Not harsh, but detailed. And, “not harsh but detailed” is very hard to do these days as most budget IEMs tend to favor detail on both ends at the expense of being piercing and harsh, especially at higher volumes. I believe the DB3 is meticulously tuned to achieve this.
Cymbal decays are very distinct. Plucking, movement of some equipment in the background, actual recorded distortion in the music, they all come in clearly and effortlessly. I’m floored by how much resolution I’m getting at this price point. Thus the title of this review.
Sound stage is a touch wider than the IM2. It’s probably because it doesn’t seal that much. Imaging though is spot on. Out of all the headphones I have, including over-ears, this is the only one that convincingly recreates sound coming from the back.
Ran the Dolby Atmos test on these and if the audio is positioned coming from the back, it’s really coming from the back. For my other headphones, there is a slight blur to positioning. The DB3 images like a boss. Here are the actual videos from Dolby
One weakness that I’m finding, and some other also have, is that the DB3 can sound a little dry. It sounds natural, very resolving, but a little dry. It’s hard to explain. I like the lack of warmth. I like the accuracy and timbre, but at the same time, I miss a little bit of warmth too, a little bit of emotion.
If music is given to you as it is, or as they say, “as it was recorded”, well, well and good. But a sprinkle of warmth and emotional “salt” will do music good…sometimes.
The NiceHCK DB3 is a gem, not only at the $20 price point, but an undeniable gem. It is very underrated. Can it go toe to toe with the Blon 03? I don’t own the Blon, never liked the design. But if I keep it in regular rotation with my Grado SR80e and my Shure SRH440, you better believe it can. I’m pretty happy with my new year’s “resolution”.
The NiceHCK DB3 is a well-priced 2+1 budget earphone with a “fun” tuning that justifies this attribute: V-shaped with good dynamics and no fatiguing upper end.
Sometimes, this happens: you take a pair of iems out of the box, plug them in, and you instantly like them. There is something about the image that hits you even before you start your analytical listening procedure. The NiceHCK DB3 is such a rare case.
Was I ever surprised by this KZ in disguise, I had not expected much. The first impression was a bass tuning that covered up a bit of the lower midrange, but this didn’t really matter in the big picture. Gone was the piercing upper midrange so typical for cheap Chi-Fi. The result was an appealing “fun” tuned image with quite a good depth and a natural punch.
I was packing my suitcase for a 17 hr trip to Rio de Janeiro at the time and spontaneously decided to take it as one of my inflight iems (the other one was the BQEYZ Spring 1).
PHYSICAL THINGS AND USABILITY
Let’s go a step back. This is a $20 earphone and cable and tip selection are in line with this pricing. Luckily, the NiceHCK DB3 work right out of the box. The cable is stiff but ok and the largest tips did the job for me. I also tried the SpinFit CP145 and the JVC Spiral dots (both would be somewhat cost prohibitive with a budget earphone at $5-6 per pair) and the Tennmak Whirlwind.
While there were nuanced differences, I went with the stock tips in the end. As source, I used the iPhone SE, and it drove the NiceHCK DB3 well. Not much juice needed. The combination of $100+ amp and a $20 earphone would be somewhat pointless.
The fit was like the other KZs…pardon…earphones of this shape, it was fine. Isolution was good for me, as always, mileage may vary with tips used and with ear canal; shape. I do admit I like the silver faceplates, however the overall shape is repetitive and therefore unimaginative.
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