Disclaimer: The Blon BL-T3 was provided by HifiHear for the purpose of this review. I have not received any compensation, nor do I have any financial interest in either Blon or Hifihear. If you are interested in purchasing the T3, see Hifihear on Amazon.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The T3 comes packaged in the standard clear front BLON box with the earpieces visible through the front and the cables and accessories tucked neatly under the tray holding the earpieces. This model is slightly different in that the cable is not removable so some of it is visible in the tray and the remainder is hidden under the tab at bottom. The kit is fairly sparse consisting of the earphones themselves, a velcro cable tie, 5 sets of silicone tips, and the warranty card/manual. We do need to remember this is a budget option and it is not expected to have a lot of extras in the box at the sub-$20 mark,
The earpieces of the T3 look similar in shape to something like the apple bud, with the obvious exception of being a wired model. Imagine an earbud design that someone sealed and added a nozzle to the front and then chrome plated, and you have a pretty good idea of the T3. Fit and polish is very good with it being near impossible to photo these without unintended self portraits in the process. They are available in polished chrome or a black chrome finish for those who want a bit more subdued look. In hand, they have good heft but that does not translate to being heavy in ear. Due to the tip-down only nature of the T3, it does have some microphonics and can move during activity so may not be the best gym companion. L and R are marked on the inner surface of the earpieces but in white which can be hard to see in bright light due to the reflective surface. Venting is provided by a single pinhole vent adjacent to the nozzle and 4 pinholes at the rear of the earpiece immediately above the cable extension. Nozzles are short with a large lip to keep tips from slipping and insertion is very shallow as a result making them very tip dependent. Getting a good seal required a size larger tip than normal (I used XL spiral dots) to get the seal I needed with these.
Blon lists the driver as an 11mm dynamic driver with a composite PET/PEN diaphragm. The T3 has an impedance of 16Ω with a sensitivity of 108dB. It is easily driven by a phone or low powered source and while it does scale some with more potent sources, it certainly does not require them to do well.
A short strain relief starts the transition from chrome housing to cable. The cable itself is a single rubber coated strand from the earpieces to the barrel shaped splitter and then a heavier single strand of the same material from splitter to jack. My sample has a 3 button remote/mic on the right side and is devoid of a chin slider as a result. The splitter and jack are gloss black with BLON written in white on the sides. The jack is a straight TRRS 3.5 with an extended housing but no strain relief above the housing. The cable does transmit some microphonics into the earpieces as it is heavier than some but that same quality does make it less prone to tangling.
All sound notes were taken using XL Spiral Dot tips as the largest of the supplied tips were still a bit finicky for me.
Sub-bass is elevated but retains enough control to keep it from being boomy or muddy. If there is a knock here, its that sub-bass textures could be better. Mid-bass steps back a bit and has better texure than the sub-bass which gives the T3 some warmth while retaining control enough to keep bleed from obstructing lower mids. Those looking for a good sub-bass in the budget segment will appreciate the T3 as it delivers good rumble and slam without overshadowing the rest of the signature in the process. The caveat being that detail and texture will not rival higher priced offerings.
Lower mids do show some mid-bass bleed but are well enough rendered that they don’t feel recessed or overshadowed and the mids in general do show a bit better detail retrieval than the lower registers produce. Lower vocals are well rendered with good weight and timbre and guitar growl is realistic as well. The lower mids fall slightly and leave the true mids at the bottom of a mild V which hurts strings slightly. Upper mids climb forward and bring higher vocals forward in the mix and female vocals can be a step in front of the rest of the instrumentation at times.
The lower treble continues the upper mid climb and plateaus early before dropping back and manages to walk the line well enough to avoid becoming harsh. Sibilance in tracks is reproduced, but it doesn’t introduce it. The treble falls off as you move further up and loses a bit of top end due to a rather early roll-off. This limits air and all but eliminates sparkle but does keep the T3 from getting fatiguing. Snare rattle is acceptably good for the price, but cymbals lack energy and come off as less than realistic as a result.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is well proportioned but not expansive in any dimension. I found width to be slightly greater than depth but with no dimension particularly large, the T3 is best compared to a small cafe or large listening room rather than an auditorium or arena. Stage does seem to be somewhat volume dependent as it seems to be a bit larger at low volumes than when pushed harder. Imaging is acceptably good as is layering and instrument separation is better than expected at the price point. Seating the orchestra is fairly straight forward although it does feel a bit cramped due to lack of stage space to work with.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
The looks, feel, and sound of the T3 all hearken back to the NiceHCK Ep10 of 2018 and a lot of this review sounds a lot like what I wrote then. Shells are the same with different cables attached and while specs on the drivers are slightly different the FR of both when overlayed is within the margin of error of the other. I feel certain Blon was the OEM for the EP10 as Nicehck rebadged a lot of other makers products in that era. Luckily, the EP10 was a great offering for the money and 2 years later the T3 still offers good value. Its a comfortable, well made, good sounding (for the most part) $20 in-ear. The fit was a bit fiddly for me and I did have to go to aftermarket tips to get the seal I needed, but once I did, I got a very pleasant listen even if it has a bit of deja vu from 2018.
- Bass - 6/106/10
- Mids - 5/105/10
- Treble - 6/106/10
- Soundstage - 5/105/10
- Imaging - 6.5/106.5/10
pros: good build quality, non-fatiguing
Cons: Non-detachable cable, treble rolls off early, fit is finicky