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EarSonics SM3 v2 universal in-ear monitors

Posted

Pros: More ergonomic shell, still the same sound, replaceable cable. Very easy to drive

Cons: short y-split to earpiece length. Memory wire vshort (5-6cm?). Isolation (?) slightly less than with V1.not sure the sound is for everyone(see review)

http://www.earsonics.com/SM3%20engl.htm
v2 page.

Aside from the cable and new body, my impressions match what I had in my v1 review.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/earsonics-sm3-universal-fit-iem/reviews/4422

Otherwise, these sound about the same as v1/the new ear-piece body shape is a lot more ergonomic(seems to be a bit smaller as well, but not as easy to get a good seal... At the same time, I'd rather that, then the huge rectangular shape of V1 tearing my ear up)...

Earsonics also decided it's a bright idea to mark r-l in the same black color on the shell. So you have to squint at the earpiece, or look at the underside of the cable plug to see whether the dot is red or blue.


Now the bad things:


Cable: The memory wire is about 5cm which is a lot shorter than useful for anyone that's not a half-hobbit (about 2x of what it is or, I guess, 10cm is generally quite useful and I do wear glasses, but not when running)Furthermore, the new cable y-split length to the earpiece when worn around the ear is still stranglecious...

It's really quite appalling that Earsonics can't listen to even the most basic feedback and stop supplying short useless crap for cables unless you're a mystical creature with small ears and short neck/small head...

Well, now when your cable breaks in 6 months which it probably will because you will keep tugging it, you can just waste $50 ordering a new one, instead of $150 posting v1 there and back.

edit: I've checked the sockets and they're pretty standard IEM cable ones. To top it off, the sockets on SM3 are not recessed. The cable also solves the problem with the memory wire section being too short and annoying to be useful. You probably also want to go easy and try not to put too much pressure on the cable since they're not recessed sockets.
As for replacements - for example my SM3x6 UM reshell cable fits.

Earsonics again did not include a cable clip... Which for the RRP you probably want and would expect. As you would also expect an manual in English and maybe Chinese? Again, Earsonics only includes one in french.

The sound:
Some say it's a bit veiled... I wouldn't quite say veiled, it's just you can get a lot less 'meaty' sound smily_headphones1.gif in the mids and upper bass, or more subtle tuning that sounds more natural. The is certainly 'fun and detailed' but I'd question 'natural'. That said, I'd probably still take SM3v2 for metal smily_headphones1.gif over any HP or IEMs I own(ed)
I'm not convinced the sound is to everyone's liking - people do complain about the veil and the forwards mids. Personally, since my v1 broke, I had it reshelled/driver upgraded into SM3x6 at UMAus (tuned somewhat close to miracle, not the usual SM3x6), and it's a lot more subtle but still has ample (and deeper) bass, sweet and detailed highs and mids that aren't harsh or sibilant... I'd probably prefer the SM3x6 or Mage or Miracle to the SM3v2, despite the marked price difference and some overall loss of 'fun-factor'. (if they made universal versions biggrin.gif ).

I used to love the SM3 v1 sound, but now it seems to me like v1 and v2 have 3 distinct peaks in the FR - somewhere in mid to upper bass, in the mids (vocals and near mid-lower octaves of piano), and in the highs (cymbal hits are very ... too sharp)... I may have been converted away from SM3 completely as I now find that sort of sound a bit fatiguing.

250250.

Finally, at > $450 RRP, these are not cheap...

Posted

Pros: SQ, 3D imaging, cohesive soundstage, isolation

Cons: fit could be bad for people with small ears

 

Specs,
 
Driver - 3 drivers (3 way crossover)
Frequency response: 20 Hz -18 kHz
Impedance: 34 ohms
Sensitivity: 122 dB/mW
 
Accessories,
 
wipes, tool, soft bag, proprietary 2 pairs or silicon tips, 2 pairs of comply tips
 
Build Quality / Fit
 
The build quality I'm guessing is much better than the first version of the SM3 because I've read they had quite a few problems with them braking but I don't see much trouble with the newer version the SM3 V2.  The housing which was one of the problem areas before feels like its make of good plastics and all the seems fit perfectly.  Now there's a removable cable and its just like the ones UE and Westone use so finding replacements are easy if you have to do so.  The cable its self is pretty much just like the one on the Heir 3.Ai with the same Y split, jack and braided cable so it feels well made also.
 
Fit I could see being a problem for a small few.  The housing its self and the way the cable fits I could see people with small ears having a problem with getting them to fit comfortably.  I think you'd be able to get a good seal but were the housing rests in the inside of your ear there might not be enough space but I think most like myself would be fine.  Since they do fit me I have no problems with comfort and most shouldn't either.
 
 
Sound Quality,
 
Bass - In a word perfect, for me this is the type of bass I like.  Its got plenty of punch and depth but in a controlled way and by that I mean it never feels to light or to heavy.  There's enough punch for EDM and hip hop but its smooth enough for classical.  I like to go up just a touch in the EQ or with an amp to give it that extra little something and for me that's the perfect fit and I haven't heard many IEM's with this kind of control.  Now the Sony player I use with them has some of the best bass of any pmp I've heard but even on other players the SM3 still has the same control and feel.
 
Mids - The SM3 is know to have a more mid-centric sound but its not as forward as some that I've heard.  They don't try and push the mids in your face, they do it in a more subtle way which makes everything sound in proportion.  They isolate vocals about as well as the BA200 which is fantastic at that and midranged melodies and instruments sound perfect imo.  Most of my favorite IEM's all have that warmer signature and the SM3 is no different and imo it makes music sound more realistic than the bright analytical IEM's.  Detail is as good as anything I've heard and really I think the mids are also perfect.
 
Highs - This is how I like my highs, just enough sparkle that they sound crisp but never get to harsh but I have had a small bit of sibilance but that was do to the recording and not so much the IEM.  With EDM you get all the high frequency detail but it never over shadows the mids which is the way I think good IEM's should sound because who wants to be blasted by bright highs that take away from where 70% or even 80% or the music is.  Like with the bass and mids I also think the highs are perfect (you see where I'm going here).
 
Soundstage - Here's where the SM3 gets so much fun.  The soundstage is above average but not technically the largest I've heard, I feel the RE262 was a bit bigger though it doesn't always feel that way.  The SM3 surrounds you in the music with sounds coming from every direction and thats because it has the best 3D presentation of any IEM I've heard and I would be surprised if there's one better.  With such a good 3D presentation it can make the soundstage sound bigger than its is and at times is sounds as large as the IE8 though I know its not, its sounds strange but when you hear it you'll know what I mean.  The soundstage has become something I really focus on in an IEM and the SM3's is my favorite one by quite a bit.
 
Conclusion - Over all this is a great IEM with better build quality than the first version and with the removable cable you don't have to worry about the strain relief braking.  Now as for SQ the SM3 is the best IEM I've heard and even though its priced anywhere from $300 to $400 I think its worth every penny.  Its a great mid forward signature IEM with awesome detail and an amazing soundstage and the closest to perfect I've come across.

Posted

Pros: Great isolation, tight bass, good seperation

Cons: Can be too dark at times

I've been using them for over 6 months and I am very happy. I love the isolation.. I cycle/run with them, and they've been great. 

 

 

EarSonics SM3 v2 universal in-ear monitors
Description:

EarSonics SM3 pushes further the limits achieved by the SM2 for universal in-ears: more aeration, a wider sonic image, more defined lows and detailed highs with an incredible finesse. All of this with EarSonics' trademarked neutrality accuracy.The V2 offers new ergonomic design and replaceable cable. Specifications: Sensitivity: 122 dB/mW Frequency Response: 20 Hz -18 kHz Impedance: 34 ohms Driver: 3 drivers (3 way crossover) What's Included in the box: wipes, tool, soft bag, proprietary silicon tips, comply tips

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