The Celestial Empire, as everyone has realized, exports to every continent in the world. And it presses not only with its demographic authority, but also with Know-How, having preliminary studied the actual needs of electorate and sometimes giving away “uphill” good products with not less good price tag. This time I got samples of in-canal headphones from PaiAudio, a young and fast developing brand, straight from Hong Kong.
Thanks to PaiAudio for the samples provided for your listening
Technical characteristics, announced by the manufacturer
PaiAudio 3.14 MR3
Balanced Armature, Knowles
Transducers per Side
20 – 20000 kHz
20 – 20000 kHz
120 cm L-shaped3.5 mmconnector
120 cm L-shaped3.5 mmconnector
red, blue or tan
In tan, red, orange, blue, shiny colours or gold
The look and set
Let’s get acquainted: the first model is called DR1, it has dynamic driver the second model is called MR3, it has 3-driver armature. Models do not have different equipment, so let’s start with the common.
The headphones came in a black box made of sturdy cardboard. On top of the box is a band with the company logo, the sign “PI” and the inscription “P 3.14 Audio mastering quality sound IEM”. Inside the box, as expected, there are headphones, soft gray pouch, manual and two pairs of tips size L and S, and a midsize M is already set on the headphone sound tube. Modest and tasteful.
The headphones themselves look attractive. Externally, they resemble custom-made monitors, made according to the individual ear impression. The body is made of transparent acrylic base, polished to a shine – through the plastic of the ears it is easy to see their internal content.
In my case the DR1 is in brown and the MR3 in red. They look, well, very nice. They fit in your ear beautifully. At least people to whom I let them listen were very satisfied and reported incredible comfort coming from PaiAudio ears, though there are people who can’t stand the “earplugs” exactly because of the fit on both ears. What’s more, my comrades were satisfied with the sound..
Cable is detachable on both models, has MMCX connector. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a very controversial connector to me. There are as many complaints and “suggestions” about this. So “not all yoghurts are equally useful”, but the manufacturer knows better. True, the cable with MMCX is easier to pick up, it’s probably fashionable.
As DR1 is a budget model of the whole line, it has a stiffer cable and black color… The MR3 has softer, gray cable. The jacks are L-shaped, but on DR1 the jacks are not only angular, but also have a “fancy” shape.
All in all, here we have comfort, comfort and sympathy. Well done!
What both models, and perhaps the entire line of headphones from PaiAudio, have in common is an overall smoothness, warmth, and good detail.
If you buy these headphones don’t make any hasty conclusions from the first minute of listening. I am skeptical about different moments of “warming up”, but the sound “out of the box” and sound after 20-50 hours of work even in the armature model positively steps forward. The changes are not considerable, but they are present and they are expressed in general focused sound.
Listening was QLS qa360, Astell & Kern ak120-II, iBasso DX80, Shanling m2, MyST 1866 OCU v.2, MyST PortAMP-2.
The sound of the headphones can be defined as neutral, detailed, smooth, slightly midrange-oriented. Moreover, the middle part in this case does not saw, does not hurt your ears, and has just a slight accent. The MR3 is very comfortable to listen to. In fact, the way they fit in your ear, it’s smooth and comfortable. They are very melodic, but this melodic sound is calm and relaxed, with a light hand, so to speak.
Vocal parts, wind instruments, keyboards sound very good. It feels like they were tuned for instrumental, jazz and live music. Although the rest of the genres they cope very well. Electronics as I understand it is not a “club” or “Boom Boom”, fans of booming bass they will not like . Kraftwerk, Heaven 17 or The Human League sound great with it. And the rock songs, be it AC/DC, Pink Floyd or the Stranglers, play back just fine. They played Sting – “Shape of my heart” and A-ha – “hunting high and low” just peerless.
Yes, in some places it would be desirable to have more bass, to make it rock, but here everything is about level, it sounds monitor and sleek. But if you remember the price of modern ears, all these claims disappear at once. To be honest I more than like it.
With different sources MR3, as well as DR1, as well as all the other headphones sound different. The MR3 showed better in combination with Astell & Kern ak120-II, QLS qa360, MyST 1866 OCU v.2, iBasso DX80 + MyST PortAMP-2. Quite good with iBasso DX80, Shanling m2
I liked it a bit less with the Hifiman HM-601 and my modified Hidizs AP100MM v.1. Though, I think the point is individual preferences: it is possible, that someone will like MR3, on the contrary, with the same HM-601, AP100, etc. d. Oh yes, I forgot, the ears works fine with Samsung galaxy s7 edge, while with iPhone 6s it doesn’t sound so rosy. And who hasn’t bitten into this apple?!
Bass – There is a slight dip in this area of the frequency response. Why low frequencies are played back a little bit restrained and neatly. I want to add some bass in some places, but it’s not so critical considering the price tag.
Mids – The mids are very smooth, pleasant, informative. No peaks or dips, everything is good. I would say that the middle is the “horse” of the MR3.
The tweeter is a little bit smoothed, a little bit crumbly, but not critical. They are unobtrusive, they are available where you need them. The high frequencies here clearly cooperate with the middle, complementing it. Those who like air and ringing will miss it, and as for me, we don’t need the pseudo-detail.
In short, very nice, neutral ears. With even, analytical and smooth sound.
In terms of bass, the model creates the opposite effect – it has a distinctly bassy character. The overall delivery is warm, massive, due to the pumping of the mid-bass, which is especially noticeable when comparing the older model with the younger one. And the bass has a tendency to “droning/huddering”. But, strikingly, the muttering doesn’t show up with all sources. For example in combination with QLS qa360 and Astell & Kern ak120-II there is no such thing at all. In this case, everything turns out very decently. Bass becomes more controlled, the mid-bass stops humming and therefore overlapping the rest of the frequency range, it opens up the space for the midrange and everything falls into place.
Seriously, paradoxically. I would even say more. In live performances or just with well matched acoustics the sound is amazing.
The sound of an acoustic guitar is very good. Where the guitar deck resonates beautifully with the strings, it gives the impression of a real concert, with everyone in the firing line with the musicians. And when you hear a cello, you feel the bow slide over the string, smoothly breaking up the rosin.
In general, as poke, such sound and got. I’m talking about the sound with different sources. Somewhere everything, somewhere nothing. By the way, I’ll add another nickel about the synergy with galaxy s7 edge: everything is very good, you can listen quite well.
The middle part is very pleasant, a little bit colored, sounds seductive, soft and melodic. There is a coloring in this area, which gives the DR1 sound melodic and charm. Very good detail for a dynamic model. The high frequencies are also “powdered” which gives them sparkle.
The woofer is aggressive, powerful depending on the sound source, humming in places. Mid-bass on some sources sounds aggressive. Though after 15-20 minutes our brain adapts and it even starts to like it. And in the case of live or Unplugged, it’s exactly in the ear. “Bassheads will definitely like this model.
The midrange is intelligible, melodic, seductive. The middle part is really very pleasant.
The tweeter is a little accentuated again it depends on the source . They sound tasty but unobtrusive at the same time. There is a slight “metallic flavor” in this area, but without fanaticism. This even adds to the charm of the model.
We can consider that the headphones from PaiAudio successful, the first pancake did not go wrong. I hope that the manufacturer will continue to please us with the new lineup and prices. Now PaiAudio is conquering the Japanese market and moving on. The wind, as they say, is in our direction..
The prices on the Chinese market: DR1 costs around 39-49 USD and MR3 -169-199 USD. Remembering our course you’ll forget it! , I think the price tag is not prohibitive. And if our course goes up, then it’s the Mast-Have! I hope that soon models by PaiAudio brand will appear in our online stores.
Sound, comfort, appearance, price.
The disadvantages of
Not all sources sound equally good. I would like to see more nozzles in the kit, but that’s a nag. For their price, the pros outweigh the cons