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Earsonics EM3Pro Impressions and Review thread - Page 7

post #91 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

lol indeed!

 

but i gotta say, the wait has been worth it.

 

I finally got my hands on them today, so after a good 4 hours with them here are my first impressions:

 

- the fit is perfect, which is a great relief since my impressions werent silicone but rather the 2 part paste thing. which reminds me, since i got that done free i really ought to send the audiologist a gift, cos the fit turned out perfect.

 

- these are my first customs, it takes maybe 10 minutes of getting used to them, and then they kind of melt away. i dont know how else to describe it. you forget about them until you do something like jerk your head around real fast for some reason,... and even then, they dont pop out but you're just gently reminded about them.

--- as a side note, i like blowing my smoke out to the side, like extreme side and the customs jiggle the tiniest bit, but they settle quickly when my jaw returns to normal.

--- no microphonics at all, and there's a little metal wire in the cable bit to mold round your ear which i quite like. they do really cut out ambient noise and my first few steps had me a bit wobbly cos i could hear my footsteps. i quickly over came that by focusing on the transmission of vibrations for my tactile feedback while walking.

 

- the same yucky initial sound that you first hear from the sm3's was there too, but it seems to be rectifying itself quicker than the sm3's did. perhaps thats one of the benefits of the custom fit. over the course of Roots Manuva's several albums i could hear his voice get clearer and clearer as time went on,... every 10 songs or so i would realise that his vocals have developed more definition than when i started.(randomly played so not just the difference between one album to the next)

 

- eq-wise,... similar to the sm3's,... you can hear that they belong to the same family, or atleast were designed/made by the same man. so if you know what the sm3's sound like, you'll have no surprises with the em3,.... so just like the sm3's that blossomed and opened up on the bass and treble region about a week later,... i'm gonna give the em3's the same amount of time to do the same. but yeah same Lopez sound.

 

- the rendering of space, just as good as the sm3's and since they're still burning in i think they're going to get better, so i'll hold off on discussing this too much. i remember with the sm3's i didnt notice the space rendering until 2 weeks in or so. 

 

- compared to the sm3's from memory,... so far these are just more,.... a chunky kitkat to a regular kitkat, a supersized meal with large fries and large coke as opposed to regular, a first class seat as opposed to business class, a lexus SUV to a regular toyota suv,...... i think you get the point by now.

 

which makes sense,... i mean the em3's have been around longer than the sm3's, so perhaps instead of looking at the em3's as a better sm3, perhaps the more accurate perspective would be to view the sm3's as a budget em3pro designed to be mass produced. not that there's anything wrong with that, i would have been quite happy with my sm3's had circumstances been different.

 

I am so happy with these that if they blossom the same way the sm3's did, i'll probably never have to come back to head-fi,... until i break them. and if i did, i'd probably just give franck a call again and go with whatever happens to be his flagships at the time. so thank you everyone that has commented on their em3pros and of course the sm3's which were my gateway iems.

 

anyway, more listening burning in to do,... and i'm excited about recording/mixing with customs for the first time.

 

cheers.


What made you go for the EM3's as opposed to the JH13/ 16s?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Thanks for the impressions.  I finally had a good, quite, alert listening session this last Friday as my wife had a girls night out and I was re-impressed with the EM3 Pro.  I forgot how good they really sound when I am not tired and focused on my music.  I have to find more of that quality listening time...

 

In the SM3 thread, I was asked how much better these are than the SM3, in a percentage.   My overall % was estimated to be 35% better (and how much that is worth in terms of $ is another question).  I am curious as to what other owners of both (or SM2s) think.

 

I'm interested too and although I find 35% very hard to believe, you did say that your 35% could be my (or anyone else's) 10% or 50%.

 

Also, the point you make "I finally had a good, quite, alert listening session this last Friday" I find to be critical when comparing two IEMs. There are times when I just think my ES3X could not sound any better, and others when they don't wow me so much. We cannot keep doing constant A/B'ing but I think we sometimes get carried away either way (praise or criticism) without realising just how important the state we're in at any given moment counts.

 

I've also found, and this may sound rather silly, that the (longish) interval between inserting one IEM and the other also plays a part; we have to also go back and play the same musical passage, which adds extra precious seconds, imo. Anyway, I'm rambling on now, but you catch my drift.

 

Perhaps I just don't want to accept the fact the EM3s may be really that good or much better than the SM3s. :)
 


Edited by music_4321 - 8/8/10 at 8:17am
post #92 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

 

What made you go for the EM3's as opposed to the JH13/ 16s?

 

GuyDebord!  His thread lead me to go through with my SM3 purchase when I was on the fence.  Then, with how good the SM3 was and his thoughts vs. the JH13, I bit.  But I am now thinking at some point I do want the JH16 if for no other reason to just hear them.  I heard the JH13 at Can Jam in 2009, but the tips that were used did not seal in my ears, hence they sounded horrid. But don't misunderstand, I am very happy with the EM3 Pro and don't have any regrets.

 

Quote:

I'm interested too and although I find 35% very hard to believe, you did say that your 35% could be my (or anyone else's) 10% or 50%.

 

Yes, my 35% could be your 10% or 50%.  Plus, depending on the song, it could be 5% to 70% for me!  The added clarity of the EM3 Pro as well as the more powerful low end, wider space and slightly more prominent treble along with all the good things of the SM3 make the EM3 Pro great to me. 

 

Quote:

Also, the point you make "I finally had a good, quite, alert listening session this last Friday" I find to be critical when comparing two IEMs. There are times when I just think my ES3X could not sound any better, and others when they don't wow me so much. We cannot keep doing constant A/B'ing but I think we sometimes get carried away either way (praise or criticism) without realizing just how important the state we're in at any given moment counts.

 

I've also found, and this may sound rather silly, that the (longish) interval between inserting one IEM and the other also plays a part; we have to also go back and play the same musical passage, which adds extra precious seconds, imo. Anyway, I'm rambling on now, but you catch my drift.

 

First, I think that state of mind plays into how we hear things, as well as what is going on around us.  Even though IEMs cancel much noise, for me at least, when in a noisy environment my critical listening ability is less than with a quiet background.  And if I am tired I often can't muster the concentration required to truly compare and remember the music I am comparing.  Memory is the key to true comparisons when listening for small differences in things such as resolution, instrument separation, shape of the soundstage, etc.  And small samplings repeated over and over for contrast really bring out the differences for me.

 

There are songs I know really well and have heard a ton of times.  I can get a general idea how headphones compare, but the real detailed comparison can't be done unless A/Bing.  Really, when comparing there are so many different things to consider from the music to the source to the background noise to your state of mind. 

 

Then throw in bias.  I paid XXX for A and XX for B therefore I expect A to sound better, and that plays a role as well.  And of course, the individualized perspective for things like worth, value, and percentages.  Add ear shape and canal size, as different shapes and volumes will give different results to the actual sound, especially treble.  I won't go into my detailed thoughts on this other than a quick and dirty example: treble peaks for one person might not exist for another with the same IEM due to the canal diameter and how the diameter changes of the end of the tips and the inside of the ear canal interact.  I know that there are some (or many) on head-fi that hear things differently than I do (which is fine and one of the reasons one IEM is not the right choice for all).

 

And finally, is there such a thing as "hearing gifted" or "hearing challenged" people?  I believe yes.  And not in the way of someone not being able to hear, but as in athletics, someone having better genetics.  You can take two basketball players that both have the same physical measurables, yet one might be quicker and can jump higher while the other is a better shooter.  One might succeed in the NBA while the other does not.  I believe the same thing happens here, but it is very hard to say who is at what level (and I am NOT saying I am better than anyone, I could be the one that sucks!).  How was that for rambling?  I could write quite a bit on all of this, but will end it there.

 

Quote:

Perhaps I just don't want to accept the fact the EM3s may be really that good or much better than the SM3s. :)

 

While many people on here can lead you to a conclusion that might be accurate for you, there is only one way to really know!  But I do think that if you follow someone that hears things the same as you with similar values, you can get a great approximation!

post #93 of 191

^^ My question "What made you go for the EM3's as opposed to the JH13/ 16s?" was meant for anomalouscode, that's why I quoted his post. :) I did remember, though, why you had chosen the EM3s.

 

You make very good points, as usual, in your post (not rambling at all, at least for me). I just wanted to clarify one thing though: In my case I may be tired and am still able to do critical listening, even if the background is not so quiet as long as I have good isolation, which I normally get with my ES3X (and UM3X previously).

 

For me the key here, amongst other factors, is to be 'music hungry', ie that I haven't listened to much (or preferably any) music for quite a few hours prior to doing some critical listening AND that I haven't been exposed, ideally, to too many (loud) sounds or noise. It's a bit like having had a couple of beers/ drinks and then trying to do some wine tasting. I mentioned elsewhere that there's such a thing as music/ sound/ noise overload.

 

I also agree that the unconscious psychological price aspect of things can play a part. I still remember trying to convince myself that I was hearing an improvement with my P-51 Mustang portable amp when I had my iPod Classic (and LOD). Hey, I'd paid over $400 for the amp and I HAD to hear an improvement in SQ, right? I tried and tried but finally admitted (to myself) that there was no improvemnet whatsoever, at least not to these ears.

 

I think I have a pretty good discerning pair of ears, but you may be right - and I truly mean this - that they might just not be as sophisticated/ discerning as I think they are.

 

But, my love for music is very real - no question about that!  :)


Edited by music_4321 - 8/8/10 at 4:41pm
post #94 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post




What made you go for the EM3's as opposed to the JH13/ 16s?
 


 

Perhaps I just don't want to accept the fact the EM3s may be really that good or much better than the SM3s. :)
 

 

when i first singed up here i was looking for customs.

 

JH's caught my attention of course, and since it was described as analytical and monitor like i thought that it might be perfect, i even found a couple of people recording and mixing with them on a proaudio forum...

 

but, i'm not an audiophile, and the audiophile definition of analytical or monitor like i realised, differs from the proaudio definition, as it should really, since one makes the music while the other wants to enjoy the music reproduced. so after familiarizing myself with what the audiophile definition was, it was apparent that the proaudio definition of audiophile analytical was tipped treble and bass, a la ERP's which were recommended to me when i first started my search.

 

somehow i got diverted to sm3's by joe's thread,.. and they were cheap compared to customs so i figured what the hell,... got them and luckily they were just what i was looking for,... mechanically neutral and proaudio analytical as opposed to audiophile analytical, and yet not boring at all. its like the ideal monitor i would look for for work even if i were looking for speakers,.. something relatively flat that tells me what is what without emphasis or rolloff and yet something not boring or harsh sounding so i can work long hours.

 

i was happy with the sm3's but the cable died 2 weeks in, and because of fit issues, i decided that i liked the Lopez sound enough to go full custom. when i found that the em3's have been around since 2007, well that sealed the deal, dont know why.

 

i havent heard the JH's but from Guy and Joe and the few that have compared the em3's I was quite comfortable with going with the em3's. and earsonic's customer service of course,... great people. 

 

Music, you're gonna give yourself a heartattack 

 

its not a science, this a/bing, cos your own personal bias would always factor into your decision anyway thereby ruling it out as being scientific even if you put a lab coat on and used a hairnet. chill out and relax dude, from your a/bing routine it sounds more like a quality control job than you "enjoying" your gear.

 

at the end of the day, no matter how controlled your environment is, it'll still be your word and ears against someone else's.

 

i left the em3's playing all night, time for some sweet sweet music while i go about my day.

 

 


 

post #95 of 191

^^ Hey, no heart attack here, no. In fact, I haven't done any A/B'ing for about 10 months and I've managed to survive.  :)  The truth is I don't really enjoy A/B'ing at all, believe it or not.

My comments were more meant to be a reflection which stemmed from the surprise I got finding out average_joe finds his EM3s 35% better than his SM3s.

But you didn't answer our question, asked first by average_joe: "My overall % was estimated to be 35% better. I am curious as to what other owners of both think."


Edited by music_4321 - 8/8/10 at 6:26pm
post #96 of 191



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post


My comments were more meant to be a reflection which stemmed from the surprise I got finding out average_joe finds his EM3s 35% better than his SM3s.

 

I'd like to hear how others compare the SM3 and EM3 as well.

 

But I also have a question for music: Why were you surprised and what were your expectations of the percentage improvement going to the EM3?

 

post #97 of 191

^^ My own experience with the (universal) UM3X and the (custom) ES3X was always that the ES3X were 10-15% better. I've also read from some reputable/ respectable (at least to me) head-fiers that the difference they hear from, say, the SE530 & the JH13 is not that substantial but that small(ish) difference is worth the upgrade to them -- the so-called law of diminishing returns.

So, my surprise came from reading such a big % difference coming from someone whose opinions I respect. However, there are a zillion JH13 owners now and a few ES3X owners (some of whom have reported similar improvements to what I hear, though very few had both UM3X & ES3X), but not many EM3 owners who also happen to have its younger brother/ cousin, SM3.

For all you know the EM3 Pro may be really that good, but not enough views out there yet, unfortunately.


Edited by music_4321 - 8/8/10 at 6:59pm
post #98 of 191

well lets see,... from my experiences with the sm3 which morphed into something else 2 weeks later, i dont think i can fairly do a % right now, less than 24 hours since i plugged them in.

 

how much of an improvement did i expect?

 

well being familiar with the diminished returns thing, which is even more prevalent in the proaudio world, i'm not expecting that much of a difference,... more ummph, greater detail in the rendering of space, and of course greater comfort, consistent fit, and better build quality as i am already a self confessed klutz and these are meant to be used about 12 hours a day moving around the studio not sitting down.

 

would that equate to my 35%?

 

yeah i think 35% would be spot on if em3's did all that. not an exaggeration, and not conservative. from the fit, comfort and build quality upgrade over the sm3, i would say a 20% increase would be fair as fit and build are two very big negatives with the sm3's. these are comfortable, rugged and solidly built,... i'm pretty sure if i threw them across the room they would still play just fine. sm3's would be in a gajillion pieces if i just dropped them from my desk.

 

then 10% will be the difference in sound quality i guess. the em3's have more uuummmpphh. cant really say much more till they come alive later on.

 

the last 5% for me, the most important 5%, would be how they handle the rendering of space, which is one thing i failed to mention above,... what sealed the deal for me with the em3's vs jh's,... Guy's description of how the jh's handle space,.... always nice and big and wide. while that may be nice, i prefer accuracy, and Guy said that the em3's would change from wide to narrow depending on the track in much the same way the sm3's did.

 

this may sound like a small issue to you guys compared to an iem's eq signature, but to me its a big one,... consumer audio tends to smooth this bit of the song over so unless you're listening to someone who really doesnt know what they're doing with reverb, then you dont really hear how much reverb has been used. but use of reverb and delay is one of the things that seperates the pros from the homestudio guys. just the right amount will make a vocal come alive, which on consumer stuff will sound dryish but alive. too little and  its just dead and dry, too much and you'll sound like a noob or worse enya.

 

sm3's really pushed out how much reverb or ambience was in a recording and for me if the em3's do the same i'll be happy. if they do it better,... well that alone will keep me with earsonics for a while.

 

but give me a couple weeks and we'll see if i change my tune or not.

post #99 of 191

My 35% is based on smaller improvements in the mentioned areas where the sum of the parts is greater than the individual improvements.  Not that it is 35% across my music collection, as I stated some songs have little improvement while others a much larger improvement.  Of course, to me the size of the space is ultra important and that is one of the places where the EM3 Pro outshines the already excellent space.  That to me is very important and might yield a bigger % improvement in overall sound than the actual size increase %.  And after listening to the EM3 Pro and then going to the SM3, it does sound smaller and less clear/warmer (or to have less treble).

 

And for me personally, the extra cost of the EM3 Pro is worth the difference for me considering my gear, use, and situation.

 

Other people are welcome to voice their thoughts.  It would be interesting to know what people think on average of the ES3X vs the UM3X and what the average difference is between the EM3 Pro and SM3. 

post #100 of 191

 

Well, make mine 35% or 40%, then if you take into account build quality! Definitely. Both earpieces and cable on the ES3X are better than the UM3X. The reason I went for the ES3X in the first place was that I had issues with my W3's (not UM3X) cable, and that alone made me decide to upgrade. It's been 14/ 15 months now, and the ES3X's shells remain pretty much intact, solid, and the cable, apart from the greening, remains excellent! SQ-wise it is roughly 10-15%.

 

Now the new UM3X come with detachable cables, and I've no idea if they're the same as the customs' cables, but I have to admit that the UM3X (and apparently the SM3 build quality) leave much to be desired for such an expensive item, in my view. I'll soon see for myself if the SM3s build is as fragile as the UM3X's - by the looks of it, it seems so. I still want to have a backup top-tier universal, and we'll see if the SM3 will be it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

this may sound like a small issue to you guys compared to an iem's eq signature, but to me its a big one,... consumer audio tends to smooth this bit of the song over so unless you're listening to someone who really doesnt know what they're doing with reverb, then you dont really hear how much reverb has been used. but use of reverb and delay is one of the things that seperates the pros from the homestudio guys. just the right amount will make a vocal come alive, which on consumer stuff will sound dryish but alive. too little and  its just dead and dry, too much and you'll sound like a noob or worse enya.


 

 

Couldn't agree more!

 


Edited by music_4321 - 8/8/10 at 8:06pm
post #101 of 191

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

^^ Hey, no heart attack here, no. In fact, I haven't done any A/B'ing for about 10 months and I've managed to survive.  :)  The truth is I don't really enjoy A/B'ing at all, believe it or not.


For me A/Bing was fun to figure out the differences, but once I found something I really thought was the best for me, the SM3, A/Bing was used to validate what I thought I was hearing.  Now I just want to enjoy the music.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

well lets see,... from my experiences with the sm3 which morphed into something else 2 weeks later, i dont think i can fairly do a % right now, less than 24 hours since i plugged them in.

 

...

 

the last 5% for me, the most important 5%, would be how they handle the rendering of space, which is one thing i failed to mention above,... what sealed the deal for me with the em3's vs jh's,... Guy's description of how the jh's handle space,.... always nice and big and wide. while that may be nice, i prefer accuracy, and Guy said that the em3's would change from wide to narrow depending on the track in much the same way the sm3's did.

 

Mine too, but not others.  I still think I hear the SM3 very differently than many others that are and have posted in the SM3 thread.  I actually think I hear space, or soundstage differently than many of those people.  I am not sure if it is because of my ears/brain, ear canal size/shape, music, or equipment.

 

I do agree that the SM3/EM3 Pro changes the size of the soundstage quite a bit, as well as the mid-forwardness.  The SM3 and EM3 Pro not so for me.  The FX700 had a pretty set width, the SM3 changed with the recording.  This makes the SM3 sound correct from a soundstage proportion standpoint while the FX700 seemed to be compressed front to back when compared with the width in many of my songs.  And mid-forwarness compared to the SE530 for example (from memory), the SE530 was always mid-forward.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

 

Well, make mine 35% or 40%, then if you take into account build quality! Definitely. Both earpieces and cable on the ES3X are better than the UM3X. The reason I went for the ES3X in the first place was that I had issues with my W3's (not UM3X) cable, and that alone made me decide to upgrade. It's been 14/ 15 months now, and the ES3X's shells remain pretty much intact, solid, and the cable, apart from the greening, remains excellent! SQ-wise it is roughly 10-15%.

 

Now the new UM3X come with detachable cables, and I've no idea if they're the same as the customs' cables, but I have to admit that the UM3X (and apparently the SM3 build quality) leave much to be desired for such an expensive item, in my view. I'll soon see for myself if the SM3s build is as fragile as the UM3X's - by the looks of it, it seems so. I still want to have a backup top-tier universal, and we'll see if the SM3 will be it.

 

So, in my experience for soundstage size here is what I got from A/Bing: IE8 >>>>> W3 >> UM3X

 

Based on that, the SM3 is as wide if not wider than the IE8, so it will be interesting to know how the SM3 compares with the ES3X, as that is better than the UM3X.

 

Oh, and my 35% was purely based on sound.  If you take build quality, comfort, ease of use, etc, I would say 60%!  Plus the EM3 Pro sounds better from my RPX-33 vs the Arrow amp whereas the SM3, I am not so sure (although I haven't really payed that much attention).

 

And was when you said your RSA amp didn't sound any better, what headphone were you using and what gen classic?  I have heard the Mustang and think the Arrow smokes it!

post #102 of 191
Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

  I actually think I hear space, or soundstage differently than many of those people.  I am not sure if it is because of my ears/brain, ear canal size/shape, music, or equipment.

 

Oh, and my 35% was purely based on sound. 


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.

 

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 

post #103 of 191

question,... these are my first customs so i have to ask,...

 

1- when you put them in, do you jam them in or do you just let them lock into place on their own? 

 

2- taking them out,... is there some trick to it rather than just trying to dig them out?

post #104 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalouscode View Post

question,... these are my first customs so i have to ask,...

 

1- when you put them in, do you jam them in or do you just let them lock into place on their own? 

 

2- taking them out,... is there some trick to it rather than just trying to dig them out?


You twist them in, then they should lock in place. When taking them out, try pushing the bottom part of your ear. You can use your thumb to give it some push.

post #105 of 191

cheers koonhua,

 

i just had a walk and figured it out,... so i just let them lock into place going in, and to take them out i grab them by the top cos they stick out a bit, and then just pull them forward and they twist out themselves.

 

i read about the bottom ear thing but it didnt really make it easier for me. 

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