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.
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. The two halves of the body didn’t completely seal together on one side, there was a hairline gap where you could see into the inside of the earphone. It didn’t affect the sound quality but I worried about it coming apart down the line so I had it exchanged. The new pair I received did not have any issues with build quality. I have to give the guys at Soundearphones.com props. They really took care of me. I had a new pair of SM3’s in hand 2 days after they received my defective ones, great customer service!
I was concerned the SM3’s would not fit my small ears because they look big in pictures. Well, I was partly correct they are big, however, I can still wear them comfortably. They partly stick out of my ear instead of completely sitting inside of the ear. But they are so light that it doesn’t bother me. I still get a great seal and can wear them all day while I work. I found the stock silicon bi-flange tips work perfectly for me. I get a great seal and sound isolation, which is a relief after reading endless threads on how hard it can be to find a tip that fits. I’d like to try the Sensorcom tips just because they seem to be a favorite for the SM3 but I’m not in a big hurry since the stock ones work.
I do wish the body of the SM3 was a little smaller and had a more rounded ergonomic shape like the Westone3.
I have upgraded my source and files. I now have a Cowon J3 32GB player and have re-ripped my CD collection to FLAC. The difference in sound from my previous portable setup is amazing!
I cannot praise the J3 enough! Any issues I had with my SM3's are now gone thanks to the great EQ on the J3. It just takes a little tweaking to brighten up the SM3's and they sound perfect.
Apple lossless -> iphone ->Fiio L3 LOD->Fiio E7->SM3’s.
The sound of the SM3’s is smooth and detailed. I’ve never heard vocals sound so natural and clear. I find the bass accurate, tight, punchy, non fatiguing. Mids are forward, smooth and full. Treble is smooth, clear, no sibilance, non fatiguing. Soundstage is great, it sounds like you are up on stage with the band, music projecting all around you. Vocals are up front, and instrument separation is excellent.
Best of all they are very musical, you can actually feel the music (at least I can), it’s hard to explain but the sound they put out is something special.
If there’s anything I would change about them would be to make them smaller so they would fit better in my small ears. Oh yeah and make the Y part of the cable longer as I like to wear the cable down the front instead of the back. Other than that I think they are great and would highly recommend them! I would like to thank this forum, without it I would have never known of these amazing IEM's!
Here are some albums I think sound awesome on the SM3’s
Coldplay- A Rush of Blood to the Head
Lenny Kravitz Greatest Hits
Beatles- 1967-1970 Blue album
Radiohead’s Greatest Hits
Incubus- Morning View
Edit 1/7/2011: With my new J3 all my albums sound great not just those listed above!