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SM3 review - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMcProgger View Post

a very straight to the point review from Mr Alex



Yeppers mcfrogger

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 

Review posted. 

post #18 of 29
Quote:

Originally Posted by mralexosborn

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 They soundstage is about equal. The SM3s sometimes had me convinced I had speakers. I feel the bass throughout. Very realistic.

 

That would be a pretty neat trick and one I dont think an IEM is capable of pulling off, maybe I'm wrong. I just got some IEM's as an upgrade to my Porta Pro's, the Sunrise SW Xcapes. Overall I like them, the SQ is very good; but sonically they are no match for my HF2's or modded SR60's. Perhaps that's why you are trending back toward a full size can. Maybe you need two pairs of phones, a full size set of cans for the home rig and something to use with your Droid.

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 

I am getting a pair of full size because I tried a pair of Stax normal bias. Wow, that's all I have to say about them. 

 

As a final note for the SM3's, after attending a meet with 20+ headphones, I will say they are what audio should sound like. Balanced but musical. Heavenly sounding with good recording but resolving. Huge but in a tiny package. 

The SM3's, IMO beat the SR225i's to oblivion. The fact that they can compete with the K702 and HD650 is impressive. Granted, those sound much better than the pesky IEM when they are amped amply, but with just a "cheap" amp like the Asgard, it is tough.

post #20 of 29

Into oblivion...seriously?

 

That's a big hunk of hyperbole to swallow Alex. Not to long ago the 225's were audio bliss, now a pesky little IEM that's not quite as good as a K702 (almost competes with) something you characterized as something that's not your cup of tea. Yet it's everything audio should be confused_face(1).gif

 

 

And where is your Asgard in all of this?

 

IEM's and electrostats to synergize with an Asgard?

 

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

They were audio bliss. Those were $150 full sized cans with a tad too much treble. These are $300 IEM's with a "perfect" sound signature with good amounts of bass, mids, and treble. I say that it is not as good as the K702 because, like I said in the review, the SM3 does nothing special with music. It just plays it effortlessly; it is music the way I would like to hear it. The K702's weaknesses were its sparkly treble and huge soundstage, but these were also its strengths in some songs. The SM3 has no weaknesses but also no strengths. These would be perfect if I needed a portable and had the money to keep them and buy a full sized can, but I don't, I have to decide, I am going to get a Stax setup that although doesn't have the same "perfect" sound signature, it will wow me with many songs. This may seem like just words about the SM3, but personally I can't find a genre that gives me displeasure to listen to like my full sized cans did. This is not to say the SM3 is better but more universally suited, which it should be with this hefty price tag. 

 

My Asgard is sitting in a box waiting to be sold. The SM3's do not improve while being amped with my Asgard. In fact it is quite the opposite, the SM3's are so sensitive that the hum from the Asgard is too apparent (unless you turn up the uDac volume way up which has a hum of its own). Electrostats cannot be powered by the Asgard. That is why I bought the Marantz 2220B, to power a Stax adapter. 

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mralexosborn View Post

They were audio bliss. Those were $150 full sized cans with a tad too much treble. These are $300 IEM's with a "perfect" sound signature with good amounts of bass, mids, and treble. I say that it is not as good as the K702 because, like I said in the review, the SM3 does nothing special with music. It just plays it effortlessly; it is music the way I would like to hear it.


Fair enough Alex, they're your ears, I'm just saying. I dont know diddly squat about IEM's. I had a set of Skullcandy Titans a while back that I bought at Best Buy when I bought my Clip. They were alright but I took them back and got Porta Pro's. Something supra aural versus something jammed in my ear canal hurling music at my ear drum.

 

That said I just got another pair of IEM's, the Sunrise SW Xcape based on a few things, the biggest probaby being, Jokers review.

 

Sonically I think full size cans can beat an IEM into oblivion all day long, Just my 2 cents.

 

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

You need to try a pair of high end IEM's. Not buy, just try. 

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mralexosborn View Post

You need to try a pair of high end IEM's. Not buy, just try. 



Perhaps someday I'll get a chance to Alex. In the mean time I own the Xcapes. I'm assuning the SM3 is a superior headphone and higher end. Joker reviewed both in his thread and rated the SM3 a 10 versus 8.75 for the Xcape. The difference in SQ is a couple hundred dollars. So for $300 someone could have a solid IEM like the Xcape or an RE0 and a solid full size can, perhaps an SR225. The possibilities are really endless.

 

My POV though is I dont know how anything that isolates like an IEM does is going to sound natural, like you're listening to speakers. Like I said that's not something I think an IEM can pull off, I could be wrong though. IEM's just wouldnt be my choice for a home rig and it wouldnt be a direction I took if I just got an amp like an Asgard but that's just me. You have your own plan and your working it.

 

Crazy hobby. My sister was just here and saw my modded 60's and HF2's hanging on my make shift headphone stand. My Porta Pro's were on there too, and the Xcapes were laying on my desk. She was sort of shaking head amazed, like bro are all those headphones really necessary?

 

Yeah Sis, they are biggrin.gif

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

I am not saying they are better than full sized, I am saying for the price since they don't need an amp, they give full sized cans a run for their money. And by "they sound like speakers" I meant the soundstage is quite great and realistic. 

 

But I am coming back to full sized very soon. I am getting Stax within the next two weeks. Yes!

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mralexosborn View Post

I am not saying they are better than full sized, I am saying for the price since they don't need an amp, they give full sized cans a run for their money. And by "they sound like speakers" I meant the soundstage is quite great and realistic. 

 

But I am coming back to full sized very soon. I am getting Stax within the next two weeks. Yes!


you should hear a pair of good speakers.
 

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

I will. A pair of matched, damped, Fostex FE126e's are on their way to my home. Getting a look at the baltic birch they're cutting tomorrow. Should start assembling them next weekend, or I'll just use cardboard. Haha

 

My Akai AP-D2>Marantz 2220B>SM3 setup isn't that bad. I am actually impressed, I thought the stylus and cart would sound much worse. 

post #28 of 29

I own several good pairs, from 1200 a pair bookshelf to 8k a pair floorstanding, I choose headphones/iem's.......I'm not alone either

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSaysHi View Post


you should hear a pair of good speakers.
 

post #29 of 29

As far as sound signature, the sm3 really doesn't have much of one, that's what makes it special. I'll admit it is a bit of work for most people to get that "just right fit", but once you do, it's great for any genre, not the best at any one in particular, but you never feel the need to switch them out. In contrast, similar priced westone um3x/W3 both have more of a signature, the W3 has a bass/treble boost, the um3x is a bit warmer and drops off more than the sm3 from the presence region up. I'd have to sit just right in a small area to get the same staging/imaging from any off my speakers, and still miss some details now and again.

 

After many years of thinking headphones were strictly for people that had to keep noise down, I firmly believe that many prefer the headfi experience. At least I do.

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