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Symphonized NRG 3.0 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Updated Jul 05, 2017 at 04:05 pm
Symphonized NRG 3.0 Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
6.5
Mixed Usage
6.1
Neutral Sound
6.9
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
4.9
Wireless Gaming
6.6
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Symphonized NRG 3.0 are a decently well-built, budget in-ear headphones. Unfortunately, their sound quality is a bit too dark and won't be ideal for more critical listeners. On the upside, they're easy to carry on you at all times, and they're stable enough to use while running. They also block a decent amount of ambient noise despite being completely passive headphones.

Our Verdict

6.5 Mixed Usage

The NRG 3.0 are decently versatile headphones. They isolate well despite only being passive headphones and they're also easy to carry around on your person thanks to their small size. They have a moderately sturdy build quality and an above-average control scheme, unfortunately, they have a poor sound that's not ideal for critical listeners.

6.1 Neutral Sound

Mediocre-at-best for neutral listening. They have a slightly bass-heavy reproduction that sounds muddy and boomy. That and the lacking treble range gives these headphones a dark audio reproduction that drowns the detail of instruments and vocals on most tracks. They also have a poor Soundstage due to their closed back in-ear design.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.9 Commute/Travel

Above-average for commuting. They're lightweight, ultra portable headphones that passively block a good amount of noise. They won't be the best in very loud environments but they can handle the level of noise of a busy commute.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.0 Sports/Fitness

Above-average for sports use. They have a stable in-ear fit, which won't easily fall out of your ears when running or jogging. They're also easy to carry around on your person or in your bag.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.5 Office

Above-average for office use. They prevent a fair bit of noise from entering your audio. They also barely leak so they won't distract your colleagues in quieter environments.

See our Office recommendations
6.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Neutral Sound
  • 6.9 Commute/Travel
  • 7.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 4.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Call
Pros
  • Portable and stable design.
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Minimal leakage.
Cons
  • Sub-par sound quality.
  • In-ear fit not always comfortable.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Black Night NRG 3.0
Unavailable
BestBuy.com

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Symphonized NRG 3.0 have a simple and straightforward in-ear design with wooden earbuds that give them a bit more flare. They have a decently rubberized cable with a two-tone color scheme that makes them stand out. However, they don't look or feel particularly premium.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The NRG 3.0 have a typical in-ear fit, which may not be comfortable for everyone. They come with several tips of varying sizes but no foam ones for a more comfortable fit. On the upside, the tip material is quite flexible, and if you're used to in-ear models, these headphones shouldn't feel any different.

7.0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Okay
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

The buttons on the in-line remote provide good tactile feedback and are fairly easy to use. They offer call/music, track skipping, and volume control but they're a bit small. However, they're sufficiently well spaced out and shouldn't be too difficult to use in most situations.

9.3
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.7 C
9.2
Design
Portability
L 1.7 "
W 1.6 "
H 1 "
Volume 2.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

Like most in-ear models, these headphones are highly portable. They will easily fit into your bag or pockets. If you're often out and about and need to carry your headphones on your person, the NRG 3.0 shouldn't be much of a hassle. However, they only come with a pouch which is portable but doesn't protect the headphones much.

5.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

Comes with a simple pouch that will protect the headphones from getting tangled with other things in your pocket or bag but will not protect them against impacts or water damage.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The NRG 3.0 feel decently durable. The cables are moderately thick and rubberized. The in-line control module is also well put together and feels relatively dense and the wooden ear buds won't break easily even after multiple drops. However, since the earbuds dont have a uni-body design some parts may become loose after extended use. The cable is also not detachable like some of the more expensive in-ear models. For better-built in-ears, take a look at the KZ AS-10, ZS-10 or ZSN models.

7.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are decently stable for running. The in-ear fit buries the ear buds relatively deep within the ear canal and the tips are flexible enough to conform to the shape of your ears. This makes them relatively hard to dislodge during casual listening sessions. They're sufficiently stable to jog with, but lack stability tips so a sharp tug on the audio cable will quickly pull the buds out of your ears. They're decent for sports but might not be the best under strenuous exercise conditions (see our recommendations for the best earbuds for working out)

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Symphonized NRG 3.0 In-Ear Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.14 db
Treble Amount
-5.14 db
9.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.11 dB

Excellent frequency response consistency. If the user is able to achieve a proper seal and fit using the variety of tips that comes with the NRG 3.0, then they should be able to achieve consistent performance each time.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
5.04 dB
Mid-Bass
5.47 dB
High-Bass
6.94 dB

Mediocre Bass Range performance. The response is relatively flat, but consistently over our target by more than 5dB. This makes the sound of these headphones noticeably bass-heavy. Also, the additional bump in high-bass adds boominess to the Bass Range.

7.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.12 dB
Low-Mid
3.48 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.28 dB
High-Mid
-2.63 dB

Good Mid Range performance. Low-mid shows about 3dB overemphasis which is the continuation of the high-bass bump. Hyped low-mid tends to add a muddy quality to the sound. Mid and high-mid are recessed by a couple of dBs, pushing vocals/leads slightly to the back of the mix.

5.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.81 dB
Low-Treble
-5.43 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.12 dB
High-Treble
-9.01 dB

Poor Treble Range performance. Low-treble is underemphasized by more than 5dB, negatively affecting the detail and presence of vocals/leads. Treble and high-treble are both rather inconsistent and underemphasized, adding to the dark and bass-heavy sound of these headphones.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.85 db
Dips
1.6 db
7.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
2.75
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.87
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.03
0.6
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
0
8.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.204
WHD @ 100
0.097
Isolation
7.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.47 dB
Bass
-5.49 dB
Mid
-18.75 dB
Treble
-41.34 dB

Good Isolation. These headphones don't have active noise cancellation and isolate by plugging the ear canal. In the Bass Range they achieve 5dB of reduction which is followed by 19dB of reduction in the Mid and more than 40dB of reduction in the Treble Ranges.

10
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
21.21 dB

Excellent Leakage performance. The NRG 3.0 has one of the quietest leakages we have measured so far. The do not leak in the Bass and Mid ranges, and their Treble range leakage will be very quiet.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A
6.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
285.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.84 dB
HFE
2152.7 Hz
Weighted THD
0.16
Gain
23.27 dB
6.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
17.58 dB
Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 4.3 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

See our recommendations for the best headphone brands, the best earbuds under $50, and the best cheap earbuds.

Betron YSM1000
Unavailable
BestBuy.com

The Betron YSM1000 and Symphonized NRG 3.0 are very similar headphones and perform quite similarly. They have a similar in-ear fit, but the NRGs have more tip options. They also have better isolation performance and practically don’t leak at all. On the other hand, the Betron have a better in-line remote that feels more responsive, have a better microphone, and they have slightly less overemphasized bass.

KZ ZSN
Unavailable
BestBuy.com

The KZ ZSN are better headphones than the Symphonized NRG 3.0. They have a more comfortable fit, are better-built, and have a noticeably better sound quality. On the other hand, the NRG 3.0 have more lightweight and their in-ear fit has better isolation performance. They also have a microphone that our model of the KZ ZSN doesn’t have, but there is a model variant with one. Overall, the KZ ZSN should be a better choice for music, but the NRG 3.0 could be a better option for everyday casual use.

Symphonized NRG 3.0 Price

Black Night NRG 3.0
Unavailable
BestBuy.com

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