The PEARS SH-2 arrives in a cardboard box. Inside the box, you get a big black carrying case which is very protective and solid. It is also quite large compared to their wooden case that I received with the SH-3. The wooden case is very authentic, but I think this case is more practical with its large space inside. However, I must say the wooden case is easier to carry around and it looks very cool. But of course, it’s all about preference.
Every accessory is supplied inside the case. You get a small carrying bag, cleaning cloth & tool, and a flask that is unique to PEARS. It’s there for you to put some soapy water, alcohol or any kind of cleaning liquid in it. Then you can drip the liquid to the cleaning cloth to clean your monitors. Again, an authentic and original solution from PEARS.
The case has another compartment on the lid which you can fit in your cleaning cloth and cleaning tool. This honestly is one of the best cases I’ve used. It is a bit on the larger side but you can even put some supercompact DAPs like HiBy R3 Pro, as well as other additional things that you want. I really liked the originality of the wooden case, but this one to me is much easier to use and I started to store my two PEARS CIEMs together in this single case.
The SH-2, like the SH-3, is a full acrylic shell. That means the inside of the shell is completely filled with acrylic. I’ve seen silicone-filled shells from another manufacturer but the full acrylic shell is not something that I’ve known before the SH-3.
The build quality is absolutely superb as a result. There isn’t any single sign of glue residue and the faceplate closing is seamless. My sample this time has a full black shell so I can’t see the internals, but if you read the SH-3 review, the crystal clear shells of it are simply sublime. So I don’t have any doubts regarding their craftsmanship, looking at their track record.
The canal part has a single bore and it’s very large compared to other CIEMs that I’ve seen, hence it’s very easy to clean. As a whole the PEARS SH-2 is built like a tank. I would give it a 10/10 score without hesitation.
The cable connectors are MMCX this time around. But you can choose the 2-pin version when ordering. They have been working on these socket types recently and they decided to offer both. Lately, they also introduced the recessed 2-pin option which is another step ahead for build quality and lifetime of the product.
PEARS take your ear impressions and perform a 3D scan. That means you can use them for another set of custom monitors in the near future and that surely feels great. That’s one less audiologist appointment isn’t it?
The PEARS SH-2, just like the SH-3 has longer / deeper canals compared to many CIEMs that I have seen or used. In addition to that, the shells are completely filled as I remarked. The result is a little bit different from other monitors out there. It feels very dense, filling your ears quite tight.
However, I noticed that PEARS has improved the comfort side. My SH-2 is more comfortable than the SH-3 and I can put it in my ear easier than the SH-3. I don’t know what exactly they’ve changed, but it surely is welcomed by me. This doesn’t mean that the SH-3 is uncomfortable, but I think there’s a certain improvement after 2 years.
I didn’t need any refit process after I received them. No sharp points or anything to irritate, therefore the fit is perfect. The biggest benefit of this deep & tight fit is the isolation of course. This is one of the best IEMs that I’ve ever used in terms of blocking outside noise. You’re almost totally disconnected from the environment even if you don’t start the music yet. After you hit play you’re gone. That allows you to listen to very low volume levels as well.
The PEARS SH-2 costs between $ 816 and $ 1022 with today’s exchange rates. That $ 200 addition basically comes with genuine wood faceplates. I personally think the wood is worth it. Not only does it give a sturdy and smooth impression, it also looks great with clear and black shells. On the other hand, “artwork” faceplates cost $ 100 and they’re also pretty cool. But anyway, if you don’t add anything special, you can have this monitor for around $ 800.
Nowadays it’s hard to talk about price points because I think the market has already gone crazy about it. You might be prejudiced about just 2 drivers, but PEARS’ sound engineering is something that you can’t find everywhere. Some people look for a correlation between the number of drivers and the price, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Considering the incredible build quality, fit, accessories and the case, I think the price is acceptable in the portable market today. However, I would’ve liked to see a bit more price reduction in this model.
The review continues on PAGE 3 with sound impressions.