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Top-Tier Universal IEM Comparison Chart, Frequency Response Charts, & Discussion - Page 30

post #436 of 785
I really like forward mids. I wonder why people don't. These make the best mids as long as it doesn't get harsh (stays liquid) and has decent bass and treble to go with it.

Can anyone comment about the mids of the se530 vs. sm3 vs. MD?
I'm pretty sure the se530's mids are more forward but are they better than the other two mids? The sm3 sounds very interesting right now.
post #437 of 785
I have a question: if you have only one pair of phones, and listen to this pair all the time (in the meantime never listen to any other phones, radio, television, or concert, or better still shut yourself in a room just you and your phones and your source), could you tell how it sounds? I mean are you able to say that the mids are recessed, too much bass, muddy, etc...
post #438 of 785
^
I've had only one pair of phones the majority of the time but I would say yes. However after a period of time you do get used to the sound so you may not notice it as much but if you are looking for it you should be able to tell.
post #439 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
@average_joe, I remember reading somewhere regarding micro and macro detail...I have forgotten their 'definition' Mind explaining to a noob like me
Micro-detail is the fine details in the music such as the pluck of a string on a harp or the tap of the stick on the edge of the drum at the same time as the drum note. All with location information! Or intricate details in electronic music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Interesting impressions, thanks Joe! Sounds to me like the SM3 have more forward mids, because you're saying they sound fuller and calling the FX700 lean in comparison. This cannot be due to bass presence, because the JVCs have plenty of upper bass and give vocals enough chest. To my ears the mids on the FX700 are quite natural (a main ingredient of their great timbre) and neither lacking nor obtrusive. That's why I wonder, is the SM3's midrange comparable to the SE530 or CK100 (read: very forward)?
First, my definition of mid-forward is the mids are placed closer to you than the rest of the spectrum, and being laid back is defined as the opposite. I term the FX700 laid back, the SE530/GR8 mid-forward (I am going by the SE530 off memory, and believe the GR8 has a very similar sound signature). The e-Q7 is a little mid-forward; the SM3 is as close to neutral as I have heard.

This to me is one of those things where everything seems great until you hear something better. I remember thinking just how good the NE-7M was, how could things get any better. And then I heard the PFE!

Then there is location of the presentation. Laid back usually translates to being further back in the audience, and mid-forward translates to being up front and personal with the focal point of the music. That is how I hear the FX700...further back in the audience. And the GR8/e-Q7 are all up close, yet vary specifically in exactly where depending on the song. The SM3 is closer to the e-Q7/GR8 than the FM700.

For me the SM3 balance across the spectrum has been redefined neutral for me. Now you may or may not like the way the music is presented, and prefer a laid back, more distant presentation, or a more up close and personal presentation of some of the others, but for me, the SM3 hits home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post
@avarage joe, great impressions ,thanks joe
No prob...more coming when time permits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by twrmnd View Post
What are some iems that have good bass? I was thinking about getting the monster turbine pro copper but i was wondering if anything could compare to those.
SM3

Quote:
Originally Posted by h1a8 View Post
I really like forward mids. I wonder why people don't. These make the best mids as long as it doesn't get harsh (stays liquid) and has decent bass and treble to go with it.

Can anyone comment about the mids of the se530 vs. sm3 vs. MD?
I'm pretty sure the se530's mids are more forward but are they better than the other two mids? The sm3 sounds very interesting right now.
I will compare the SM3 and the MD at some point in the near future! And since the GR8 is very close to the SE530 in mids IMO, I will also be comparing those, and you can hopefully extrapolate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I have a question: if you have only one pair of phones, and listen to this pair all the time (in the meantime never listen to any other phones, radio, television, or concert, or better still shut yourself in a room just you and your phones and your source), could you tell how it sounds? I mean are you able to say that the mids are recessed, too much bass, muddy, etc...
You could tell in general, and would probably be happy if you like the sound sig. If I didn't get the SM3, the FX700 would seem so much better to me! And when I just grab an IEM and don't compare, they usually sound excellent (at this top tier level). Although I do experience, how shall I say this, excitement/emotion with the SM3 I don't with my other IEMs!
post #440 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
I agree with you. And I hear the FX700 as similar to the Coppers in that respect, since the Copper's vocals are also neither lacking nor intrusive. They're just nicely balanced (for my preferences). I'm not actually a fan of overly forward mids, so anything more forwards than the Coppers or FX700 would probably be borderline annoying for me. If the FX700 vocals sound lean in comparison to the SM3 - I know for a fact I would hate the SM3.
Lol @your conclusion, I thought along these lines when reading Joe's impressions, but didn't want to put it so bluntly. Of course you realized that my question regarding the SE530 and CK100 hinted in the same direction. Now his comparison to the e-Q7 puts it a bit more in perspective. I do not mind the slight mid-forwardness of the e-Q7. But if the SM3 are less mid-forward than the Ortofons and at the same time much more forward than the FX700 - TBO, I'm not really able to imagine how they would sound then. Anyway, Joe said he has not yet come to a conclusion and I see he started a thread for the SM3s, so soon we'll know more...
post #441 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
I am thinking of doing a comparison of the SM3 with everything else, including the MDs which I just received on loan, but am not motivated right now and have time constraints. I have done some comparing with some IEMs, but the SM3, my Arrow, and my ears don't seem to get along all that well, so I have been using different sources with the SM3 than with my others. I do have a bunch of new sources/amps on the way.

I will post some thoughts in the near future and as well as update the chart.
Scratch the Arrow not working with the SM3...either the MC triple flange tips were bending in my ears and/or a lot of burn in occurred with the crossover/cable

OK, where was I with the FX700vs. the SM3...oh yea, bass (and I am almost out of time). First, BA IEMs can produce great bass with reverb, as I initially heard with the UE11 universal at a Can Jam. The SM3 follows suit. So which has better bass between the FX700 and SM3? Depends on what you want. They both have commanding, impactful bass that extends deep. The FX700 has more bass emphasis than the SM3 with slightly longer reverb (and I do mean not by much; the SM3 is no CK10), but the SM3 bass is faster and has more detail. Tips of course play their part, as I am using the white MC super tips with the FX700 and foam with the SM3.

So, how do these two stack up, and what conclusions do I have?

They are both great with different sound signatures/presentations, so owning both isn't a bad thing if your wallet can handle it. If you like enhanced, reverberant bass, the FX700 might be the king, but if you want close to the impact and reverb with added detail and speed, you have another choice. Personally I prefer the SM3 due to what I hear as technical superiority in space, instrument separation, micro-detail, and realism.

More comparisons in the near future...
post #442 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
Micro-detail is the fine details in the music such as the pluck of a string on a harp or the tap of the stick on the edge of the drum at the same time as the drum note. All with location information! Or intricate details in electronic music.
Thanks for the explanation! Although I couldn't remember correctly, the 'definition'I have read is difference from yours. Search function couldn't help me this time...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post
^
I've had only one pair of phones the majority of the time but I would say yes. However after a period of time you do get used to the sound so you may not notice it as much but if you are looking for it you should be able to tell.
This is the scariest part. I used IE8 and never bother other IEMs I have for about half a year, then I bought myself a CK10. In the half year's time I didn't understand why people keep saying IE8 having veiled mids and muddy, until I got CK10 I understand what they mean...

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
You could tell in general, and would probably be happy if you like the sound sig. If I didn't get the SM3, the FX700 would seem so much better to me! And when I just grab an IEM and don't compare, they usually sound excellent (at this top tier level). Although I do experience, how shall I say this, excitement/emotion with the SM3 I don't with my other IEMs!
Yes definitely, in my opinion Dissatisfaction occurs if you compared...
post #443 of 785

Tsengsta

Hey where would you put the original turbines?
post #444 of 785
Hey where would you put the original turbines?
post #445 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by the search never ends View Post
^^^^ soozie....does the new sleek SA7 interest you at all?
Of course. Are they are made of chocolate?

Actually, no. I haven't thought about them at all. I'm quite 'busy' with the Coppers and JVC at the moment and i haven't heard a lot of feedback about the SA7 (unless I missed some huge appreciation thread!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by h1a8 View Post
I really like forward mids. I wonder why people don't. These make the best mids as long as it doesn't get harsh (stays liquid) and has decent bass and treble to go with it.
Lots of people like forward mids since that's supposed to be where most of the music lies. But I find if they're too forward (UM3X for example) that it becomes intrusive and I feel like I'm being shouted at. The MD's have pretty forward mids, but I found the lack of treble sparkle (as opposed to the Coppers, CK10 and TF10) left me wanting more, despite the nice vocals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Lol @your conclusion, I thought along these lines when reading Joe's impressions, but didn't want to put it so bluntly. Of course you realized that my question regarding the SE530 and CK100 hinted in the same direction. Now his comparison to the e-Q7 puts it a bit more in perspective. I do not mind the slight mid-forwardness of the e-Q7. But if the SM3 are less mid-forward than the Ortofons and at the same time much more forward than the FX700 - TBO, I'm not really able to imagine how they would sound then. Anyway, Joe said he has not yet come to a conclusion and I see he started a thread for the SM3s, so soon we'll know more...
I loved the e-Q7 mids and found them just forward enough without grating on my nerves. So yes, it's hard to imagine what the SM3 mids are like if they're 'much more' forward than the FX700 and less forward than the e-Q7, since I don't find the FX700's to be thin or lacking or recessed

This is where your 'percentages expert' could have come in handy if it hadn't been for the volcanic ash disruption

Joe - I think my interpretation of 'laid back' is different to yours. You seem to be saying that laid back means further away from the audience? Whereas I think of it as a sound signature and not presentation. For example, the IE8 is laid back, because they're warm, bassy, and although they have good enough treble detail - it doesn't sparkle at all. The UM3X are laid back too, even though they're mid-forward - there's no 'bite' to the overall sound. So my understanding of laid back isn't the same as yours.

By the way, how much of your listening is done with amps? Are most of your reviews based on amped or ampless?
post #446 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsengsta View Post
Hey where would you put the original turbines?
Sound-wise, the Turbines are a good value for their price, and sound even better when amped - in my case with the Icon Mobile, which happens to be a bright amp so it matches the bassy Turbines well. However, the build quality is worse than all the other earphones on the chart. Although I have no experience with any other Monster earphones, I highly doubt the Turbine can be considered truly 'top-tier,' especially as that would make the Turbine Pro and Miles Davis earphones totally redundant. I would put them a step below the 'top-tier' earphones on the chart.
post #447 of 785

Re0 vs Turbines?

How would the original turbines compare to the Re0s?
post #448 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsengsta View Post
How would the original turbines compare to the Re0s?
Those are two polar opposites in earphones. You're better off comparing the Turbines to the Denon C751s. But although I haven't heard it, RE0 is probably much clearer with a treble, as opposed to bass, focus.

Excuse my bluntness, but I recommend you start a new thread instead of continuing to make off-topic posts in this one.

If you're asking questions about a purchasing decision, just get the Turbines if you like bass or the RE0s for treble emphasis.
post #449 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Lol @your conclusion, I thought along these lines when reading Joe's impressions, but didn't want to put it so bluntly. Of course you realized that my question regarding the SE530 and CK100 hinted in the same direction. Now his comparison to the e-Q7 puts it a bit more in perspective. I do not mind the slight mid-forwardness of the e-Q7. But if the SM3 are less mid-forward than the Ortofons and at the same time much more forward than the FX700 - TBO, I'm not really able to imagine how they would sound then. Anyway, Joe said he has not yet come to a conclusion and I see he started a thread for the SM3s, so soon we'll know more...
Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
Lots of people like forward mids since that's supposed to be where most of the music lies. But I find if they're too forward (UM3X for example) that it becomes intrusive and I feel like I'm being shouted at. The MD's have pretty forward mids, but I found the lack of treble sparkle (as opposed to the Coppers, CK10 and TF10) left me wanting more, despite the nice vocals.

I loved the e-Q7 mids and found them just forward enough without grating on my nerves. So yes, it's hard to imagine what the SM3 mids are like if they're 'much more' forward than the FX700 and less forward than the e-Q7, since I don't find the FX700's to be thin or lacking or recessed

This is where your 'percentages expert' could have come in handy if it hadn't been for the volcanic ash disruption

Joe - I think my interpretation of 'laid back' is different to yours. You seem to be saying that laid back means further away from the audience? Whereas I think of it as a sound signature and not presentation. For example, the IE8 is laid back, because they're warm, bassy, and although they have good enough treble detail - it doesn't sparkle at all. The UM3X are laid back too, even though they're mid-forward - there's no 'bite' to the overall sound. So my understanding of laid back isn't the same as yours.
OK, let me start by saying I (you) need to rethink how to describe typical IEM presentation. The MDs, e-Q7, GR8, IE8, FX700, CK10, etc. present the music to you, the SM3 involves you with the music, immersing you and shifting position to wherever the mics were placed. I can’t answer the question “is it more forward than IEM X?” because the SM3 has the ability to shift it’s presentation convincingly depending on what is in the music in a way my other IEMs don't. With the SM3 sometimes you are listening from the drummer’s perspective, sometimes from the singer, sometimes from a point in the audience. I have heard all sorts of locations depending on the song, and the variance in location is much larger than with my other IEMs. Also, the space of the SM3 is simply much larger and has much more versatility/ability to present the recording accurately in space.

To me, there are two parts of presentation (positioning): absolute and relative. Absolute is where you are sitting in the audience. The back of a jazz club (IE8) I would term laid back, staring the vocalist in the face (SE530) I would call forward. Relative is how each part of the spectrum is placed relative to the other. For example, I think the FX700 bass is closer to you than the mids, therefore laid back refers to laid back mids in comparison. The GR8 mids seem to be closer to you than the bass and treble, therefore they are mid-forward. Of course, each track is going to adjust both absolute and relative positioning of each IEM. That is how it makes sense to me.

For example, while the MD sounds very nice, it is mid forward, like there are speakers presenting the music to me up close and personal. Putting the SM3 in makes me feel like I am in the recording studio (for this track, Destiny's Child). The space created is so much better front to back and top to bottom, not to mention side to side, the presentation of the SM3 can start more forward than the MD and end further back than the MD, depending on parts of the song. The IE8 did sound like I was at the back of a jazz club, regardless of the music. I don’t think the SM3 will be able to present music like that, although I might have just not found the right track yet! Maybe I need to get my Butthole Surfers bootleg CD out and see how that sounds.

Oh, and the SM3 bass makes the MD bass sound flabby, yet not as powerful! The SM3 bass is as amazing to my ears as the space. Yes, the FX700 bass is close, but not as tight, refined, or quick, but with a little more emphasis.

In summary the SM3 sounds like it creates a presentation around the point of where the mics were positioned and other IEMs present in a more 2D plane (or line). I am not saying there is no front to back info with other IEMs, but relative to the SM3 the space seems compressed, therefore the instrument sounds are also compressed. I didn’t notice/think so until the SM3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
By the way, how much of your listening is done with amps? Are most of your reviews based on amped or ampless?
If you read my Copper review, I used a multitude of sources from DAPs to amped DACs/DAPs/Sound card

In general, I do my critical listening with the best source I can, or the combo I choose to use at the time. I believe in order to truly hear just how good an IEM like the SM3 is, you need components in the path that do not impose limits. What I mean by that is, if the music has the spatial information, hopefully your DAC can recreate that in analog. Then, if the DAC does a good job, I want the other components such as amps and capacitors in the chain to not constrict the spatial information or degrade the signal quality.

I have been listening my iPhone tonight and the SM3, as shigzeo said, actually sounds very good straight from the HPO. It also sounds surprisingly good from my Fuze HPO, but not especially good from my 5.5g HPO when compared to my other source/amp options, but hey, not bad.

And would you like it SQ? I really don't know, but I wouldn't come to a conclusion without hearing it, as it is not like your typical mid-forward presentation of say the MD or SE530. And people don't shout at you with the SM3 (unless you are listening to Rammstein), they smoothly sing to you! Don't buy it on my account! Maybe as others buy and comment, it may seem like something you may want.

Not sure how much that cleared things up, but hopefully other SM3 owners can chime in and offer their thoughts, similar or different. And if you check the SM3 Appreciation thread, shigzeo does talk about the presentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsengsta View Post
Hey where would you put the original turbines?
Not on my chart

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345142 View Post
Those are two polar opposites in earphones. You're better off comparing the Turbines to the Denon C751s. But although I haven't heard it, RE0 is probably much clearer with a treble, as opposed to bass, focus.

Excuse my bluntness, but I recommend you start a new thread instead of continuing to make off-topic posts in this one.

If you're asking questions about a purchasing decision, just get the Turbines if you like bass or the RE0s for treble emphasis.
Great response, thank you!
post #450 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
Joe - I think my interpretation of 'laid back' is different to yours. You seem to be saying that laid back means further away from the audience? Whereas I think of it as a sound signature and not presentation. For example, the IE8 is laid back, because they're warm, bassy, and although they have good enough treble detail - it doesn't sparkle at all. The UM3X are laid back too, even though they're mid-forward - there's no 'bite' to the overall sound. So my understanding of laid back isn't the same as yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
OK, let me start by saying I (you) need to rethink how to describe typical IEM presentation. The MDs, e-Q7, GR8, IE8, FX700, CK10, etc. present the music to you, the SM3 involves you with the music, immersing you and shifting position to wherever the mics were placed. I can’t answer the question “is it more forward than IEM X?” because the SM3 has the ability to shift it’s presentation convincingly depending on what is in the music in a way my other IEMs don't. With the SM3 sometimes you are listening from the drummer’s perspective, sometimes from the singer, sometimes from a point in the audience. I have heard all sorts of locations depending on the song, and the variance in location is much larger than with my other IEMs. Also, the space of the SM3 is simply much larger and has much more versatility/ability to present the recording accurately in space.

To me, there are two parts of presentation (positioning): absolute and relative. Absolute is where you are sitting in the audience. The back of a jazz club (IE8) I would term laid back, staring the vocalist in the face (SE530) I would call forward. Relative is how each part of the spectrum is placed relative to the other. For example, I think the FX700 bass is closer to you than the mids, therefore laid back refers to laid back mids in comparison. The GR8 mids seem to be closer to you than the bass and treble, therefore they are mid-forward. Of course, each track is going to adjust both absolute and relative positioning of each IEM. That is how it makes sense to me.

For example, while the MD sounds very nice, it is mid forward, like there are speakers presenting the music to me up close and personal. Putting the SM3 in makes me feel like I am in the recording studio (for this track, Destiny's Child). The space created is so much better front to back and top to bottom, not to mention side to side, the presentation of the SM3 can start more forward than the MD and end further back than the MD, depending on parts of the song. The IE8 did sound like I was at the back of a jazz club, regardless of the music. I don’t think the SM3 will be able to present music like that, although I might have just not found the right track yet! Maybe I need to get my Butthole Surfers bootleg CD out and see how that sounds.

Oh, and the SM3 bass makes the MD bass sound flabby, yet not as powerful! The SM3 bass is as amazing to my ears as the space. Yes, the FX700 bass is close, but not as tight, refined, or quick, but with a little more emphasis.

In summary the SM3 sounds like it creates a presentation around the point of where the mics were positioned and other IEMs present in a more 2D plane (or line). I am not saying there is no front to back info with other IEMs, but relative to the SM3 the space seems compressed, therefore the instrument sounds are also compressed. I didn’t notice/think so until the SM3.
Joe, thanks for your detailed effort to bring light into this matter, though I must admit you've kind of lost me along the way.

I can relate to soozieq's interpretation, but to my ears your explanation sounds like you're mixing up sound signature (e.g. forwardness of a frequency range) and soundstaging/positioning (e.g. closeness to the stage). There are of course some dependences between these aspects, but IMO they are basically different sonic parameters.

Bottom line, maybe I'd have to hear the SM3 for myself to get a better understanding of what you mean, because they seem to have such an unusual presentation...
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