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Top-Tier Universal IEM Comparison Chart, Frequency Response Charts, & Discussion - Page 39

post #571 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Just saw it @ Joe. Sorry. I don't know what it would take. I have to  ponder that question. I just think there a lot of very good IEMs out here now that do something a little differently than any other earphone. Then I think there are a an elite few that have their very own strong characteristics. This is what I get when I read about the SM3, I think this is true with the e-Q7, and is definitely true with the DDM. What I mean by this, nothing really sounded like the e-Q7 for awhile when it came out, and not much really sounds like it now. I imagine this is true about the SM3 from what I've read. Well, I can vouch for the DDM and state it's doing some things I've haven't heard in an IEM before. So I think we first need to establish some parameters such as that. But I don't think there will ever truly be one king in the universal IEM world. I could be wrong too. Time will tell.


Thanks for the answer...it isn't an easy one, which is why I posed the question.  For example, I think the SM3 does things technically better than anything else I have heard to date, but doesn't have a weakness.  I have thought that the resolution and making a low bit rate song sound like a low bit rate song, or a poorly mastered song sound bad was a weakness, but the flip side is the amazement I get with well mastered high bit rate songs. 

 

And I too didn't think that there was one top universal.  Then I heard the the e-Q7 and then the FX700 and thought they might be a cut above, but still had strengths and weaknesses when pitted against each other.  But to me (and make sure you read the to me please) the SM3 did not have any weaknesses vs. the FX700 or e-Q7 head-to-head.  I was blown away!  So much so I sold the rest, as nothing else gets ear time!

 

If anything deserves to be the one king, so far the SM3 is it from my experience.  But I have not heard all the current top-tier candidates, and there are more on the horizon.  But I am looking forward to seeing how the Radius stacks up.  And I won't be changing the chart to have just one top-tier IEM (at least just yet ) but trying to get some thought provoking posts.

post #572 of 785

I understand Joe man, I just don't believe anything is perfect no matter how good they are. Of course, something can be perfect to us as individuals. To be honest, the DDM does some things that the FX700 can't touch, but I'm still wouldn't call them better than the JVC. It still holds it own. But I like getting different things from different phones. I don't I would want to just settle on one if I did find that ONE. I'm more interested in a certain tier or bar of perfection. The DDM, e-Q7, FX700 (and I imagine SM3) have set that bar high.

post #573 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

I understand Joe man, I just don't believe anything is perfect no matter how good they are. Of course, something can be perfect to us as individuals. To be honest, the DDM does some things that the FX700 can't touch, but I'm still wouldn't call them better than the JVC. It still holds it own. But I like getting different things from different phones. I don't I would want to just settle on one if I did find that ONE. I'm more interested in a certain tier or bar of perfection. The DDM, e-Q7, FX700 (and I imagine SM3) have set that bar high.


That is the funny thing, I was thinking just like you are now.  Maybe it is just me, or my fit/tips/brain, but this so far is the ONE.  And the FX700 sounded bad to me in comparison.  Not bad as in they aren't a very capable and good sounding IEM, but bad from the perspective of something like standard definition TV vs. HDTV.  I thought the FX700 did so much so well, but also preferred some of what the e-Q7 did.  To me there is a lack of compromise with the SM3. But as I have said before, let some other owners help you along the way.  Don't rely on a single opinion (and that is what it is, my opinion/experience).  However, the other owners seem pretty happy even though they spent $400+

 

Here is a thought...what would you say the weaknesses of the FX700 and DDM are?  I personally can't find a weakness with the SM3, but I am sure others can.  Well, I guess tip dependence and length of the cable to the Y split when you first get them, as well as the included tips.  But once you find a good tip for you (as with any IEM), I just don't hear weaknesses.  dfkt and shigzeo will be writing reviews, so they may identify things I am not.  But back to the question, as I can list sonic weaknesses of the FX700, but not the SM3.  And I don't believe that is due to sound signature preference :)

post #574 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post




That is the funny thing, I was thinking just like you are now.  Maybe it is just me, or my fit/tips/brain, but this so far is the ONE.  And the FX700 sounded bad to me in comparison.  Not bad as in they aren't a very capable and good sounding IEM, but bad from the perspective of something like standard definition TV vs. HDTV.  I thought the FX700 did so much so well, but also preferred some of what the e-Q7 did.  To me there is a lack of compromise with the SM3. But as I have said before, let some other owners help you along the way.  Don't rely on a single opinion (and that is what it is, my opinion/experience).  However, the other owners seem pretty happy even though they spent $400+

 

Here is a thought...what would you say the weaknesses of the FX700 and DDM are?  I personally can't find a weakness with the SM3, but I am sure others can.  Well, I guess tip dependence and length of the cable to the Y split when you first get them, as well as the included tips.  But once you find a good tip for you (as with any IEM), I just don't hear weaknesses.  dfkt and shigzeo will be writing reviews, so they may identify things I am not.  But back to the question, as I can list sonic weaknesses of the FX700, but not the SM3.  And I don't believe that is due to sound signature preference :)


Given my experience with the SM2, let me take a guess about one potential SM3's weakness : could they share the SM2's inability to sound downright edgy / ugly / dirty when you'd like them to sound so ? I personaly find my SM2 too refined on some cheaply recorded grunge / garage rock. Not that they're not dynamic and fun to listen to, just that they'll transform every single bit of detail into something beautiful while I'd sometimes wish they'd convey the "cheapness" of the recording in a very abrupt and unrefined way.

 

Granted, this isn't really a technical weakness (since I think it is far more difficult to make a refined IEM than an edgy one), but still - I prefer to listen to the intentionally badly recorded Strokes albums on my IE8 for instance.

post #575 of 785

As far as I know UM3X from Westone got the same drivers as Earsonics SM3 :)

SM3 got the same drivers as got Westone ES3X and as got UM3X and as got Earsonics best custom iems - EM3pro

So imo if Westone UM3X and Westone 3 are the best universal in my opinion(ive tried ie8, tf10pro, mtp, phonak, se530), so the Earsonics SM3 are best universal too ;)

post #576 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kubus View Post

As far as I know UM3X from Westone got the same drivers as Earsonics SM3 :)

SM3 got the same drivers as got Westone ES3X and as got UM3X and as got Earsonics best custom iems - EM3pro

So imo if Westone UM3X and Westone 3 are the best universal in my opinion(ive tried ie8, tf10pro, mtp, phonak, se530), so the Earsonics SM3 are best universal too ;)


Even if they use the same drivers, the crossovers are more than likely different as well as the configuration, which will all affect the final sound.  The UM3X and W3, while having great 3D space, didn't have an expansive space like the SM3.  And for me that took away from the realism.  Plus, they both didn't seem to have the same liquid qualities or the treble extension.

post #577 of 785

Please, people, dont forget about Westone 3 and Westone UM3x. How can you talk about top-tier universals without counting them? Its like talking about top-tier customs without jh13pro or es3x....

post #578 of 785

For me, Fx700, ie8, tf10pro, mtp < Westone 3(more bassy)/UM3X(more neutral) =< SM3 Earsonics.

People, get over it, how 1 driver can sound better than 3 drivers and crossover?

Its like Tannoy Monitor vs Focal Utopia Beryllium and B&W Nautilius

 

So, if the one, the best top-tier universal can only be SM3 or Westone 3/UM3X

No fucking mtp's or ie8. Thats only a hype of guys who didnt listened to those above.

 

post #579 of 785

DDM too fresh to identify a weakness right now @ Joe. I can't id a weakness in the sound yet, but I could in design, yet I understand how the design came into play now to give it its fantastic sound. What you say the weaknesses of the FX700 are? I don't have any. I know some may say the treble, but the treble doesn't bother me. I think any weakness is going to be subjective. Does the SM3 have that massive amount of natural bass like the FX700, or more quality bass like the e-Q7? If the SM3's quality and quantity bass doesn't equal or surpass the FX700, that would be a weakness to me. So it's all subjective I think buddy.

post #580 of 785

Well, I take back my word about Westone 3/um3x or sm3 being best iems.

For sure, there arent any Best IEM man and stop posting such things. There are no The best stuff in audio, if you didnt realise that already, you havent listened to really good audio stuff yet.

post #581 of 785
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

DDM too fresh to identify a weakness right now @ Joe. I can't id a weakness in the sound yet, but I could in design, yet I understand how the design came into play now to give it its fantastic sound. What you say the weaknesses of the FX700 are? I don't have any. I know some may say the treble, but the treble doesn't bother me. I think any weakness is going to be subjective. Does the SM3 have that massive amount of natural bass like the FX700, or more quality bass like the e-Q7? If the SM3's quality and quantity bass doesn't equal or surpass the FX700, that would be a weakness to me. So it's all subjective I think buddy.


A weaknesses of the FX700, and one that I don't see as preference based, is the compressed soundstage.  I didn't think the FX700 had a compressed soundstage until I A/Bed it with the SM3.  Plus, the SM3 bass is very powerful (and as I have stated, not to the same quantity of the FX700, but not too far off and certainly much greater than the e-Q7), but makes the FX700 bass sound like it lacks control.  Sure, you may prefer the latter.  Also, the liquid treble of the SM3 makes the FX700 treble sound harsh and unnaturally enhanced to me.  Again, you may prefer the latter.  But I see no reason anyone would want to listen to a compressed soundstage when they could listen to one that has better proportions.   And I am sorry, there is no way you can refute that until you hear the SM3.

 

You state "If the SM3's quality and quantity bass doesn't equal or surpass the FX700, that would be a weakness to me." and "DDM too fresh to identify a weakness right now."  So does that mean that when I get the Radius, the bass will have the same quantity or surpass the FX700?   

 

Also you state "I'm more interested in a certain tier or bar of perfection," but keep stating in many threads you are not interested in the SM3.  Does that mean that you don't want the best you can get, but only a certain level?  And do you think your universals are as good as customs, or is there still room for better sound?

 

Like I said before, I am looking forward to hearing the Radius, and if it can do what the SM3 can I will let people know.

 

Quote from the SM3 thread about bass:
In retrospective, what I wrote about their bass might have sounded a bit too negative. I should state that the SM3 have perhaps the best quality bass I've heard out of a balanced armature IEM so far. It's tighter and more refined than the UE11 bass, it's linear unlike the SE530's midbass-only presentation, it has more quantity than the PFE's, and so on. It can compete with the best dynamic driver basses in several aspects (when played a bit louder).


 


Edited by average_joe - 5/20/10 at 12:32pm
post #582 of 785

Okay @ Joe. Well now my friend we get into how people hear, because I don't hear a compressed soundstage in the FX700 at all. Actually I find the soundstage wide, but it depends on the tips, size of the tips and fit in your ears. I think the soundstage of the DDM is greater than the FX700, but it's a different beast. But I hear micro details in the FX700 that I've never heard in any IEM up until the DDM, so I totally can't agree with comparing the FX700 to standard definition television. It's HD and 3D t.v. to me. Notice, I'm not saying anything about the SM3 because I haven't heard it, but I know what I hear with the FX700. That is why I say, my friend, a lot of our opinions (including mine) is purely subjective and base on sound sigs we like. Look, quite a few people here still swear by the TF10 and I hate it. But I can't discount what they get out of it. Again, I don't believe there is a king in universal IEMs. I do believe, however, there is a high court of royalty that pushes through even among the top tier. For me, that high court would be the Radius DDM (all of these strictly for sound quality), FX700, e-Q7, and from what I've read, your precious SM3. I wouldn't put the Miles Davis in that high court of royalty, although it is definitely a top tier if you get what I am saying. Just my opinions. One other thing, I notice a few of the SM3 lovers hated them out of the box, but it eventually the in-ear monitor grew on them and now they love it. That happens. Well, I loved the FX700, DDM out of the box, and then both got waaaaaaay better than when I first heard them. So that's how I look at it. Just my opinion. Happy listening buddy.

post #583 of 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericp10 View Post

Okay @ Joe. Well now my friend we get into how people hear, because I don't hear a compressed soundstage in the FX700 at all. Actually I find the soundstage wide, but it depends on the tips, size of the tips and fit in your ears. I think the soundstage of the DDM is greater than the FX700, but it's a different beast. But I hear micro details in the FX700 that I've never heard in any IEM up until the DDM, so I totally can't agree with comparing the FX700 to standard definition television. It's HD and 3D t.v. to me. Notice, I'm not saying anything about the SM3 because I haven't heard it, but I know what I hear with the FX700. That is why I say, my friend, a lot of our opinions (including mine) is purely subjective and base on sound sigs we like. Look, quite a few people here still swear by the TF10 and I hate it. But I can't discount what they get out of it. Again, I don't believe there is a king in universal IEMs. I do believe, however, there is a high court of royalty that pushes through even among the top tier. For me, that high court would be the Radius DDM (all of these strictly for sound quality), FX700, e-Q7, and from what I've read, your precious SM3. I wouldn't put the Miles Davis in that high court of royalty, although it is definitely a top tier if you get what I am saying. Just my opinions. One other thing, I notice a few of the SM3 lovers hated them out of the box, but it eventually the in-ear monitor grew on them and now they love it. That happens. Well, I loved the FX700, DDM out of the box, and then both got waaaaaaay better than when I first heard them. So that's how I look at it. Just my opinion. Happy listening buddy.


X2. I hear a very wide, uncompressed soundstage. Perhaps joe didn't have a decent fit/seal, or wind up getting the very best out of them like what happened to me with the e-Q7... dunno. But when A/B'ing the FX700 with the IE8, the overall width has come to right on par with the Senns. Plus, you add in all the micro detailing, layering, and 3D stuff going on, and it seems more spatially impressive even. That said, I guess the SM3 must have the soundstage to end all soundstages in a universal...

post #584 of 785
Thread Starter 

One word, which you both fail to get in my post.

 

Perspective.

 

And haven't we had this discussion before?  I seem to recall having it.  How many times do I have to say this: "A weaknesses of the FX700, and one that I don't see as preference based, is the compressed soundstage.  I didn't think the FX700 had a compressed soundstage until I A/Bed it with the SM3."


Edited by average_joe - 5/20/10 at 12:38pm
post #585 of 785

Joe, I didn't fail to get that point. I got it. And I can't speak for Chris, but it didn't come across that he failed to get it also. I understand it is your perspective. I was just giving you mine my friend, and stating that I hear it differently. That's why I keep saying in the above post and some sent last night here - answering your question posed to me - that it is all SUBJECTIVE!! If it's subjective, of course that means it is your opinion and it is my opinion or experience. I haven't discounted anything you have said about the FX700 or SM3. Again, I can't comment on the SM3. I haven't heard it and suspect I won't hear it anytime soon. But I can comment on the FX700, and all I'm saying is that I hear it way differently than you did. Apparently Chris hears it differently than you too. This makes neither of us right or wrong buddy.

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