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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 105

post #1561 of 16802

Can you give a quick comment on how the MC5 compares to the pricier ER-4S(or P)?

post #1562 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mythless View Post

Haha, what did you expect?


A little more consensus, maybe 70/30 in favor of the SM3. I think it might be backlash against the Earsonics' earlier 'messiah' status.

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by battleaxe View Post

Can you give a quick comment on how the MC5 compares to the pricier ER-4S(or P)?



I only have the HF3 to compare the MC5 to but the HF3 sounds much closer to the ER-4S than the MC5 so it should do. I think the MC5 has a tad more bass body and responds better to EQ while the HF3 is quicker and tighter. The MC5 is thicker and a bit mid-centric. I get bored of it pretty quickly. The HF3 isn't and keeps my attention much the way the RE0 or CK10 do. HF3 has more treble sparkle and a slightly brighter sound. MC5 is still bright but closer to neutral. Soundstaging isn't all that different between the two - the usual etymotic three-blob stage with mediocre height.

post #1563 of 16802
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by mythless View Post

Haha, what did you expect?


A little more consensus, maybe 70/30 in favor of the SM3. I think it might be backlash against the Earsonics' earlier 'messiah' status.

 

 

 

Oh?  Haha, guess I was off the forum when that happened.  But, I can see why.  The SM3 are good for those who like their signature and those who haven't heard a variety of IEMs, but it might not be the "messiah" that some are looking for and with more experience.

post #1564 of 16802

Oh snap. Just as I expected, the SM3 review is causing a bit of controversy. tongue_smile.gif

 

Great review as always Joker.

post #1565 of 16802

SM3 review!! Great work !!

 

Though i am now not looking at universals now ...the 10/10 ratting of SM3 sure ...have me interested :P ( cause its signature is a lot different than CK10/DBA/CK100 ..which you like )

 

to add to that you have now lowered the earlier 10/10 to 9.75 

 

I 've gotta try these now !!

 

Any chance on reviewing my beloved FX700.

 

Slightly OT : can the SM3 be remolded !? i mean i am afraid that they will fall apard with all the build quotes i am reading, quite a lot !

to add to that they dont even have removable cable . so if they can be remolded i will be more confident of my purchase ! :)

 

post #1566 of 16802

What would you say is the best all around bang for the buck and/or steal on that list? Maybe even the IEM people must own. 

post #1567 of 16802

I'm shocked ! Shocked I tells ya !

 

|Joker|... What? How is it possible that you and I don't hear things exactly the same? Ha! wink_face.gif  rolleyes.gif

 

But seriously... The SM3's were one of the biggest disappointments I've had. Yes, some of that was the hype. They were one of the most hyped IEM's I've seen (and it's funny how some of those who pushed that hype have now moved on to other IEM's...). But most of my disappointment was not.

 

It was a frustrating experience for me. I tried all the different tips that everyone recommended, I tried them for months and burned them in and used different sources, amps, etc. Nope, no good.

They reminded me a lot of the HD600 in that the highs were rolled off early and hard.

Clarity: no

Speed: no

Brilliance: Ha ! Not even close.

I found them dull and muted and veiled and thick and everything that the DBA-02 is not.

Details I've heard for years in my recordings were just lost in the mud. "Hey... what happened to that triangle, those cymbals, the 'air'?

 

That said, man, did they have great bass !! Whoa, the lower mids on the SM3 really cook! Mids were OK, but they are no SE535's.

 

Controversy indeed. These seem to be very polarizing IEM's and I'm not sure if it's just taste, hearing, or if there is something else at work. Could the QC be so off that Earsonics is putting out SM3's with varying sound signatures? Just asking...

 

Many of us (if you go back into the original SM3 thread-s) heard it as I did. But many did not. When you read reviews and reactions to the HD800, T1, LCD-2... you find more similarities than differences. You don't find many (there will always be some) diametrically opposed views. They all are shades off... subtleties not black and white. With these IEM's you find polar opposite opinions (and after all... these are just opinions).

 

But really |Joker|... you do a great service here and are responsible for one of the best threads in the forum. Thanks for all you do. Truly. L3000.gif

 

Even if you are terribly wrong here... 10/10 ? Gimme a break. wink_face.gif  atsmile.gif

 


Edited by shane55 - 12/21/10 at 1:24pm
post #1568 of 16802

There´s much more to IEM´s than just sound quality though. The SM3 doesn´t score that higher in other aspects... To me the CK100 is still the real king in this roundup :o If only they were sold in the EU :/

post #1569 of 16802

Imo , the only bad thing in joker rating the sm3 as 10/10 ?

 

People starting buying them without having listened to them - only to sell them shortly afterwards

 

It's gonna happen.Bet on it.

 

(and  to see them costing 2,5 times the money you buy a re-262 new from the fs threads)...then again if i have learned something here , it's this

 

Trial and error folks. Trial and error wink_face.gif

post #1570 of 16802

 

Wow, now |joker| is getting beat up!  The one universal I still have is the SM3 and I have to say I agree with the 10/10 from a technical standpoint.  And I wanted to shout out to |joker| a huge thanks for all of your time and effort into this great thread!

 

Shane55, your QC question is an interesting one and something that I have also wondered myself.  My pair seems like it is nothing like your pair!  All I can think is the tips were bent in your ear canal ;)  I am also sure you tried a wide variety of music as in my experience they do change their presentation a lot with the different recordings, and for me it is a lot.  From what I have read and heard, the headphones/IEMs in your signature have a brighter presentation than the SM3, which might be your preference.  There are several people that think the LCD-2 is on the dark side; what are your thoughts on that (if you have heard it)? 

post #1571 of 16802

average_joe.

I have not heard the LCD-2... yet. wink_face.gif  I hope to at our next meet (Feb.).

 

But you're absolutely correct, I DO tend to like 'brighter' cans/IEM's. What? Maybe I'm going deaf... What ??

And yes, I did try them with everything I have from LP's to MP3's to high-bitrate files, etc. Various amps (which also tend on the bright / lean side), etc. Lots of tips... lots of tips... tips... lots.

 

But yeah, just not to my taste (as I said, it's all opinion anyway). Heck, I thought the SE535 had a rolled-off upper end (past 8khz). rolleyes.gif

post #1572 of 16802

My opinion of the SM3 was based on how I hear it, which was a game changer for me as it sounded more like many of the live events I have heard, but I do understand that personal preference does play a role in everything.  But I have no real answer other than QC or ear tips or just plain old preference for why the SM3 is so polarizing.  I would pick it 10 out of 10 times vs. the DBA-02, but I am sure you are the opposite!

 

Looking forward to your LCD-2 thoughts when you get the chance to hear them!

post #1573 of 16802

The controversy surrounding the SM3 is what makes me want to hear them. I was extremely close to buying a pair a few months ago but thought it was pretty stupid spending $300 on an earphone with the intention of selling them. Although I guess the CK10 is no longer the 10/10 standard for sound in this thread which is a shame but does make sense. Every good earphone can't be 10/10 so it does make it a bit more exclusive.

 

Someone in NYC should let me hear the SM3 :P

post #1574 of 16802

^+1 , really, that exclusive 10/10 ratting for SM3 sure has me interested !!

earlier i wan interested in CK10 ( am too now ..but Now ,the interest is being shared with SM3 ) :P

post #1575 of 16802
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by singh View Post

SM3 review!! Great work !!

 

Though i am now not looking at universals now ...the 10/10 ratting of SM3 sure ...have me interested :P ( cause its signature is a lot different than CK10/DBA/CK100 ..which you like )

 

to add to that you have now lowered the earlier 10/10 to 9.75 

 

I 've gotta try these now !!

 

Any chance on reviewing my beloved FX700.

 

Slightly OT : can the SM3 be remolded !? i mean i am afraid that they will fall apard with all the build quotes i am reading, quite a lot !

to add to that they dont even have removable cable . so if they can be remolded i will be more confident of my purchase ! :)

 

I still like the CK10/CK100/DBA-02 better but that's because they align with my preferred signature. The fact that I could enjoy the SM3 as much as I did despite them being so far off my preference is a testament to how good they are.

 

No plans for an FX700 at this point - as you can see from the planned review list on the front page there's still plenty that needs doing.

 

I don't see why the SM3 couldn't be remolded but I'm not sure of the process's effect on the sound..

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by coldmack View Post

What would you say is the best all around bang for the buck and/or steal on that list? Maybe even the IEM people must own. 


There's really no such thing as it depends on your preferred signature. Back when the Brainwavz M1 were on preorder for $29.50 I'd say that's a must-own. Other than that everyone has their own starter phones. I've still got my first 'head-fi' IEM - the PL30 - and I still like it. If they align with your signature any of the high-value IEMs can be considered a steal - Meelec M6 @ $20, Brainwavz M2 @ $60, Xcape @ $80, DBA-02 @ $150. Perhaps the Xears XB120 'Bullet' once I get around to posting that review.

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by shane55 View Post

I'm shocked ! Shocked I tells ya !

 

|Joker|... What? How is it possible that you and I don't hear things exactly the same? Ha! wink_face.gif  rolleyes.gif

 

[...]

But really |Joker|... you do a great service here and are responsible for one of the best threads in the forum. Thanks for all you do. Truly. L3000.gif

Even if you are terribly wrong here... 10/10 ? Gimme a break. wink_face.gif  atsmile.gif


We do hear things similarly - you are just taking issue with the fact that they aren't as fast/clear/crisp/lean/sparkly as the DBA-02 while I'm welcoming it with open arms. I think I mentioned all of those things but I wouldn't take off points for them because objectively-speaking an IEM doesn't need to be any of those things to be enjoyable. The CK10 has all of those things too and yet it's not an IEM I recommend very often (if ever) because it just isn't an instantly likable sound. Yes, they were hyped. Yes, many bought them who probably shouldn't have; but that happens with every in-ear that becomes popular around here. I think the issue is more with the early impressions of the SM3, which made it seem like a better earphone than any other in every single way, and it isn't. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrln View Post

There´s much more to IEM´s than just sound quality though. The SM3 doesn´t score that higher in other aspects... To me the CK100 is still the real king in this roundup :o If only they were sold in the EU :/


I thought we had it better than you guys but then Audio-Technica decided to stop selling the CK10 in the US market as well. I think many people take issue with having to import these earphones and I wish that weren't the case but what can you do... Japanese companies have a history of confining some of their top-of-the-line products to the Japanese market. 

 

I think the JVC FX700 has the same problem. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

Wow, now |joker| is getting beat up!  The one universal I still have is the SM3 and I have to say I agree with the 10/10 from a technical standpoint.  And I wanted to shout out to |joker| a huge thanks for all of your time and effort into this great thread!


Thanks! Glad to see you around here again wink.gif.

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

The controversy surrounding the SM3 is what makes me want to hear them. I was extremely close to buying a pair a few months ago but thought it was pretty stupid spending $300 on an earphone with the intention of selling them. Although I guess the CK10 is no longer the 10/10 standard for sound in this thread which is a shame but does make sense. Every good earphone can't be 10/10 so it does make it a bit more exclusive.


I have a feeling that the SM3's status is temporary. I still haven't figured out what I will be doing when the time comes to add the 1964-T. SM3 might get pushed back to the level of the CK10 since there just aren't enough gradations.

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