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.
- Portable and stable design.
- Good noise isolation.
- Minimal leakage.
- Sub-par sound quality.
- In-ear fit not always comfortable.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The NRG 3.0 are decently well-built but straightforward in-ear headphones. They have the typical in-ear fit which isn't for everyone and come with a relatively cheap looking carrying pouch. However, they're just stable enough to run with despite not having any stability tips and they're easy to carry on your person since they will fit in pretty much any bag or pocket. Their wooden design makes them feel somewhat unique but they don't feel particularly premium and won't stand out when compared to other budget in-ears.
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.
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.
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 ear buds out of your ears. They're decent for sports but might not be the best under strenuous exercise conditions.
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.
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.
The Symphonized NRG 3.0 are a poor and dark sounding pair of in-ears. They have low distortion, an extended Bass and a good Mid range. However, their Bass is excessive and boomy, their Mid range tends to sound a bit muddy, and they have a Treble that lacks detail and presence. They also don't have an immersive and spacious Soundstage, and the L/R drivers of our test unit were rather mismatched.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Poor Soundstage. Due to the in-ear design, these headphones don't interact with the pinna at all. Also, because of they are closed-back, they really isolate you from your environment. This results in a Soundstage that will be perceived as small and inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front.
Average Imaging. Phase error is minimal, and so is phase mismatch. However, our test unit measured about 3dB of L/R amplitude mismatch which is noticeable and would hurt the stereo imaging of these in-ears. It should noted that this mismatch was present in our test unit and may or may not be present in the one you buy, but could be considered as a metric for the manufacturing tolerance.
Very good Harmonic Distortion performance. The overall level of harmonic distortion is within good limits throughout the range, even at 100dB SPL. However, the peaks around 600Hz and 3KHz could make the reproduction slightly harsh.
The NRG 3.0 only isolate passively against ambient noise. Luckily they create a decent enough seal within your ear canal that prevents a good amount of noise from seeping into your audio. They won't be as good as noise canceling headphones for commuting but if you're playing music at moderate volumes the isolation should be more than enough for most moderately loud environments. They also barely leak which makes them a good option to use in quieter settings, as you will rarely distract those around you even at high volumes.
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.
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.
- 100% SpNR
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Symphonized NRG 3.0 In-Ear Headphones
- Earbud tips (x6 sizes)
- Carrying pouch