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.
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.
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.
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