Post #1: My story
EM3 Pro vs. JH13 thread - included because the descriptions of the EM3 Pro sound is similar to what I hear with the SM3
Remember those essays you had to write in grade school? Well I do even if you don't. In honor of that memory, I am going to write: What does the EarSonics SM3 mean to me?
Back in March I was going to order the EarSonics SM3 based off the few things I have read about them, even though it wasn't much. But then something stopped me. Could they really be that good, and the shipping cost was as expensive as my gateway IEM! I was not sure what exactly to expect, but did have some insider info from shigzeo, which was all positive. But were they going to be UM3X like and lacking they dynamics and excitement I want, especially for the price?
Well, a month went by and search reminded me of the SM3, and I realized I had to have them. So I placed my order. I got the FX700 two days before the SM3. Talk about too many toys at once. Upon opening the SM3, I was surprised that there was only one type of tip (Franck is going to start including a 2nd type of tip). And to be honest, at first, I was thinking "what the hell did I just spend $425 on?" Burn in, tips, getting used to the sound sig, who knows. But they sound so much better now, and clearer also.
What am I hearing? This excerpt pretty much sums it up quite well (thanks MayaTlab via KLS)
I don't know about the UM3x availability in the USA.
For the Earsonics, you'll have to import them from their website :
EarSonics ® / Ear Sonics in-ear monitors / custom earphones / in ears / ear monitors / earplugs / earmolds.
Don't be afraid because of the translation - yeah, it sucks. Trust me, they're very serious and the customer service is fantastic.
Also, their price is 350 WITH TAX, and probably if my mathematical skills aren't that terrible around 290 without - still very expensive in dollars (387 + possible customs taxes).
However, I'd wait if I were you, because there are only a handful of head-fi feedbacks about them. The French forums are just raving about them about pretty much everything, but it would be nice to have different points of view. However so far I've read the following comments :
- Better details and instrument separation than the UM3x (that must really be something then)
- Soundstage as wide as IE8
- Superb imaging and depth
- "Spot on" EQ - ie very flat and neutral (though I bet we're talking about the Hi-Fi side of neutrality, that is to say rather warm but not too much)
- Very tight and controlled bass (at least tighter than IE8), with thunderous and fast impact. I haven't read anything about its texture. They have less bass quantity than the IE8, but I cannot say in comparison to the UM3x. I bet given my SM2 experience that they'll slide in between the SE530 and UM3x in terms of quantity.
- Superb mids (very likely to be the best of the current universals, given Earsonics' pedigree), and super extra ultra "liquid".
- Airy and extended treble
- Effortlessly dynamic - they sound "big", "powerful"
They also have the exact same ergonomics as the UM3x, but there isn't a version with removable cables.
On the one hand, that sounds too good to be true (hence my recommendation to wait a bit), but on the other hand, Earsonics has been around for years, is producing a two-way three drivers custom that goes head to head with the JH13 (and was designed more than four years ago) and is a very serious company - so they're totally able to pull this off.
Well, OK, so I stole a post from someone else! At least I cited the source! But seriously, IMHO these are the best in-ear monitors I have heard, bar none (with the exception of possibly the UE11 universal I heard for 20 minutes at Can Jam, but these gave me the same amazed feeling). So, lets see...
- Equal to or better than IE8 soundstage width (my IE8's were lost in the mail, so I can't compare directly)
- Equal to or better space/imaging/instrument separation than the UM3X
- More detail than the dynamics I have heard, and at least as much as the other BA's I have heard (more comparisons need to be done)
- Best of the dynamic IEM like bass impact
- Enough speed for anything I have thrown at them
- Extended treble
- Liquid mids
- e-Q7/GR8 transparency
- Dynamics and excitement when the song calls for it
- Best I have heard balance across the spectrum from bass through the treble
Did I miss anything?
So, because of what I am hearing, my other high priced IEMs are becoming expendable and unused, which means I am probably going to sell many of them, if not all after I finish my comparisons. That is why the SM3 is the "most affordable high priced universal IEM!"
So, I sold: CK10, GR8, FX700, e-Q7, PR1 Pro, Mingo WM2 Gold & Silver and bought the Tesla T1...and I don't miss any of what I sold!
And a note on the sound. While I don't have the others to compare with (still have the CK90Pro, Copper, and RE252 for backup purposes, and out of being too lazy to sell them), I think the SM3 has grown on me/improved even more than when I did my comparisons. Now there are many other owners that are agreeing with my findings. Go get them, you won't be disappointed (after 2 weeks with them).
Edited by average_joe - 6/28/10 at 3:45pm