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Earsonics EM3Pro Impressions and Review thread - Page 8

post #106 of 191
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

i recall i mentioned something about the rendering of space in the sm3 thread, not the width of the stage but the 3d space, and someone joked about the sm3's coming with dolby surround haha. but that was just the one comment so i thought it was just me.


i think the "stage" in soundstage is rather limiting, especially since recordings, unless live, take place in a room as opposed to on a stage in a studio. and mixing itself,... you're taught to position your elements within a room, with front and back as opposed to just between left and right.


I do have many songs where the soundstage is limited.  Some modern rap/R&B has a flat soundstage, for example.  Another user asked me to listen to a bunch of youtube songs that all sounded better on the FX700 when I had both.  This was due to mastering IMO.  Some studio albums have the spatial info added in a great, cohesive way, while others are a blended mess.  I dislike the mixes where the instruments are all coming from about the same place just with different widths and seem to overlap.  Not a lot of recordings are that bad, but some.


So, while I agree that the majority of recordings do have limited spatial ques, many have enough for me to hear an instrument/vocalist in it's individual space and all the nuances of that part of the performance.  So, for me, many of my tracks are a close approximation of a band being in a small club on stage (or in front of me in the recording studio as far as spatial cues go).  Hope that makes sense.



and damn,.. 35% purely sound? 


i wish i had a time machine to skip the next couple of weeks of em3/brain burn in 


also, i wish i didnt hear about a custom cable guy living in my town,... i'm getting tempted after rereading Guy's twag experience 


Like I said, my 35% could be your 10%!  The space of the headphone has a great weight for me, and the EM3 Pro excels at space to my ears, especially with the HUD-1/RPX-33.  Not that the SM3 doesn't excel with space, but with some tracks the EM3 Pro advantage is more apparent than others!

post #107 of 191

haha, yeah i found that with the sm3's i listened to more acoustic classical stuff than i did hip hop cos if its flatness, and i'm someone that produces hip hop on the side,... but man some of the stuff is just flatter than kate moss. then add in the overly loud over compression and its really unbearable,.... the older stuff though, the tribe called quest, even the dirty 36 chambers from wu-tang, the stuff before the diy home studio loudness war,... that stuff still sounds excellent through the em3's and sm3's.


last night i think i broke through my first10% actually,... 48 hours in and i can hear the em3's waking up, stretching and they sound like they're rolling up their sleeves before a fight. beautiful bass that sounds like its growing out of adolescence, mids still a bit warm, treble is peaking out of its foxhole, and looks ready to emerge, but what is there is nice already.


they already sound bigger than the sm3's from memory, but then i did have unbalanced fit problems,... right now though they sound like sm3's after a couple of weeks burn in and when i got the fit just right. so knowing that they'll probably change a bit more over the next few days,... 


oh and watch some tv with them,... really really nice. but if you do make sure you get good quality stuff,... dvd or blueray,... just like with mp3's vs flac,... if the video is compressed and converted badly, ie extremely, you'll hear it as being flat. get a nice hi-res video and the em3's are like a surround sound system in your head.


hmm, havent tried HDporn yet 

post #108 of 191

Yes, some of the new stuff is just awful, but then so is a lot of my 80s CDs that sound so flat from a dynamics perspective.  Just boring.  But on a different note, I have my collection on my iPod with a playlist of over 7500 songs that I play on random so from time to time I will get a song I haven't heard in a year or more and most of the time I am hearing the song differently than I remember the song.  The EM3 Pro brings out all the detail I used to miss.


As far as burn in, I don't recall the big change with the EM3 Pro that I experienced with the SM3, but then again I wasn't really listening for it like I was hoping the SM3 would sound better.  But I do believe there are changes, and I would say they continued until around 400 hours with the SM3, so the EM3 Pro could be around the same.  And to clarify the changed with the SM3...the big changes occurred for me within the first 200 hours and the next 200 had subtle changed.


I will have to try movies and such with the EM3 Pro as I have not yet.  I use a JVC surround sound headphone amp to a headphone amp (T3 or Arrow right now) to my SA5000 for late night movie listening.  That sounds pretty awesome, but I wonder how that surround sound processor will work with the EM3 Pro.


Keep us updated.  And music_4321, looking forward to your SM3 thoughts, especially vs. the ES3X.

post #109 of 191

maybe its the better fit, but i get the feeling the em3's are changing faster than the sm3's,... its day three for me, and i've been playing music through them for about 20 hours a day,.... i'm quite happy with the sound this evening and if it stopped changing i wouldnt complain at all. i think it sounds like the sm3's (but bigger) just before i sent them back which was some 2-3 weeks in i think, at which point they sounded just right, treble and everything.


on some really nice tracks i am getting a glimpse of something more though, so,.... impatiently waiting 


and lol, surround sound processor with the em3's?


might be so hyperreal that you get seasick haha.


actually i have a couple of surround plugins, i think i'll have to try them out someday.


post #110 of 191
Thread Starter 

I am really sorry for the delay, everyone. I had an ear infection that kept me blessedly out of the loop for about a month. The review is long overdue, but is now here.


Review: Earsonics EM3Pro: Quite simply the best earphone for your iPhone


Keep in mind that the majority of the readers are iPhone readers, but I included some other sources as well. This is an Editor's choice earphone (if not for the horrid case).

post #111 of 191

Sorry to hear about your ear infection, that has to suck for a headphone guy!  Great, thorough review, thanks shigzeo!  And I must say, your EM3 looks so cool!

post #112 of 191

Very cool review, nicely written. I found myself chuckling a bit at the "fantastic price" line. Worth it, of course. I think when I'm spending 1k on an IEM, dollar value has gone out the window. 

post #113 of 191

sorry to hear about the ear infection, but yeah really nice review.


i couldnt agree more with the way you described the rendering of notes,... there are recordings i've made which, while pleasant to listen to, were missing the last few percent that defined an instrument. I listened to some of them last night and it is scary just how real the em3's are, the slight nuances that make the difference between "a recording" and the feeling of being in the room.


Rage against the machine, their first album, listen to Bombtrack,.... the bass has always been great, but with the em3's,... its like i'm sitting next to the bassist and i can hear the vibrations of the strings in the air and not just the signal. simply breathtaking,...


and i never liked metal with the sm3's, but metal is chunky and nasty with the em3's. 

post #114 of 191

Yes, what the EM3 Pro does is outstanding in the realm of realism.  Comparing the EM3 Pro to the only other headphone I have in the price range, the T1 keeps me longing for the same sound as the EM3 Pro, but in a full sized.  The T1 has a great ability to portray the size and space of a live performance better, especially classical.  I am hoping the LCD-2 is that headphone.  The descriptions some people have are similar to my perception of the EM3 Pro.


Now on to a quick SM3 comparo...I stuck the SM3 in after not listening to them for a while and wow, my 35% might be more like 75%!  They really didn't sound all that great now that my EM3 Pro has more time on it and more ear time.  The difference when using a Sansa Fuze as the source was stunning, and even with the Fuze to my T3 (all I had).  The first thing that smacked me in the face was the thick mids of the SM3.  Of course, the 75% is me just throwing out a number and I will do a thorough comparison review of the two in the not so distant future.


post #115 of 191

Now the question I ask is this : Just when will you, average_joe, anomalouscode & shigzeo, finally try the ES3X?

Please bear in mind this question doesn't just come from anyone but from a fresh-out-of-the-oven real Headphoneus Supremous!!

post #116 of 191
Thread Starter 

All around, the EM3Pro is better than the SM3 and of course, that is saying a lot. Average Joe is probably onto something with his guestimate 75%, but I am not as good with numbers as he is.


What I hear that clinically beats the SM3 is the treble cleanliness, the image, and in some ways the bass. Fit of course is a huge boon: there are no tips to gobble up the sound. No rubber effects, no damping foam; and the distance to the drivers seems to be a sweet spot. 


But my favourite regarding the SM3 and the EM3Pro (and I mean this quite literally) is that it doesn't NEED an amp to sound 95% of itself as long as you own a modern (not HiSound) DAP that can push signal decently. The SM2 is a wonderful earphone that powers through its bass and in a way is more toe-tapping friendly than the SM3 is, but it is so much harder to drive. I would need to put a T3 with my iPod touch, my Sony and all my other players to make the midrange come out and play nicely with the treble and to a lesser extent, the bass.


EM3Pro and SM3, no need.

post #117 of 191

So from an SQ perspective you prefer acrylic to silicone customs?  I think you mentioned it but I missed what you preferred in solid versus hollow acrylic molds apart from isolation.

post #118 of 191
Thread Starter 

I have no real preference personally. Acrylic tends to sound cleaner, but in some ways, less involving. The silicon moulds really are top notch for when moving about and I am surprised when I find out that stage musicians (especially singers) use anything but silicon. For audiophiles, however, acrylic is probably a safer way to go, but not nearly as flexible for different uses. 

post #119 of 191

i'm not a headphone junkie, so between what i hear,... and the experiences from headphone vets like shigzeo and joe,... especially joe's comments about the T1's,... 


i dont really feel a need to do any further shopping until these things break down, and even then i might just go back for more of the same.


but sure if anyone wants to gift me a pair of es3x's or jh16's or those dsp jh's then i would be happy to provide a comprehensive comparison in return 

post #120 of 191
Thread Starter 

There is never any NEED to buy another headphone. If you have the dosh and want to upgrade, why not, but hell, don't buy something because you feel compelled to do so. Headphones are way too expensive for that. Enjoy the music, mate.

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