EarSonics S-EM6V2 in-ear monitors

  1. qsk78
    Earsonics S-EM6 V2 "the white crow"
    Written by qsk78
    Published Feb 8, 2018
    Pros - Neutral and detailed sound signature, Design, Build, Fit
    Cons - Ear tips sizes and variations
    " A white crow" in Russian language idiomatically refers to someone who stands out of a group, looks different, behaves differently.

    This is exactly the case for the S-EM6 V2 and the rest of Earsonics family.

    Let me explain where I'm coming from.
    First of all, I’m not a professional reviewer. I don’t have a huge "fleet" of various IEMs, sources, and cables.
    And this will be my second review in English on head-fi. The first one was dedicated to a Japanese portable DAC/Amp and its Limited version became my "end of the game source".
    The 6 driver IEMs from Earsonics have all chances to be my "end of the game" multi-driver IEM.

    I was thoroughly moving from one pair to another in search of "my sound" for years. I started with dynamic type of IEMs then moved to BA (single/multi), then to Hybrids, and finally ended up with a single driver IEMs. I found "my sound" among Etymotic ER4 line 1,5 years ago.

    So that means I prefer a neutral analytical signature with detailed and transparent sound, and fast bass attack.
    Currently I own ER4S, ER4SR, ER3SE. All three are used with different sources / on different occasions and I love all three.

    The main challenge for me was to find “proper” multi-driver IEMs which sound close to Etymotic. Real challenge I would say…
    You may ask: why do I need anything else if I like Ety?
    The answer is very simple - Etymotic can cover 65-70% of my music genres but I still have a huge number of albums of certain sub genres where I want to have more width, depth, space, air, and atmosphere.

    This is not my first Earsonics product. I owned SM64, ES3 in the past. 3 years ago I had a chance to listen to S-EM6 and was not very impressed with the sound signature - seemed dark and bassy.

    So all my hopes were tied up with this new revision V2 appeared in 2017, basing on two existing reviews on head-fi.
    By the way, guys, thank you for that.

    Here I just talk about my personal understanding of the idea behind. It could be different from the official ES vision.
    Imagine: clear focus on details, the most detailed Earsonics IEM so far (shown more details than in S-EM9, EM10)
    Signature: the graph says clearly about the tonality approach, almost linear with a little less sub bas presence (which is not typical for ES) and slightly less in High Mid area which I believe was made to eliminate this zone from any possible harshness or sibilants.


    When I tried them for the first time I was surprised in a very good way - finally I hear the multidriver IEM which do not change the overall tonality moving right from the ER4SR. Bingo!

    Sensitivity: 112 dB/mW
    Frequency response : 10 Hz -22 kHz
    Impedance: 30 ohms
    Driver: 6 balanced armature drivers (2 lows, 2mediums, 2 highs), 3-way passive crossover.

    4 Comply tips
    4 silicon tips
    1 cleaning tool
    Carrying box
    User manual

    Nice premium minimalistic, I would say. With warm greetings from CEO, I believe (do not speak French, unfortunately)

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    Very compact design. Fits my ears very well.
    Regarding supplied ear tips, I would prefer to have more size options/ variations with a softer silicon similar to ortofon or spinfit tips.

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    Sound analysis.

    First of all, as it has been mentioned, the S-EM6 V2 are very very close to a neutral signature. I would fully agree with the statement "Neutrality & Fineness" on the official website.

    Secondly, they are very source dependent. I could not make them perform with a portable player like Plenue P1, 2 vrms was not enough to drive them well. Yes, they sounded acceptable, but not as 6-driver.
    So in case they do not perform with your source do not make any conclusion about their performance, the weak link would be your source in 99% of the time I think. Also tried them directly from the 80 mW Vantam - the same result.

    Finally I ended up with a half portable/half stationary set-up to make them perform at the appropriate level:

    Venturecraft Soundroid Vantam Classic Master Limited as DAC/Preamp (BB PCM1795 / 2 x BB OPA627SM) + JDS Labs Objective2
    (By the way, this is my setup to drive a 100 ohm ER4S)


    With two drivers for lows you certainly hear the bass.
    On the one hand this is not typical big bass for "Earsonics family" with a strong sub bass presence, not at all. On the other hand this is not the ER4S type of bass, it is bigger but still very linear an accurate with a very good layering and speed thanks to its tuning. It is tight.
    Re sub bass, I don't personally care much about this part, to me the less the better. I don't listen to electronic music or the music where instruments go below 35-40 Hz, and it is really strange to hear with some other IEMs a strong sub bass presence in the tracks where it should not exist))
    Mids are full and detailed sounding area, never sibilant in high mid region. All details are there. Nothing to add more.
    Highs are crystal clear and they breathe freely with plenty of details. Do not seem to be either forced or anyhow impacted. Very natural sounding. I like this area the most.
    Soundstage is wide and deep enough.
    The fact is 99% of the time I listen to various heavy genres, from ultra-fast technical death metal to a very slow funeral doom. So typically, these are 2-3 guitars + bass guitar + drums. It is not that easy to judge on how deep the IEM are sounding with this type of genres. I'm personally fully satisfied with what they give.

    Did not play with cables yet.
    Since there is nothing to adjust in sound I think a good quality copper (or copper litz) would be perfect. Would not bother with either silver or hybrids. Let's see.
    Waiting for the TWcu V3 to try.

    Update: Forza Hybrid adds more analytics to the sound and clarity, slightly emphasised treble.


    Vesper Audio EVO Insane CLP (High purity litzendraht copper cryotreated ) - no impact on tonality, neutral. Clarity imporved vs supplied cable.


    I do not own currently any other multidriver IEM to compare with but I think it does not make a lot of sense. S-EM6 V2 is quite a unique pair of IEM.
    The majority of existing multi-driver IEMs on the market are either having U, W, V-shaped tuning or can be even balanced but still far from neutral to please people who prefer a "fun signature".

    No doubts that these earphones are not for everyone.
    They can sound boring and flat for someone (actually they don't with a proper source and amplification).
    They can be also considered as an analytical type of IEMs rather than "musical" as well.

    I would personally recommend them to Etymotic fans like me who can not sacrifice the neutral tonality.
    The S-EM6 V2 to me is exactly the way to go if there is a place for a multidriver IEM in your collection.

    Bravo, EarSonics!
      Aerosphere likes this.
  2. fortress34
    An Earsonics Adventure.. S-EM6v2 “Joker”
    Written by fortress34
    Published Apr 28, 2017
    I’ve been wanting to share my impressions about hotly-anticipated S-EM6v2.

    This beauty got a glossy black design with slim outlines. It was a shotgun wedding really, I dig what Earsonics have done with this shell.
    Craftsmanship is great, I can’t see any imperfections. Fit is very comfortable too!

    Accessories are not bad at all, 2x comply foam, 2x silicone tips, 2x double flange tips..

    Every tip is affecting the sound differently so they can be used to fine tune the sound to achieve personal favourite. My personal preference is the double flange tips because of their airy presentation and isolation. (wide bore)

    Sound Quality & Signature
    The sound signature..

    S-EM6v2 shocked me right out of the box. Unfortunately in a bad way..

    It was way out of Earsonics’ line.. Scrawny, congestion-prone even blurred..

    Of course, I wasn’t just yet aware of the fact that I chose the worst possible source combination for it.. First dap that I used was AK300 and single flange mushroom tips.. God it was bad.

    I stood there for a second and as always, I wanted to re-check my options. I am not a very lucky person and fate do play tricks with me quite often. Right after leaving that brief stream of consciousness, I tried the Comply tips. Sound was so much better.. At that point I knew that S-EM6v2 required some testing to sound great. I wanted to try the good old double flanges.

    Sound got better, more meaty, better mid presentation, slightly more relaxed sound, better detail retrieval.. It was still kinda off though..

    I wanted to replace the cable, I know that Earsonics monitors do get along with upgrade cables exceptionally fine so I gave it a shot.

    I tried the PW Audio “The Flash” and voila!

    A big smile appeared on my face..

    It was quite different than the stock..

    Let me try to explain in detail..

    The bass weren’t prominent, but it had enough impact and depth.

    It only gets better from now on.. Mids were clear, articulate and easy to focus on. Vocal and instrument placement were quite superb!

    I believe treble region will even satisfy the most finicky prima donnas!

    They’re vivid, breathy, natural and delicate. Nothing harsh or peaky..

    I think highs are the best section of this iems freq. line.

    Can’t think of anything to criticise about resolution and instrument separation.. They’re both quite good.

    Soundstage is wide and it has enough depth..

    This configuration(the flash cable +ak300) made me happy enough until I plug it into the iPhone 7 plus (yes, the phone, odd!) and listen to tidal with it..

    Everything changed quite dramatically..

    The joy factor quadrupled.. Every missing stone found it’s way to the foundation.

    Musicality, synergy, tempo, rhythm, vividness.. At some point I was singing to my e-cigarette as it was my microphone……

    It was clear as day that this earphone requires full-bodied, beefy sounding DAPs..

    It is true that S-EM6v2 got me worked up but I eventually managed to reveal its secrets..

    I know that tip selection is a subjective matter but cable upgrade is a solid fact. It indeed levels up with an upgrade cable and improves dramatically. (From regular burger to royale with cheese) I am quite sure that other great synergies can be achieved with different cables and combinations. Analytic lovers may like it’s stock tune but musicality injected earsonics house sound lovers need to try this thing with a meaty dap and a good upgrade cable. It will surprise you.

    Thanks for reading.
    Note: Head-fi's NEW max allowed image file size is 1 MB. Which is incredibly low and I don't shoot with a toaster. Hence the lack of images.


  3. Aerosphere
    Earsonics S-EM6v2 *The Scalpel*
    Written by Aerosphere
    Published Apr 9, 2017
    Pros - Fit, Clarity, PRaT
    Cons - Short Nozzle

    Earsonics is a boutique audio equipment company located in Castries, France. They specialize in custom in-ears and hearing protection units Earsonics is a well known company around the world and they are in business for quite a long time.
    In 2013, they launched S-EM6 and I suppose it was the first universal 6 driver iem in the industry. It had a full bodied, smooth sound signature and it caused quite stir around audiophile world.
    In 2017, they updated their design again. Unlike the V1, v2 is targeting the reference signature lovers, Let’s get to it without further ado.
    S-EM6v2 will be referred as “6v2”

    Earsonics S-EM6v2
    *Sensitivity: 112 dB/mW
    *Frequency response: 10 Hz -22 kHz
    *Impedance: 30 ohm
    *Driver: 6 Balanced Armature with 3 way crossover (2x high 2x mid 2x low)
    *MSRP: 999€

    Testing Equipment 20170406_153413.jpg
    *Chord Hugo (Main Source)
    *iBasso DX200 -Reference Amp-
    *Audioquest Dragonfly Black
    *PW Audio No.5
    *Linum Bax 2-pin
    *DoublehelixC Nucleotide v3

    The new S-EM6v2 comes with an elegant box similar to S-EM9.
    Accessories are quite modest, minimal. You only get what you need.
    *4 Comply tips
    *4 silicon tips
    *1 cleaning tool
    *Carrying case
    *User manual
    *Stock cable
    *6.3 to 3.5mm adapter

    Design, Build & Fit
    Hand-built by meticulous frenchmen, from tip to bore. Mould material is acrylic. 6v2 is using the same glossy finish of S-EM9. I gotta be honest with you. These got brilliant form/factor. It’s %33 smaller than S-EM9 and fit is absolutely spectacular. Better than any monitor I’ve ever worn. 6v2 is a 3 sound bore design with diffractive acoustic chamber. They’re quite lightweight as well.

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    Sound Signature
    S-EM6v2 is actually quite different from other Earsonics family members. This time Earsonics aims for accuracy and parts ways from their house sound. They are targeting the “reference” signature.
    6v2 is technical, analytical and fairly balanced across the spectrum. It’s frequency response is not completely flat but it’s damn close. It’s more of a clinical monitor rather than musical. Note presentation is somewhat light so you must pay attention to synergy to achieve your final taste.

    Low Region
    Earsonics did target the reference signature BUT they didn’t completely take away good old earsonics bass response. It’s not as quantitatively abundant as its predecessors but the bass is definitely there. Don’t worry though, it’s not dry-ish like ER4 or K712. Additionally, sub attack/decay is quite fast. Overall bass quality is good, also very dynamic, no issues with fast passages & twin pedal frenzy.

    Mid Region
    Mids are articulate and transparent. Vocals are very clean. Upper mids have more presence than any other Earsonics iem. Say “Hi” to crispy, vivid, energetic cymbals!
    Upper mid region can sound harsh with badly mastered tracks and bright sources (such as C4) So you have to be careful about source-iem synergy with this one, I recommend getting a musical dap or dac/amp to achieve best synergy. Subjectively prominent upper mids do have an advantageous side. It gives the sound a sense of air and spaciousness. Vocal tonality is quite good as well, neither completely dry nor completely wet. It’s quite delightful to listen to some Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans.. .

    High Region
    Probably my favourite region of 6v2. High frequencies are fluid, articulate and incredibly detailed. 6v2 gets a huge clarity boost from this section. Treble extension is also very impressive. Saxes, Piccolos, Flutes does not feel artificial. 6v2 is presenting them with a transparent, neutral tonality.
    I haven’t picked up any harshness along the way, which was a huge relief to be honest.

    Soundstage, Imaging and Instrument Separation
    Being clean and transparent, 6v2 offers a good headroom for enthusiasts to enjoy.
    Layering and separation within the soundstage is very good. Although I must point out that general performance of 6v2 is highly source dependant. You need good synergy. For example, it’s quite good with Chord Hugo but not with Lotoo Paw Gold for my taste..
    Anyways, there is enough air between instruments but staging is linear rather than 3 dimensional. This changes greatly with players though, Hugo offers a greater holo effect and imaging while LPG is trying to put everything on one line, trying to choke you with macro details.


    Cable Improvement
    This is a quite important subject so I reserved a special chapter for it. I tried Linum Bax, DoubleHelix Nucleotide and PW Audio No.5
    Let me split this into mini sections.

    DHC Nucleotide (Pure Copper)
    I use this cable daily with ES3 and it’s quite good. However, paired with 6v2, upper mids took a bad turn and lost the control that they had before. This was not a good pairing 6/10

    Linum BaX (SPC)
    Little boost to clarity and bass tightness with a major problem. Congestion. Tracks with fast passages and linum bax doesn’t go together well. 5/10

    Pw Audio No.5 (Pure Copper)
    This cable contributed to note weight resulting in bolder presentation and relatively more musical approach. Combined with Chord Hugo, I’d say 6v2 has hit the sweet spot.
    Additionally, with this cable, bass hits harder and tighter. Vocals gets tad bolder. Upper mids take half a step back. 9/10

    Short Comparisons
    vs. Earsonics S-EM9 (1.500€)
    9’s bass is bigger, better, stronger. 9’s mids are smoother and distant, Treble-wise both iems are quite similar. SM9 has bolder tonality. S-EM9 is musically better whereas 6v2 is flat and reference.

    Noble Audio Kaiser 10 (1600$)
    K10’s vocal presentation is bolder. Its bass also goes deeper and have more whack effect.
    6v2’s bass response is tighter and faster. Attack/Decay and PRaT is also superior with 6v2,
    Resolution-wise K10 is 1 step ahead.

    vs. Oriolus + PW.5 (1.300$)
    6v2 is more flat, analytic and even more energetic. Oriolus’ bass authority is much stronger but 6v2 has clearer highs. Oriolus vocals are bolder. 6v2 is faster PRaT-wise.
    Less congestion during fast passages and high bmp tracks.

    vs. Earsonics ES-3 (399€)
    ES-3 is warmer and has less treble sparkle. Upper mids are rasped as well. Clarity-wise, 6v2 is ahead. 6v2 is also more detailed and airy. ES-3 is more musical and its bass hits deeper.
    PRaT is on the same level.

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    Right out of the box, 6v2 may not impress the perfectionist inside you but if you actually take the reins and pair 6v2 with a good source, it will surprise you quite dramatically. There are very few earphone which made me burst into dance while listening to “Kafka” from Brahny. Hugo - 6v2 combo is one of them. Treble detail and fluidity is amazing. Stop for a second there and put yourself in the hands of 6v2’s technical prowess..


      davidmolliere, qsk78, sect44 and 6 others like this.
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    2. flinkenick
      Great review, surprised to see EarSonics drifted from their house sound. But I guess its good to offer more variation in their lineup. Small note: S-EM6 was the first universal 6 driver, there were others before in custom form.
      flinkenick, Apr 12, 2017
      davidmolliere likes this.
    3. Mistery767
      Good review. I have Campfire Andromeda with Sony WM1A. And fit is bad comfortable for me. Did you compare Sm6 v2 to Andromeda?
      Mistery767, Jan 23, 2018
    4. Aerosphere
      @Mistery767 I couldn't get my hands on Andromeda unfortunately. Fit is much better than CA Jupiter though. Shell is smaller and lighter.
      Aerosphere, Jan 23, 2018