HIGH-CLASS
IN-EAR

VOYAGER 3

THIEAUDIO

Rating

Price

8

150 €

Review published:

04/2020

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Driver

3

per Side

0

Dynamic

3

Balanced

Impedance

14 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

0

Sound

8

Bass

8

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

113 dB

8

Handling

8

Haptic

C

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 20000 Hz

Intro

THIEAUDIO is still green behind the ears and was founded in 2019. It is part of the LINSOUL AUDIO distribution and thus represents the first own house brand, so to speak.
The VOYAGER 3 and 14 are gaining more and more popularity among audiophiles, even if there is not much to read about them yet.
This review is about the 3-BA driver configuration, the VOYAGER 3.

Handling

For its 3 BA drivers, the VOYAGER 3 is quite clumsy, although so much space would not have been necessary. The AUDIOSENSE T300, for example, impressively proves how to fit three BA drivers into the smallest space.
However, the VOYAGER 3 is also available as custom for an additional 50 €. These are usually a bit bigger than universal IEMs and if they are adapted to the ear, you won't notice that much, but here in the universal version the sound tubes are a bit thick and can easily press in the ear canal if you use too big tips. This makes it a bit tricky to find the right tip to achieve a good isolation, which is excellent with an optimal fit. Because there is no air opening at all, there can be a negative pressure, especially with silicone tips, which is a bit unpleasant.

There are dip-switches on the case, with which the sound can be influenced, but more about this below. Otherwise, the VOYAGER 3 looks very appealing with its individual faceplate and makes a robust impression.

The scope of delivery includes a selection of foam and silicone tips, as well as a large imitation leather case, which is the same case as the REECHO SPRING, but in black.
THIEAUDIO relies on a 2-pin connector that is turned outwards and can be found, for example, on the newer Knowledge Zenith models. The corresponding 8-core cable is of very high quality.

Sound

The V3 uses a somewhat unusual configuration of two Knowles CI-22955s and an ED-29869, with one of the two 22955s taking care of the bass and the other of the midrange. However, they are routed through the same sound tube, with a 1500 Ohm filter. The 29869 for the tweeter has been equipped with a 680 Ohm filter, which should bring unpleasant peaks under control, but does not completely satisfy the user in each of the adjustable sound characteristics.
A short explanation: We have 2 dip-switches, resulting in 4 different settings. With switch 1 the bass can be influenced, with switch 2 the treble.
But now it is the case that the bass is really only influenced to a very small extent, no matter which setting I choose. This means that there is only a very small difference between 1on/2on and 1off/2on and also between 1off/2off and 1on/2off. Therefore I limit the evaluation of the bass to the general performance and the mids and highs to 1on/2on and 1off/2off.

It's important to note that my evaluation is based on the 1on/2on configuration.

The bass can be influenced by the first dip-switch, but this doesn't change the quality or the keynote, only the quantity. It's a little bit sloppy and not quite level stable. In addition, it drops quickly in the low bass, can tend to boom a bit and makes the mids appear a bit hollow at times. On the subjective positive side: it's soft and warm, but still has a firm kick and a full body. At the same time it has a fast reaction time. Thereby he plays quite linear. A typical BA bass with a dry and warm character. In this case a bit too warm and not clear and structured enough. This is slightly corrected with the dip switch 1 to off, but then you have to make do with slightly less quantity. Qualitatively nothing changes.

1on/2on:
The mids are a bit of a double-edged sword. Basically they are pleasantly warm and soft. Vocals have a quite natural timbre and have a nice presence due to the upper mids and pushed highs without being too obtrusive. The V3 is perfect for vocals if you like it a bit more relaxed. Orchestral music sounds just as good, especially when it comes to cellos, violas and instruments in general that rely on a full body. The mids are definitely influenced by the bass. Now you can decide for yourself if you want to consider this as an advantage or a disadvantage. One thing is certain, however, that the mids will not be pushed too far into the background and will be able to stand up well.

The trebles don't have an extreme extension, but that makes the V3 quite relaxed in the high frequencies. Nothing for treble fanatics, or for analytical listening, but still enough information is provided to keep it exciting and to avoid the impression of being overwhelmed by the bass and mids. But you notice that the stage doesn't really open horizontally, which would be favoured by more playful highs, but instead is very strong in the panoramic image and depth. Unfortunately, sibilants are always a topic here.

1off/2off
If both dip switches are set to off, the high frequencies are noticeably smoothed and flattened. Unfortunately this does not interest the sibilants, which are still present. After the change, the mids look a bit duller and set back, but this is basically only subjective, as the highs don't absorb the warmness anymore. The V3 sounds flatter and less exciting, even though this is generally not an attribute of the V3. However, you'll have fewer problems in this configuration if you're sensitive to high frequencies. Voices lack a bit of liveliness and the details are also more limited in their perception, as they are now more subtle, but of course don't disappear. Basically, you can do something with the setting if you like it even warmer, more unagitated and a little more intimate. For audio books and films perhaps even a welcome adjustment possibility. But if I only had this setting available, the rating would be lower.

Outro

The idea of changing the sound and optimizing it with a dip switch on the crossover is certainly nothing new, but it is ambitious and certainly a nice feature, although I would have hoped for a bigger change here. Especially the bass switch has little influence.
Even though I basically like bass, my favourite setting is still 1off/2on. Here I have to do without a little bit of bass quantity, but it sounds more subjectively defined. In addition I have the increased treble and due to the additional energy, airiness, transparency and resolution I'm willing to accept some peaks or sibilants. The VOYAGER 3 is a really good IEM and will surely be able to pick up some more fans with its sound characteristics. But it could use some more fine-tuning, because it has the technical requirements. So it doesn't manage to attack the top and is placed in the upper midfield. Nevertheless, I don't want to make the V3 worse than it is. You just have to know what you want to hear with it, because it doesn't turn out to be an all-rounder. So it's stunning with some musical templates (classical, country, singer-songwriter and basically pop), but with others it leaves you a bit perplexed (rock, EDM, hip-hop) and besides that the V3 is very bitchy with worse recordings.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

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1/3

LEGACY 3

VOYAGER 3

Second Opinion:

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn