Disclaimer: The Earsonics ES5 was sent to us by Earsonics France directly in exchange for this review. The unit doesn’t need to be returned as far as I know.
Earsonics is a European company which is based in the south of France. The company was founded around 10 years ago by Frank Lopez and Earsonics quickly gained a following in the audio community. How? Simply by making well built, great sounding gear.
This video nicely sums up what Earsonics is all about:
Earsonics however is not only active in the world of Inears but they’re also working on hearing protection and something they call Earpad Control. We’ll of course only be looking at the IEM part of their business on HFN. Their Inear division is divided in four major categories: Custom Inear monitors, Music-series, Signature-series and Classic-series. These last “ are all using universal shells.
In a field where data sheet and race for pure performance are rule, we forget the essential: What drives you to get the best, just to create this emotion that makes you forget everything else. Our headphones are developed in this way, create EMOTION …
Like all the other successful companies, Earsonics is working together with a whole series of famous international artists, and more info about that can be found on their website. It isn’t the first time we cover Earsonics actually, I think we about covered their full line-up by now with models such as the Velvet and the EM32.
The new ES5 we’re looking at in this review is part of the “music” category, together with the Earsonics ES2, ES3, S-EM6 V2 and S-EM9. All of these models were reviewed by Berkhan and Nathan and you can find their reviews here:
For me it is the first Earsonics IEM to review. I actually contacted them to review one of their custom inears but they asked me to review the new ES5 instead. A few days later the ES5 was at my doorstep already. I do hope Nathan and Berkhan somehow get to hear the ES5 as well as they have the most experience with the Earsonics IEMs.
When I received the ES5 back in December I did a First Look video of it, you can find that video on our Headfonia Video Channel where we weekly have a First Look at something new that came in for review.
So as said, the Earsonics ES5 is the latest addition to their Music line-up and the ES5 features 1 low, 2 mid and 2 high balanced armatures. With the ES5, Earsonics is clearly aiming for the higher end part of the market.
The ES5 comes with a stock cable that is terminated with a Single Ended 3.5mm plug. Check out the video below to learn all about the ES5’s internals.
Design, Build Quality & Comfort
I love the cosmetic design of the ES5 as it is small, looks nice and feels light. Earsonics chose to build the shell with a dark smoke finish, meaning you can see the driver configuration from the outside. To top it all off and make it even prettier, they added some red accents to the drivers on the inside. The “electronics” in the IEM are located on the outside where the faceplate is. To make the IEM prettier when you’re wearing it, Earsonics added the ES5 logo on the so called face plates. The “ES”-part can be found on the right shell and the “5” on the left shell.
The shells are made out of two parts which are screwed together with tiny little screws, Earsonics calls it the EVS® (ergonomic versatile shell). The 2 parts of the shell of course fit perfectly together and in contrast to many other brands, Earsonics doesn’t “just” screw on the face plates, it’s the shell itself that’s divided in 2 pieces. It’s all in the detail and it does look nicer, yet it’s not just for looks. The shell consists of two parts per side injected from their mold of a great complexity itself consisting of 12 drawers. All this makes it possible to place, drivers, electronic card, filters and internal wiring, very organized and not anarchic.
As said, the housing is really small, especially for a 5-driver design. Did you know the Earsonics drivers are made specifically for them? The nozzle is small and short and Earsonics uses a kind of recessed tube design where the end of the sound “canal” is deeper in to the nozzle. Earsonics has integrated a double sound output with a unique acoustic diffractor in the cannula of the EVS shell, which has the role of creating a wider and lighter sound space than on a conventional cannula.
Build quality-wise I can’t say anything bad about these, they’re perfect. The ES5 is entirely designed and manufactured in the Earsonics laboratories France and the “100% made in France” slogan, is something they’re very proud of (and should be).
Comfort wise these are excellent as well. To me they fit best using the supplied foam tips but they’re small and light and these really disappear in your ears. They don’t really stick out either and they’re just very comfortable, even for really long listening periods. Isolation wise these aren’t the absolute best (like Etymotic in example) but they do block out enough sound to get great sound, and they let in enough “noise” to stay safe when on the go.
The detachable cable is pretty standard but it is finished with a regular 2-pin plug type, so you can easily use your aftermarket cables with the Earsonics ES5.
Packaging, Price & Accessories
As you have seen in our video, the ES5 come in a really pretty box that nicely displays the ES5 when opened. The Earsonics ES5 comes supplied with a choice of tips, a detachable cable, a carrying case, a cleaning tool and a simple case. In detail you get:
- 4 Comply tips
- 4 silicon tips
- 1 cleaning tool
- Two tissues
- Carrying box
- User manual
The ES5 doesn’t come cheap. As I mentioned, Earsonics is aiming the ES5 at the high end market. With all the technology inside and with everything being made in France, that does result in a €950 price tag. For the price I do think a wider selection of tips could have been supplied.
Sensibility: 117 dB/mW
Frequency response: 10 Hz -20 kHz
DCR: 33 ohms
Driver: 5 drivers with 3 way HQ impedance corrector.
The review continues on Page Two after the click HERE or by using the jump below