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Earsonics EM3Pro Impressions and Review thread - Page 9

post #121 of 191

ahh but you confuse audio related "NEED" which equals "WANT" with normal "NEED" as in need air to breathe 

 

or perhaps its my fault for not being clear i should have said:

 

I dont feel the WANT to do any further shopping 

 

post #122 of 191
Thread Starter 

Haha! Well, I am glad to hear that. The EM3Pro is honestly amazing. As you can see in my review, my unit isn't countersunk, but new models are. I think Earsonics got the perfect formula with this earphone - as long as you are looking for an acrylic earphone. If not, the ACS T1 is my choice for overall performance.

post #123 of 191

mine which i got a few days ago are countersunk,... but i checked with earsonics before hand, i had to explain countersunk... they call it "recessed pins" they said.

 

its a nice solid stiff connection but the workmanship could be a bit better. i'll get some pics tomorrow if we have decent weather here.

 

the typhoon has been a biiiatch today.

post #124 of 191


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

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!!


Congratulations Mr. Supremous!  Although, to me the labels don't mean anything, it is what you post, and I like your posts.  You can have 1 post, and if it is a good one, I will be on the road to respect .  Even though it still says 1000+ head-fi'er you are a Headphone Supremous to me!

 

Man, I really never even thought of the ES3X, at least not for a very long time (since HPA's review long ago).  The reason is I was not impressed with the UM3X in my listening sessions.  For me, soundstage has the greatest weight for my enjoyment and as an integral part of a headphones ability to portray an accurate sound.  The UM3X doesn't agree with me and sounds very smallish in soundstage, which I just can not live with.  There are other IEMs that are very well liked that I could just not enjoy due to the same thing.

 

If the UM3X are an improvement on the UM3X, fine, but how much of an improvement?  I want to see a review of the SM3 vs. the UM3X from someone I respect, and that will help me with my perspective.  There might be one that I missed; if so please link me if you can!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

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.


Yes Shigzeo, I also hear cleanliness in the mids also and the bass for me is on another level.  And yes, fit is also huge, the EM3 Pro is so much easier to fit vs. my SM3 with custom tips.  While the custom tips are nice and bring things together better than any silicon tip, they still aren't ideal in all aspects.

 

I agree with your amp assessment from say the iPhone or another source that has a similar line out and HPO quality, and the HPO might actually sound better!  And so true about the HSA stuff, that turned out to be a disappointment. 

 

I read that the SM3 has better speed than the SM2, is that true, or does the SM2 catch up with a good amp?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

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 


I plan on not only comparing the EM3 Pro and SM3, but also the T1 and EM3 Pro, or maybe just the LCD-2 as that is reported to have a similar sound to the EarSonics house sound. 

 

And anyone that wants to gift anomalouscode, please don't forget me also!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

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.


anomalouscode might not "need" more, however, in my case I NEED to hear the LCD-2 .  Until then I have some cool things to hold me over!


Edited by average_joe - 8/11/10 at 12:21am
post #125 of 191
Thread Starter 

Yikes mate, you are in for an expensive train: customs, SM2+3, moulds, T1 and the LCD-2? yikes.

 

The SM2 will always sound a bit drier (more throaty) and powerful than the SM3 even amped. The mids do come out a bit more with an amp that can drive the SM2 perfectly (not all amps can do this right), but the SM3 reigns over the SM2 for pure emotion if not for raw power.

post #126 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Congratulations Mr. Supremous!  Although, to me the labels don't mean anything, it is what you post, and I like your posts.  You can have 1 post, and if it is a good one, I will be on the road to respect .  Even though it still says 1000+ head-fi'er you are a Headphone Supremous to me!

 

Man, I really never even thought of the ES3X, at least not for a very long time (since HPA's review long ago).  The reason is I was not impressed with the UM3X in my listening sessions.  For me, soundstage has the greatest weight for my enjoyment and as an integral part of a headphones ability to portray an accurate sound.  The UM3X doesn't agree with me and sounds very smallish in soundstage, which I just can not live with.  There are other IEMs that are very well liked that I could just not enjoy due to the same thing.

 

If the UM3X are an improvement on the UM3X, fine, but how much of an improvement?  I want to see a review of the SM3 vs. the UM3X from someone I respect, and that will help me with my perspective.  There might be one that I missed; if so please link me if you can!
 


That's odd Joe, I never felt the UM3X soundstage to be that small, but your view is certainly shared by others. Funny too that when I had the IE8s a few weeks ago (with 150 hrs' burn-in) the huge soundstage reported so often, well...I just couldn't find it, at least not compared with my ES3X, which is, as I seem to remember, similar to the UM3X, if only a little bigger. The ES3X have always felt like being in a smallish club/ theatre, intimate, but in a very good way, with extraordinary mids, fantastic instrument separation, with a flat frequency curve and yet remaining very musical. And a BIG plus is the non-fatiguing aspect - can wear them for 8+ hrs easily - yet they deliver deep bass when called for and have excellent treble extension. Quite remarkable.

I can't remember who it was, here in head-fi, that wrote something about the drivers wars in custom IEMs. I'm inclined to agree with that and feel the EM3pro, much like my ES3X (to me, at least), is a very well-oiled machine with 'only' 3 drivers.

BTW, yesterday I ordered the new SE535, which appears to have slightly better SQ and improved build quality & ergonomics than the older SE530; better build quality than the SM3 (& UM3X) for sure, apparently. It also comes with a single 64" detachable cable (the standard for customs being 48", though I requested the longer 64" version from Westone which better suits my needs).

I never cared much for the SE530's SQ, mainly the rolled-off highs and a certain lack of definition in the low end, and absolutely hated the cheap looks and the very thick & heavy cables (they even came with a horrible extension!) - I sold them after 4 weeks. My intention is to keep either the SM3 or SE535, or sell both if I'm not convinced. I still want a top-tier universal backup.

Hey yeah, it still says 1000+ head-fi'er! I'm not impressed by labels either; I actually contacted one of the mods 2 days ago to see if they could keep the 1000+ head-fi'er label or even bring my post-count down to say 300/ 400 if necessary because I seriously dislike the Headphoneus Supremous moniker. They said it couldn't be done, but it looks like the higher powers are being sentitive to music_4321's request - at least for now, that is.


Edited by music_4321 - 8/11/10 at 2:37am
post #127 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Yikes mate, you are in for an expensive train: customs, SM2+3, moulds, T1 and the LCD-2? yikes.

 

The SM2 will always sound a bit drier (more throaty) and powerful than the SM3 even amped. The mids do come out a bit more with an amp that can drive the SM2 perfectly (not all amps can do this right), but the SM3 reigns over the SM2 for pure emotion if not for raw power.


I don't have any plans for the SM2 as I rarely listen to my SM3, so why have another IEM lying around?  I am just curious as to your take between the SM3 and SM2 and it seems like the step between the two isn't all that great.  And not yikes, but yeah I will be getting the LCD-2 soon.  As long as money spent is for something that will be used and that can help me enjoy this hobby, why not?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

 

That's odd Joe, I never felt the UM3X soundstage to be that small, but your view is certainly shared by others. Funny too that when I had the IE8s a few weeks ago (with 150 hrs' burn-in) the huge soundstage reported so often, well...I just couldn't find it, at least not compared with my ES3X, which is, as I seem to remember, similar to the UM3X, if only a little bigger. The ES3X have always felt like being in a smallish club/ theatre, intimate, but in a very good way, with extraordinary mids, fantastic instrument separation, with a flat frequency curve and yet remaining very musical. And a BIG plus is the non-fatiguing aspect - can wear them for 8+ hrs easily - yet they deliver deep bass when called for and have excellent treble extension. Quite remarkable.

I can't remember who it was, here in head-fi, that wrote something about the drivers wars in custom IEMs. I'm inclined to agree with that and feel the EM3pro, much like my ES3X (to me, at least), is a very well-oiled machine with 'only' 3 drivers.

BTW, yesterday I ordered the new SE535, which appears to have slightly better SQ and improved build quality & ergonomics than the older SE530; better build quality than the SM3 (& UM3X) for sure, apparently. It also comes with a single 64" detachable cable (the standard for customs being 48", though I requested the longer 64" version from Westone which better suits my needs).

I never cared much for the SE530's SQ, mainly the rolled-off highs and a certain lack of definition in the low end, and absolutely hated the cheap looks and the very thick & heavy cables (they even came with a horrible extension!) - I sold them after 4 weeks. My intention is to keep either the SM3 or SE535, or sell both if I'm not convinced. I still want a top-tier universal backup.

Hey yeah, it still says 1000+ head-fi'er! I'm not impressed by labels either; I actually contacted one of the mods 2 days ago to see if they could keep the 1000+ head-fi'er label or even bring my post-count down to say 300/ 400 if necessary because I seriously dislike the Headphoneus Supremous moniker. They said it couldn't be done, but it looks like the higher powers are being sentitive to music_4321's request - at least for now, that is.


Yes, very odd about the UM3X/IE8.  But IMO the IE8 really only gains clarity at 150 hours and the soundstage doesn't open up until after 200 hours.  That was my experience with both my first IE8 and my replacement IE8.  I was more used to the sound signature the 2nd time around but still noted the changes.

 

I think you are referring to GuyDebord who chose the EM3 Pro over the JH13 even though the JH13 has more drivers.  To my understanding, the UM3X/SM3 and ES3X/EM3 Pro are very similar and made to compete with each other.  From the many opinions I have read including some respected ones (you know who you are and can voice your opinion again) the EarSonics versions are, well, more accurate and enjoyable.  I forgot to mention how boring I thought the UM3X was.  I don't think the ES3X fits that bill, but I don't want to spend to find out and then regret it with a much lower resale value.

 

As far as universals, I think I am done.  The SE530 never impressed me and I actually did not like it and wanted it out of my ears after short periods of time.  The SE535 might be better sounding, but why take a step down?  Customs or bust for portable use!  Seems like there will be many SE535 vs. SM3 threads.

 

Well, Headphoneus Supremous or not, you are still well informed in my book!

post #128 of 191
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post


I forgot to mention how boring I thought the UM3X was.


It's about time you realised the UM3X pair you tried was faulty!  :)

post #129 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post




That's odd Joe, I never felt the UM3X soundstage to be that small, but your view is certainly shared by others. Funny too that when I had the IE8s a few weeks ago (with 150 hrs' burn-in) the huge soundstage reported so often, well...I just couldn't find it, at least not compared with my ES3X, which is, as I seem to remember, similar to the UM3X, if only a little bigger. The ES3X have always felt like being in a smallish club/ theatre, intimate, but in a very good way, with extraordinary mids, fantastic instrument separation, with a flat frequency curve and yet remaining very musical. And a BIG plus is the non-fatiguing aspect - can wear them for 8+ hrs easily - yet they deliver deep bass when called for and have excellent treble extension. Quite remarkable.

I can't remember who it was, here in head-fi, that wrote something about the drivers wars in custom IEMs. I'm inclined to agree with that and feel the EM3pro, much like my ES3X (to me, at least), is a very well-oiled machine with 'only' 3 drivers.

BTW, yesterday I ordered the new SE535, which appears to have slightly better SQ and improved build quality & ergonomics than the older SE530; better build quality than the SM3 (& UM3X) for sure, apparently. It also comes with a single 64" detachable cable (the standard for customs being 48", though I requested the longer 64" version from Westone which better suits my needs).

I never cared much for the SE530's SQ, mainly the rolled-off highs and a certain lack of definition in the low end, and absolutely hated the cheap looks and the very thick & heavy cables (they even came with a horrible extension!) - I sold them after 4 weeks. My intention is to keep either the SM3 or SE535, or sell both if I'm not convinced. I still want a top-tier universal backup.

Hey yeah, it still says 1000+ head-fi'er! I'm not impressed by labels either; I actually contacted one of the mods 2 days ago to see if they could keep the 1000+ head-fi'er label or even bring my post-count down to say 300/ 400 if necessary because I seriously dislike the Headphoneus Supremous moniker. They said it couldn't be done, but it looks like the higher powers are being sentitive to music_4321's request - at least for now, that is.


No pressure, music_4321, but I'll probably make my buying decision based on your thoughts from your coming shoot-out.   

 

We've got a lot of similar musical tastes and it's funny how that often leads to a preference for a particular presentation in IEM's.  Probably more important than that, though, is our shared skeptical attitude- I know we're sensitive to the same heuristics and biases that can influence analysis. 

 

My darkhorse in this decision is the Livewires3.  If you come away feeling that your ES3X still trumps the rest of the pack, I'll be most tempted to go that route.  Supposedly they've got the wait time down to a couple of weeks as opposed to the four months or more that was previously preventing them from serious consideration. 

 

I'd been sure that it would come down to the ES3X vs. the SM3, but it sounds like the SE535 carries some intrigue.  I personally had been wondering when Shure would get back into the game, as they were the dominant player in the market when I started out, and there's something to be said for that experience.  It's insane to think of the growth in the industry since.

 

Personally, as I can only swing one primary IEM, I think the value proposition at the top of the universal food chain probably isn't the best place to be.  I'm guessing the virtues of a lower end custom like the JH5 or the livewire trips make the ~$350 range the point at which you make the great leap, but reading about the SM3 made me take pause.  Having had a pair of UM2's break because of what seems like a very similar design flaw in the SM3, and having read about it being problem in the earsonics model, I'm naturally a little gun shy.  I read *something* about a newer model that corrects the problem, but I'm not up on the situation. 

 

Someone who I view to be a credible reviewer said that if forced to do a DBT between the ES3X and the livewires, he likely wouldn't be able to pass.  I'm amazed that a clone of the JH13pro has taken this long to come out.  UM has one now, but it seems overpriced and I think they're committed to trying to brand their own "house sound" which is catered to the sonic preferences of their dominant market and runs counter to my own preferences.

 

post #130 of 191

^^ Hey roy_jones, good to hear from you again. At some point I stopped posting on Head-fi for about 6 months after so much nonsense I kept coming across, much worse on some of the top-tier IEM threads, as well as plenty of rubbish on the JH13/ 16 threads and all threads derived from them. There seem to be either too many young kids round these forums --who just love to post non-stop, learn a bit of jargon and abuse it, and use these forums as their playground and a place to be validated -- or far too many immature grown-ups or a combination of both. A certain level of madness just seems to keep growing. But then our world is upside down in so many ways. Anyway, enough pop psychology.

I didn't know you liked some of the music I do - good to know. In real life I hardly ever come across people who know, let alone enjoy KC, VdGG, RF, Henry Cow, or even Bartok/ Beethoven string quartets.

From your comments it looks like the Trips (Livewires) sound like a very good idea. I'll tell you something, though I'm sure you're well aware of it already: good ear impressions are KEY. Remember I had to have 3 refits, ie four sets in the end! On my second refit I got a different set of ear impressions done very professionally. Unfortunately Westone got it very wrong then (for the 3rd set, long story) but the 4th and last set came out perfect both in build quality and sound reproduction. At least their CS was absolutely 1st rate and they always covered the 48-hr expensive Express shipping both ways from the US to Europe. I think at the time they were unexpectedly swamped with ES3X orders from different parts of the world.

I can't tell you how much I've come to appreciate these customs - they're solid, great sounding and the earpieces still look great, like new. The heat sensitive tips are also brilliant and I feel I have nothing in my ears after a couple of minutes, literally; it took me about 3 weeks to get to such deep comfort level & getting used to inserting & removing the shells. Now it's become second nature and done with a single hand for either earpiece, much like a universal IEM in that sense, possibly easier even.

The SE535 sound promising as far as build quality goes, and they may deliver better SQ (though that's probably more debatable), but they still remain VERY pricey, and you might be better off with the Trips.

Yeah, I'll post my impressions, but I don't think I'll do that here because, after all, this is the EM3pro thread!!  :)


Edited by music_4321 - 8/11/10 at 12:05pm
post #131 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

It's about time you realised the UM3X pair you tried was faulty!  :)


Same results with 2 different pairs.  I guess my ears are faulty!  But in reality, I guess some IEMs work better with some ears than others.  I know there are people in the SM3 thread that do not hear the SM3 as I do through whatever differences of tips, sources, music, preferences, perception, physiology, etc.  You will be getting the SM3, so you can let us know your perception.

 

And something else I wanted to share:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawongin in the Audeze LCD-2 Orthos thread

The problem with the LCD-2s is that, tonally, they are different enough to everything else that it's hard to describe them. They aren't dark, yet the bass, which is flat (see the graphs) is such all the way up to 1kHz, which results in a slightly odd overall balance. We have mid-forward cans, such as Audio-Technicas, treble-forward cans such as various Beyers and Grados, but a lower-mids-forward can? That is, where a lot of headphones show a drop-off in frequency response before this point, with the bass a hill behind it, peaking in the mid-bass, we have something rather unusual.  They have a strong bass, but it's not like the usual mid-bass peak. It's stronger over-all than the treble, but doesn't overwhelm it, nor is the bass bloated, but fast.  The bass gives an overall heavier sound than other headphones.  I'm reluctant to use any other word to describe it.  If one is used to treble-prominent headphones such as the HD-800s and Grados, then the LCD-2s come across as far less aggressive as a result.

 

For me at least, in my rig, they have the strange property of making just about everything sound good.  Even music which is poorly recorded, such as a lot of the Van Halen which I like, is just obviously poorly recorded, without being irritating as a result. I think this is a result, respectively, of the tonally even bass (no mid-bass hump and no valleys or roll-off above or below the bass) and no 6-8 kHz treble peaks such as you get in a lot of headphones).  So wherever the bass notes are in any kind of music, they are there equally strong, and probably as far as possible considering the variance in frequency response of our ears, so is everything else.  It's an apt example of what "neutral" is, headphone-wise (IMO) but combined with such a lack of distortion that you get to enjoy the music itself, without the headphones trying to fake it.  Since the rest of my rig is geared that way, I like it.

 

I thought I would share as that quote captures my primary thoughts on the EM3 Pro and prior to the EM3 Pro, the SM3.  It seems that the SM3/EM3 Pro/LCD-2 all have smooth treble that lacks peaks.  The T1 is brighter and reminds more more of how the JH13 would sound from reading.  If the LCD-2 is truly similar in presentation to the EM3 Pro, but with the added benefits that a high end full sized headphone bring, I will be extremely happy with both my EM3 Pro and LCD-2.  My recent listening has made my JH16 interest lessen to an extent.

 

Do the other EM3 Pro owners feel the above is a good approximation of your EM3 Pro experiences?

post #132 of 191

^ substitute LCD-2 for sm3/em3pro and yeah i wouldnt have guessed he was talking about anything else.

 

I wonder which van halen record he's talking about,.... i need something "poorly recorded" as a reference, besides my own stuff 

post #133 of 191

i just had to say,...

 

for thunderous "real bass" as in real instrument as in kick drum bass and not synthetic dance type bass,..

 

simon phillips, seriously i never knew natural bass could sound as heavy or powerful.

post #134 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

i just had to say,...

 

for thunderous "real bass" as in real instrument as in kick drum bass and not synthetic dance type bass,..

 

simon phillips, seriously i never knew natural bass could sound as heavy or powerful.


I used to be a treble head for most of my listening life.  I've really come to appreciate the importance of good high quality bass as time has passed.  I really think there is sort of an overreaction in most audiophile circles to deemphasize bass in a quest for a 'neutral nirvana' that is just as unnatural to my ears as big bloated bass from a bad car subwoofer or an overly compressed and emphasized modern recording.  I think the pushback against modern tastes usually goes too far and overcompensates.

post #135 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post




I used to be a treble head for most of my listening life.  I've really come to appreciate the importance of good high quality bass as time has passed.  I really think there is sort of an overreaction in most audiophile circles to deemphasize bass in a quest for a 'neutral nirvana' that is just as unnatural to my ears as big bloated bass from a bad car subwoofer or an overly compressed and emphasized modern recording.  I think the pushback against modern tastes usually goes too far and overcompensates.

i completely agree, i think that alot of audiophiles just want to be different than the norm, and since the average joe wants completely overdone bass, that they need to go bass light to be superior somehow. But i feel that bass is the foundation of all music, and without good, deep, tight, and powerful bass recordings sound week. but thats just my .02
 

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