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Spiral Ears SE6 introduced!

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  1. Noctriccio
    Received my SE6 a few days ago. What a masterpiece.

    A few points I can make

    1. SE6 is a natural sounding iem. The bass has very high quality and dives very deep but the energy does no pass to the low-mid to give a warm sound. I think the upper mid is slightly recessed (at least compared to the bright/v-shaped ones), so the sound is more cool and serious than energetic and engaging. The treble extends very well, even to compare with a18t.

    2. The real strength of SE6 is the preciseness of its sound, both spatially and temporally. You can feel the sound initiating from an exact point and decays naturally to its surrounding with time, just like a ripple from a stone tossed in water. This allows SE6 to have a very large, accurate sound stage (3D) and high resolution while the sounds are yet well mixed -- trying to avoid terms like holographic because I have no intention to advertise.

    3. SE6 is very sensitive to the source, and is power hungry. I once thought its decay at upper treble was too much, until I realized that my Hugo2's high-freq roll-off filter was turned on (lmao, especially considering that many ppl complained the filter had no actual function). Seems they spent some real effort on tuning so that you are more likely to screw things up rather than to improve. The difference between lossy and lossless music is larger on SE6 than other iems I listened. I don't think SE6 performs well on common portable devices (e.g. iphone). It just sounds without its sound signature. Even on Hugo 2 I have a bit issue with its dynamics -- should be better to match with its outstanding transient response. It is questionable whether this piece is really designed for portable music.
  2. Mimouille

    Interesting points. It is very punchy and energetic with my LPG 2017, but mids are a bit brittle. It is a bit more spacious and smooth with the WM1Z, but I am curious where it can go with other sources.

    So you wouldn't recommend Hugo 2?
  3. Noctriccio
    On Hugo 2 it still sounds very well (in contrast to on iMac, which I do not recommend), but at a point where you know you can expect a bit more.

    Maybe wa8 is somewhere to start.
    Mimouille likes this.
  4. Mimouille
    Or maybe WA11 :dt880smile:
  5. DeepGroove
    The SE5 Ref and Ult do need a lot of power. I find the single-ended output on AK70 too weak, but the one on the Hugo 1 good. Would love to hear recommendations for portable amps. I am considering Vorzuge and Woo Audio. Thanks in advance!
    rpade likes this.
  6. Mimouille
    For SE5U the LPG is great. Otherwise I am not familiar with portable amps.
  7. dennistdk
    Since you have the Hugo - maybe consider the Mojo for ultra portable. I really like the that combination and use the Mojo 90% of the time with my SE5U (together with a home made "poly"). I'm really considering the SE6U, but maybe next year... :)
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  8. Mimouille
    The SE6, not SE6U :beyersmile:
    The SE6 is already ultimate.
  9. Kerouac
    No matter what...if/when I'm gonna win that lottery in 4 days I'll be orderering that 'one and only' SE6UUU (Ultra & Utterly Ultimate) nonetheless!
    Just 3 printed U's on those SE6 shells and placebo will take care of the rest :grin:
    DaveStarWalker likes this.
  10. dennistdk
    The original price point announced was probably for the SE6U. Will wait for that then :)
    davidmolliere and Mimouille like this.
  11. Simon T
    Hi everyone,

    Thought to share some impressions on the SE6, which I have received a “few weeks ago. Well, this is a comparison among the SE6, SE5U and EE Legend X (Universal), + a bonus impression J… on a particular album I found in Tidal, Alan Walker’s “Faded” track in four versions, as follow:

    1. Original:
    2. Instrumental:
    3. Restrung:
    4. Piano: *sorry could not find the official Piano version on YouTube

    Below are just subjective impressions, based on my personal listening preferences and experiences. It was tested with Onkyo Granbeat DP-CMX1 DAP (between, this is how I do most of albums auditioning through Tidal on 4G). Without further a due, let’s start:

    1. Original version – This is the most demanding of the four versions. The electronic instruments are coming from all directions lows, mids, highs, left, right, front and back; while the female vocal is at the center. If the IEM does not possess a stage dimension allowing right balance of notes separation and resolution, the track will sound too congested. The ideal sound I am looking for on this track, is an energetic sound, where my mind is immersed to the melodies while listening to the vocals.
    2. Instrumental version – This version is the same as the Original version, but without the female vocals. If the IEM, does not have a more neutral frequency response, you can identify which particular area of the sound spectrum is emphasized. The ideal I am looking for on this track is the same as the Original version, but without vocals I am able to focus more on following the 3D imaging of the electronic notes.
    3. Restrung version – This version is probably my favourite, as is basically the acoustic version of the original (piano, violin, cello and etc.); while the female vocals takes center stage and becomes more intimate. Since the tempo is slower, intimate mids, resolution and detail retrieval is what I look from an IEM. The ideal sound I am looking for on this track, is being immersed by the angelic voice of the singer, while the acoustic instruments perfectly blends and supports the lyrics.
    4. Piano version – Well, very pleasing and laidback track nothing but the Piano from the Restrung version. The IEM which conveys sounds to feelings with realistic tonality and notes decay is the winner. The ideal sound I am looking for on this track is a smooth and romantic tune, which the piano notes, comes alive.


    1. Original version ranking: EE Legend X > SE6 > SE5U
    Because the SE5U tonality is warmer with a blacker background, while treble region is tuned to be natural sounding; when the track gets busy, it feels a little congested. Nonetheless, the bass is punchier than the EE Legend X, on the other hand, the EE Legend X bass and sub-bass is more impactful; while, the SE6 bass is basically SE5U with brighter sound signature.

    In term of the mids, I can go for either the SE5U or SE6; it is just a matter of sound signature preference warmer vs slightly brighter, while the EE Legend X mids are less dense and feels more.

    Nevertheless, where the EE Legend X beats the SE5U by a bigger margin than the SE6 is the airiness and crispiness of the treble, which is translated to taller overall presentation and separation.

    2. Instrumental version ranking: SE6 > EE Legend X > SE5U
    Following up, on the above mentioned comparison, everything still holds true. Nonetheless, since there are no vocals in the track, the bass on the EE Legend X becomes more prominent compared to the mids and highs.

    At such, on this version, I prefer the SE6 rendering with a more neutral sound signature and better 3D imaging. Although the SE5U rendering improved, as it becomes less congested without the vocals; due to its slightly warmer tonality, it does not bring the energy required for such kind of music genre.

    3. Restrung version ranking: SE6 > SE5U > EE Legend X
    There is a reason why the SE5U is a multiple award winning IEM, although at first listen you will probably not be impressed by it. Nonetheless, whether is due to its silicone housing and/or the masterful tuning and/or the 5 way crossover. It just bring a different type music listening experience. The best analogy I can make from my personal experience is as follow. To me the difference between a Good musician and a GREAT musician, is when the Good musician hits the notes of the instruments with impeccable timing and the intended music is delivered to the audience; while, the GREAT musician not only delivers the afore mentioned, additionally, he/she can convey their emotions though their music.

    At such, the reason I have placed the SE6 and SE5U above the EE Legend X, is that, although the EE Legend X in certain expects of the track does it better, such as, slightly wider and taller soundstage feels airier compared to the SEs. The presence of the female vocal and the acoustic instruments resolution and detail retrieval are good, but not distinctive enough as it slightly lacks in terms of stage depth/layering.

    While the SE6 and SE5U enables me to concentrate of the vocals, while allowing the instruments to nicely blend and make the impact as intended during the song. Now, I am not saying that the SEs are mid-centric, I am pointing out that thanks to the PRaT it conveys, the track sounds much more realistic.

    I am giving the edge to the SE6 because of the improved upper register; however, if you are into a more laid-back slightly warmer sound signature the SE5U is the better choice.

    4. Piano version ranking: SE5U > SE6 > EE Legend X
    This one was a tough one, ironically, because the track is the simplest. Each of the IEMs displayed their strengths and brought something different on the table, I was going back and forth among the 3. The EE Legend X again because of the slightly airier with wider and taller stage, it sounded like you were in a music hall; while, the SE6 felt as if you were in a restaurant with Live Piano music playing in front of your table.

    Nonetheless, I would give this to the SE5U, it just sounded so darn romantic, with the warmer background, it felt like the musician was playing this piece in front of you and for you.

    To conclude, this is how, when and where I see myself listen to these 3 IEMs:

    The EE Legend X (Universal) is used for listening to energetic music when I am on the go, whether, the genre is electronic, rock, pop and etc.; since they are universal they can be mounted and dismounted with ease, and can be share it with other fellow music enthusiasts.

    The SE5U is used when I just want to enjoy the music in a laid back mode, while being more analytical in my listening, either, sitting down in a café or long plane journeys or before I go to take a nap/sleep, whether the genre is acoustics, classical, jazz and etc.; the comfort of the silicone housing and fit of the custom is unmatched compared to acrylic CIEM and universal IEMs.

    Only had the SE6 for a few weeks, I would want to spend more time with them, the comparison above it is just some impressions on a one track album. However, as of now, I could easily think that the SE6 could replace the SE5U, as overall it is an improvement, except during nap time :zzz:.

    Hope this post has been helpful.

    Cheers & Happy New Year!!!
    Simon T.


    p.s. Oh yeah… The Bonus impression!!! Recently, I had auditioned the Shure KSE1200, which is basically the KSE1500 without the DAC component in the portable amp. As I mentioned previously in the thread, I did not pull the trigger on the KSE1500, because, I was hoping for improved DAC for its successor. Well, after auditioning the KSE1200 with few of my DAPs, I was impressed and purchased it; and since it was out of stock, I am eagerly waiting for them to be shipped in mid-January.

    In summary, the KSE1200 is a different beast, which easily compliments the SE6:
    -Natural Tonality (SE6) vs Reference Tonality (KSE1200)
    -Realistic/Visceral Resolution (SE6) vs Transparent/Clear Detail Retrevial (KSE1200)
    AC-12, Rollk2, fiascogarcia and 4 others like this.
  12. justrest
    @Simon T Thank you for the impressions. That Legend-X has really beautiful faceplate. Which cable are you using with LX?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  13. Simon T
  14. DeepGroove
    @Simon T thank you for the wonderfully detailed impressions.

    I have the SE5U and I am trying to wrap my head around whether the SE6 would be a worthy upgrade. Would you say that the SE6 is a brighter, more energetic version of the SE5U? What makes you not want to nap with it?

    Thank you.
  15. justrest
    I thought LX universal has only black faceplate, that must be some special edition product. Both cable and LX looks gorgeous, enjoy. Best.
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