I'm quite new to this hobby. I had a pair of Etymotic MC5 and decided that my commutes and ears deserved better.
I pulled the trigger on getting the SM3 phones. Overall, I like the presentation, it's really very smooth...I've only listened so far with two sources...rockboxed Clip+ and the HO of the Nuforce Icon and I'm playing around a bit with the EQ...
My issue is that I hear congestion in the lower mids on complex, see multi-instrument, passages. It seems better with the Nuforce.
Can I expect significantly better separation as I move up in source quality? Say to a HifiMan or using an amp with the Clip+?
I'd rather keep it to one device rather than bundles, but I suppose that I should try listening first before I make decisions like that.
Are there typically any issues with returning IEMs? Is there a good place in the SF Bay Area to actually try higher-end IEMs?
Thanks in advance for any information. It's much appreciated.