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Sensaphonics 2MAX anyone?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Chanced on a review at Playback/AVGuide

Anyone who can vouch on their 2MAX against JH, UE or Westone?

post #2 of 13

I can vouch, via various reliable third parties, as to the reference-standard quality of the 2MAX. But the users who would testify all hang out in pro audio world -- sound engineers and musicians.

 

Sensaphonics (a client of mine) lost traction among audiophiles a few years back because they chose to concentrate on their core market, pro audio. They made an appearance at CanJam this year, and elected to participate in Chris Marten's (generally excellent) review, as a way of reaching out to audiophiles.

 

Personally, I remain somewhat mystified as to all the ongoing clamor over very similar acrylic-shell custom earphones, while a time-tested, truly different design like Sensaphonics silicone, with exceptional sound quality and distinct user benefits, is largely overlooked. But then, I'm easily mystified...

post #3 of 13

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

I can vouch, via various reliable third parties, as to the reference-standard quality of the 2MAX. But the users who would testify all hang out in pro audio world -- sound engineers and musicians.

 

Sensaphonics (a client of mine) lost traction among audiophiles a few years back because they chose to concentrate on their core market, pro audio. They made an appearance at CanJam this year, and elected to participate in Chris Marten's (generally excellent) review, as a way of reaching out to audiophiles.

 

Personally, I remain somewhat mystified as to all the ongoing clamor over very similar acrylic-shell custom earphones, while a time-tested, truly different design like Sensaphonics silicone, with exceptional sound quality and distinct user benefits, is largely overlooked. But then, I'm easily mystified...

A lot of custom iem companies are shoe-horning themselves into the exact same market with very similar designs. Some of that makes sense. Jerry Harvey is out to take away (and take back) some business from his old company, UE, plus there's some bad blood between him and Westone. So, it makes sense that he'd go head to head and try to top UE products.

 

It seems like a few custom companies are taking a more unique route and that's very interesting.

Future Sonics is another pro audio focused company with some plans to expand carefully into a more high-end consumer market. Their dynamic driver customs have a very different philosophy of sound and engineering behind them.

 

Having said that, they used to offer a choice of acrylic OR silicon shells and they are starting to phase out the silicon due to some durability issues and the fact that silicon will harden for some users based on body chemistry. I'll be interested to see how users of the Westone ES5 react when they discover that. I'm sure Westone has considered it.

 

I'd like to hear more about Sensaphonics and some of the other pro audio custom companies out there. If FS is a good example, they tend to be smaller and have excellent customer service as they try to build relationships with pro clients.

post #4 of 13

 

Quote:

Having said that, they used to offer a choice of acrylic OR silicon shells and they are starting to phase out the silicon due to some durability issues and the fact that silicon will harden for some users based on body chemistry. I'll be interested to see how users of the Westone ES5 react when they discover that. I'm sure Westone has considered it.

 

I'd like to hear more about Sensaphonics and some of the other pro audio custom companies out there. If FS is a good example, they tend to be smaller and have excellent customer service as they try to build relationships with pro clients.

 

 

I want to start by clarifying a couple things about silicone. I can't speak to FS and their issues, but it's important to realize that there are a lot of fomulations out there. The soft-gel, medical-grade silicone that Sensaphonics uses is extremely durable, and does not crack, harden or shrink over time. There has never been a case of a Sensaphonics earpiece hardening, due to body chemistry or any other reason.

 

Medical-grade silicone (which is markedly different in texture from the silicon tips packaged with many universal-fit  products) is also extremely difficult to work with, requiring trained craftsfpeople working completely by hand to create the earpieces.

 

This is the real reason that virtually no other company offers silicone earpieces. Creating them is very labor-intensive, but the user benefits -- such as better fit, superior comfort, the highest isolation, most stable seal, and shock protection for internal components -- are very real and worthwhile.

 

In my experience, Sensaphonics does work hard to provide personal service and build strong relationships, but is (and will remain) focused primarily on its core market of professional musicians and sound engineers. That said, the same benefits apply to the world of audiophiles. What others require 5 to 8 drivers to even attempt, Sensaphonics achieves with two -- reference standard audio through superior design.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

 

I want to start by clarifying a couple things about silicone. I can't speak to FS and their issues, but it's important to realize that there are a lot of fomulations out there. The soft-gel, medical-grade silicone that Sensaphonics uses is extremely durable, and does not crack, harden or shrink over time. There has never been a case of a Sensaphonics earpiece hardening, due to body chemistry or any other reason.

 

Medical-grade silicone (which is markedly different in texture from the silicon tips packaged with many universal-fit  products) is also extremely difficult to work with, requiring trained craftsfpeople working completely by hand to create the earpieces.

 

This is the real reason that virtually no other company offers silicone earpieces. Creating them is very labor-intensive, but the user benefits -- such as better fit, superior comfort, the highest isolation, most stable seal, and shock protection for internal components -- are very real and worthwhile.

 

In my experience, Sensaphonics does work hard to provide personal service and build strong relationships, but is (and will remain) focused primarily on its core market of professional musicians and sound engineers. That said, the same benefits apply to the world of audiophiles. What others require 5 to 8 drivers to even attempt, Sensaphonics achieves with two -- reference standard audio through superior design.


Hmm, the Westone website also mentions the issue of hardening silicon with some people's body chemistry. Well, it's interesting. ACS is a British company which also uses medical grade silicon for its customs.

 

As for the multi-driver issue, it's pretty clear that there are companies like Sensaphonics using two drivers and ACS and EarSonics which strongly compete with three drivers.

 

Ask the owner of Sensaphonics if he knows the owner of Future Sonics. PM me with any response, I'd be curious.

post #6 of 13

I'm not a technical expert, so won't argue the body chemistry issue. But Sensaphonics has been a client of mine for four years, and no earphones have been returned for hardening in that time. I stand by my previous statement regarding medical-grade silicone (the same material that ACS uses).

 

Sensaphonics also has a triple driver, the 3MAX, btw.

 

Naturally, Dr. Santucci and Marty Garcia know each other. They are pioneers in the field, both via the music industry. What is it that you're getting at?

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

 

Naturally, Dr. Santucci and Marty Garcia know each other. They are pioneers in the field, both via the music industry. What is it that you're getting at?



I clearly have some sort of devious agenda! Can you guess what it is?

post #8 of 13

Don't be coy.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

Don't be coy.


It seemed like a pretty innocuous question, is all.

post #10 of 13

I just thought it was odd that you asked for a PM.

 

As it turns out, I know both gentlemen personally (and professionally).

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

I just thought it was odd that you asked for a PM.

 

As it turns out, I know both gentlemen personally (and professionally).

Personal anecdotes are sometimes best kept private.

 

You should contact the moderators and let them know you are a member of the trade, by the way. You'll get a little icon by your name stating that you are a Sensaphonics dealer.

 

post #12 of 13

For the record, I am neither an employee of nor a dealer for Sensaphonics. I'm an independent marketing/PR guy (Kontney Communications Inc.) working in the pro audio industry.

 

Sensaphonics is one of my clients.

 

Jude and company are well aware of my affiliation with Sensaphonics, as I spearheaded the company's appearance at CanJam last summer, and negotiated the banner ad being shown at the top of the IEM forum pages during December. I note my affiliation in most of the threads I post in as well (see Post #2 of this thread). There's no intent to deceive here.

 

If Head-fi feels I should have an affiliation icon, that would be fine.

post #13 of 13

These IEMs are fantastic.  They are my go-to's for mixing monitors/both wedges and IEM. I also use my older molds for airplanes/running, really anything.  I have tried JH and Ultimate Ears, both of which have too-rigid of a mold for the ear...Yes, they provide a seal, but not in the same way.  The Silicone that Sensaphonics uses holds up very well over time, and seats very comfortably in your ears for hours on end. They feel like nothing is in your head after a few minutes.  I just got off a tour where I wore them 7+ hours a day, and there was never any discomfort. 

 

Highly recommend them. 

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