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 themselves be due to "feedback"/bandwagon effect]).
I let them burn in over 100 hrs, but sound charac. did not change all that much (compared to dynamics). For important-to-a-balanced-review reasons, I also waited several months (post-purchase) to post this review. (I withdrew participating in this models dedicated thread to disconnect from emotional bias).
No beating around the bush ... HUGELY DISAPPOINTED (especially after so many glowing reviews)!! ...
This model's worst sonic aspects: pronounced, fwd metallic+UNnatural treble; too mids fwd FR (waiting for measurements; suspect it may indicate diffuse field curve); compressed dynamics (esp. macro-dynamics); poor on harmonically-complex + dynamic music (e.g. Mahler, Enigma); lack of PRAT (pace, rhythm, acceleration, timing --- e.g., the subjective ability to induce toe-tapping); sonics change too drastically based on tip type.
Even with relatively big discount from SoundEarphones, I now consider them way over-priced.
OKAY FOR: chamber music, slow jazz, ambient/space electronic. NOT GOOD FOR: Big band, large orch., complex multitrack (Enigma, Delerium, Way Out West)
More later ... meanwhile, see the SM3 v2 thread for some of my other comments.
For roughly the past 2 mos., I've been listening to the SM3v2 with their in-line (fabric) filters removed. Although this made the sound quite forward and detailed (some may even qualify it as "shouty"), filter removal pretty much makes me retract most of my above criticisms. My long-time fave IEM, the IE-8, now takes a back seat in most departments INCLUDING bass. The BIGGEST improvement was my pet peeve (and what I feel many head-/earphones lack in): PRAT.
See my posting on SM3 filters here.
BOTTOM LINE: The SM3v2 is my go-to IEM!