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Earsonics SM3 Appreciation Thread - Third Time is a Charm? - Page 111

post #1651 of 1669

Gilly87-

 

The SM64 feels nicer than the SM3 V2, but that may be due to the "newness" and the weight. They really pack a lot of electronics into the shell. I doubt they fixed the sealing/glue issue. One forum mentioned a sonic/melting  technique was being employed (?). Never had that issue with Westone, how about some good old fashioned glue ? I can't say they're any better built, but they feel nicer. I guess time will tell.

 

Westone kinda cheesed me off when the Um3x had issues with the early detachable cables, and jumped the price up $100 and also really started going after the "non authorized" sellers. I guess it's all perceived value, and Shure definitely goes that route. Besides, what do I know. People are willing to pay over $500 for a Shure 535 all the time, people on this forum included. It's part of the reason why I got back into the Earsonics line.The cost of a used set fell due to problems and people moving on. Westone has a bigger name, they're easier to obtain and sell. The Westone UM3x has a longer nozzle, I get a better seal and therefore better isolation ( and therefore a lot of other stuff follows in noisy environs like more detail). But I have a hard time buying a phone at $400 that should be $300 as it was when I first purchased it. It makes me kind of salty. But when Earsonics jumped the SM3 to $450-500 I laughed too.

 

Anyhow, I'd like to see a little less venom and personal attacks on this forum, it's becoming arguing sessions that are unhelpful to anyone. 

I'm convinced we hear differently, and I know my ears change day to day with allergies etc. I alternate between darker and detailed phones.

 

These are great headphones, especially in the $250-300 range they are normally now. Soundearphones apparently has more in stock and are selling at $329

 

http://www.amazon.com/EarSonics-SM3-In-Ear-Headphones-Black/dp/B00942OM5O/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1368272650&sr=8-4&keywords=earsonics

 

 

I was under the impression after the launch of the SM64 they were done with it. I do feel the SM64 is worth the extra $100 in sonic characteristics and balance, but the build quality is a personal call. Heir impress me much more in this range, but heck I'm not impressed with the W4 at $500 either.

post #1652 of 1669
Thread Starter 

The pricing I was referring to was not just for the Westone product, but also Shure since both use a similar styled plastic housing to the EarSonics product. I listed the MSRP of the UM3XRC, shown below, which I believe was around the original price.  The current price difference between the UM3XRC and SM64 is $50, with the SM64 having a higher price as well as being newer. Time will tell about future price differences.

 

 

As far as Westone, I have never had any issue with them, but I have told it like I hear it. Not all agree, which is fine.  I have yet to see any headphone where all agree. But, by saying that I am partial and give false information just compounds my above statement about being emotional. Making accusations vs asking for clarification is not a good way to go through life. It appears that you think anyone that prefers the SM3 over the UM3X is "partial." For example, joker gave the UM3X a 9.1 for sound and the SM4 a 9.4, so he too is partial to EarSonics, right?

 

I have recommended Westone products to people and understand what their products do well, and I also understand there are people that prefer one sound signature over another.  As I continue to gain experience with an increasing number of products and I have hear more people's situations and preferences for recommendations as well as feedback from those recommendations, the more I realize  all of these different products have their place in the audiophile, mainstream, and pro markets. I will continue to recommend what best fits a person's preferences and needs regardless of the manufacturer.

post #1653 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

The pricing I was referring to was not just for the Westone product, but also Shure since both use a similar styled plastic housing to the EarSonics product. I listed the MSRP of the UM3XRC, shown below, which I believe was around the original price.  The current price difference between the UM3XRC and SM64 is $50, with the SM64 having a higher price as well as being newer. Time will tell about future price differences.

 

 

As far as Westone, I have never had any issue with them, but I have told it like I hear it. Not all agree, which is fine.  I have yet to see any headphone where all agree. But, by saying that I am partial and give false information just compounds my above statement about being emotional. Making accusations vs asking for clarification is not a good way to go through life. It appears that you think anyone that prefers the SM3 over the UM3X is "partial." For example, joker gave the UM3X a 9.1 for sound and the SM4 a 9.4, so he too is partial to EarSonics, right?

 

I have recommended Westone products to people and understand what their products do well, and I also understand there are people that prefer one sound signature over another.  As I continue to gain experience with an increasing number of products and I have hear more people's situations and preferences for recommendations as well as feedback from those recommendations, the more I realize  all of these different products have their place in the audiophile, mainstream, and pro markets. I will continue to recommend what best fits a person's preferences and needs regardless of the manufacturer.

 

I'm sorry, average_joe, but before you became the customs reviewer that you are now, and were an ordinary head-fier buying and trying different universal IEMs like most people—you and I joined head-fi 4.5 years ago (Dec 2008)—you knew quite well the price of the original (fixed cable) UM3X was $379 and most likely the price, a year later, of the UM3X-RC model ($399). You, specially (with more experience than many), and many people in this hobby, know that certain companies simply use the marketing trick of a very high MSRP ($575 in this case) to make $399, the real authorised retail price of the UM3X-RC, seem a bargain. The $575 price you mentioned was never ever even mentioned on the very long UM3X thread — from day one.

To quote Joker, who is a very good friend of yours, to say that "It appears that you think anyone that prefers the SM3 over the UM3X is "partial", For example, joker gave the UM3X a 9.1 for sound and the SM4 a 9.4, so he too is partial to EarSonics, right?" is not fair, in my view — every single time I've seen you and Joker speak of one particular IEM, you both always seem to have the exact same views.

 

While it's very true that we have "yet to see any headphone where all agree", the fact remains that of all $300-$500 IEMs, the SM3 remains the most polarising one to date, i.e. some thinking it's a great IEM and quite a few (including some very experienced and credible Head-fiers) thinking it's not very good or that it's a downright dreadful IEM. While you, Joker and others may love the SM3, the fact is that this is an IEM that hardly anyone talks about these days; the older UM3X & more recent W4, by contrast, even after all the fierce competition out there—now including several cheaper entry-level customs and much cheaper yet very capable universals—remain two IEMs people keep talking / asking about.


Edited by music_4321 - 5/11/13 at 1:11pm
post #1654 of 1669

SM64 does imaging width better than a Sennheiser IE800 (which has a more 3D stage depth, but width is quite narrow in comparison). Sony EX-1000 has the best soundstage I´ve ever heard in an IEM though, at times sounding like a full sized can. I´m still very impressed by the SM64 and it´s become my daily IEM now. With Shure silicon tips the fit is perfect, there´s no microphonics and it has the lowest listening fatigue ouf my IEM trio. It also has the most enveloping sound in the trio, a bit like the sound is coming from all directions at once which neither the EX-1000 (massive front row stage) or the IE800 (on stage like a stage monitor with you standing next to the drummer instead of the singer). After a certain level of technical brilliance I think in the end it´s more up to personal preference than any objective criteria. All the three IEMs I use pass that line easily. The IE800 has easily the most high resolution mids though, even objectively speaking. That comes with the price of listening fatigue though, so it´s all a question of taste. SM64 has the tightest center vocal staging though, it´s always in the center with pinpoint accuracy - apparently a feature of the SM3 already? (never heard it)

 

With the market shifting towards 1000 dollar TOTL universals the SM64 is looking fairly good value now. They could have launched it in an acrylic shell with some fancy logo work and sold it at 700 euros and I bet people would compare it more positively to K3003/IE800 and so forth... What EarSonics needs to do is get a better distribution network, tighten their QA, extend their warranty to two years as a statement of confidence in their product and start honoring it completely like the big players of the field. And finally make a Westone/Shure style real custom tip collections and include it with all their products + sell it for own cost price to current owners of SM IEMs. Oh and they should learn to hype their products better on their website. Why not write a story/technical details of how exactly the SM64 was engineered? It seems to work great for Shure and others, plus I´m sure EarSonics just like all the other companies have a great R&D story to tell. All in all EarSonics products are very much a flawed overall package compared to Westone and so forth. There´s a lot to improve, but it isn´t on the SQ side. So many in this hobby seem to be fixed on SQ alone though and in the end it´s just one factor (although perhaps the most important one) to take into account evaluating a product.

 

EDIT: Oh and as for the SM3 discussion - I´ve never heard it, but I would definitely agree that it´s a prime example of FOTM fever here and it seems relatively forgotten these days in comparison to Westone/Shure/etc products. I don´t really think it´s fair to expect the SM3 to keep its exposure though: EarSonics is a small niche company with almost zero marketing budget or distribution network compared to the major players in the field. What happened is the typical FOTM thing, no idea if it was warranted at any point SQ wise.


Edited by vrln - 5/11/13 at 1:35pm
post #1655 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

 

EDIT: Oh and as for the SM3 discussion - I´ve never heard it, but I would definitely agree that it´s a prime example of FOTM fever here and it seems relatively forgotten these days in comparison to Westone/Shure/etc products. I don´t really think it´s fair to expect the SM3 to keep its exposure though: EarSonics is a small niche company with almost zero marketing budget or distribution network compared to the major players in the field. What happened is the typical FOTM thing, no idea if it was warranted at any point SQ wise.

Even so, there have been 3 dedicated SM3 threads with probably more pages (taking all 3 threads together) than the UM3X thread. Look at a more niche, much more expensive product, which is not even that easy to get, the FitEar TG334, and you'll notice it's not just a matter of being a niche product or about distribution issues (Earsonics products, as far as distribution goes, aren't that hard to get, btw). Or look at some of those very successful customs companies...even more niche in the sense of going through the whole customs process, prices, and often involving non-US companies.

post #1656 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

Earsonics products, as far as distribution goes, aren't that hard to get, btw. Or look at some of those very successful customs companies...even more niche in the sense of going through the whole customs process, prices, and often involving non-US companies.

 

Are you serious? You can get Shure (and in the US, Westone) almost anywhere here in the EU. I´m talking normal mainstream electronics stores. Try that with EarSonics, zero chance anywhere. They aren´t even sold at Amazon or Thomann... Just because a few niche audiophile online stores distribute EarSonics doesn´t make them have anywhere near the distribution network the major players in this field have. As for customs, without any sales data it´s hard to say how "successful" JH Audio and the most popular customs companies in general are. Head-Fi thread post counts are hardly a meter of commercial success. My guess is that within the audiophile market, they are a very small time player. What makes their money is the pro audio sector. EarSonics are a pro audio company that lives off their customs, the universals range is just an extra for them. They are a very small time player (which to be honest seems to be a big plus for a lot of people in this hobby, ie, just look at FAD etc) compared to Westone, Shure and others. I´m actually not trying to defend ES much: build quality issues, QA issues, design isn´t as thought out (almost no accessories or tips). Sound quality wise they are very competitive though, but I´m not suprised ES hasn´t hit "mainstream" like Shure and others have. They have the sound quality engineering to make it though, but they just have to fix the rest. It could be that they are happy at what they have though and have no plans to "go big". 

 

Anyways, from what I´ve read the SM64V2 is pretty much an evolved SM3. If ES products were mass produced in Asia I´m sure the SM3 would have been discontinued already, but ES handcrafts their IEMs in France using the same shells for both so as long as someone wants to buy the SM3 why not keep producing them. All the usual production routines are there already anyway. The reason SM3 has been "forgotten" these days is simply that it´s more or less replaced by the SM64, which almost noone here has yet.

post #1657 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

 

Are you serious? You can get Shure (and in the US, Westone) almost anywhere here in the EU. I´m talking normal mainstream electronics stores. Try that with EarSonics, zero chance anywhere. They aren´t even sold at Amazon or Thomann... Just because a few niche audiophile online stores distribute EarSonics doesn´t make them have anywhere near the distribution network the major players in this field have. As for customs, without any sales data it´s hard to say how "successful" JH Audio and the most popular customs companies in general are. Head-Fi thread post counts are hardly a meter of commercial success. My guess is that within the audiophile market, they are a very small time player. What makes their money is the pro audio sector. EarSonics are a pro audio company that lives off their customs, the universals range is just an extra for them. They are a very small time player (which to be honest seems to be a big plus for a lot of people in this hobby, ie, just look at FAD etc) compared to Westone, Shure and others. I´m actually not trying to defend ES much: build quality issues, QA issues, design isn´t as thought out (almost no accessories or tips). Sound quality wise they are very competitive though, but I´m not suprised ES hasn´t hit "mainstream" like Shure and others have. They have the sound quality engineering to make it though, but they just have to fix the rest. It could be that they are happy at what they have though and have no plans to "go big". 

 

Anyways, from what I´ve read the SM64V2 is pretty much an evolved SM3. If ES products were mass produced in Asia I´m sure the SM3 would have been discontinued already, but ES handcrafts their IEMs in France using the same shells for both so as long as someone wants to buy the SM3 why not keep producing them. All the usual production routines are there already anyway. The reason SM3 has been "forgotten" these days is simply that it´s more or less replaced by the SM64, which almost noone here has yet.

 

I've been specifically talking about the success (or lack thereof) of all these products on Head-fi or so-called audiophile communities. Otherwise, success-wise (in sales) we'd mostly be talking about Sony, Sennheiser & Shure. As for Westone, apparently it is only fairly recently that they have become a little more 'mainstream' in the US, but their products, among the audiophile community, have had an excellent reputation for years — the resale value of Westone IEMs, unlike many other brands, remains pretty high.

Take the tremendous hype surrounding the ASG-1, Yamaha EPH-100 and Vsonic GR07. These days people in these forum threads still talk about the oldest of these 3 IEMs, the Chinese-made GR07, no-one mentions the ASG-1, and people talk less and less about the Yamahas — perhaps the GR07 has proved a very good IEM after all this time.

post #1658 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

Earsonics products, as far as distribution goes, aren't that hard to get, btw. Or look at some of those very successful customs companies...even more niche in the sense of going through the whole customs process, prices, and often involving non-US companies.

 

Are you serious? You can get Shure (and in the US, Westone) almost anywhere here in the EU. I´m talking normal mainstream electronics stores. Try that with EarSonics, zero chance anywhere. They aren´t even sold at Amazon or Thomann... Just because a few niche audiophile online stores distribute EarSonics doesn´t make them have anywhere near the distribution network the major players in this field have. As for customs, without any sales data it´s hard to say how "successful" JH Audio and the most popular customs companies in general are. Head-Fi thread post counts are hardly a meter of commercial success. My guess is that within the audiophile market, they are a very small time player. What makes their money is the pro audio sector. EarSonics are a pro audio company that lives off their customs, the universals range is just an extra for them. They are a very small time player (which to be honest seems to be a big plus for a lot of people in this hobby, ie, just look at FAD etc) compared to Westone, Shure and others. I´m actually not trying to defend ES much: build quality issues, QA issues, design isn´t as thought out (almost no accessories or tips). Sound quality wise they are very competitive though, but I´m not suprised ES hasn´t hit "mainstream" like Shure and others have. They have the sound quality engineering to make it though, but they just have to fix the rest. It could be that they are happy at what they have though and have no plans to "go big". 

 

Anyways, from what I´ve read the SM64V2 is pretty much an evolved SM3. If ES products were mass produced in Asia I´m sure the SM3 would have been discontinued already, but ES handcrafts their IEMs in France using the same shells for both so as long as someone wants to buy the SM3 why not keep producing them. All the usual production routines are there already anyway. The reason SM3 has been "forgotten" these days is simply that it´s more or less replaced by the SM64, which almost noone here has yet.

In Europe EarSonics universals are sold through EarSonics' own online store (simply because they want all the profit for themselves). In the U.S. EarSonics' universals are a sold through amazon.com (otherwise customs duty and tax would kill their business in the U.S.). So EarSonics universals are readily avaiable on both sides of the Atlantic. Just to get the facts right!

post #1659 of 1669

Is the durability of these really that bad. I am a known breaker of headphones haha, I really want these but there re too many complaints on the durability. I am about to go with the um3x, whihc one is the better iem though?

post #1660 of 1669

Not a problem for everyone. I just passed one year without any issues. They look the same as the day I got them.

 

(I haven't heard the um3x, but I love my W4s)


Edited by RapidPulse - 7/10/13 at 2:03pm
post #1661 of 1669
Hi Head-fi,

I am visiting to share that, to my ears, the SM3 sounds dreadful with the new Fiio E12, yet for some reason, I like the synergy. To me, the E12 makes the SM3 sound warmer and more fun. Bass is hard hitting and tight, vocals are thicker (almost annoyingly so) and details are a little muffled. It's not audiophile-ish but I find myself using the E12 more than the RSA Mustang. (Even though I know the mustang is a better amp)

I must be going crazy smily_headphones1.gif
post #1662 of 1669

Removed the filters of my Sm3 V1 using the bent paperclip method (genius) night and day difference, I cannot stand the muddied vieled sound coming from a pair of UE900's which are very clear and good treble. Have not experienced "harsh treble" yet but I used to use tf10's with silicones so I never had problems with treble. Major thanks to the member who came up with the idea of removing the filters using a bent paperclip!

post #1663 of 1669

I have my pair of EarSonics SM3 v1 for sale if anyone is interested here. I've had them from new since October 2010 and they are in excellent condition.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/678355/fs-earsonics-sm3-v1-inc-all-accessories-and-original-box

I've never had any problems with them, so maybe the durability / build issues are random?

post #1664 of 1669

Where do I purchase the sensorcom tips for the SM3v2?

 

Thanks.

post #1665 of 1669

I am also selling my beloved SM3 as no longer use them because I bought a pair of SE846 I use for now. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/newestpost/724749

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