is it just me who finds the sm3 a bit sibilant??
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REVIEW: Earsonics SM3 & RSA Predator - Page 2
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Well, it's strange because when I switched from my RE-252 and IE8 to the SM3, I also found them bordering on sibilance, but I don't notice it anymore.
However, it's clear that compared to my dynamic phones, they are slighlty less smooth.
No microphonics whatsoever. The cable is excellent. But if you want to use it for gym, be aware that the high level of isolation might be a problem. I personally wouldn't like to use them for gym: first, the isolation, and second, hell they're expensive for this use! But YMMV.
Nice review, thanks! I love how versatile the SM3's are, and they are hard to beat for my money, that's for sure. My impressions/thoughts below:
They sound great unamped out of my Cowon J3...dead silent background with no hiss, great extension, and palpable bass. I don't like them amped with my Headroom Airhead, but that amp tends to either do nothing at all (except crossfeed) or add an unacceptable level of noise, especially with low impedance high efficiency IEMs like these (and the Beyer T50p's...ugh). I am still waiting on my Arrow, which should be a perfect fit for all of my portable stuff...can't wait for that little beast.
I don't really find them sibilant unless the treble is artificially enhanced through poor EQing. I DO feel they are a bit rolled off at the top end, but not overly so, and in fact the treble is quite pleasant. And yes...the mids are really where these guys shine.
As for fit and comfort I was coming from Ety ER-4s, so gravel in my ears would be an improvement in comfort. The over the ear cable design and low profile seating in my ears is great - the Etys stick way out. With the SM3 I can sleep with them in if I wanted to, and I sleep on my side (this works best with the foam tips, as the tri-flanges I mostly use...see below...seat pretty deeply). As to cable microphonics, there's none at all which is a revelation coming from the horrible Ety cable.
The stock bi-flanges are pretty good, offering perhaps the best trade-offs between comfort, isolation, sound quality, and fit. The grey Comply tips are very comfortable (probably my faves in this category), but I feel they muddy up the sound a little depending on the type of music. I ordered a five-pair pack of black Complys and really like them, comfort and isolation -wise. They attenuate external noise extremely well, but I have to fiddle with them a bit to get the best sound.
I also picked up some Sony Hybrids, a Monster Super Tips sample pack (with both foams and gels) and some MEElec tri-flanges. I really like the MEElecs for comfort and fit - they stay in great. The silicone is thinner and softer than the horribly stiff Ety tips and I can wear them for MUCH longer periods than I ever could with the Etys. They don't isolate as well as others, and they require an adaptor to fit properly onto the stems as they have a wider tube (I'm using the Monster adaptors, but before that I just used a cut down Ety triflange), but the increased air volume inside the tip makes for nice deep bass and a very clear and direct sound, with no coloration (Comply and other foams tend to muddy up the music, as I mentioned). They isolate well enough, but noisy environments (airplanes, for example) will require something better. I think these are good tips for "out and about", as they are a good trade-off between being able to remain aware of your surroundings (especially if you pause the music) while still being able to enjoy the music at reasonable volume levels.
The Monster ones I haven't tried much, but I really liked the gel ones for isolation, comfort, and sound quality. The foam ones seem like they might stay in a little better, but the sound quality on the gels and the external noise reduction were stellar. As for the Sonys, I don't have any impression yet, as I only tried a couple to find the proper fit, but initial impressions were good.
Nice stuff Golden Monkey. Of the stock tips I also use the bi-flanges, and I don't really find them sibilant unless the recording has it, but we all hear things differently :) I DID however find my AD900s a little sibilant when I first got them, but not anymore. That leads me to believe they've helped me become more accustomed to the higher frequencies.
- REVIEW: Earsonics SM3 & RSA Predator
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