Today I’m checking out the PEARS SH-2 Custom IEM which goes for around $800 USD.
Disclaimer: PEARS sent us the PEARS SH-2 from Switzerland for this in-depth review. PEARS is not affiliated with Headfonia, and this review consists of my unbiased, sincere opinions.
Personal Ear Systems, shortened as “P-EAR-S”, is a custom in-ear manufacturer from Switzerland. They’re the “First Swiss Made Custom Monitors Brand”, as stated on their website. The core team consisted of two people when they first started; Samuel Harsch and Stephane Rochat. Samuel was working full time at a Swiss hearing aid company from 2005 to 2013 before deciding to go with his own way.
Stephane is an Electronics Engineer and he also started working for the same company in 2011. But now in PEARS, he handles the sales & marketing and helps Samuel with electronic & acoustic engineering. After things evolved, they added a third member to the squad; who is Roberto Piacenti for the creativity side of things.
I did not come across PEARS with my own research. It was Linus who had the knowledge, thanks to a local audiologist in Vienna. After they mentioned the company, Linus introduced HFN to PEARS in 2018 thanks to his audiologist friend. After that, I took over the communication with PEARS and I have great communication with them ever since.
When talking about PEARS, you all might remember the first review we’ve published in 2018. That was all about their flagship monitor; the SH-3, and it received the award of Best CIEM among a few, rightfully so. You can still see it in our Custom IEM Recommendations page.
This has been one of my favorite reviews ever, and I very much enjoyed writing it. Because in the midst of all the driver wars and some 10-18 driver IEMs, this one was all about simplicity and flat frequency response. It is still one of the best IEMs I’ve heard in terms of coherency, balance, resolution, and tonality.
Also, it was great to see that after this review, that there are other people around the world who appreciate this marvelous IEM. When I first listened to the SH3, I immediately thought that this IEM needed more praise and recognition. Therefore I’m happy that it eventually received the credit which it deserved.
PEARS believes that reaching the best sound quality is not about the number of drivers. Instead, it is all about using as few as possible, with an optimized acoustic design. They only have 2 models at this time, the SH-2 & SH-3.
Now you can also have them in a universal form, which they didn’t offer in the past.
The UT-125 is a sound customization solution from PEARS to allow the user to tune their IEM to their liking in terms of frequency response. We have reviewed it too as below:
If you’re in Switzerland or if you’re ordering their IEMs from one of their dealers, you can tune your IEM with 125 different setup possibilities. Check it out for more information.
I had been in touch with Stephane for this review. You can always reach them during working hours without any problem. You can also use the contact form on their contact page and you’ll get a response in about 1-2 days. They even share their phone numbers on there as well, and if you want a fast response you can always reach them that way too.
PEARS has been working on their website for a while and they have improved the ordering experience in the past year. Just go to the product page and pick your connector type, shell color, face-plate, logo, and personal name. They have been trying to improve to have some diversity in terms of customization, and now they have very cool design choices, unlike two years ago.
There’s no interactive page for customization yet, but they’re preparing a huge update to the website in the summertime. We will see what changes will be made for that page as well.
Be sure to check out the Pears Audio Facebook Page to see some designs in real photos and the latest news about the brand.
Like I touched upon, PEARS didn’t have fancy design options 2 years ago when I reviewed the SH-3. Now they’re much more flexible and versatile, and they retain their ultimate level in terms of build quality.
At the present time, you can choose 6 shell colors & 30 faceplate options overall. This was only 4 & 6 in 2018. My favorites are genuine wood faceplates like I requested for the SH-3 model before, but they cost more which I’ll mention below. You also have 5 different options for the stock cable.
To see how the options look, there’s a face-plate menu for you to have a basic idea. If you have special & specific requests apart from those, I’m sure they can get it done for you. I always say I like slick and simple designs in terms of CIEMs, therefore I’m very happy with my pair. But surely some companies are way ahead for the customization side of things.
My sample has a dark fashion with a black shell and carbon fiber faceplate. The silver P-EAR-S logo tops the design nicely. With all of my other CIEMs, I chose to have clear shells with some combination of faceplates, but this design of the PEARS SH-2 is also wonderful. It oozes business and seriousness overall.
The review continues on PAGE 2 with packaging, build, fit and price