Alpha & Delta D3 Review
Small Size – Big Sound
The company Alpha & Delta is a Singapore based brand that was founded in 2015 of audiophiles with experience in the earphones retail industry.
The AD D3 In-Ear Monitor that I will review for you belongs to the D (Delta) Series together with the D2/D2M and the bigger brother D6 and has a single dynamic driver with a diameter of 6mm.
They are also some few other models like AD01 or JAAP (wireless model).
I would like to thank Alpha & Delta for providing me the Alpha & Delta as review sample. I am not affiliated with Alpha & Delta beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
Price and Warranty:
The MSRP price for the Alpha & Delta D3 is 35.00 USD and has a 1 Years Limited Warranty.
Purchase Link: https://www.alphandelta.com/product-page/alpha-delta-d3
Package and Accessories:
The Alpha & Delta D3 came in a grey card box that sports the product image and some AD branding.
This box is including the following contents;
- 1 x Alpha & Delta D3 In-Ear Monitor
- 3 x pairs of silicon ear tips
- 1 x pair of double flange tips
- 1 x pair of triple flange ear tips
- 1 x pair of foam tips
- 1 x pair of ear guides
- 1 x shirt clip
- 1 x leather case
- 1 x AD leather cable wrap
The AD D3 comes with a rich accessories package that I really like, especially for a price tag of 35,00 USD.
They are lots of silicone ear tips, that are pretty comfortable to insert. Those are 3 pairs of silicone regular silicone tips, 1 pair of double silicone, 1 pair of triple silicone and 1 pair of foam ear tips.
The box includes a leather wrap and leather case that are looking very nice and are quite useful. There is also 1 pair of Ear-Guide and a shirt clip, which are also a nice addition.
Design, Build Quality and Fit:
The AD D3 is a relative small In-Ear Monitor with a solid Die Cast Metal Housing, which has a glossy/reflective gunmetal surface.
The monitor is made of 3 parts, the upper metal shell, lower metal shell and the plastic strain relief.
On the surface of each monitor is the AD (Alpha & Delta) logo.
On the lower part is the sound nozzle. On the sound nozzle is a metal grill to prevent the insertion of dust/ear wax and near to this nozzle is a bass vent.
On the strain reliefs are the left and right markings that are quite visible
The Non-detachable cable is braided and is made of a 4 core SPC (Silver Plated Copper) wire material, which is coated with a transparent TPU material that shows no microphonic effects.
The cable of the AD D3 sports a plastic y-split and a chin slider that are both in black color.
The 3.5mm TRS (unbalanced) headphone jack has a gold coating and sports black plastic housing with a 45-degree profile.
When it comes to fit and comfort, the Alpha & Delta D3 is a very lightweight and comfortable to wear (can be worn straight down and over the ears) and is ideal for those who want an In-Ear monitor that can be used while sleeping.
The noise isolation depends on your fit and is good enough to wear in public environments with relative high noise like metro, bus or train.
- Driver Unit : 6 mm micro dynamic driver
- Impedance : 16 ohm
- Rated Power : 1mW
- Frequency Response : 10Hz-20 kHz
- Speaker Sensitivity : 92+/- db/mW
- Cord Length : 1.2m silver plated copper cable
- Headphone Plug : 3.5mm
Equipment’s used for this review:
IEM’s : Alpha&Delta D3 and VE Monk Smalls
DAP&DAC/AMP’s : Cayin N5II, Fiio M7, Chord Mojo, Audirect Beam, Hifiman HM603s
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Spotify)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Celine Dion – Power of Love (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Minor Empire – BulbulumAltinKafeste (Spotify)
- Leonard Cohen – You Wnt it Darker (Spotify)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Vivaldi – Le Quarttro Stagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert; Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
PS: The Alpha & Delta D3 review was written after an intensive Burn-In process of 80 Hours. I have use the stock double flange ear tips, which are included to the package of the AD D3.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
The Alpha & Delta is an In-Ear Monitor with a V shaped sound signature with emphasis of the lower and upper frequency regions and a recessed midrange hand shows a pretty warm tonality.
The bass is concentrated to the sub-bass region and has great volume, rumble and shows pretty good extension for a single dynamic driver with a diameter of only 6mm. The bass is fairly clean and fast, which makes the listening to genres such as Trance or EDM to a joy.
The mid-bass region slightly less weight and extension compared to the rest of the lower frequency area, but has enough impact and weight to give the sound a nice sense of body and makes it entertaining.
The bass of the AD D3 In-Ear monitor sounds a bit uncontrolled in tracks with higher density of instruments such as bass guitars and has moderate definition.
The epic bass notes at the beginning in the song “Angel” of the group Massive Attack shows great rumble, depth and will satisfy most listeners who are described him-/herself as basshead.
The midrange presentation of the Alpha & Delta D3 sounds pretty warm and distant compared to the rest (bass & treble) of the frequency region. The reason of this midrange presentation is the tuning between the 500-1000Hz region which shows a noticeable roll-off that makes instruments less prominent and veiled.
When it comes to the vocals presentation and performance I can say that the AD D3 performs lightly better with male vocals like Dave Gahan and Eric Clapton than female vocals like Laura Pergolizzi and Celine Dion for my taste.
Instruments such as drum and cymbal, in the Remastered version of Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” have average definition and are shown with a moderate detail retrieval.
The upper midrange of the Alpha & Delta D3 is relative bright and emphasized due to the peak in the 2-3kHz region, while it sounds fairly controlled for this price range.
The lower treble range of the Alpha &Delta D3 is boosted and reflects a typical V shaped sound signature, while there is a noticeable drop in the upper treble range.
The lower treble range has a relative bright and crisp tuning that is avoiding a possible hollowness, which could be caused by the relative emphasized lower frequency region. The extension of the lower treble is above average, while the upper treble range shows less presence and extension, which is explaining the slightly lack of air and sparkle that is needed for a more realistic presentation of instruments like violins or pianos. The AD D3 sounds thanks to its treble tuning quite fatigue free, which makes it suitable for longer listening periods.
The soundstage performance of the Alpha & Delta D3 is quite good for an In-Ear monitor with such an affordable price and small single dynamic driver. The soundstage has more width than depth and expands in a quite natural way, without to be claustrophobic in its presentation. The separation of instruments is also one of its strengths in this price range.
Alpha & Delta D3 versus VE Monks Smalls
Both the Alpha & Delta D3 and the VE Monk Smalls are pretty strong/bass heavy In-Ear Monitors in the same sub 50 USD range.
The first noticeable difference in the bass department is the slightly fuller presentation of the VE Monk Smalls. When it come to the sub-bass quantity and extensions, both IEM’s showing a nearly identical performance, maybe it is a tad better with the Monks. The Alpha & Delta D3 has more bass emphasis compared to the VE Monk Smalls, which explains the fairly warmer presentation.
When it comes to the mid-bass region, the Monk Smalls is hitting harder and has quicker decay, while the AD D3 has the better extension, which is especially noticeable with instruments like bass guitars.
The midrange of the Alpha & Delta D3 sounds warmer, smoother and slightly more recessed than those of the VE Monk Smalls. The detail level of the midrange is nearly identical, may a touch better with the D3. Male vocals sounding more emotional with the AD D3 due to the warmer and thicker midrange presentation. Female vocals are more lush and have better presence with the AD D3, while the Monk Smalls is missing some emotion in this region.
The lower treble range of the AD D3 has more boost, while the situation for the upper treble range is the opposite. The lower treble region of the AD D3 is more pronounced, which I explaining why it has more clarity and the better definition compared to the Monk Smalls. The upper treble range of the VE Monk Smalls is adding more sparkle and air to the presentation that is slightly missing with the Alpha & Delta D3.
The soundstage of the of the Alpha & Delta D3 sounds wider than those of the VE Monk Smalls, while the difference for the depth is less noticeable, but slightly better with the AD D3.
The Alpha & Delta D3 is a robust In-Ear Monitor, which comes with a great cable and lots of high quality accessories that is rarely to find in this price range. The sound tuning will satisfy most users who are listening to modern genres like trance, edm, pop or even rock music, while it is missing some clarity and sparkle, which is needed for more sophisticated genres like metal, jazz or classical music.
Pros and Cons:
- + Solid metal housing
- + Great SPC cable
- + Big BASS
- + Ideal for Modern Genres such as trance, edm, pop etc.
- – High coloration of the sound
- – Not ideal for sophisticated genres
- – Missing of clarity