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tf10 vs sm3...head to head direct comparison

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Used teclast t51>headstage arrow 3g>sony hybrid tips


first thing is first.....tf10 or sm3....I think both are amazing product.....if you think sm3 is an upgrade from tf10....you are wrong.....it is a matter of taste when you get to this point.


The first time I listened to tf10 I was like holyblablabla.....I was like this is it...then within two months I got curious about other iems....I wanted sth even better...so i started lurking in headfi...and after owning tf10 for almost 7 months I finally decided to buy sm3.


The first impression right out the box was amazing. I felt I truely did upgrade. But as I kept listening and listening and listening.....I started having doubts about this product. I felt something is wrong with this product. Is it because I am not used to the sound signature of this product. So I listened to it heavily for 3 days. And finally today now that my college is over.....I started listening to both tf10 pro and sm3 and found these differences.


the sound of tf10 felt hollow....very light....a cheese with holes in it while sm3 felt very heavy....its like the difference was air and water. I think this was because of the mids. If you find tf10 lacks weight or the richness than go for sm3. sm3 provides very whipped creamy sound.


In tf10 there is a very noticeable difference of volume of the singer and the musical instruments. So the voice sounds very clear and very undisturbed. So If you like to listen to music without the voice of the singer being disturbed I guess stick with your tf10. For sm3 the volume of the singer and musical instruments depends. In sm3....musical instruments may sound louder than the singer. So...its like the sounds in sm3 is more balanced. 


The above conclusion led me to another feeling that i recieved. tf10 gave me the feeling that i was listening in a concert. The sound from tf10 is very raw. Some ppl may not like that. For those ppl sm3 is the way to go. Sm3 gave me the feeling of like studio. Everything is controlled. Their is not much emphasis in any musical instrument or the singer.


The treble in tf10 is much closer where in sm3 i felt it was a little laid back. which is again upto your taste. You might like the sounds of cymbals really up front like in tf10 or little softer and lower like it sm3.


Tf10 makes you want to dance. It's very energetic. Its raw. If you want to relax and listen to the waves of the ocean kinda thing tf10 is not for you. if you wanna like jump around and dance and shake your head and be active...tf10 is for you. tf10 is not for you if you are soft person. sm3 is the way to go. Sm3 evokes feelings in sm3. It gives me shivers. It relaxes me. So I felt classicals were the way to go with sm3 rather than tf10. but that doesn't mean is sucks with other genres....like i said its the signature of the sound at this point.


You want to upgrade....head for the customs...


detail wise....both sm3 and tf10 provides enough details for your appetite. You can't go wrong with both of these.

both are triple drivers....with single low, mid and high.....all those three do their job like they are assigned....


I say if you have reached triple drivers you ought reach your sound signature if not then you are in the shits like me....I have not found the right signature for me...I am waiting for my westone 4...which is supposed to be very neutral...I will give my impressions once I get them.


Soundstage wise both have their own place. tf10 gave me a feeling that i wasa in the 14th 15th row in the concert while sm3 gave me the feeling i was in huge studio hall listening to music. in sm3 its like you are in the center...well almost.


However for now.....

If you like rawness...lively.....jumpy....dancey....concerto........then tf10 is right for you

if you like to sit in one of those grandfather's chair, put your hands behind your resting head and enjoy music like classicals and celtics and so on go for sm3. the sound sm3 feels very filtered.

If you are metal head....you can't go wrong with both...I actually loved it in both and could not really decided...

the thing about sm3 is it is very versatile unlike tf10...

However hehe..once again.....both are amazing products......its not like one performs better than other.....its about the sound signature.


one last thing....sm3 is way over hyped....careful...don't listen to those who put too creamery words...its not true....we all hear differently....what amazes me might not amaze you......don't waste money on headphones jumping from to another...they are expensive i think.....if you have any of the triple driver iems....I say stick with it...and aim for a custom...really I tried bunch of headphones...they all shined on their own way....they are just like us humans....one friend can not be better than another friend just because one sings better or one looks better or cooler or bla bla bla.......no matter how much jump from one to another you will be left wanting more.....


You have tf10 or sm3....stick with it....aim for customs like es5x, jh13 or so on. i guess custom is whole new world. For now I'll stick with both until I get westone 4....and yes after w4....is custom...


Well...these are just me....nth that i have said here is a fact....those are just my opionions....my feelings....my impressions...not yours...they are here just for guiding....

Edited by odiofile - 5/13/11 at 9:09pm
post #2 of 6

The TF10 is a 2 way with a recessed mid which is fine if that's what you like. Same as se535 but it has forward mid. All these IEMs have something not perfect about them so take with a grain but I'd personally take a single ba PFE 112 over them. Finals are single ba. Number of drivers isn't a criteria for overall competence.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

and I don't blame you...^_^...to each their own...that's what i say

post #4 of 6

As the TF10 and SM3 are almost very opposite in sound signature as well the PFE 112 is very different compared to any of these and has not been proven better, then maybe it basically just comes down to choice of music genre etc. or how you prefer your choice of music to be presented to your ears and liking, there's no right or wrong in this matter, but just an individual choice and very important by how much you can expose you wallet to excessive bleeding!

post #5 of 6

I meant PFE over TF10 as I haven't heard the SM3 but I also was clear about it being a personal choice and an example of a single BA that I'm familiar with competing with multis. I do think there can be more available from some multi driver units but it's certainly no guarantee.

post #6 of 6

hello can you help me to choice which better TF10 or SM3. i love to heard rock, like a greenday, muse, my chemical romance. hopefully i can make a choice 2 days ahead. thanks advance beerchug.gif

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