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EarSonics SM3 Appreciation, Discussion, & Review Thread - Technically Best Universal? (see first... - Page 3  

post #31 of 2831
It's more of a decision of how much I want to spend.

Would you consider the SM3s worth the price? Only from a quick search I've found them for 350 EUR / £300.

I've got very little experience with IEMs, I'm afraid, especially at the high end. It's a trouble to find any to try out. I'm hesitant to spend so much, but at the same time I don't want to spend, say, £100 and then find out I'm not happy with what I've got.
post #32 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Earsonics customs are 90 euros WITH TAX. So I suppose you could have them for around 75 without tax + shipping. I don't know about Westone, but if you're in Northern America and if they do it with acrylic then it might be better to buy earmolds from them instead of Earsonics.
I have just visited Earsonics homepage. It seems to be a good option for me now. Thanks for the information!

By the way, do you know of any information regarding Earsonics' way of making custom eartips? (i.e. a mouth-open impression?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
I'm resisting much because 1 - I'm skeptical by nature , so that I'm never disapointed, 2 - I'm actually hesitating between pursuing into IEMs or going for full-sized portable headphones (ES10, t50p). The reason is that I've never found any IEM that gives me good handling of reverb / echo / decay effects and gives weight to the entire sound (not just the bass), especially with percussions. In other words, I never found any IEM that gives me the sensation of fullness, "big sound". Also, I feel the IEMs I tried are not able to retranscript subtle "emotional" (as opposed to purely details related) nuances (piano soft pedal effect for example). The SM3 though, might be the first to do that for me.
What can I say, you are no doubt a smart and clever consumer, and 'resistance is futile' just means nothing to you You have your criteria looking for upgrades in phones, I am not being smart here to recommend you (who has a pair of experienced ears apparently) anything, but just wonder perhaps FX500/FX700 could live up to your expectation? I have very limited experience in portable or full-sized headphones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
There is though one thing I know for sure : the Earsonics sound signature is the one I love most of all the ones I know of. The ruthlessly neutral frequency response associated with the very space-conscious, euphonic, lush and playful presentation is what I prefer. And That's the reason why I hesitate because I know I won't find that with full-size headphones (for example, I'm afraid of the ES10 mids, especially their alleged graininess - another reason why the E-Q7 don't attract me at all BTW, however good they might be).
However it seems to me that your logical upgrade route would be a pair of EM2 or EM3Pro, if you like the Earsonics' housesound. I love their sound too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
As a sidenote, I'll continue to retranscript what I've read in French forums, but currently there's nothing new. Hell, it's already good enough, and a small dozen of people already tried them and seem to have a rather consensual appreciation of them - they're not very polarizing phones anyway (unlike the W3). The summary I've written earlier is the addition of all the impressions.
Your effort much appreciated! I was still wondering should I get a pair of W3 or UM3X for myself, but now having SM3 I don't have the urge anymore. Anticipating the new Jays though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Average_joe, which tip are you finally using ? The glider or the Ety triflanges ? Woul it be a good idea to cut the ety triflanges into biflanges if they suck out too much treble ?
I think @average_joe is going to get some real cool looking tips (which he suggested to me earlier). But that tips turn out to be pricey...
post #33 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsuffix View Post
It's more of a decision of how much I want to spend.

Would you consider the SM3s worth the price? Only from a quick search I've found them for 350 EUR / £300.

I've got very little experience with IEMs, I'm afraid, especially at the high end. It's a trouble to find any to try out. I'm hesitant to spend so much, but at the same time I don't want to spend, say, £100 and then find out I'm not happy with what I've got.
What IEMs have you tried or been using?
post #34 of 2831
I honestly can't remember. They were a pair of Sennheiser's I bought several years ago. They were ~£60 I think? Not exactly a high end pair, but enough for me to know that I did not mind using them, and preferred them to buds.

And unfortunately, I'm nowhere near any place that has them to try out.
post #35 of 2831
Quote:
Would you consider the SM3s worth the price? Only from a quick search I've found them for 350 EUR / £300.
I don't own them, but I have the SM2 which are 50 euros cheaper. Considering the improvements I've heard about the SM3, I actually think the SM2 aren't worth it at all in comparison.

now in absolute terms, that's for you to decide. I consider myself frankly well-endowed in life and spending 350 euros into IEMs, though representing 1/3 of the minimum salary of my country, won't bother me much. However I care a lot about value for money : I prefer to spend 1000 euros into something that's 1000 euros worth of quality rather than 300 on something worth 200 for real.

The SM3 seem to fall into the very good value for price side of the equation, especially if you're buying them in euros.

Quote:
By the way, do you know of any information regarding Earsonics' way of making custom eartips? (i.e. a mouth-open impression?)
No idea.

Quote:
However it seems to me that your logical upgrade route would be a pair of EM2 or EM3Pro, if you like the Earsonics' housesound. I love their sound too.
The problem I have with customs is the resell value. First, I hate the idea of throwing things away - I always either give or resell what I don't need anymore. That's psychological, I know .

Second, when one invests that kind of price in headphones, one expects to be able to keep them for a long time (example : the Sennheiser HD800 are unlikely to loose all their qualities in four years. We still talk about the K1000, R10 and etc. for a reason). Customs though are likely to never last more than four or five years.

Finally, the biggest problem is that I simply love to share my music and my equipment. That's a deal breaker with customs .

Quote:
Your effort much appreciated! I was still wondering should I get a pair of W3 or UM3X for myself, but now having SM3 I don't have the urge anymore. Anticipating the new Jays though.
if there is one pair of IEMs I wouldn't get at all if i had the SM3, it would actually be the UM3x : the SM3 are just all the UM3x are + a lot of things better.

On the other hand, the W3 have a really different sound signature, so even though they're likely to be technically inferior to the SM3, they'll still offer an alternative.

Actually, if I had the SM3, and wanted something different, I'd rather look into slightly more "grainy" sounding headphones, especially if I was listening to dirty rock or metal. An example could be the E-Q7. Or even the UM3x. And I just contradicted myself .

I'm also looking forwards for the new Jays, out of curiosity.
post #36 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsuffix View Post
It's more of a decision of how much I want to spend.

Would you consider the SM3s worth the price? Only from a quick search I've found them for 350 EUR / £300.

I've got very little experience with IEMs, I'm afraid, especially at the high end. It's a trouble to find any to try out. I'm hesitant to spend so much, but at the same time I don't want to spend, say, £100 and then find out I'm not happy with what I've got.
I own the e-Q7, GR8, IE8 (well, now they have been lost by the USPS), Copper, FX700, CK10, modded CK90Pro, RE252, and have the MD on loan, and I would say yes, to me they are worth every penny and are a step up from everything else.

Hopefully KLS will share more of his [positive] thoughts, even though he may not have the best tips/fit.

And, shigzeo, do you think the sound warrants the price?
post #37 of 2831
My review will be next week, but I have to say this: driving the SM3, as long as you have a decent HPO (which can drive iems): iPod shuffle 1G, Clip, Fuze, iPod touch 2g~ - you don't really NEED an amp.

The FR will not change, not even a bit. If your player, like the Fuze or clip has a pretty shallow l/r balance when driving load, an amp like the RX (really wide) will help, but generally, the SM3 is so well engineered that it doesn't NEED an amp.

it is laid back in the effect that it doesn't have a favourite part of the FR, not really.

Great earphone, bad plastic case. That is my only problem with the SM3 and its analogues like the Westone UM2 and UM3x - no professional earphone should have a thin plastic sound tube or plastic housing.

~Price: I sort of try to stay away from that (you will see why tomorrow with the Radius earphones). No earphone warrants its price either lower or higher, not really. Some sound better than others in their range, others worse, but then again, it all comes down to perspective.

The SM3 does nothing wrong and everything right, but it also has nearly no accent - a problem for some. If you like more excitement, the SM3 isn't the phone. If you want bigger in the low end, it isn't it. If you want liquid atmospheric mids, you won't get it. What you will get is textbook machined performance which, depending on how you use it or if you are adverse to EQ, will sound how you want.

It like the EM3Pro is simply put, made to run into the ground via any output source and I respect the level of engineering that went into the sound. It is worth it, but then again, only to those who want that sound.

For me, the sound of the IE8 isn't worth it, but others love it. So, I want to make it clear that sound and price don't match up - not in my books: ever. Sound only matches or doesn't match expectations. The SM3 sounds like a professional monitor, performs like a professional monitor, and through its 'meh' design, looks like one. The ONLY problem I have is the plastic case and sound tube which ostensibly could break.

An earphone like the SM3 doesn't need an amp to shine - if you have a decent output source. An iPod 5,5 is good, but suffers roll off with low ohm phones. The beauty of the SM3 is that it doesn't perform like contemporary balanced armatures and cause suckout even with great DAP's and mics. But your player does have to perform well enough with lowΩ earphones and the 5,5 isn't that thing. Neither is a Cowon D2, S9, iPod touch 1G, iPod Nano 1G-3G and a host of others.

I am happy with the tough 2G, Clip V2 (not as much, but it is good) and Fuze V2 (pretty good) without an amp. With a good amp, space will open up a bit and maybe separation, but you really aren't going to have to invest in much to get the 95% percentile of performance ffrom the SM3.
post #38 of 2831
Is it not bothersome that these are surely the ugliest high end earphones in existence?
post #39 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsuffix View Post
It's more of a decision of how much I want to spend.
Would you consider the SM3s worth the price? Only from a quick search I've found them for 350 EUR / £300.

I've got very little experience with IEMs, I'm afraid, especially at the high end. It's a trouble to find any to try out. I'm hesitant to spend so much, but at the same time I don't want to spend, say, £100 and then find out I'm not happy with what I've got.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsuffix View Post
I honestly can't remember. They were a pair of Sennheiser's I bought several years ago. They were ~£60 I think? Not exactly a high end pair, but enough for me to know that I did not mind using them, and preferred them to buds.

And unfortunately, I'm nowhere near any place that has them to try out.
I suppose you have visithed this thread
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/t...-often-476315/

To be honest, I don't think any of us is able to suggest you anything, as you didn't state what kind of sound signature you are looking for, what kind of music you like etc...So how much you want to spend? Are you coming from headphones?

@MayaTlab, I think I sould email Franck for more information about custom earmolds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
The problem I have with customs is the resell value. First, I hate the idea of throwing things away - I always either give or resell what I don't need anymore. That's psychological, I know .
Me too

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Second, when one invests that kind of price in headphones, one expects to be able to keep them for a long time (example : the Sennheiser HD800 are unlikely to loose all their qualities in four years. We still talk about the K1000, R10 and etc. for a reason). Customs though are likely to never last more than four or five years.
Never tried a custom, but it can last me a good 4 years I will be very satisfied. To me, resisting is just like not to eat any burgers in McD I believe in the short future more attractive stuff will be coming. However will they bring sound quality to another level that is another question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Finally, the biggest problem is that I simply love to share my music and my equipment. That's a deal breaker with customs .
I can see how you like to share things with people

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
if there is one pair of IEMs I wouldn't get at all if i had the SM3, it would actually be the UM3x : the SM3 are just all the UM3x are + a lot of things better.

On the other hand, the W3 have a really different sound signature, so even though they're likely to be technically inferior to the SM3, they'll still offer an alternative.

Actually, if I had the SM3, and wanted something different, I'd rather look into slightly more "grainy" sounding headphones, especially if I was listening to dirty rock or metal. An example could be the E-Q7. Or even the UM3x. And I just contradicted myself .

I'm also looking forwards for the new Jays, out of curiosity.
I have a pair of IE8, so I don't think I need another fun IEM in my collection. SM3 is smooth, and e-Q7 is in fact grainy in comparison.
post #40 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I suppose you have visithed this thread
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/t...-often-476315/

To be honest, I don't think any of us is able to suggest you anything, as you didn't state what kind of sound signature you are looking for, what kind of music you like etc...So how much you want to spend? Are you coming from headphones?
I'm coming from headphones. Sound signature? I'm not too sure. The music I'm listening to is very, very broad, I love to listen to pretty much everything. That's been part of the problem, and it's a reason why I'm looking at more 'balanced' IEMs.
post #41 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
I own the e-Q7, GR8, IE8 (well, now they have been lost by the USPS), Copper, FX700, CK10, modded CK90Pro, RE252, and have the MD on loan, and I would say yes, to me they are worth every penny and are a step up from everything else.

Hopefully KLS will share more of his [positive] thoughts, even though he may not have the best tips/fit.

And, shigzeo, do you think the sound warrants the price?
I should have claimed that I am nitpicking here. I was disappointed at first, but now I am overall satisfied with them, that's why I said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I was thinking of opening similar thread
Isn't this an appreciation thread? By the way I have good fit with both stock comply and yellow foamies, but I don't think they are the perfect tips for SM3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec E View Post
Is it not bothersome that these are surely the ugliest high end earphones in existence?
Yes, they are the ugliest in my collection, but conquer my ears most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsuffix View Post
I'm coming from headphones. Sound signature? I'm not too sure. The music I'm listening to is very, very broad, I love to listen to pretty much everything. That's been part of the problem, and it's a reason why I'm looking at more 'balanced' IEMs.
I suggest spending more time reading this forum. I have IE8, SM3, CK10, e-Q7, TF10, and I am not hating any of them, though much time was talen for me to accustom to IE8, CK10, and SM3

@shigzeo, waiting for your impressions
post #42 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I should have claimed that I am nitpicking here. I was disappointed at first, but now I am overall satisfied with them, that's why I said:
Just wanted to make sure people didn't miss that, as before I PMed you I wasn't too sure where you stood Thank you!
post #43 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
Just wanted to make sure people didn't miss that, as before I PMed you I wasn't too sure where you stood Thank you!
I think it is because of my poor mastering in writing essays and my poor English which have been confusing you. My bad.

Yes you are right to quote that, because I am with you
post #44 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
I think the presentation of the SM3 is more up close and personal, like being on stage, but the rest of the spectrum is right there with you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
The first few days I listen to them I always thought that I am actually the drummer inside the music
Could it be that these were designed with stage monitoring in mind? I'm not at all sure I would like this kind of soundstaging. Then again I don't think I've ever experienced such a close presentation with IEMs to date.
post #45 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Could it be that these were designed with stage monitoring in mind? I'm not at all sure I would like this kind of soundstaging. Then again I don't think I've ever experienced such a close presentation with IEMs to date.
Just looked through their homepage (EarSonics), and their product description is short enough in the English site. NotNot much information is written there. I am emailing Franck regarding custom earmolds so I will ask him about this too.
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