A few months ago, a new budget tier IEM entered the market and made quite a wave in the SEA region. It went by the name of Geek Wold with their debut IEM product, the GK3. The GK3 uses 3 dynamic drivers which is a feat in itself, so far the only triple dynamic IEM I can think of is the new Unique Melody 3DD-Ti which is priced almost 60 times the GK3, let that sink in. The GK3 also has a 20Hz-20KHz FR and 8ohms impedance which is indeed designed for portable device usage.
The Geek Wold GK3 can be purchased for $19.99 at Penon Audio which I would like to thank as well for lending the review unit in exchange for an honest review.
Packaging and Build Quality
The Geek Wold GK3 came in a black matte cardboard box which had the Brand and Model printed in gold with the tagline “born for extreme audiophile”, interesting though, let’s see if it is indeed intended for the GK3 or for Geek Wold’s aspirations. Underneath the box is the IEMs specifications and maker.
Upon opening, a warranty card in white with fancy floral prints covers the overall IEM itself. Included are 2 sets of blue-bored silicon tips which upon use is not too soft not too hard yet leans on the more shape retaining form. We will be using stock tips that came with it during this realview. No other accessories are provided and that is expected at the price point it is offered.
The GK3 is made for batman’s sidekick, the shell is all in black as well as the 4 core OFC cable and with the carbon fiber finish faceplate, it already looks premium for its price. It also has a metal-finished cylinder Y-split with the Geek Wold brand on it. The cable has no cinch and not that microphonic when used on the go. The typical round braid is used as well and makes the cable curl and tangle a lot when not store properly. The gold-plated 3.5mm plug is in the L orientation and has adequate strain relief. The cable is also fixed and non-removable, not an advantage or disadvantage for me but for those who are thinking of how to fix them in case the cables break, it would be harder than usual. I personally like this orientation specially for the target market the GK3 is made for, being used daily and on the go.
I initially used the GK3 on my Sansa Clip+ playing Adele’s He won’t go in mp3 and the lows were the most dominant frequency you’d noticeeven after the song progresses. I continued on through Adele’s 21 album which is a vocal oriented album and still GK3’s warm tonality is still noticeable. After the “recommneded” 50-hour burn in, I used the Sansa Clip+, Hidizs AP200, Sony ZX1 and Opus 1 playing Adele’s 21 album with all in 16/44 flac except the Sansa. The seal and isolation of this IEM is good but since I have a bigger outer ear space, I tend to wiggle them around some more and helps with the overall sound. The GK3 exhibited the warm tonality across all DAPs used.
The lows of the GK3 is its calling card, appreciating the lows of the GK3 is the reason you’d be loving this IEM. The subbass of the GK3 isn’t bloated and tubby although it would sound fuller when being powered by the AP200 rather than the Sansa and my OnePlus 3T phone. The impact the subbass creates specially in Foo Fighter’s Over and Out is easy to love. Although the bass speed is moderate and its impact sometimes extends further than desired. If your playlist is focused on the lows, you can start smiling if you plan to get the GK3.
The Mids of the GK3 is the aspect where it relaxes. It doesn’t provide stellar performance and neither does it disappoint. The vocals are breathy and is presented in a manner that lets the lows still take the attention. Norah Jones’s Don’t Know Why in 16/44 would show a good level of clarity. Those who adore and put a premium on the Midrange won’t be wowed by the GK3 but would’t turn their ears away as well. A safe play for the GK3.
The Brilliance area of the GK3 was the aspect where we can find fault in and still at the price point it is offered, finding fault on the Highs of the GK3 is a tough task. Playing Lily Was Here by Candy Dulfer in 16/44 was a fun experience, the instruments are articulate and distinct. The treble isn’t peaky and no shrills will be experienced unless we all push the volume up(who would?). I was carefully looking for a time when this GK3 would sound tinny even when knowing the lows aren’t weak but still struggled. Finding sparkle and extension on the highs is were we can expect Geek Wold to work on for their next offerings.
Soundstage and Imaging
Move away, not too far, not too close but sometimes on top of each other. That statement best pictures the imaging this IEM offers. Details sometimes gets hard to pinpoint except for the time that the instruments are being articulate enough which we can attribute on the music itself and not on the GK3. You’d find sometimes that depth is missing. Soundstage leans on the intimate side and never in the wild.
Having identified the GK3’s strength and weaknesses, I still went on the pair it with multiple sources and genres. The GK3 paired best with the AP200 which is a balanced sounding player with emphasis on the highs. This might struggle with uber warm players as the Sony ZX1 with GK3 already is my least favorite combination. I also loved how it tackled vocal oriented songs and are great for acoustic listeners and those that love their bass down low are in for a good time.
The Geek Wold GK3 is an easy recommendation and is hard to fault with specially being a debut offering. Make no mistake, this is not “born for extreme audiophile” but I’m glad Geek Wold has the ambition to excel, we are looking forward to their next launch. The build and sound quality is on the safe side so you’d get your money’s worth with the GK3. I love using it with Sony Hybrid tips and would have loved to see a cable cinch but overall the Geek Wold GK3 is good buy for all of us.