Case, Driver Configuration, Design, Finishing
The Dragon 3 is built around a standard Yuin style case. It is a good choice, since it has much more ergonomic form than the other, widely used MX500 cases.
The case is plastic with a soft metallic shine. It has a very nice velvety touch, and feels robust in the hands. The material choice may seem interesting for some in case of a higher end product, but a plastic case is lighter, and may also have acoustic benefits (lower resonance) – for example also the Periodic Audio Be uses plastic case for the same reasons.
The Dragon 3 has a new, 150 Ω 15.8mm Dynamic driver. The sensitivity is a little lower 108dB vs. 110dB (Dragon 2+), but it is still a quite sensitive earphone.
First the bad news: the cable is not removable. There are long chats in several earphone oriented forums about the quality, usability, reliability of the recently used removable cable connection types (mmcx and 2 pin). There is no consensus yet on this topic, but one thing is sure: in case the fixed cable is broken, also the earphone becomes unusable.
All the other aspects of the cable are great. It is a wonderful, blue colored braided balanced cable, with audiophile quality 6N 8 core OCC lead. The cable is quite slim and thickly braided – it has a very nice rubbery touch, and it is not prone to tangling. I did not encounter any cable noise using the Dragon 3. The cable strain relief is chrome (quite heavy), and there is no chin slider used.
The plug is a chrome plated 2,5” balanced jack with gold plated contact, Simphonio engraved. The quality of the cable is on par with high end aftermarket balanced cables like the Oriveti Affinity.
Comfort and fit
Yuin style cases are famous for their high level of comfort, and it is true also in case of the Dragon 3. Everybody who tried liked the fit and comfort of the Dragon 3 except for one of my friends, who has a very small place behind the tragus. The Dragon 3 smoothed into my ear, so I could listen to music hours long without noticing that the earbud is in my ear.
From the included cushions I have settled with the donut version. Thanks to its wide bore I could reach the best bass response without ruining the quality and quantity of the midrange and treble.
Isolation, noise leakage
Isolation is quite good, but just against classic earbud standards. Thanks to the shallow insertion some noise can get through the ear channel. The other handicap of the classic earbud design is noise leakage, and the Dragon 3 is no exception. However most of the time, at low to moderate volume it is not distracting for others nearby.