January 19, 2011

Earsonics SM3 v1: Initial Imperssions

(This is an updated and re-written version of my original impressions thread at TechEnclave here)


14 months ago, I started on a wonderful and wallet thinning journey into the world of IEMs. December of 2010 was a milestone month in that journey. I got TF10, e-Q5, FX700 and last but not the least, Earsonics SM3 all delivered within weeks of each other. SM3 is of particular interest to me, since it has been hailed as the world's best universal IEM by some, which is not without strong disagreements from few others. The following is my own take on SM3. I urge any one who does not yawn after a few paras to read my disclaimer and guide to reading this review

January 18, 2011

A rough guide to reading my impressions

It's important not to overlook the most integral part of a review - the reviewer himself. This is my rough guide to understanding my reviews/impressions.

  1. This blog will never be anywhere near the level of the excellent and exhaustive IEM review thread by ljokerl on head-ficlieOS Signature wise concise review or dfkt's quick comparison on anythingbutipod. My purpose is simple: Have a place to record my rant and ramblings (uncensored) on IEMs.
  2. As with many things in life, my knowledge is acquired and hence not entirely free of influences from the helpful people of head-fi. I have a very similar preference to that of ljokerl, so don't be shocked if our pecking orders overlap a lot. Besides, his reviews have both helped me pick up some IEMs as well as save me from the dangerous mix of my curious mind and non-empty wallet. Like many others, I'm very thankful to ljokerl. I closely follow the critical, often controversial, but always exhaustive reviews of dfkt, though my signature preferences vary from his. Apart from these two, I regularly follow reviews of clieOS (especially his industry insider information and his quick help many a time), ever-easy-to-read mark2410 and posts of mvw2 (for pure technical views which help me expand), rawrster, james444 among many others. It would not be out of place to thank my fellow IEM connoisseurs on TechEnclave Audio Zone. It's the interactions with them over the course of the year that made me want to learn more and express about what I am hearing.
  3. I will make a simple promise. All my impressions will be honest based on what I hear and experience.
  4. I won't write "reviews" in this blog, even if I call them that. These are my subjective impressions of the IEM to the best of my knowledge at that point. Whatever you read in this blog should be taken as my personal opinion and nothing more. 
  5. I'm neither professional nor am I paid for doing this. So, my reviews won't be similarly structured or focused. The style and presentation will be all over the place. Since this is not within the realms of a forum and I don't have intentions to be politically correct, polite or perfect, I may cross the boundaries of G-rated reviews from time to time. But, I'll try to be decent and civilized.
  6. All stated opinion will be based on my knowledge and exposure at that point of time. For instance, until I got a taste of Hippo VB, I did not know what exactly sub-bass was. So, my reviews before that could not have looked at the bass extension aspect, but reviews from that point on will probably include them. I could possibly add comments / re-write previous reviews, but that's another story.