When the SH-3 first arrived I noticed that it’s a little heavier than a typical CIEM. I then compared it to the InEarz Nirvana, and it was definitely heavier by a notch. Only after I found out that this 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 full acrylic shell is not something that I’ve known before. Samuel says they have a special method of doing this and he didn’t give away any information, indicating that he wants to keep it as a business secret.
The build quality is absolutely fantastic as a result. There isn’t any single sign of glue residue and inside of the shells are crystal clear. Since the shells are fully filled, there are some minuscule bubbles when you inspect them very close, but it’s nothing that bothers me to be honest. There’s only one big noticeable bubble on the left earpiece, between the face plate and the drivers. You need to look at it from a certain angle to see that though. The canal part has 2 bores and they’re very large compared to other CIEMs that I’ve seen, hence they’re very easy to clean. Also, both of those sound tubes have acoustic filters, so there’s no risk of earwax going inside the drivers. This I think is very important for long term use.
As a whole the PEARS SH-3 is built like a brick outhouse. I would give it a 10/10 score without hesitation.
PEARS take your ear impressions and perform a 3D scan. I was surprised to receive my impressions back untouched and undamaged. That means I 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-3 has longer / deeper canals compared to the other two CIEMs that I have. In addition to that, the shells are completely filled as I remarked. The result is a little bit different from ordinary monitors out there. It feels very full, filling your ears quite tight. At first this different feel made me somewhat uncomfortable after 20 minutes of listening. Around 1 week later my ears adjusted to the monitors and it became much better. Right now I can wear them comfortably without fatigue for long periods.
I didn’t need any refit process after I received them. No sharp points or anything to irritate, therefore the fit is great. Once that adjustment period is over, you’re cool. And, the biggest benefit of this deep & tight fit is isolation of course. This is the best IEM that I’ve ever used in terms of blocking outside noise. You’re almost totally disconnected from environment noise 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.
Still, I think you can ask them to have a slightly shallower fit if you think a very tight fit would cause you discomfort. Don’t forget to give your ears some time to adjust to your monitors.
The PEARS SH-3 costs between 1090 and 1190 $. That 100$ addition basically comes from either wood or fabric face plates. I personally think the wood is worth it. Not only does it give a sturdy and smooth impression, it also looks great with clear shells. Also, wood face plates go very nice with the wooden case and that creates an organic look.
For a flagship level monitor, this pricing is totally understandable. In some cases you need to pay three times more. Some people look for a correlation between the number of drivers and the price, but that’s not necessarily the case. The important thing is the acoustic design & tuning. Again, the Warbler Prelude costs around the same with only 1 BA driver, and it’s a high level monitor nevertheless.
After hearing what this CIEM is capable of, I should say it totally deserves its price tag.
The PEARS SH-3 is simply a reference monitor, it’s simple as that. There’s no other explanation to it. Reference, period. It very much sounds like my studio monitors, and the FR Graph actually I received is a proof of that.
The SH-3 Custom IEM has been designed with a flat and accurate sound signature.
No frequency is in front or dominating the sound in any way. Everything is in place and under control at all times. It’s a neutral and uncolored monitor as a direct result of that, and it’s technically very strong. In that reference perspective, this is the best monitor I’ve ever listened to, and I mean it. It’s honest, true & correct in every way.
Having a reference tuning brings a linear bass response as expected. The lovers of impactful, deep bass response wouldn’t be very happy with this. So quantity wise it’s not very high, but sufficient enough so that you can easily follow the bass. The SH-3 allows you to focus on whichever frequency range and with that you can follow the bass notes and hits without problem. If you seek a strong subbass response on the other hand, this is not the answer. This is the CIEM for flat & accurate sound reproduction.
The overall quality of lows is top of the line level however, helping this monitor to perform on a reference level. Midbass is perfectly under control and has sufficient accentuation overall. It’s separated from lower mids very sharply as well. Layering and resolution of bass is very good and you get that kick if the recording has it. Bass just doesn’t have that much rumbling and that’s totally fine. This is intended for the correct sound. You can get more kick with aftermarket cables but more on that later.
The review continues on PAGE 3 with rest of the sound & synergy