Shure is not a company that takes refreshing its earphone and headphone line lightly. They are famous for sticking with earphones for up to a decade, so when we got word of the new Shure Aonic 3 were to be released, we knew it would be a famous model and secured a set for review. With a stellar reputation to live up to, can these new earphones stand out in what is becoming an ever more competitive marketplace?
Where to buy & Pricing Information
You can find the Shure Aonic 3 for sale at many high street retailers or online vendors
View the Shure Aonic 3 on Amazon
Do the Aonic 3 have good build quality?
Shure has a reputation for well made durable earphones. This reputation comes down to their primary use as monitors for professional musicians. With the Aonic 3 being a consumer targeted earphone, I was worried they might sacrifice some of the build quality, but they far exceeded the previous generations in reality.
The Aonic 3 has an all-metal chassis, but instead of being a straight barrel design like the Etymotic ER4 line, they have a slight bend to aid with ergonomics. The bend is at the nozzle and has a perfect effect on comfort and ease of insertion into your ear canal.
The grills are mesh protected against dirt ingress, and these accommodate a custom size of Shure’s well-loved eartips of which you get plenty of options in the box.
The cable is very nice. It’s softer and more flexible than previous generations of Shure cables, which were prone to deterioration and cracking in the past. It is also far more resistant to tangles and shows less disruption to my listening through microphonic interference.
They attach to the earphones via downward facing MMCX connectors, and the cable features a thick splitter section and straight 3.5mm termination.
Comfort and Isolation
The Shure Aoinic 3 are suitable isolators when used with the right tips. Insertion depth is best at a medium, but you can get them to sit further in the ears without affecting sound quality.
They are a very comfortable earphone due to the low weight and small size. You wear these with the cable over the ear in a traditional stage monitor fashion. There are inbuilt wire guides in the cables so you can adjust them for a secure fit.
Shure Aonic 3 Sound Quality
Shure has a very well defined and much-loved house sound. The Aonic 3 stay faithful to that tuning. I would place them as a suitable replacement for the SE325 in terms of listening, please. They are a very smooth listen that has excelling soundstage in both width and depth.
Imaging performance is fantastic with the clarity and the space giving you the ability to place instruments.
The bass is well done. Its an exact and faithful representation with the significantly enhanced low end. These have lots of texture and detail and show great speed in pumping out the low notes. Bass heads should look elsewhere for quantity and sub-bass rumble. Low-end bass notes from a jazz double bass or broad electronic sweeps sound fantastic.
The most vital point of the sound is in the mids. Shure are well known for their smooth, natural mids, and that is what you get here. Everything sounds, for lack of a better expression, so damn natural and real. The way voices are portrayed has no artificial warmth or tinniness. The same can be said for guitar-heavy tracks and solo performance. If you get these earphones, I say the first thing you should listen to is Jimmy Page’s solo on Led Zepplin’s “For your life.” The energy and tonality are brilliantly done on a track that can sometimes feel artificially digital.
The treble is smooth and has a suitable extension. Again the mids are the focus of the sound of the Aonic 3, and they treble acts in a complementary way without trying to outshine them.
Some may consider the sound to be a little unexciting. They are wrong. This is a natural presentation filled with realization. This is something you realize when you come from far more expensive earphones back down to this price point. Too many companies try to compensate, whereas Shure strives for realism.
Shure Aonic 3 Review: Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Shure has not killed the competition at this price point. With the explosion of Chinese IEM companies in the past few years, while they have been sleeping, the Aonic, 3 stands out as an option rather than a stand-alone.
The build quality, design, and comfort are excellent. I also like how widely available they will be around the world from brick and mortar stores. With these, you also get an excellent warranty and support system that the obscure brands never seem to deliver on.
If you like natural sound, then these are certainly worth considering. I’m impressed, and I’m a fan.
More information on the Shure Official Webpage.