EarSonics Purple IEM

EarSonics Purple IEM

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Product Description
There is no one-size-fits-all audiophile experience—so why not get earphones that give you several? Engineered for exceptional versatility and sonic quality, the Purple IEM from EarSonics features a modular contour system that allows you to switch between three tailored sound signatures Read More
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5.0
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ckinzie
31
May 11, 2021
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Normally I just bullshit my reviews for drop points, but since nobody else has reviewed this $1500/$900 powerhouse of an IEM, I'll actually try to be descriptive. Forgive me for the amateur reviewing. Packaging: The box is padded with foam all around, and everything inside was safe. That said, drop could have used more padding, the box itself was dented on arrival (Norway). It would be nice if the documentation were in a language besides French, but they're IEMs, they're pretty straightforward to use. They came with a screwdriver for the tone knobs, what seems to be a cleaning tool, a zip-up firm shell carrying case, and 6 sets of tips. Tips: The tips are decent. I use the smallest rubber tips, since my ear holes (?) are very small. They're very noise isolating, but the next size up are too large for me and somewhat painful. If you have small ear canals like me, the foam tips may be too large. Adapter: The included 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter (1/4" to 1/8") was really sensitive for me - any slight movement would mess up the audio, but replacing the adapter with another one I had lying around made this a non-issue. Cable: I've been using this on my desktop with the included cable and an Element II, which is entirely overkill for these guys considering the impedance is if I recall correctly 45 ohms. But they sound great, and can be driven ear-piercingly loud. The included cable is wound together very well. I've been using them on my phone (no aux jack) with the ddHiFi USB C balanced DAC and a 2.5mm cable from Drop. I don't notice any difference between the unbalanced and balanced connections unless I'm working with a ton of interference. They're both very clear. Looks: Damn these things look cool, I love the transparent housing. You can see how packed the internals are, there's pretty much no space in there, and yet the space is well organised. Of course it's a matter of opinion, but if you like to see the internals, the novelty is there. Sound: This is probably why you're here. They're remarkably precise. It's the first thing I noticed, and you can really hear every sound in the music. Different instruments sound like they're playing independently. Seeing as there are five drivers, they very well could be. When I want to learn a bassline, I can make it out without a problem. Quieter vocals are also very easy to hear. This holds true even at the lowest volumes. That said, sometimes the precision can be too much. I never really got when people said something is "unforgiving of low quality recordings" until I bought these. They reproduce every flaw. Vinyl static can also get distracting on lower quality pressings. But for high quality recordings, these are amazing. I'm normally not a big EDM listener, but I've found that these really bring out the best of it - it's very clean, and bass heavy tracks aren't overwhelming. Guitar really shines on these as well, it stands out clearly and cleanly, even in the background. Vocals are crisp, and for songs with breathing or whispering it feels very intimate. The tone knob is quite nice. Most people will probably want this somewhere between normal and warm. I've found that the treble on normal can get a bit aggressive at higher volumes, so I have it about halfway between normal and warm. Fully warm seems to tone down the treble a bit, whether that's good or bad is up to you. I have a good ear for bass, so I don't need it fully warm, but I find normal and tight a bit too aggressive on the treble at higher volumes. Tighter is still good for quiet or muffled audio, or for mixes that overdo it on bass. Bass: They killed it with the drivers here. Bass sounds clean and clear. Basslines stand out, and at warmer settings the bass can really get thumping. I listened to a lot of Sunn O))) to test how they handle bass and sub-bass together, and they sound great. Even at low frequencies I can hear a difference between sound sources, though not quite as pronounced as in the mids. Mids: Very clear, and this is where the precision really comes out. Throw in a jam-packed mix full of sounds and you'll hear them all. Jazz and funk especially sound super fun and get me in a dancey mood. Piano, guitar, vocals, drums, anything playing in the midrange sounds super clear and the tone knob really lets you set the mids exactly how you want them.  Treble: Extremely good at normal and somewhat high listening volumes. The treble can be aggressive at very high volumes on the normal and tight presets. But if you're not cranking the volume knob all the way up, it sounds amazing. These things really shine at high frequencies. I haven't heard anything that presents high brass instruments better. Whiny and high pitched vocals sound very emotional, and while I like the powerful (but not annoying) treble, the tone knob lets you tone it down if you prefer a warmer sound. Are they worth the full $1500? Depends on you. I think they're excellent, but it's worth shopping around first. I'd say the $900 sale was definitely worth it. They're the best monitors I've listened to, and I can't see myself using anything else, aside from when I'm listening to a shitty vinyl or low quality recording, or I want the soundstage of open-back headphones. The tone knob is a tremendous plus. The only issues I take with them are the aggressive treble at high volumes, which I think Earsonics could work on in the future, though I don't think most people listen at volumes *that* high anyways. And the precision making them unforgiving of lower quality recordings, but that says more about the recording than about the IEMs. 10/10 sound, brought down to 9/10 when considering the tips, lack of English documentation, and the finicky 1/4" adapter. 
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
RayF
21962
May 13, 2021
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