Earsonics S-EM6v2 “The Scalpel”

By 09/04/2017In-Ear Monitors

Earsonics is a boutique audio equipment company located in Castries, France. They specialize in custom in-ears and hearing protection units Earsonics is a well known company around the world and they are in business for quite a long time.

In 2013, they launched S-EM6 and I suppose it was the first 6 driver iem in the industry. It had a full bodied, smooth sound signature and it caused quite stir around audiophile world.

In 2017, they updated their design again. Unlike the V1, v2 is targeting the reference signature lovers, Let’s get to it without further ado.

S-EM6v2 will be referred as “6v2”

 

Specifications

Earsonics S-EM6v2

  • Sensitivity: 112 dB/mW
  • frequency response: 10 Hz -22 kHz
  • Impedance: 30 ohm
  • Driver: 6 Balanced Armature with 3 way crossover (2x high 2x mid 2x low)
  • MSRP: 999€

 

Testing Equipment

Sources

  • Chord Hugo (Main Source)
  • iBasso DX200 -Reference Amp-
  • Audioquest Dragonfly Black

Cables

  • PW Audio No.5
  • Linum Bax 2-pin
  • DHC Nucleotide v3

 

Accessories

The new S-EM6v2 comes with an elegant box similar to S-EM9.

Accessories are quite modest, minimal. You only get what you need.

  • 4  Comply tips
  • 4 silicon tips
  • 1 cleaning tool
  • Carrying case
  • User manual
  • Stock cable
  • 6.3 to 3.5mm adapter

Design | Build | Fit

Hand-built by meticulous frenchmen, from tip to bore. Mould material is acrylic. 6v2 is using the same glossy finish of S-EM9. I gotta be honest with you. These got brilliant form/factor. It’s %33 smaller than S-EM9 and fit is absolutely spectacular. Better than any monitor I’ve ever worn. 6v2 is a 3 sound bore design with diffractive acoustic chamber. They’re quite lightweight as well.

Sound Signature

S-EM6v2 is actually quite different from other Earsonics family members. This time Earsonics aims for accuracy and parts ways from their house sound. They are targeting the “reference” signature.

6v2 is technical, analytical and fairly balanced across the spectrum. It’s frequency response is not completely flat but it’s damn close. It’s more of a clinical monitor rather than musical. Note presentation is somewhat light so you must pay attention to synergy to achieve your final taste.

 

Low Region

Earsonics did target the reference signature BUT they didn’t completely take away good old earsonics bass response. It’s not as quantitatively abundant as its predecessors but the bass is definitely there. Don’t worry though, it’s not dry-ish like ER4 or K712. Additionally, sub attack/decay is quite fast. Overall bass quality is good, also very dynamic, no issues with fast passages & twin pedal frenzy.

 

Mid Region

Mids are articulate and transparent. Vocals are very clean. Upper mids have more presence than any other Earsonics iem. Say “Hi” to crispy, vivid, energetic cymbals!

Upper mid region can sound harsh with badly mastered tracks and bright sources (such as C4) So you have to be careful about source-iem synergy with this one, I recommend getting a musical dap or dac/amp to achieve best synergy. Subjectively prominent upper mids do have an advantageous side. It gives the sound a sense of air and spaciousness. Vocal tonality is quite good as well, neither completely dry nor completely wet. It’s quite delightful to listen to some Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans…

 

High Region

Probably my favourite region of 6v2. High frequencies are fluid, articulate and incredibly detailed. 6v2 gets a huge clarity boost from this section. Treble extension is also very impressive. Saxes, Piccolos, Flutes does not feel artificial. 6v2 is presenting them with a transparent, neutral tonality.

I haven’t picked up any harshness along the way, which was a huge relief to be honest.

Soundstage, Imaging and Instrument Separation

Being clean and transparent, 6v2 offers a good headroom for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Layering and separation within the soundstage is very good. Although I must point out that general performance of 6v2 is highly source dependant. You need good synergy. For example, it’s quite good with Chord Hugo but not with Lotoo Paw Gold for my taste..

Anyways, there is enough air between instruments but staging is linear rather than 3 dimensional. This changes greatly with players though, Hugo offers a greater holo effect and imaging while LPG is trying to put everything on one line, trying to choke you with macro details.

 

Cable Improvement

This is a quite important subject so I reserved a special chapter for it. I tried Linum Bax, DoubleHelix Nucleotide and PW Audio No.5

Let me split this into mini sections.

 

Nucleotide (Pure Copper):

I use this cable daily with ES3 and it’s quite good. However, paired with 6v2, upper mids took a bad turn and lost the control that they had before. This was not a good pairing 6/10

 

Linum BaX (SPC):

Little boost to clarity and bass tightness with a major problem. Congestion. Tracks with fast passages and linum bax doesn’t go together well. 5/10

 

Pw Audio No.5 (Pure Copper):

This cable contributed to note weight resulting in bolder presentation and relatively more musical approach. Combined with Chord Hugo, I’d say 6v2 has hit the sweet spot.

Additionally, with this cable, bass hits harder and tighter. Vocals gets tad bolder. Upper mids take half a step back. 9/10

 

Short Comparisons

vs. Earsonics S-EM9 (1.500€)

9’s bass is bigger, better, stronger. 9’s mids are smoother and distant, Treble-wise both iems are quite similar. SM9 has bolder tonality. S-EM9 is musically better whereas 6v2 is flat and reference.

 

vs. Noble Audio Kaiser 10 (1600$)

K10’s vocal presentation is bolder. Its bass also goes deeper and have more whack effect.

6v2’s bass response is tighter and faster. Attack/Decay and PRaT is also superior with 6v2,

Resolution-wise K10 is 1 step ahead.

 

vs. Oriolus + PW.5 (1.300$)

6v2 is more flat, analytic and even more energetic. Oriolus’ bass authority is much stronger but 6v2 has clearer highs. Oriolus vocals are bolder. 6v2 is faster PRaT-wise.

Less congestion during fast passages and high bmp tracks.

 

vs. Earsonics ES-3 (399€)

ES-3 is warmer and has less treble sparkle. Upper mids are rasped as well. Clarity-wise, 6v2 is ahead. 6v2 is also more detailed and airy. ES-3 is more musical and its bass hits deeper.

PRaT is on the same level.

Summary

Right out of the box, 6v2 may not impress the perfectionist inside you but if you actually take the reins and pair 6v2 with a good source, it will surprise you quite dramatically. There are very few earphone which made me burst into dance while listening to “Kafka” from Brahny. Hugo – 6v2 combo is one of them. Treble detail and fluidity is amazing. Stop for a second there and put yourself in the hands of 6v2’s technical prowess..

Aero

Author Aero

Tech Enthusiast, Audiophile, Perfectionist.

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