Current testing methodology is v1.2
I have so far had a pretty good first impression of Lafitear from my review of their LD1 a couple of weeks back.
It was good enough that I thought it a good idea to buy the rest of their LD product line to see which was the best of all of them.
As such, we’re diving even deeper with this review of the Lafitear LD3, which is a slightly more upscale model in the line with an arguably more interesting voice.
A perfectly capable V-shaped sound signature at just $15, marred only by subpar ergonomics.
The Lafitear LD3 is a single driver IEM.
For the price, it has a decent build quality and comes with the basic accessories. The fit can be a problem but it depends on the shape and size of your ears.
In terms of sound quality, the LD3 has substantial bass and delivers clarity and accuracy, with a focus on the mid-range frequencies.
The Lafitear LD3 may not take home any awards, but these earphones can hang with the more well-known competitors in this highly saturated ultra-budget market segment.
- Headphone Type: Closed-back in-ear monitor
- Driver Type: Single 10mm dynamic
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 115 dB
- Impedance: 20 ohms
- Cable: 1.2m removable cable
- Connector: 3.5mm to 0.78mm 2-pin
What’s in the Box?
- Lafitear LD3 earphones
- 3 x pairs ear tips
- Removable cable
Stuff I like
- Substantial but controlled bass
- Airy midrange
- Crisp treble
- Removable cable
Stuff I like less
- Vocals feel pushed back
- Housings are uncomfortably large
- Eartips aren’t very good
Comparable products to consider
One of the best-sounding earphones you can buy at $20, the Moondrop Chu offers sound-matched earphones at least double their price, but at the cost of some now-standard creature comforts.
Lafitear is a Chinese earphone manufacturer competing in the ultra-budget market segment alongside other brands like KZ and TRN.
The brand caught my eye while I was shopping around as they hadn’t gotten much coverage yet.
Reviewing the LD1, as mentioned, left a good enough impression on me that I thought I’d go ahead and try their other models.
You may have noticed that I’m reviewing the Lafitear LD3 after the LD1. No, they didn’t skip a number; I instead opted to skip reviewing the LD2 since that was practically the same as the LD1 but with a different shell.
The packaging of the Lafitear LD3 is also practically the same as the other earphones in this LD series.
The only differences I could find are the printing on the outer shroud, further supporting my idea of this being a bulk order cost-saving measure for Lafitear.
The accessories also seem to be on bulk order as well, although the ones I have on my LD3 are different from the LD1.
A peek at their AliExpress listings will show that they come in a bunch of colors, and certain colors are paired with either light-colored or dark-colored cables and ear tips.
Earphones generally don’t have a lot of room for failure when it comes to build quality, even at these extremely low prices. Assuming you reach enough of a scale in fabrication, your unit cost for these earphones is pennies on the dollar.
What I mean by this is that you’d have to do a lot to mess up the build quality of an earphone, and the Lafitear LD3 expectedly doesn’t.
The housings are put together well and the cables feel about as good as you’d expect. The translucency adds a nice touch of color, but that does open up some potential concerns about durability long-term. Not that it matters much for a $15 earphone.
Fit and Comfort
The Lafitear LD3’s design follows that of the LD1 pretty closely with the only major difference being the faceplate on the outside.
Functionally, though, the LD3’s housings are a bit larger, which changes their fit characteristics quite a bit.
I’ve had to move up to the large-size ear tips to get a comfortable fit with them because of this size. Instead of filling the concha (the space around your ear canal), the earphones sit outside it and always feel present on your ear.
The Lafitear LD3 has a V-shaped sound signature that, like the LD1, is smoothed out quite well. I can’t make out any sharp peaks which makes the entire sound quite pleasing.
As far as V-shaped sounds go, the bass response of the LD3 isn’t quite as heavy as I expected. I personally don’t mind this, though, as the bass doesn’t end up overwhelming the rest of the sound.
It has a bit more low-end thump than punch from my testing, as demonstrated by songs like “yawnkat” by TEMPLIME.
The bass is controlled well for the most part, but doesn’t really feel “fast” and lingers a bit compared to something like the KZ EDX. DREAMDNVR’s “WHAT’S UP?” is a good example of this – the LD3’s strong low bass keeps the 808s in the song around for a bit longer than they should.
As is expected of a V-shaped sound, there’s a noticeable dip in the mids, but interestingly I noticed it more in the low midrange.
Songs that feature lower register male vocals, like Tennyson’s “Beautiful World”, show this most noticeably.
By comparison, you have “Over & Over” by Smallpools, which has more of a focus on the upper midrange from the vocals and synths. In cases like these, the LD3 actually sounds fairly balanced, if a bit bassy.
As already mentioned, the Lafitear LD3 doesn’t have any noticeable peaks in its sound. This is great for a V-shaped sound as it keeps the high-end crisp but not fatiguing to listen to.
Smallpools’ “Dreaming” is a song that carries a lot of top-end from the cymbals, but this is smoothed out quite nicely by the LD3 without dulling its energy.
The Lafitear LD3 doesn’t stand out too much in terms of soundstage when we consider the top-budget earphones nowadays.
That said, we’re kinda giving the LD3 stiff competition here. Compared to the typical earphones you could get at this price, these earphones will blow most out of the water with an actual sound space that fills your ears.
The Lafitear LD3 goes for about $15 on AliExpress and other places. It’s not a bad price by any means, and they’re a decent enough recommendation at this price.
But value for money isn’t measured in a vacuum. While the LD3 could be a good purchase on its own, there are other things to consider.
For one, there’s the matter of competing products. The KZ EDX, typically priced at around $10 depending on where you look, is one of the best value earphones you could get with a similar V-shaped sound as the LD3.
There’s also the issue of shipping that I touched on in my previous review of the LD1. It’s one thing to consider the value for money of a $15 earphone, but it becomes an entirely different matter when we factor in the added time and cost of shipping from AliExpress.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a very strong grasp of the popular earphone choices at and below $15. If I had them on hand, maybe my opinions would be a bit different.
But as it stands, the Lafitear LD3 fits right in with all of the other popular choices in the price range.
The mild V-shaped sound signature is generally fun to listen to with most genres and doesn’t have any major sore spots that stand out to my ears.
The fit and comfort leave something to be desired, especially for people with smaller-than-average ears. But beyond that, the Lafitear LD3 is better than most “typical” earphones outside of the audiophile circle and is worth a try if the other cost considerations aren’t a big concern.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.