This is a review of my Earsonics SM3. If you want the short story, I never thought IEM's could sound this good for what, I think, is a great price. They are effortlessly good sounding. After you get used to them, they seem to have a flawless sound signature. Now to the real thing.
Gear used (in order of preference): uDac, uDac>Asgard, Droid
What sounded great with the SM3's:
Janie's Got a Gun - Aerosmith
Cool, cool. It's an alright song and it sound good on the SM3's. There is nothing missing. It could use a bit of soundstage but it's alright.
My Girls - Animal Collective
Great song made better with fantastic IEMs. I feel like I can hear every subtle detail and sound. The bass is nice and present. The sparkly highs are there but not a nuisance. The vocals are nice. Soundstage does seem a bit cluttered in comparison to my K702's. BUT the rest of the sound makes up for it.
Lonewolves - Converge
:O. Seemingly a poorly mastered song right? Hah! These IEMs are the most resolvent of any headphones I've heard. The soundstage is ideal for this song and others like it; it is just a wall of sound. So enjoyable...
Monster - Kanye West
I thought I would try this just to humor you guys (and myself). I was surprised. If you don't know, this is THE WORST album as far as mastering goes. I will not say these IEMs turn this rubbish/garbage/trash to bliss but it sounds better than it did on my K702's or HD650. The bass extends all the way down.
Herra Hu - Monoland
Soundstaging, bass, mids, nice gentle treble, all there. It turns music into what would sound like noise on low-fi gear. Cool, cool.
What amazed me:
Exospacial Psionic Aura - Behold...the Arctopus:
I couldn't listen to this with my SR225i's. Nor could I with my HD650's. Same story with my K702's. The whole album (Nano-Nucleic Cyborg Summoning) has a history being called poorly mastered. The SM3s made my ears take a 180 degree turn. Wow. This song showcases how fast paced these wee delights are. Percussion sounds so beautiful. As do the guitars. Oh yeah, and the bass. This truly amazed me.
Freedie Freeloader - Miles Davis
I listened to this and I could help but smile. They sound effortlessly good with jazz. They are very close to my K702's in this respect to the point that I'd call it a tie. Perfect sound signature.
Lake of Fire - Nirvana (from their Unplugged recording)
It is tough to pick the best sounding song off of the Unplugged album. There is no best. They all sound fantastic. The vocals are so transparent. The percussion sounds so real. Very audiophiley experience, if that is a term.
November 25 Morning - Philip Glass
I couldn't stop listening to this. The violins just seem to appear out of nowhere. They are in front of me, behind me, and right next to me. The timpani is hovering above me. What I referred to as a wall of noise earlier turns into blissful dome of intensity and music. I was persuaded to look into more contemporary classical after this, needless to say.
As others have said in their review of the SM3, it does take a while to get used to the sound signature on these. I don't know what it is, but just wait half an hour after you've inserted them in your ears. I had some comfort issues at first as well, but it seems my ears adjusted.
I would say these ever-so deceptive IEMs could be used for monitoring due to their "perfect" sound signature. Everything is prominent, highs, mids, lows. everything. The soundstage is unbelievably wide for being an IEM. As you may have noticed, I didn't mention anything I was disappointed with in the review. This is because nothing was lacking. I will say that they don't have the "wow" factor. The K702's had treble. The HD650's had bass. These just have everything; there is nothing special or unique. These are also uber EQable. The bass can be adjusted to face-rattling levels.
These don't improve much with amping in my opinion. I tried compared them with and without my Asgard, there is little change. These are also super sensitive so there was more audible buzz from my Asgard than from my other headphones.
While they are amazing, I think I am going back to full sized. These are not so comfortable after 5+ hours.
Edited by mralexosborn - 2/19/11 at 4:00pm