Advanced Sound GT3 Review – Speeding Lights

Our Score
Tested at $199

How’s it going fam? In the lab today and up for review is the Advanced Sound GT3 with its proprietary dynamic driver and adjustable tuning system. It’s designed for maximum resolution and a sense of space. So how does it do? Let’s take a look.

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.

Advanced Sound official website: https://www.adv-sound.com/

Pros
  • Tuneable sound with 3 filter sets
  • Indestructible steel design
  • Great accessory bundle including 2 cables
  • Fast transients, tonal accuracy
  • Good included accessories
Cons
  • Needs a powerful source to realize its full potential
  • Filters have minimal impact on sound signature

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Advanced Sound GT3 Specifications
Driver unitLight-coil multi-damping dynamic driver
Impedance32ohm+/-15%
Sensitivity92dB+/-3dB at 1kHz
Frequency responseUltra Wideband 10Hz – 40kHz
Rated power input1mW
Input power5mW
Cable compositionSilver-plated copper
Cable length (SPC)1.5M
Cable length (Mobile)1.2M
IEM connectorMMCX
Plug3.5mm gold plated

This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own.

Package and Accessories

Advanced GT3 box front

The GT3 arrived in a tidy, white box with a clear image of the monitors on the front. On the back you’ll find a frequency response graph, more images of the earphones and cables, specifications and list of included accessories.

Advanced GT3 box rear
  • GT3 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, right from the get-go we’re off to a pretty good start in terms of accessories. The zipper case is a good size, large enough for the IEMs and filters. You could probably squeeze both cables in there too if you are so inclined. The leather cable tie is an especially nice touch that adds to the premium impression and I love the magnetic clasp.

Advanced GT3 unboxing

Build Quality and Design

The majority of metal earphones these days use an aluminium alloy for the housings but the Advanced Sound GT3 is instead crafted from stainless steel. This makes them feel hefty and extremely robust but not heavy.

The polished 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.

Silver-plated cable

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.

Advanced GT3 cables
Comfort and Noise Isolation

Comfort is very good with the GT3 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 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.

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the Soundaware M2Pro and Sony NW-ZX300 representing the DAP section. On the desktop once again is my Windows PC feeding the Topping DX7 DAC.

The Advanced Sound GT3 is reasonably easy to drive, however, like it says on the website the GT3 loves a bit of extra power to bring out its best. So switch on that hi gain if you’ve got it or plug it into something substantial if you want to hear it at its best.

Advanced GT3 frequency response

Bright is the way this monitor has been tuned and bright it is but it’s tastefully done, particularly when properly driven, as alluded to above. The GT3 is defined by its quick and nimble bass as well as a boosted upper midrange and lower treble.

Filters

Before we go any further I want to briefly touch on the filters. There are 3 sets; bass, reference and treble, although it could be argued that all 3 are treble focused.

The changes in sound rendered are fairly minimal and only really affect the upper mids and lower treble regions. Because the GT3 is already bright I feel its ludicrous (for my own personal preferences) to use anything except the black “bass” filter. In fact, I’m not sure why the filter system was necessary at all considering the narrow breadth of the changes they provide.

Advanced GT3 filters frequencies
Bass

Perhaps the Advanced Sound GT3’s most impressive area is the bass. It’s quick, powerful and exceptionally well-controlled. There’s great definition in bass notes thanks to a fast attack and decay.

The mid-bass is just slightly less emphasized than the sub-bass and I’m a fan of this combination. It gives the sound body and warmth but doesn’t bleed into the midrange or negatively impact the parameters of the stage.

Sub-bass extension is fantastic and I love the way the GT3 renders the lowest of low notes. That great control is always there and the sub-bass passes beyond the realm of audible and into the physical without breaking a sweat.

Mids

In the lower midrange, the GT3 stays neutral with excellent tonal accuracy. As we go towards the upper midrange, however, we see things get raised substantially.

This upper midrange boost tastefully leaves female vocals unaffected so they don’t become harsh or grating. This is evident when listening to Loreena McKennitt’s “Coventry Carol” as the GT3 renders her voice with a lush gentleness and the acoustic string instruments sound open and lifelike.

A noticeable benefit of the GT3’s upper mid/lower treble focus is the added clarity that it brings. Vocals are articulated well and at times some sibilance starts to creep in. This monitor is also very revealing and will eagerly highlight poorly recorded or mastered music. For the most part, though this is an IEM that manifests its bright signature with elegance and resolve.

Treble

Here’s the other area that the GT3 focuses on, specifically in the lower treble. Again, this is where all that clarity comes from but at the same time it can introduce an element of harshness which in certain recordings can lead to fatigue.

Thankfully the treble falls off fairly steeply after 6kHz so it does avoid making the overall signature too intensely bright. There is an abundance of detail retrieval, though this accentuated upper region can adversely affect the monitors ability to resolve in the midrange because the tonal balance favours the upper regions.

Soundstage

The GT3 has an average soundstage which feels more lofty than spacious. At times its depth can be surprisingly good but the lower treble tends to come to the forefront which affects the separation and overall layering. Positioning of instruments is quite strong thanks to the solidity of notes and their fast decay.

Advanced GT3 with blade and DAP

Comparisons

Advanced Sound GT3 vs Hifi Boy OS V3 ($159 USD)
Advanced GT3 vs OS V3

The OS V3 (review here) has more mid-bass impact and a more prominent sub-bass with a slower rumble. In the midrange, the GT3 is considerably leaner and more articulated. 

The OS V3 has more midrange body and warmth, creating a more inviting sound. Male and female vocals sound richer and smoother on the OS V3 while the GT3 strives for clarity instead.

The OS V3 has a more subdued lower treble and instead peaks at 9kHz which gives it a little extra clarity and sparkle. The GT3’s upper treble gets pushed behind the upper midrange and lower treble giving it its bright signature.

Advanced Sound GT3 vs LZ A4 – Grey filter ($195 USD)
Advanced GT3 vs LZ A4

The LZ A4 (review here) has a bit more mid-bass and significantly more sub-bass than the GT3. The GT3’s bass though, is of course, more textured.

There’s more body to the A4’s midrange with thicker notes and slower transients. The GT3’s midrange timbre is more accurate but sounds a bit lean. Male and female vocals sound richer and less articulated on the LZ A4.

In the treble, the A4 is quite subdued but it has crisp notes and timbral veracity. The A4 is warmer and more inviting but still has superior separation and is more resolving.

The LZ A4 is a freak when it comes to soundstage and is more expansive than the GT3. Even with its laid-back treble the A4 is absurdly airy and creates a lofty and expansive soundstage. The GT3’s vocals are denser and its vocals are more intimate and it has a smaller but more stable stage.

Advanced Sound GT3 vs TFZ Balance 2M ($199)
Advanced GT3 vs B2M

Woo, now here’s an IEM that more people should have in their collection! The TFZ Balance 2M (review here) has a lot more mid and sub-bass presence than the GT3. It lacks the texture of the GT3 but has a fantastic live feeling.  It’s definitely tuned for good times rather than tonal accuracy and to be honest it could be called a basshead IEM. 

The Balance 2M has a lot more body in the early upper midrange and peaks at around 2.2kHz compared to the GT3 at 4kHz-6kHz. As a result, the B2M’s midrange doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of clarity as the GT3. In fact, when listening side by side it sounds a little muddy in comparison. 
The GT3’s vocals sound much more accurate and cleaner than the B2M.

With just a single narrow peak at 5.5kHz the B2M has a laid-back treble and not a shred of sibilance. However, treble notes have excellent timbre and a somehow achieve a modest amount of air. Conversely, this is where the focus of the GT3’s sound lies, bringing loads of clarity, a fair amount of brightness and lots of detail.

Advanced GT3 with DAP

Conclusion

The Advanced Sound GT3 is a mixed bag for me. Its build quality is superb and easily matches anything in its price range. The addition of an extra cable is great to see too, as is the zipper case and leather strap.

As far as the filters go, they’re also built well and threaded immaculately. However, I’m not convinced they alter the sound enough to justify having them included.

When it comes to the sound I think that if you enjoy a bright signature there’s a lot to like about the GT3. Personally, I find it a little too skewed towards brightness but I can definitely see its potential.

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