First off, this is a dark IEM, no question about it. It targets a certain audience, basically the guys like me who dig this signature. This is a very musical approach with a relatively big bass and lush mids, so there’s no similarity with the newer v2 version whatsoever.
The EM6 is an emotional, organic and lush monitor with a big sound, but it also has very good technicalities. Let me explain it to you in detail.
The lows of the EM6 are quite strong for a BA monitor. This is a brand that likes to give good bass to its customers, evidenced by several models that they’ve released over the years. Earsonics is one of those brands that has a certain house sound. The only exception for that maybe is the S-EM6 v2, but the rest of the portfolio usually has full bass which has good impact and kick.
For the lovers of warm & full bass, this is a very satisfying performance. At the same time, lows are pretty quick and decay is very nice. Recovery is very good for this type of response, which is surprising at times. The definition, slam and layering is still better than many monitors to be honest.
The general resolution of lows is also very good. Overall this is one of the best monitors I’ve tried in terms of sheer bass response. It reminds me the SE-5 Reference and the Nirvana, with a full BA setup which sounds like a dynamic driver sometimes. Together with the S-EM9, the EM6 is the best of Earsonics I’ve heard for what bass is concerned. (I only listened to the EM10 for a short time)
The EM6 has lush mids with a big note size. The general focus is on this area as well, so it’s easy to say it has a lifted mid response. The mids are fuller then most monitors that I’ve listened to as well. That makes the EM6 somewhat unique and like no other with a few exceptions.
The mids of the EM6 are quite dark and thick, probably darker then many monitors in the market today. What that gives you though is a very romantic and organic approach to the sound, which certainly pleases people like myself. Although you can hear the mids being at the center of the attention, the presentation is still not in your face.
Despite giving a darker tonality and bigger note size then most, the EM6 still separates the instruments very well. Both vocals and instruments are quite dense and meaty, but there isn’t any noticeable congestion with a good source. But of course, that very warm and full presentation may not be for you. It all depends on the taste.
The lower mids have a little bit more definition then the upper mids with the apparent midbass focus. Female vocals are still a joy to listen to, but you can notice a veil in the sound there. The warm approach creates a feeling of a smoke-filled room. There’s no sharpness, sometimes you can’t necessarily point out an instrument with a razor sharp imaging, but it certainly is joyful. No need to focus on everything, just enjoy the music altogether and relax.
Highs are the least apparent area of the EM6. They’re at the back of the stage and they’re not very airy as a result of the dark & warm sound. You can not possibly hear an aggressive cymbal or something like that. It’s very soft and smooth, but if you pay attention you can hear the details as well.
Lower treble is recessed to some degree, making the monitor sound very smooth and consistent with its overall presentation. That creates an unoffensive sound and it’s also one of the reasons for the mids to shine and take over the stage. But overall, the EM6 pays the price of being so warm and meaty: The treble area is not very airy and spacious.
But I guess that wasn’t the aim of Earsonics in the first place. You simply can not have this kind of a sound signature with a sharp treble with a great extension and shimmer. The treble is still articulate and it has a nice resolution, but just don’t expect that bright nature that some IEMs give.
The soundstage is relatively large when compared to IEMs in general, especially in terms of depth. Width is also quite good and impressive. What the EM6 does in the stage department is even more impressive to me, because it produces elevated mids and that usually creates a close stage. With the mids being in the center of the attention, I would’ve expected a smaller stage but that’s not the case here.
Because of the EM6’s unique presentation and approach, the resolution and transparency are not amazing, but I think both are very acceptable for this kind of a sound. You can’t have everything at once after all. Tonality is mostly dark and warm, and the note size is very nice and big, which I particularly loved. Other than that, the timbre of the instruments is very soft and full at the same time.
The instrumental separation is not the best I’ve heard, as I’ve mentioned that it feels like a smoke-filled room. The whole sound of the EM6 is so soft and round. After a while you don’t search for a sharp imaging, all you do is just sit back and enjoy the music as a whole. Of course it’s not a bad separation of any kind, it’s still very very good, but the approach of this IEM is simply different to many others.
Overall control and tonal balance are consistent and it’s certainly a coherent monitor top to bottom. When you take its romantic and emotional response into account, this IEM certainly has a unique quality with its very good technical abilities despite the way it presents the sound.
The part on sound continues on the last page of this review, just click here