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Earsonics SM64 Impressions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I received the SM64 last week while on vacation so I've only listened to them for a couple hours. Earsonics has just released information that future SM64s will have an impedance of 95 ohms which is less than the original units sold over the past month or two. I don't know which version I have. Please take the following brief review with some skepticism as my time with them has been short.

On initial listen I am very impressed. This is a really impressive headphone. It is a surprise to find Earsonics producing an analytical sounding phone that retains the amazing mids and lows of the SM3 & putting some sweet icing on the top end.

It is not an SM3+ but rather a new offering all together. The fit is the the usual Westone/Earsonics shape and the build quality appears excellent. It is somewhat heavier than previous offerings and the clear back is very transparent.

The bass is well extended and sounds almost like a good dynamic. The mids are full and very detailed. The highs are extended with a somewhat airy presentation. Soundstage is excellent. As it is rather analytical and bright it may be more fatiguing for long listening periods, but so far I'm really enjoying it.

Is it better than my W4 & SM3? Without hesitation, I think it is technically better. Is it better than my TG334? God no, but what is?

I will post more once my brain has adjusted to the new toy.
post #2 of 17

Thanks for the impressions. Sounds good, but I think I'd prefer the SM3 v2.
 

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zalithian View Post

Thanks for the impressions. Sounds good, but I think I'd prefer the SM3 v2.

 

Is this because of the words "bright" and "analytical"?

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterDLai View Post

 

Is this because of the words "bright" and "analytical"?

 

Yep. I'm not prone to sibilance myself, but I seem to favor a thick, spacious and relaxing sound. Lots of treble energy/brightness is not so relaxing for me. :)

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zalithian View Post

Yep. I'm not prone to sibilance myself, but I seem to favor a thick, spacious and relaxing sound. Lots of treble energy/brightness is not so relaxing for me. :)

 

Does that mean you're warming up quite nicely to the SM3 and preferring it to the GR07 now?

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think for those who tried the SM3 and didn't like the rolled off or tamed highs, this will be a treat. The soundstage is normalized as well. This would have better appeal the CK10/100 or Sony EX lovers....
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterDLai View Post

 

Does that mean you're warming up quite nicely to the SM3 and preferring it to the GR07 now?

 

Hahaha. Well, we'll see. It's never good to come to a conclusion too quickly. I will say I've warmed up to the SM3 a bit though.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

I decided to return the SM64 for modification as I use it only from an iphone 4S.  I am hoping there is minimal change to the signature.  I wouldn't complain if they tamed the highs a little.  Will review again in a week when they are back in my ears.  It's hard to be brave when few others have this gem...

post #9 of 17

Have you received it back?

Does it sound any better with the 4s?

post #10 of 17

I got mine back and Earsonics changed exactly the stuff they promised to "fix" (maybe the wrong word because there wasn't really something to fix in the first place :P)

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm a little jealous. Mine are due back Tuesday & I will post a review as soon as I can.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Yum Goong View Post

I got mine back and Earsonics changed exactly the stuff they promised to "fix" (maybe the wrong word because there wasn't really something to fix in the first place :P)

 

Just curious whether the fix was sonically drastic

- how were you able to tell if the modded 64's had any difference if considering you didn't have your them for week(s?) thoroughout the time it was @ ES for modding. 

post #13 of 17

Interested in seeing how these hold-up, build quality-wise.  The SM3's looked so fragile to me, and I recall seeing numerous complaints of the shells falling apart.  Plus, @ ~$500 street price, I'm not willing to take too many chances.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by delancyst View Post

 

Just curious whether the fix was sonically drastic

- how were you able to tell if the modded 64's had any difference if considering you didn't have your them for week(s?) thoroughout the time it was @ ES for modding. 

 

 

The slight sibilance on very high frequencies disappeared which I can tell because before the upgrade certain Jazz tracks were a bit unpleasent to listen to, but now I can enjoy them just fine :)
The highs sound like ever before but without the sibilance that occured rarely.

The mids are more present than before. The SM64 sounds a bit more lively now and presumably because of that less neutral. Mids are clear and awesome as before but only "louder". Man, this is not so easy to describe :/
I was fine with the "V1 mids" but I also like the change they did to them.
And for me the best part of the SM64 still is its awesome amount of details, the huge 3D soundstage and its precision :)

 

Before I send my SM64 to Earsonics 2,5 weeks ago, I listened to them almost 200 hours. i may not have the best audio memory, but the change in certain tracks is really obvious to me :)

post #15 of 17
Exactly my thoughts.
I did use my v1 for roughly a week before sending them back to ES.
Previously, i was using an sm3 for more than 2 years (strong audio memory), so the difference was apparent when i first picked up a 64.

Unfortunately, i don't have a spare v1 to listen to while mine is currently being modded.
Couple this with the fact that throughout the week with my v1 sm64, i did not repeat any songs.
That will certainly affect my ability to discern any differences once i get the modded ones back.

I will have to find a chance somehow, to A/B a v1 and v2 in order to tell if theres any difference.
The sibilance was one of things that bugged me when i was using the v1.
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