If you’re searching for a wireless earphone, you’d ideally want one that sounded good, looked good, had excellent battery life, and of course, felt nice in-ear. Haylou says the GT3 is all that and more.
As an audiophile searching for the best budget wireless earphones, I decided to put that claim to the test. I bought the GT3, and I’ve had it on for well over two weeks. Here’s what I think of GT3 in the form of an in-depth review.
Let’s start with what you get when you buy the GT3.
Buy the Haylou GT5 on Amazon by clicking here
Or on AliExpress by clicking here
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What’s in the box
In the box, you’ll find the GT3 earphone itself, some extra sets of ear tips, a USB C cable for charging, and the instructions manual. All typical for a budget earphone.
I’m a huge fan of the design team at Haylou. They produce come deftly styled earphones, and with the GT3, it’s more of the same. The design configuration is earphone as opposed to the earbud styling of the GT5, and what sets the GT3 apart from other TWS (cue the Mpow X3) design-wise is the well-rounded edges and finely symmetrical proportions. This earphone has curves where it should have them, and its curves that are more than well-executed.
There’s a measured feel about the proportions of the GT3 that’s best appreciated in person. If you’ve admired the Apple AirPods pro from far, this comes close to simulating that look. And as the cream topping of the design cake, Haylou applies a two-tone finish to the GT3 for that superior air of sophistication.
Build quality is excellent. The GT3 is plastic like most other earphones, but you can tell that it’s plastic made to look good and made to last from having these in hand. Asides from the quality of materials, the superior build quality is also apparent in how the GT3 is finished. Much like the GT5, it’s hard to make out the seams of the GT3 and what you get is an earphone that looks like it was crafted from one block of plastic.
Fit and comfortability
The GT3 hangs in-ear loosely without the tight and sometimes uncomfortable fit you’d find on TWS earphones in this price range. It’s certainly not an earphone for high-octane activities like hiking or bungee jumping.
Comfortability is also top tier. I’ve not had any ear pain or discomfort through the time I’ve had this on, and mind you; I’ve gone up to 6 hours with the GT3 plugged in my ears. They’re portable and light. I reckon they’d work perfectly even for people with small ears like my girlfriend.
The spec sheet
The GT3 is your typical TWS earphone, so as standard, you get;
- Active noise cancellation
- Soft-touch controls
- 7.2mm driver
What’s not so standard, however, are:
- IPX4 rating for waterproofing
- An additional ‘Knowles’ balanced armature driver
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
Active noise cancellation on the GT3 work as expected. Low frequency, sub-loud noises are very well canceled out. The GT3 has no issues creating a quiet and optimized listening experience when you put it on. Note that because this fits loosely in-ear, there’s none of that passive noise cancellation you’d find on the GT5. The same passive noise cancellation that allows the latter to handle louder noises better.
The GT3 comes with soft-touch controls, so you can do things like answer a phone call by simply touching the GT3 when they’re in-ear. The controls are very sensitive – almost too sensitive, and they work first-time asking for the whole while I’ve had this on. Super efficient.
7.2mm and an additional ‘Knowles’ balanced armature driver
As is typical for a Haylou earphone, the GT3 comes with a big 7.2mm audio driver. I’m going to resist the temptation to delve into technical stuff here and just go ahead to say that with drivers, generally, the bigger, the better.
The GT3 also comes with an additional driver, what Haylou is calling a Knowles balanced armature driver. It’s supposed to finetune the listening experience, but we’ll see about that when I talk about the sound quality of the GT3.
As an extra perk, you also get an IPX4 rating for splash resistance (not full-on water resistance) if you eventually buy the GT3. This means the GT3 can withstand wet and splashy conditions – say maybe you’re taking a jog in a drizzle. You cannot use this to swim however, it’ll probably fall off your ears after the first stroke anyways.
Sound quality on the GT3
I’d say the sound quality is excellent but with a few issues, actually just one issue, if I’m being honest, and that’s the de-emphasized bass. You get bass alright, but it’s none of that reverberating thrill on the Mpow Mbuds or the pure and sexy cadence of a bass on the GT5. It’s regular ol’ bass that gets better the higher you stick this into your ear canal.
On the plus side, this low-bass theme kind of rhymes with the overall sound profile of the GT3. So, mid-tones are spaced out, not loud -neither quiet, instrumentals are pumped out at low frequency, and mid-pitch plus vocals come out on top but only just.
Everything combines to give a nice, sort of classical tinge on the sound profile of the GT3. If you’re someone who’s into R&B and the other ‘softer’ genres of music, then the GT3 will be a perfect match.
You’ll love it for:
- The deemphasized bass
- The pureness of the sound
- Great surround sound
- Well represented other sound frequencies (other than bass)
As I said, this is for those who are not fanatics of bass; those who prefer to enjoy the entire sound spectrum of music.
Calling and media playback
The GT3 was right on point with call quality and media playback, even rivaling some TWS earphones like the Mpow Mpods. There’s just one mic on here, but that proved to be enough for GT3. I was heard loud and clear 10/10 times by the other party on a call – audio quality on my end was superb. Call touch controls also worked without any hitches.
Media playback quality is similar to what you’d find on the Haylou GT5, even though the latter comes with ultra-low latency technology. There were no discernable lags between audio and picture, and I had an absolutely fantastic time binge-watching season 1 of the King of the Hill with the GT3. It was the same case with YouTube videos, so if you’re getting this with YouTubing in mind, then green for go.
Battery life on the GT3 was impressive, surpassing what you’d get on the GT5 and on the Mpow Mods. That’s saying a lot when you consider that this is about $10 cheaper.
On a usual day, the GT3 lasts the whole 24 hours when I’ve got them in-ear. If I’m actively listening to some of my favorite jams, the GT3 holds itself for well over 7 hours – better than the 5 hours of the GT5 and the 6 hours of the Mpow Mpods.
Additional battery life comes from the portable carry case. I couldn’t get the official power rating of its battery, but it’s sufficient to power the GT3 through another three extra full charging rounds. Charging it and the GT3 as well can be done in under 1:30 mins.
Connectivity and range
Unlike the many other TWS at this price range, the GT3 manages to hold its connection for the advertised 10-meter free space range. In building with walls, this drops significantly, although I’ve had no issues using while jumping from living room to kitchen, store, and bedroom – take a step outside, then it’ll lose the grip for sure.
That’s all thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 on the GT3. Note that each earphone connects independently of the other. This allows you to use this either as mono or stereo earphones – none of that complicating master or slave connection brouhaha on some budget wireless earphones.
Should you buy the GT3
If you’ve got just $23 to spare on a TWS and you’re in for absolute bang for buck, then there are few rivals to the GT3. It’s hands down one of the prettiest (yeah, pretty cos nothing better describes how finely made this is compared to other TWS) TWS on the market; the sound quality is take home to mama, and battery life beats many pricier TWS earphone models.
Sure, it could do with some of the audio finesse of the GT5 (or its clever auto-pause feature), but for the $23 Haylou is asking, you’re not getting anything better. I like to think of the GT3 as the Toyota of the TWS earphone market – budget-friendly, all-you’ll-ever-need, and efficient.