Today we take a detailed look at Earsonics’ most recent and highly anticipated Universal IEM: the Earsonics Purple.
Disclaimer: The Earsonics Purple was sent me directly by the company itself from France as a review sample. The MSRP of the Purple is 1190 EUR at this point. Earsonics is not affiliated with Headfonia.
Well well, what do we have here? The latest creation from a brand which has many audiophile fans across the globe, including in my country. Earsonics received a huge fan boost when they released the Velvet back in 2015 and they’re still going strong today.
Sure, the Velvet wasn’t an IEM that reached the perfect reference response and picture perfect imaging or resolution but it has been a fan favorite for several reasons and the most prominent one I observed was the “fun presentation”.
Now we have a highly evolved version of the original and it’s certainly surprising to hear the evolution. But let’s reserve that topic for the sound section. Keep reading.
Earsonics evolved and they have released very nice IEMs after the Velvet, and we featured almost all of them. The S-EM9, ES2 & 3, EM10, S-EM6 v2, ES5, Grace and the list goes on and on including the older ones like the S-EM6, EM32 and the EM6 (Custom Version). I guess the only one which was left out was the Velvet V2.
The most important criteria about listening to sound is absolute precision.
The French IEM manufacturer is a well-recognized brand with good reputation among audiophiles. It was established in 2005 by Franck Lopez and the priority back in the day was to provide good monitoring solutions for the artists on stage. The first IEM that we can consider as a big hit by Earsonics though, was the SM3 with 3 BA drivers.
That was an era which saw certain companies pushing for multiple drivers in their monitors. In 2011 the EM6 was made and it’s still is a very good monitor despite all the advancements in the industry as I remarked in its own review. The universal variant came out in 2012 and it was the first 6-driver universal model at the time.
Velvet came out in 2015, the S-EM9 folowed in 2016, and the new universal flagship Grace followed last year. When we come to today we can see that Earsonics has a lot of monitors which appeal to different tastes. So it’s fair to say they have a very nice portfolio. The new flagship EM64 custom monitor will also be on Headfonia (courtesy of Lieven), so be on the lookout.
As a part of their Signature Series , the Earsonics Purple simply carries the legacy that was started with the original Velvet, and elevates it into another level. Once again we have 3 different tuning options with a knob on the face plate. Yet, we now have 5 drivers inside an extremely packed shell, which was first announced and patented with the ES-5.
An obvious new feature however is the new nozzle design. The new system is called “Truewave”, and includes new cannula parts inside the nozzles themselves, which are colored red & black. Weird as they may look, there’s an acoustic benefit provided by these cannula parts in terms of sound quality. I will get back to that topic shortly.
The Earsonics Purple arrives in – yes – a purple colored package. When you slide it out the box from the outer sleeve, you can see it’s not different than the boxes of late from Earsonics. When you flip open the box there’s a special message from the CEO Franck Lopez in the middle, and the monitors are looking at you under two little round windows.
For package content; you get 5 pairs of tips -3 silicone and 2 foam-, one small screwdriver for the tuning knob and one cleaning tool together with a carrying case. Earsonics are not known for supplying several tips with their package content so this is not different than in the past. You also get a small card showing how the tuning knob exactly works.
You can find the dedicated product page here: http://www.earsonics.com/in-ear-monitors/en/purple/
Build quality had been a soft spot for Earsonics with their universal models, however they have improved things since the Velvet. The totality of the shell consists of two parts which are screwed together. The material is ABS but keep in mind that this choice has its benefits like the lightness of the monitors. The overall build of the Purple seemed nice to me and I didn’t have any big trouble with them and that includes removing the 2-pin cable, which is very tight when you first received the unit. Speaking of it, the cable is a standard 2-pin one with a gray color.
Yet, I had a weird moment with the nozzles when I removed the double flange tips from the earpieces. The cannula parts that I’ve mentioned, came off because the double flange tips have a small diameter then most, so I was quite surprised. However Earsonics informed me that it was on purpose for my sample to hear the sound difference when the parts are removed. So I had a chance to remove and fix them back to compare the sound quality.
The shell they’ve introduced with the ES5 is a very compact one with a rather small footprint compared to many other monitors. This EVS® (ergonomic versatile shell) provides Earsonics a very tidy environment inside the body to place all the electronics, drivers, wires and filters. Every component has its own small drawer to fit in.
Looks-wise Earsonics always follows a professional approach with the appearance of their monitors. The Purple looks quite nice with the smokey face plate (outer shell) and the clear inner part. You can easily see how tightly the components are packed inside the earpieces first hand. There’s literally no space left inside for anything else. A great piece of engineering from the French company.
Overall the IEM isn’t quite eye-catching but since I like the professional look in terms of IEMs, I loved it. Maybe people expected to see a corresponding color scheme because of the name, but it’s still awesome in my opinion. Lastly I should say the red color on one of the drivers in the right earpiece looks really cool and it’s nice to have that same feature after the ES-5 as well.
The design and production method of this impressive shell provides the Earsonics customers a very nice fit thanks to the compact structure. The fit overall is excellent and I really liked using the double flange tips which are supplied in the package. They form a nice deep fit which is flush and you also have a good isolation level.
Of course you can always do tip rolling to find what exactly suits you the best, like trying out some foam tips or Spinfits if you have them. But I think the double flange tips work very well with the Purple. Your experience may vary, but it’s certain that this ergonomic and compact shell from Earsonics is a real success and it allows the IEM to be very comfortable to wear.