Disclaimer: PEARS sent us the PEARS SH-3 from Switzerland for this in depth review. The base price for SH-3 is 1100$. PEARS is not affiliated with Headfonia, and this review consists my unbiased, sincere opinions.
Since the HFN staff encouraged me to go for CIEMs and review them, I’ve been looking around for lesser known manufacturers in the industry. Giving them a well-deserved exposure and objective evaluation could be quite beneficial to them, and also to me in terms of gaining experience regarding custom in ear monitors.
I did not come across PEARS with my own research efforts however. It was Linus who had the knowledge about them, thanks to a local audiologist in Vienna. After they mentioned the company, Linus introduced HFN to PEARS thanks to his audiologist friend. After that I took over the communication with PEARS and when I found the time, I got new pairs of ear impressions from my audiologist and sent them out to Switzerland.
I must thank my buddy Linus and PEARS to make this review a reality today.
I gave some information about this Swiss brand in my initial Picture Sunday Post, but let me enlighten you again in this review:
Personal Ear Systems, shortened as “PEARS”, is a custom in ear manufacturer from Echallens, Switzerland. They’re the “First Swiss Made Custom Monitors Brand”, as stated in their website. The core team consists of two people; Samuel Harsch and Stephane Rochat. Samuel was working full time at a Swiss hearing aid company from 2005 to 2013, and decided to go his own way after that, yet he still helps the company part time. Stephane is an Electronics Engineer and he also started working for the same company in 2011 and he’s still involved with them as well. But in PEARS, he handles the sales & marketing and helps Samuel with electronic & acoustic engineering.
DRIVER WARS? NOT HERE.
PEARS believe 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. This reminds me the Warbler Prelude here, as Warbler also built their CIEM around a simple mentality with a single balanced armature design. It eventually worked for them, after many years of R&D and acoustic engineering and it looks like it also worked for PEARS, although not being that simplistic. They seem to have a great amount of knowledge about how to achieve a reference level sound in a monitor.
PEARS only have 2 models at this time, the SH-2 & SH-3. This review is about the 3-driver model of course. But after listening to it, I wonder how the SH-2 could sound with only 2 drivers in it. I’m sure it’s also very good. Let’s start.
I had been in touch with Samuel for this review and he was very helpful and very clear about their products. I can assure you that 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. That’s pretty nice if you ask me, if you can speak English up to a certain level.
I received the CIEMs exactly like I wanted in terms of design and I have no complaints whatsoever. You also get a Frequency Response Graph printed on an A4 paper inside the package, measured just before shipping. It’s a cool touch isn’t it?
PEARS doesn’t have incredibly fancy design options to choose from, but they’re at the ultimate level in terms of build. But let’s focus on that below shall we?
In terms of colors & design, PEARS focus on making top quality IEMs for their customers which primarily consists of musicians and singers. So you can choose 4 shell colors & 6 face plate colors overall. You can also have genuine wood face plates like I requested, and a very different option: fabrics. Yes, you can have fabric coated face plates with your monitors. You also get to choose 3 colors for the stock cable.
If you,have a special & different request apart from those above, I’m sure they can get it done for you but since I didn’t want to stretch the process for this review, I went with clear shells and Swiss Cherrywood face plates. I always say I like slick and simple designs in terms of CIEMs, therefore I’m very happy with my pair. PEARS doesn’t have universal monitors for the time being.
The PEARS SH-3 arrives in a special cardboard box which is quite protective and it’s practical to open. Inside the box you get a very unique carrying case which is literally made from Okoume Wood and it’s in one piece, shaped as a pear. Thanks to the wood material, there would be no issue about your case getting scratched or anything like that. It’s incredibly solid and authentic. It’s a little bit large but easy to carry thanks to that hook above it, which is like a very durable rope.
You open the case by rotating the cover part left or right. There are magnets on both the cover and the case itself, so the cover part stays in place. On the inside you get a small carrying bag, a cleaning cloth & tool. Another very nice addition here is a flask, which fits perfectly to the case. 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.
Your name, the model name and the serial number are written inside the case. Like I said above as well, there’s an original copy of the FR Graph, a specific measurement for your monitors only.
The review continues on PAGE 2 with build, fit, price and the sound