Reviewed on: SoundStage! Solo, June 2022
I measured the NiceHCK DB3 earphones using laboratory-grade equipment: a GRAS Model 43AG ear/cheek simulator/RA0402 ear simulator with KB5000/KB5001 simulated pinnae, and an Audiomatica Clio 12 audio analyzer. For isolation measurements, I used a laptop computer running TrueRTA software with an M-Audio MobilePre USB audio interface. The headphones were amplified using a Musical Fidelity V-CAN amplifier. I used the supplied medium-sized silicone tips for all measurements because they fit best in the ear simulator. These are “flat” measurements; no diffuse-field or free-field compensation curve was employed. If you’d like to learn more about what our measurements mean, click here.
This chart shows the DB3s’ frequency response. This looks very typical, although there’s a lot of excess bass output below 400Hz—which, to be fair, is pretty typical, but it’s likely to make the sound boomier.
This chart shows how the DB3s’ tonal balance changes when they’re used with a high-impedance source, such as a cheap laptop, some tube amps, or some professional headphone amps. There’s about a 1dB drop in the mid-treble with the high-impedance source, which will make the sound slightly less bright and subjectively very slightly bassier.
This chart shows the DB3s’ right-channel response compared with various earphones, including the AKG N5005s, which are said to be the passive earphones that come closest to the Harman curve. So these are fairly well within norms, except that they have excessive energy below 400Hz, which will likely make them sound somewhat boomy.
The DB3s’ spectral-decay plot looks fairly clean, except that there’s an unusually high amount of resonance below about 300Hz.
In the distortion measurement, there’s an unusual, very high-Q peak centered at 700Hz. Given the narrow band of the peak, and that it’s only 7% THD at the extremely loud level of 100dBA (measured with pink noise), I don’t think this is particularly troublesome.
In this chart, the external noise level is 85dB SPL, and numbers below that indicate the degree of attenuation of outside sounds. The lower the lines, the better the isolation. In the 43AG ear/cheek simulator, the DB3s for some reason didn’t quite equal their competitors. Note that all of these were measured with silicone tips, and that I try multiple reseatings to get the best result.
The impedance curve of the DB3s is flat at about 18 ohms through the bass and mids, dropping to about 14 ohms in the treble, and the phase response is similarly flat.
Sensitivity, measured between 300Hz and 3kHz, using a 1mW signal calculated for 16 ohms rated impedance, is 108.9dB, which means the DB3s will deliver plenty of volume from any source device.
Bottom line: Other than some excess upper bass and mediocre isolation results (and your results will certainly vary), there’s nothing to be concerned about here.
. . . Brent Butterworth