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Earsonics SM3 vs. JH5s (and Universal vs. Custom in general)

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Two questions:

 

1. Which is a better sound quality for my buck?  Earsonics SM3 or JH Audio JH5s?  In terms of comfort and fit, I don't prefer customs right now - they don't necessarily feel more comfortable to me than universal, and I don't want to deal with the ordering / fit hassle.  So in terms of just sound quality, which is going to be a better buy?  Uses are for live performance (guitar player and vocalist) and mixing full albums.  I like a balanced soundstage with extended bass and present mids.  Bass oomph is great and even preferable as long as the mids aren't scooped.

 

 

2. Along those lines...  given the fact that I don't really prefer the fit of custom molds, which am I better off pursuing, Universal IEMs or Custom IEMs?  Is something like an SM3 or other high-end universal going to be on par with a UE11 in terms of sound quality, or do they have a lower sound quality in general than customs?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 31

So I take it from the first post that you've tried customs before? UE and JH customs are typically very well made. I've heard they're can be extremely comfortable.

 

If you're going to be mixing, I'd probably use the JH5. JH Audio for some reason took down the descriptions of their products off their site, but I remember the JH5 (somebody correct me if I'm wrong) being marketed as balanced. With good tips the SM3 may offer increased isolation. Being a 3 way crossover design it will probably offer stronger bass as well.

 

If you don't like customs, the answer is obvious. At this level of performance, especially with an amp, differences between IEMs become IMO somewhat subjective. Try the SM3; if you like it, use it.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
anybody else?
post #4 of 31

havent listened to jh5's, but i just started mixing on SM3's,.... bear in mind that i'm still learning them, just the one mix under my belt with SM3's.

 

but one thing they seem to do well is bass translation. if you get something that sounds good on the SM3's then it'll sound good on other systems,.... and i hate making statements like that. but yeah, get a decent bass sound, and on other systems with a bass hump it'll be banging.

 

the same with treble,...sm3's have realistic treble, so you have to get used to that first and not push things too bright. but yeah get a treble that sounds a little dark and it'll shine on other systems with a treble lift.

 

they seem pretty good for leveling as well.

 

these can be brutally honest about what you're working with,... so if you dont have that great a gutiar, mic, vocal techniques, it will tell you. 

 

havent used them live, but i've blasted them to stupid volume levels,... and they sound gorgeous, the sound scales up evenly meaning the bass comes up without being muddy and the treble comes up nicely without getting sibilant so live should sound nice.

 

i like em, but as i said, only one week and one mix so i barely know them, but so far so good. next week i'll be tracking with them, and doing an acoustic mix.

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Those points sound very promising!

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

bump

post #7 of 31

JH5 better than SM3 Overall

 

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayableOfaDuck View Post

JH5 better than SM3 Overall

 


Did you listen to both? I am sure JH5 is a great IEM, but I doubt any dual driver BA can beat a very well designed triple driver like SM3. Just my opinion of course.

post #9 of 31

Hi, I'm considering both IEMs as upgrades to my current Fischer DBA-02. I'd appreciate additional comments which could ease my decision making. thanks in advance. Jose

post #10 of 31

I recommend SM3 with custom tips if you can afford it. I also think Shure SE530/SE535 + custom tips should be a good upgrade if you don't mind a warm, smooth sound with rich midrange and mellow, but detailed treble.

post #11 of 31

I will say if you don't have much budget, you rather try SM3 before Jh5.

 

At least SM3 is much easier to let go in FS forum without talking too much loss, it take more time and loss to resale custom IEM on the contrary

post #12 of 31
Pianist said
 

"Did you listen to both"

 



Yes i did , JH5pro demo are better than SM3

 

4728897302_cda84a46cb.jpg

 

2-1.jpg

 

JH demo in Thailand


Edited by PlayableOfaDuck - 6/29/10 at 11:54pm
post #13 of 31

'Better' is subjective. However, I would like to know more about how JH5 and SM3 compare, especially in terms of imaging, instrument separation, and accuracy. Please give us more information PlayableOfaDuck!


Edited by KLS - 6/30/10 at 12:14am
post #14 of 31

So, did you have the SM3 with you when you listened to the JH5? Did you listen to the same music at the same volume from the same source within quick succession?

 

If not, the comparison is pointless, and even then unscientific at best.  The ear has less memory than a goldfish.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayableOfaDuck View Post

Pianist said
 

"Did you listen to both"

 



Yes i did , JH5pro demo are better than SM3

 

4728897302_cda84a46cb.jpg

 

2-1.jpg

 

JH demo in Thailand

post #15 of 31



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post




Did you listen to both? I am sure JH5 is a great IEM, but I doubt any dual driver BA can beat a very well designed triple driver like SM3. Just my opinion of course.


I've not heard the JH5 or the SM3, so I can't comment directly. But from my experience the LiveWires and UE4pro (both dual driver BA customs) are better than many of the former top triple driver universals like Westone 3/UM3X, TF10, and SE530. I concluded this through extensive first hand direct comparisons.

 

I think there is something inherently better about the way customs interact with your ears. Perhaps it is just the shape of my ears though, as each custom is going to have slightly different spacing for the driver placement as well as angles for the sound tubes. So take that for what it is worth....
 

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