Review: PEARS SH-3 – Swiss Precision

PEARS SH-3

MIDS

Mids have tremendous transparency and resolution. They have great positioning and timbre combined, making it sound very realistic and correct. Tonality wise things are absolutely good. You don’t come across this correctness and reference tonality often in IEMs. It just can’t get more truer than this. The overall detail among this part of the spectrum is just a joy to listen to, and transparency is through the roof. At the same time, it doesn’t try to push those mids into your ear, instead it gives them to you effortlessly.

Sometimes I felt the mids are a little upfront, but I realized that was because I was focusing on them at the time. When you switch your focal point and start to focus on the treble for example, then you can understand that’s not the case. It’s perfectly balanced, nothing is in front, nothing is laid back. It’s not warm or cold like I hear with some other monitors, regardless of the price level. PEARS really deserve a high praise for this precision and correctness, it’s sublime.

TREBLE

Let me make this clear; a reference sound doesn’t has to have a “bright” character. It shouldn’t have a dark treat either. It’s right there at the center of all things. Some people tend to think that a reference sound is usually bright, but no. Bright means something on the high frequency range is lifted, hence it forms a bright sound. Nothing should be lifted in a reference character. Everything has to be in place and yes, PEARS have exactly done this.

Once again; a very transparent, detailed and high resolution sound across the high frequency region. It’s not aggressive, it’s not too thick or too thin. It just honestly gives what’s in the recording. There’s nothing to “wow” you in terms of presence or brightness. It instead impresses you with it’s perfectly correct quantity and very black background so that you can hear every cymbal one at a time, without any seizing. Those who have experienced reference studio monitors should get what I mean here. The extension and micro detail level is fantastic and the treble, like I said, is perfectly articulated.

PEARS SH-3

PEARS SH-3

TEHNICAL PERFORMANCE

The PEARS SH-3 does not try to impress with its rumbling bass, colorful mids or bright treble, because it doesn’t contain those things. What it contains though, is that awesome overall technical prowess. The resolution is top notch, transparency is easily one of the best I’ve heard. It’s extremely detailed, hence unforgiving. So be careful about your sound files here. Make sure you use a silent source with high quality recordings to get the most of it.

Sound stage is probably the only thing I can put forward as a slight weakness of the SH-3. It’s not small or very narrow by any means, but I’ve heard wider & deeper staging performances than this one. When I keep those staging beasts out of this, I can say it has an ideal and a realistic stage. Since the separation is on a top level and the background is perfectly black, it has great stereo imaging throughout.

SYNERGY

In terms of cables, I tried my Effect Audio Ares II and it played out beautifully. Lows started to have more impact & emphasis. Mids became slightly warmer with a bigger note size, and it just added a fine small touch to that region, sounding a little more colorful. Trebles became a notch thicker but they slightly lost their extension. Another local custom made copper cable from a friend sounded very nice as well. I got even more bass response, same effect on mids but trebles got worsened in terms of detail & resolution. It’s quite enjoyable though.

I can smoothly recommend you a copper based cable with this monitor. Silver is not a logical option here of course. If I switch to sources, they must be on a good level technically and you have to have good music files. In terms of character, a strong bass response with good overall tonality & transparency should do the trick. I mostly used my WM1A for this review to have a clear idea of this monitor. But with its darker and stronger bass, the ZX2 turned out to be a great companion, as well as the HiBy R6. These two gave me a more enjoyable sound overall, but WM1A gives the more correct sound reproduction with better technicalities.

The review continues on PAGE 4 with comparisons & conclusion

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A lover of personal audio from Turkey, Berkhan always seeks the perfection. He chooses a simplistic expression of sound at all times, and tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes photography wins, and sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside.

5 Comments

  • […] 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 […]

  • Reply September 12, 2019

    Spie

    @Berkhan,

    How do these compare to Westone um pro 30 V2?
    I’m looking to get a custom iem that I use for any music listening. I do however have very small ears and a strong bend in my ear canal. As such I often don’t have the option to go for the higher ba drivers.
    Would this be the absolute best option for a low driver count end game iem? I listen to alot of heavy metal, rock, folk, Jazz, Blues, Acoustic Piano and guitar, singer song writer. Besides that I also spend quite some time with film music and classical pieces. it would also be great to use when practicing on my digital piano at home.

    As for DAP, I use a sp1000m.

    Thanks in advance,

    Kind regards

    • Reply September 13, 2019

      Berkhan

      Hi,

      The UmPro 30 is no match for the SH3, nowhere near.

      Yes, it’s by far the best low driver count IEM I’ve ever listened to.

      Your genres should sound very well with it together with the SP1000M.

  • Reply September 25, 2019

    Spie

    Thanks Berkhan. I will look into the PEARS but from what I’ve gathered these seem to be one of the best if not the absolute best option for me.
    I’m in need of a custom with the best sound qualities and a low BA count.
    I haven’t found a single low BA count custom this well appreciated so might just have to give them a go as my end game IEM 🙂

    • Reply October 8, 2019

      Berkhan

      So, have you pulled the trigger yet? 🙂

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