Sorry for your wallet, but yes!
The SM3 is not 2x better than IE8. They both have different sound signature.
I am using stock comply tips with SM3 and medium silicone stock tips with IE8. Below are some of my brief comparison:
- SM3 has a more laid back highs compared to IE8.
- SM3 has a fuller and forward midrange compared to IE8.
- SM3 has a tighter bass compared to IE8.
- SM3 has better 3D presentation, better soundstage depth compared to IE8.
- SM3 has better instrument separation compared to IE8.
- I hate to admit this but, to my ears, IE8 has better treble details, compared to SM3 with stock comply tips. Detail is there on SM3, but you have to strain youirself to pick details up. I am going to get some custom sleeves for SM3, and hope that the sound will improve even more.
Or visit this link for more comparsion between IE8 and SM3.
Have a look at this too.
Thanks for your impressions. Comply foam tips not only reduce the treble, but they also make it harsh/reduce the quality to my ears. For me, the SM3 treble is the best I have heard, smooth, extended, just the right amount. Never too much, never too little. I firmly believe that the SM3 treble is much better than the IE8 treble due to my if this than that logic. The Copper has smoother treble with better clarity than the IE8 (which really surprised me), and the SM3 beats the Copper's treble in detail and accuracy.
Thanks for the comparison. Hey KLS, do you have the FX-700? To me at least, the FX does all of the above, but it actually has a treble that is more sparkling than IE8's...the only thing is that the FX has a soundstage width (depth notwithstanding) that is smaller than IE8's, but that also contributes to a much more forward sounding mid.
While the FX700 might be better than the IE8 in many ways, they both still have their merits IMO (the space of the IE8 along with the "back of the jazz club" presentation). Both present the bass and treble quite differently, the treble of the IE8 is much more polite and the bass of the FX700 has much more deep bass impact.
I used every shape of silicon (larger and a few medium), white and gel supertips, biflange, triple flange, etc. I have not tried the small anything because my ear canals are large, and the small gives me no seal. But whatever tips I have used, including very thin silicon (which is probably similar to small supertips), the realism and 3D space of the FX700 did not approach the SM3. Sure, it is 'fun' as it has more bass and what sounds like an enhancement in the upper treble region that sounds very unnatural to me in comparison. I didn't think the FX700 had the problems I now think it has, the SM3 brought those to light.
My comparison of the FX700 and e-Q7 didn't leave me saying one is far superior than the other, but for my ears, I say that in comparison between the FX700 and SM3. Tips, fit, ears, and preference play into it, but the 3D space of the SM3 with IE8 width* isn't touched by the FX, and while the e-Q7 has a very near soundstage shape, the size doesn't compare.
* I have not A/Bed the IE8, but I have many tracks that I know how wide the space is, as that is one of the most important things to me. Some tracks with my sound card (and now HUD-MX1) really cause separation in the size of the soundstage, when an IEM can present the width. The SM3 and IE8 stand alone, with the SM3 also adding the true 3D that the IE8 does not.
Simply put, the SM3 has the most true to life, musically accurate presentation of any IEM I have ever heard.
I am interested in hearing this also. Of course, the issue with the SM3 is tips, whereas the custom is, well, custom! I do need to get custom sleeves in the near future.
Congratulations and I am glad there is another owner that will be able to thoughts; looking forward to hearing from you! Did you have a "what did I just do " moment, or are you enjoying them out of the box? What tips do you have at your fingertips to try?
Edited by average_joe - 5/8/10 at 12:58pm