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Earsonics SM64: The Impressions Thread - Page 83

post #1231 of 1296

while sm64 are not better then my much more expressive tg334, they beat my w40 that are in the same price range. i did remove the filters but didn't make much of a difference to me. i had the luxury of playing around with them after my left earpiece broke and i was getting them re-shelled anyway. kept the filters and they were put back in when re-shelled. i would suggest not removing the filters. the biggest thing that made a difference to me were the ear-tips and the cable. my sm64 only get used when i travel these days but they are a very good eim. love they way they look re-shelled, the fit is perfect and while no significant change to the sound signature they isolation is better. 


Edited by molika - 8/26/14 at 12:36am
post #1232 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by molika View Post

love they way they look re-shelled

 

Why, have you had them re-shelled to look different than standard ones?

post #1233 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

 

Why, have you had them re-shelled to look different than standard ones?


the left earpiece broke and was to much to send to get repaired, was cheaper to re-shell. i could still use with a bit of tape to hold in place so considering i was going to get them re-shelled i thought i'll check out how they sound without the filters. this is the look of my re-shelled sm64s.

 

 

post #1234 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by molika View Post
 


the left earpiece broke and was to much to send to get repaired, was cheaper to re-shell. i could still use with a bit of tape to hold in place so considering i was going to get them re-shelled i thought i'll check out how they sound without the filters. this is the look of my re-shelled sm64s.

 

 

They look great! What the build qual like of the new shells? How do I get mine like that? Does it negatively affect the sound quality at all?

post #1235 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

They look great! What the build qual like of the new shells? How do I get mine like that? Does it negatively affect the sound quality at all?


the quality is top notch. i got them done at inearz but there's others that do them as well. to me no difference to sound quality. i got my impressions done at a highly recommended audiologist who knew what he was doing cause the fit is perfect. the isolation is obviously better. i wouldn't re-shell unless you have to but if looks is your poison then go for it. the other thing you need to think about is whether you want something going deep down in your ear canal. some find it very uncomfortable.

post #1236 of 1296

:confused::confused::confused:

Mine have arrived, just testing them- I'll come up with more impressions later, but I have to ask. This might be because my ears are used to something different, but please would any SM64 owners mind listening to this song from about 1.15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnKUD_OztRE

 

Is it me or are those synths really sort of muffled and crap sounding with the SM64s? OR is that just because I'm very used to a different sound? (Similar to when you turn off an EQ- you think it sounds worse to start with, before realising 'worse' is actually just 'balanced'.)

:confused:

post #1237 of 1296

Thoughts. 

 

SO, they arrived. 

 

Build:

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. 

 

Isolation: 

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. 

 

Sound:

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? 

post #1238 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post


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? 

Errday!
post #1239 of 1296
tmorterlaing,

See if you can find the Audio Phonak silicone eartips. I found they added nicely to the soundstage, not a lot in width, but more height and depth - which really rounds out the soundstage for a very realistic soundstage (esp. with live music).
Edited by ericr - 8/26/14 at 11:02am
post #1240 of 1296
In a week or so I shall be proud the join the SM64 crew. However, just as a bit of pre-prep, should I expect to have to remove the filters? I like thick mids and bass, and am very sensetive to excessive treble.
I will obvously give them a listen out of the box and after burn-in, but is the filter mod a universal thing or do only treble heads do it?
post #1241 of 1296
wo
Quote:
Originally Posted by NawiLlih View Post

In a week or so I shall be proud the join the SM64 crew. However, just as a bit of pre-prep, should I expect to have to remove the filters? I like thick mids and bass, and am very sensetive to excessive treble.
I will obvously give them a listen out of the box and after burn-in, but is the filter mod a universal thing or do only treble heads do it?

I would say no, the top end is very good anyway. have a listen first and if anything roll some tips first. the phonak are good as mentioned above, the westone stars or the shure olives.
post #1242 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post
See if you can find the Audio Phonak silicone eartips. I found they added nicely to the soundstage, not a lot in width, but more height and depth - which really rounds out the soundstage for a very realistic soundstage (esp. with live music).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by molika View Post
...the phonak are good as mentioned above, the westone stars or the shure olives.

 

@ericr

-these ones? 

http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/phonak-audeo-silicone-eartips-in-large-3-pairs-cleaning-tool.html?gclid=CjwKEAjwg_afBRD3rpChlqiKt1ESJACwY6NkW_1Wa_Rj785T5DhgYa7DyjDMR5KIz1SmUh5DsGL7thoCh9Xw_wcB

 

Do we have a concensus on which tips are best for soundstage? I like the look of the westone stars, but the shure olives look like theyll isolate better...?

post #1243 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

:confused::confused::confused:

Mine have arrived, just testing them- I'll come up with more impressions later, but I have to ask. This might be because my ears are used to something different, but please would any SM64 owners mind listening to this song from about 1.15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnKUD_OztRE

 

Is it me or are those synths really sort of muffled and crap sounding with the SM64s? OR is that just because I'm very used to a different sound? (Similar to when you turn off an EQ- you think it sounds worse to start with, before realising 'worse' is actually just 'balanced'.)

:confused:

I had a good listen comparing my most neutral sounding gear the ER-4S (ODAC /O2) to the SM64 (ODAC/O2). What you experience is definitely the effect of the SM64 signature, which is a bit less edgy (for lack of a better word) than what a flat signature produces with this track. The track may not be the most ideal for the SM64, but I think your EQ analogy is pretty much what it is about.

post #1244 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

...The track may not be the most ideal for the SM64, but I think your EQ analogy is pretty much what it is about.

- So, it's not 'bad' on the SM64s, per say, just different? (Perhaps less artificial?)

 

 

I keep having to remind myself that the IE8s are much more tailored towards extremism rather than sound accuracy, every now and again they trick me into making things sound better on first impression... :D

post #1245 of 1296
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmorterlaing View Post
 

Thoughts. 

 

SO, they arrived. 

 

Build:

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. 

 

Isolation: 

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. 

 

Sound:

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? 

Nice post, and I think you're right about pretty much everything! Anyway, FWIW here are a few comments.

 

Without going into details (unless someone asks me to) I personally find EarSonics' cable (which is the same for the SM3 v1, EM4, and EM6 that I own) to be the one I prefer the most in my collection of IEM cables. Mind you, these are designed to be worn over the ear only, hence the short cable length above the Y-split.

 

If you haven't already noticed, the correlation between what you pay for an IEM and how it sounds isn't very linear in this hobby, to say the least. In general I'd say the law of diminishing returns can be painfully palpable in this hobby, especially when we begin to reach above $500 or so. That said, I personally feel the SM64 gives very high value for money. The Sennheiser ie8 (which I haven't heard) is as far as I understand a lot less reference than the SM64, so it will take some time getting used to what things (especially bass) "really sound like", and it's not always appreciated from the start, but I'd be surprised - considering you seem to be serious about your sound - if you'd go back - except for perhaps sentimental reasons - to the ie8 after you've had your SM64 "brain-burn-in" period. BTW, the ie8 is quite famous for its sound stage, so no real surprise there. That said, the sound stage of the SM64 is far, far from bad. As a matter of fact, in my modest collection of TOTL IEMs (TG334, AKG K3003, ER-4S, EM6, SM64), the sound stage of the SM64 is very, very good. (I sure would like to hear the ie8 in this respect!)

 

Answer, I've seen that it's quite common to attribute an IEM as generally better than another IEM because it appears to be more revealing (having the ability to "drag out hidden details"), but most often - at least when comparing TOTL or very high quality IEMs such as the SM64 - the truth is rather that different IEMs tend to emphasize different frequencies more or less, giving the impression we hear stuff we never heard before and so make us believe we hear stuff that used to be hidden.

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