Here’s my quick review and pictures of the Earsonics ES3. I apologize in advance for my bad english and many thanks to my sister for the pictures…. :
The design is quite exactly the same than the Velvet…from memory, not having them anymore, they have the same size and are very well built, very solid, good looking in theyre black gloss plastic. Isolation and comfort are also a very good point about them, almost to me and my ears. I don’t want to go further about this point and let you watch my picture that will surely tell much more about their look…
I tested them with my Shozy Alien and my Mojo Chord (connected to SONOS system). All songs are in flac and I listen to a lot of kind of music : jazz, electronic music, trip-hop, electro-pop, electro-jazz, drum&bass and so on….
I will compare them directly to my Earsonics EM 32 and SEM 9. As Earsonics say, are they really the « little brother » of the SEM 9 ? The first impact about them is their tonal balance which is very balanced, their transparence, their dynamism and their details in all the spectrum, specially in the upper mediums.
The sub bass is surprising for such price. They are very airy, textured and layered with lot of rumble. Quantity of sub bass is less than EM 32 but I’ll say at the same level of the SEM 9. Like them, the extensions are very good, natural and envelopping.
The bass in the ES3 are perhaps less than the Sem9 and the EM 32 in terms of quantity but remains vey well bodied, full, impactfull and very layered. The upper middle are very capable despite the fact that they are a little step above the big brother SEM 9 that is incredibly impactfull…
As we are used with Earsonics, the middle is one of the best feature that the ES3 have with something new (almost to me, for my ears,) being used of Earsonics products; The « dip » in the upper medium/lower treble is less pronounced than other ES products (SEM 9 and mostly EM 32), giving more energy to this aerea, without becomming sibillant or harsh. I am very sensitive about this aerea and to mye ars, despite this, I still can recognise ES mediums. They are still liquid, lively very precise, dynamic, detailled and textured. Timbre in female voices are very natural and realistic.
Treble quantity is on par with the SEM 9 and more present than the EM 32, they are sparkly, well extended, full bodied, perhaps a little bit colored, giving a good amount of details but without becoming to much « clinical » or fatiguing.
The imaging is very 3D like, lot of height, of depth, a little bit deeper than the EM32, a little bit less deeper and coherent than the SEM 9, with a very good instrument separation and a lot of air. It has more soundstage than the SEM 9, I’ll say that he is on par with the EM 32 in this regard.
Are they really SEM9 little brothers ? I can surely say yes… Of course, the SEM 9 do everything a little bit better but the SE 3 keep about 90% SEM9 philosophy (in term of sound signature), the difference to my ears is that the SE 3 offer more soundstage (less coherency?), more middle/treble transition energy, a little bit less bass than the SEM9 but at the end, will give you, in a fraction of SEM 9 price, lot of musical pleasure. They are very versatile, lively and easy to drive. When I first listened to them, I’ didn’t believe they were 400 euros IEM’s… I will easily put them to the Velvet quality range in terms of technicality and musicality.