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Advanced Sound 747 Review – Personal Sanctuary

Introduction –

Advanced Sound are a relative newcomer in the audio scene but one who have surprising presence and range given their age. Their products are wildly varied yet all that I’ve had experience with have been pleasantly surprising; well integrating smart features and well-executing innovations that we’ve seen pioneered elsewhere but fully realised here. To clarify this statement, the most outstanding aspect of Adv is their pricing, almost all of their models lying under $100 USD.

So far, I’ve tested a few ANC in-ears around this price. However, though a select few such as the OVC H15 have left me impressed with their noise cancelling abilities, most were mediocre at best when it came to listening experience. The 747 is Adv’s first active noise cancelling product and one that hopes to remedy this, utilising mammoth 13mm dynamic drivers and a noise cancelling module that doubles as an amplifier. And, with an asking price of just $60 USD, the 747 is immensely attainable. Let’s see whether Adv’s latest is their greatest yet.

 

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Hannah from Advanced Sound very much for her quick communication and for providing me with the 747 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

 

Accessories –

The 747 has an unboxing similar to their other in-ears like the Model 3 with punchy renders set to a clean white background.

Adv also provide a frequency response graph in addition to specifications and features on the rear. Inside is a large zippered hard case that stores the entire accessory set.

The 747 has quite a comprehensive tip selection with 3 pairs of silicone tips, 3 pairs of dual flange tips and 3 pairs of more isolating foam tips. Adv provide 3 types of tips that offer varying isolation and practicality.

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They also come with a micro-usb charging cable and a nice aeroplane adapter. In use, the tips are well-moulded and comfortable and the case is protective with room to spare for a small player. The 747 is outfit with everything the user might need on the road.

 

Design –

Despite housing advanced ambient noise microphones in addition to large 13mm dynamic drivers, the 747’s are surprisingly orthodox in both design and fit. You won’t find unwieldy housings here nor do they protrude significantly from the ear. Instead, the 747 is compact and streamlined with great structural solidity. They also sport a traditional design and fit that will be familiar to any earphone user, where some competing models have a learning curve.

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The housings themselves are especially compact for a noise cancelling in-ear and smoothly tapered in design. The seams are well-matched and no comfort-compromising edges are present. They employ a tactile sandblasted aluminium finish with soft-touch plastic on their inner faces. In this instance, Adv’s use of plastic does not diminish the feel of the earphones, rather helping to keep weight manageable and reduce that cool sensation when the earphones are first inserted into the ear.

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The nozzles are of average length and bore size, fitting the vast majority of tips such as Sony Hybrids and Spinfits in addition to Comply Foams. They produce a shallower fit geared for long-term comfort over vacuum-like seal but the 747’s actually isolate quite well even when ANC isn’t enabled. They are also a very comfortable earphone, forming no hotspots even after hours of listening.

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Advanced have outfit the 747 with a very nice cable, it isn’t removable but has a sturdy thickness that avoids becoming cumbersome during portable use. They also have an inline mic with multi-function button for convenience. But what most impresses is their incredibly compact noise cancelling module. Similar to in-ears like the H15 and QC20, the module lies near the 3.5mm plug, intended to stack behind the source device. However, Adv’s implementation is super sleek and compact with solid metal housings, a tactile textured ANC switch and non-obtrusive power LED. At the rear is the micro-usb charging port with a protective cover and, despite the unit’s small size, battery life is a respectable 10hrs.

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In real-world use, I managed to meet that claim and occasionally exceed it by an hour or so. This is a little shorter than competitors but they can be used like a regular in-ear when their battery is depleted and they can function whilst charging without introducing additional whine or other noise. In addition, Adv offer an optional $20 carry case called the Power Pouch that integrates an 800mah power bank with micro-usb cable. It only outputs at 500mAh so it won’t do much for a modern smartphone, but Adv claim it will top up their wireless and noise cancelling in-ear 7 times; I went through 5 cycles with charge to spare. It’s a nice little accessory that makes using battery powered earphones just a little less worrisome.

 

Noise Cancelling –

Alongside the 1More DD ANC that I recently reviewed, my 9hr flight from Sydney to Japan also served as the perfect test environment for the 747’s noise cancelling performance. If you aren’t familiar with active noise cancelling technology, the earphones use microphones and lightning fast calculations to analyse incoming noise and produce an inverse waveform that cancels out that ambient sound through destructive interference. These solutions mainly target lower-frequency noise such as the drone of engines or the whirring of air-conditioning, making them a top choice for frequent travellers. Again, I don’t find the 747’s to block as much noise as my trusty Bose QC20’s but they did do a fine job cancelling noise during my flight, matching the more expensive headset in many regards.

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In addition, though activating ANC does slightly alter the sound, with the module doubling as an amplifier, this doesn’t increase noise nor does it introduce any artificial DSP into the mix. Instead, the 747 gets a few dB louder and sounds a little more vibrant with slightly enhanced clarity when compared to my phone’s stock output (ANC disabled). It also means they sound very consistent between sources though the internal AMP can be stacked with a more powerful DAP to produce louder volumes. As for the ANC itself, they don’t cover an especially wide frequency range like the 1More and Bose in-ears, but they do claim to block more noise overall; 25dB as opposed to 20dB. In addition, the 747’s passively block the most noise without ANC enabled, so they do block a lot of noise overall despite their slightly less comprehensive active component.

OVC H15: The H15 is a terrific budget noise canceller but it does have the least aggressive noise cancelling solution in comparison to the following models. Passive isolation with ANC disabled is also just modest, higher than the 1More’s but not they aren’t nearly as isolating as the ADV 747’s and higher-frequencies such as voices and the hissing of air conditioning are less attenuated as a result. With noise cancellation enabled, they still attenuate the least noise in this comparison but they are the cheapest and aren’t affected by wind noise at all.

The H15 produced no audio glitches with ANC enabled even over months of testing. Moreover, they lack the sense of pressure usually exerted by ANC in-ears. Their main downfall stems from their sound, their ANC ability is affected by their inbuilt bass boost which noticeably reduces noise cancelling performance when enabled. However, they do sound somewhat bass-deficient without it, not ideal when listening for hours in a noisier environment.

1More ANC: 1More offers the most advanced, aggressive noise cancelling solution save for the Bose QC20. With ANC off, they block very little noise so the electronics have to compensate to silence ambient noise. Luckily, 1More’s implementation is excellent, and the Dual Driver’s easily block the most low-frequency noise; drones and hums that remain clearly audible on the other in-ears are essentially silenced on the 1More’s. Their noise-cancelling also covers the widest spectrum of sound but, due to deficient passive isolation, they still don’t lower higher frequencies hissing particularly well. That said, voices are well attenuated, more so than the 747 and H15 if slightly less so than the Bose. The 747’s do lower hissing and the rush of air-conditioning more though it ultimately comes down to preference as the 1More’s hold an equally strong advantage with regards to lower and midrange frequencies.

And, as they possess the most aggressive noise cancelling, they are also the most susceptible to audio glitches. For instance, wind noise is the most amplified and they produce frequent pops during changes in cabin pressure or closing bus/train doors. On the flipside, at least the 1More’s don’t create much pressure during wear. And despite these artefacts, my main gripe with the 1More is that they produce a reasonably noticeable hiss when ANC is enabled and often boost high-frequency noise rather than cancelling it out, something I haven’t experienced with any of the other in-ears. Luckily, 1More is able to update the firmware on the Dual Driver ANC, they’re a great performer as is but I’m hoping these issues will be improved or fixed in future.

ADV 747: The 747 offers the most passive isolation with ANC disabled and therefore blocks the most high-frequency noise. Its ANC implementation is also very well-judged with similar if not slightly greater potency than the H15, and the 747 offers the most noise attenuation of the bunch throughout the whole audio spectrum. With ANC enabled, hissing and higher voices are reduced in amplitude and low-frequency drones are drastically attenuated. They hold a notable advantage over the H15 in high and midrange-frequency attenuation but their ability to drown out low-frequency droning is only slightly greater. In use, the 747 produces a small sense of pressure that is noticeable but not irksome, however, when outside, wind noise is slightly amplified.

They also didn’t produce any glitches due to changing cabin pressure or slamming doors on public transport as the 1More and Bose in-ears tended to. For my personal tastes, the 747 provided the most desirable noise attenuating performance combining great ANC with good passive high-frequency isolation. Of note, the 747 can also be equipped with more isolating foam ear tips. With foams, they’re almost comparable to the Bose QC20 and even block more sound in some frequency ranges. This is specific to the 747 as the OVC, Bose and 1More earphones all use unique nozzle shapes and designs that don’t permit third-party tips; the 747 can fit any tip most to your liking.

 

Sound –

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Tonality –

The 747 pursues an L-shaped tone with large bass emphasis, somewhat recessed mids and smooth highs that avoid fatigue during longer listening. Their low-end is mostly mid-bass focussed but elevated upper-bass produces a notably thick, warm midrange. Highs are laid-back and reserved in presence, with slight crispness preceding roll-off and truncation. They aren’t as balanced as the 1More Dual Driver ANC, they aren’t even as balanced as the Bose QC20. That said, their thick, bassy sound excels when ambient noise starts to creep up in volume, retaining a rich low-end in even the loudest environment.

 

Bass –

Utilising enormous 13mm dynamic drivers, the 747 carries bass-head levels of emphasis making it a creature of warmth and impact over articulation and finesse. Sub-bass is well extended with physical slam and surprisingly controlled rumble considering their level of emphasis. Mid-bass holds the greatest weighting in the entire sound creating a very warm, thick low-end with great impact. This precedes a small dip into the upper-bass though these frequencies remain heightened over neutral and the lower midrange, producing some spill and noticeable colouration.

Through this style of tuning, bloat is clearly apparent and the 747 doesn’t have the tightest bass response, but they aren’t overly flabby and do present with awesome richness in all environments whether quiet or loud. They also aren’t especially defined, bass presents more through tones than textured notes and they are easily overwhelmed during faster tracks. Bass does clearly lack some nuance and separation but this is still a tonally pleasing response that many will love and enjoy. It’s also a sound that works exceptionally well for the earphone’s intended uses even if they can be overly bass heavy in quieter environments.

 

Mids –

As a result of their bass emphasis, the 747’s midrange is comparatively recessed with a warm, thick presentation. The 747’s aren’t especially balanced but remain mostly linear through the midrange frequencies. Their thickness is also offset by enhanced clarity on account of a slightly brighter tonal tilt and a lower treble lift. Through this, vocals sound chesty and instruments organic, but all are enhanced by a little extra air and separation that prevent outright veil and congestion. They still aren’t particularly transparent or revealing on account of their thickness though, due to their mostly linear tuning, the 747’s midrange is quite naturally voiced with no wonkiness to vocals.


Through this, male vocals do sound thick and a little dry, lacking some definition, and instruments such as guitar tend to have excess bloom, diminishing separation. That said, though similarly full-bodied and warm, female vocals are presented with greater clarity and extension, producing a very agreeable listen. This is topped off with improved if not outstanding upper midrange layering and an exceptional smoothness throughout imbued by their laid-back, linear tuning. Though they do skip over a lot of details, the 747’s midrange is warm, pleasant and inoffensive with no glaring faults and some interesting qualities enhancing listenability.

 

Treble –

Treble is notably laid-back with just a very slight lower treble bump serving to enhance detail presentation much like the 1More DD ANC. That said, the 747 doesn’t extend as linearly as the 1More, lacking the same air, separation and resolution. As a result, though instruments such as guitars and cymbals sound relatively clean, the clash and subsequent shimmer sound dampened and truncated. Moreover, elements sitting around the middle treble frequencies are both thinned out and distant while upper treble is almost absent entirely. This partly contributes to the 747’s midrange congestion as the similarly tuned 1More manages higher definition and separation through greater balance and by extending its treble further.

Otherwise, detail retrieval is pleasing, the 747’s have above average attack to their lower-treble even if they roll-off significantly above it. As such, treble clarity suffers and elements aren’t especially delineated, but the 747 is again, natural and tonally pleasing if not technically outstanding. Ultimately, this is a style of tuning designed to be listened to for hours on end, potentially at elevated listening volumes; and the 747 manages to deliver just enough nuance to deter dullness without invoking stridence, sibilance or fatigue. Of course, they aren’t at all suited towards any kind of critical listening, but their smooth tones aren’t hard to enjoy, excelling especially with passive listening in the background.

 

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

The 747 constructs a stage of average to intimate proportions on account of its rolled high-end and slight midrange congestion. Instrument placement is easy to perceive but hardly pinpoint accurate and separation is modest due to their style of tuning. Still, though they aren’t outstanding, they are enjoyable and no particular element is weak to the point of overall compromise.

 

Driveability –

The 747 combines a 16ohm impedance with an average to low 90dB sensitivity. And though they do connect via a typical 3.5mm plug, the 747 acts much like the 1More Dual Driver ANC due to the ANC module doubling as an amplifier. As a result, they aren’t affected by output impedance and achieve both high listening volumes and a consistent signature from any source. Additionally, ANC and amplification barely introduce any noise unlike competitors from Bose and 1More that are quite apparent.

 

Comparisons –

OVC H15 ($50): The 747 has significantly better build quality throughout and a more orthodox fit. That said, the H15 is very stable and equally comfortable due to its exceptionally soft tips with stabilising wings. The H15 is quite an oddity, delivering a sound that is balanced and clear if a little bright overall. This contrasts to the thick, bassy sound produced by the 747.

As a result, the H15 sounds more detailed and resolving in quiet environments, but in noisier conditions, their leaner bass is drowned out almost entirely leaving them thin and a little fatiguing. The 747 on the other hand, sounds bassy at home and remains rich in louder environments. It’s smooth high end is not nearly as nuanced and it’s stage is more intimate, but the 747’s warm sound is more listenable long term.

1More Dual Driver ANC ($150): The 1More takes design and build to the next level, easily offering the more premium experience of the two. It’s fit is also pretty standard and similarly comfortable but it can only be used with IOS devices and has no internal battery. Sonically though, they do a lot to redeem themselves, they also aren’t a super revealing earphone, but are immensely balanced and detailed amongst noise cancelling kin.

Both earphones have a similar signature but the 1More is a lot more balanced between bass, mids and highs. As a result, bass is still warm and engaging but more defined with greater articulation. Mids are clearer, especially lower mids, and clarity is much improved. Treble is most improved with far greater extension delivering more clarity, separation and soundstage space. The 1More very masterfully balances nuance with listenability but it does lack some of the richness of the 747 as a result.

Final E2000 ($40): The E2000 is a sensational non-ANC in-ear within a similar price range.  Being semi-open, noise isolation is just average, especially compared to the world silencing 747, but build quality is nice, with solid aluminium housings. Unfortunately, their thin cable is downright flimsy. But it’s in listening that the E2000 really shines; it is immediately more balanced and engaging with a V-shaped signature contrasting to the smooth, laid-back 747. Their low-end is less physical, but bass is tight and agile with much higher definition to every note. Mids are slightly warm but clearer and more transparent than the thicker 747.

Highs are far more extended, resolving details within the highest registers that the 747 doesn’t even reproduce. As such, the E2000 offers a larger stage with greater separation between instruments and vocals. The E2000 definitely makes for the more nuanced listen, but it doesn’t offer nearly enough isolation in louder environments and its build isn’t ideal for portable use. These earphones have very different applications and this is reflected in their respective designs. Still, both are immensely impressive considering their asking prices; one could buy both and have a very solid home and travel setup for under $100.

 

Verdict –

The 747 offers everything I’d want from an affordable active noise cancelling earphone. It has a compact, pragmatic and perfectly comfortable design, and a thick yet pliable cable that has proven to be hard-wearing during portable use. The noise cancelling module is also incredibly compact without affecting its effectiveness, and battery life is easily adequate for plane trips, especially when paired with Advanced’s own Power Pouch. Furthermore, the 747’s possess incredible noise attenuating abilities comparable to earphones costing many times more.

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Most importantly, the 747 delivers a rich, guttural sound that retains its fullness in louder environments, producing a dynamic sound wherever you choose to listen. They aren’t balanced or resolving like the similarly priced Zero Audio Carbo Tenore or Final E2000, but they do serve up dynamics and impact for hours and hours with zero fatigue and minimal interference from external noise. These aren’t an audiophile monitor, but they are perfectly adapted towards their intended uses.

Verdict – 9/10, The 747 belies its meagre asking price in noise cancelling ability. And though it doesn’t challenge pricier models in sonic fidelity, they have a pleasant, smooth sound with surprising refinement that avoids dullness or fatigue. For $60, I couldn’t ask for much more, these are an absolute steal for any buyer looking into an affordable noise cancelling in-ear.

The Advanced Sound 747 can be purchased from Amazon for $59.99 USD at the time of writing. Please see my affiliate link for the most updated pricing, availability and configurations.

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