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Earsonics SM64: The Impressions Thread - Page 58

post #856 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post


I can't speak for the 4Ai but my 4A custom doesn't sound anything like the W4 I used to own. I've never heard the ER4 but from what I've read Ety earphones lean more on the analytical side which Heir gear does not. Oh well, maybe I just need to hear an ER4 to understand where you're coming from.

Unfortunately, all IEMs' are fit dependent. And as my ear canals seem to change day to day I sometimes wonder if I hear things the same every day. That said, my hearing is usually in line with Jokers. His descriptions are pretty much how I hear a lot of these headphones with the exception of a lot of the larger bore stuff like Hifiman and UE. I can't really get those to stay in my ears. The Heirs are borderline as far as staying put. Not an active headphone by any means. I didn't have the W4 and 4.ai at the same time ( and I expect there are fit/sound issues between the custom and universal version of 4.a/4.ai) , the W4 is warmer. From what I recall the 4.ai was leaner, more "neutral". I modded my W4 with the extra filters, it did change the sound somewhat. 

 

So I base my standards on Etymotic as a "neutral" 'phone. They have a spike at 5-6000 Hz I'm sensitive to. The Hf5 reminded me of the Hifiman Re-zero. A little warmer, still basically "neutral". The ER4 is a little more analytical and "cold". 

 

The 4.ai had more bass I believe than the ER4, (therefore not neutral?), the transparency and imaging were very enjoyable. I liked the headphone a lot even though it really doesn't go well with crust punk and black metal (ouch). 

 

I wouldn't go as far as to say "nothing like " the W4, but the W4 is more mid-happy, warm upper bass typical Westone/Shure/Earsonics than a cold/neutral Etymotic. They are different. The 4.ai in my minds eye was more analytical, sharper, perhaps cleaner. I like both for different reasons, but the W4 is hardly the "bass light" treble happy IEM I was led to believe. Quite the opposite actually. In your terminology I'd call it a "fun" IEM.

 

 

My point with the earlier post was to point out the 4.ai is less like the SM64 than a W4 or the like. My experience with the 4.ai made it a sharp, clear IEM with treble emphasis. SM64 probably more sub -bass emphasized. The quads in my experience all sound to me like they're going for a similar experience of a detailed/neutral presentation. In my order of preference it was 4.ai>W4>UE900. Again, my W4 is modified, but I get better treble extension as a result. The UE900 was slow and muddy for my music, I was really surprised at how much better the 4.ai was in speed and clarity. It could have been fatigue, but I really didn't like them.

 

The W4 sound more "neutral" than the SM64 but still on the warm side. The 4.ai was closer to neutral in my memory. Hence the comparison suggestion.

 

To me it's all about how sensitive you are to subtle differences, I listen to a lot of different music, the IEM has to cover a spectrum. I can't specialize in "these are my classical, these are my rock, these are my jazz" type of setups. That leads to compromises.

 

 

So to me yes, the W4 is similar to the 4.ai. The SM3 is similar to the SM64 which is similar to a UM3x.....

 

The little differences on frequency emphasis and dips denote the changes. The 4.ai is closer to an ER4 than the SM64. THe W4 is closer to the Um3x than the ER4. Is the W4 then close to the SM64 in sound ? No I don't think so, but I guess it depends on threshold. At least I can compare the W4/SM64/ER4 with an equal footing due to the bore and therefore fit.

post #857 of 1220
Thanks. With some of the X3 impressions indicating "warm" I was wondering.

Warm compared to?

You say the R-zero did nothing. As in nothing gained?

I wonder if anyone has tried the O2 with these.
post #858 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post

Thanks. With some of the X3 impressions indicating "warm" I was wondering.

Warm compared to?

You say the R-zero did nothing. As in nothing gained?

I wonder if anyone has tried the O2 with these.

The D-Zero did not change the sound whatsoever. Of course that is not what amps are build for in the first place, but it's a nice side-effect they have.
For example pretty much all the amps Fiio is producing make head/earphones sound a bit warmer than without being amped. Don't ask me why, I know little to nothing about the technical aspect of amps :)
The X3 with it's build-in amp (that is more or less the Fiio E17) is no exception there. Everything sounds a bit warmer than with my Cowon J3, Clip+ or my old Sony DAP.

post #859 of 1220
Wow. Warmer than a Sony. OK, my interest in the X3 dwindles.
post #860 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericr View Post

Wow. Warmer than a Sony. OK, my interest in the X3 dwindles.

I would advice you to try the X3 for yourself :)
I said my "old" Sony DAP because I sold it 2 years ago and...yeah that's a long time I haven't listened to it.

post #861 of 1220
Maybe when a US seller with a return policy I trust gets some in stock I'll give the X3 a try.
post #862 of 1220
Amazon has great return policy, thats where i got mine, but wont be returning it
post #863 of 1220

How hard are these to power? I'm thinking of upgrading my Phonak PFE 112s (another fairly inefficient IEM). From what I understand, the SM64s are pretty difficult to drive, and from searching this thread, I can't find a thorough answer to whether or not they're acceptable unamped. I would be hoping to use these primarily to commute and at work without an amp, or, at best, paired with an e7. Would I be short-changing myself if I dropped the dough on a pair of SM64s?

post #864 of 1220

Every IEM is IMO easy to drive if you dont want to damage your hearing.

post #865 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by steaz View Post
 

How hard are these to power? I'm thinking of upgrading my Phonak PFE 112s (another fairly inefficient IEM). From what I understand, the SM64s are pretty difficult to drive, and from searching this thread, I can't find a thorough answer to whether or not they're acceptable unamped. I would be hoping to use these primarily to commute and at work without an amp, or, at best, paired with an e7. Would I be short-changing myself if I dropped the dough on a pair of SM64s?

I tried a few amps with my SM64 and IMO they only benefited slightly from amping.
Maybe I tried the "wrong" amps, but the only these amps did to the SM64 was making them louder. And that is what an amp is for.
These IEMs sure have a comparatively high impendance, but they are also fairly sensitive.

You won't miss out on much if you don't amp them, IMO.

post #866 of 1220

Ugh, wow. Just decided to impulse splurge and pick up a pair on amazon, only to be sent a message that they are out of stock ... AFTER I ordered.

post #867 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by steaz View Post
 

Ugh, wow. Just decided to impulse splurge and pick up a pair on amazon, only to be sent a message that they are out of stock ... AFTER I ordered.

Hmm that blows.
No idea where you are living, but there are other stores who are selling them.

post #868 of 1220

In the U.S. Is SoundEarphones the only distributor here?

post #869 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Yum Goong View Post
 

I tried a few amps with my SM64 and IMO they only benefited slightly from amping.
Maybe I tried the "wrong" amps, but the only these amps did to the SM64 was making them louder. And that is what an amp is for.
These IEMs sure have a comparatively high impendance, but they are also fairly sensitive.

You won't miss out on much if you don't amp them, IMO.

I agree here. Unless your player is severely underpowered, you don't need an amp at all. 90Ω AND 122dB sensitivity means on my iPod that I boost volume up from 15% to about 25% or 33%. In terms of resolution, again, unless your player is absolute crap, an amp will not help at all. I have never heard a player I'm imagining crappy enough to lose any resolution with such an easy-to-drive earphone.

 

The only problem I expect is this: some people do listen too loud and absolutely are damaging their hearing. The SM64 should be able to block 22-26dB. If you have an iPod/Walkman/other and are boosting volume to 75% and getting 'distortion' you don't need an amp, you need to reduce the volume of playback. Years from now you won't have a sense of hearing left. 

post #870 of 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by steaz View Post

In the U.S. Is SoundEarphones the only distributor here?

That's what it seems like for the SM64, though SoundEarphones has mysteriously removed all EarSonics products from its website. If you click on any links that would normally take you to EarSonics items, it returns no items. Does that mean that they're going to stop carrying EarSonics stuff? Time will tell I suppose.
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