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EarSonics SM3 Appreciation, Discussion, & Review Thread - Technically Best Universal? (see first post for reviews and info) - Page 19  

post #271 of 2831


Originally Posted by JxK View Post

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).

Well I think usability should be looked at to a certain extent, but I think head-fiers are correct to focus on sound quality first. I mean, we are buying these expensive toys to hear amazing sounds from them, right? Usuabilty is very subjective. For example, many people here complained about the fit of the TF10. They fit me just fine. I had no problem with the IEM, but the sound sig. did not agree with me - making them my least favorite of the top tier IEMs. So sq will always be my main concern.

post #272 of 2831

/me unsubscribes from this thread.

post #273 of 2831

^^ LOL. Will be nice to hear more people's opinions on the SM3. 

post #274 of 2831

Can anyone give comments on the isolation on the SM3, in relation to other closed design IEMs like Monsters, Etymotics, etc? How good is the noise reduction roughly, in terms of decibel? I can't really use the IE8 and FX when commuting without turning up the volume. The only IEM that can do that for me is when I am using the triple flange on the Etymotic HF5.


Is the isolation on SM3 on par with the Etymotics, or is it even better? If this can do it, and provided I like the sound sig, then this will be my outdoor IEM.

post #275 of 2831

Nothing is on par with ETY's most isolating earphones. I've not tried the HF5, so I have no idea, but my ER4s (years ago) trumped the UM2 which is the same as the SM3 for isolation. Still, apart from ETY earphones, Westone and Earsonics are probably the next best thing, and certainly must get their 26dB of isolation depending on the tips used.

post #276 of 2831
Isolation?  With these things in and music playing I'd be lucky to hear a Mack truck bearing down on me. They are extremely powerful iems IMO.
                I recently tried the SM3 ampless. I'm used to always using an amp these days because they make most headphones and iems sound better to me. I tried this iem straight out of a Sony NWZ- A818 and was pleasantly surprised. Very clean and clear with lots of impact. (Edit: Samsung P2 HPO also very clean) The sound was very similiar to what I would expect when using a qualty amp. Again, these iems really take advantage of what power is available. They seem to be VERY revealing of the source as well and really make the most of well recorded music. The downside as you may have guessed with an iem this revealing, poor recordings and overly compressed stuff can become unlistenable.
          Next I tried the SM3 with the Amp3 Pro2. There seems to be some good synergy there as well. I'm anxious to try these with the S:FLO2 and the Studio if they ever decide to ship the things. But so far the best sound has been out from my computer into a Pico DAC and then into an RSA Predator. Man o man, talked about feeling spoiled. Really wide sound with fantastic bass and detail detail detail. The width and depth of the sound is phenomanel and there is a realism that is new to me in the iem market.
            I've been getting pretty much the same great sound from different tips. The biggest difference has been with comfort.
           These are some seriously great iems! I'd be curious to know really how much of an improvement customs would be. I already feel like I am  at the point of diminishing return. BTW, the SM3s have had music of some sort playing through them almost non-stop for 3 days although I can't imagine they could get any better.

Edited by Woody469 - 5/13/10 at 5:53am
post #277 of 2831

Well, I'd agree with you that you are near the point of minimal marginal utilities.


Perhaps you should consider upgrade your ear, to have multiple BA eardrums, just like the IEMs. Then you will have even higher sound quality. But too bad no one can do that...

post #278 of 2831

LOL, right, just have mulltiple BAs surgically implanted in my ear which are hard wired to neurons in the brain.

post #279 of 2831
Thread Starter 

Isolation is tip dependent.  IMO they can be up there with the ER4P with foam.  I have put a picture and my experience with some of the tips at my disposal in post #3 of this thread.  I will update as time permits.


Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

^^ LOL. Will be nice to hear more people's opinions on the SM3. 

Yes, it will be nice to hear more opinions.  What, there are 6 people I know of that have the SM3 in hand (you, me, KLS, Woody, dfkt, & my friend; did I forget anyone?).


I wanted to share a conversation I had with a fellow SM3 owner.  He said he is hearing details he did not ever hear before.  I thought the same thing at first, but A/Bing, I realized that the other IEMs did indeed reproduce something at the same point in the music.  I just never really payed attention to it because it was just some indescribable sound.  Not with the SM3 as I can make out those indescribable sounds as something in space making sound.  Little nuances in the music that are there with others but unintelligible with my other IEMs are reproduced in a lifelike way, allowing us to hear what is actually making the sounds.  Is that detail that was not heard before, or presentation of the detail with a more realism?  What would you call it?  And other SM3 owners, are you hearing the same?


Oh, and another thing...Depeche Mode has amazing space in their remastered albums!  If you haven't listened to Depeche Mode yet, I highly suggest it.  And a final note on music...I now find myself preferring acoustic music over electronic due to the way the SM3 is presenting the music.  For example, Thompson Twins - Doctor! Doctor! used to be a skip on my playlist, but with the SM3, I actually listened to it twice as I was hearing it in a new way!  OK enough!

Edited by average_joe - 5/13/10 at 6:09am
post #280 of 2831

Perhaps you will have to add me to the list of owners. I have decided, once the Sflo2 is here and there are a few more reviews, I am going to get this. Fun, accurate and detailed is what I like. But I really hope some sellers in US will start selling this, so I can save a bit on the shipping. 30 euros for shipping from earsonics is quite expensive. Perhaps it is slightly cheaper getting it from handheldaudio.co.uk.


@ Joe, I wonder how many hundred pairs of tips and foamies you have...it's really quite a big collection there.


Could you add like another criteria, like sound quality for each of the tips? Which one would you say to provides you best comfort, while not sacrificing sound quality and isolation? I know you used the MC triple flange before this, but since the sensorcom tips arrived, how do you find them as compared to the MC triple flange?

Edited by koonhua90 - 5/13/10 at 6:18am
post #281 of 2831
Thread Starter 

@ koonhua: If you do decide to get the SM3, I honestly don't think you will regret doing so.  I know there will always be someone that does not agree with the rest, but I am very confident in my findings and believe the vast majority will agree with what I am hearing.  A few of the people that know me well have bought and they too are hearing what I am hearing.


As far as tips, I have what I believe is a large tip collection and try every fathomable combination on each IEM to try to get the best sound


I was going to add sound quality, but I can't define sound quality as a number.  Maybe warmth, detail, etc.  But most tips sound similar, except when noted, such as the tips that bend and darken the sound.

Edited by average_joe - 5/13/10 at 6:19am
post #282 of 2831

So which tips give you the best sound and comfort while not sacrificing isolation? From your impression, seems like to get better isolation, you have to sacrifice comfort.

Edited by koonhua90 - 5/13/10 at 6:32am
post #283 of 2831

I am seriously considering those!

At the moment, I have the IE8 and I am very happy with those. But I...am a Head-Fier and would really like to hear something better. I am also considering e-Q7, CK10, MTPC...but I would really like to have an upgrade in most areas, and I'm a little afraid that some of those IEMs might give me better accuracy/speed/detail than my IE8, but would lose in other areas. From what I read here, the SM3 would be like a complete upgrade over IE8. That way, I could sell IE8 without any remorse. Question: is there something I could regret on IE8 if I buy SM3?

The only thing that holds me back is the price: holy cr@p, those thing cost 345€, whereas I only paid like 190€ for my IE8! But if they are really worth the price, I think I could make a last effort and then quit this forum...for a while .

PS: I am not considering customs for the moment, as I've just finished my studies, and am still looking for a job

post #284 of 2831


Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

/me unsubscribes from this thread.


Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

^^ LOL. Will be nice to hear more people's opinions on the SM3. 

x2 on @shigzeo's. Although I am loving my SM3, I would like to hear more opinion from different individuals with different point of view.

post #285 of 2831

Is the discussion about those silly "audiophile" MP3 players over? Good, re-subscribed. ;)

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