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Top-Tier Universal IEM Comparison Chart, Frequency Response Charts, & Discussion - Page 36

post #526 of 785

My favourite thing about the new forum by far is the MUCH better PM system. Finally no need to delete PMs all the time and always watch the marker at 95-99% :P

post #527 of 785

I hate change sometimes, but I am starting to notice the positive aspects of the new & improved Head-fi.

I do miss my e-mail updates, hope they hasn't gone away for good. Pretty slick overall though, once you get used to the "cloudiness"

post #528 of 785
Thread Starter 

I didn't know the top-tier thread was now the "new head-fi appreciation thread" lol.  I am getting used to the new site, like the home page and the PM system, but dislike not being able to use my blackberry OR my iPhone to post on the site.  There go half my posts.

 

And I am thinking I the chart needs to be changed to have one IME in "top-tier" status and the rest in "near top-tier" status.  I figure most people come here to find the best reproduction of music and see what their options are.  IMO as well as a few others I know and that are on here agree the the SM3 (or other EarSonics IMEs) have the most accurate music reproduction of any IEM.  What I am hearing the others just don't do, and I have experience with most IEMs on the list. 

 

I like listening live music, regardless of what it is (well, maybe listening TSOL while trying to relax isn't a great match).  If there is a lobby piano player, band in a coffee shop, etc. I enjoy having the music.  But I wouldn't listen to the same music through my other IEMs, even though I like it.  I do have stuff I would just skip when it came up on random play most of the time and even created a "favorite" music playlist.  Well, that is no more as the SM3 recreates the presentation in a much more accurate way that brings the enjoyment of the "live" performance to me!  That is my reasoning.

 

There will probably be an uproar from people that have not heard the SM3, but please share your thoughts.

post #529 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I hate change sometimes, but I am starting to notice the positive aspects of the new & improved Head-fi.

I do miss my e-mail updates, hope they hasn't gone away for good. Pretty slick overall though, once you get used to the "cloudiness"


Ah...that explains why I haven't gotten any emails that this thread and others have replies... I just thought that is was a problem on my part. Tried to subscribe to this one and a few others the past few days and didn't think it "took" being I haven't been notified of replies. Noted now..

post #530 of 785

Hi Joe! I've enjoyed your reviews and voiced my appreciation for this thread a few times now.

 

However, I think you should be careful about annointing a single iem as "the top", as that's very subjective, different people are looking for different sounds and one person's idea of the best can be quite different than another's.

 

Of course, you could rename the thread "Average_Joe's totally subjective chart made by one person and not representative of others' listening tastes iem chart", but I'm not sure that was your intention.

 

As for people hearing or not hearing the SM3, I think your comments on that particular iem can be critiqued effectively as enjoyable but as subjective and as reliable as any other person's by looking at your take on other iems.

 

In particular, you've liked to describe your favorite iem of the moment as sounding like "live music" while all other iems sound like "recordings" of music. That's a pretty spectacular piece of hyperbole and since you're really leading with your chin when you write something like that (and then repeat it several times and for different iems) I hope you won't mind too much if someone who thinks well of you takes you to task for it. While I haven't heard the SM3, you've made the same huge (mis)statement about the ortofon e-q7, which I have. While everyone's ears are different, I am so confident that you are wrong about the e-q7 sounding like "live music" while ALL OTHER IEMS sound like listening to a recording (you see how crazy this statement is?), that I am going to say that you simply have misunderstood what your ears were telling you. They called me to complain, you see. The e-q7 has good transparency and that's what your ears heard. But they also heard the way the e-q7 has been tuned for a mid-centered sort of sound, the relaxed highs and the sort of bass that doesn't move the air in a way similar to a BA-driven earphones' bass. Your ears are smart. They know that tuning and those quirks and they know that's not quite the way live music sounds. Particularly since most live music we hear is amplified using dynamically-driven speakers. Even non-amplified music in a good acoustic chamber doesn't sound like that. Not to mention the fact that no universal iem is really going to compete with a high-end headphone in terms of things like soundstage, not to mention a home-theatre setup. It's all an approximation and one for which we all have our preferences in pretending we hear "live sound". We don't really hear live sound and a review that claims that whichever favorite iem is The One Top Iem for Everyone seems quite over the top.

 

Besides, KLS' review of the SM3 boiled down to "I wasn't impressed out of the box, but I got used to them and now I like them a lot"--which is pretty similar to a lot of people's impressions of whatever $500 earphone they've bought. I'm sure they're great, and again, I enjoy the reviews and the enthusiasm, too. The live sound thing and the idea that you're naming The Top IEM for Everyone is a bit much for me, though.

post #531 of 785

Well... we'll see how this goes as I'm sure a lot of people are very curious about average joe's opinion on the SM3 and will end up getting one and comparing back to the other current IEMs. That said, the SM3s are more expensive than the other IEMs in this list by a sizeable margin 100-150 more - so I could probably live with a bit less quality to save that much money :).

 

Looking forward to seeing how this goes though - people were swearing over the E-Q7s  just a week ago so I won't be surprised if the SM3 tide passes by just as quickly (I share the same view that BAs - unless they're like JH 16 Pro haha) probably wont product the bass I'm looking for... but if an all in one solution does truly exist(i'm also very skeptical - joe seems TOO positive about this for it to be true! :D)

 

However, if this is true - the next step will be comparing these or the custom version of the SM3 to some JH13/16s haha - would save me a great deal of money since I plan on upgrading soon :)

post #532 of 785

I would love to hear SM3 but I do not have an upgradeitis bug enough to take that kind of plunge.

 

Yes, interesting how 2-3 weeks ago the e-Q7 was the "be all end all".  I have not heard it but have owned GR8 which is almost identical.  Actually the bass is identical according to the freq response graphs and the same driver is used in both IEM's.  Great sounding IEM but I don't think it can touch W3 mainly due to lack of visiceral bass impact.  It has many great traits but the "polite" bass is a deal breaker for me, plain and simple.  Body AND weight are required to create  the realism of the presentation IMHO.

 

Great points Kunlun.  So if the objective or goal of a great IEM is to make it sound like a great headphone, would not soundstage and bass impact (within reason and clean) and a general great clarity be the leading criterias?  Me thinks this would put IE8 very high on the list.  Just a thought....


Edited by Spyro - 5/10/10 at 11:50pm
post #533 of 785

I for one am still "swearing over the E-Q7" as the "be all end all"

post #534 of 785

Agreed. Visceral impact is so important.

 

I know I look forward to dfkt's and james' observations of how the SM3's compare to the FX700, so there's more info on them.


Edited by cn11 - 5/10/10 at 11:38pm
post #535 of 785

Hmm, interesting observations, Kunlun. I was planning on getting these based on joe's overwhelmingly positive impressions, but you opened up my eyes a little.

post #536 of 785


Quote:

Originally Posted by cn11 View Post

Agreed. Visceral impact is so important.

 

I know I look forward to dfkt's and james' observations of how the SM3's compare to the FX700, so there's more info on them.


Yes, me too. There are too few reviews about the SM3 to draw any definitive conclusions just yet. And of course, let's not forget the 'honeymoon' period all earphones go through 

post #537 of 785

Agreed. And though this is just a guess, I'd wager that dfkt won't be nearly so enamored with the sm3 as joe has been. He also likes natural, visceral bass as opposed to the polite type.

 

P.S. I really miss BBCode. It is annoying to constantly have to go through steps just for a smiley icon.

post #538 of 785

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunlun View Post

Hi Joe! I've enjoyed your reviews and voiced my appreciation for this thread a few times now.

 

However, I think you should be careful about annointing a single iem as "the top", as that's very subjective, different people are looking for different sounds and one person's idea of the best can be quite different than another's.

 

Of course, you could rename the thread "Average_Joe's totally subjective chart made by one person and not representative of others' listening tastes iem chart", but I'm not sure that was your intention.

 

As for people hearing or not hearing the SM3, I think your comments on that particular iem can be critiqued effectively as enjoyable but as subjective and as reliable as any other person's by looking at your take on other iems.

 

In particular, you've liked to describe your favorite iem of the moment as sounding like "live music" while all other iems sound like "recordings" of music. That's a pretty spectacular piece of hyperbole and since you're really leading with your chin when you write something like that (and then repeat it several times and for different iems) I hope you won't mind too much if someone who thinks well of you takes you to task for it. While I haven't heard the SM3, you've made the same huge (mis)statement about the ortofon e-q7, which I have. While everyone's ears are different, I am so confident that you are wrong about the e-q7 sounding like "live music" while ALL OTHER IEMS sound like listening to a recording (you see how crazy this statement is?), that I am going to say that you simply have misunderstood what your ears were telling you. They called me to complain, you see. The e-q7 has good transparency and that's what your ears heard. But they also heard the way the e-q7 has been tuned for a mid-centered sort of sound, the relaxed highs and the sort of bass that doesn't move the air in a way similar to a BA-driven earphones' bass. Your ears are smart. They know that tuning and those quirks and they know that's not quite the way live music sounds. Particularly since most live music we hear is amplified using dynamically-driven speakers. Even non-amplified music in a good acoustic chamber doesn't sound like that. Not to mention the fact that no universal iem is really going to compete with a high-end headphone in terms of things like soundstage, not to mention a home-theatre setup. It's all an approximation and one for which we all have our preferences in pretending we hear "live sound". We don't really hear live sound and a review that claims that whichever favorite iem is The One Top Iem for Everyone seems quite over the top.

 

Besides, KLS' review of the SM3 boiled down to "I wasn't impressed out of the box, but I got used to them and now I like them a lot"--which is pretty similar to a lot of people's impressions of whatever $500 earphone they've bought. I'm sure they're great, and again, I enjoy the reviews and the enthusiasm, too. The live sound thing and the idea that you're naming The Top IEM for Everyone is a bit much for me, though.


If you read more precisely, it took me a good 3 weeks to like them

 

To be honest, although I love my SM3, I neutral @average_joe's passion on them by saying negative things on them. Those negative comments is true to me and I hear it with my own ears (using the stock foam tips). My intention is to make sure people understand though SM3 is a good IEM, it doesn't mean they are perfect for everyone. (My vocabulary is very limited, can't think of other words other than 'neutral' and 'passion'). I don't mean any offense to @average_joe, I appreciate his great work on this top-tier thread and he shares his thoughts with me on the choices of tips to use with SM3. I believe his ears, he has a whole bunch of top-tier IEMs, and been doing comparison of IEMs here and there in this forum.

 

However, I was taken aback when @average_joe recommends people SM3 without asking their music taste or sound signature preference. Yes I like the accuracy of SM3, so as @average_joe, but not everyone in Head-Fi is going to share the same preference. @average_joe's intention is good, he just want to share something he likes very much with this community. Recently, I realised that some newcomers stumbled up in this forum will eventually ask about SM3. To me, SM3 is a pair great phones, but it doesn't mean that they are the only great IEMs available. I am not surprised if somebody got them and regretting buying them. (By the way, just want to say that SM3 is very tips dependent.) @average_joe did ask me is SM3 a step up compared to others IEMs I have, if you are interested in what I (= 'a premature audiophile, or never have the qualification to be an audiophile') answred, go through the SM3 thread :P

 

I am waiting for @dfkt and @james thoughts on them, as well as @shigzeo who is going to make a review on them I think. As we all know, they are great people with great experience, so is @avergae_joe, and hope that their comments or review are going to clear things up.


Edited by KLS - 5/11/10 at 3:42am
post #539 of 785

Valid points all the way around, but I don't begrudge Joe for loving the SM3. I think he has said several times for his ears they are the best, and I believe them. Base on what he and others have typed, I would like to hear them, but I haven't felt like I want to plop down $400 on them. As for people swearing about the e-Q7 just months ago, some of you guys must not be reading the e-Q7 thread anymore. It seems like the same people loving the e-Q7 (me being one of them) are still raving about them. But we all know that the e-Q7 isn't for everyone. I love the FX700 and the Miles Davis, but haven't stopped loving the e-Q7 (although the FX700 is becoming my favorite out of the three). Nothing I've said about the e-Q7 has changed. I think some head-fiers want others to make up their minds for them. It's great to get advice, but that's all it should be take as. Many of you must not be lazy and really read when experienced head-fiers describe sound signatures in detail. First you must decide if that sound signature is for you, but I also think you should try to listen to as many as possible if it won't break your bank. Like I've tried the TF10 and realized it wasn't for me. I liked the ES530 okay, but I grew out of it. The FX700 is what I thought the IE8 should sound like, but the IE8 is still a very good IEM. Do your homework people, and don't get mad at people for their opinions either way. Ultimately it's up to you to find what's right for you. Happy listening.

post #540 of 785

Well I think it is just that joe has found the perfect iem for him. While it may not be for everyone it sounds like it is just right for him. I have that with the CK10 and pretty happy with it.

 

Regarding the e-Q7 I feel it is a very good pair of earphones but not for everyone. If the signature it has suits you then I would imagine you would like it a lot.

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