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EarSonics SM3 Appreciation, Discussion, & Review Thread - Technically Best Universal? (see first... - Page 4  

post #46 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
Could it be that these were designed with stage monitoring in mind?
I definitely got that impression from reading their site.
post #47 of 2831
did you get another iem KLS? :P

@Alec E: I think the ugliest iem title still belongs to the MD's imo.

@Joe: how's the forwardness compared to the MD's. Being forward isn't something I like in my phones but the MD's pushed the limits of my tolerance towards that.
post #48 of 2831
^ I secretly bought them two months ago

From pics I can only say MD has better build than SM3.
post #49 of 2831
^^ from first hand experience with Monster's Turbine Pro, I can say with certainty that the MTP is better bult than the SM3, UMx, UM2, etc. Again, my only complaint with the SM3 and Westone's professional earphones is that they are plastic - a silly combination for stage use or even for audiophiles.
post #50 of 2831
Thread Starter 
I don't know, there have been many reports of the MTP Copper coming apart. But I hear ya, as I have had my IE8 nozzle rip off

I do think these will last, at least for me
post #51 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post
did you get another iem KLS? :P

@Alec E: I think the ugliest iem title still belongs to the MD's imo.

@Joe: how's the forwardness compared to the MD's. Being forward isn't something I like in my phones but the MD's pushed the limits of my tolerance towards that.
See here.

Or, pulling my long answer out from that link:
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
OK, let me start by saying I (you) need to rethink how to describe typical IEM presentation. The MDs, e-Q7, GR8, IE8, FX700, CK10, etc. present the music to you, the SM3 involves you with the music, immersing you and shifting position to wherever the mics were placed. I can’t answer the question “is it more forward than IEM X?” because the SM3 has the ability to shift it’s presentation convincingly depending on what is in the music in a way my other IEMs don't. With the SM3 sometimes you are listening from the drummer’s perspective, sometimes from the singer, sometimes from a point in the audience. I have heard all sorts of locations depending on the song, and the variance in location is much larger than with my other IEMs. Also, the space of the SM3 is simply much larger and has much more versatility/ability to present the recording accurately in space.

To me, there are two parts of presentation (positioning): absolute and relative. Absolute is where you are sitting in the audience. The back of a jazz club (IE8) I would term laid back, staring the vocalist in the face (SE530) I would call forward. Relative is how each part of the spectrum is placed relative to the other. For example, I think the FX700 bass is closer to you than the mids, therefore laid back refers to laid back mids in comparison. The GR8 mids seem to be closer to you than the bass and treble, therefore they are mid-forward. Of course, each track is going to adjust both absolute and relative positioning of each IEM. That is how it makes sense to me.

For example, while the MD sounds very nice, it is mid forward, like there are speakers presenting the music to me up close and personal. Putting the SM3 in makes me feel like I am in the recording studio (for this track, Destiny's Child). The space created is so much better front to back and top to bottom, not to mention side to side, the presentation of the SM3 can start more forward than the MD and end further back than the MD, depending on parts of the song. The IE8 did sound like I was at the back of a jazz club, regardless of the music. I don’t think the SM3 will be able to present music like that, although I might have just not found the right track yet! Maybe I need to get my Butthole Surfers bootleg CD out and see how that sounds.

Oh, and the SM3 bass makes the MD bass sound flabby, yet not as powerful! The SM3 bass is as amazing to my ears as the space. Yes, the FX700 bass is close, but not as tight, refined, or quick, but with a little more emphasis.

In summary the SM3 sounds like it creates a presentation around the point of where the mics were positioned and other IEMs present in a more 2D plane (or line). I am not saying there is no front to back info with other IEMs, but relative to the SM3 the space seems compressed, therefore the instrument sounds are also compressed. I didn’t notice/think so until the SM3.
post #52 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
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:regular_smile
So, do you think the SM3 is a step above the others as I do?

And I do think there is burn in happening with the SM3, as I had a coworker listen to the SM3 when I first got them, and he didn't like them because they were too warm. Then I had him listen again today with the same tips he used before and he said the sound signature definitely changed and he really liked them.

I think it is burn in, as I am back to the triple flange tips and they are working well for me, and the sound is not overly warm like it initially was.
post #53 of 2831
Accordingly I read that balanced armatures don't burn in. So could it be both the cable and crossover ?
post #54 of 2831
wow,they look as ugly as to my yet to come um3x.
post #55 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
So, do you think the SM3 is a step above the others as I do?
I have read many people saying the jump from a $100 universal IEM to a $300 top tier IEM is not as big as compared to the jump from a top-tier universal IEM to a great custom. In my opinion, to my ears, SM3 has its very own unique sound signature (of all IEMs I own, IE8 is the closest in sound signature, but not the same), and find that your decription on SM3's presentation now make sense to me.

IEMs which are entitled 'top tier' have their own strengths. If I want analytical and very detailed sound I'd go for CK10. Beautiful female vocal, e-Q7 (don't know why, I just love female vocal on e-Q7). IE8 for some emotional moments. TF10, currently in their silver case. SM3, a perfect pair of IEMs for my bedtime listening, and I precious this moment the most

Is SM3 a step up above the others? Hard question for a pair of untrained ears... Again every top tier IEMs has their very own sound signature and strengths, and it just happen to me that I prefer SM3 more and they perform well for my music taste. Not everthing is perfect, imperfection makes part of the beauty too, but SM3 just minimizes those imperfection to a tolerable level compared to other IEMs I have.

Comments based on stock tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
And I do think there is burn in happening with the SM3, as I had a coworker listen to the SM3 when I first got them, and he didn't like them because they were too warm. Then I had him listen again today with the same tips he used before and he said the sound signature definitely changed and he really liked them.

I think it is burn in, as I am back to the triple flange tips and they are working well for me, and the sound is not overly warm like it initially was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Accordingly I read that balanced armatures don't burn in. So could it be both the cable and crossover ?
I am not sure whether the BA drivers need burn in, or the cable or the crossover, but my thoughts on them now and two months earlier is different, using the same SM3 and with the same stock tips. Perhaps my brain is the one to be blamed
post #56 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I am not sure whether the BA drivers need burn in, or the cable or the crossover, but my thoughts on them now and two months earlier is different, using the same SM3 and with the same stock tips.
Perhaps my brain is the one to be blamed
Well, I think there's always some 'brain' adjustment to the different sound signature of a new phone, and I've never heard of BA's needing any kind of dramatic burn in. When I had my TF10, I was quite underwhelmed for the first few hours.... but gradually I adjusted to the different sound (having come from much brighter phones). So in my case it was just mental burn in. With dynamic drivers, I accept that burn in does occur in some cases - but even so, I've never noticed any major changes after the first 10/20 hours or so. I'm still hearing claims that 500 hours and more is needed for the IE8 to sound good, but mine sounded fine out of the box, and after ten hours they were all burned in
post #57 of 2831
I got a reply from Franck (have his permission to post this reply)

My first question:
I am thinking of making custom earmolds for SM3.
Just wonder in what way will you suggest in making ear impressions? I mean like to use a bite-block? Or a closed-mouth impressions? Or an opened-mouth impressions?

Franck's answer:
Quote:
We prefer a little opened- mouth impressions. But if you use bit block, don't tighten the teeth.
My second question:
By the way, is SM3 designed with stage monitoring in mind?

Franck's reply:
Quote:
Not really, our politic is to manufacture in-ears who reproduce the source with the maximum of fidelity. What you heard is what have been recorded (the original MIx)So, for us it's as important for stage use as audiophile listening..

sincerely,Franck Lopez.
post #58 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I have read many people saying the jump from a $100 universal IEM to a $300 top tier IEM is not as big as compared to the jump from a top-tier universal IEM to a great custom. In my opinion, to my ears, SM3 has its very own unique sound signature (of all IEMs I own, IE8 is the closest in sound signature, but not the same), and find that your decription on SM3's presentation now make sense to me.

IEMs which are entitled 'top tier' have their own strengths. If I want analytical and very detailed sound I'd go for CK10. Beautiful female vocal, e-Q7 (don't know why, I just love female vocal on e-Q7). IE8 for some emotional moments. TF10, currently in their silver case. SM3, a perfect pair of IEMs for my bedtime listening, and I precious this moment the most

Is SM3 a step up above the others? Hard question for a pair of untrained ears... Again every top tier IEMs has their very own sound signature and strengths, and it just happen to me that I prefer SM3 more and they perform well for my music taste. Not everthing is perfect, imperfection makes part of the beauty too, but SM3 just minimizes those imperfection to a tolerable level compared to other IEMs I have.
I actually do think this is a fairly big jump from the others in at least one aspect, if not more. For example, while the width of the SM3 and IE8 is similar, the SM3 is much more 3D than the IE8 and has better clarity, instrument separation, and detail. CK10 images very well and is close in that (and offers better clarity), but the space is smaller and the bass, while not bad to my ears, if very lean in comparison without the proper reverb.

If I had to rank them I would put the e-Q7 in 2nd behind the SM3. And just when I think the transparency is better with the e-Q7 than the SM3 and A/B, it really isn't, they both have problems

The other top-tiers are still very good, but the SM3 is also what I prefer! But I also think that the better overall technical presentation and lack of perceived weaknesses (to me) of the SM3 makes them a cut above the rest.

Quote:
Comments based on stock tips
I think a better fit will = that you are more impressed. I am most impressed with the triple flange and Ety Glider tips, which add something the shallower insertion foam tips don't. Althouth I do like the shallower insertion gel supertips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post
Well, I think there's always some 'brain' adjustment to the different sound signature of a new phone, and I've never heard of BA's needing any kind of dramatic burn in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayaTlab View Post
Accordingly I read that balanced armatures don't burn in. So could it be both the cable and crossover ?
I agree there with some brain burn in, but not that your brain will completely change the sound signature of an IEM (from overly warm and source dependent to amazingly balanced). And how much brain burn in could someone's brain have if they listened for 5-10 minutes a week ago and again yesterday, as happened with my coworker?

I would go with what MayaTlab said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
I got a reply from Franck (have his permission to post this reply)

My second question:
By the way, is SM3 designed with stage monitoring in mind?

Franck's reply:
Quote:
Not really, our politic is to manufacture in-ears who reproduce the source with the maximum of fidelity. What you heard is what have been recorded (the original MIx)So, for us it's as important for stage use as audiophile listening..

sincerely,Franck Lopez.
Thanks for sharing. Franck's response seems to be spot on and what makes these sound so good to me!
post #59 of 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
I think a better fit will = that you are more impressed. I am most impressed with the triple flange and Ety Glider tips, which add something the shallower insertion foam tips don't. Althouth I do like the shallower insertion gel supertips.
Just to clarify something here: as I have said, fit is not a problem for me with SM3. Of all kind of tips I have tried (the Westone's silicone tips, Sony hybrids with T-100 comply's bore, and Shure triple flange), Shure yellow foamies and the stock tips give me the best fit. So, in my opinion, since I have good fit with them now, I think what problems me now is the tips (material of tips, deep or shallow insertion).

I think I have best fit now, but I am looking for better tips for SM3. Going to an audiologist soon
post #60 of 2831
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLS View Post
Just to clarify something here: as I have said, fit is not a problem for me with SM3. Of all kind of tips I have tried (the Westone's silicone tips, Sony hybrids with T-100 comply's bore, and Shure triple flange), Shure yellow foamies and the stock tips give me the best fit. So, in my opinion, since I have good fit with them now, I think what problems me now is the tips (material of tips, deep or shallow insertion).

I think I have best fit now, but I am looking for better tips for SM3. Going to an audiologist soon
OK, very cool. Looking forward to your thoughts on custom molds for the SM3 I might have to get some also!
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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)