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EarSonics SM3 Universal Fit IEM Reviews

Positive Reviews

average_joe

My Thoughts and Comparisons

Posted

Pros: Accurate reproduction of the recording with the ability to recreate the space, dynamics, bass, and everything else originally present like no other!

Cons: None

Remember those essays you had to write in grade school? Well I do even if you don't. In honor of that memory, I am going to write: What does the EarSonics SM3 mean to me? Back in March I was going to order the EarSonics SM3 based off the few things I have read about them, even though it wasn't much. But then something stopped me. Could they really be that good, and the shipping cost was as expensive as my gateway IEM! I was not sure what exactly to expect, but did have some insider info from shigzeo, which was all positive. But were they going to be UM3X like and lacking they dynamics and excitement I want, especially for the price? Well, a month went by and search reminded me of the SM3,...
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SolidVictory

Balanced and transparent, with a punchy bass that's not shy.

Posted

Pros: Resolution, sound reproduction without any additions, transparency, bass detail and texture, soundstage, realism, speed, liquid, comfortable.

Cons: Price, might not impress at first due to neutral signature.

    I’ve had the EarSonics SM3 for about two weeks now, and I think it’s time to give them a review (pictures can be found at the end).   Packaging   The EarSonics SM3 comes packaged in a rather small box (I was surprised to find the size of the box to be much smaller than the huge oval-shaped-unopenable-treasure-chest that my Shure SCL4’s came in). The box is about 1/3 of the Sennheiser IE8 box. Regardless, I found the small packaging to be rather neat because it made me even more curious as to how these sounded.   Inside the box, one finds the most minimalistic of included accessories and tips. The EarSonics SM3 comes with one pair of Comply Foam tips attached to...
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james444

One of the best universals, but not without flaws

Posted

Pros: Among the most refined and detailed universal IEMs

Cons: Subpar clarity, obtrusive mids, missing forward projection

I've had the SM3 as a loner pair for several weeks, here's the summary of my impressions:   Pros: - Very refined sound reproduction - Bass has top quality and just the right quantity for me - Extremely detailed and attractive mids - Almost equally good highs that never get too sharp - Very realistic timbre for a balanced armature based phone - Large Soundstage - Excellent separation - Decent isolation - Very good cable   Cons: - Forward / in-your-face mids can be fatiguing with some music and/or prolonged listening - Not among the best in clarity, highs are slightly recessed - Only minimal forward projection of soundstage ("surround effect") -...
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Negative Reviews

Gilly87

Have to put the warning out there

Posted

Pros: Great all-rounder, enveloping presentation with captivating mids, punchy but unintrusive bass, and delicate treble, moddable filters

Cons: AWFUL DURABILITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE, will hiss with most sources, distorts at medium-high volume, awkward plug, short cable

These were my favorite sounding universal IEMs, and my praise for their sound can be read throughout the most recent iteration of the SM3 appreciation thread, but I feel a strong need to let people know about the durability issues with Earsonics products, and the company's treatment of customers as a whole.   My first pair of SM3 V2s lasted about 3 months before half of the right shell came off while walking down the sidewalk. I pinched the IEM gently by the shell to pull it out of my ear, and it just came straight apart. I got in touch with Earsonics customer service, and shipped them to France for about $60 with the assurance that they would be repaired at no additional cost...
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chaselee122

NONONONO EarSonics SM3v2 NONONO

Posted

Pros: Sound, Comfortibility of fit, Sound isolation

Cons: Design, Materials used , Shorting out

After more than a week of research, I purchased these monitors solely based on the reviews I read on this website. Although am NOT a music professional, I do enjoy quality products such as these. Having to wait as long as I did for them to ship to me, out in Afghanistan, was like waiting to open Christmas presents in the morning. I was pretty excited, to say the least.   Upon first inspection, I first unboxed them and saw the cheap plastic that supposedly houses the "magic" parts inside the ear. I was moderately concerned that I might break them or drop them and be out of $350 USD, but I looked beyond it and tried them out.   Next, I go to plug them into my ipod to...
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alphaman

Why all the fuss over THIS earphone?

Posted

Pros: rich, detailed mids; stock tips

Cons: a lot of stuff ... see below

IEM refs (own): Senn IE-8, Shure SE530, EC2, Teclast R8 (came "free" with T51 DAP).   This is a work-in-progress review. I'm waiting for sonove or Inner Fidelity or other unbiased 3rd-party (= those who don't profit from the sale of this 'phone) to measure them before I write a detailed review; scientific metrics/measurements are extremely important for double-checking one's hearing ;-) IAC, lots of other reviews of the SM3 already ... so no point re-reviewing (note: I mostly disagree with others' positive (esp. rave) reviews of this model -- I suspect these cans may have gained their high reputation based on the psycho-somatics of multiple, highly-positive reviews [which may...
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More Reviews

pinoyman

The DARKLORD of UNIVERSAL IEMS

Posted

Pros: everything

Cons: the build and the highs

  this is a review of the famous sm3 and a comparison to the eq7.       PICS first:         INTRODUCTION: the ortofon is one of the best among all top tier iems. to me it is one of the hardest iem to explain. hardest to describe. the sound is just very hard to capture. and turn it in words. its warm. its cold. its bright. its everything.  and that everything is the ortofon eq7 and your music. what makes the ortofon eq7 stand out among the rest is its tube like sound and very sweet voice presentation. now, the sm3, is considered and highly regarded as the best iem in all...
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sdhobbs

SM3 Review

Posted

Pros: Forward Mids,accurate bass, smooth treble with no sibilance, great soundstage, detailed.

Cons: Big for small ears, Y split too short,

    After countless hrs of research (mainly on this forum) I took the plunge and bought myself Earsonic SM3’s!  Here is my review.   Finish: The SM3’s body is made of plastic which makes it very light but also seems fragile.  The cable is nice and strong, doesn’t tangle and is also very light.  The Y split on the cable is too short, makes it a little tight if you wear down the front. They come with a cool case, a couple of medium size silicone bi-flange tips, and two Comply tips (medium & large). I must mention that I had to send my first pair back for exchange.  The right earphone wasn’t as well constructed as the left one....
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svyr

Great IEM, especially if buying used/like warm-ish mids

Posted

Pros: forward mids, non-sibilant but present highs, outstanding detail, easy to drive, more than adequate bass.non mic cable.

Cons: Expensive new, y-split is too tight.Somewhat square edges on the body may not be comfortable for some people. Feel a bit flimsy.Cable not replaceable

If you can get them for around $300 - then go for it. If you can live with the pros and cons above.Outstanding detail, somewhat warm sound mids-wise with extended highs (not sibilant, I guess some might find them slightly recessed compared to top end sony ex700 or stax, but I can live with it. Or you can take the filters out and see whether you like them that way - the highs should become more prominent then). Good soundstage that does not sound artificial. (some people still find it weird, re: forward projection - see the other reviews)These seemed to go well with any music I had - folk, classical - solo, voice, soloist+orchestra, many types of metal, hip-hop.I had a chance to compare...
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cn11

A new standard for Balanced Armature Universals

Posted

Pros: Great bass, smooth yet extended treble, mids, and an amazingly wide soundstage

Cons: perhaps build quality, and the short length to Y-split

I can't add much to the above reviews. They are some amazing universals. I can't understand any comments that the treble is lacking. To me, that comes from the 'trebleheads' who think the end all be all of audio is just how much extension we can eek out of the top end. Puh-leeze. There is so much more to these earphones, from the wonderfully tight and deep bass, to the natural clean mids, to the awesome detail and layering to their particular top end while remaining so supremely smooth without any hint of harshness or sibilance. The result is such a level of cohesive sound that it's addicting.    Get 'em.    But be sure to have access to some extra brands of tips beyond what is...
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hma101

SM3 V2 Review

Posted

Pros: Speed Speed Speed

Cons: Feels a little clostrophobic at times

I've been reading a lot about the sm3 having low bass output. These are monitor headphones, designed give a flat response. If you want more bass, simply turn up the bass levels on your equalizer and you will get mindblowing bass.   After a few minutes of fiddling with the equalizer you will realize that it's perfect the way it is.   I really do beleive there is ACTUAL burn-in. Hearing bass-heavy tracks out of the box and comparing it with bass-heavy phones (Panasonic Zirconias with shure triple flange tips), it sounded a little anemic at first. In fact I hated the way they sounded. A month later I did the same comparison and found them to be much better in bass in...
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Aero Dynamik

As close to live sound as I have ever come

Posted

Pros: Sound that puts me into bliss

Cons: Tips tend to come loose when pulled out of my ears

This is the first review I've ever written about anything, and although there are already many good reviews out there, these IEMs are so special to me that I feel I owe it to the head-fi community to write my own review. I should warn you that this isn’t an audiophile’s review, but rather about what I feel the EarSonics SM3s bring to my musical experience.   Before getting to the core of this short review, I'd like to give you some background on my way of thinking. I love great music. But what is great music? The answer, of course, depends on who you are. To me, great music is sound waves that give me an emotion so strong it often creates a physical reaction. If it makes me...
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nickie

SM3 moving from UM2

Posted
I previously owned the UM2 for more than 3 years and had a lot of fun with it until i gave it away last year. I heard a lot about the SM3 but i never expect it to be this good. The bass, detail and soundstage surpasses the UM2 in almost every way. The bass is as much or even more than the UM2 but much faster and more controlled, smooth mids and almost no hiss. The soundstage is huge and amazing. Seriously I´d take these over everything i currently own when it comes to music listening including my Razer Mako, K701 + Heed Canamp + V-Dac.   + Controlled, punchy bass + Huge soundstage, make me feel like standing right on the dance floor + Sound great with all kind of music +...
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Hawaiiancerveza

SM3 heaven

Posted

Pros: tight and deep bass, nice highs and mids, warm and clear =) the isolation is great too!

Cons: None

All I can say it this IE reminds me of my car sound system... Im lovin this...  Drake
Marcus_C

My thoughts on the sm3 after not long.

Posted
  Well, what was I expecting on hearing these at first? Very hard question to answer really, probably a darker sound than the w2’s, an altogether more complete sound than the dtx100, less detail than the hf5 (courtesy of Benny) and a rather dodgily put together earphone which will apparently wow me like no other earphone. Was this what I got? In short, pretty much, no, if you’re not bored yet then read on. If you are then I doubt it’ll get better.   My first thoughts on opening the parcel from Benny was along the lines of: “Ooh, Radius do nice cases for their earphones don’t they?” Westone should take note even though as far as cases go theirs are far from the worst. Anyway with...
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