Review methodology: Normal daily use (transit, work)
Review period: 2 weeks
Quick hot take: If you’ve got $64 and you’re sick of the headphones that came with your phone, the RevoNext QT3 is a fine choice.
Commuting sucks. Walking? Trains? It’s all a giant hassle I’d rather skip. Fortunately, phones exist, and so do headphones, so I’ll throw on an album when I leave the apartment and let the music take me away. Most days I don’t even remember the journey while I’m lost in thought and song, so reviewing actual earphones rather than the headsets that I’m used to was a challenge.
The QT3s were a bit of a mission to figure out; they’re designed to have the cable run over the ear like an in-ear monitor. In all honesty, I was too busy being impressed with the physicality of the engineering to think much about how they were supposed to be worn. The driver units seemed too big to be real at first, but it became evident that whoever designed them really didn’t give a toss about pesky little things like what other companies were doing.
Despite looking like they should want to fall out of the ears, the QT3s didn’t budge one bit during transit. Walking with earphones that seal the canal can make loud in-ear thuds as you’re on the go, but that didn’t seem to be a problem either. At first, I thought they were just exceptionally well-sealed but make no mistake; these things are LOUD and capable of being driven hard. The quad drivers pack a mean punch and deliver a hearty sound, so it was easy for me toget lost in the waves of guitars, as I usually do.
When I finally looked up, I was at work. The train had arrived. I forgot to think about the headphones. This might not seem notable, except for that my regular headphones cost close to $300. And I forgot I wasn’t wearing them.
On the flip side, the QT3s didn’t fit me as well as my regular headphones do. The replaceable tips certainly didn’t help. I’ve always struggled with this ear fitment, so there was some discomfort when using these earphones for hours at a time. The sheer size of the drivers means you can’t really sleep with them in, which is something that I like to do with headphones. Mileage may vary here depending on your ears and your listening habits.
Sound-wise, the QT3 feels aggressive. The quad drivers have a LOT of power, to the point where you’ll likely get a lot of value out of applying an EQ setting to pull back the more forceful notes. On top of that, there’s the issue of the cable, which is possibly the most easily tangled cable I’ve ever used. Even without human intervention, the cable caught and tangled on itself every time I put them away. This stickiness caused them to get caught on and around things, and over the two-week period of this review, I ended up losing them several times. Fortunately, you’re not tied to these cables if you’re set on the RevoNext brand – the company is releasing a Bluetooth module in 2019, allowing the QT3 to become wireless. The possibility of modular headphones has me pretty excited for the future, but for now, the cable is a point of annoyance.
All that said, I keep having to remind myself that these headphones cost $64. SIXTY FOUR DOLLARS. I didn’t know the price before I started using them, and ultimately that’s really the kicker. If they were $120 then those annoyances would be things worth complaining about. But for $64? Jesus, who cares. What’s the realistic competition for this? Maybe Etymotic MK5s, if you’re okay with the ‘so deep in my ear canal that they’re tickling my brain’ feeling. Musician’s In-ear Monitors like the Mee M6 Pro Gen2 can’t really be considered direct competition either; IEMs sound very different than what you’ll be expecting from a recreational headphone, and are more focused on being heard through noise rather than sound quality.
You’ll want to pick up the QT3s if you tick the following boxes. Don’t have a lot to spend on earphones? Want something better than the trash that came with your phone (we know the bulk of phone-packaged headphones are hot garbage, don’t @ me)? For $64, you could do a hell of a lot worse considering sound quality and construction. If the cable is a deal-breaker for you, don’t just discount these; join me on the hype train for the Bluetooth module next year.
- removable cables, future Bluetooth module
- clear, strong sound
- build quality / construction
- low price
- cables easily tangled
- please stop making small black headphones, they get lost too easily
- none of the tips fit my ears properly
Overall performance: 7/10
Adjusted for price: 8/10