Disclaimer: I received the Earsonics EM6 as a review sample from the company directly. I want to give special thanks to Max Capgras for inviting me to review this IEM when we first met at CanJam London 2018. Earsonics is not a site advertiser and this review reflects my unbiased opinion.
After a month of break I’m back with my first review of 2019, and a special review that is. I present you an enduring monitor that has survived in this market for several years: the Earsonics EM6. It’s also a special monitor for me for two reasons:
The first reason is that it’s one of those romantic, dark and silky monitors which always win my heart for some reason. I love that warm sound. I can certainly appreciate monitors like the M-Fidelity SA50 for their immense technical capabilities, but I usually end up using warm IEMs for my personal listening.
The other special reason for me is that the S-EM6 (universal version of this EM6) was the first top of the line monitor that I ever listened to, and that very day I understood how far these IEMs could go. At that time I only had a Westone 4, the first quad driver IEM. So when I listened to the first ever 6 driver universal IEM, I was simply blown away.
Check out Nathan’s review of the S-EM6 from 2014 here. Back then that was Earsonics’ flagship monitor.
In the end, when I visited Earsonics’ booth at CanJam last year and Max asked me to review the EM6, I was quite excited to review it. I knew this would be awesome, because the S-EM6 was one of the milestones for me in portable audio experience.
The EM6 obviously has 6 drivers inside with a 3-way system. It was a custom model at first, but Earsonics also released it in a universal shell. That goes way back as far as 2013, almost 6 years. Do you want to know the actual release year of the custom model? It was 2011! Wow, that’s quite a time in this fast paced portable market.
After a couple years with the original, Earsonics released a v2 model which I reviewed here. But make no mistake, it’s not an upgraded model of this EM6. It’s simply from a different world in terms of sound presentation. While the S-EM6 v2 is a neutral and flat monitor, this EM6 is completely the opposite.
I don’t feel a need to introduce you to the Earsonics brand, you all have the basic information about them so let’s start now. (And you can find the info in previous Earsonics reviews, like Lieven’s EM-10, and my ES-2 & ES3 review)
I of course didn’t go through Earsonics’ standard order process for CIEMs. I was in communication with Max the whole time. But if you want to order, you can do it so in the store section of their website. When you go and select your model, you’re going to have some options you need to choose from.
You don’t have a color option to choose for the shell and there’s no exception. We are familiar with Earsonics’ choices in that regard, as the EM10 is also only available in full black. You’re more lucky for the face plates however; as you have 17 different options of colors.
Apart from that, you can go with the Laser Engraving option that Earsonics provides. It sets you back 30 Euros and that’s not too much is it? You can send your artwork to Earsonics via mail and then they will engrave it to the face plates.
Since I’m a huge Batman fan, I wanted to have a nice Batman logo that would look good on a black face plate. It indeed turned out as awesome as it could possibly be, they engraved it to perfection. I always like sleek and simple designs for CIEMs, and this is my favorite looking CIEM in my small but growing CIEM collection. I would like to thank Max for kindly accepting my request.
Earsonics send the custom monitors to their clients in a nice plastic case which is intended for professionals and musicians. It’s like a miniature briefcase which is very practical to carry and use, and it’s also an original accessory, not like some universal cases that you see from/with several brands. Very unique but very simple at the same time. The name of the customer is also engraved on/in the plastic.
Inside you have your monitors stored in a soft foam together with a cleaning tool. There’s no cleaning cloth – which is not a critical thing – but it would’ve been nice to have it. However you get two cleaning towels in the package which is nice. There’s no other content apart from the papers and instructions.
Clear shells are always great for seeing the craftsmanship of CIEMs as they’re not easy to finish perfectly. So just like other clear CIEMs that I have and have seen before, there are some small imperfections here and there. They’re of course no way bad to the extent of bothering you, unless you inspect them like a detective with a magnifier. Everything looks very smooth and clean in an arm’s distance.
Those imperfections are the usual bubbles which are small and not very visible at first sight, so I don’t see them as a problem whatsoever. Other than that, everything is perfect with the EM6, and I absolutely love the design we came up with. The transition of the shells are very smooth as well as the face plate closings.
I also like their design route in term of canals. There are 2 sound bores on the tip of the EM6, but they’re a bit recessed so it’s easier to keep them clean. The bores are also quite large and that means you can smoothly use your cleaning tool.
My ear impressions were taken at their CanJam booth and they were flawless, so I didn’t expect any fitting problems when I received the package. After I got the monitors I noticed the shells are very smooth and they have a very comfortable fit. This is not the utmost isolation, Earsonics instead goes for the more comfortable option.
Among all the customs that I have this is the most comfortable one. It’s very easy to insert and remove as well, therefore I’m perfectly happy with the fit. Isolation-wise it’s a notch behind the likes of the SA50 and SH-3 with having silicone and acrylic filled shells respectively. Yet, it of course is way better than any universal IEM so you can count on it for blocking the noise out.
There’s always a trade-off between isolation and comfort and in this case it’s comfort. In that regard, the EM6 provides a perfect fit.
The review continues on the next page after the click HERE