PEARS UT-3 - Reviews
Pros: Semi-tunable CIEM via the UT-125 interface
Musicality and ultimate detail retrieval under the same roof
Very easy to drive with 25ohm impedance
Precise yet impactful bass
Outstanding mids reproduction
Treble extension and absence of sibilance
Realistic and 3D soundstage
Imaging
Premium craftsmanship
Perfect fit
Recessed 2pin solid connectors
Non-microphonic and comfortable stock cable
Fast delivery
TOTL customer experience & service
"Less is more" global philosophy from P-EAR-S that suits my life philosophy in general
Cons: Personalization options increase the price quickly
As always with BA-only structure, not a bass-head monitor
Stock cable does the job, but it's a tad too thin for my taste
This is not a review, it's a love declaration. To these 3 nice guys behind P-EAR-S, to a well-elaborated and professional design, to innovation in sound and once more, to my unconditional love for music. Music is like fire. You can whether touch it nor hold it physically, in your hands, but when you are getting close enough, it warms the body and heart. And this is what everyone needs in his life. A bit of warmth down there.

I visited the premises of P-EAR-S at the beginning of March 2020. I spent 3 hours listening to their 3 IEMs, the SH-2, the SH-3 and the UT-3. I was offered to have my ears impression made by her specialist, who luckily was present at that time. I left the crew without saying if I was about to buy something or not. Still, a few hours after, my decision was taken.

I paid the full CHF 1'490.00 (USD 1.5K) retail price for the UT-3. I was not asked by P-EAR-S to review my set. I do it because music is what matters to me and when something outstanding, and here I mean truly special, crosses my road, I want to share it with you.

The sources/combos used for my testimonial are the Calyx M/Dethonray HA-2 and the Dethonray DTR1/Phatlab Chimera. Both combos allow a balanced sound reproduction, clear and detail revealing source combined with warmish amplification and vice-versa. The CIEM's 25ohm impedance and 117db sensitivity requires low noise floor devices (source a/o amplification). The UT-3 sounds natural and very balanced to my ears. Here is the FR-graph of my set that P-EAR-S sent me:

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The UT-3, in connection with the aforementioned sources, cannot be compared to anything I have ever owned or I am owning today in terms of drivers. I never have been so close to the recording. Mindblowing. Not bending muscles or wanting to add the $-factor into debate, but I am talking about five figures set-ups with dac, amp, power management, so to say the big show back in the days. And now, I have no regret to have "downscaled" everything, because I enjoy my music more than before. Please take that into account while reading what follows.

The above-mentioned "pros" regarding the sound reproduction also are to take with a grain of salt as the UT-3 is a semi-tunable CIEM. It means that you add some variable into the equation, by adjusting, to certain extent, the bass, mids and treble. You won't turn a 3 BA CIEM into a bass monster, but the UT-125 interface, a device you can connect to your DAP while listening to your music, allows you to fine-tune your sound signature as you desire (please check product description above in order to understand how it works). Once you're done with the exercise, your tuning will be saved in the dedicated software and then implemented in your CIEM. The standard tuning of the UT-3, meaning all switches on "3" already met my expectations at all levels. I am a bass lover, but not a hardcore bass-head, so I have added a bit of quantity in the low-end, without compromising the coherence of the whole signature. The mids and treble were perfect on the level "3". Moving each switch in one direction or another made me wanted to turn back to initial position. Moving a switch only slightly change the change, no dramatic move here, only the bass was quite sensitive in the tuning. So, my tuning is bass 4, mids 3, treble 3.

To the SH-3 owners, according to Stéphane Rochat, the standard tuning of the UT-3, meaning all switches set on position 3, does not represent the tuning of the SH-3. I heard it as well, the SH-3 was a bit more treble-friendly, clearer in the top-end. I thought it was a bit to clear and bright for me. A matter of taste at the end, eventhough the difference was really subtle, but still there anyway.

Then came the time of choosing the look of my UT-3. P-EAR-S offers a good range of options regarding the design of shell and faceplates. I remained quite "boring" in my choices, as the bill rises quite quickly with fancy designs. To be honest, P-EAR-S charges not so much for a TOTL sounding CIEM (with free ear impressions!), but the personalization of your drivers might cost you some hundreds more. Check their website for more info: https://www.p-ear-s.ch

My UT-3:

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I actually could write pages after pages about the UT-3 and about the sources I have been using with them. Still, I don't like reading to long devices impressions myself, so I want to keep it short from there, otherwise I would repeat what I already mentioned in the "pros" section.

P-EAR-S offers a real TOTL tuning with the UT-3. I am an auto-proclaimed bass lovers, and if you look at the IEM in my signature, you will understand what I mean. Warmish, darkish, full-bodied, analog sound signature is the one I like. Strangely enough, with my first CIEM, I have quit my so-called comfort zone and I am rewarded with amazing clarity, definition and fidelity in sound. Musicality remains at the top of my priorities though, and the UT-3 deliver as much as my fuller-sounding UIEMs in that regard, simply in another league.

The mids especially are excellent in the UT-3. They are crystal clear yet "fleshy" enough. You get the whole message, not less and not more, direct but full-bodied as it as to be be. The treble, my enemy in a bunch of full-sized headphones and IEMs over the last two decades, is now being mastered by P-EAR-S. Free of any sibilance and harshness (if not intended in the recording), it extends naturally and brings all the details from the music into your ears. You are surrounded with music, coming from all parts and without any default. That is the thing. The UT-3 make themselves forget. You are in the music. It is just happening and you don't realize it until you actually do, a few hours later. The bass is not light by any means, especially with the slight "oomph" added in the 4th switch's position. Still, we are not talking Final E5000 or Sony N3 bass here. And it's good so, every IEM its specific signature. I still am listening to my other IEMs now that I have the UT-3, eventhough I mentioned that I will sell some of them in the P-EAR-S dedicated thread.

About the cable: I am not a (real) cable believer. Not in the IEM world. I heard real differences with speakers and, to a lesser extent, with full-sized headphones, but nothing really significant with IEMs. It's my take on that topic. What a cable can do with IEMs is improving comfort, flexibility, microphonic and durability. Connectors play a role as well. The stock cable is good, but the very thin braid makes me a bit anxious. The recessed 2pins are excellent and very sturdy. Well done. Anyway, I love affordable and fancy bespoke aftermarket cable. For the UT-3, I needed something special. My favorite cable brand is OC Studio based in Taiwan. The Caelus (copper) is on its way to replace the stock cable.

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Listening to a very wide genres of music, I just will mention a very few artists/albums, famous or not, that I am enjoying listening with my sources and the UT-3 at the moment:

(FLAC, ALAC and AIFF)
Bruce Springsteen - Devils and Dust + the classics tracks
Peter Gabriel - everything
Roxy Music / Bryan Ferry - the 80's tracks
Kate Bush - everything
Radiohead - everything from Kid A to their actual stuff
Björk - Verspertine & Homogenic
Melody Gardot - Live in Europe
Annie Lennox - Diva
Angelo Badalamenti (all Lynch OST)
OST Blade Runner
OST Hannibal
Hans Zimmer - Live in Prague
Rafael Anton Irisarri/Sight Below - everything
Boards of Canada - everything
+ a lot of french artists (Bashung, Cabrel, Voulzy) and obscure electronics (see my bandcamp profile)


I have not a lot more to say actually. I just wish that anyone loving his/her music already feels or will feel like as I am today. If you are looking for something special, where musicality and precision meet each other, then don't hesitate to consider getting an UT-3, eventhough getting your hands on an UT-125 device remains challenging today. They are some in Thailand, Singapore and Switzerland for sure, but I don't know about America or other EU-Countries.

These were my impressions about the P-EAR-S UT-3. I hope you enjoyed reading them.

A special thank to Robi, Stéphane and the mastermind Samuel for their worthy advices and true kindness. Keep up the good work guys. You are on the right path, to say the least :wink:
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F700
F700
I talk to the boys and if they are ok with a tour in the US, I will try to organize it via a dedicated thread. I used to live in Lausanne for 10 years. Amazing spot. In Gruyere, I hope you tried our famous cheese Fondue :wink: Switzerland has a lot more to offer than just watches, banks, average chocolate, etc... Glad you have enjoyed your stay in my country.
F700
F700
toaster
toaster
Appreciate the update, thx for reporting back. Maybe once things settle down a bit...
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