Bass – Mids – Treble
Let’s start of with the bass. Bass always has good body and impact but is never overly present or very boosted for that matter. When needed the bass in the EM64 will be there. I can’t call he EM64 a bass neutral IEM as it has more body then a flat bass tuned one, but it also isn’t a basshead’s wet dream either. Bass is just right for stage use.
Bass goes down low, but the real sub bass is lighter in presentation. You get more mid bass and upper bass. There it is fast, detailed and spacious and is delivered with good speed and impact. Even though the layering isn’t the very best, the bass presentation is addictive and engaging
The bass connects nicely to the mids where you get a smoother and warmer presentation. The mids have a nice airy feeling, with excellent separation and a good level of detail. Voices blend in perfectly and the extension, decay and musicality make it really nice mids to listen to.
I would say the mid layering is better than that of the bass, and for the rich mid section is the best part of the EM64.
Treble wise the EM64 is perfectly in control and is nicely contrasts the bass section with lively and energetic treble. The EM64 never pushes the treble too far and treble at all times will be free of any harshness. The treble extension is good, as well as the spaciousness and layering. At the same time the EM64 plays it safe on the treble side, it easy to like and won’t offend anyone. Real treble seekers might find the EM64 a bit lacking in this area but Earsonics has tuned it like it tuned the mids: musical, engagind and very easy to love.
The Ultimate Ears LIVE is UE’s latest stage monitor but compared to the EM64 is has an extra 2 drivers. These are the 6mm bass driver and the Truetone driver, and because of that the LIVE sounds very different. It’s mostly the mids section which is lighter and that in combination with the bass and the treble driver make the LIVE more V-shaped in sound compared to the EM64. I really love the LIVE’s clarity and energy, which is a level up from the EM64’s. The EM64 however is more coherent and balanced in the presentation and it flows more. The LIVE ‘s separation is stricter.
The LIVE’s strong points are the lows, with excellent sub bass and perfect layering. Something which isn’t directly the strongest point of the EM64. The other strong point of the LIVE is the further extended and spacious treble, making the monitor sound more energetic. The LIVE’s and EM64’s signature and presentation – even though they’re both stage monitors – are very different and they will probably attract a different kind of artist. Both great stage monitors, just different.
Lime Ears’ brand new Aether R is also a 6-driver, but it wasn’t specifically built for stage use. The neat thing about the Aether R is though that it has a switch. And the switch activates or deactivates the sub-woofer effect. I love it, Aether R is like the original Aether, but further advanced and superior in almost every way. In the “neutral” switch position the Aether R maintains a neutral tonality with a very slight emphasis on sub-woofer lows and crispy highs. With the sub-woofer driver switched up – the way you will want to use it on stage – it receives a powerful and accurate punch in the lowest region, while maintaining great clarity and dynamics of both mids and an increased sparkle in highs.
The Aether R is brilliant. Again it’s very different from the EM64 but that’s normal as this isn’t a pure stage monitor. Here you get more extension, better layering, incredible spaciousness and top level separation. This is an technically strong, musical monitor for the pure audiophile. It breaths energy, speed, and impact. The delivery is precise, fast, and lively. Very different from the EM64’s sound stage but with the bass “boost” on I can see people using this on stage. Full review soon.
The Jomo Audio Tango is a bit older already but it’s also a six driver monitor I always liked. It’s the thickest and slowest monitor of all the monitors mentioned in this article, but with its full body, deep bass, smooth and warm presentation, it’s the perfect monitor to dream away with and just enjoy your music. The Tango isn’t the technically strongest in this article’s selection, but it for sure has the most impressive bass.
Tango’s bass is deeper and bigger compared to that of the EM64, the mids smoother and warmer, the treble less clear and energetic. The Tango’s sound stage, spaciousness and separation isn’t up to the level of that of the EM64. But the Tango is made to enjoy your music and have fun with the extra bass.
A good source will improve the EM64’s performance but it’s not a very difficult monitor either. With its sensitivity of 127 dB/mW it really can be driving by anything and for use on stage there won’t be any issues in this regard.
My advice is to not combine the EM64 with a DAP or source with a bass focus, small sound stage, or dark presentation. I would recommend a lively, energetic source, with a wide sound stage and eye for detail and layering. To me those are the best combo, and then I’m thinking in the likes of Mojo, Hugo 2, DragonFly Cobalt, SP1000 and the Fiio X7ii.
My personal favorite DAC/AMPs with the EM64 are the Mojo and the new Cobalt. My favorite DAP is the Astell&Kern SP1000 because of its speed, clarity, detail and extension.
I have been using the EM64 for a long time now and I have really enjoyed it. The EM64 is a stage monitor first of all and it performs excellent for that type of use. But the EM64 is more than just that, as you get a high quality sound with a musical and addictive presentation as well. The end result for only 6 drivers is quite remarkable, especially the stereo image, detail retrieval and mid spaciousness.
The EM64’s sound is very easy to love and enjoy and you’ll be tapping your feet and singing along with your music in no time. It’s one of the ideal monitors for people who need it professionally but also want to use it in their free time, and enjoy their music at home or on the go.
All for one – One for all.