LETSHUOER S12 Planar IEM

Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
Do it like a pro (LETSHUOER S12 PRO)
Pros: + Balanced and musical sound signature
+ Great technicalities for the price
+ Good sub-bass extension
+ Punchy and dynamic bass
+ Very engaging and colorful mid-range
+ Sparkling but relatively smooth treble
+ Open and airy soundstage
+ Lightweight, discreet and comfortable
+ High quality modular cable with swappable plugs
+ Plenty of ear-tips
+ Nice carrying case
+ Excellent build quality
Cons: - Bass can sound a little hollow
- Treble is not that resolving and refined
- Slightly metallic treble timbre
- Soundstage is lacking in depth layering
- The cable is thick and heavy
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The regular price of the S12 PRO is $169 but you can find it as low as $135.20.
You can order yours from the LETSHUOER online shop.

LETSHUOER S12 PRO

LETSHUOER is a China based company run by expert audio engineers and keen audiophiles that makes custom and universal in-ear monitors while they have recently expanded their line of products to include a mini-sized USB DAC dongle.

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The S12 PRO is the company’s 6th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the original S12 that was a big success and made LETSHUOER wider known to the audiophile world.
The PRO edition comes with an upgraded custom 14.8mm planar magnetic driver which has a 102db high sensitivity that means that it can be easily driven by a cell phone or dongle DACs.
The chassis design is a continuation of the predecessor.
Multiple vent holes on both sides are effective in alleviating negative pressure build up within the ear canal and thus protecting your hearing.
The independent rear acoustic chamber design makes channel matching to be more consistent. In terms of sound performance, the structural design of the front and rear acoustic chamber effectively discharges the pressure inside the chassis, thereby attaining a more natural sound.
Furthermore a new nozzle filter was used to achieve a minor tuning update.

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Cable

The stock cable of LETSHUOER S12 PRO is constructed with silver-plated monocrystalline copper and 4x98-strands cores that are weaved together.
It is terminated with standard 0.78mm dual pin connectors while the other end has a swappable jack with 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm plugs.
The metallic plugs get attached to the cable with a push and click action which is not as secure and durable as the screw system.
The cable is of good quality with low microphonic noise and it doesn't get easily tangled but it is too thick and heavy.

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Accessories

The package includes standard, transparent and memory foam ear tips at three sizes each and a faux-leather carrying case of good quality.

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Build quality and fit

The S12 PRO has a minimalistic industrial appearance with a smooth space-blue finish and excellent workmanship.
The compact, aluminum made earshells are lightweight and anatomically shaped so they can fit comfortably and tight offering a relaxed wearing experience with good passive noise attenuation.

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Associated gear

The S12 PRO was left playing music for about 100 hours in order to break in.
Various sources were used like the iBasso DC03 Pro, iFi Go bar, Questyle M15, Shanling M0 Pro, and FiiO M11S among others.
The earphones are easy to drive so you are not going to need a very powerful source but make sure to use something decent because the S12 PRO scales pretty well.

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Listening impressions

The overall tuning is balanced and natural with good sub-bass extension, an even mid-range and a well extended but not fatiguing treble.
The S12 is a slightly warm and very enjoyable set of earphones that balances its sound signature between sounding reference and musical while retaining good levels of transparency and technicalities.

The well extended bass has a near neutral tuning without over emphasizing the mid-bass so it doesn't cloud the rest of frequencies and leaves plenty of free space for the mids to shine.
Clarity, layering and definition are above average while the bass is tight, fast and controlled with good timing.
It is well contrasted and dynamic, impactful and weighty but it can sound a little hollow and a touch dry.
With a near reference tuning and a good suit of technicalities, the bass is one of the S12 PRO strongest points.

Equally strong is the mid range which is very well tuned with great coherency and a touch of a tasty upper-mids emphasis that adds some flavor without leading into sibilance and excessive projection.
There is plenty of harmonic wealth and realism, the timbre is natural and colorful with great chromatic variety, you can hear the uniqueness of every singer's voice and single instrument.
The S12 PRO is resolving, crystal clear and transparent in the mid-range with a natural voicing that is combined with the already excellent bass performance to make for an immersive and realistic listening experience perfectly suitable for classical music and not only.

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The treble on the S12 PRO is well extended and clear with good detail retrieval that doesn't resort into becoming analytical.
There is plenty of energy here and a touch of brilliance but only as much as is needed for giving a shining and luminous character to the sound never crossing the point to harshness and stridency.
You can listen for hours on without feeling listening fatigue even with poorly recorded or already bright material.
What happens though is that the timbre is just a touch metallic and artificial while the S12 PRO is not that resolving and refined in the treble as in the mid range.

The soundstage is wide and spacious with good positioning accuracy but it is mostly expanded in the horizontal axis without any significant depth layering and holographic relief.
Nonetheless it manages to stay free of congestion with plenty of air around the performers even during the most demanding symphonic and choral works.

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Compared to the TinHifi P1 MAX (From $129 to $99)

The P1 MAX from TinHifi is another example of a budget friendly earphone with a planar magnetic driver that has an admittedly great audio performance for the price.
The original price is $129 but you can find it as low as $99 so it is considerably cheaper than the S12 PRO but it comes with a simple detachable cable without modular plugs and with a plain pouch instead of a carrying case.
The resin ear-shells are anatomically shaped and lightweight but considerably bulkier than that of the S12 PRO.

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The P1 MAX is considerably smoother tuned and subdued from the upper-midrange to the treble so it sounds more inoffensive and forgiving than the S12 PRO.
The sub-bass on the P1 MAX rolls a little earlier while the bass is leaner and drier sounding but with a touch of extra control and clarity compared to the S12 PRO which is fuller and weightier but more hollow and looser.
The S12 PRO has the upper hand when it comes to dynamic contrast and bass impact while soundstage is a draw, the P1 MAX is somewhat narrower and less open but it has a sharper imaging and more accurate positioning.
Two great earphones to get you into the planar magnetic sound without spending a fortune.

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In the end

The S12 PRO is a great step into the planar magnetic sound at a very reasonable price.
It has a balanced, reference type tuning with plenty of musicality and good technicalities while it is lightweight, comfortable and it comes with a modular cable and a carrying case.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
Last edited:
CT007
CT007
The treble looks fairly elevated & intense(the reason I avoided these):

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Ichos
Ichos
Graphs can only roughly explain what is really happening during listening.
I don't find the treble fatiguing, bright or harsh.
It has plenty of energy and air, it is luminous but in no way intrusive and intensive.
Of course you might be more sensitive than I am to this region but you should remember that I don't like bright, unforgiving and analytical stuff and the S12 PRO is not.

3 to 5 kHz is the critical region and as the graph suggests it is well tuned.
The brilliance range is composed entirely of harmonics and is responsible for sparkle and air of a sound.
It is boosted here but it mainly adds some kind of a metallic - artificial hue to the treble that being fatiguing.

If you are too sensitive you should give the P1 MAX a try instead of the S12 PRO.

Dsnuts

Headphoneus Supremus
LetShuoer S12 Pro
Pros: Solid comfortable CNC machined aluminum alloy housing
Smaller side of medium in shell size will fit most
Good variety of accessories including
modular silver plated monocrystalline copper cable
Modern detailed focused V shaped tuning
Highly technical with very good imaging
Tight, clean detailed sound.
Easy to drive but sounds better with some power
Speedy tight sound signature
Cons: Intimate stage
Not the best for vocal lovers
Treble can get a touch spicy
A bit more analytical in presentation than musical
Not the best timbre for purists.
LETSUOER S12Pro
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Planar IEMs seem to be what's hot nowadays. With just about every manufacturer using a type of planar magnetic driver for IEMs. For LETSHUOER, the planar IEM is not new but it is always a good sign for a manufacturer to reevaluate a design and improve a release for their audience.

The planar craze is in full swing and for a good reason. It seems Planar based IEMs are here to stay. What is interesting about Planar tech is that it is not relegated for the uber rich. You can get planar IEMs fairly cheaper nowadays. The technology was readily used for headphones for years but the planar IEM as of now has become very popular among enthusiasts.
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Planar IEMs seem to have a level of detail that is uncommon at their price points. I equate Planar ability and its sound to be somewhere in between the well established balanced armatures and a traditional highly resolving dynamic driver. It has the imaging and transient qualities of today's top Balance Armatures but has the cohesion and timbre more closer to that of a highly resolving dynamic driver. When balanced and tuned correctly you get a remarkable highly resolving detailed sound from a Planar IEM.

The S12 and the S12 pro have already been established as one of the better planar IEMs in the market. I have seen numerous praises of its sound ability and it was only a matter of time I got my nitty gritty hands and ears on them.
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With that I would like to thank Nuria of Letshuoer. The S12pros was provided for the purpose of a review, they have been burned in for a period of a week's time and are now ready for evaluation using my sources Fiio K9 pro ESS, IBasso DX300Max, Fiio M15, Fiio BTR7, Shanling M6 pro, IFI Gryphon, IFI Signature. You can get a set for you on their home sales pages here.
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So what are the differences between the S12 and the S12 pro model?
I asked about the changes from the prior S12 model vs the Pro model and this was what I got as a response. “ S12 pro got a new color, new cable, nozzle filter for minor tuning change. But basically they are very similar.”

What is important here is that they got a new nozzle filter change and a more transparent cable pairing. As I understand it, thicker material for the nozzle creates a minor lowering for the upper mids and treble region of the sound tuning. Minor as in give or take 2-3 dbs of change. So it seems the Pro model has a better balancing vs their prior S12. This is just a guess on my part but I am going to assume the newer pro version is what Letshuoer is pushing nowadays.
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What you get/build
The S12 pro comes in an all-aluminum CNC machined medium sized universal housing in 2 pin configurations. Now with a new metallic blue color. It is housing a large 14.8mm planar diaphragm. The newer pro version seems to have an upgraded cable to go along with it being a silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable that comes with modular plugs in every termination you could use for your sources. They get two sets of silicone tips, one set is standard, and one set called transparent, 3 pairs of foams. Lastly comes with an oval shaped faux leather zip up case.
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I am familiar with aluminum alloy builds as really there are 4 types of housings in the industry. All Resin, plastic and the metal housings or a combination of these. The metal housing, which has the benefit of being physically stronger, are mass produced and stamped out for retail applications and can house all manner of drivers. The shape is a bit triangularish but ergonomic and will fit most ears just fine. The only issue with its design is that it has a relatively shorter nozzle that will not be perfect for all ears shapes and sizes. Due to its smaller side of medium in size it will be comfortable but I have a feeling larger ears will have some difficulty fitting deep due to the shorter nozzle size, so tip rolling is a must. Otherwise its build is what you would expect at the price point. As long as they stay dry they should last the test of time without any issue. 2 pin design goes without saying, seems to be an ever increasing number of 2 pin designs vs the mmcx for IEMs nowadays.
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Its included cable is nice and certainly of good quality however I am not so certain this would have been the best cable choice for the S12 pros sound signature. I do cable reviews so I have a good insight into what type of cables matches up with certain types of sound signatures. It's not that their monocrystalline silver plated cable is of a bad quality, on the contrary it is a very nice included cable and even better with modularity. However the S12 pro is a highly detailed v shaped tuning meaning it has more upper mids and treble and bass vs the mid presence in its signature. Just by the nature of its tuning and resolution it will be slightly brighter in tonal character.
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Then Letshuoer throws in a more resolving cable on top of a nicely resolving tuning on a resolving planar driver. Best synergy with cable matchups you gotta go the opposite vs what the tuning is. A brighter highly detailed signature means these need a nice pure copper cable to counter what all that detail is doing. That's just my take on it but believe me Letshuoer is not the only manufacturer that is guilty of this. I have reviewed numerous IEMs from a lot of different manufacturers and sometimes your most resolving cable is not actually optimizing the sound of your IEMs. It enhances a sound tuning but if the tuning and tech involved is already that resolving. How about adding a bit of warmth and adding some note weight using thicker copper cores for the cable to add some musicality, some added fullness to mids and bass vs highlighting the technicalities and enhancing upper mids and treble aspects of the tuning.

In using a newer nozzle filter that is what Letshuoer is doing to create a newer “pro” version by lowering these aspects for better balance but then you throw on a more resolving silver plated monocrystalline copper cable? You see what I am getting at? I suppose you have to be really into your cable pair ups to fully understand what I am talking about. Bright +more resolving cable = Brighter.

What they should have done is Bright+ warm copper note weight enhancing cable = synergy.
The reason why I bring this up is due to my testing with the S12 pro using a myriad of other cables and it is a pure copper cable these IEMs needs not so much what was included. My review here is of course based on what was included. Just know these have way better potential than what Letshuoer is showing you out of the box.
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Technicals.
S12 pro is a highly technical resolving set. While the tuning is v in shape it has a detail aspect to its tuning that clearly takes advantage of the ability of the transducer it is using. Planars are known for their detail, quick transients with a snappy decay of notes. This is the case for the S12 pro. I noticed the S12 pro has some extra treble tuning and while it is balanced fairly well the treble extension of the S12 pro means you get a full treble end with not much roll off.
Imaging, sound separation and details are especially a stand out for the S12 pro. But what I found a bit lacking here for such a highly technical sound was the one aspect that prevents the S12 pro from becoming big time. That is its moderate sound staging. Its stage is more in your head than actually projecting outside of it. It has a moderate amount of depth for sound as well. Add in a bit of a thinner mids note weight and you get all the highly detailed and technical aspects that stand out but a bit short when it comes to the overall presentation of the sound.
Its timbre is debatable but is not exactly ideal as its decay of instruments and vocals is almost too quick. Making music sometimes sound a bit dry and not exactly realistic at the same time. However the detail aspects are a stand out for the S12 pro that is really not too common for IEMs at this price range. If you're a detail freak I can understand why you would want to look into an IEM like the S12 pro.
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Trebles
The trebles are represented well in all 3 parts of its treble presentation and seem to be the focus of the S12 pro tuning. Trebles have a fairly longer shelf from about 5Khz-8Khz which brings a lot of treble presence to your tracks. This is the reason why the S12 pro sounds so detailed. Its extended treble response is some of the better I have heard but at the same time if you are listening to tracks with a lot of synthetic treble notes, EDM and hip hop and the like. You will hear them treble notes with full strength of the treble accents that accompany this type of music. I would have liked to see the treble tuning here just a bit lowered and we are talking about 2 dbs and that would have balanced out the treble presence for better versatility.

However if you're listening to a lot of acoustic and orchestral scores that is where this particular treble tuning benefits as you will hear all the little details from the trebles that you want to hear. So I suppose it will be more genre and music preference that will sway you one way or the other how you hear the S12 pro. The S12 pro in return sounds a bit analytical at times with a bit of brightness edge to the overall presentations due to the ample trebles. Trebles is well represented and is as extended as you want to actually get for your IEM use. Trebles for the most part are clean, crisp and very snappy transient qualities presenting a very detail oriented design for the S12 pro.
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Mids
Takes a step back in the balancing of the S12 pro but it is more neutral lower mids vs being anything overly recessed. It has plenty of upper mids emphasis for good clarity. I would have liked to see just a smidge less upper mids on the S12 pro and as I understand it the prior S12 actually had a bit more so. Those would have clearly tipped this sound to be more analytical leaning and brighter. As they are, the S12 pro has good balancing to its sound performance for a V tuned IEM. Another aspect I appreciate about the S12 pro is that since it is using a single driver for its sound, it does not have any issues with cohesion. A seamless sound is something designers have to contend with for hybrids and tribrids that vary with how well they are cohesive.

While the general note weight for the mids presentation is leaning more neutral in all things presence and forwardness, the main reason why I suggest folks try your favorite copper based cables is that it does add a better fullness for the mid bands the stock cable does not do. In testing out a bunch of my own cables I continuously notice better thicker note weight using other cables. Vocals especially you will hear a benefit from switching out cables. As they are, music sounds a bit on the thin. If you're a mid lover and need a forward full mid range the S12 pro does not exactly have a mid forward sound. Its tonal character is a touch bright due to ample upper mids and lower treble. Its speedy transient quality applies to the mids bands and this will be the greatest part of contention among purists.
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S12 pros certainly sound like a higher end IEM or one's idea of a higher end IEM but if you're really looking for realism, especially timbre with a proper note decay and a richer tonal character. S12 pro has the detail aspect down pat if not bringing a chiseled detailed aspect to its sound but is not exactly realistic. Some call it the planar timbre. I don’t associate its timbre aspects to be supreme but they certainly are not bad at the same time.

Overall the mids imaging, its detail and instrument separation aspects are all stand outs and while it lacks a certain emotive quality for the vocals and instruments it makes up for it with a nuanced ghost like detail at times that clearly shows how resolving the sound is. This one is more or less for detail freaks. You like your highly resolving sound these will deliver in spades but it does lack a roundness and fullness to the notes you are hearing.
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Bass
Bass of the S12 pro is somewhat of an acquired taste. It certainly balances out the sound of the S12pro and again that cohesion with a good decent bass punch certainly helps the cause for the S12 to be more versatile than most highly detailed IEMS. Bass is more moderate and shows good focus for its sound balancing. I would say bass is fairly tight and has decent definition overall with almost a BA like speed but it is that planar transient qualities that prove to be not as realistic as a well vented dynamic when it comes to bass. Speed folks would love planar bass but at the same time. Sub bass lacks a realistic texture but given that this large planar is handling all parts of the sound at once it's certainly not a bad bass presentation. Bass is roughly even with the treble presence and it's got a good range for bass notes and variations of the low notes. Bass does a great job supporting the mids and trebles of the S12 pro but it's certainly not a featured aspect for the S12 pro tuning. To be fair the bass end is tuned well and has decent reach in the sub bass. It's got a touch more sub bass presence vs its mid bass and overall It is more of a complimentary type of bass. Where it lacks a realism for the bass due to the given properties of planar tech for IEMs it makes up for n sheer speed and a tighter decay of notes that ends up making the bass notes clean and a bit more precise sounding.
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This is yet another aspect where cable experimentation will help out for bass using a good copper based cable. Bass sounds much more alive with a copper based cable vs what was included. Again the stock cable seems to lean more on details and transparency which also has the effect of leaning out the notes a touch in the process. You probably already own a decent set of 2 pin copper cables from your other IEMs; don't be afraid to give those a try on the S12 pro. It just might surprise you. In my testing, the tuning and the resolve of the S12 pro is very detailed from the get go so sacrificing a bit of that by introducing a copper based cable actually synergizes better with the S12 pro sound profile. You're tilting the cable influence from its trebles and upper mids to bass and its lower mids. Which ultimately balances out the sound better adding greater note weight vs the ultimate detail aspects of its included cable.

If you want to keep that detail aspect of the S12 pro. Try a thicker 8 cored SPC or silver plated copper cable instead. Which will keep all the details of the S12 pro but also add that copper fullness musical element to its tuning better than the stock cable.
This is all subjective of course. If you feel the S12 pro sound presentation is ideal for you out of the box then that my friend is up to you.
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In the end
The S12 pro has been a nice surprise for me. This being my very first IEM I have reviewed from Letshuoer. I can understand why there is a following for the S12 and the pro model. It has a solid all metal build with a very easy to use shape. Includes a nice cable with modularity albeit in my opinion is the wrong match up with its sound profile but a high quality cable nonetheless.
Its tuning caters to enthusiasts as it seems to be tuned to focus a bit more on its trebles which is more difficult to do than mids or bass. The clean tonal character helps with just how detailed and precise the presentation can get and while it leans more towards an analytical edge for its sound foundation it has just enough musicality with a good punchy bass presence that caps off a well tuned Planar IEM. For the asking price for a set, these are a good value and an excellent gateway to planar IEMs. Thanks for taking the time to read and if you already own the S12 pro or planning on getting a set. Don’t be afraid to try your other cables to pair up with them. I feel they can sound even better with the right cable matched up with its highly detailed sound signature. Happy listening always.
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Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Ya it is the pro. Decided to not start a new item for the S12. Pro version is the same with a new nozzle filter and cable. So not really too much different.
Bitsir
Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Nozzle filters generally dampens the upper mids, lower trebles a bit and in doing so will usually bring better balancing. But then Letshuoer added a cable that brightens the tonality. It is that saying one step forward and two steps back. From other reviews I have seen. Arkos especially mentions the older version being brighter vs the newer Pro. Wish I could have heard the older one. Either way I was told they are more similar than different from their rep.

ChrisOc

Headphoneus Supremus
Letshouer S12 Pro - For the enjoyment of good quality music.
Pros: Solid Aluminium Alloy build.
Very good cable with modular plugs.
Good set of accessories included, tons of eartips and a well built case.
Very good sound quality, resolution, and presentation of music.
Cons: Isolation is average.
A touch more sub-extension would have been nice, but not a fault, just preference.
Intro
Which Planer Magnetic earphones deliver for you? Planar drivers are extremely capable drivers and there is currently an avalanche of Planar earphones on the market. I had the pleasure of listening to the S12, the original Letshouer planar earphones, lent to me by a kind friend. Good fun! Do the S12 Pros deliver?

Disclosure
The S12 Pros were sent to me by Letshouer, free of charge and, in return, I undertook to review them, if to me, they are worth the time invested in reviewing them. I have never been paid by anyone to review anything. Reviewing is a hobby for me. I spend so much time with the items I review that if I do not like them, I do not review them. That might explain to some why I have a positive approach to reviews as opposed to cynical approach. I rate items I review based on their price range, compared to similar items I have heard in the price range.
All opinions I express here are my own with no influence from anyone. No one has editorial control or influence over the contents of this review. I do not read or watch reviews of items I intend to review. I make an effort to ensure that I give the reader factual information. I appreciate your feedback.

Note
Please note that I have an eclectic taste in music, and in headphones and earphones, as I do not believe in having multiples of the same sound signature. The fact that they are differently tuned is not an issue for me. What I want to hear is good tuning, if it is tuned with emphasis on bass good, midrange good, highs good.

What I do not want is to be deprived of hearing the various instruments. Excessive mid bass, which drowns out the other parts of the frequency range, but I do want to hear sub-bass, which is occasional in music in any case. I want to hear the midrange, but not to wince when the saxophone blurts out, or a voice shout at me (no matter how good the voice is). I do not want highs which make me want to pull out the earphones from my ears, but I do want to hear the shimmering highs and sparkly notes.

Most of all I want my music to sound realistic and natural, timbrel accuracy and fun but I also want to hear details in the track to which I am listening, like a good set of speakers. I have never understood the term, "guilty pleasure" in relation to bass emphasised. Why guilt because you enjoy bass notes? As I play the guitar, mainly bass, well defined bass is a pleasure to hear, but it is not only the bass quantity the bass quality also matters, hence for me, mid-bass must be controlled, not excessive. I like to hear the other instruments while I play my bass notes

Form, Fit and Finish

Form

The packaging is a simple, but well complemented mid-sized package. The sleeve slips off in a match box style to reveal a chunky inner box, the lid lifts off to a top layer which reveals the IEMs, and a clear plastic box containing foam tips. Underneath that layer is a further layer in which sits the usual Letshouer black textured case, which is very nice. This relatively small but capacious and pocket-able case unzips to show that it contains two more packs of tips, the modular cable with three detachable plugs.

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The silver plated mono-crystalline copper cable is 1.2m in length and seems to be the reliable Letshouer two tone cable I have seen come with other models. Starting from the earpieces with a two pin 0.78mm connectors marked clear (left) and red (right) covered by a black tube which lead to a relatively thick single strand wire on either side covered by a gentle ear guide. The wires go down to join at the splitter covered with a black tube and on top of which is a clear bead slider. After the splitter the two strands are twisted leading down to the plug with as stated are modular thus detachable, giving you, a 3.5mm single-ended, 2,5mm and 4.4mm balanced, plugs. The cable although thick is malleable and flows quite well. It is a pleasure to use.

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The elegant kidney shaped earpieces are made of aluminium alloy, painted in blue as opposed to the grey of the original S12. As with the original S12, there is a chrome accented on the square protrusion on the face of the IEMs, rather like a top quality car with chrome trims. I must say the combination looks quite elegant to me, with the contrasting blue colour. The earpieces are medium sized with an almost flat inner side to the earpieces and quite light, although they brim with good quality.

Fit is comfortable but the shape of the earpieces does not aid isolation a great deal. In short the earpieces do not blot out everything but the isolation is not bad.

My setup for this review
I paired them with Samsung galaxy note 10 Plus, Xiaomi Mi Mix and my Shanling M7 DAP, as my source, and for amplification variably, The HAA FEE HA11, TRI TK2, Fiio BTR5 and BTR7, Shanling UA3 dongle DAC/Amp, DD Hifi TC35C USBC adapter, the Littlebear B4X tube Amp paired with Taotronics Bluetooth DAC, Rod Rain Audio DAC/Amp paired with Xduoo MT604 tube balanced Amp, using mostly 2.5mm and 4.4mm. I used my native music files, Amazon Music HD and Ultra HD, YouTube Music, and UAPP music player.

Synergy
The S12 Pros are not particularly difficult to drive but they benefit from good amount of power. The S12 Pros sounded good but different with various sources, add to that the effect of tips and it best to say take your time and get your preferred sound setup correctly.

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My Mi Mix smart phone powered them without any issue. However, I found that the S12 Pros benefits from a bit of power to pump out the bass, a bit more.. The fact that it gives you good sound from less powerful sources and amplifiers, does not mean that is the best they can do.

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To my ears, the bass boost on the Shanling M7 and Shanling UA3 gave the S12 Pros a subtle but welcome bass lift. I noticed the slightly subdued bass on the BTR7, but beautifully rendered treble, which required a change of tips and a bit more volume for more bass. It is worth remembering that you get the best out of the S12 Pros with more power. Blanket statements declaring that Planar magnetic sets do not pair well with tube amps is a gross generalisation.

The S12 Pros paired beautifully with my Xduoo MT300, hybrid tube amp. On my Littlebear B4X, the treble was incredibly good and the mids forward, but the definition on the bass suffered a little, it was nontheless a pleasant sound but, what you need to remember is that getting the right pairing for you is what is important.

The sound

Sound Generally

In short, the S12 Pros have an absolutely wonderful melodic sound, to my ears. I can only describe the sound signature as U shaped. Sub-bass is subtle but potent depending on the track. The mid-bass is of good quality and well controlled, no excesses. It must be pointed out that the S12 Pros benefit from power to bring out the best in them, particularly the bass.

The midrange is lush with sublime goodness, but are not forward (which for me makes them relaxing) again that also depends on your pairing. The highs are sparkly with great extension but do not get out of line to my ears, no sibilance. Here there is some consistency across amps and DACs, the highs do not change much with power.

The best bit for me is that across the range you get a certain sheen and shimmer on the sound, which I have not heard on many other sets of earphones. with a combination of, resonance (which I use here to denote decay of notes rather than reverberation) timbrel accuracy, note weight and airiness, the S12 Pros presents what I perceive as natural timbre, they also give the perception of openness or air and the wonderful decay of notes. It is particularly noticeable on some tracks, with pianos guitars, and high hats, where you get natural decay to the notes.

I only previously noticed this in the IMR EDP Ace, I put the tone and decay of notes down to the acoustic chamber, it is not reverberation (a note repeating itself) it is the tail of the single note in fractions of seconds. If you play an instrument, you will be aware, that a single note extends well beyond what most care to listen for, it is obvious in a quite place, if you strike just one string, on a guitar and especially a grand piano with its huge acoustic chamber (the huge wooden extension in front of the piano, which opens to reveal the strings).

Low volume listening is good, there was enough detail to recognise the track and particular instruments. The highest volume I got to before my ears could not take much more, was incredible, with speaker-like presentation and no distortion, again I put it down to the combination I mentioned above. The S12 Pros handle busy tracks with ease. I got no congestion at any stage.

Instrument separation, Imaging and Stage
The S12 Pros present beautifully. Clearly it is more evident on some tracks than on others, but when it all comes together, it is pure bliss. Resolution is outstanding but it is not just Planar resolution, I believe it is also about tuning, the particular attention the person or people tuning dedicate to refining the presentation.

Instrument separation is precise and distinct with each instrument piping out clearly. The effect of that is that you get a mental image of the position of each instrument, which then lends to the perception of the stage. The stage is horizontally expansive and delightfully so.

Sound check
You may want to put on your monitors of choice and check out the music using the links below.

Bass

Sub-bass
- The S12 Pros deliver well defined bass, Sub-bass is usually a relic of an initial bass note, and the most visceral from a large drum, often in music, the kick drum and bass guitar but not to forget some horns and voices. The initial impact is clear mid-bass, the relic is a deep bass which is felt rather than heard. If the range of earphones falls short, you have no sub-bass. The S12 Pros extend very well.
Mid-bass - On the other hand mid-bass is very well defined and full. Notes are clearly heard and for someone who plays the bass guitar can be easily distinguished. It is not only a question of boom boom, the bass guitarist is putting together notes at different tempo with interesting phrasing, if the listener cares to appreciate the work going into the music. If not, it is important to the listener that it all hangs together well, melodic and pushes the emotional buttons which draws us to music.

Four80East - 3 Out Of 4:

A gentle track with potent sub-bass, which is a joy to listen to on the S12 Pros. As with every track listen to the note decay on pianos, etc.

Brian Culbertson - Come On Up:

This track has hard hitting bass notes which bring out the on a regular beat. The S12 Pros render the bass very well, displaying traits of a DD.

Mids

The midrange is the least notable part of the of the S12 Pros’ presentation of music. That is not to say it falls short in anyway. Again, it is worth noting that your source and amplification play a part in how your music is presented. However, the presentation is delightful with full voices and instruments. The tuning gives you a soft yet silky presentation.

Millie Jackson - If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right:

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street:


Treble

The S12 Pros excel in its treble extension to my ears. The treble renders music with such openness but also very good resolution. What you get is shimmering, sparkle of minutia in your music, it just sounds great. As with the bass the treble stands out for the definition, naturalness, and decay of the notes.

Gregg Karukas - Do Whatcha Love:


Listen to the decay on both the high hats and piano.

Olafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott - The Chopin Project - Reminiscence:


Comparisons - single Planer Magnetic drivers and hybrids with Planar, at similar prices:


7 Hz Timeless - To my ears, the 7 Hz Timeless have not grabbed my attention as much they did others, I still believe they are good and demonstrate good use of Planar Magnetic drivers, but for melodic presentation, they did not grab my attention.

TRI I3 and I3 Pros: My beloved I3s have been dethrone in my view, they are still good, but lack the resolution and presentation of notes the S12 Pros have. The dynamic drivers on I3s do stand up well against the S12 Pros, Planar Magnetic bass.

The same goes for the IMR EDP and EDP Ace, again like the I3s, the EDPs have been overshadowed by the S12 Pros for me. The EDP Ace however, comes fairly close with its DD bass and the note decay probably aided by piezo, the Planar Magnetic driver, if not the design of the chamber.

The original S12 differs from the S12 Pros, in that the originals seem to have a touch more mid-bass impact, less treble and are slightly more closed in. The effect is to reduce the decay and the speaker-like sound you get from the S12 Pros.

Conclusion
It is extremely difficult to say how engaging the S12 Pros are to my ears. It is not simply a question of pumping loud music at you. It is the quality of the melodic presentation of music. The S12 Pros does good presentation so beautifully. Notes on all instruments sound more complete. In the S12 Pros you can dissect the music, or just relax and immerse yourself in your music, and let the music take you places.

Above all else, the timbrel accuracy, and decay of notes puts the S12 Pros at the top of my list of Planar Magnetic earphones……so far. Do not hold me to it in this fast changing environment.

Enjoy your music!

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I
ivvvyi
thanks for the neutral reviews! also like the music you shared
Yetsman
Yetsman
How did you connect them to your galaxy note 10?
ChrisOc
ChrisOc
@Yetsman, I use the the note 10 as the source of my music connected via USB C or to my DAC/Amps, BTR7, Shanling UA3 dongle, Fiio KA2

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
HOMERUN
Pros: Substantial technical resolvability
Substantial technical resolvability per dollar spent
Gorgeous with state of the art aluminum CNC construction
Totally smooth form-factor, being a joy in use
Modular cable offering 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single ended
Weighing-in at only 6 grams a piece
Splendid, accessible and subtle V shape character FR response
Insanely fast transients, becoming a class leader in price bracket
Due to transients, specific imaging and itemization of musical elements into the stage
Comfortable
Well-made
Ergonomic
Fast
On the smaller side of medium
A modern-day planar IEM value
Through and complete accessory package
DEEP SPACE BLUE
On sale for 15 days after time of review
Cons: Slight treble heat at times which may cause trouble for some
Average soundstage
Welcome to Redcarmoose Lab's exploration of the LETSHUOER/SHUOER S12 PRO Special Edition Planar
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History:
At the very end of 2021 the 7Hz Timeless 14.4mm planar magnetic changed the industry. Seemingly overnight a rush of acceptability came due to its perceived reputation for best technical resolvability under $300.00. The Timeless, priced at $219.00 seemed like the answer to everyones prayers? The unique CNC shell and double-sided N52 magnet array didn't hurt recognition matters any! Still the Timeless was/is not perfect...........even with its popularity, there was a chance for future releases to add tuning sophistication. Pervious planar IEMs came out before, but they were really only looked at as novelties by the IEM community, never getting a stronghold in popularity. Models like the TINHIFI P2 did have their cults, but nothing so widespread and mainstream as the 7Hz Timeless. And even before the P2 there was the TINHIFI P1, the P1 plus, later there was the P2 plus. There was the Toneking P10 and BL1, the TFZ Balance 7 and a few others.

The LETSHUOER/SHUOER S12 most likely found itself in the number two position behind the Timeless. The original S12 still sold/sells well due to one thing. Technical resolvability in relation to price (less money than the Timless) plus the S12 fit many folks better than the strange-round 7Hz Timeless shape.

LETSHOER S12 PRO:

They picked the S12 PRO to make a celebration of their 6 years making IEMs and cables. They added a new DEEP SPACE BLUE to commemorate this release. And……they have expressed the “Updated nozzle filter for a minor tuning update.” Their words not mine! The added difference is also a small pressure release port seen here in photos. Such pressure release ports may seem inconsequential, but my micro-focus investigations and love of all things IEM based, reveal a gold screen placed deep inside the construction, for further win-win in comparison to other IEM’s naked port.

LETSHUOER:
They have released the Z12, the regular S12 also the D13, the EJ07, EJO7M, EJ09, the Tape Pro, the Singer as well as the Conductor and Soloist. They make the M5 cable and the DT02 cables too. As far as reiterations of the S12, there was a collaboration with Z of Z reviews which offered a black and gold edition specially tuned with added bass, there was the regular 2 color tones of the original S12 which were Nebula Gray or your choice of Frosted Silver (which ever) those are pretty close to the same sounding IEM as the PRO edition, but lack the modular cable.


https://www.linsoul.com/products/shuoer-s12?variant=42341886296281

On sale right now for $119.20 USD!

So subtle re-tuning, pressure port, different color and modular cable, also finally there are 3 different ear-tips from the regular S12 version. And in fact I fell in love with the included tips. After doing a couple of tip changes I came to realize you don’t want to go to aftermarket wide bores or narrow- bores, that the semi-wide bore medium bore tips that were included totally helped make the sound of the S12 PRO what it is!

This reviewed unit package is on sale right now for $135.20. Get them here. Sale only good for 15 days past posted review date.

https://www.linsoul.com/products/letshuoer-s12-pro

WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING:

1 YEAR WARRANTY:

S12 PRO Specifications:

  • Model: S12 Pro
  • Type: Planar Driver IEM
  • Impedance: 16Ω @1 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 102 + 1db @ 1KHZ
  • Frequency: 20-20KHz
  • Weight: 12 + 0.3g /Pair
  • Color: DEEP SPACE BLUE
  • Distortion: 0.5% ± 0.1%
  • Plug: 0.78mm dual pin
  • Case Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Connector: Modular Cable 3.5mm, 2.5 Balanced and 4.4mm Balanced
  • Cable: 1.25m Silver Plated Monocrystalline Copper Cable

With that out of the way, let’s talk about package presentation and actual build quality.

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The first thing you notice is just how professional the packaging is. With this their celebration package we are included with a specific deep space blue writing on the box cover. Included is giant (by IEM packing standards) 20 page full-color product catalogue. We get an instruction manual, a QC identifier, an after sales form card, and an internet QR code card.

There are nine sets of useable quality tips with 3 sets foams placed in a special box. There is a small carrying-case and the modular plugs. I’m often doing product unboxing and this package is both high quality and complete in accessories. You kind-of get a feeling that LETSHUOER know what the are doing. Including a carefully selected amount of material and packaging it in a way that is practical and thoughtful.

The next level goes when you place the IEMs into your hands. Yep, they are one of the most amazingly built examples of the CNC art today. Simply look at the fit and finish! Try to see where the shells fit together? Look closely at the seam and you tell me if you have ever seen anything like the S12 PRO. Now obviously build would mean nothing if these didn’t sound good, but again, here is an example of a carefully thought out product which offers down-to-earth value.

Take note of the gold screens inside the pressure relief port. Look at the actual set-back nozzle screen. Note the addition of the nozzle lip to hold tips on. Take note of the two pin receiver and how it’s totally flush with the sidewalls. The way there are no sharp edges at all……..complete, a masterpiece of engineering.

Form-factor:
Note the smaller than medium size. The smooth feeling of the side-walls next-to your ears. We have two pressure relief ports with the other on the inside facing your ear, but they never get blocked. The nozzles here are the perfect length in that the have a nice angle that seem to hold the IEM into position. This is a singular uncomplicated rendition of a semi-custom shape, only so many edges have been removed, it has a simplistic focus. Ultimately win for the owner. The cable ear-hooks create a pleasant experience due to not conforming in over-board fashion to keep the cables in place. Also the trajectory of the cable upon leaving the IEM is nether tilted-in or out, meaning (for me anyway) the ear-hooks stay where you want them to be!

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The cable ends up a medium size and Silver Plated Monocrystalline Copper affair offering-up a slight boost in upper treble and midrange frequencies. The modular plug mechanism shows itself to be slightly longer than a standard plug, but nothing drastic, and less drastic than it even looks in my pictures. It goes together super easy, and changing plugs is a breeze. A fair amount of strain relief is shown in-place right as the cable exists the plug. Only the cable guides work as strain relief out of the 0.78mm 2Pins, which seems fine. The aluminum (solid-metal) craftsmanship is in every area of the cable except the chin-cinch, which is not an issue, as it stays always out of the way, unless called for.

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Sound:
Starting off the replay is amazingly interactive. Planar IEMs have a transient ability normally much better than their similarly priced (non-planar) competitors. The frequency response while forming a subtle V shape, both sectors of treble and bass were shown to be dominant. This would have you question the style of midrange abilities. The vocals, both male and female structures are slightly recessed into the mix, yet this tune, this S12 PRO ends up at the very top 1st place or 2nd place spot in my Planar list containing a total of 8 different planar contestants. Yep, I love this one, I really do. Why? Partially due to fit! Yep, I’m taking about fit-form-factor in the sound section……..you know why? Fit creates better sound! That’s a start. Next the bass.

Bass:

It’s no lie that this specific planar has accentuated bass. But to someone who likes bass, it’s normal. It is better quality bass than the other top two planar IEMs on my list. Faster and less woolly than the HOOK-X, less prominent than the TANGZU Wu Zetian style bass, yet what takes it over the top is the imaging. Yep, positioned in the golden zone. All this is very very well controlled and correct. There is better imaging due to the bass being more (transient) clear than the HOOK-X or Wu. Little tiny accents come and go to gift a sense of musical involvement that takes you away…….into a style of bass paradise. While still clean and fast, this agile bass does its duty going in and out of the zones needed to pump the song forward, yet not so much bass that it becomes a guilty pleasure or ends a distraction.

Treble:
Same as the previous section, there is a basic utility of every frequency being represented, complete, even and correct. Though maybe for some this pushed-up character which is the top-end (of the V signature) could be heard as too much. It’s no doubt that this single area is the make-it or brake-it place in auditioning the S12 PRO. Those young-ones who have 100% of their hearing, that comes with nature when you’re 18 years old, will maybe have issues here. Though there is always the fix of a different (pure copper) cable or a touch of the EQ dials to bring the whole shebang into perfection.

Midrange:
The reason all this works is actually due to technicalities, which formulate imaging inside the midrange to make living elements of sound which move and travel around fully independent of the treble and bass kickers. Yep, the action of the midrange is how and why this LETSHUOER S12 PRO works, Why the subtle V signature leaves nothing out in this reviewer's ears. It’s this interaction, this musical involvement that takes the LETSHUOER and kicks it into first or second place in my list of 2022 planar IEMs. They way the vocals are speedily moved and repositioned again and again with every genre of music and with every file quality. The well-rounded near-perfection...............that for this style of money, has no equal.

Soundstage:
The soundstage is average, and yet you will never notice, until you start to do back-to-backs……..meaning there is absolutely not the biggest stage, but somehow you are distracted from ever questioning it. It’s only when you put some competitively priced Hybrid in your ears that this look of amazement takes over your face. Welcome to the illusion of imaging. Yep, because this exact imaging is performed, in a certain way, and nothing become too hidden, you can enjoy whatever soundstage you’re given to a point. Meaning with this medium soundstage, it just works. The other ways to success happen due to bass imaging in relevance to treble and midrange imaging, meaning when stuff is moving fast, apparently unhindered, that the soundstage will actually feel bigger. It’s just that when you’re entertained, you could care less about questioning any technicalities. :money_mouth:

Pace:
Do we even need to ask about this? Hasn’t the previous written amount of script fully answered your questions? Yep, for this kind of money.........it's world class. Fast and clean apparitions of correctness and formations of correct attack and decay! That is why you buy these suckers! Need I say more?

Note weight:
The thing is, I am all about note-weight. Just (the loss) of that single thing has placed many an IEM, full-range DD, BA Hybrid or Planar into the outskirts of my collection, never to be retrieved again for any reason. Gone........Yep, the fastest way to a lower than average score at Redcarmoose Labs is missing not-weight. Note-weight, the (ultimate) thing you can’t tell on a graphical response graph! An IEM may look promising in a graph, yet disappointing in real-life. So here we are gifted with a warm demeanor full of nice bass which starts with note-weight from the bottom-up. In fact the entire signature is a love poem to that all critical note weight. Yep, get us the Pace combined with Note-Weight and it’s all over kids……..done, done, done. .

Imaging:
WOW, how much are these things? Really? Really? $135.20 is what they are for the next 15 days…..after that don’t even question paying more cuz they are 100% worth it. The imaging is the result of transient character. These two components of technicalities are fully interwoven. Yep, the way the musical information is introduced then pulled away, the actual musical instance, the item, that is what creates imaging. Faster transients means clearer and more profound imaging, as the two are inseparable. Yet if the timbre, and FR balance are off then it doesn't matter how good the imaging is because the images are fake. But pay close attention to everything, and luck-out on an even, complete and correct frequency response, then combine that with fast transients (due to the physical properties/abilities of the driver) and……….well you know what that makes……………it generates musical reality.

Musical Reality/Timbre:
There are many reviews of the LETSHUOER S12 PRO which question the timbre. OK. They say that the sound sounds slightly off from reality? OK, I do hear a slight tone that sounds like everything is slightly higher pitched…….yet nothing that is truly artificial or annoying. But better yet, I just don’t fully notice it? It may be there and I don’t question those that rate the TANGZU Wu Zetian higher and put it atop the Planar World due to this single aspect? But I simply really don’t hear this off-timbre? Obviously this is a big deal with Balanced Armatures, and one reason many prefer single full-range DDs over Hybrids. In fact it has been the correction of timbre issues as of late which as ushered in a new wave of IEMs, as such they are simply better due to concentrating and diminishing the metallic timbre found in balanced armatures. Still on a scale of bad BA timbre being a 10, this here........this realistic or not tone ends to my ears a 2 or a 3…….with 1 being perfect timbre, if there even is such a thing in synthetic musical replay? So?

Conclusion:
I was promised the LETSHUOER S12 PRO a while ago, and it never came. Then the TANGZU Wu Zetian came along and became a Hype Train, and the TANGZU Wu Zetian is still regarded (by some) as the best planar since the Planar revolution started because of the 7Hz Timeless back in December of 2021. What about the HOOK-X? Well being introduced in April of 2022, the HOOK-X took the planar world by storm, seemingly the best planar, and for good reason, it has an incredible soundstage, greats mids and a wide Hybrid sound, because it is a Hybrid. Yet the bass is simply not as technical as the LETSHUOER S12 PRO, simple as that. It’s not as defined or as focused as we have here. It’s slower and of a less sculptured existence. The TANGZU Wu Zetian is neck and neck with the LETSHUOER S12PRO and please don’t ask me to choose which I like more. The S12 PRO is the new kid on the block here at Redcarmoose Labs…….and you know what that means…….that’s right a Honeymoon. And I’m just like you in that I’m only human, thus so swayed by such events. The LETSHUORE S12 PRO is the real deal, it owns a quality of usability due to its size and form, it performs like a champ. It fact it’s the ultimate Touchdown in the game of 2022-2023 planar IEMs. Sure there will always be more stuff, more sound signatures, and inherent (fabulous) abilities due to driver technology and progress. That never takes away from the basic qualities of music replay, the simple yet (hard-to-do) way a manufacture can assemble an IEM out of nothing, to come and replay music with involvement and excitement. In fact this IEM is small yet it’s a big deal, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much you want to spend, the S12 PRO is a Touchdown, a worthy introduction to commemorate LETSHUOER’s 6th anniversary. Won’t you join-in the festivities?



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Special cable rolling section:
My friend “Dsnuts” and I were a little late to the S12 party. His review should be next to mine in this parlay of personal interpretations. We know that a few possible tone adjustments were offered with this anniversary edition S12 PRO. There maybe has been a slight treble and midrange tailoring, bringing those frequencies more in-line with the communities wants and needs. We also recognize the modular cable as being a plus for sale ability and practicalness. The added change of the S12 PRO color becomes the determining factor as to model, along with the pressure release ports. But what if it was possible to take the tone in an even better direction, a way to smooth out the LETSHUORE S12 PRO into an even better IEM? Would that be a good thing? Strangely “Dsnuts” and I were interpreting these cable rolls simultaneously at the exact same moment, on the exact same day, and coming-up with the exact same conclusions, often independent of each other. What’s the odds of that? At times two reviewers getting the same IEM (at the same time) to review is normal, yet to do cable rolls on the same day on different sides of the world is coincidence…..to say the least. But both of our findings is no coincidence. What we found is the included cable (while totally great) is not the very best inclusion. Nope.

Cables:
Planar IEMs are totally different creatures in regards to cables. In fact........often cables that produce one tone with DDs and Hybrids, often result in different planar IEM tone results. I was suggested to use a full-on pure copper cable with the S12 PRO by Dsnuts. Yet as with other planar IEM testing, I wasn’t sure if it would decrease the separation and spacial rendition of replay? Each planar IEM responds slightly different to cables, some more, some less, and often that small improvement will be into a wanted direction. While the Totem cable didn’t work for the HOOK-X due to diminished bass tone found. The Totem also neutered the TINHIFI P1 Max. So we are finding out that a cable that works wonders on many IEMs is a detriment to some of the Planar Family. Finally me trying the 4 wire Hansound Zen pure OCC with the S12 PRO confirmed the truth. Yep, while the included cable was fine and really great, if you ever had an issue with the S12 PRO becoming too hot, the copper cable was the ticket for success. So much so that the lower midrange was improved and the normal sized S12 PRO soundstage was left alone, maybe seemingly wider? I’m not going to go into all the cable rolling I did due to simply explaining that a pure copper cable will do the trick, that’s all you need to know. There were various situational improvements obtained with many cables, in whole I probably did a rotation of nine different cables, and roll-backs as an additional set of cable changes, but often returning to the included cable to make sure what I was hearing as differences was real. Dsnuts may include much more script on this subject. And while I totally enjoyed the cable rolls and subsequent effects of them, I also want to emphasize that the way the LETSHUORE S12 PRO comes is the way I did 99% of this review.

In Ending:
In many ways the LETSHUORE S12 PRO is unique, even though it’s over-shadowed by other planar IEMs in the crowded game. Just the fact that I arrived at total S12 PRO enjoyment and it jumped to the top of my planar list in quality was reason enough for this wash of enthusiasm in writing. But where as the HOOK-X is a bigger IEM, the S12 PRO is a smaller IEM, where the Stellaris is big IEM, the S12 PRO is smaller, where the Dioko is big, the S12 PRO is also smaller! Where I’m going with this is the fit, build, value and FR are the cats meow, that the S12 PRO does it all, and becomes truly all someone could ask for for the money. It’s construction is slightly macho, yet could be worn by both male and females, the ergonomics and natural noise occlusion make it perfect for out and about town, the way the nozzle-lips hold tips on when extracting the S12 PRO from your ears make it the perfect standing-up in-public-places IEM. The way they stay in place and only weight 6 grams a piece. Just the fact that the included ear-tips were useable, but more than than that, actually dialed-in the sound and showed that LETSHUORE’s choice was no accident. The fact that (this is) the total package……..everything that’s included is all you need to get started, besides a DAP of course. The total package means build, fit, sound-quality and value make this singularly one of the very best planar IEM offerings out there. In a strange way I’m truly glad that I found the S12 PRO when I did, before it came I thought nothing could beat the HOOK-X or TANGZU Wu Zetian, and now that my impressions are over............won’t you excuse me, I’m now going off to explore the S12 PRO some more. :)

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Linsoul website: https://www.linsoul.com/
Linsoul Aliexpress Store: https://ddaudio.aliexpress.com/store/2894006
Linsoul USA Amazon Store link: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=A267P2DT104U3C


Disclaimer:
I want to thank Kareena of Linsoul for the love and the LETSHOER S12 PRO Universal IEM review sample.

Disclaimer:
These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 4.4mm
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ruffandruff
ruffandruff
Can you compare the bass to ISN H50 in terms of speed and impact. Thank you
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
I pulled out the H50 and used the tips I always use which are wide bore. I have found the medium included silicones are the only thing that works for me with the S12 PRO, shown in the photographs here. Anyways the S12 PRO is about 10 clicks less efficient than the H50 on my WM1A. The S12 PRO and H50 have comparable bass amounts, yet the H50 offers more 3D bass textures, which alludes to more detail and impact. The S12 PRO's bass is existing farther backwards even at the same volume, which makes it appear slightly softer? Yet once enacted into rhythm the S12 PRO bass offers a pace with consequential reactions.
ruffandruff
ruffandruff
Thanks for a detailed comparison.

Zelda

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Sound
Build
Design
Swappable plug system
Cons: Average isolation
Treble might be a bit excessive for some (mainly at loud volumes)
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Specifications
  • Driver: 14.8mm Single planar
  • Sensitivity: 102dB
  • Frequency response: 20~20KHz
  • Impedance: 16 Ohm
  • Chassis material: Aluminum alloy
  • Cable: 1.25m silver plated monocrystalline copper
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Price: U$169 (msrp). Occasionally can be found for a lower price.

Credits go to Letshuoer for providing the S12 Pro for full review.

Can be purchased directly from
Letshouer and Linsoul.

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Design


The S12 Pro is identical to the standard S12 version in shape and design. Just the color scheme changes to a dark/navy blue (or “Deep Space Blue”, as named by the company), which I personally find nicer, especially with its metallic tone. Overall build quality is solid. It is easy to see that the earpieces consist of two parts attached together (apparently glued) as it is not seamless. Even so, the finish is very smooth; there are no sharp ends and the whole shape of the housings is all rounded.

While the shape is nothing unique, it does not compromise in ergonomics. The large 14.8mm diameter planar magnetic driver seems to fill most of the inner cavity of the shells. The metal pieces are light and the fit is very easy, providing a comfortable wearing for a long listening time. The only caveat would be the short nozzle for which I had to try different aftermarket tips in order to achieve a proper seal. This along with the couple of vents make the isolation about average. I do prefer at least a bit higher level of passive isolation for daily use, but the very open and airy sound presentation convinced me to use the S12 everyday ever since I first tried them for the last month.
The only thing to point out might be the painting on the metal earpieces. It doesn’t seem to have the best finish, as a little bit chips off. But that’s it.

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Now, the cable. It is the same as on the original S12. Just the metal parts – plug, y-split and connectors – are now matching the blue color theme. The ‘Pro’ part here is that it now features swappable terminations (instead of the 3.5mm or 4.4mm plugs) and the 3 plugs are included in the package (3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm and 4.4mm). Swappable plugs have become a popular trend many manufacturers are adopting. Though, it is not 100% perfect on the S12 Pro cable. The attachment of the plugs is not the most firm and might get disconnected with not much effort. I do appreciate the option of switching to different terminations without the need to change the cable or add an extra adapter, but at least it should be made a bit more solid. Do note that with this system the whole plug results longer than a standard plug. Connectors on the IEM side are standard 2-pin (0.78), flush sockets which are more universal. The connection is solid, not super tight.

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Wire material is silver-plated monocrystalline copper, in dual color of silver and gray twisted strands inside, while the whole cable is made of two strands each one surrounded in a plastic jacket. It does not tangle with ease, though it is not the softest and the thick plastic jacket makes it a bit bulky, especially around the ears with the fixed guides. Cable noise is actually low.

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Lastly, the included accessory pack is simple and enough. It includes two types of silicone ear tips, 3 sizes of each and 3 pairs of memory foam tips. And a carrying case, which can be too small to properly store the earphones with the thick cable.

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Sound


Sound performance on the S12 Pro is impressive right out of the box. From the first listening session, the S12 strikes with excellent resolution and great clarity through the whole frequency band, clearly showing the characteristics of a planar driver, with a very, very well-achieved tuning – if seeking for well balanced and fairly neutral tuning. It is not a total flat-neutral (boring…) sound. Rather, a wide U-shaped signature that easily qualifies as an all-rounder sound. To my preferences, the tonality is just the correct one; the S12 presents the right amount of bass, coherent midrange positioning and sparkly, energetic treble.

The sound goes like this. The low-end has some elevation; it is tasteful, giving enough impact but never overpowering. To my liking, the sub-bass raises higher than the mid/up-bass, giving a cleaner bass response. Extension is very good; beaten just by some good dynamic drivers’ based IEMs around this price section; yet, much better than any BA units implemented on much pricier models. The impact, power and rumble is always there when the track asks for, otherwise there is never any bloat/bleed. As for bass quality, then it is great – undoubtedly a planar driver with speed, attack and precision. BA drivers are usually known for their speed over dynamic drivers but tend to lose in terms of decay – very short – and lack extension. Planars can be (potentially) technically better. And in the case of the S12 here it has the high speed along with the more natural, convincing and more effortless extension.

Midrange is very neutral. It sounds rather flat and linear from the lower mids up to the upper-mids region where it shows some elevation towards entering the treble area. This is what I’d consider as ‘balanced’ – nothing is recessed or distant, while almost any component of the sound is not emphasized, either. Instruments and vocals are all very even. The level of transparency means a very clear and clean sound, but also a lack of ‘emotion’ or engaging factor. If anything, male voices can sound a tad lean – mainly if paired with a very neutral source, though female voices do not get much higher preference, as the gain to the upper frequencies is very gradual.

Highs are bright. It clearly completes the lively tuning (again, a more ‘u’-shaped than ‘v’), though the S12 favors the treble area a bit more over the bass, quantity-wise. And it is kinda flavored too, with a sizzling extra energy. As different tips can tweak the bass to some point, they are more significant when it comes to the highs. The stock tips are very decent (I used the white/transparent ones), but personally I found the AZLA tips to be a much better match. While they do enhance the brightness of the S12, they do so in a positive way; treble is cleaner, more airy and extended. It sounds more open and also less tiring. There is a peak around the 2 KHz area. I should note that I mostly listen at low to moderate levels when using the S12 Pro, so this peak is more bearable. So just take note of that if you are sensible to extra energy (and potential sibilance). The AZLA tips also helped noticeable, as even though the treble is brighter, it is more natural and controlled.

Soundstage. I would rate it wider than average. For its price segment it is pretty good. Generally you do not expect a great stage on in-ear form factors, but there are exceptions (the S12 Pro is not one, mind you…). Lateral width is not too expansive nor the front-to-back distance; however, the S12 is very cohesive and other technicalities are certainly impressive. Imaging is excellent, very accurate positioning of each element, well separated, easy to pinpoint different instruments. The sense of air helps in this regard. Timbre is excellent, too. It is ‘planar timbre’, know that. It gives a very realistic texture to multiple instruments. If anything, it can sound a tad sharp on upper acoustic or wind instruments, and maybe lacking some weight on lower bass elements.

A more special feature of the S12 Pro is that backgrounds (instruments and voices) are very clear and very detailed; well positioned on their corresponding plane and not overshadowed by the main elements at the front. Overall detail retrieval is high, among the best at the sub $200 range and easily punches above its price. The good thing is that it is not delivered in a dry way but flows (rather naturally) within the music mix.


Comparing the S12 Pro to some dynamic based rivals, such as the Moondrop Kato or final A4000, all share a fairly balanced tuning. The three of them do immediately differ from the planar type driver sound on the S12 with its distinctive ‘timbre’, and have the characteristic sound of “dynamic” drivers (when tuned well). The bass is denser than the S12 Pro and more dynamic, but not as fast or precise. Layering is sharper on the S12, too, while these three sound smoother. Bass quantities are pretty much equal between the four models, and so is the extension. But the dynamics ones feel a bit more natural in body. The A4000 sounds a bit softer, more bland in impact and attack. The Elixir is darker due its less treble amount so gives the effect of having more bass, but technically it is not really bassier. The Elixir has thicker and more forward lower-mids and smoother, less shouty upper mids versus the S12 (the KATO and the A4000). For male voices the Elixir suits better. The KATO and A4000 for females. The three of them have sweeter texture for vocals overall next to the cleaner but sharper S12. The S12 wins in instruments’ separation, imaging and precision. The level of detail is fairly higher on the S12, too. Treble is darker, more laid back on the Elixir – for some it would be a safer option. The KATO is similar but a tad brighter. The S12 has the mentioned ~2KHz small peak with an extra tilt on the upper treble, while the A4000 is just bright (and maybe too much) on the whole treble. For soundstage. The A4000 has a wider lateral effect, but less front-back distance, while both Elixir and KATO are more equal in all directions; the S12 is similar to these two and at the same time gives a better sense of height. I find the S12 to be the most airy and open sounding of all.

I do like the sound of the S12 Pro over these three in most aspects. But it doesn’t stop there. I find the tuning more appealing than even much higher priced IEMs. qdc Anole VX, UM Mest Mk2, Fir Audio M5, Campfire Solaris are all some of the best (relatively top-tier) models I liked. The qdc VX is a master of detail, accuracy and BA speed. The Mest has wide stage and special imaging along with EST detail and great sub-bass range, and the Fir M5 is sometimes an alternative to it, with more mid-bass and a tad higher detail. The Solaris, while I could rank it a bit lower than the others, still holds a special spot. Sure, all of this expensive options are on technically higher level, with greater detail, soundstage, etc., but when it comes to the overall signature and tonality I find it easier to fault these higher IEMs for their prices and appreciate more what the S12 Pro does for a small fraction of the price.


What else can I add? I really liked the Letshuoer S12 Pro. It impressed me a lot with its high technical performance, correct tuning and tonal balance. It does a lot of things right and it is hard to fault for the price. It has the planar timbre, but it is way much better than any other planar IEM I tried and easily prefer it over many BA, hybrid and whatever exotic combinations. Even over a few full-size open back headphones (dynamic and planars). The build quality is fairly good. The design is comfortable and nothing extravagant. Not a fan of the cable and wish isolation could be at least a bit better. Yet, the sound quality makes up for everything. One of my new favorite earphones and an excellent reference point for any next product.
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Dsnuts
Dsnuts
Penon Orbs
D
DiscoverMusic1989
As a planar earphone it's interesting, esp the price range is good.
Ferdze
Ferdze
this or the regular s12? in terms of detail retrieval and bass?

Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Letshuoer S12 Pro
Pros: -Wonderful build
-Striking appearance
-The included modular cable is awesome
-One of the better tuned planar driver iems
-Tight and authoritative low end
-Transients
-Resolution
-Separation and layering
-All together smooth and non-fatiguing
-Great modular cable
Cons: -Could use a touch more air up top for some, also,
-May be a bit too HOT at times for some people
-Very slight Planar timbre (not really a con) (rare occurrence)
-Soundstage isn’t enormous (not really a con either)

Letshuoer S12 Pro Review

Full Review: S12 Pro Review
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Letshuoer S12 Pro ($169)

It has been awhile since I first received the Letshuoer S12 Pro and so I realize how late to the party I am. However during that time the S12 Pro has been a constant iem that I’ve reached for in leisurely listening. I purchased the S12 Pro off of Amazon US for $160 about a month and a half ago and really have been meaning to complete a proper review. Unfortunately priorities, life, and an all consuming and ever growing l ultra-budget chifi market has kept me from reviewing this beauty of a set.

The S12 Lineup

The S12 Pro also carries the moniker “6th anniversary edition”, and for those who somehow don’t know, it is a Planar driven iem which followed the original *S12* as well as the ‘Zeos tuned’ Z12. All of which have the same build, same shell. However from what I have gathered, some of the internals have been upgraded (more on that later). There has also been some minimal tweaks to the tuning and some paint and accessory changes.

I won’t go into all the Planar iems which caused this deluge of “Planar Madness” to strike the audio community, there are plenty of reviews and write-ups which outline how we got here. What I will do is simply complete a review of an iem which I have grown quite fond of and will likely add a comparison or two. I really have enjoyed my time with this set and I’d like to tell you why.



Gear Used
Shanling UA2
IFi Go Blu
Ibasso DX240 w/ Amp8 MK2
Shanling M6 Ultra

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Left to Right: Shanling UA2 / Shanling M6 Ultra / Ibasso DX240 / Ifi Go Blu

Packaging

I love unboxing, it is a short-lived hit of dopamine that is so satisfying… and then it’s gone. I love busting out my blade that I have always attached to my hip, love to feel the snap of the quick release and the PANG of the steel snapping open… just to cut some… cellophane? HA! It’s the little things in life ladies and gents. The quick slice of the protective sticker and I’m in business. Anyways, I really enjoyed the unboxing on the S12P because I had an idea what was included. By this point I’d already seen some unboxing so, I suppose it wasn’t much of a mystery.

What’s inside

The S12P come in a rectangular box within a sleeve. As you open the box you are greeted with the beautiful earphones staring back at you. To speed this up… within the box you find the amazing cable and extra plugs (more in that later). Also, you’ll find three pairs of a lighter color eartip, three pairs of a darker gray eartip and three pairs of foam eartips which come in a handy little case. Of course, you’ll find the paperwork and Letshuoer also threw in a cleaning brush tool. The last accessory is the black faux leather carrying case with a nice zipper and of decent enough size. As a whole this is about what you should expect with an unboxing.



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Design/Build/Isolation & Fit/Durability/Other features

Design

The S12P are downright striking in appearance. A very simple yet also beautifully designed earphone all the way around. Colored in a matte finish is this navy blue colorway with hints of purple hues which appears bold, distinguished and regal. Accenting the gorgeous paint job is a protruding small rectangle housing where the female 2-pin connector is located with a beveled strip of shiny silver outlining it, which adds such a distinct contrast to the confident looking shells. I have the hardest time deciding if there is bluer than purple, or more purple than blue?

I love the design of this set. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t twist them around in my hands looking at them from different angles. The Matte finish is the perfect finish, and the choice of aluminum is as much sturdy as it is light. Whoever took part in the design should get a raise… Letshuoer let’s make that happen.

Build

The S12P is constructed completely out of CNC machined Aluminum from the back of the shells all the way to the nozzle. The Shells are very smooth with a purposeful curvature and without a jagged edge on them. You’ll find one fairly large front vent and another rear vent hidden next to the female 2-pin connector. The nozzle doesn’t reach too shallow nor too deep but sits somewhere in the middle for me. Sitting on the nozzle is a quality metal mesh grill with a cool looking design pattern. Really, this set is quality from back to front.

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Internals

The S12P uses a custom 14.8 mm Planar diaphragm which I believe is the same diaphragm as its predecessors. The chassis housing the driver is said to have independent front & rear acoustic chambers, as well as multiple vents to alleviate pressure build up and from what I read in their advertising, these help for a more consistent channel matching.

Please read the Letshuoer promotional advertising below:



Custom 14.8mm Planar Magnetic Driver​

LETSHUOER S12 PRO utilizes a custom 14.8mm large-diaphragm driver with great details retrieval, punchy bass and clear trebles. 102db high sensitivity means that it can be easily driven to volume, be it a cell phone or dongle DACs, LETSHUOER S12 PRO will sound optimal pairing with most source/amps.

Silver-plated Monocrystalline Copper Cable with Swappable Jacks​

LETSHUOER S12 PRO comes with a stock cable that is constructed with silver-plated monocrystalline copper, and four 98-strand cores are then weaved together. It is terminated in standard 0.78mm dual pin connectors, and the other end is a swappable jack with 2.5mm / 3.5mm /4.4mm jacks. This system will work with a great amount of source gears and IEMs. Magnetic planar earphones Hi-fi planar in ear monitors for audiophiles and music lovers.

Five-axis Machining Process​

LETSHUOER S12 Pro’s aluminum chassis is shaped to have A snug fit in the concha. The finishing is smooth to the touch thanks to the five-axis CNC machining process. It’s strong, touch and without sharp edges. The chassis comes in a minimalism profile, with not a lot of wiggle room within the acoustic chamber to minimize reverberation. Dual-pin receptacle is a separate piece protruded from the face plate so that the irregular shape would not cause distortion.

Balanced Chassis Design​

LETSHUOER S12 PRO’s chassis design is a continuation of the predecessor. Multiple vent holes on both sides are effective in alleviating negative pressure build up within the ear canal, and thus protecting the hearing. The independent rear acoustic chamber design makes channel matching to be more consistent. In terms of sound performance, the structural design of the front and rear acoustic chamber effectively discharges the pressure inside the chassis, thereby attaining a more natural sound.

Letshuoer Promotional above



Isolation & Fit

The S12P isolates about as well as any iem on the market. Nothing to write home about, let’s just put it that way. Honestly when music is playing you can’t hear anything but the music. I suppose these would be fine for out and about listening but don’t think they isolate the outside world like a proper ANC set. For myself I get a great seal and isolation is above average.

As far as fit is concerned… ugh. I will complain about this until I simply stop adding the most subjective topic of fitment. For me these fit perfectly. The slightly angled nozzle helps these earphones to sit perfectly nestled in my ear, almost like they grew there. For you however, I have zero clue how they will work.

Cable

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One of my favorite aspects of the S12P is the pliable, durable feeling and flat-out sweet looking cable. I love the nice and thick look of this perfect addition to the S12P. Made of 4 cores of Silver-plated Monocrystalline Copper with a very user friendly rubber type coating which protects & insulates the wire. Yes this set and cable are dope looking but the best part that Letshuoer addressed is the fact that a swappable modular connection was added.

Letshuoer gives the choice to use a 3.5mm single ended jack or go with a balanced 2.5mm or 4.4mm jack depending on the source you have. For me personally I went entirely with the 4.4 jack from beginning to end of this review. Minus of course, when I used a couple lower powered sources for a brief time and switched to the single ended plug. I love a good cable and even more I love an aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching cable that feels as premium as the earphones in my ear. I love the contrast of color between the cable and the plugs, y-split and 2 pin housing. The cable is a twisting mix of white and almost light brown while the hardware on the cable is the same navy blue and purple mix (pictured). To me this cable is very well designed.

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Drivability

The Letshuoer S12 Pro is said to have an impedance of 16 ohms and a sensitivity of 102 dB. Letshuoer made sure that the S12P were not impossible to drive well with most any source but in truth this set loves some good clean power. I’m not talking about a desktop setup outputting a million watts, but I am talking about a good and strong dongle dac at the least. Let’s put it this way, for the greatest majority of this review I used the Shanling M6 Ultra or the Ibasso Dx240, both on high gain and both checking in at around 30-40/100 on the volume scale. She was sangin’ people!

Will my dongle be enough?

Of course not everyone has a $1000 or more Dap sitting around. In fact, I’d venture to say that most people in the community have at best a decent dongle dac and saved up to purchase the S12P or are at least thinking about purchasing this set and want to know… “Will my dongle be enough to drive the S12 Pro or do I need more?”. The answer, assuming most people have at the very least a decently powered dongle dac, is yes.

For instance, I used my Shanling UA2 on 2.5 balanced and it powered the S12P perfectly fine. In fact, it was more than enough. The IFi Go Blu (4.4) absolutely rocked this set and really synergized with the tuning of the S12P. Both the Ua2 and the Go Blu output around 190-240 mw per 32 ohms respectively and replayed this set with a ton of headroom and dynamism.

More Power

Still, to get the absolute best of this planar driven earphone I do think it sounds the best, the most open, the most dynamic and at home, when using something with more power. Needless to say, that both of my daps (M6 Ultra & Dx240) equally made the most of the S12P. Both adding their own flavor to the sound. The Quad AK4493SEQ chips in the M6 Ultra and the ES9038 Pro chip within the DX240 both have fantastic synergism and show the adaptability of the S12 Pro. I suppose the same result would be had with both the original S12 as well as the Zeos tuned Z12.

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Quick Sound Impressions

I would definitely call the S12P a mild V-shaped iem with a smoother replay. Unfortunately, I have not heard the original S12, but from what I’ve put together (from older S12 reviews as well as a graph comparison) there is a minor reduction in the upper-mids and treble as well as a bump or two more in the bass region. I hear a mildly warm and all together smooth sound with good representation of all areas of the mix.

The bass hits with more than adequate authority and a planar like quickness. The midrange sits back only a hair but still has enough good energy for solid vocal replay. The treble is airy enough and detailed with good presence and extension while never really creating any fatigue. The playback as a whole is detailed and fast with a quicker transient response and good atmosphere. I would certainly call the S12P a fun and very dynamic listen that can play with multiple genres and satisfy many listening styles. Really this is an energetic display of a safe tuning and for me… it works.

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Bass

In My Feelings” by Drake is a banger of a song with a deep bassline which drops within moments of the song’s beginning. The S12P sound almost DD-like in the way they boom with an atmospheric and sonorously penetrating replay of this song. I don’t know how good of a song choice that is though, honestly any iem pounds to that track. So, I switched over to “Country Child” by Robert Finley as the deep bass guitar groove in tandem with the kick drum. Both come across snappy but with separation and enough layering and texture to show depth and never does the bass overshadow too much of the rest of the spectrum. The sub-bass checks out folks as I can feel the bass as much as hear it. Only when called upon.

Nicely Rendered Slam

The mid-bass has a nicely rendered slam with a nimble attack and decay. I hear just enough linger to create an atmospheric character. Like I said, this set is missing nothing next to a dynamic driver. Maybe a DD has slightly more visceral and intensive rumble, but at that point it may be more of a problem against the rest of the mix.

Considering this is a planar iem, I think the S12P does bass very well. “Billie Jean” by Weezer hits right out the gate with a hard kick drum followed by a snare which is quickly followed by a rolling bassline. As far as I’m concerned the S12P absolutely kills it with this track. Everything is so snappy in its attack with hard and rounded edges and precise with transients. The mid bass doesn’t show any signs of hollowness or fuzziness but instead hits with the authority that any track would demand and comes across slightly colored and impactful.

Never Muddy

There certainly is an emphasis in this region but that rise doesn’t ever come close to muddy or cross the midrange line adversely. I really enjoy the output here. I grew up on bass and I always need at least a generous portion so long as there is some semblance of control. The S12P is all control, all the time, without being overbearing or exhausting after long stretches of listening. Resolution and clarity are very nice in this region with a tidy and clean response. Well done, Letshuoer!

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Midrange

Low-Mids

The midrange is well resolving, it carries a detailed sound with enough good energy to even add an emotional flair to my music. There is a subtle warmth in the low-mids which carries over to men’s voices as well as instruments in this region. Vocals have a transparent and somewhat natural sound that can be nicely crisp and technically adept to not miss subtleties. Take the song “Better Together” by Luke Combs. Luke always sounds forward in this song and every vocalized word is pushed by a breath of air which can be easily discerned and heard. I hear some depth to vocals and instruments with nice separation. Another plus is the energy and heft to men’s voices. Not too weighty or veiled and not too thin or dry. I should add that male voices do have a bit more weight and oomph than females in my opinion.

Upper-Mids

Females are emphasized a bit more than males but aren’t overly emphasized at all. Depending on the singer and the track, females generally come across smooth and not too aggressive or too energetic. The S12P does a great job of portraying female singers with a good amount of charismatic expression to sound authentic yet without a great deal of shimmer. If that makes any sense. Closer to lush and smooth than they are lustery and gleaming. The sentimental softness portrayed in the song “The 1” by Taylor Swift has nice resolution while highlighting the cadence and emotion of her voice pretty nicely.

Subtle cons

I don’t hear anything really glaring as a definitive con, except on rare occasions there is the faintest bit of planar timbre peeking through. This is also induced by my brain concentrating and listening for it. That being said I think females have a nicely positioned and energetic sound which is capped by a smooth delivery.

Instruments come across with thin to average note weight but with nice layering of sounds. Strings, percussion etc. aren’t perfectly natural sounding but I hear nothing that sounds all together unnatural. This seems to be the case often for planar iems.

S12 Pro is pretty nice

Vocals are a very important part of my leisurely listening and enjoyment. I can verify and attest that the S12P is pretty nice in this regard. Perhaps a hair held back in the upper mids and a hair recessed in the lower mids, but there is a nice resolution and energy to make up for it in both cases. Also, sibilance is so minor that I didn’t even spend time on it. There is no real shout or ear gouging pierce in the upper-mids for me personally, but I’m sure that some may regard the S12P as too much. All in all, Letshuoer did a fine job in the Midrange.

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Treble

The treble region plays nice for the most part. I don’t hear anything fatiguing or shouty or sibilant here either. The treble is represented pretty well actually. I hear enough energy up top to balance out the spectrum without crossing over into shrill. That said, the treble can also be a bit underwhelming, to a degree. Yet in the very same breath the output up top may be too much for some. You can’t please everyone. I’ve heard both complaints prior to writing this review. We are an odd bunch aren’t we… we can never agree on anything.

The treble is quick…

As you may have guessed, this treble is quick. “Bishop School” by Yusef Lateef shows off the treble region on the S12P. One of the tracks I use to test treble response. The S12P handles the fluctuations from percussion to strings to brass with partitioned off separation allowing a distinction between them all without blending the sound into a fusion of mush.

As far as timbre goes the S12P isn’t too far off. Not the most natural sounding to my ears but also the S12P isn’t really plagued too badly by a planar metallic tizz at note ends. Cymbals & HI Hats trail off with good transient behavior and with enough authenticity to allow the atmosphere to develop and decay. Nirvana’s “In Bloom” begins with a deafening electric guitar riff and is topped by peppered-in cymbals that can easily become lost to the chaos surrounding them. However the S12P illuminates them pretty nicely with average weight while not sounding too splashy or attenuated.

Treble balances everything nicely

Technically I think the highest regions come across articulate and detailed enough to cast light upon the minutiae and subtleties in most tracks with enough speed even in the midst of complicated songs. Extension is good as well, but it doesn’t extend in a full-on lustrous manner. More so, the treble simply upholds the rest of the mix. S12P highs never dominate and never really jump ahead of other frequencies. They actually balance everything out pretty nicely. There is some brilliance up top, and you will hear a sparkly playback from time to time but for the most part the treble is more reserved.



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Soundstage/Separation/Imaging/Details

The Soundstage to me is nothing special or colossal in size. I hear mostly average all the way around, for the most part anyways. There seems to be an above average height and decent depth with an average width. I don’t feel the stage hinders the performance of the S12P as I get good contiguous spatial cues that create an appropriate and even good mental image. For those who drool over a huge stage though, the S12P will likely not be too impressive. Personally, I have zero issue at all with how large or… not large the stage size is.

Separation/Imaging

I have no problem discerning elements of the stage. Depending on the track, I hear well placed and distinct instruments and voices as separation is certainly above average for me. To go along with good separation is also very good imaging. Likely due to the speed of the driver, good resolution and clarity among other attributes is the reason that most elements of a stage are distinct and in their own localized position both side to side and forward and back.

Details

I wouldn’t call the S12P the best in the price range when it comes to focusing on details, but it certainly is much better than your average earphone. There isn’t much which gets left behind with this particular tuning and the ability of these drivers. All throughout the spectrum details in my music are present. I definitely would not refer to the S12P as ‘top of the heap’ against a field of very nice iems but I also wouldn’t rate the S12P very far down on the list.

Like I said earlier, stuff like breath against a mic, finger scrapes or the trail-off from an acoustic guitar. Even some of the finer details come through very nicely in less than complicated tracks. Tracks which involve most of the spectrum can slightly fog the finer details a hair. It isn’t that the S12P cannot keep up or isn’t resolute enough to zero in on the minutia either. It has to do with the V-Shaped tuning where some areas of the mix simply overtake the finer stuff. All things considered, the S12P do details nicely while catering to other aspects of musical enjoyment as well.

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Left to Right: TRI I3 Pro / Letshuoer S12 Pro / Raptgo Hook-X

Comparisons

TRI I3 Pro ($169 – $199)

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The TRI I3 Pro or “I3P” as I will refer to it, is absolutely one of my favorite iems at any price point. It isn’t for everyone but honestly…what is? Something about this set just resonates with me. In some ways this is not a very fair comparison and in other ways it is a very nice measuring stick for the S12P. Of course, I never add a comparison with competition in mind. All comparisons are simply to help explain in a comparative way the device I am reviewing.

The I3P are a Triple Driver ‘Tri-Brid’ iem consisting of a Dynamic Driver, a Planar Magnetic Driver and a Balanced Armature Driver. The sound of the I3P is a mild V-shape with deep basses, a melodic and smooth midrange as well as a brighter and airy treble region which never goes to fatigue.

Low-end

Starting with the low-end I can easily hear that the I3P carries a much deeper and more guttural sound which has a bit more authority and tactile haptic rumble than the S12P. Now, the S12P arent very far off. I would say that the S12P full range Planar pitted against the dedicated low-end DD of the I3P is really not a very fair fight if deep basses are what you are after. The places where the S12P excels over the I3P is in the swiftness of transients and the details brought out in its playback. There is very nice texture on both iems but the more technical replay does come from the S12P. The I3P simply has that authentic Dynamic Driver timbre that seems to resonate just a bit better to offer a more atmospheric and satisfying listen. This is a question of preference, however.

Mids comparison

The low-mids of the I3P have a thicker timbre as male vocals have a bit more heft to them while the S12P are the slightest bit leaner. Truthfully both of these iems are very similar in the low mids. The I3P are just a bit less dry and just as transparent. As far as female vocals go the S12P are more forward and have a bit more shimmer and lean energy while the I3P are noticeably more robust in timbre and rounded in presentation. There is simply a fuller male and female vocal on the I3P.

Treble

The treble region follows much of the same story. The I3P are bigger in note weight with a warmer tonality, fuller, while the S12P have a slightly thinner but possibly more detail-oriented sound. Both iems present technicalities very nicely with two very different tonal expressions. S12P have more dryness with an airier sound and the I3P are warmer, more syrupy and fuller and more robust. Both have nice resolution and clarity.

Both have good space to operate, and neither are congested or veiled. These are two awesome options in the world of audio at this price point.

Raptgo Hook-X ($239 – $259)

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Stiff competition

The Raptgo Hook-X is currently one of my favorite Planar Driven iems on the market that I have actually listened to. There are quite a few that I have not so… take that with a grain of salt. The Hook-X came out just after the 7Hz Timeless had officially disrupted the audio narrative of what a planar iem can sound like. Everyone clamored to get thier hands on the Timeless. I know because I was one of those people. Then out of nowhere this relatively no-name company (Raptgo) came forward with the Hook-X and trumped the Timeless in almost every regard sonically, fitment wise, looks, the whole nine yards really. Of course, it is also a bit more expensive than the Timeless, and much more expensive than the iem I am reviewing today (S12 Pro).

The Hook-X is a dual driver hybrid using a Planar Magnetic Driver and a Piezoelectric Driver and does so with a fantastic tuning. I would also call the Hook-X a V-shaped iem with a very dynamic and expressive approach having an emphasis in the low-end and the upper-mids to treble.

Some differences

As for some differences that I can spot… starting at the low-end, the Hook-X has a sharper and deeper low-end with better texture and better resolution in my opinion. It also has faster transients with a snappier and tighter attack and quicker decay/sustain. The S12P are a tad slower but also the bass is a bit more cohesive in sound with the rest of the mix. The comparison graph doesn’t show what I hear at all as the Hook-X are a little more growling & gravellier with bass guitars and hit with more authority on bass drops. I don’t think it is by a country mile or anything but there is a difference. The S12P simply have a softer bass note without lacking in authority.

Vocals

The clarity of the Hook-X shows up cleaner and more transparent then the S12P to my ears. This goes for male vocals as well as females. Details are more easily heard on the Hook-X with a more heightened and airy sound, but also a less natural timbre to my ears. The midrange sounds more forward on the Hook-X to me with more shimmery resplendance to females vocals.

The treble region of the S12P is a bit held back compared to the Hook-X, but again I hear a more cohesive sound altogether out of the S12P. Details are more readily available and illuminated by the Hook-X but possibly at the expense of timbre. Again, if the graph was telling the story I would be reporting the exact opposite comparison here. This shows us that planar magnetic iems don’t always perfectly graph the way they sound and to a lesser degree other driver techs can reveal similar findings.

Overall

The overall tonality of the Hook-X is brighter and note weight sounds the slightest bit thinner and this affects every area of the mix. The S12P is more balanced in its approach with a more laid-back treble region, a hair more recessed midrange and a bit less oomph in the low-end. Absolutely the Hook-X is the more exciting listen but also maybe more fatiguing over time. I do think the Hook-X has better resolution throughout with a wider soundstage, better separation and imaging and more control of the music replayed through them. This would be a very tough choice for me because these both have so many redeeming qualities. Both fantastic planar driven iems. I have zero idea which one I like better. I suppose whatever one is in my ears at the time.

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Conclusion

I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy the S12P, enough time to know that it’s a keeper for me. The slightly colored balance between the frequencies is something I’ve really grown keen to. I like the dynamism, and the “close to DD” like nature of the low-end coupled with an easy going yet energetic treble region. The look of this set is great, from the earphones themselves all the way down to the rad looking modular cable. Furthermore, the choice of colors evokes a sense of poised masculinity due to the blueish/purplish hue and stainless-steel accents…it just looks tough. I think it’s the best-looking iteration of the “S12 Line”. Anyways, I don’t want to re-hash this entire review. I think Letshuoer is on the right path, and I will be sure to follow them closely in the future.

I am only a fan of music and the gear which replays that music, much like every other reviewer that I know. Also, just like every other reviewer, I only give my honest opinion of what it is that I hear and really try to explain to the best of my ability exactly what those opinions are. That said, I want to urge anyone possibly looking into the S12P to check out those other opinions from other reviewers. As I always say, we all have different libraries of music and different gear and different likes & dislikes and we may even have different abilities to actually hear what It is that we are listening to. Please listen, or watch, or read other perspectives in the community which may help you in making a wise purchasing decision. I truly hope that my experience helps at least one person.

So that’s it for my review of the Letshuoer S12 Pro. Now that the critical listening is complete I will actually try to leisurely listen so that I can enjoy this most awesome hobby that we are all wrapped up in. Please take good care and stay safe everyone.


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Ceeluh7
Ceeluh7
Well this set is definitely warm of neutral. I think it is a solid value. Does your choice have to be a planar? Just curious. Honestly the S12 Pro is a very well tuned set
T
tubbymuc
No definately not. It can be anything as long it has a tune I an looking for and it fits well. I don't like short nozzle like blon as they never fit me.

Would appreciate any rec if you have.
B
bily89
Yo tengo los S12 Pro (Shuoer) y los Timeless (7hz), y son por MUCHO mejores los de 7hz (en detalle, en graves... y en general), sobre todo con las nuevas puntas de TRN T (boquilla roja; Realzan graves y suavizan un poco las frecuencias mas molestas de agudos). Esperando los nuevos Raptgo (x HBB) Hook-X (MK II ?), y los Timeless AE

senfi

New Head-Fier
LETSHOUER S12 : WARM PLANAR PAIRS!
Pros: Decent U-shaped sound
Easy to drive
Looks robust, especially with the included cable
Comfortable to wear
Generous amount of inclusions in the package
Cons: Average technicalities
Not the most detailed IEM in the market
LETSHOUER has been around for years, and this is the first time I will be reviewing a product from them. I had heard of the Tape and the Tape Pro before when I was still new to the audiophile scene and LETSHOUER is still SHOUER. Unfortunately, both of them never received any positive reviews due to their audacious and unusual tuning that turned off most audio-enthusiasts. How will the S12 fare this time? We shall see.

Check out my blog: https://senfireviews.blogspot.com/2022/10/letshouer-s12-warm-planar-pairs.html




DISCLAIMER : This is a review unit on tour, and I would like to thank Mr. Edz Cuizon, my fellow reviewer, for lending me this pair. I am not affiliated with LETSHOUER and received no monetary compensation during or after this review. As usual, this will be an honest and unbiased review.

The LETSHOUER S12 is a $150, 14.8mm planar IEM housed in an aluminum alloy shell. It's very light, sleek, and simple. I personally like the minimal design and its comfortability.



PACKAGING​


The packaging looks awesome, it is simple and is included with good accessories.
  • S12 driver
  • 0.78mm cable
  • earphone case
  • 3 pairs of gray silicone tips
  • 3 pairs of transparent silicone tips
  • 3 pairs of black foam tips
  • brand card
  • warranty card


SOUND​

The S12 leans on a U-shaped sound signature. The sound may not be the most detailed and resolving pair for critical listening, but it's got a place for those who want a fun pair of IEMs. The best genres for this pair are EDM, pop, and modern rock.

BASS : Bass is boosted and has an energetic, dynamic sound. It's got a punchy and satisfying mid-bass where most of the bass is focused on. Sub-bass is not the deepest out there, but it's sufficient enough to be balanced and does not bleed to other frequencies. It's got an overall good impact and energy, which I can assure you some bassheads may like the S12.

MIDS : Mids are not dramatically dipped; they're evidently warm, rich, and lush to the ears. I have a good overall experience with both male and female vocals. It doesn't have the most forward midrange for critical listening, and you may want to look for another pair if you want a midcentric experience.

TREBLE : I have no issues with the treble, but it does not have the most detailed treble. It doesn't have that much air and brilliance but it's still there, which makes this an enjoyable IEM rather than a detailed and critical pair. If you are treble-sensitive, I can recommend these pairs to you if you want an IEM that leans on a darker treble presence than a sparkly and shimmering treble. Again, if you are a critical listener, the treble will definitely lack in terms of sparkle and details.

SOUNDSTAGE AND IMAGING : Soundstage is somehow good; it's got decent width and is not two-dimensional, but it's not the widest I've ever heard. In this case, I can still manage to pin-point some of the instruments and details; it's not just the best and may be more resolving if it had more stage. Imaging is average, not the most resolving and precise separation, but it's not the worst.

COMPARISON​


Muse Hifi Power: Another new planar IEM on the market, as well as the first planar-IEM I reviewed. The Hi-Fi Power is more energetic and aggressive than the S12. The Power is a winner when it comes to soundstage and imaging, but the S12 is more resolving to audiences with warmer preferences. The form factor of the S12 is less bulkier than the Muse Hi-Fi Power. The S12 feels more "sophisticated", mimimalist, and generous with its packaging.



TangZu Wu Zetian : S12 has more bass quantity and impact than the Zetian Wu, the Zetian Wu is leaning on a neutral sound than S12. Mids are fuller and forward and has better resolution. Treble has more sparkle and air in the Zetian Wu. Basically, Zetian Wu is more versed on the side of technicalities, and tonality while the S12 is better for certain consumers.

FINAL RATING​


In conclusion, the LETSHOUER S12 is one of the most resolving planar IEM for those who can afford less than pricier IEMs. It still has its flaws when it comes to technicalities, and there may be other options to consider within the sub-$200 price range. The competition is very hot in this price range, but I can still recommend S12 and I bet it would still be appreciated, especially for those who want a balanced sound preference. However, I may not recommend this as the top option for those who want a more neutral and critical pair. The more I listen to planar IEMs within this price range, the more I realize that it's no different or unique compared to IEMs within the sub-$200 range that use BA, DD, and piezo drivers. It's all up to your preferences on which you want to buy for your next upgrade. If you are still using a budget IEM, then I suggest S12, which would definitely be an upgrade.



enz0pt
enz0pt
Really agree with you, Mids are there, although in some track I find them overshadowed by the treble and mid bass. Good punch, but it takes away some of the texture of it.
I would say that this is a fun IEM, must try at 100 euros.
B
bily89
Try TRN T-Ear tips: these improve planar-magnetic IEMs by boosting bass, conserving energy, and smoothing out peaks in the high frequencies; With a good material and good manufacturing, which make them provide a good fit and a pleasant sensation. (They remind me a bit of the tips that come with the Kato)
yougotthis


Pruebe las puntas TRN T-Ear: mejoran los IEMs planar-magnéticos al aumentar los graves, conservar la energía y suavizar los picos en las frecuencias altas; Con un buen material y una buena fabricación, que hacen que aporten un buen ajuste y una agradable sensación. (Me recuerdan un poco a las puntas que vienen con los Kato [Moondrop])!
B
bily89
Los Raptgo Hook-X x HBB son MUY buenos, requiriendo menos amplificacion que los otros modelos anteriormente mencionados. Y a quienes como a mi les gusten los agudos de mano de driver piezoeléctrico, una delicia!!

RemedyMusic

100+ Head-Fier
A fine planar implementation
Pros: desirable organic and musical tuning
bass response
good balance of tonality and technicalities
reasonably priced for its performance
comfortable fit and wear
has that desirable roundness in its sound presentation
adequate inclusions both in quantity and quality
Cons: medium drivability. I notched up my level 15-20%
A mobile phone will not drive this properly
upper mids can get hot on some tracks. Jpop in my case (subjective)
vocals are sometimes pushed back on some tracks (nitpick)
INTRODUCTION:
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Letshouer S12 was released more than a half year ago. It was received warmly by many from the audio community for its tonality and technicalities. It is one of the early release of a planar implementation and I think it is still one of the good ones up to this date. It is not a perfect IEM but the pros outweigh the cons for me. It ticked to me and made a mark and suited my personal preference. Read on to know more…

DISCLAIMER:​


My opinions here are completely my own. I am NOT in any way influenced by any form of incentive. This is purely my honest, subjective impressions and experience with the gear on hand. I cannot stress more that you should take this as a grain of salt for we have different perceptions to sound and what we hear. I always try my best to stick with the stock accessories that come with the gear by default. You are free to try other methods such as tip rolling or cable rolling. Below are worth noting before concluding on what I say here:

  1. DAP (digital audio player, be it phone, laptop, mobile, or stationary setup)
  2. DAC or dongle or any external amp
  3. Ear Tips
  4. Cables
  5. Source of audio file be it offline FLACS or streaming services like Deezer, Apple music, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and the likes..
  6. Your playlist. It matters and is worth to be considered when reading from a reviewer's perspective. It is apparent that you get to know your favorite reviewer and what they are listening to leisurely and critically.

My reviews are more on how music sounds in my ears. The technical stuff like frequency graphs and the physics behind the tech and drivers used, I leave to other reviewers.

The S12 was sent to me directly from Letshouer FOC in exchange for this honest and unbiased review. I have shown interest in the S12 way back in the month of February 2022, but unfortunately, Letshouer had a problem with their FB account and did not respond to me until recently. Letshouer is very responsive when it comes to their customer service and everything was handled smoothly by them from their end to mine. Thanks, Letshouer!

SPECIFICATIONS:​

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Configuration: 1 x Planar driver
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 102+/- 1db
Freq response: 20hz - 20khz

PACKAGING:​

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The packaging is simple and nothing out of the ordinary. I have nothing to complain about it. The inclusions are generous and the quality is above average. Inclusions are the following.

  1. a pair of S12 IEMs
  2. a quick start guide documentation
  3. 3 pairs of foam tips
  4. a card of Letshouer’s social media accounts
  5. an after-sales registration card
  6. 3 pairs of light gray colored tips. I’m assuming these are balanced ear tips.
  7. 3 pairs of bass ear tips
  8. One stiff and sturdy cable.
  9. Leather material carrying pouch
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And that’s it! Pretty basic but all of good quality.

Sound Impressions:​


For the entirety of this review, all stock accessories are maintained with the exception of the ear tips. I used my personal JVC Spiral Dots. The stock tips were just too soft for me so I took the liberty of using my own.
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The S12 made a good impression on me and I’m definitely keeping this one. It will be included in my rotation of IEMs. What appealed to me most is its very musical and organic sound reproduction. Everything sounded natural to my ears and the way it should in real life.

The lows are the main show here. It is what you will notice right off the bat. I personally prefer my lows to be on the neutral side of things and S12’s lows are not at all neutral. And for the first time, this is the elevated lows presentation that has my approval. Given that S12 has prominent lows, it is presented as very clean, punchy, and with roundness and smoothness at the same time. Extension to the sub-level is existent with the right amount of decay of rumble. It stays a little longer there but not long enough to make your listening experience muddy or bloated. Synth sweeps in the lows department are very satisfying making modern tracks very enjoyable. Classic tracks, on the other hand, were executed faithfully. Drum kicks and bass guitars from Queen remained almost accurate and did not have that unnecessary elevation. Hence, I can claim that the lows are well controlled here.

Mids are produced with thick and lush characters with nice transient speeds. I would have preferred the mids to be just a tad shy forward, but all is good here. Instruments in contrast with the vocals have good balance even though both are placed rightly in the middle. Instruments have good texture and details to be desired and appreciated. S12 maintained to be naturally correct across almost all instruments, be it digital, electric or acoustic. I have no encounter with the “sheen” that plagues most planar drivers. Almost to none to be purely honest. On some Japanese tracks though, I’ve encountered some hotness in the upper mids from time to time but still tolerable. This all depends if you are sensitive to the 5k up to 8k frequencies. Vocals from both genders are well executed and as natural as it gets. Vocals are not highlighted in some special way but rather with just the right amount of fullness and weight. Every element is engaging while not being pushed forward.

Trebles have that smoothness and polished edges to their sound while maintaining sparkle and shimmer. Cymbals are with grit and bite still. Sibilance is nowhere to be found. S12 is not void of energy here at the top and is very open and transparent. Macro and micro details are intact and existent and just waiting to be heard.
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Conclusively, the whole presentation of the spectrum is very well done here and I have no caveat whatsoever except for the occasional hotness in the upper mids. The whole presentation leans to be on the analog side of things. Organic and natural.

On balanced output 2.5mm/4.4mm:
S12 scales well with more juice given that it is a planar driver implementation. If you have a balanced termination, do yourself a favor and use it. Dynamics, details, and resolution are all leveled up on balanced output with S12 for a more immersive listening experience.

Fit & Isolation:​

Comfortability of wear is fatigue-free and long listening sessions would be a breeze. A nitpick on the cable ear hooks is they are very stiff and don’t follow the curve of my ear. Giving my wear with the S12 offset and gives me somewhat a sort of uneasiness. But this is just a minor issue for me. You might want to explore some comfy cables if you have some at your disposal.
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Isolation is effective and shuts off outside noise at 60% at least. As always, learn to find the right tip sizes and pursue that optimum seal.

Technicalities:​

The S12 with its brilliant and engaging sound reproduction would be a waste if not paired with good technicalities. And I bear good news that S12 is not void in terms of technicalities.

Sound stage. Ok here we go again. We are talking about IEMs. There is no natural sound stage here. But it can’t be helped to still have that perceived sound stage in our minds. The S12 exhibits good width and some adequate height. Again, this is perceived more in the mind than being really there.

Imaging is very brilliant here and quite amusing. I can hear elements in a track thrown in different places and accurately. Instruments and little details are very easy to follow and pinpoint making this trait one of the S12’s strength.

Speed is one thing that a planar boasts just like a BA. The S12 delivers complex and busy tracks with ease and effortlessly.
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Resolution of the S12 is not bad at all and I say this because I have heard better. But S12 did not disappoint still. Details and textures of elements are existent and very well noticeable. If I have to compare, the Zetian Wu from Tangzu has an edge over the S12 on this. It's just the S12 is not overly clean to exhibit absolute resolution thus I say that it is not bad at all.

COMPARISONS:​

The S12 is the second IEM that I’ve tested with a planar implementation. Being the first one, Zetian Wu from Tangzu which is now at its hype. Then it is only natural to compare the two. Below are some quick key points on how they differ.

  • Zetian Wu is more on the Hifi sound, and the S12 is more on being analog sounding.
  • Zetian Wu has an edge on technicalities.
  • The S12 has a more natural tone and timbre.
  • Both possess almost the same sound character or signature. A very close call in tuning, to be honest.
  • The S12 has more prominent bass reproduction.
  • The Zetian Wu performs well in control over the whole spectrum of frequencies by a hairline compared to the S12.

And basically this is all I can say to compare the two. Both are very close in terms of sound, and it all comes down to personal preference if you have to choose which one is for you. Auditioning first is strongly suggested.

SOURCES AND GEARS:​


  • Questyle M15 portable DAC/AMP
  • LG V30 hifi dac (high impedance mode)
  • Hiby Music player
  • UAPP app (USB Audio Player Pro)
  • Tidal Masters subscription
  • offline FLACS
  • Hidizs AP80 pro
  • Deezer Hifi subscription

Here are some tracks I usually listen to when reviewing:

That’s the way of the World by EWF
Africa by TOTO
The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Kral
Balmorhea album All is wild, All is Silent
Sila by Sud
Smooth Escape by D’Sound
Never too Much by Luther Vandross
P.Y.T by Michael Jackson
Ain’t no Sunshine by Eva Cassidy
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
Another one bites the Dust by Queen
Good times bad times by Edie Brickell
Alice in Wonderland by Bill Evans
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Redefine by Incubus
Far Away by Nickelback
Lovesong by Adele
Lingus by Snarky Puppy
Harvest for the World by Vanessa Williams
Love Bites by Def Leppard
No Such Thing by John Mayer
As by Stevie Wonder
Whip Appeal by Babyface
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan
Futures by Prep
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Every Summertime by NIKI
SADE tracks
AC/DC tracks
Queen tracks


And many more… I always listen to High resolution format, being the least quality 16bit/44khz FLACS be it offline or online.
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VERDICT:​

The S12 managed to get really into me. I did not just like it but loved it. There are times that a gear, no matter how good, did not connect with me in a euphoric way. This is not the case with the S12. It is not perfect and still has polishing to be astounding, but for me, it is a great piece of gear. Mainly for music enjoyment, the S12 still won’t disappoint in terms of technicalities. A lot of my jazz tracks revealed how capable it is especially in the way it is tuned. The S12 is one of the few that I approve of substantial elevation in the lows because of how clean and impactful it is, giving a good body and foundation to the overall sound.

I would recommend the S12 to:

  • those who love a well-tuned, enjoyable sound
  • a good balance of tone, timbre, and technicalities
  • those who love speed performance of drivers with good tonality
  • those who are leaning toward analog sound presentation
  • those who want a good start with planar implementation on IEMs

Special Note: To drive this IEM to its full potential, I strongly suggest something with extra juice when it comes to driving power. A DAP perhaps or a portable DAC AMP or a full pledge amp for a desktop setup. Or the least a mobile phone with a quad dac like the LG V series.

And that wraps my impressions on the Letshouer S12! I did enjoy this set and stay tuned for more reviews from our circle. A video review will be coming up soon!

And remember to love the music more than the gears! Catch you on the next one!

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -Well balanced full sounding V shape signature
-impactfull, fun and chunky bass
-pleasant timbre without wonky spike
-good male and female vocal presence and body
-easy to drive for a planar
-snappy, dense and crunchy treble
-versatile tuning even if bassy
-big soundstage
-good sound layering extraction-projection
-great quality 4.4mm bal cable
-among best planar right now tonaly and dynamic wise
Cons: -not the cleanest resolution
-treble extension lack sparkle and air
-bass is a hint boomy, lacking definition edge and linear rumble
-soundstage lack deepness
-average imaging
-not a technical king
-bulbous housing shape tend to pop up my ears (subjective)
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TONALITY: 8.5/10
TECHNICALITIES: 8.2/10
CONSTRUCTION: 8.5/10
SOUND VALUE: 8.2/10


INTRO​

LETSHUOER have been around for about 4 years now, but seem to have never really nail a mass appealing tuning balance until now with their S12 planar IEM that I will review today.
They are know to make audacious IEM, especially hybrid at the time, like the Tape and Tape Pro dual DD-EST (magnetostat) IEM that receive mitiged reviews.
Priced 150$, the S12 use a 14.8mm planar dynamic driver. I’m a bit late in the hype train, but think this review will underline if the S12 are good enough to pass test of time.
Let’s dig in!

CONSTRUCTION​

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The S12 construction is all metal and feel very sturdy, this is the type of IEM i’m not afraid to drop on the floor. 2pin connectors feel solid enough, but i prefer recessed 2pin to avoid cable damage. Nozzle is a bit short and big and housing a bit bulbous, which to me is a design flaw in term of secure fit since these tend to pop up my ears time to time, yet its not that disastrous, especially if you use ear tips that arent slippy. Due to lot of venting port, their sound leakage and isolation is OK, not extreme.

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Letshuoer permit you to choose between single ended or 4.4mm balanced cable, which is very appreciate! The high purity silver plated cable is of very good quality, thick and sturdy with solid plug and not too tight ear hook. While I like it, it tend to brighten timbre a bit, so depending of your tone preference, using a pure copper or smoother sounding cable can be a good idea. Let say that when I pair these with Kinera URD gold plated copper and silver cable, i found the timbre lusher and more appealing.

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The packaging is minimalist in presentation yet very generous in ear tips number. It include a basic carrying case and great quality balanced cable.



SOUND IMPRESSIONS​

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(gear used: Tempotec V6, Tri Tk2, Moondrop Dawn, Questyle M15 and Xduoo Link2 Bal)

TONALITY ETC

The S12 offer a brightish balanced V to smoothed W shape signature with energic dynamic and chunky thumpy bass. While not basshead level, the bass is boosted and hit hard, with warmed definition. S12 offer a muscular musicality, favorizing physical impact over crisp analytical presence. It’s not a sharp V shape that is just about bass and treble, so i can see some people finding it W shape, yet for me a W shape need extra spike in upper treble to add air which the S12 doesn’t have.

I will not write a thesis about the bass part since the presentation is pretty simple. It’s boosted in mid bass, have more quantity than quality, yet offer a very addictive and well implemented slam to music, adding fun and dynamic weight. It’s not a flexible low end, yet, not very boomy or too resonant. It hit in a weighty ”oomph”, you know, this sound, well, it’s there and you like it when it’s there even if it’s all but a well resolve and define bass response. The boost isn’t too much, and can please bass slam induced people more than rumble seeking basshead. Even acoustic bass doesn’t sound bad, while it lack lean deep clean extension for lowest bass line to extend, it have a vibrant resonance with tight rumble that add physical slam to energic bassist. This is fun well balanced low end. Energic V, not U, not clean, not well rounded, yet striking in loud impact when needed, headbanging the reality of your music. Versatile enough at they end, both for rock, soul, r&b and other beat driven music style that doesn’t need high fidelity resolution and precise separation.

The MIDS aren’t recessed, and due to vivid dynamic are betwenn lush and bright to my ears, with an euphonic timbre that is dense yet a bit fuzzy when it come to micro details or nuance. Sens of presence is full bodied yet smoothed in definition edge. Tone and timbre of instrument sound natural, but in an analogish dark way, hum, it’s not very clean nor high in resolution and we will struggle to precisely position instrument within mid range….yet, cohesion of music isn’t affected in macro resolution. While understated, the mids are quite appealing. Both male and female vocal have good sens of openess and dense presence, full bodied and free of sibilance or timbral imbalance-thanks to damped grain of planar drivers?
Yep, a hint dark, yet not lean, the mid range offer full bodied presentation that is easy to love but will not be particularly rewarding for critical listening session. It favorise body and timbre density, so for those afraid of thin mids, S12 offer natural full bodied tone enough that permit to deliver musical male and female vocal, tough the female vocal are more upfrond and well rounded in presence as Arooj Aftab voice tell me right now, with a wide lush and breathy vocal presentation.

And there come the treble, where immediacy meet crunchyness meet snap meet unique planar texture in a suprisingly cohesive organic way. Right now, the treble is both adding crunch to electric guitar and snap to percussion of rock trio Autoryno, but the percussions snap seem all about short brilliance, so their some spice to an overall dark treble presentation. S12 will extract snappiest part of percussions, tend to enlight those with metalic vividness which will add sens of excitment as well as extra dimension to the sound. Rest of treble feel full and dense, yet tamed in micro details and will struggle to restitue full percussions section if too complex. It’s a rather safe treble wich begin to roll off around 10khz, but it’s energic too so not too safe. Attack speed is very fast and well control, yet as noted it’s short on decay and sparkle, so not an airy but not a muddy treble presentation too. This is the kind of highs that have extra body from low harmonic yet softed high pitch loudness, so resonance doesn’t open up making clavichord a bit dry but acoustic guitar sound full and have enough hint of brilliance and snap, violin too sound lively and have good attack bite this time, electric guitar is agressive enough as well perhaps underlining S12 as good for not too complex rock.

TECHNICALITIES ETC

This is the interesting part. Planar IEM technical performance is very unique and S12 seem to have favorize tonal balance and dynamic feeling over pushing technical perfection higher like the P1plus do for ex.
It result in fast attack with blurried edge but snappy fuzzy sustain (we talk about micro seconds here). I repeat the sound isn’t crystal clean, and this is surely due to subtle harmonic distortion inherent to planar driver. To some extend, in critical listening session, we can find the attack a bit shouty from low to high, due perhaps to concentrated resonance and in my case change the cable to a litz copper or gold-copper-spc did warm the dry edge of attack.

Resolution is effortless, yet not exactly what i would call crisp since instrument presentation is holographic, well shaped in body yet not sharp in presence definition. We have an euphonic analog feeling with the S12, and this is to the cost of reference grade performance.

Spatiality is very immersive, very wide tall and open with minimal deepness, yet it’s not a brick wall of sound. Again, it’s 3D like and holographic, with dynamic sounds layering. Soundstage being very dependant of ear tips choice, Kbear KB07 was the one that offer biggest and more coherent presentation.

Imaging is where i find the S12 underwhelming due to lack of precision in instrument separation, especially the static one that will benefit extra clarity and cleanliness. Yet, the layering do add a sens of separation and it’s impressive in that regard even if it would have benefit from higher transparency in timbre.

All in all, technicaly speaking, these are on par with near all other Planar apart the Tinhifi P1plus, which use a faster 10mm planar driver with less bass interference and better resolution and imaging.

COMPARISONS​

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VS TANGZU ZE TIAN WU:

The WU are more neutral balanced and warmer. Bass is less boosted and less impactfull, yet it seem faster in attack, better rounded and separated. It’s less prompt to slight bleed too and feel more textured and well define. Bass line and kick drum are better separated too.
Mids are leaner and fuller, timbre is smoother and even more natural than S12, it’s more transparent and higher in resolution even if less edgy in attack. Male vocal seem more recessed than the S12 tough and female vocal too even if presentation is richer, wider and less compressed.
Treble is very different here, the WU extract more details yet doesn’t put it in your face, micro definition is cleaner and highs have a bit more sparkle and air making the S12 feel a bit half cook in this area.
Spatiality is even more open with the WU, hint wider and taller but notably deeper.
This inflict positively to imaging, which is more accurate and precise due to more transparent timbre.
All in all, while i think people will perhaps find the WU more boring, it’s more refined in balance, more neutral and smooth with slightly superior technical performance especially in imaging department.

VS TINHIFI P1plus:

I don’t know if i’m crazy to love those P1plus that much since they are not praise anywhere, but i’m confident to say its the planar with best technical performance on the market right now and S12 don’t dethrone them in that regard. In fact, p1plus are the only planar i consider clean sounding, but first thing that hit me is how harder they are to drive since i need to put the volume 2 times higher than S12 using Moondrop Dawn dongle.
So, the P1plus is more vivid neutral and analytical, with lighter but more textured and well separated bass. Mids are more transparent and detailed, they open up in wideness more but have thinner timbre. Overall tonality is a bit colder too, notably higher in resolution and treble is way faster and more snappy, cleaner in definition and more sparkly and brilliant. It extract way more micro details too and add sens of air on top even more than both WU and S12. Note weight is a bit lighter yet attack have more edge to it. Instrument presence is better resolve with richer texture.
Spatiality is a bit more intimate, especially in term of wideness and tallness which is more closed, while deepness is infinitely deeper.
Imaging is where the P1plus destroy the S12, crisper, more accurate and precise in positioning, separation is clean and well define, making the S12 feel foggy.
All in all, the tonality of P1plus is leaner, colder and less full bodied and will please more the neutral head or mature audiophile but technical performance are notably superior. Yet, the S12 is more fun, full bodied and it’s euphonic timbre might feel more natural than slightly dryer timbre of P1plus.

Bonus! VS HZSOUND HEART MIRROR

HZ have a sharper, crisper as well as more neutralish W shape tonality, with greater sens of transparency and higher amount of micro details, so it feel more analytical-cold-neutral than bassier hint warmer in definition S12.
Cleaner is first thing that come to mind when going from S12 to HZM, since the S12 micro definition seem a bit blurred, softed, this permit to avoid harsh spike of HZM, which is more prompt to slight sibilance for ex.
And polemic will begin here, with my perception of bass quality. Here HZM sure have a more linear bass response with higher sens of flexibility, yet it’s less bodied and have lower mid bass slam, in the other hand, sub bass extend deeper and sub and kick bass are better layered and separated with the HZM, S12 offer warmer bass that tend to get mixed togheter. Let say S12 is more about physical impact that definition and presence, whih is clearer with HZM.

Mids are crisper and sharper as well as thinner and more transparent. Resolution of mid range is higher too, but note weight is lighter with HZM. Overall mid range is more euphonic-analogish-warmish with the S12.

Treble is very different, notably more crisp and sparkly with the HZM, bit thinner yet with more snap and air on top too. Acoustic guitar will be all about extra low harmonic and have less bit and brilliance, yet fuller body with S12. Resonance feel more damped too. We have less loudness spike than HZM so its smoother.

Spatiality is very different with these, the S12 is notably more open and holographic, yet not as deep and clean as HZM.

This translate in more precise accuracy for both layering and instrument separation for the HZM even if it feel strangely a bit more compressed.

Tonaly wise, musicality is easier to enjoy with the S12, while I would say technical performance are superior with HZM, since imaging and resolution is better as well as attack control and definition accuracy.

CONCLUSION​

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The Letshuoer S12 hype is legit since these planar IEM hit sweet spot between a fun lively tonal balance and decent technicalities only planar driver can deliver with such layered dynamic.
It’s this type of energic V shape tuning that isn’t overly warm or bright, and don’t offer recessed vocal or mid range.
The presentation is full bodied and impactfull, with fast attack that have a smooted edge to it to avoid agressive spike.
It’s this type of IEM that add weighty dynamic to your music and offer a versatile tonality that can deal with everything but extremely demanding busy music that will need sharper crispness and better sens of imaging.
Simply put, its a fun ride yet not a guilty pleasure because of great macro resolution, good timbre for a planar and full dynamic range that doesn’t omit presence of mid range.
I think S12 represent the revival of Letshuoer company, and sure still worth a buy even if the S12 Pro is coming, since it’s very same IEM but with a modular cable upgrade.
For a more laid back musicality, i would choose Tangzu Ze Tian Wu, for a crisper cleaner mroe analytical one i will go Tinhifi P1plus and for a fun versatil musicality with muscular bass, their no doubt the S12 have it’s special place!
Highly recommended!

———


PS: I wanna thanks Letshuoer for finaly letting me test one of their product as well as offering a S12 Pro for Chifi Love giveaway. I’m not affiliated to this company and keep my 100% freedom of judgment as always.

You can buy the S12 on sale for 134.10$ from Official Store here:https://letshuoer.net/products/s12-...ZgAeIQrWGexPSOmHt5B_n-sWXnKEPFiLM0S9A7JmdhC38

For more diversify and honest audio reviews, give a read to my NO BORDERS AUDIOPHILE blog HERE.
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Sahem

New Head-Fier
Probably the best start for audiophile... probably
Pros: Nice package
Amazing cable
Fit
MARVELLOUS SOUND
Cons: Basically none
I got these iems about a week ago and all this time I just couldn't tear myself away from listening. So if you want to get a quick answer, buy them or not- 100% yes. And now to the details.
And I apologize, my camera is not the best, I hope in the future I will have a phone with a better camera.
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What's in the box?
There is nothing unusual in the box for modern earphones:
S12 themselves;
1 3,5 or 4,4 cable;
2 package of tips. Strangely, black tips didn't fit on the IEM, so I couldn't even try them;
1 package of foam tips;
Some papers.
The kit is basically the most ordinary, I would like something more. For example, in my previous spring 1 main headphones from BQEYZ, the ear pads were on metal plates. But this is just a quibble, because there is enough in the kit, and in the new s12 pro there will also be a cable with replaceable plugs, which is very respected.
The fit and the cable
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Cable and fit are extremely important and interrelated factors.
The s12's cable is simply excellent. It is flexible, pleasantly soft, does not get confused, is equipped with 2 pin connectors and looks stylish. I have no desire to change it, only if it is something like graphene + copper cable to improve the sound.

Now about the fit. These planars, despite their large driver, they are very small, especially in thickness. They fit very comfortably in the ear and do not press at all. The earplugs on the cable are not rubbed, as they themselves are very soft. But because of the different size of my ears, I have to use a divider on the cable. And the separator could be better. He's holding up, but very uncertain. The cable from TRN, for example, has a bead that copes with the same task much better.

THE SOUND ITSELF
Sooo to the main part.
I paired these guys with Ibasso dc04, Xduoo xp-2 pro and topping dx3 pro+ and used BQEYZ foams, because they fit my ears the best. All tracks were flac, very rarely MP3.
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I'll start with the least pleasant bunch. DC04 proved to be absolutely helpless for these headphones. Despite its 200 milliwatts, it failed to unlock their potential. On all tracks, they sounded clamped and dim, despite the brightness of both the headphones and the Dac. In general, I was disappointed with this particular bundle.Therefore, for example, we can say that s12 require a high-quality source that will give them enough power and will be able to unlock the full potential of the planar driver.

But with the other two sources, I was amazed at the sound quality. It was a whole new level for me .Since to my ear these two Dacs are the same, a further description of the sound will be for both.

The first track I listened to was 2pack - Violent. The trembling bass at the very beginning became really trembling and enveloping, which gave a new level of immersion in music. And in other tracks with bass parts, everything began to sound fatter and warmer. The bass began to penetrate the ears, it became tactile.
Another good example would be DustTrust - Divine Terror. In this track, details appeared in the background, such as howls flowing from ear to ear or short drum inserts that I had not heard before.
But the main revelation was metal. For example, Marilyn Manson - Beautiful people began to sound more voluminous at the beginning (the drums became clearer in each ear), and when the main part begins, everything sounds much angrier, whole, but at the same time distinct for each instrument .Metallica - All Nightmare Long also began to sound angrier. At high speed, the headphones do not get lost. At 0:54, the stereo effect from the cymbals is well traced.
The general sound qualities that I will not give on the example of tracks are the warmth of the sound, its volume, excellent positioning and 3D effect. The stage has become more airy everywhere, especially where it is provided in the track itself.

Conclusion

Comparing these earphones with others in my collection is pointless. Spring 1, airpods pro, HD 560 s simply cannot compare with them for objective reasons. From memory, I compared them with P1 plus from tin hi-fi. P1 is not even close. They are thin, sandy on the tops and their bases are much poorer than in S12.
What advice can I give? Use foam tips and buy a copper or graphene cable to make the sound even warmer and more voluminous.
And to the name. Why "probably"? Because TANGZU ZE TIAN has now appeared on sale, which are recognized by many as much more successful. I can't say about this, but I can recommend the S12 as a win-win option for any of your sound requirements up to about $200.


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DJ Core
DJ Core
If you love clean bass and more details plus a wider soundstage, get the Moon Drop spring tips. They take this IEM to another level of detail, decent mids and bass. Price vs sound you get is the best hands down.
Sahem
Sahem
@DJ Core I don't use spring tips like any other silicon tips because only foams fits good enough and make sound "better" IMHO. I tested S12 with kbear tips, spring 1 tips and white from S12 package, foams are the best. They give extra weight to the sound and soften the tops a little, making the sound a little less detailed and sharp. And besides, I don 't have spring tips, but thanks for advise. Maybe sometime I'll buy moondrop IEM, or just tips and give them a try.

hevelaoak

100+ Head-Fier
One of the better-tuned planar magnetics
Pros: Enjoyable tuning
Good planar timbre
Good technicalities
Build quality
Cons: Mild sibilance
It may sound metallic to some
Hazy imaging
S12a.jpg



Tonality: 6/9
Technicalities: 6.3/9
Preference: 6/9

Total: 6.1/9 (B)

(star rating is for the price to performance)


(total 5 mins read)

Intro
LETSHUOER (formerly known as SHUOER) was a Chinese OEM company that joined the community market with the (in)famous “low-voltage electrostatic” Tape/Pro and the tribrid EJ07 IEM. S12 is their attempt at planar magnetic driver after the release of rather hyped 7Hz Timeless. There are rumors regarding S12 being the same driver as the Timeless, though then countered by LETSHUOER, but, I honestly don’t mind especially if it’s tuned better (as reported) and cheaper. Priced at $120, where it’s about $70 less than Timeless, I think LETSHUOER is making planar magnetic more affordable for everyone unlike all earlier offers available in the market.


Signature
The sound signature of S12 can be described as V-shaped which emphasizes bass and treble region similar to the 7Hz Timeless. To be frank, I’m not a planar magnetic enjoyer regardless of how technical it can get, mostly because of the overall tonal quality or the general presentation of planar magnetic in music playback. Nevertheless, unconventionally, I think S12 is a pretty well-tuned planar magnetic IEM.


LETSHUOER S12.png

(LETSHUOER S12 measurement graph courtesy of IEF)


Tonality
Objectively and subjectively, the main difference between Timeless and S12 is in the treble response. While I don’t find Timeless to be harsh, it lacks a certain treble quality that I always look for in music reproduction regardless of driver type. S12 on the other hand offers more volume on the lower treble which gives good energy and bite yet it can cause mild sibilance at times. I won’t say it’s lacking air response but it definitely needs to be ironed out for a smoother listen. There’s also a hint of metallic sheen that’s very common with planar magnetic, though it’s treatable with ear tips rolling. I ended up with Acoustune AET07 which helps to give a smoother treble response and more authority to the bass.

While I enjoy the overall good balance of the frequency response, there’s nothing truly commendable to be pointed out about the midrange. I just find it's serviceable to the point that there’s nothing to be criticized about the tuning either. Anyhow, the bass is pretty good overall, perhaps naturally the best feature of S12. It exhibits good extension with an ample amount of focused-rumble and punchy mid-bass kick. I could say the bass is tight, crisp, or simply satisfactory.

In general, I think the tonality of S12 is legitimately good with a nice balance across the frequency response, however many times I find it prone to be shouty with heavy & busy music like I normally find in many other planar magnetic sets. My thought is: that the proportion of energy distribution in certain frequencies is not appropriate which I think is related to its own resonance or perhaps it’s just the nature of the planar magnetic driver.


S12d.jpg



Technicalities+
Resolution-wise, it’s up there in the line with the Moondrop Blessing 2 or perhaps just slightly behind with average detail retrieval. Don’t get me wrong, micro details are there, but they just don’t come as forward as opposed to highly resolving sets, but who am I kidding, it’s a $169 set.

The transient attack is fast and sharp that’s responsible for its great resolving ability, though the transient decay rolls off pretty quickly which is accountable for short-lived notes, especially on lower frequencies. This also directly affects the imaging density and note weight. Notes are relatively thin and, in my opinion, the sparsity might also influence the occasional “shoutiness” as said above.

While the resolution is great, imaging is rather light & hazy. The presentation sort of lacking weight and a sense of realism as it feels very unlike any other traditional driver configurations. Instrument localization is a little weird & perplexing. There’s a hint or shadow of separation & layering but it feels like it never happened. What I mean is, it feels like the image didn’t complete as a whole, at least to my mind’s eye.

The sound stage is rather tall than wide, and it feels near too, but I don’t think the earphone alone causes the staging effect and sense of space as the ear tip also plays a part in it. Generally, it’s safe for me to say that the sound staging is average. One thing I can easily commend is the dynamic scaling. S12 exhibits good macro & micro dynamics with timely control and polished nuances although unmistakably short on decay. Other than the resolving ability & dynamics, nothing really impress me in terms of intangibles.


Valuation
While demonstrating agreeable tuning and functional tonality unlike many other planar magnetic drivers, I still find the same issues in S12 in terms of the imaging department, or I’d say the overall presentation. I got to admit that I have a distaste for planar magnetic because of these attributes but I always keep an open mind. Based on my years of experience as a musician, engineer, and audiophile, there’s no planar magnetic that can give the same reproduction qualities as a pair of good old loudspeakers. I guess I’m so used to vintage & traditional stuff as archaic as the dynamic driver which I personally think are still the closest presentation & reproduction of the real thing. I also understand why people are crazy about planar. On the surface, they are simply resolving. Even though planar in general might not satisfy me in a long run, I think my time with S12 is filled with joy and good thoughts.

With that being said, I’m recommending LETSHUOER S12 to those who are relatively new to this hobby, those who want to step up within a lower budget range, and those who love electronic, dance music, or modern production at large. Otherwise, I’d recommend Moondrop KATO or Tanchjim Hana (2021) for a more natural presentation in the same price bracket.


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*this unit is sent by LETSHUOER for the Malaysian demo tour and loaned by my buddy @ywheng89 for an honest review. all words are 100% mine and I'm not compensated or influenced by any party.


Purchase LETSHUOER S12 here


tools:
Tidal / Apple Music via LG G7 / Macbook Pro with/without Ovidius B1 / Hidizs S9 Pro
Tidal / Foobar2000 (FLAC) via Topping EX5 with/without Aune X7s or Aune S7 Pro

key songs+:
Será Una Noche – Taquito Militar (Tango)
Eddie Daniels – Baião Malandro (Jazz Fusion / Classical Crossover)
Patricia Petibon - Mozart: Der Zauberflöte – Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Classical [Aria])

Sinne Eeg – We've Just Begun (Jazz)
Cécile McLorin Salvant - Ghost Song (Vocal Jazz)
Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone - A Lovely Night (Jazz Pop / Film Score)

Muddy Waters – My Home Is in The Delta (Delta Blues)
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Tin Pan Alley (Blues Rock)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand (Alternative Rock / Punk Blues)

Scott Walker – Corps De Blah (Experimental / Post-Industrial)
Swans – Lunacy (Experimental Rock / Post-Rock)
Zu - Carbon (Avant-Garde Metal / Avant-Garde Jazz)

My Disco – A Christ Pendant Comfort Her Neck (Noise Rock / Post-Hardcore)
Arab On Radar - God is Dad (No Wave / Noise Rock)
Shellac - Crow (Post-Hardcore / Noise Rock)

Mastodon – The Wolf Is Loose (Progressive Metal / Sludge Metal)
Fear Before the March of Flames – High as a Horse (Post-Hardcore / Metalcore)
Botch - Japam (Matchcore / Post-Hardcore)

ANOHNI - Drone Bomb Me (Art Pop / Elctropop)
Slowdive - Star Roving (Shoegaze / Dream Pop)
The Shins - Simple Song (Indie Pop / Psychedelic Pop)

Radiohead - Idioteque (Art Rock / Experimental Rock / Electronic)
TheFatRat - Warbringer feat. Lindsey Stirling (Electropop)
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy (Trip Hop / UK Hip Hop)

Justin Bieber - Holy feat. Chance the Rapper (Contemporary R&B / Dance-Pop)
Lizzo - About Damn Time (Contemporary R&B / Dance-Pop)
Kylie Minogue - Real Groove (Dance-Pop / Nu-Disco)
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hevelaoak
MGee1
MGee1
Nice review...any recommendations on choosing a portable dac for use with these? Would they benefit from the r2r sound of the RU6?
hevelaoak
hevelaoak
@MGee1 I think RU6 is a very good combination. other than that, I like CEntrance DACport HD, Lotoo PAW S2, xDuoo Link2 Bal, & Ovidius B1.

corgifall

1000+ Head-Fier
Showing What Planar IEMs Can Do
Pros: Good tuning, lightweight design, good technical performance, price.
Cons: Brighter treble, tuning can feel a little raw, fitment might be stangle for some.
DSC06877.jpg

I just reviewed the TIN P1 Max and I liked it for the most part. It was the first newer planar I’ve had a chance to check out since I last heard all the older gen 1 planars. My P1 Max review conclusion was a lack of detail retrieval and a somewhat boring neutral tuning. I knew people liked the other planar offerings from the likes of 7Hz, LETSHUOER, Muse and Raptgo but I only had a chance to check the P1 Max out at the time. Well! Now I have the LETSHUOER S12 in and oh my! What a difference it is vs the P1 Max.

Quick shoutout to LETSHUOER for sending the S12 to review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

The S12 can be picked up from LETSHUOER at their website below.

https://letshuoer.net/products/s12-hifi-earphones-planar-iems

Onto the review of the LETSHUOER S12! My personal preference is a hybrid/tribrid IEM where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.

Gear Used​

IPhone 12 pro with headphone adapter, Lotto PAW S1, Moondrop Moon River 2 and SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit​

The shell has a nice soft all metal finish that is simple but still looks good to my eyes. The shell is on the average size which is nice as it should fit most ears. I did find it strange there was no branding other than the S12 name followed by the serial number on the side. The TIN P1 Max also lacked branding too. I imagine this is a cost saving thing. Fitment was ok at first with the included tips and I’m sure the foams would have been fine but I opted to use some trusty Spinfit CP100 that made the fitment perfect for long term listening sessions. Since it’s a lightweight IEM, I like the comfort quite a bit.
DSC06881.jpgDSC06884.jpg

Isolation and sound leakage​

There is a vent in the shell on the nozzle side so it does let some sound in but I would rate the passive isolation about average. Not quite as bad as some hybrid IEMs but close. It doesn’t leak sound as much at normal listening volumes. I would be fine using these in quieter areas on a slightly lower volume.

Packaging and accessories​

The S12 comes in a nice standard sized box with nice quality graphics and info. Inside the box we get a foam insert holding the IEMs and a box of foam tips. Under that is a nice little branded leather like case with a zipper which holds the cable and extra tips. User guide and warranty cards included too.
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Sound(overall)​

These final impressions were done off a mix of the Lotoo Paw S1 and the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These impressions are what the S12 sounded like to my ears. This was also using the CP100 eartips from Spinfit. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The tuning that was done for the S12 is very good IMO. Sub bass impact is strong and rumbles just the right amount. While it's not as intense like some hybrids I’ve used, it has a very fast bass which I really like. Mid bass is full but it doesn’t sound boomy or overdone. The mids feel a little relaxed and neutral sounding to my ears. Where the bass hits hard, the mids take a step back and just go with the flow. At least with instruments. Most Instruments sound fine but they lack a little magic. Vocals however do come in very clear and crisp. There is a little more sibilance from vocals so it doesn’t quite strike a balance I would prefer but it will be fine for most people. The treble comes in very strong. There’s all the sparkle in the world going on here. It does get somewhat intense and tip rolling did make quite the difference in how strong the ending of tones sounded. The decay is super fast and the sharpness overall is really good. The S12 does resolution well enough and it pulled in details I wasn’t expecting to hear, especially at this price point. This isn’t destroying $500+ IEMs in terms of detail retrieval but it gets most of the way there. I do believe the little planar used is really showing what these newer generations of planars can do for IEMs. This felt mostly like a V shape tuning but it was done pretty well.

Soundstage/Imaging​

The soundstage was pretty average. It has a good balance of width and depth which was a small bummer since I was so impressed with how it handled detail retrieval. I would have liked a wider stage if possible. The imaging was spot on and I had no issues picking stuff out.

Sensitivity/Drivability​

The S12 isn’t super hard to drive but it does require just a little more juice than more sensitive IEMs. This will work off all dongles and amps just fine. I didn’t notice a huge jump in scaling from portable dongles to high end powerful desktop gear. I didn’t get any hissing or floor noise from running balanced either.

Stock cable​

I actually really like the stock cable. It has a nice silver and black color scheme going down the cable. It also has a flexible but harder feeling texture so it doesn’t catch easily on clothing but is flexible enough it won’t feel annoying nor stiff. The quality of the 4.4mm pentaconn plug looks good and I didn’t run into compatibility issues with my source gear when it was plugged in. I would leave the stock cable alone unless you wanted a different style or something with a QD plug system.
IMG_7594.JPG

IEM comparisons​


Ikko OH10​

The OH10 is still one of my all time favorite IEMs. Especially for under $200. It however can’t quite compete with the S12 when it comes to resolution or treble performance. The OH10 however does bass in a more enjoyable way. The DD is a little slower so there is some fun to be had in terms of slam/impact over the S12. The mids are also more smooth and warm sounding on the OH10 and I prefer the vocals ever so slightly on the OH10. The width from the soundstage is really wide on the OH10 as well. The detail retrieval from the S12 is way better than what the OH10 can provide though so this really becomes a choice of warm and fun(OH10) or fast and intense(S12).
DSC06898.jpg

TINHiFi P1 Max​

I like the P1 Max but it wasn’t anything really special other than having a different flavor of sound that I concluded was due to the planar inside. No beating around the bush, the S12 is better in bass quality, treble performance and detail retrieval. The P1 max makes for a more relaxed and calm listen(with a upper mid bump) but it lacks the detail retrieval that makes the S12 shine. This is interesting since both use a similar sized planar but it’s obvious the S12 was tuned to be raw and somewhat intense as a result. The P1 Max might be a better pick for those who don’t want to be slapped around by intense treble but the S12 just gives a better experience.
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Amping Combinations​


Moondrop Moon River 2​

I personally didn’t like this pairing as the MR2 is a brighter source. The bass was still accurate with good control and speed but the mids started getting hotter a little earlier than other gear I used. The instruments started showing a splashy sound and vocals had a bit more sibilance. Treble was on the harsher side for my tastes. I think the accuracy that the S12 can provide stays the same. Just in an even more intense way. Staging stayed about average with this pairing. All in all, I prefer a warmer source for the S12.
IMG_7597.JPG

Lotoo PAW S1​

The S1 was right up my alley for sound signatures. It allows the bass to give nice rumbles and thumps but it stays fast and accurate. The mids have a smoother and softer sound but instruments didn’t suffer. Vocals sounded sweet and relaxed. Still fairly good but those who want an intense listen may not like the presentation here. Same thing with the treble. It was still an intense listen but I felt the upper mid sibilance was slightly more controlled and tolerable. Top end sparkle had a softer edge but the S12 still had no problems getting really intense at times. Staging was a bit wider with the S1 but depth seemed the same. This was my preferred mobile pairing.
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SMSL SU-9/SP400​

The sound impressions are always based on this SMSL stack. I don’t think the S12 needs a full desktop amp to get the best sound. A full on desktop DAC will however make a bigger impact for the technicalities the S12 can produce IMO. I did notice a more refined sound off the desktop gear over the portable dongles but I was still highly impressed by the portable gear as long as I had something that vibed with my personal preferences.
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Overall thoughts​

The S12 is an absolute winner in my books. It does come in strong with an intense treble but it does detail retrieval well enough for the price I’m willing to ignore my preferences as I prefer warmer sounding IEMs. The tuning I think was done well and I absolutely recommend the S12 for both newcomers and those who want to see what the hype around these second gen planar IEMs is all about. I never really cared to check out LETSHUOER stuff before but I’m very happy I was given the chance to listen to the S12. I look forward to seeing what other products LETSHUOER has planned for the future. Thanks for reading!
corgifall
corgifall
I have the THIEAUDIO V16 Divinity on hand which is a 16 BA TOTL and while the s12 is very good being somewhat raw in detail retrieval, a well tuned TOTL like the v16 out performs it and the difference in performance is very noticeable. I think up till the $500 mark, the s12 is hard to beat though.
n00kie
n00kie
I love my S12 most of the time however I ordered Shozy Magma as my first TriBrid experience so I'm gonna tell you how's the upgrade within the 500$ price bracket.
K
Krucoz
Listening them with Azla Xelastec and a a Xduoo link2 balanced. Was wondering how much you have to spend to beat them, got a response:wink:

ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Letshuoer S12 Review
Pros: Fun and engaging sound
Good technicalities
Solid build quality
Easy to drive
Accurate timbre
Cons: Treble might be hot for some (Just nice to my taste)
Nothing much at this price point for a planar IEM
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Intro
Letshuoer is a company that was founded in August 2016.They are specialised in making in ear monitors for stage use but they do have in ear monitors for audiophiles as well. They were called Shuoer previously and I am very sure a lot of audiophiles are familiar with this model Tape Pro that is using an electrostatic dynamic driver.

Today I have with me their first planar in ear monitor,S12. This is my 2nd encounter with planar IEM and I have to say I really like the S12 compared to the first planar IEM that i listened to. This is not to say the first was bad,rather the S12 is more suitable for my library.

Packaging
The packaging is rather minimal,nothing too fancy but the overall design does look premium.
You will find three types of eartips in the box,two which are silicone based and another being foam tips,pretty generous. The cable is silver plated monocrystalline copper cable in 4.4 termination. I am really surprised to see such high quality stock cable at this price point. The included faux leather carrying case looks premium as well. A very good unboxing experience overall.

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Build/Comfort
S12 is a full metal build and it is very solid overall. The whole iem is smooth and there aren't any sharp edges. In terms of comfort,S12 fits very well in my ears and I have no discomfort even wearing them for long listening sessions,do take into consideration that everyone’s ear is different and if it fits well for me doesn’t mean it will fit well for you,but fortunately,Letshuoer does throw in plenty of ear tips choices,so i’m sure there will be one that fits eventually.

Source
Foobar2k -> Questyle M15 -> Letshuoer S12
Foobar2k -> TRI TK2 -> Letshuoer S12
Hidizs AP80 Pro-X -> Letshuoer S12

Sound
S12 is my 2nd encounter with planar IEM.My first was TinHifi’s P1 Max,and they offered me a positive listening experience on how a planar sounded.S12 to me has very good technicalities,some might even perceive it bright,due to it being quite detailed.In terms of tonality,it is leaning towards neutral bright,but not harsh/fatigue sounding to me.To me they're very dynamic and engaging to listen to.
Bass
  • The bass rendition is nowhere near basshead level but it certainly provides enough "fun"
  • Bass extension is good and the sub bass rumble can be felt, definitely no slouch when it comes to EDM
  • Bass has good texture and note weight to it,it is also tight and clean
  • Mid bass has got thump to it and the transition between the sub and mid bass is quite balanced without sounding incoherent
  • I personally find the tuning of bass is done right to my preference,somewhere between fun and audiophile but not venturing into the basshead category

Mids
  • Timbre sounds correct to me and the midrange is actually quite lush
  • Vocal doesn’t sound recessed,slightly in your face but nowhere near intimate,i do find this kind of vocal positioning sounds very nice as there are some space and it kinda give me the perception of openness
  • Both male and female vocal has good texture to them,doesn’t sound thin at all
  • Bass doesn’t bleed into the mids
  • In general,i find that the mids are smooth from the lower mids to upper mids,on certain track where i listened with some IEM,the upper mids can be a little hot,but this is not the case with S12
Treble
  • Treble has good amount of air and sparkle to it,doesn’t sound congested at all
  • Detail retrieval is also good but not to the point where it is overly analytical
  • The treble is smooth and not fatigue,no sibilance or harshness at all,i like how the treble is tuned here (this is my preference,depending on your sensitivity on treble,you may or may not like it)
Soundstage/Imaging
  • S12’s soundstage sounds slightly out of head and quite open,but a little lacking in height to give the perception of big soundstage,but overall it is quite good considering its asking price,one can’t have it all
  • Imaging is good,the instruments can be pin pointed easily in busy track like Slipknot’s Duality
Driveability
  • S12 is very easy to drive and it does sound decently loud even from weaker source like Apple’s Lightning Dongle
  • Switching over to TRI’s TK2,with decent driving power,bass seems to tighten up a little and controlled
Comparison (TinHifi P1 Max)
  • Switching over to P1 Max for the purpose of comparison,i would say the tonality between P1 Max and S12 is totally different
  • P1 Max is on the warmer and laid back side while S12 is on neutral bright and energetic side,this is not something bad but more of personal preference
  • I will not go into details on how different both of them are,you can find out from others review or mine for P1 Max,i will put it as S12 clearly pulls ahead in terms of technicalities while P1 Max is more on the musical side and laid back
  • While S12’s plus point being a little cheaper than P1 Max?

Final Thoughts
S12 is my 2nd encounter with planar and again,I have a very positive experience with it and this time it is a different kind of experience in the sense of a more energetic and detailed set than my previous encounter.
S12 to me gives a balance between energetic and musicality,but some might find S12 a little too energetic for those who are sensitive to treble,but to me,it is just right and it can be alleviated by using Final Type E eartips,it made everything sounds a little more texture/thicker while still retaining that slightly toned down energy.

What else is there to say? Grab the S12 if it fits within your budget and also if the sound signature is something that you are looking for.

*The S12 was sent over by Letshuoer for a demo tour in Malaysia. I thank them for the opportunity and i am in no way influenced nor compensated to produce this review

If you are interested in purchasing one,head over to Letshuoer’s store below:
Letshuoer S12

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hevelaoak
hevelaoak
nice one bro (+1 for cool photos)
originalsnuffy
originalsnuffy
Is that an iced coffee? Or?.....
It is summer and cool beverages may top reviews of toys.

And yes, great review.
ywheng89
ywheng89
@originalsnuffy HAHA,yeap! Iced black coffee! Can't go on without one in a day.
Thanks for your kind words :)

TsL667

New Head-Fier
Give it a try
Pros: Great value and Well Tune
Cons: Comfort and Fit
image0.jpeg


Hi guys, first off huge thanks to https://letshuoer.net/products/s12-hifi-earphones-planar-iems and my friend ywheng89 for including me in the listening tour. Below are my thoughts.

Equipment used: Sony Wm1a on 4.4 mm BAL

Put S12 through the pace by listening to wide range of genre and concluded these are best with Electronic, Pop and Rock. Just listen to Yellow Magic Orchestra using this, Super fun.
In short, these IEM are for casual listening and not for analytical listening, no harsh. Detailed monster they are not as it could not really pick the subtle nuances but were more than made up for it by being a well tuned IEM that excels for its price point. Soundstage and imaging are adequate.

As a first generation planar IEM offering,S12 punches above it weight and was a pleasant surprise. If you are curious about how planar IEM sound like, start here and you wont be let down. Happy listening.

cqtek

1000+ Head-Fier
In Search of the Found Response
Pros: Great frequency response, great tuning.
- One of the highest values for its price.
- Very good balance.
- Remarkable construction, fit, ergonomics.
- Good cable and case.
- Homogeneity of sound, all bands have good presence.
- Pleasant, smooth and pleasant sound, suitable for use at any time and for many hours.
Cons: The cable does not extract the true potential of the IEMS.
- Bass is not very descriptive, the texture is soft. It does not compare to the physicality provided by a dynamic driver.
- Detail extraction is simply good, as are stage and separation.
- This is not an IEMS for critical listening, it is not analytical.
Introduction

Formerly called Shuoer, the brand changed its name to Letshuoer not long ago. Known for having a few IEMS worth more than $200 under their belt, they started to get more buzz with their Tape Pro model and the collaboration with the famous audio reviewer, the HBB Kinda Lava model. But it is clear that the S12 is one of his most famous and best-selling models. As it could not be otherwise, it is an IEMS with a 14.8mm planar driver, customised by the brand itself. According to forums and users, there is controversy over whether or not it shares a driver with other similar models. In any case, the point here is not to look for three feet to the cat, in that sense, but to review a model that is among the favourites of many portable audio enthusiasts. In this review I will break down the virtues and shortcomings, if any, of the Letshuoer S12.

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Specifications

  • Driver Type: Planar 14.8mm
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-30kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 102dB/mW
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Cable type: 128-wire silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable.
  • Jack connector: choice of 3.5mm Single Ended or 4.4mm Balanced
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm
  • IP Rating: IPX3

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Packaging

The Letshuoer S12s come in an eminently white box with dimensions 152x104x67mm. On the front side, a large real image of both capsules can be seen. At the top left, the name of the brand. A little further down, a small description. On the right, the logo. The back side is terse, there is only lettering. Starting at the top, what looks like a slogan, in larger letters. Underneath are the specifications, in English and Chinese. From the middle to the bottom, there are the brand's branding, more logos and the certifications that the product meets.
With the outer cardboard removed, the white box is revealed, with the brand name between the main face and one side. The manual is the first thing you can see, after lifting the lid. Underneath are the capsules encased in dense black foam rubber, located at the top. Underneath is a transparent plastic case with foam tips inside. Behind, there is another layer of foam with the rest of the accessories. In a nutshell:

  • 2 S12 capsules.
  • 1 cable.
  • 1 black oval case with zip.
  • Instruction manual.
  • Brand card.
  • Warranty card.
  • Quality control card.
  • 1 set of grey silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • 1 set of transparent silicone tips with black core, sizes SxMxL.
  • 1 set of black foam tips, sizes SxMxL.

The presentation is fine, as are the components. The foam tips are nice, but the grey silicone tips are too soft for my taste. I do prefer the zippered case and the cable quality is superior. Although, it is true that I got the best sound from the S12s with a different silver-plated cable. Overall, remarkable.

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Construction and Design

The nozzles grow from the centre of the inner face, although they are not very long. They have two tiers and are 4mm high. The first tier has a smaller diameter of 5.25mm. The second and outermost tier has a diameter of 5.85mm. The mouthpiece is protected by a perforated metal grid.
In summary, the capsule lines are rounded and smooth, but the mouthpieces are somewhat short.
The cable is a 128-strand silver-plated monocrystalline copper wire. It is thick and consists of two coiled strands. They look dense and silver-plated, you feel it is of good quality. The measured impedance is an indicative 0.2Ω.
In my case, I chose the 4.4mm balanced connector, it is gold plated. The plug housing is relatively large. It is a cylinder with a rough band near the end of the cable. There is a velcro strip to tuck the cable in, which says "shouer acoustics" on it. The splitter piece is a smooth cylinder, the same grey colour as the plug sleeve. It is 13mm long and almost 8mm in diameter, the same as the other piece. Shape and appearance repeated for the 2Pin 0.78mm connector sleeves. The plastic base on which the pins sit, has a red colour for the right channel, transparent for the left channel. The cable at this end has a semi-rigid guide on the ear. Finally, the pin is a simple piece of translucent plastic, small, cylindrical, with an 8-shaped hole inside, through which the cables pass.
The design is very eye-catching, with a shape that combines simplicity with undeniable appeal. The size is average, but the nozzles are somewhat short. The cable stands out as premium for its thickness and presence. But its performance can be improved, for a price, of course.
The fact that the capsules are made of metal has its pros and cons. On the one hand, you have to be careful with them, they make noise wherever you leave them, if the surface is hard. The weight is not great, but it is always superior to resin.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

The fit of the capsule in the ears is very good, thanks to its shape and size. Perhaps a slight rotation inside the pinna is allowed and readjustment may be necessary, especially when the tips are somewhat short and the insertion shallow. Isolation may depend on the tips used, but is not as great as with a deeper insertion. Overall the feel is quite good and the ergonomics are easy and effective. The micro-sanded surface facilitates a pleasant contact, as well as all its rounded shapes touching parts of the ear. It is not tiring over the hours, perhaps only because of the weight it is not suitable for somewhat sudden movements.

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Sound

Profile


Unlike other reviewers who post their frequency responses on Squig.link, I don't have a predetermined or preferred target or curve. I used to have a more fixed idea of a profile that I liked best. But the more headphones I review, the more flexible I become in this regard. Undoubtedly, the sound must have certain characteristics for me to like it more or less. I am an avowed bass lover, but I also like analytical sound. Even if I were to draw a reference frequency response, it would be very similar to that of the S12s. Does this mean that the Letshuoer can become my favourite IEMS? Well, that's not entirely true. Undoubtedly, I like them. But there are a number of other variables involved in their sound. One has to do with the technology used for their driver. I'm not going to highlight its virtues because there are many better articles that reveal the differences in the sound produced by planar, dynamic, balanced harmonics, etc. drivers.
No doubt the breakdown of what I think about each band of the S12 will follow. But there are other reasons why I wanted to give a slightly longer introduction to what these headphones have suggested to me.
Going back to the profile, I could comment that they have a U-profile, with a deep sub-bass end, which extends slightly into the mid-bass. While the treble is stretched in a linear, wide and controlled way. The entire frequency range moves in a relatively narrow dB band, implying a well-balanced profile. The distance between the highest peak and the deepest valley, between 20Hz and 10kHz, barely exceeds 10dB. The balance is superior. That is the basis of my preference for this curve, as no band seems to clearly overlap and the mids are in a very appropriate presence to distance ratio.
On the other hand, and this is where the controversy comes in, I find some points that are not to my complete liking. For example, in the physical aspect of the bass, the amount of air they move, the level of transparency and clarity of the sound, as well as the overall definition and resolution of the sound, despite the large treble extension it possesses. Some of these aspects have been improved by replacing the standard cable with more expensive ones, as well as by playing with superior sources. But I still find the sound soft and not as analytical as I like it. But this is not a bad thing, just my personal opinion.

Letshuoer-S12.png


Bass

Bass is a dilemma for me. I find it very difficult to criticise them, but I don't really like them either. It is clear that they have depth, a good amount of presence, an accentuated sub-bass and remarkable technical capabilities. But the particular planar sonority is there. That mix of speed, precision, definition and depth takes away some of the fun and physicality that I look for and find in some dynamic drivers. I also miss a more descriptive and rougher texture, even more unbalanced. In short, I miss a more visceral bass. Instead, what you get is a precise and tight reproduction, mixing controlled power with concise definition, tight development and a decay without aftertaste or flavour. There is cleanness in its execution, but also good layering and presentation of planes. But I find the bass too analytical and controlled, in an area where I don't usually look for such characteristics. I'm sure others will appreciate these capabilities as virtues, I can't go against the grain and deny the evidence of the quality of the lower range. But I enjoy other imperfections.

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Mids

I come back to the bass to talk about the centre area. What at first glance might appear to be the FR of the S12s does not match the performance of a dynamic driver. In this sense, the respect for the mid-range is high and it is at this point that this band grows with planar technology. It is clear that a technically superior driver makes it possible to combine the three bands without overlapping, but rather enriching the mix and presenting vocals and bass on a different plane, but at the same level. And this is no mean feat for IEMS of this price. This is how all the voices feel truly full, with a balanced body, the result of winning tuning. But again, there is something about the sound that doesn't quite satisfy me. And it's a demand that comes from the perfectionism I'm putting the S12 through, from something I know is good and I question why it's not superior to me. It is the reviewer's eagerness to be contrary. That is the reality. Instead of admitting the musicality of the voices and instruments, I look for a darker background that I can't find, a more obvious definition, a higher level of resolution and detail extraction, a more diaphanous transparency. It is that more analytical profile that I want to find here. The result is that where others enjoy, I have chosen to criticise, because of those first impressions by which I have let myself be carried away.
And what does the mid-range actually look like? Well, perhaps I should write that they are on the verge of genius, of a perfection that other IEMS in the range would like, or just a step away from it. Yes, I'm really not very descriptive in this range, but haven't you read any other reviews of the S12s? Perhaps I can say nothing more than to write my feelings and longings about these IEMS.

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Treble

Another advantage of planar technology, at least in this case, is the timbre of the high frequency range. Although I have mentioned that the bass result is not the one that best suits my preferences, the treble does fit quite well. In principle, because they have a tuning that I would draw if I were asked for an opinion. The treble is linear, very well extended, with a great ratio of width, brightness, thickness, lift and sparkle that is totally enviable. The control point is just right and they fit within the respectful limit of sibilance and a crisper emphasis. I think it is tuned to a sweet spot, which saves smoothness and control. To my mind, I find no unpleasant peaks. But it is true that its linearity means there is presence where others lack and this response may not be to everyone's taste. I prefer it and like that flatter response in the first half of the top end. And flat doesn't mean depressed, nor enhanced in this case. And that's quite good, albeit with the caveat of a more limited airy feel.

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Soundstage, Separation

Keeping the presence of all the bands at a similar level means that the music is close to the listener. This sensation does not translate into a sound lacking in depth, nor does it translate into a congested sound. Dealing with these sensations and managing to avoid them says a lot, again, about the quality of the S12. But it is true that the end result suffers. Thus, the scene is presented frontally, with noticeable laterality, sufficiently airy, but well delimited, also in height. Although the stereo perception can be surprising, there is not much of an ethereal or vaporous feeling. Three-dimensionality is acceptable, but without getting out of the head, and all sounds are well anchored and defined. This helps to set the scene and the provenance of the elements. But when they are placed on similar planes it becomes more diffuse.
Separation is good, without being stellar. An improved cable helps in this regard, as well as gaining more transparency, getting a more discernible and darker background, as well as improving definition by sharpening details. And in that respect, the S12 is not the best at extracting micro nuances. It is true that it manages to outline them, but not to bring them out completely.

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Comparisons

Moondrop Kanas Pro


The Kanas Pro may be the beginning of many things. Just look at the fact that up to 2kHz they are the same. On a technical level the S12s are clearly superior, while the Kanas Pro is warmer and darker, with a smoother, more satiny sound. Treble extension is noticeable in the S12s. But the Kanas Pro have an FR that has been perfected by Moondrop in later models, as the sound has been refined. The S12s are not from Moondrop, but the improvement is noticeable, without the price premium.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-Moondrop-Kanas-Pro.png


Tri Meteor

Although the Meteors have less mid-range bass, the punch is superior, as is their physicality and texture. They have what I look for in the low end and what the S12s lack to some extent. The mid-zone feels more vivid and with more contrast, but with less control. I find it more fun, but less technical. The treble doesn't have the precision, definition and resolution of the S12s, I find the Meteors more out of control.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-TRI-Meteor.png


NS Audio NS Audio NS5MKII Bass Ed

One of my favourite IEMS and little known by enthusiasts. With a fairly analytical profile for a balanced dynamic driver, they still put up a good fight at this stage. Even the upper-midrange pattern and its real representation, finer and more defined, is superior to that of the S12, for my personal taste. The bass is lower, very tight in speed and presence, with very good technicality and texture provided by the dynamic driver. Again, treble extension and more bass presence may tip the balance towards the S12s. Although the sound of the NS Audio has a cleanliness and brightness that I don't find in the S12s.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-NS-Audio-NS-Audio-NS5MKII-Bass-Ed.png


NF Audio NA2

Another clear difference is that the dynamic bass in an almost identical FR down to 2kHz does not sound the same, are the NF Audio NA2s. The bass response of the NA2s is excellent for their price, with a speed and technical characteristics that have nothing to envy to the S12s. In addition, they have more weight and move more air, which is why the sensation of oppression on impact is slightly superior.
On top, the mid-highs feel more enhanced and, again, as with other models already compared, there is a little more sparkle evident. The S12 presents these details in a more relaxed and less overt manner. Their greater smoothness is clearly noticeable in the face of the more restless, full-bodied and expressive character of the NA2s. Very good treble extension in the NF Audio, but less linear. Possibly one of the best models of this brand, doing a great job between power, musicality and definition over the 100$.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-NF-Audio-NA2.png


Ikko OH10

The OH10 is still one of the greats in this range and I can say without fear that it still holds its own in the face of new developments. Quite a bit heavier, a bit more U-shaped, with more clarity, definition and transparency. The OH10s are more analytical, less smooth, but more detailed. It is clear that they gain some of this favour due to their emphasis on the high mids. But it is also true that they avoid any hint of congestion and veiling. Their separation is more visible and the amount of detail is more apparent. They may be less musical and somewhat harsher or shriller in the treble. But there are different tastes. For a little, a better scene, a more forceful and enjoyable bass.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-Ikko-OH10.png


BQEYZ Autumn Bass

Another one of the greats, albeit slightly more expensive. With the best filter change I've seen so far, the bass tuning doesn't polarise the sound, but very much matches the S12, it's even subtly lighter at the sub-bass end. Very expressive and musical, with very good definition and level of resolution, highly versatile and more evident with detail, yet at the same level of extraction at the micro nuance level. Again, a point of greater excitement in the upper mids forces the situation. Separation is more obvious and the scene is more dynamic, spaced out and ethereal. The S12s are less excitable, but when they are pushed with power they respond very well. In fact, they like power sources and that is when they reveal their best side. But always within musical restraint and control.

Letshuoer-S12-vs-BQEYZ-Autumn-Bass.png


Conclusion

The Letshuoer S12s are like the ideal formula for a desired frequency response. I have been able to demonstrate that there are several models on the market that pursue a curve like this model. But none of them embroider the profile as well as the S12. But that doesn't mean they are perfect. The planar sound may be their greatest ally, but it is also their enemy. It is clear that the driver does not lack personality and I am sure that many will be in favour of its great virtues. I bow to the evidence and that's why I highlight its behaviour, smoothness and excellent intonation. But I also defend the fact that dynamic technology, even hybrid technology, has not yet said the last word. But looking at the level of this driver, if I were one of the other drivers, I would shudder. Planar technology in IEMS is not new, but now it has definitely taken off in the IEM format. The Letshuoer S12s are a great paradigm of what can be achieved. If this is already the level, if its potential is great, how far can it go? Well, I don't know, but it will be a real pleasure to find out. For the moment, the best thing to do is to enjoy the S12s.

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Sources Used During the Analysis

  • S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th MKII + iFi ZEN CAN.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X.
  • HiBy R3 Pro.
  • Earmen Colibri.
  • Earmen Sparrow.
  • xDuoo Link2 BAL.
  • Tempotec Sonata E44.
  • Tempotec V1-A + Hidizs DH80S.
  • Hidizs S9 Pro.
  • Burson Audio Playmate.
  • ACMEE MF02s.

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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 85
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 80
  • Accessories: 75
  • Bass: 85
  • Mids: 87
  • Treble: 92
  • Separation: 82
  • Soundstage: 80
  • Quality/Price: 95

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Letshuoer offered me this model, in exchange for writing an honest review. I want to make it clear that all my opinions written in this review have not been conditioned by this fact, nor will I ever write anything that I do not really think or feel here. I will only write about my personal opinion in relation to the revised product.

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Purchase Link

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You can read the full review in Spanish here

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cqtek
cqtek
EQbumb
EQbumb
Here is the thing I have more than 10 IEMs from $10-400. I was so surprised by the macro detail of kz ESX which every of my other IEMs couldn't pull out including my s12, in other areas like the technicalities, stage, tonality and other aspects s12 gave it KO. A car 🚙 crushed the right ear of my ESX and ever since I've been searching for something close or better to my ESX which I haven't found. I just got OH10, kz EDA and 7hz Sal zero all of them couldn't do macro or micro detail as much as my beloved ESX so sad 😔
EQbumb
EQbumb
Please can you do a short comparison of them I meant the titan s and t2 dlc?

SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
My new EDC
Pros: I am just a big fan of these, so it's easier to list the cons!
Cons: Not the most detailed of IEMs
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These IEMs are a set that I was very interested in trying out and while I was in Miami, Antdroid very kindly loaned them to me. I got to spend a day or so with them, with a very positive first impression, and was about to create a mini review for them when Letshuoer reached out to me, offering to send them to me for review. I was obviously very happy to do a full review of them and a few weeks later, here we are.

Therefore, these IEMs have been sent to me by Letshuoer in order to review them and give my detailed impressions on them. They have not made any specific requests (although I will share a non-affiliate link to them on my blog (here) and my review will aim to be, as always, as honest and unbiased as possible, although you should always consider the fact that these IEMs did not cost me anything.

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Intro…

There has been quite a surge of planar magnetic IEMs lately, gaining quite a lot of popularity due to them having improved a lot since previous releases. Two of the most popular have proven to be the Timeless and the S12, the set I have here today.

I did get to try out the Timeless while away and published a mini review of them that you can find here. In that mini review, I compared them quite a bit to the S12, as I had tried them side by side for a day or two, and I mentioned that the comparison probably didn’t make much sense due to the fact that I didn’t actually publish the mini review of the S12. I just mentioned above the reason for not publishing the mini review and I am very happy I have got the chance to test these IEMs over a longer period so that I can share more detailed impressions.

I also mentioned in all of the mini reviews (unless I forgot to mention it in any of them) that when I spend a more extended time with a set of IEMs (or headphones), my opinions may change over that period. I may grow used to some of the things I find strange at first and learn to like them more than I do over a short period, but it can also go the other way, I may start noticing things that I didn’t at first and which make the IEMs not as pleasant for me.

In this case, my impressions from the short period I spent with them have not changed much, if anything, I like them even more than I did over the short period I spent with them. I said in the 7Hz Timeless mini review that personally I preferred the S12 (although both are great sets of IEMs) and although I haven’t had a chance to spend a longer period with the Timeless, I still maintain my decision.

Anyway, enough chit chat and let's get on with the important stuff.

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Presentation…

The packaging of the S12 is simple, with a basic white box and an image of the product on the cover. Inside there is nothing out of the ordinary either, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with everything that a set of IEMs should.

Inside the box we get the IEMs, multiple sets of tips (3x sets of foam in their own hard case and two types of silicone, 3 sets of each type), a nice compact carrying case that is smaller that what is usually included but is still big enough for the S12 to fit without issues, and a cable.

You can choose which cable you would like including when placing an order for the S12 (via the official page), choosing between 3.5mm and 4.4mm terminations, with an option of silver or nebula grey for the IEMs also. In my case, I went for the 4.4mm cable and the cable is of very good quality, although it is a little thick for my personal tastes. While it is not what I would pick personally, the cable has actually grown on me a lot over the past week as far as comfort, and there is no denying it is a great looking cable.

So, everything you need is included in the package, I cannot complain at all in this sense.

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Build and aesthetics…

The build quality is good, there are no apparent issues that I can spot, and everything in the package seems well manufactured, including cable, IEMs and tips.

As far as aesthetics, these are quite simple. The shells are fully metal and are finished in a simple, no frills, silver colour (in my case). Obviously aesthetics are just as personal as comfort but they don’t strike me as anything that should offend the vast majority of people.

I just mentioned above that the cable is a great looking cable, so again, I have no complaints.

As far as comfort, I find them very comfortable, fitting my ears perfectly and although I would prefer a slightly lighter weight cable, it has also grown on me (possibly aesthetics taking a part in this). For tips, I had been using Xelastec tips for a lot of my listening time but I decided to try out the spring tips that are included with the Moondrop Chu (review of the Chu coming soon) and I have found that I not only find them to have great sound but to also be extremely comfortable without the hassle of the Xelastecs.

As I just said, comfort is as personal as aesthetics (or even more so), so everyone is going to be different, but I find these more comfortable than the Timeless and also less “attention seeking” with regards to aesthetics.

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Sound…

Just a reminder that all tracks mentioned in this section are clickable links that will allow you to open the song in the streaming service of your choice, allowing a direct reference of the song I am talking about.

Here is where I fell in love with the S12. Anyone who has followed my headphone reviews will probably already know that I am a planar magnetic lover, and in the case of IEMs, it seems to be that I am of a similar fashion. I have had the Audeze iSine for quite some time now and I like them, except for the fact that they need a ton of equalisation in order for them to have a decent tuning. The S12 does not have that issue. The tuning out of the box is great, in my opinion of course, and I have found that they are probably the most pleasurable set of IEMs for long listening sessions that I have spent time with so far.

Moving through the usual sound categories, starting with subbass as always, there is no roll off here, at least not that I can hear. Putting the S12 through my usual subbass workout which is “Chameleon”, there is plenty of presence to give me the sub rumble that this track presents, without them seeming to lose control at any point. There are many sets of IEMs that can get that low end rumble with this track but once the subbass starts to mix with the midbass, things can get a little hazy. That is not the case with the S12, they keep things nice and collected, offering a great presentation of this track which is better than the vast majority (almost all, especially at this price) of IEMs that I have tried.

Moving into the midbass, if we look at the graph of the S12 vs my target preference, there is a little more than I request.

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(all my IEM measurements can be found and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)

However, targets are just a rough guidance and we shouldn’t get fixated on things adhering to targets too much, as sometimes a deviation can actually sound better, depending on how that is presented and controlled by the IEMs in question.

In the case of the S12, the midbass is extremely well controlled, making things sound precise and clear, even when a track is busy in these areas. Even activating the XBass boost on the Gryphon, where bass becomes overpowering for me personally (depending on the track of course), they still keep control and definition of the notes.

Tracks like “No Sanctuary Here”, which have a strong bass presence but need cleanliness to sound their best, sound clear and, well, great on the S12. More “old school” songs, such as things like “Whole Lotta Love”, benefit quite a bit from the additional presence of the midbass, making the bass guitar of John Paul Jones become a little more present but without it sounding out of balance with the rest. The live performances by Clarke, Miller and Wooten (which is unfortunately not available on streaming services, at least as far as I know) are nicely presented with the separation of the 3 bass guitars being quite easy.

Moving into the mids, there is no bleed, no muddyness, just a nice clean transition. There is also no recess in the mids, keeping them from losing space to the midabass. The slap/pluck of “Elephants on Ice Skates” comes across as well balanced, without it being overpowering in the lower notes and without it losing in the mids to the brass section.

Listening to some of my favourite styles of music, such as acoustic and simple vocal/instrumental tracks, the mids are smooth, without anything sounding harsh or out of place. There is the usual hint of “coldness” that this kind of music can portray on planar magnetic drivers, which may sound a little different if you are used to dynamics but it is something that I have grown to enjoy from infinite hours spent with planar headphones.

A listen to “Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes”, which can be a little harsh on the higher mids and lower treble on many sets, still presents a little harshness to Paul Simon's voice if volume is pushed but in general it is again well balanced and is not painful (unless pushed way above my usual listening levels). “Don’t You Worry Child”, another track that can easily become harsh to my ears, is much better than I expected and is quite listenable.

Hip hop, which is something that can suffer quite a bit in regards to vocals when the midbass is boosted and the higher mids are not overly present to compensate, actually sounds as it should. Or at least it sounds like I expect it to sound after many decades of listening on many speaker set ups and other headphones. As an example, “Make Noise” by Busta Rhymes and Lenny Kravitz, has the vocals quite recessed in the mix, which can either totally disappear or become boosted, depending on the system, seem to have the same presence as I have heard on many monitor and live set ups.

Moving into the treble, there is a nice extension and plenty of “air” to make it thoroughly enjoyable for me. As a sibilance test, using “Code Cool” as usual, there is a slight hint of sibilance on a few of the “S” by Patricia Barber, but certainly not enough to make the track painful or difficult to listen to. This is something that can be the case on many sets of IEMs and headphones, with her voice either being harsh and sibilant, or subdued and pushed back. Again, I would say that the S12 do a great job of keeping it where it should be.

While the detail of these IEMs is very good, I do feel that detrail retrieval may not be the strongest point of the S12. I only listened to the Timeless for a day or so, although I got the possibility to test them side by side with the S12, but I got the feeling that as far as detail retrieval, the Timeless did have the slight edge here. Neither sets are going to compete with something like the Helios (a set of IEMs that is 5 times the price) but both are very good, not just for this price bracket.

At no point do I get the sensation that details are missing, they are all there, just maybe not as apparent as they are on some other sets. Listening to the intro of “All Your Love Turned to Passion”, there are some details in the left channel from the acoustic guitar that can be extremely impressive when a set of headphones presents them well. In the case of the S12, the details are there but they are not something that stand out and make you say “wow”, something that does happen on certain planar magnetic headphones like the higher end Hifimans, but this is obviously not even a comparison that can (or should) be made.

Soundstage is also good for a set of IEMs but without being outstanding. I really don’t find many IEMs to have a large sensation of space in this regard and the S12 are no exception. I would say they are on the higher side of average but not something that give the impression of having a huge amount of space for images to spread out. For example, “La Luna”, which is a binaural recording, does give a nice surrounding sensation but it is slightly closer than on open back headphones (which is again, not a very fair comparison).

The placement of images is very good however, with pretty good precision inside the soundstage that the S12 do have to work with. As I just mentioned, “La Luna” is easily placed around you, and also things like “Strange Fruit” show nice placement of the different layers of vocals.

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Conclusion…

Well, I guess I have made it pretty clear that I like the S12, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. When I made the series of mini reviews, I got to spend some time comparing the Timeless and the S12 (I mentioned the comparison quite a bit in the TImeless mini review here), two sets that compete pretty closely with one and another, and I mentioned that I personally preferred the S12, at least after a day or two of use. I also mentioned that more time with a set sometimes makes me like (or dislike) something more and with the S12, I have grown to like it even more, making me very happy to use it as my daily IEM. I obviously haven’t had more time with the Timeless since then, but if I had picked the S12 out of the two based on the time I spent with them both, then I would have absolutely no regrets.

I read Antdroids review of the S12 and he said something that completely clicked with me and that I agree with 100%. I am paraphrasing from memory here but he said something along the lines of “ *The S12 are like the Hifiman HE400se, they are maybe not the most detailed option and don’t have the fastest of planar speeds, but there is a decent amount for the price and the tonality makes up for it* ” (or something along those lines 😉 ). I couldn’t agree more. The HE400se are a set of headphones that I just like, they are by no means the best performing headphones that I have but the overall sound is just pleasurable and is something that I can enjoy for hours of simple music listening. I feel the S12 are the same, I have come to not expect them to surprise me with things I didn’t know existed, but I have no doubt that they always perform well, no matter the track, and are a pleasure to listen to.

I was also surprised to find that they work really well with the iFi Go Blu. Due to expectations, I thought that the Go Blu would not be able to drive these IEMs well, but I was mistaken. Using the balanced output, it performs very well and has become a very portable set up that I am more than happy to use all day while away from my usual set ups, meaning I don’t need to rely on the Gryphon for portable power with these IEMs. I think this is probably more of a praise towards the Go Blu than the S12, however, it is something that has made me very happy.

If I needed to resume this (very long) review into a TLDR, it would be “A set of IEMs that I enjoy immensely and while not the highest performers out there, a perfect solution for my EDC”.

As always, this review can also be found in Spanish both on my blog (here) and YouTube (here)
zeke33
zeke33
What other IEM's are better detailed (minus $1000+ range)? Somebody said detail levels were up there with the Moondrop S8.

Gabriel Lira

New Head-Fier
The best iem what o ever heard
Pros: - Tonality
- Tecnicalities
- duality in bass
- Price, apresentation, ergonomic
Cons: - Sound stage
Hello, this is my first review, I'm a native Brazilian, I don't know English so I'm using a translator, I ask you to forgive possible inconsistencies in my writing
I am a listener of classical music, my favorite genre, which I listen to every day. Sometimes I catch myself enjoying Burial or headbanging listening to Marauda or Svdden Death, but only sometimes 🥴

My headphones - I have a TinHifi family, Moondrop Aria and the Shuoer S12

Well, let's go
- APRESENTATION
It's good, it comes in a nice box, good tips in a good presentation, but that's it, the Moondrop Aria presentation pleases me more, but the box is good for storing the phone in the period when he left China and came to Brazil ( Unfortunately the box came slightly wrinkled by the carrier 😞)

-Ergonomics and isolation
The headphones are big, they occupy my ear completely, but they don't bother me, looking at myself in the mirror with them on, they seem uncomfortable, but when I manage to fit them in correctly, they are wonderful. About the insulation, from 0-10 I would give it a 5, maybe it's because of the huge hole it has for ventilation, I can't say exactly why, but it doesn't insulate very well, it insulates well, but that's all

- Sound Stage
Well, it could be better. Everything sounds close, I don't feel like anything sounds too far away from me, even on recordings with the most well-developed stage. Something that I can consider as a slight problem is the position of some instruments on stage, when a passage comes where there are brass instruments that sound more intense, such as a trumpet, a trombone, for example the s12 places these instruments in front of the others , the whole orchestra is frantic, but the trombones and trumpets take the lead and sound stronger, more alive, sharper, more textured, but that's not exactly correct, but it's nothing to stop you from enjoying the music. The instruments sound well detached from each other, the position of the sounds is quite satisfactory, we have a great separation between the instruments around your head, but they sound around the head, they don't sound far away, don't forget that,

-Technicalities
Here is the high point of this phone, extremely technical
Great instrumental separation, it is noticeable that there is a great amount of air between the instruments, great ability to reproduce the smallest details of the music, it is really impressive. The separation of the instruments on the stage is very good, the orchestra sounds very big and complete, if the stage was further away it would be perfect. We can clearly hear from the breath of a panting musician to the soft strumming of a clarinet (on recordings that provide this richness of detail, of course)

Before talking about the tone, I wanted to point out that I bought them with my money, and I wanted to point out that I still need another 4 months to pay them, because in Brazil a phone like that costs a lot, but very expensive, so all that you're reading, it's my sincere and humble opinions and perceptions, that being said, let's go

-Bass
Yes friend, B A S S.
Let me explain, when I listen to Beethoven's 9th symphony, they sound well behaved in quantity, and with an incredible quality, a lot of texture, a lot of presence, they sound concise and consistent without standing out, they sound very well behaved and correct, the snoring of a acoustic bass or the expressiveness of a cello or a tuba are very pleasant to hear.
Now, when I listen to Truant, from Burial, s12 turns into a monster. Very, very, VERY sub-bass, the s12 has a tremendous extension and a very strong impact, it's really impressive, the headphone hides those bass until you call them with a song that has a lot of sub, they come with a lot of authority and impact, me made me very happy

-Mid range
As Leonardo, from Mind the Headphone (a very dear and respected evaluator in Brazil, one of the first to openly disseminate the hobby here in Brazil and creator of Kuba) would say, the medium is the soul of music and s12 manages to present it. them in a way that you are very satisfied. I'm going to consider trombones and trumpets as medium, even though they have a little high midrange, I'm going to consider them as medium. The mids have a lot of texture, the details live here, very articulate, very faithful, a horn sounds like a horn, all the sweetness, all the burning of a muted trumpet, I like to quote Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, at the end of 1 In the th movement, the vitality and strength of the brass at the moment of the "march" is remarkable, the s12 shows you all the strength and weight of the brass, leaving them a step ahead of the rest of the orchestra, as said before. The voices sound very realistic, in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, in the 5th movement, at the entrance of the voices, I felt that the singer was on my right singing right there, close by, that was impressive, I can describe how

-Treble
Really enjoyed. A Piccolo flute sounds like a Piccolo flute, sometimes it bothers a little hehe, but in real life it bothers too, it's not exacerbated in aggression, it's in the right spot. Still quoting Manfred Sinfonie, in the 1st movement, in the "march" there are some cymbals that sound very aggressive hehe, but it's part of the music, in real life they also sound aggressive, they're there to make things "tastier" , let's say. As I said before, the amount of air between the sounds is remarkable, at first I noticed that and the timbres are very correct, I loved the treble

-Final considerations
The s12 is the best iem I've ever heard, certainly, but it's not perfect. I would give it 8/10 considering the compact soundstage and lack of musicianship (for my taste) sometimes it sounds drier and harsher than what I'm looking for at the moment, but when I want definitions and speed, it puts on a show. I liked it a lot, it's certainly a sincere recommendation to those who like electronics, the duality in the bass is incredible, sometimes very correct and sometimes monstrous when required. I blindly recommend it for lovers of classical music, it's a beautiful purchase, everything is very lively, strong, impactful and real, very real.

That's it, my friends, I would like to give a big hug to the Brazilian community that takes this hobby in their hearts, above all the love of music, given that prices in Brazil are exorbitant, when I say that I paid half of the minimum wage on a headset, I'm called crazy (yes, the s12 cost me around R$650 or USD125, and the minimum wage is R$1100).

*Extra*
I would like to give a hug to Thiago from Manual de Fones, to Fabrício from CutBox BR, to Antenor from MusiCafe and to all the headphone evaluators that make up the audiophile community in Brazil. A hug to everyone
aptquark
aptquark
Great job Gabriel. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. After I realized some of the other guys also reviewed this IEM...along with your review...I went ahead and ordered to try out. Thanks for your time and also a thanks to all the guys that do this here. You SOB's keep me poor thats for sure! Cheers.
G
Gabriel Lira
Thanks for your comment, I'm glad to hear that I can help you.

antdroid

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Great value
Good fun tuning
Punch bass and good resolution for price
Cons: Slightly bright upper mids
Cable is a little heavy



The S12 is LetShuoer's new and first planar in-ear monitor and comes in at $149 USD. This IEM packs a large 14.8mm planar magnetic driver encased in a all-metal shell and comes with a fancy multi-colored braided cable and a tin case. It's quite a decent package all together and it has a nice resolving and clean sound that should please many.

First off, I'd like to thank Joseph from LetShuoer for reaching out and sending me a review unit of this new product. As some may know from reading my past reviews, I'm not always the biggest fan of Shuoer's previous products, in fact many of them rank in quite the lowest tiers of my ranking list, but the recent EJ07M and this product is starting to change my opinion of this brand with a new name.





So let's just get down to business.


The S12 is a really nice sounding planar. A couple months ago, I reviewed the Timeless planar IEM from 7Hz, and gave the $219 IEM a rave review with some of the best commentary feedback I could give at the price point. Driver-wise, these two are similar in size but the S12 goes a step larger and increases the driver from 14.2mm to 14.8mm. Now, I don't know if these are similar drivers at all, or made in the same factory, but the driver plus tuning combination between the two IEMs are quite similar and very enjoyable.




Unfortunately during this review period of the S12, I did not have the Timeless on hand. I had lent it out to another reviewer, ufospl2 of Headphones-N-Stuff, for an extended listen on holiday, and so he's out there, somewhere, enjoying that set. Instead, I'll just have to manage this written review without that crucial A-B comparison, at least in the near term.




The S12 presents a small bass-boosted take on a balanced/neutral sound, that is right up my alley on tuning preferences. The mid-range is just slightly recessed with forward upper-mids and a generally smooth treble for me, however, some could find a slightly excess energy peak in the treble range, depending on how deep of a fit you can manage. There is also a nicely extended treble which helps with percussions and strings.

Many of the same characteristics I wrote about in the Timeless review can probably be brought over to here, but one of the key differences (from memory of course) is that I find the S12 just a little smoother, a little warmer, and with an extra amount of sub-bass rumble. These are things that I do not really think I mentioned in my Timeless review, but I can write here.



I never found the S12 to have the occasional bright glare on random tracks either, and I played this through a gauntlet of acoustical tracks from country to bluegrass to folksy music to female pop songs. The S12 handled them all quite well and with a good amount of "fun" for my tastes.

The tonal balance of the S12 is really solid in my opinion, however it doesn't have the fastest planar-like transient speeds. It's not quite the same speed and precision as my Hifiman Susvara, and is more along the lines of the Hifiman HE400SE, which is actually a very similarly priced $149 headphone. That is, while there is a decent amount of quality and resolution for this price tag, I don't think the precision is there. There isn't that extra layer of detail or exacting edge to each note that makes a higher tier driver or IEM stand out. It's not necessarily blunted, or blobby, either. It's just good, but not great or exceptional.

In addition, I find the S12 to have a relatively small and condensed sound. It's not grand and majestic, but provides a more intimate soundstage and more up and center presentation. While I don't mind this and it's never claustrophobic, I do like a wide and open soundstage personally, and this does not quite hit that mark.

But, all and all, I find these little things to be rather small in negative points when you take a look at what you're getting for $149. This is a very nicely put together package of build quality, accessories, and great tuning and above average sound. LetShuoer did a very nice job here, and they hit it home with great values in the last two IEMs I've tried. Things are changing for the better with this brand!
DJ Core
DJ Core
Love these. Perfect Tips to make 'em shine are the azla sednaearfit xelastec in ML size

Otto Motor

Headphoneus Supremus
Better than Ezra...and the 7Hz Timeless
Pros: Articulate bass and very good treble extension, great cohesion, superb resolution (!!!); very good build and fit; great cable; value.
Cons: Lean and somewhat bright in the vocals department; top-end transients a bit fast.
letshuoer-S12-800x445.jpg


I don't want to further congest this page with repetitive packaging and physicals and focus on sound.
You find the whole story at https://www.audioreviews.org/letshuoer-s12-review-jk/


Equipment used: Questyle QP1Ron med. gain, Sony NW-A55; MacBook Air with Apogee Groove, AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt, Khadas Tone2 Pro/4.4 mm BAL & 3.5 mm SE or Earstudio HUD 100/high gain + JitterBug FMJ + ifi Audio iPower X; stock cable or CEMA 6N OCC + OCC silver-plated 2.5 mm balance cable with or without the ddHiFi DJ44A adapter; stock eartips (translucent ones).


The LETSHUOER S12 carries most of the characteristics expected from a planar magnetic driver: low distortion resoling in good clarity, tight bass, deep bass extension, easy to drive, good staging…but, but but…

The S12’s bass is tight while digging deep. Midbass is well composed and focused, notes are not as rounded and soft (as in the Timeless), there is a crisp attack…and that’s the biggest different to the Timeless. A smaller but better focused kick.

This may have a few reasons, for example, the different housing shapes and the Timeless’ bigger contact area inside the concha (“bigger in-ear resonance”) and also the S12’s relatively higher frequency response above 2 kHz (which itself may be related to the housings).


LETSHUOER S12
The LETSHUOER S12’s rather wiggly frequency response is typical for planar magnetic drivers.

The S12’s better mid-bass composure may trigger a chain effect in that the midrange is not masked and therefore clearer. Its transition from bass to lower midrange is much smoother compared the abrupt change in the Timeless…which results in a much more cohesive, balanced sound…which is the dealmaker/breaker for me.

Female voice remain articulate and lean, but are more forward and intimate, and a tad brighter, livelier, and spicier than in the Timeless. Vocals have a perceived higher energy in the S12, which plays them softer and therefore with lesser note definition. They are more prone to sibilance and shoutiness with unfavourable sources in the S12, but this has not been a problem for me.

Treble is also a mixed bad with the S12. Whilst extension and resolution are great, the transients are a bit fast up there and occasionally also yield that metallic sheen (“tizziness”) as in the Timeless.

As to technicalities. Staging is rather average, but tall, and reasonably deep (much deeper than in the Timeless). I find the staging adequate. Timbre is ok but benefits from a warm source such as the DragonFly Cobalt or Apogee Groove. Separation and instrument placement are ok. Resolution is absolutely superb and dwarves the Timeless’.

The Timeless, overall, sound a bit darker and less dynamic, more laid back but less composed than the more forward S12, which runs more into danger of being shouty. S12’s attack is crisper, Timeless have the softer transients. Note weight in the midrange is about even and could be better in both models.

When compared to a photo, the Timeless is more blurred and the S12 is sharper…but some may find the S12 overpixelated.


LETSHUOER S12 and 7Hz Timeless


In summary, the S12 has the better composed bass, crisper attack, deeper stage, and better resolution than the Timeless. Everything is tighter in the S2. Compared to a car’s suspension, the Timeless is a comfortable SUV and the S12 is a sporty BMW.

In the end, it comes down to personal taste: pick your poison!

More comparisons...

We are in for some surprises. The S12 killed my beloved Final E5000 with my Questyle QP1R reference dap in these aspects: staging, transparency, really good transients, and upper extension. I hope I just had a bad morning when testing these two. The Final has a narrower stage lesser upper extension, less clarity…but more bass quantity.

The KBEAR TRI I3 Pro Pro is less cohesive than the S12 with a narrower stage, lesser resolution, and less midrange clarity. The I3 Pro is less balanced. Resolution is much better in the S12, which also has the crisper attack with more pizazz.

The Moondrop KATO offers a narrower stage because of early treble rolloff. It is slimmer in the bass and the upper midrange but still comes across as not less shouty. It also lacks richness in the lower midrange, a full orchestra’s crescendo comes across as somewhat lean in comparison. The S12 excels in resolution. It is much more bass dominated without overbearing midbass. Higher notes in horn sections as not as incisive as in the Kato, which is a bit scratchy in the upper mids in comparison.

The $600 LETSHUOER EJ07M shows better carved out vocals, is less bassy, has a narrower and deeper soundstage, better dynamics, and better resolution. Its presentation is lean(er) but never on the analytical side.

Disclaimer

The LETSHUOER S12 was sent to me unsolicited by the company. The 7Hz Timeless wass on private loan from Head-Fier Rockwell75. A huge thanks to both. At the time of publication, this S12 specimen was on a “West of Centre” Canadian tour to Rockwell75 and co-blogger Biodegraded.

Get the Shuoer S12 from letsshuoer.net
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logiatype
logiatype
This review is SPOT ON re the Timeless vs the S12. Tighter is the exact word that came to mind as soon as I popped the S12 in. So much so that I knew I'd read this exact statement somewhere and had to come back to confirm it.

I know to trust your ears going forward.
Otto Motor
Pradeep A
Pradeep A
Do the sony nw a 55 drive these well ?

SammyG

New Head-Fier
Bridging the gap between budget and flagship
Pros: Detail Retrieval, balanced sound, value
Cons: Comfort is about average, accessories are acceptable, isolation is below average
Sound: This is the first exposure I have had to planar IEMs, and I am pretty blown away. They seem to have the punch of single DD, the speed of BA, and the treble extension of ESTs. But, unlike many tribreds, this earphone has no coherency issues as all sound is being produced by a single driver. The sound signature is largely neutral, with a tasteful amount of bass boost and a bit of extra energy in the lower treble. The result is a very pleasant sound that has a lively characteristic to it. The sound stage is wide but not very deep. The imaging is above average but not pin-point accurate. Detail retrieval is about on par with the Moondrop S8 to my ears, but not quite as clear as the MEST. Lastly isolation is below average for an IEM. With 2 vents per side, they almost give an open back headphone feel.

Fit/Comfort: The all metal shells feel cool to the touch. The ergonomics are good but not great. After about a half hour of listening, I tend to get some discomfort in my upper antihelix. Also the ear hooks are a little loose, and from time to time flop over the top of my ear.

Accessories: The accessories aren't going to win any awards. You get 2 sets of silicone ear tips, 1 set of foam tips, a cheap feeling case, and a 2 pin cable. Besides the ear hook issue I mentioned earlier, I don't have any complaints for the cable. It has a nice 2-tone look and a rubber-like coating.

Conclusion: Is this a perfect earphone? No, there are certainly areas where it could be improved (especially concerning fit). But I don't find any of my nitpicks as deal breakers. And the sound punches well above its price. I know that is cliché to say, but it's tuning and technical capabilities best match units I've tried in the $500-$800 range. So in this case, it truly does.
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