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Top-Tier Universal IEM Comparison Chart, Frequency Response Charts, & Discussion - Page 35

post #511 of 785
So, what happen to that Iponderous guy? He is one critical guy...
post #512 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post
I'm with James. Nothing I've read about the SM3 has made me go "wow, I really need to hear these or buy these IEMs." Like, the timbre discussed in the FX700 and natural soundness that they allegedly possessed grabbed my attention, and boy! I am glad it did! But nothing seems really thrilling about the SM3 to me, although I am glad some of my fellow head-fiers are enjoying them. Now, the FX700 has really opened up for me with about 60 hours of burn in, and I'm blown away. The soundstage is ever wider and if not at that of the IE8, it's knocking at the door. But then there are some micro details beginning to push all that glorious natural sound. To make, it will take a lot for the Radius to live up to the FX700, but in a few days time will review if they come anywhere near. The FX700 - to me - is a mixture of how I dreamed the IE8, TF10 and Es530 would sound as one cohesive IEM. Don't get me wrong, I still love the Miles Davis, but a totally different sound signature and I love it for different reasons.
I am sorry to see all this SM3 doubt without hearing it. To my knowledge, I am the only person on head-fi that has heard the FX700 and SM3 (as well as e-Q7), and while I completely agree that one data point should not result in wholesale decisions, there are more EarSonics supporters. The people that have heard Earsonics IEMs don't doubt their merit, and most agree with their superiority. Here and here for example.

Rereading the EM3Pro thread, I came across this quote and this quote, both which mirror my SM3 experience.
Quote:
Real space, spatial precision, livable air and weather, are things that come into my mind in the subjective description of their soundstage, I hear the space around the instruments, I can imagine the size of the venue, its air and its atmosphere, its really unique. So yes, the soundstage is different in both, one more expansive and the other more realistic, same goes for the imaging.
Quote:
The EM3pro renders the space around instruments and the performance in a very realistic way, if you are listening to a string quartet in a small hall you will hear the size of the hall, if you are listening to a large concert in a stadium you will hear the stadium. In other words the soundstage is flexible! it can be intimate and it can be expansive. It might be that their neutrality allows them to do this...
This is one of the many things that makes the SM3 sound better, more realistic, and have better 'timbre' than any other IEM I have heard. Hey, I too thought the FX700 sounded incredible...until the SM3 The space described above in the quotes makes the FX700's space sound compressed.

The FX700 can 'gain additional clarity in lower male voices by EQing down the upper bass a bit' and 'don't quite disappear like the e-Q7.' Again, I own all 3, e-Q7, FX700, and SM3 and have spend hours comparing and find the SM3 sounds more real (has more natural timbre) than the FX700 with e-Q7 level transparency, among other things. I actually think the e-Q7 sound more 'real' than the FX700, but the FX700 has a fun factor the e-Q7 doesn't. The only weakness I am hearing with the SM3 is that it doesn't have the lower mid clarity of the CK10, but what does? The SM3 has the fun factor of the FX700 in a real way! And what I have heard compelled me to list my e-Q7 and FX700 for sale, which I did not think I would do.

@ James444: Just because a BA IEM sounds one way at the beginning doesn't mean it stays that way. Here, here, here, here, and my own experiences lead me to believe they are changing. Also, a co-worker of mine listened when I first got them and after 200 hours of use and told me (without me saying anything to him) exactly what I was thinking about the too warm sound going away I believe my experience along with these other. I guess you will be hearing it soon enough, and I am looking forward to your surprise

I haven't felt this strongly about an IEM since the IE8, which I received after my 3rd month on head-fi. Back then I was comparing to much lower quality IEMs. My current stable makes the IE8 sound average at best, except for the soundstage width. The SM3 makes those other IEMs sound forgettable. I am bringing this info to you so you can share in the enjoyment! I am looking forward to hearing from new owners in the SM3 appreciation thread!
post #513 of 785

Wow @ Joe! Okay, that is the most passionate case I have seen made for the SM3. Hopefully I will find a place in the states where I can actually hear them. I have no doubt - and sorry if I seemed  to imply otherwise - that you hear the SM3 exactly the way you say you hear them. I don't know? I use to be a strong believer in BA over dynamic (was content with the ES530 for the longest and the HF5 and e_Q7 - I know it's a hybrid). Then I got the IE8, Monsters and FX700 and my earphone listening world was rocked. So I'm slow to thinking the BAs can match the natural timbre of the dynamic drivers now. I do subscribe to the notion, however, that BAs go through some type of burn in. I have no doubt that the ES530 got better and better after hundreds of hours of burn in. But after I get the Radius I'm going to chill for a long spell on IEMs. I may  still get the cheaper Eytmotic MC5 if it's ever released in the near future. Now, if I somehow hit upon a nice bundle of cash (extra cash), I think I may then (and only then) give the SM3s a whirl. Whatever they sound like, I can't see myself ever selling my FX700, Miles Davis and e-Q7. I just find those enjoyable individually on various levels. but I'm glad you have found the one @ Joe. I think most of us in this hobby are always searching for "the one" in a tangible or intangible manner. Nice impressions above @ Joe.

post #514 of 785
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Wow @ Joe! Okay, that is the most passionate case I have seen made for the SM3. Hopefully I will find a place in the states where I can actually hear them. I have no doubt - and sorry if I seemed  to imply otherwise - that you hear the SM3 exactly the way you say you hear them. I don't know? I use to be a strong believer in BA over dynamic (was content with the ES530 for the longest and the HF5 and e_Q7 - I know it's a hybrid). Then I got the IE8, Monsters and FX700 and my earphone listening world was rocked. So I'm slow to thinking the BAs can match the natural timbre of the dynamic drivers now. I do subscribe to the notion, however, that BAs go through some type of burn in. I have no doubt that the ES530 got better and better after hundreds of hours of burn in. But after I get the Radius I'm going to chill for a long spell on IEMs. I may  still get the cheaper Eytmotic MC5 if it's ever released in the near future. Now, if I somehow hit upon a nice bundle of cash (extra cash), I think I may then (and only then) give the SM3s a whirl. Whatever they sound like, I can't see myself ever selling my FX700, Miles Davis and e-Q7. I just find those enjoyable individually on various levels. but I'm glad you have found the one @ Joe. I think most of us in this hobby are always searching for "the one" in a tangible or intangible manner. Nice impressions above @ Joe.


Thanks Eric.  I personally hear the merits of dynamics vs the 'other' BAs I have heard, but to me the SM3 is a totally different beast.  I want to say it all starts with the great space/stage that was described so well by GuyDebord, but it is more than that as the whole spectrum is put together so well with ample bass weight and liquid sound.  This is not your analytical BA, but it does have all the detail!  And sure, I don't know how the SM3 compares with the EM3Pro, and I would imagine the EM3Pro is better, but those quotes describe what I am hearing.  If it is better, wow.  And as much as I like the e-Q7 and FX700, they just don't have that magic.  And my e-Q7 and CK10 are both gone...no regrets.  And I would have never sold my e-Q7 before the SM3.

 

I am glad you have found 3 and possibly 4 IEMs that do it for you.  I will be looking forward to your thoughts on the Radius compared to the other three (now that I have had time with the MDs).  Cheers.

post #515 of 785

Hey average_Joe, what kind of tips on SM3 give you the best sound? or does it not depend on the type of tips used?

post #516 of 785

No doubt @Joe's assessment here either. I believe I even linked to some of your own posts. But as we all seem to agree, when it comes to chosing among top-tier IEMs, personal preference plays a decisive role. We didn't hear the CK10 the same way and from what I've read I just won't rule it out for the SM3 either. For example, I can't imagine I would enjoy listening to music from the position of the drummer - yet maybe I will when I actually hear them, who knows. Thankfully we're not discussing some fundamentalist religion, it's just about IEMs, so let's take it easy. smiley

post #517 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 Thankfully we're not discussing some fundamentalist religion, it's just about IEMs, so let's take it easy. smiley


Blasphemy!!

post #518 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

 Then I got the IE8, Monsters and FX700 and my earphone listening world was rocked. So I'm slow to thinking the BAs can match the natural timbre of the dynamic drivers now. 


I personally prefer not to judge headphones on their technologies. There are plenty of dynamic headphones with poor timber accuracy around there (and I would include the IE8 with them IMHO :)).

 

Eh, I even read somewhere a few Stax are able to do a very convincing bass punch, which is supposedly a weakness of electrostats, so I would just not bother about BA vs dynamics !

post #519 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by koonhua90 View Post

Hey average_Joe, what kind of tips on SM3 give you the best sound? or does it not depend on the type of tips used?


My personal favorite is the MC triple flange over olive cores, which gives me a lively sound.  When I use a shallower insertion tip, there is a little more treble, but then the dynamics are a little less.  I do have some tips coming from sensorcom that will hopefully arrive this week.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

No doubt @Joe's assessment here either. I believe I even linked to some of your own posts. But as we all seem to agree, when it comes to chosing among top-tier IEMs, personal preference plays a decisive role. We didn't hear the CK10 the same way and from what I've read I just won't rule it out for the SM3 either. For example, I can't imagine I would enjoy listening to music from the position of the drummer - yet maybe I will when I actually hear them, who knows. Thankfully we're not discussing some fundamentalist religion, it's just about IEMs, so let's take it easy. smiley


Yes, you linked to some of my posts from early on, during transformation!  As far as the CK10, when my IEMs consisted of many top-tier ones that had different strengths, I appreciated what the CK10 brought, and knew the trade offs, which was bass reverb.  The bass still sounded OK to me and due to the overall presentation, and what else was in the CK10 presentation, I liked it.  There were also comments of the treble sounding metallic and harsh, which I noticed to an extent, but again, a trade off for something else...imaging.  With the SM3, it images better so the CK10 is expendable.  Now another note about the SM3, to my ears the treble is second to none.  It makes the treble on all my other IEMs sound inferior, some more than others.  I hope Pianist gets the SM3 so I can hear his assessment of the SM3 treble.

 

The reason I posted the quotes from GuyDebord was to try to help explain what I am hearing from a presentation/soundstage perspective (not that the EM3Pro sounds exactly the same as the SM3, how would I know).  For example, I think the SE530 have a very forward presentation, and I really do not like it.  Mainly because all IEMs I have heard don't present the soundstage and space with the same realism as the SM3.  The e-Q7 and GR8 are a step closer to my ears, but still not in the same league.

 

Its one of those things IMO where you don't know how good something can be until you experience it, and it changes your perspective.  Is the SM3 perfect, no.  But it is a full step or even several steps closer to perfection to me compared with the other top-tier universals.  Is everyone going to prefer the sound signature?  No.  But based on technical reproduction of music, the SM3 stands head and shoulders above the others I have heard!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post




I personally prefer not to judge headphones on their technologies. There are plenty of dynamic headphones with poor timber accuracy around there (and I would include the IE8 with them IMHO :)).

 

Eh, I even read somewhere a few Stax are able to do a very convincing bass punch, which is supposedly a weakness of electrostats, so I would just not bother about BA vs dynamics !


All of the top customs are BAs.  They can really produce accurate sound with great timbre accuracy, bass with exceptional reverb, etc.  It just seems harder to do vs. stick a dynamic driver in a housing!

post #520 of 785

is it just me or is that chart in the first post really hard to read now (as in too small) with the forum changes?

post #521 of 785

Yeah the chart did get shrunken by the new forum layout. If you want to see it in it's full size you need to right-click it and open the image.

post #522 of 785

Still some quirks that need to be worked out, but overall I'm digging this new head-fi.org setup. Great job @ Jude!

post #523 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Still some quirks that need to be worked out, but overall I'm digging this new head-fi.org setup. Great job @ Jude!


++ I am loving the new looks and features too! indecision

post #524 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

is it just me or is that chart in the first post really hard to read now (as in too small) with the forum changes?


To me it's the same size, I read that this new layout cater to 16:9 widescreen monitors...The new layout makes it easier to keep tab on threads, though.

post #525 of 785

Maybe it's how I had the old forum set up. I had it so that the text box would fill up the entire computer screen horizontally. With the new forum there is that white space to the right that was used to be part of the text box so the chart is now much smaller for me. Good thing I've already seen the chart and know about most of them anyway but just something I was wondering.

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