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EarSonics SM3 Appreciation, Discussion, & Review Thread - Technically Best Universal? (see first... - Page 18  

post #256 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLSView Post

 

 

I plan to get a new DAP after selling my HiFiMAN. Currently thinking of Sony A series, and am eyeing on the S:Flo 2 as well.

 



Selling the HiFiMan 801? Whoa I can't imagine. Have you tried it as a DAC/amp out from the computer? That piece of gear is a stunning achievement imo. Been patiently waiting on the S:Flo2 also. Think it's supposed to ship Wednesday.

 

OK, got the SM3 yesterday. Hooked it up to an iMod and the RSA Shadow. It took every ounce of restraint I have to not run to the computer, log into HeadFi and gush like a 12 year old. You have got to be kidding me. I'm sure this it what Westone was aiming for when they came out with the W3. Unfortunately they missed terribly.

       Luckily I had company drop by so I was able to just let the SM3 burn in for a good solid 10 hours. Then I hooked them up to the P-51 Mustang which was attached to the Pico Dac out from my computer. The truth is, I have not had the pleasure to hear an iem before that sounds so.........so real I guess is the word. My brain when I'm listening to these make me feel like I'm listening to a pair of planar magnetic or ribbon speakers. I happen to love that sound. I get the impression of a live performance rather than a performance that is "manufactured" with audio equipment.

         I keep looking for their weakness but so far I have not been able to pin one down. Usually an iem that stuns me at first, soon reveals its weakness or flaw.

       I really liked and still do Monster's Pro Copper. Still there is no comparison. The SM3 is so much more dynamic I hate to admit it leaves the Copper in the dust.

        Like a few of you, I also got a "bag o tips" from Sensorcom. Almost 80 bucks worth of tips to be exact. I haven't tried any of them yet, I've been using the default tips they come with but with shallow insertion. I don't even squeeze them or roll them like I usually do with other iems. I just gently give them a little twist into my ears and thats it. I'll experiment with different tips later.

post #257 of 2831

Bummer. I just got an email from Earsonics, saying that my SM3 was delivered. That would've been great - ordered on Saturday from France, received on Tuesday in Canada. Alas, I did not receive them. I checked my profile and sure enough, it said "delivered" in the Status section of my order. That is the second update after "pending." No updates in between. I just sent an email to Earsonics about this. Hope this gets resolved quickly.


Edited by Pianist - 5/12/10 at 12:05am
post #258 of 2831
Thread Starter 

Delivered means it has been passed off to the post office.  I got a tracking #, but can't recall if there were any updated.  You are in Canada, so I would expect anywhere from one to four (yes 4) week delivery time.  I have much experience shipping to Canada, so I know!

 

And my bag o tips is in the US, at my local post office for yet another night.  My post man decided not to bring the package out today.  I guess tomorrow is the special day!

 

And glad you are liking them Woody, looking forward to your additional thoughts.

post #259 of 2831


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Delivered means it has been passed off to the post office.  I got a tracking #, but can't recall if there were any updated.  You are in Canada, so I would expect anywhere from one to four (yes 4) week delivery time.  I have much experience shipping to Canada, so I know!

 

And my bag o tips is in the US, at my local post office for yet another night.  My post man decided not to bring the package out today.  I guess tomorrow is the special day!

 

And glad you are liking them Woody, looking forward to your additional thoughts.

 

LOL Not with 30 Euro shipping service. But anyway, in French it says "livr" and "livr" translates to English as "free shipping". "Delivered" in French is spelled the same but with additional e at the end - "livre." So I am pretty sure the translation into English is wrong. What the update really says is that the package was shipped. But I will go check my local post office tomorrow after work just in case.
 


Edited by Pianist - 5/12/10 at 1:02am
post #260 of 2831

Anyone has any idea about US retailers/US online shops that will sell the SM3?


Edited by koonhua90 - 5/12/10 at 1:05am
post #261 of 2831

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody469 View Post


Selling the HiFiMan 801? Whoa I can't imagine. Have you tried it as a DAC/amp out from the computer? That piece of gear is a stunning achievement imo. Been patiently waiting on the S:Flo2 also. Think it's supposed to ship Wednesday.

 

OK, got the SM3 yesterday. Hooked it up to an iMod and the RSA Shadow. It took every ounce of restraint I have to not run to the computer, log into HeadFi and gush like a 12 year old. You have got to be kidding me. I'm sure this it what Westone was aiming for when they came out with the W3. Unfortunately they missed terribly.

       Luckily I had company drop by so I was able to just let the SM3 burn in for a good solid 10 hours. Then I hooked them up to the P-51 Mustang which was attached to the Pico Dac out from my computer. The truth is, I have not had the pleasure to hear an iem before that sounds so.........so real I guess is the word. My brain when I'm listening to these make me feel like I'm listening to a pair of planar magnetic or ribbon speakers. I happen to love that sound. I get the impression of a live performance rather than a performance that is "manufactured" with audio equipment.

         I keep looking for their weakness but so far I have not been able to pin one down. Usually an iem that stuns me at first, soon reveals its weakness or flaw.

       I really liked and still do Monster's Pro Copper. Still there is no comparison. The SM3 is so much more dynamic I hate to admit it leaves the Copper in the dust.

        Like a few of you, I also got a "bag o tips" from Sensorcom. Almost 80 bucks worth of tips to be exact. I haven't tried any of them yet, I've been using the default tips they come with but with shallow insertion. I don't even squeeze them or roll them like I usually do with other iems. I just gently give them a little twist into my ears and thats it. I'll experiment with different tips later.


Yes I tried them as DAC too. However, without some EQ, and inserting stock tips deep into my ears, the mids is too forward...I get use to it after 2-3 tracks, but if I switched to other IEMs like IE8 and e-Q7 and listen to SM3 again, the mids is just so prominent in comparison. I have a Corda Move too, and in my opinion, this little DAC/amp has very 'clean' output. The Corda goes well with all my IEMs However, to my ears, HiFiMAN has very good dynamic in music, and imaging is very impressive too.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! You and @average_joe really not helping me here...I use iPhone most of the time and you guys tell me SM3 needs an (external) amp:p Glad that you guys are enjoying them amping. Although I have the Corda Move, I never bother to buy a LOD to use with iPhone. I just want something portable, so I am looking into the Sony DAPs and S:flo2.

 

I think SM3 sound sigtature is closer to UM3X than W3. One aim for stage and one for fun. No idea here, never try the Westones, but accodring to MayaTlab's translation from the french forum seems so to me. 

 

Definitely try the Sensorcom tips and please tell us how they pair up!
 


Edited by KLS - 5/12/10 at 4:09am
post #262 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by koonhua90 View Post

Anyone has any idea about US retailers/US online shops that will sell the SM3?


Nope, but I will ask :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! You and @average_joe really not helping me here...I use iPhone most of the time and you guys tell me SM3 needs an (external) amp:p Glad that you guys are enjoying them amping. Although I have the Corda Move, I never bother to buy a LOD to use with iPhone. I just want something portable, so I am looking into the Sony DAPs and S:flo2.


I think the problem is the signal from the DAC in the iPhone.  I have amped my iPhone via LOD and think it is a step down from my modded 5.5g.  But it is not bad.  I am eagerly awaiting the S:flo2 and am hoping that will go well with the SM3.  And the Studio might be a good match also.

post #263 of 2831


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post




Nope, but I will ask :)

 


I think the problem is the signal from the DAC in the iPhone.  I have amped my iPhone via LOD and think it is a step down from my modded 5.5g.  But it is not bad.  I am eagerly awaiting the S:flo2 and am hoping that will go well with the SM3.  And the Studio might be a good match also.

 

Thanks. Same here, I am also waiting for the SFlo2, hopefully it will ship like this week or next week. According to the guy at mp4nation, the 3rd batch stock is already there, but I am wondering what's holding up the shipping...
 

post #264 of 2831

I have the S:Flo for a couple of weeks. It is a pretty nice machine (soundwise). Navigation-wise, it is worse than anything HiSound. But, it trumps the latter with: little to no hiss, great performance under load. It has a great mid section and bass; treble is rolled off for some reason, but it may not affect your listening habits. I wouldn't buy one becuase the touchscreen is redundant, the firmware is slow, and the size is huge. If it was a button-only machine, I might think of it.

post #265 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

I have the S:Flo for a couple of weeks. It is a pretty nice machine (soundwise). Navigation-wise, it is worse than anything HiSound. But, it trumps the latter with: little to no hiss, great performance under load. It has a great mid section and bass; treble is rolled off for some reason, but it may not affect your listening habits. I wouldn't buy one becuase the touchscreen is redundant, the firmware is slow, and the size is huge. If it was a button-only machine, I might think of it.


@shigzeo's standard of 'little to no hiss'!

 

I have to think twice now...No matter how good they sound, if they are clumsy, I don't think I will like them...
 

post #266 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post




@shigzeo's standard of 'little to no hiss'!

 

I have to think twice now...No matter how good they sound, if they are clumsy, I don't think I will like them...
 


Agreed. People here sometimes focus too much on "sound quality" while largely ignoring usability. If the UI is poorly designed, no amount of sound quality is worth the frustration of trying to get your player to just do what it's supposed to. And that's largely ignoring the inconvenience of carrying a brick in your pocket (Hifiman HM-801, I'm looking at you).

post #267 of 2831

The S:Flo has going for it: low levels of hiss (Fuze V2 > S:Flo) and very little load from earphones. Apart from that (admittedly, those are very important), it is a normal player. I think the advertisement of the dual DAC's really pushed its importance up a few notches. Honestly, I'd buy one if it did with one DAC, had buttons, was smaller, and had a usable UI. 

 

post #268 of 2831

The firmware is just about acceptable for me, although it seems to be slowly improving with updates. Already having an iPhone there's no way I'd want this in my pocket as well, but I use small messenger bags to carry everything BUT my phone in, so it happily gets lumped in with them and thus isn't a problem. It does sound better than the only other things I've owned - an ancient Sony DAP and my iPhone 3GS - and it's not painful enough to use that it puts me off (plus I got a great deal on it). My listening habits tend to be more 'put album on, leave' rather than skipping through random playlists or tracks/genres, so I don't find it a nightmare to use as I just press play and put it down. It's been a step up for me SQ wise, at least.

 

----

 

 

Woody, nice review! It's interesting how for some these sounded brilliant out of the box, and for others it's growing on them. I'm debating whether to satisfy myself now and get high-end universals (of which these are on the radar, perhaps at the top?) or save for a fair bit longer and audition and go for some customs. Being in the UK the ACS T1's are soooooo tempting. Argh. Incredible indecision.*

 

*Shigzeo your ACS T1 review really hasn't helped me  in this case haha.

post #269 of 2831

The ACS T1 are incredible: have them in now! Strange to say, but this silicon earphone, sometimes soft sounding, is maybe... going to overcome the FitEar 333 as my favourite of all time custom. 

 

As for SQ between the S:Flo and others, it is about sound preference unless you are talking about channel width. It has very little difference when volume matched to others after that unless it is the mellow sound you like. Impressive, but not a revolution. 

post #270 of 2831

I unknowingly talked to their head, Andy at a guitar show in London a few years ago, he had a stand in the corner and saw I had SuperFi 5 Pros in and we had a little chat, he almost sold me on the T2s (no T1s back then) but I just couldn't afford it. Looked everywhere else since but I seem to have ended up back where I started haha. Them being in the UK and having a dealer who does impressions about 3 miles away is a big bonus too.

 

I'd need to hear more sources to compare, but as I said, it's better than my iPhone and old Sony through the HO. I'm jonesing for an amp for it (want to take advantage of the superior LO) but want more impressions on synergy e.t.c. before I commit, have to be something portable though (like the RX, Piico Slim, Arrow, TTVJ). No idea at the moment though. Anyway, better not get too off-topic!

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › EarSonics SM3 Appreciation, Discussion, & Review Thread - Technically Best Universal? (see first post for reviews and info)