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Simgot EM-5

Rating:
4.33333/5,
  1. Watermelon Boi
    Simgot Roselle EM5 Review - Thoroughly trendy
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Mar 22, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Delicate and trendy sound
    -Eye candy design
    -Quality stock cable
    Cons - 0.78mm yet extruded 2pin sockets
    -Nozzles are rather thick
    -Cable strands loosen up a bit
    DSC_1036.png

    Simgot Roselle EM5: Thoroughly trendy

    Simgot is a young Chinese brand that has been showing some lively activities since the beginning. Their first model, EN700, gained a decent amount of attention for its unique looks and started to quickly bloom the brand with the upgraded model, EN700 Pro. Now they've pursued further with their new EM series - EM5 being the highest model so far. Let's see how it lives up to the flagship title as well as about its sound signature.




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    Unboxing

    The packaging is neat, simple, and packed with accessories. Other than the earpieces, EM5 comes with a 3.5mm stock cable, 3 pairs of eartip type 1, 3 pairs of eartip type 2, leather case, and some paper works. The leather case feels nice and has an inner mesh for storing small accessories or eartips. The only small complaint I'd like to make is that the packaging would have looked even better if there was some design added to it. Both the outer box and the inner one are just plain black without any decors.



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    Earpieces

    Simgot has always been doing a good job with their designs. Shells are made of plastic but built solid and nicely designed, so it doesn't look cheap at all. Nozzles and faceplates are made of metal and give a bit of premium feeling to touch. The earpieces have a compact size and the transparent shell packed with multiple drivers give a techie feel. Nozzle length is just about average, though the diameter seems to be around T500-T600 which is a bit thick. These are also detachable and use 0.78mm 2pin sockets, however they are extruded, unlike the usual ones.




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    Cable

    To clarify from the get-go, the extruded 2pin sockets won't have any compatibility issue with the ordinary cables. However, the 2pin connectors will be more vulnerable as well as slightly weaker attachment with the earpiece. The 2pin sockets on the original cable are dented, giving some extra grip and durability to the connectors. Should be good news if you're sticking with the stock cable, but not much for me as I always enjoy pairing up IEMs with various cables.





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    Sound impressions: Lows & Mids

    EM5 aims for a delicate, fresh sound signature - means that the bass feels transparent but doesn't highlight much quantity. Although bass takes a small step back from mids but still keeps its existence prominent. Ultra lows are mediocre with average texture and extensions. This isn't a bass heavy IEM so this was somewhat obvious, but EM5 does a decent job revealing low-end details and definitely up to par, to say the least. The sub-bass is chewy and has a pretty nice punch to it. It decays with an appropriate amount of reverbs, keeping the sound quite neat. The quantity should be just about right if you're into flat or slightly V-shaped signatures.

    EM5 has a sound that resembles me of sweets and desserts. While manufacturers like Sennheiser or Etymotic strictly head for a rather plain, old-school type of sound, EM5 rather goes for a more colorful and trendy sound. This is something that appears more distinctive on the vocals. The slight coloring on the mid works as a grain of salt, making the sound a whole lot enjoyable and sweeter. I'm quite picky when it comes to tonality and EM5 still managed to keep the tonality up to standard. Not the most reference sound if you're into "plain water-like" sound but I'm positive that most will find this unique touch of coloring exciting and addicting. Sibilance is smoothed out very nicely without noticeable peaks while keeping a very silky texture throughout the mid frequency. One of the most smooth and silky sounds I've heard.




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    Sound impressions: Highs, etc.

    The silky texture from the mids continues on the highs as well. Trebles are similarly positioned with the mids but lesser in quantity, providing the small details while not causing ear fatigue. It feels pretty close to the ears and has a well tamed, bubbly texture. The reverbs on the treble are decently controlled and maintains the clean atmosphere. I much liked listening into the treble from the EM5 as it does an awesome job presenting the highly refined treble textures. Due to all these characteristics, the headroom on these is just about average. Definitely not falling behind, but separation is another part that this IEM does nicely as it's more focused on tuning into the details up close and personal.



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    Verdicts

    Simgot seems to be carefully building up their product line up and done a nice job with this one too. EM5 aims for a silky, twinkly sound signature that is perfectly optimized for modern music. Both quality and cost-performance ratio meet the high standard just as they've shown with their entry models - while this one is a whole lot better in sound, of course. EM5 is a solid performer and will be hard to go wrong if you're into a sweet, trendy type of sound.



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    Simgot Roselle EM5 has been purchased by myself.
    I am not affiliated with Simgot and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
  2. ustinj
    Simgot EM5: Through the looking glass
    Written by ustinj
    Published Dec 2, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - excellent resolution, texturing, speed, separation, accessories, fit
    Cons - can be too bright for some, "recessed" 2-pin connectors look best with stock cable, bass is on the lighter side, subbass
    The Simgot EM5 was an IEM that I had tried quite some time ago (I believe it was Canjam Socal just this year), but had no strong opinion on it. However, many of the IEM’s that I had neutral opinions on at the show floor turned out to be a bit different when I actually spent some time with them.

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    The Simgot EM5 is a 5-driver universal IEM, sporting a single dynamic driver in tandem with four balanced-armature drivers. The dynamic driver in this IEM is the same driver found in the well-received Simgot EN700 Pro. Musicteck offers the EM5 for $499 in their online store.

    Purchase Link: $499 @ MusicTeck

    I’d like to give a shoutout to Andrew over at Musicteck for providing a loaner set of the EM5. I’ve sent general questions over to them over a year ago, and they’ve always been extremely responsive and helpful. I’ll be returning the product shortly after I finish writing this review. I don’t receive any other benefit other than having the opportunity to give the EM5 a test drive.

    Inspection

    The packaging and accessories are simple and streamlined, yet nothing short of premium. This comes at no surprise, as Simgot has proved to be quiet consistent in the packaging / accessories department.

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    Included is a hard rectangular leather-esque carrying case: this is definitely one of the nicest cases I’ve seen included with an IEM. It is secured by a magnetic closure system, with plenty of room inside for the EM5 and a small elastic mesh panel for storing whatever else you may want to include (tips?).

    There are 6 pairs of clear translucent tips included — a set of wide-bore ‘high-frequency’ tips in S/M/L, and narrow-bore ‘bass’ tips in S/M/L.

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    The included stock cable is a four-core (OCC x 2 + SPC x 2) 3.5mm SE to recessed 2-pin connection, designed to fit seamlessly with the EM5. It consists of intertwined copper and silver, giving it a shimmery, luxurious appearance. Earhooks are preformed, and can probably be reshaped with a bit of heat. There is a champagne-gold chin slider above the y-split. Though it’s pretty to look at and completely functional, I do have a few remarks about the cable:

    • The 3.5mm plug is not compatible with some phone cases, as the diameter is 1-2mm too wide.
    • The female 2-pin jacks on the IEM units are protruded (similar to NuForce EDC) so they look ‘best’ with the stock cable / other recessed cables.

    Sound
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    The EM5, in my opinion, is one of the more coherently implemented hybrid IEMs in terms of overall sound signature.

    Bass
    The bass has a very linear and balanced presentation. I can’t imagine anyone out there would listen to the EM5 and consider it too bassy for their tastes; however it’s likely some may feel the opposite, wishing for a more rumbly and authoritative subbass rumble. Midbass is slightly humped over the subbass, resulting in a slightly punchy and agile sound while still retaining the dynamic decay and impact that my BA-only IEMs lack. It could use a hefty touch more subbass rumble, as beefing up the low end a tad bit would result in greater genre versatility. The EM5 is definitely not an IEM that will satisfy bassheads, as it is more focused on speed and clarity rather than pure quantity.

    Midrange
    The midrange is where the EM5 really starts to become its own character, being jarringly clear with excellent resolution. Lower mid-range comes second to the upper mid-range without a doubt. However, thanks to the tame midbass presentation, male vocals don’t suffer a noticeable amount — they are not recessed. Upper mid-range is unapologetically elevated, resulting in a striking clarity that took me by surprise. If there were a physical representation of the EM5’s tuning, the lead vocalist of the group would be in the spotlight on a giant stone pedestal, lifted above the background. Female vocals absolutely soar on the EM5, barely nudging along the border without being outwardly offensive. If there were ever a time to call an earphone the all-too-cliché phrase “crisp & clear”, this might be the one. Unfortunately, this characteristic feature is also its primary shortcoming, as I could imagine some may find it too forward in this region.

    Treble
    The Simgot EM5’s treble is great in the sense that it does nothing distinctly wrong. Lower treble carries some of the momentum from the upper mid-range without being strident. It certainly comes off with a solid sense of clarity and speed. Extension into the upper regions is also adequate, I don’t ever find myself wishing the EM5 had more air. There are no major dips or valleys to make the treble seem uneven or unrefined. Layering between instruments around the treble and midrange is good, creating a solid sense of space and positioning.

    Overall

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    Graph is taken using an IMM-6 and iPod Touch, using FFT Plot. Take it with a grain of salt.

    In summation, the EM5 delivers with incredible clarity and precision, though with a slightly lacking subbass presence. This IEM is definitely not the choice for those who are sensitive to strong upper-midrange frequencies, or those looking for a more laid-back sound with emphasized bass. I found myself enjoying them frequently at lower volumes for acoustic, classical, and other genres without a heavy emphasis on bass. However, music that has a heavy focus on lower frequencies (i.e. Rezz & Fytch – Toxin) feel a bit emotionless and lacking.

    I find the EM5’s soundstage to be capable; it’s definitely not the widest I’ve heard. It extends more forwards / backwards rather than to the left / right, with an above average sense of height. It is far from being claustrophobic.

    Comparison to Campfire Audio Andromeda
    I recall the first time I heard the EM5, there was a sense of an intentional, precisely tuned brightness. Immediately I thought of another IEM that was known for being bright yet incredibly well-received — the Campfire Audio Andromeda. If I haven’t stated it enough yet, I am a huge Andromeda fan and have purchased it multiple times.

    For this comparison, I’ll be running both IEMs through the Shanling M0. I know the Andromeda is incredibly picky with source impedance, so I’ll also give it a go with the UE Buffer Jack. Many Andromeda owners are familiar with the buffer jack’s sound signature.

    After listening to the EM5 for a bit of time, putting the Andromeda on was unfortunately disappointing — the midrange on the EM5 is levels clearer, it is almost as if the Andromeda is producing vocals from beneath layers of blankets. Vocal separation from instruments on the EM5 is simply superb. However, the EM5’s midrange is also drier and less forgiving than the Andromeda’s, with greater texturing. Andromeda has a smoothness / lush property that really can be pleasing to the ears at times, once your ears adapt. After a bit of listening, I could once again hear and pick out the details through the relative vagueness of the Andromeda’s upper midrange. Bass on the EM5 is quicker, cleaner, and less prone to bloating, though also lesser in quantity. Impact is roughly the same, slightly edging towards the EM5. However, the Andromeda straight through the M0 has borderline bass bloating issues, where the lower midrange is overly full. Andromeda has greater treble extension and air than the EM5, with a ‘sparkly’ property following its track record. However, the EM5's lower treble is more forward resulting in greater precision at the cost of occasional hotness.

    Overall, the EM5 and Andromeda vary quite a bit with their intended sound. With a low OI, the Andromeda’s bass presence is greater than the EM5’s, both in subbass and midbass quantity. With the UE Buffer Jack, the Andromeda’s bass quantity and speed comes closer to matching that of the EM5, though lacking the dynamic driver impact. The EM5 presents its midrange with greater clarity and texture, though more fatiguing in that manner. Treble on Andromeda is more extended, airy, and unique in tuning; the EM5’s treble is more traditional in its approach. Andromeda has a charming sound that is easy to listen to, offering a laid-back midrange tuning without sacrificing incredible treble extension; the EM5 offers a less musical, more ‘in-your-face’ detailed tuning with emphasis on upper midrange.


    Conclusion

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    The Simgot EM5 is a uniquely tuned, midforward IEM that focuses heavily on vocal clarity and resolution. With a lighter, punchy, quick bass presentation and traditional approach to treble, the EM5 would be an incredible fit for those who enjoy listening to acoustic, classical, and vocal-focused tracks. It comes in a complete package with excellent quality accessories, and a premium-quality stock cable. At its $499 asking price, I would say it is an excellent value for those who are searching for its specific sound — however, those who desire a warmer, bassier signature should continue to look elsewhere.
      ngoshawk and B9Scrambler like this.
    1. B9Scrambler
      Dude. Those photos are ace!! Nice review too.
      B9Scrambler, Dec 2, 2018
    2. Badder
      Excellent review, but what about isolation?
      Badder, Jan 19, 2019
    3. ustinj
      @Badder I tend to only mention isolation when it's notably poor, and I almost never have issues with IEMs not having enough isolation.
      ustinj, Jan 19, 2019
  3. ngoshawk
    Simgot EM5-A natural progression
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Jul 23, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good fit-n-finish.
    Very good sound, nothing, which doesn't please the ear.
    Excellent cable.
    Enough bass to keep me interested.
    Cons - Would prefer a bit more bass.
    Almost too mellow of a sound for some.
    Nothing of note, really.
    Simgot EM5-A natural progression, just like a fine Sports Car

    Simgot Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/simgotaudio/

    Can be purchased at Musicteck: https://shop.musicteck.com/collections/simgot/products/simgot-em5-ixdd-4xba-hybrid-flagship-iem and Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SIMGOT-hybri...D=31k7%2BcIMX5L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

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    The Simgot EM5 was provided to me in return for an open and honest review. As such, I would have it no other way. I thank Simgot for the opportunity to review their flagship model.


    A little over two years ago, I purchased what I considered at the time to be my end-all, be-all IEM, and I was happy. It was very, very good and I loved the fact that it came from a small manufacturer in this country. I repeated the endeavor a short time later after a review of a similarly priced critter. It was then, in my mind I declared, “it’s all good, no reason to go further up the chain.” Well…as reviews and tours and other items given have shown, I entered that deep dark well of the abyss…the abyss known as upgradeitis. And it didn’t feel good. Turning my back on an old friend, I fell deep and hard until I actually did find what I thought would be my pinnacle. Or at least the one I could live with for a very long, satisfied time.

    Harkening back to that time when the small manufacturer provided me my TOTL so to speak, I thought of their demise. A shame really, as they tried very hard to re-identify themselves with something “more affordable.” Well, to be honest what they provided me (I did purchase it) was just at that time near the “summit” of what would be considered the low-end expensive of the high-end, if that makes sense. That didn’t work, so they closed up shop. I still have the critter and will compare it to the EM5, later. Suffice to say I still use it, but it isn’t quite in my dedicated loop of rotation. I have to make a concerted effort to fit it in…Sad, really. Now all one need do is Google “Flagship IEM,” and you are presented with nie on an impossible list to decide upon, but headlined by Nick’s excellent comparison on Head-Fi (http://theheadphonelist.com/ranking-the-stars-flinkenicks-2017-iem-flagship-shootout/), and a couple of indifferent videos.

    At the request of Andrew from Musicteck, Simgot contacted me to arrange a review model. To my surprise, they sent the flagship EM5. Quickly perusing the reviews, I found a dearth of any, save Twister’s excellent review of the EM pair. During the wait, I read what I could, watched what I could, but not too much as I was A) busy, B) didn’t want to taint anything, and C) traveling a lot (i.e. busy).

    As luck would have it, the EM5 arrived in time for one of my travels with our daughter-unit to a college soccer ID camp. Speedily packing the EM5’s into my go gear, I was able to garner a short (one evenings worth) listen before the travels. As other reviews took precedence in the queue, I added the EM5 to my trusty Shanling M5 and M1s for “burn in” time. Regardless of what you believe, I do this with all review gear, when possible, even tour models. Occasionally giving a quick listen to gander any “changes,” I quickly realized that this would be a good critter in which to have and review. I was quite pleased with the timing and professionalism involved all around.

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    Specs:

    10mm Dynamic Driver
    Sensitivity: 101dB
    Impedance: 160ohm
    2x Knowles TWFK-30017 BA’s for the mids and treble
    2x Knowles SWFK-31736 BA’ BA’s for the extreme treble frequencies
    Frequency response: 15Hz-40khz
    THD: <1% @ 101dB


    Comparisons/equipment used:

    Vibro Labs Aria
    Campfire Audio Jupiter
    64Audio U8

    thebit Opus #2
    Shanling M5
    Shanling M3s
    MacBook Pro/coupled with Burson Play or iFi xDSD
    Questyle QP2R



    Songs used:

    Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:

    Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
    Coldplay-A Message
    Coldplay-White Shadows
    Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
    Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
    twenty one pilots-Trees
    twenty one pilots-Car Radio
    twenty one pilots-Heathens
    Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
    Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
    Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
    Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
    Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
    Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
    Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado

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    Unboxing:

    The Simgot, which means “simple and elegant” arrived quickly. Opening the box to make sure all was well and good, I was impressed by the packing and the package.



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    A rather tasteful black box, with wonderful tactility was highlighted by an engraved “gold” plaque, which carried the serial number, mounted dead center, bottom. Pulling out like a drawer, one is presented with a fantastic leather case (with magnetic closing, and good overlap of the top “half”) on the bottom with the IEM highlighted on the top (mine in Smoke). Almost gaping-mouth like, but politely I was impressed yet again, especially with the Salute to Art and Science message embossed on the back. Nicely done, Simgot.



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    Removing the top cardboard-covered foam protector, you are presented with the “Accessories” box, which contains the cable and tips. Included tips are thoughtfully labeled for two purposes: Eartip 1, which provide Powerful mids, and crystal-clear sound, and Eartip 2, which enhances the bass giving a more neutral-bass oriented sound. A nice touch defining both sets, which come in the ubiquitous S/M/L size. Also included is the Velcro cable cinch, which mostly stays in the box for me, a leather cable holder with magnet to clamp together…and two instruction cards. One the dedicated manual, and the other thicker paperboard, which has a QR code to be used as warranty registration. By doing so, the owner can extend the existing 1-year warranty by 3 months. Another nice addition by Simgot. I’m beginning to understand the company a bit more, and the fervent following some of their other productions warrant. Nice indeed.



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    Fit-n-Finish:



    With a fairly unique clamshell shape, one might except either ridges or a flat smooth surface. One would be wrong, though. There is a certain geometric symmetry to the perfect shape here, which exudes 50’s Cadillac style, what with the hubcap inside the curvy fender shell. I must say the shape is quite refreshing from the “almost” bland stylings of some flagships…ranging from blobs, to be speckled messes, with inlays and all. A tie to nature, and a tie to an iconic time in US history (albeit probable not even thought of in the design…).



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    Tactility is very good, smooth where needed, and “grabbable” where needed. A good mix of shape again aids that tactile feeling. With hints of gold, or salmon color, the EM5 is quite tasteful in design. Add in the excellent colored band where cable meets IEM, and there is an understated elegance to which I approve. This is that good looking ride, which doesn’t shout at you, but know it means business simply due to the looks. There is no faking here. A gold-plated nozzle with a two-shelf design afford the use of many tips, included or the ones on which I rely most; Comply or Unique Melody foam tips. I did try the included silicon tips (both varieties) and could tell a difference between them, but I prefer foam, so the vast majority is with the UM foams.



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    As for that cable, it attaches easily to the protruding 0.78 mm two-pin IEM and nestles snugly when mounted. A good fit, and easy to take care of…no worry about bending pins as they are protected (and actually I never do worry about it…). A seamless look is the result, again like a well-crafted 50’s Cadillac. With a bend greater than 90 degrees, the cable lends itself to already working behind the ear. The cable itself is of a very nice 6-core hybrid design with single crystal copper and silver-plated copper OCC wires. Of a higher purity than the EM3 wire, the transparent sleeve allows the user to see the quality of not only the cable, but the higher quality sleeve itself. Again, a very nice touch. An interesting addition is a semi-transparent sleeve over the 3.5 mm gold plated connector. Sturdy with a good tactile feel. The Y-splitter is of the same construction, gold under semi-transparent sleeve, and a metal chin slider finish the deal. Usually, one can pinch the cable together and see the separate cables wound together (inside their individual housing of course), but here the wind is of a tight small nature, which prevents the user from doing so. I consider this a good thing, and the cable has a supple feel but has a bit of stiction to it. Anything wound less tightly might grab onto the nearest protruding item.



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    Earhooks adorn the business end of the cable, with no memory wire. Think old over ear glasses, which Scientists used, and you get the idea. Winding such that they do overlap the IEM when off, they are a bit of a bundle to get on properly. But once on, no fuss, no problem. Fit of the IEM itself is very good for my average-sized ear. Fitting near-flush, the EM5 is very comfortable and I had no problem wearing the critters for extended listening sessions.



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    The IEM itself:

    The EM5 (five-driver…) consists of the same 10mm dynamic driver as the EM3 (and the EN700 Pro) for mids and bass. Utilizing the excellent Knowles TWFK-30017 BA’s for the mids and treble, and Knowles SWFK-31736 BA’s for the extreme treble frequencies rounds out the 5-driver hybrid. All fit into the relatively small shell as well. Again, I had no problem with the fit or wearing the EM5 for extended periods. A continued well done.

    I am glad that the smoke color was shipped, as I do feel a clear look can add to a bit of distraction. I prefer to have a hidden, or in this case semi-hidden critter. That is just the way I like it. It is a pleasing shape, and the fit does match the look. Sometimes that is not the case. This isn’t one of those times.



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    Knowing that the Simgot EN700 and Pro version were well received, I was eager to try the EM5, anticipating an upgrade from the aforementioned. Based upon those who have heard all, the EM5 is an upgrade, but should be thought of as a separate entity from the others. Think of it this way: the EN700 Pro would be the basic Honda Civic. The EM3, the Civic Si, and the EM5 the Civic Type R. All three cars are very good of their own accord (haha…) but are considered by different purchasers. All three IEM’s will most definitely get the job done here, too.



    As Alex stated so well, he saw the benefit of the EM5 in the high end only, separating itself from the EM3 this way. Not having heard the EM3, I cannot vouch either way. But, I do know that the EM5 is quite good of its own merits. The longer I listen, the more I like them. This is an IEM, which has taken me some time to warm up to. I did like them initially, but they did not wow me. Part of that could be I was coming off the UM Mason/Mentor V3 pair, but I still hold it has taken me some time. This is not a bad thing.



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    Soundwise:

    Overall:

    So, after a good proper burn in (I do it regardless, listening along the way), there are no excuses for the Simgot sound-wise. And, I can report that there aren’t. If I had to “categorize” the EM5, it would be unobtrusive. There isn’t really any tonality, which bargains for space over the others. No fighting for screen time, so to speak. To me, this is a definite positive, and something of a laid-back sound. There is that push up top (which @Twister6 defined as the added extension from the EM3), but it does not bother my sensitive ears. Use silicons, and it is most definitely present, but with good sparkle. Using the foams of which I am fond (either Comply or Unique Melody’s), and the sound just settle nicely into my avenue.

    If one likes a mid-forward (but not too much in my mind) sound then the EM5 is very, very good. Solid vocals, accompany the keyboard in Jah Skaka’s Alpha and Omega, while the bass guitar lays down a solid beat, made more so by the UM foams. Mind you, bass is good without the addition of foam, but for me the bass really starts to shine when foam is added. Others like silicon, I like foam.

    With good air and layering, I find this adds to a good wide soundstage. A bit wider than tall or deep; the soundstage is like a good panoramic. You get everything you need in that frame, and do not miss a whole heckuva lot. And to me, what sounds analytical with silicon sounds closer to natural with foam. While that analytical silicon sound is still good, for me I prefer the more natural tendencies. Heathens from twenty one pilots sounds simply sumptuous through the Opus #2 and EM5. With enough up top, somewhat sparkly, to keep one interested you bounce to Van Morrison’s excellent Take It Easy Baby as if you were in a good juke joint.



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    On songs such as Los Lonely Boys Everything About You, I can sense a bit of analytical cymbal crash, but the rest of the song, with the guitar support is quite sumptuous. This is a sound, which mine ears doth like. Male vocals sing along with the song as they are supposed to…support when needed, front and center for the verse. Good stuff, indeed. I would appreciate a bit more bass thump in the sub bass region. The foam tips can only do so much. But that is in comparison to my 64Audio U8, which are near-legendary for bass quality and quantity in an IEM. See The Light follows, and all is but forgotten, and I lose myself in the listen. Henry Garza’s voice is the tie, and the hook, line and sinker of the deal as JoJo and Ringo compliment perfectly. I do believe that the group has not met the acclaim it should. A fantastic sound, and one of my top five all-time bands. Their music is of the “if I were lost on a desert island” variety, and the Simgot does its best to complement their tunes. Other than that slight artificiality of mids, they are spot on.



    It's Just My Heart Talkin’ typifies how the pair work together. Toe-tapping, this would be an excellent work out IEM, if’n it didn’t cost half a G. Reserved for cold winter nights this sound would warm the heart with your favorite tunes. Good stuff, indeed. Switching back to the included cable, I still get that sense of airiness. This is a fun sounding IEM, complete with the support of a solid foundation. Good bass (almost enough for me), mid-forward mids (with that slight artificiality), and a good reach of treble (aids that airiness) provide the sound, which would work well in a commuter setting. Again, more bass and I would be quite smitten. Please don’t let that dissuade you from this though, it shouldn’t.



    Listening to Trees, I forget all about the fallacies of the Simgot, and just listen. Using the OEM cable gives the EM5 that airy sound, which many seem to like. While I do not mind that, it is the fun-nature of that sound, which I like. One of my current favorite songs, Trees provides the variety needed to fully understand the roots of an IEM, or headphone for that matter. A solid bass line, treble and very busy mid-section provide the listener with enough to fully understand the strength’s AND weaknesses of an IEM. And here is where I part with the accolades.



    If I had to pick, and I will, for I would be remiss if I didn’t, the EM5 is a bit bright on some songs for me. A tendency to “overpromote” the treble sound, my tender, treble-sensitive ears cannot take loud volumes for long if the song has a cacophony of high end sound. If one likes that bright-ish sound, then by all means the Simgot is worthy of a good long look. If you harbor sensitivity, then take what I have written as a small caution. That said, Nobody Else comes on from Los Lonely Boys, and I tend to forget what I just wrote. I sit back and enjoy. The duet vocals sound quite splendid through the Opus #2 and EM5.


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    Comingling’s:



    Running the Simgot through my preferred set up of thebit Opus #2, the sound is of excellent quality. As my reference, the Opus tends to pull out the best and worst of anything thrown their way. And as listed above, the Simgot was all but equal to the task. Albeit a bit thin of bass (except with the aforementioned Han Sound Venom cable), the Opus gives the details, and the IEM must follow suit, or it falls short. And here the EM5 does not fall short. Quick decay of that bass, along with a slightly forward mid, and a bit of sparkle (good energy) up top make for an enjoyable pairing.

    Another excellent pairing (and probably my favorite) is the Simgot with the Shanling M3s. Upon first listen, I immediately felt the energy and synergistic relationship the pair had. Better bass reach than the #2, but a little less up top, the sound was music to my ears. Again, female vocals were quite good. Male vocals falling a bit behind, but still worthy of a listen. This would be a very good commuting pair.

    A late arrival of the Questyle QP2R, allowed me to experience something on par with the Opus #2. And I quickly realized what a splendid piece the QP2R is. With more than enough power to drive the Simgot, it was easier to attain loud listening levels than with the Opus. Not that the #2 was bad, mind you but the QP2R simply had more power. It also became evident that I may need to start saving my pennies for one. Anyway, the sound emanating from the pair was simply sublime. No background noise allowed the sound to ring true. Good reach of bass (better control than the Shanling, with as much), and splendid vocals (both male and female), as well as highs, which represented the artists desires quite well.


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    Comparos:



    The first thing of note when comparing the Simgot EM5 to the Campfire Audio Jupiter, is the velvety smooth midrange of the Jupiter, and how easy they are to drive, when compared. This is darn near nirvanic of quality. And as the “original” CA flagship, I can see why so many fell in love with the Jupiter. Separation on the level of gas stations in the western U.S., the Jupiter cannot hide anything. Laid bare are any failings of sound or artist. This can of course be good and bad. On Diana Krall’s Besame Mucho her sumptuous voice sounds ethereal. That separation allows the air between notes to be clearly heard. While better than the EM5, the Simgot is no slouch by any means. On the follow up song, Dire Straits Heavy Fuel, I prefer the sound provided by the EM5. Almost like being in a hole, the Jupiter falls behind here. But still not that bad. Both are very good. Both are of a different tone and can be complimentary if they reside within your abode. Thus, I will not be drawn into which is better.



    As for an old friend the Vibro Labs Aria (R.I.P.), there is still that intimate sound emanating from them. With decent sub bass reach (slightly behind the EM5), but better upper bass punch, it is a tradeoff. Harder to drive, one much crank the volume to be able to hear what the Simgot can at lower volumes. With slightly less air between notes, one can surmise this accounts for a good part of that intimacy. And you would not be wrong. For what the Aria gave at the time, it was quite good. But, in only 3 years has been surpassed by many, many offerings. That said, there is a certain almost-holographic nature to its overall qualities, which can be quite intoxicating in which to imbibe. But, time has passed, and the EM5 is better in almost every way. This should not prevent one from auditioning a used Aria, if one has the chance. Fit and finish are superb, and the walnut face is beautiful. This is still one of the best fitting IEM’s I own, and one in which I do still cherish.



    Le Grande Finale:



    So. Call it a time crunch, call it bad timing, call it superb luck, call it what you will; but during the same time span I have had the honor of auditioning another fine IEM (not to be named). Having the obligation of splitting time between the two is not ideal (but oh well, I’ll deal with it…), but does allow a comparison, even though it may not be fair. What I can say is that each has their respective positives, and respective markets. To me this clearly shows how close the mid-fi range has become. Watching the Tour de France, this would be like that breakaway where if you make it, good. If not, too bad. And within that breakaway you have varying abilities and styles. That would certainly be the case here. Each of the two has a differing sound signature, but not by that much. And both I would consider good.



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    Well. What might this mean? It means that you have many, many choices from which to decide. And that is not a bad thing. As such, manufacturers are in constant need to provide some “trick” or something “new” to their products in order to sell. And here is where I disagree. One does NOT need a new trick in order to compete. One need only fine tune or “update” a current model. Think of how long the Porsche 911 has been around. Think of all of the models represented since its inception in 1963. One does not tend to alter too much a classic of such nature. And in those 55 years the 911 has become the iconic sportscar, with many, many varieties to pique one’s interest. And this is what separates it. Others modify or change (save the Corvette, possibly), Porsche solidified with differing models of the same base. And here is where I could see Simgot going with the EM5. Going back to what Alex said (yes, I know I have quoted him a good bit, but it is from that which I draw a comparison), the main difference between the EM3 & EM5 is the upper end. A tweak of driver count and upper end ability. They didn’t redo the whole thing. They added to an existing base. Yes, the EN700 Pro is of the same heritage, but think of that as the base model, the EM3 the Sport, and the EM5 the all-out 911 Turbo.



    This is a very good company accomplishment and a very good IEM.



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    I want to again thank Simgot and Musicteck for the honor of reviewing the EM5. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and am happy it has become part of my listening queue. It is worth it.

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      rantng and itzflashgordon like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Badder
      Very good review, but can you please comment on isolation? Thanks.
      Badder, Jan 19, 2019
    3. ngoshawk
      The isolation will be tip dependent. That said, for my average sized ears, using the silicon tips gave me a slightly better deal than the foam. But, I felt completely isolated like being underwater. This often happens to me with silicon tips and I don’t really feel comfortable in that listening environment.
      ngoshawk, Jan 19, 2019
      Badder likes this.
    4. ngoshawk
      The foams provide very good isolation, again dependent upon the type. With the Comply Comfort, the fit and iso were exactly what I needed. With the Comply Sport, I had better iso, but again that feeling of complete iso. Overall, I would call the em5 isolation slightly above average, that can be taken to WELL above average with the right (or wrong to me) tip. Hope this helps. And thank you for the kind words!
      ngoshawk, Jan 19, 2019
      Badder likes this.