SO, they arrived.
Tiny TINY crack on one of the shells, but these ones are a version that were out in the store, hence a lot cheaper. So I can’t confidently blame Earsonics for this. I have contacted them, and they’ve replied (quickly) saying they would happily replace them if I had issues- I still have a year warranty.
I’m gonna say it, similar to a few other members here I’m less keen on the cable- mainly because of where the split is. The memory wire section at the top is OK, but again absolutely factors functionality over form- it’s probably very sturdy, but it looks a touch unrefined, pretty much a wire in a plastic tube. Don’t take that as a full criticism- it doesn’t effect anything really, just the aesthetics. This is a company that sees producing the shell of an IEM as nothing more than a necessary nuisance.
These IEMs feel like they were designed by audio engineers, who don’t have a design team anywhere near them- they don’t actually know much about design, but seem to know Aesthetically the shells themselves aren’t what I’d call bad, but I’d say ‘meh’. But they seem sturdy enough, the plastic is very rigid, I don’t have any issue with how they’re put together. Of course, Sennheiser again have a good rep for being very robust, so only time will tell if these are as good on that front.
Comfort wise they’re fine, no complaints.
It would seem I’m very fortunate on this front, OR maybe I’ve just NEVER got a proper seal with any IEM, so I don’t know the difference! But as far as I can tell these work just as well any any IEMs with the stock double flange tips. i haven’t even tried the foam tips- I haven’t had a need to.
The SM64s are goingg to take some getting used to. These are by far the most expensive IEMs I’ve bought, and as such I’d expect them to be infinitely better than my previous ones. That said, ‘better’ is a frustrating term to get your head round with IEMs, as I’m discovering more and more on this forum. However, initial impressions would suggest that YES, in many ways these are better.
As I mentioned, my iems for the last 2 years have been Sennheiser ie8s and to their credit I’m just starting to understand how brilliantly Sennheiser set out their sound stage. It’s a lot bigger than the SM64s, which I assume is to do with that dynamic driver (in the Sennheiser’s of course). there is also a lot of bass quantity with the Sennheisers, and because the quality is actually pretty good in their bass range, I instantly assumed that the SM64s were therefore worse on the bass front- which upset me, for the above mentioned reasons regarding more money etc etc.
However, (the big ‘but’) on more listening, I think I am wrong. Yes, there is less bass, but the bass is better. It’s more controlled- you can hear more of the things going on, to put it simply. And like others here, I was/am very surprised at the amount of detail retained given the amount of bass.
Mids and treble I literally have nothing to add- I think the reviews are bang on- they’re good. Really good. They ARE quite neutral mind you, so if you’re coming from something much cheaper like Beats or something, you may be forgiven for thinking there is less treble and mids- there isn’t less, it’s just playing what the song sounds like- not pushing the frequencies, which after a few hours is something I realise the IE8s do a touch to make up for the bass bleeding across. Its sort of like turning the ‘beats’ button on on my HTC One M8 (or any other HTC running Sense 6 I think)- it might sound a little ‘better’ but then you realise you’re hearing a very unnatural version of the music. These are not that, they’re natural, and to my ears, verge on perfect.
At this point I’m intrigued to know what effect the 5khz thing has, because I don’t sense any loss of ‘edge’ or clarity at all- these are plenty clear.
So in summary, the only thing I think they’re lacking is stage- that feeling that instruments are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, these are great in that respect, just not as good as the Sennheisers. Everything is closer, which is fine, just not what I’m used to. Perhaps it’s a good thing.
Question, did anyone else have the experience with these IEMs where they found themselves listening to old tracks because of the way they drag out hidden details?