How’s it going fam? In the lab today and up for review is the Advanced Sound GT3 Superbass. Just like the vanilla GT3, the Superbass has a proprietary dynamic driver and adjustable tuning system. Built from stainless steel this is one tough IEM with a warm and inviting sound signature.
Advanced Sound Group is a headphone and earphone manufacturer that started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. They develop their own proprietary drivers, source the highest quality components in the hope of allowing everyone to experience the audiophile-grade sound.
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Package and Accessories
Identical to the original GT3 box in shape and size, the Advanced GT3 Superbass box comes in black this time around. On the front is a close up image of the housings with the red filters attached.
Over on the back is a handy frequency response graph, some images of the monitors and cables and a list of specifications. Let’s take a look at what you get:
GT3 Superbass earphones
1 MMCX silver-plated copper cable
1 MMCX 3-button remove / mic cable
3 pairs of foam tips
3 pairs of single-flange silicone tips
3 pairs of dual-flange silicone tips
1 zipper carrying case
1 leather cable tie
3 pairs of tuning filters (Bass, Treble, Reference)
So just like the GT3 there is a healthy bundle of extras packed into the Superbass’ box. Again, it’s great to have that included zipper case and leather cable tie.
One thing that puzzled with with the GT3 and did so again here with the Superbass is the inclusion of the mic cable. Considering the high impedance and the Superbass’ love for driving power I wonder why Advanced did not include a balanced cable instead.
Build Quality and Design
The majority of metal earphones these days use an aluminium alloy for the housings but the Advanced GT3 Superbass is instead crafted from stainless steel. This makes them feel hefty and extremely robust but not heavy.
The black steel housings are meticulously crafted and finished. On the underside is a pinhole-size vent about halfway along the length of the shell. On the top side are the MMCX connectors which have a hardened rubberized outer layer, presumably to reduce microphonics.
The angled nozzles also act as the tuning filters and are immaculately threaded making them very easy to insert and remove. They also have a rubber gasket to prevent them coming loose; Advanced seems to pay very close attention to detail and it shows in the quality of the earphone’s construction.
The first of the 2 cables is a twisted 4-strand silver-plated copper. Its clear sheathing feels quite hard and unyielding but surprisingly the cable itself is very flexible and devoid of any kinks or memory.
It’s longer than your average IEM cable at around 1.45m which I found to be ideal for use on the desktop but still perfectly viable for portable use. I’m particularly fond of this cable. Not only is it my preferred of the 2 provided cables but it’s one of my favourite stock cables of any IEM in this price range.
At the top are the translucent MMCX connectors. The right side connector has a red dot for easy identification. There are preformed ear guides that which are soft and flexible and assist in giving you a secure fit.
A black metal Y-split is further down the cable and it has “Silver” and “Plated” laser etched onto the sides. The Y-split is cylindrical and has knurling at either end. It also has a translucent strain relief at both ends with a matching chin slider on the upper side.
The cable terminates in a straight, black metal plug with the same knurling and solid strain relief we saw on the Y-split. There is also the brand logo laser etched onto the sides of the plug.
3-BUTTON REMOTE / MIC CABLE
This cable has a braided fabric lower section and is rubberized above the Y-split. It has opaque black MMXC connectors with slightly stiffer ear guides.
The Y-split and plug are silver this time around and both have knurling similar to the other cable. There’s a chin slider present as well as a plastic 3-button remote and microphone.
Just like the SPC cable, this one has excellent strain reliefs from top to bottom. It doesn’t feel quite as premium as the other cable but is very nice quality and of course, will be invaluable to those who need or wish to make calls using their monitors.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
Comfort is very good with the Advanced GT3 Superbass thanks to its simplistic shape and over-ear cables. The angled nozzles help ensure a natural position in the ears and I can comfortably wear this earphone for several hours without any issues.
Noise isolation is above average which is hardly surprising considering the earphone’s sturdy stainless steel housings. The GT3 Superbass is suitable for any normal everyday environment. Noise leak is minimal too; there’s no need to worry about disturbing nearby people with your music.
Gear used for testing: representing the DAP section were the M2Pro and Sony NW-ZX300. On the desktop once again was my Windows PC feeding the Topping DX7 DAC.
The Advanced GT3 Superbass is fairly easy to drive despite its higher-than-average impedance (84ohm) and low sensitivity (95dB). Just like the original GT3 though, the Superbass loves a powerful source so switch that DAP to high gain if it has one or plug it into an amp for best results.
Given the name you could be forgiven for thinking that the Superbass is all about well…bass. Indeed, looking at the measurements you would probably think the same. In reality the Superbass has quite forward mids and a fairly balanced overall presentation.
Before we go any further I want to briefly touch on the filters. There are 3 sets; bass, reference and treble. I’ll start by saying that the difference between the silver (reference) and red (treble) is negligible. This not only shows on the graph below but to my ears as well – I doubt I could tell them apart in a blind test.
On the other hand, the black (bass) filter does make a difference. Strangely, it doesn’t really change the amount of bass at all but rather the 1kHz-7kHz region and in particular 3.5kHz-5.5kHz.
What does that mean exactly? It means that with the black filter you get less vocal presence, as well as a softer attack on guitar and piano notes. It also means a slight reduction in clarity and definition. That all sounds a little negative and it is my least favourite of the 3 filters but for someone who is particularly sensitive to the presence region and brightness this could be a great asset.
Without a doubt deserving of the “Superbass” title, the bass on this IEM is delicious. The main emphasis is on the sub-bass which has wonderful extension and weight and a fast but powerful rumble. The Superbass has a real talent for bringing authoritative bass without shoving it in your face or compromising the other frequencies.
Westside Connection’s “Westward Ho” has a recurring sub-bass note that’s clearly audible on the Superbass but never intrudes on the rest of the track. Likewise, the thick mid-bass kick drum is in no way overpowering or disruptive – the Superbass handles it with aplomb. This monitor’s fast attack and natural decay make bass notes a delight to listen to.
Next up is the Superbass’ nicely rendered midrange which is quite forward in the mix. It’s very full-bodied and warm but is lacking a bit in clarity and presence. In the lower mids, it feels a little bit too full and boxy while the upper mids are subdued and lack presence.
I find that a slight cut in the lower midrange and a boost in the upper mids really brought things to life. It’s worth noting here that the GT3 Superbass does respond quite well to EQ – of course, it helps that I’m making reductions rather than boosting frequencies. After applying some EQ, Jeremy Soule’s “Sky Above, Voice Within” sounded more open and clear to my ears.
Treble is a mixed bag for the Superbass too. It’s definitely less savage on the ears than the GT3 but the aggressive dip at 7kHz-9kHz has a big impact on the overall clarity. On the plus side, there is no sibilance and overwhelming brightness like the vanilla GT3. The upper treble has excellent extension and brings some airiness and somewhat attenuates the darkness of the Superbass’ tone.
Considering the warmth of the Superbass it has a fairly impressive soundstage. The sense of depth is good and the width is even better. Vocals are quite dense and intimate but thanks to the speed of the driver there isn’t any congestion and instrument separation is decent.
Advanced GT3 Superbass vs Advanced GT3 ($199 USD)
Despite having identical housings these 2 IEMs couldn’t sound more different. They do have similarities in the bass with the Superbass only having a little more quantity but less texture and agility of the GT3 vanilla.
The thinner midrange and vocals sound more accurate and leaner on the GT3 (review here) while being richer and smoother on the Superbass. Due to its upper midrange boost, the GT3 has a lot more clarity and sounds less muddy than the GT3 but quickly becomes excessively bright.
The vanilla GT3’s treble gets a massive boost as well, giving a very bright overall tonality and at times becoming sibilant. It does result in a more expansive soundstage but compromises comfort and ease of listening, especially for those who are treble sensitive. The Superbass, in contrast, with its subdued treble has a much warmer and darker presentation.
Advanced GT3 Superbass vs Whizzer Haydn A15 Pro ($136 USD)
The A15 Pro (review here) is a lot closer to the vanilla GT3 than the Superbass. It has a super speedy, nimble bass and is very neutral and linear. The Superbass has a lot more bass presence, particularly sub-bass which gives it a warmer tonality.
In the midrange the A15 Pro is very neutral too, lacking the body of the Advanced GT3 Superbass but has much better clarity and articulation. Vocals and instruments have a more accurate timbre in general but are excessively lean from the lack of bass.
From the core midrange all the way to the upper treble the A15 Pro is more boosted, giving it extreme clarity but also a thinness and brightness that, to be honest, borders on unpleasant, similar to the vanilla GT3.
The Advanced GT3 Superbass is a beautifully crafted and undeniably sturdy IEM. It will appeal to those who are treble sensitive but ironically will most likely be unsatisfying for someone who is looking for a big, bass-heavy sound.
The filter system feels a bit like a gimmick because of the limited variation they offer and although there are 3 filter sets you only really have a choice of 2 signatures.
For the price you are getting high-quality construction and an impressive accessory bundle. If you are looking for something that is extremely durable with a warm and smooth presentation then be sure to check this one out.