I would like to thank Max from EarSonics for providing me with the EM10 in return for my honest opinion.
For many audiophiles that have come in touch with EarSonics at some point along their journey, the France-based manufacturer has become synonymous for a very special type of ‘musical’ sound; one that seeks to combine an emotional signature with excellent technical performance. I’ve personally reviewed more EarSonics models than for any other company, and there’s only one reason: when it comes to preference, Franck Lopez seems to understand my deepest desires – often before I understand my own. In fact, iems like the Velvet and S-EM9 have played an important role in shaping my preference over the years.
Even so, EarSonics has been moving in different directions. While earlier models as the S-EM6, EM3, and SM64 provided a warm, smooth, and midcentric tuning, their latest line of models, starting with the EM32 and later the S-EM9, went for a more exciting, stimulating sound, by means of a U-shaped signature. The EM10 is their latest creation, taking over the EM32’s position as flagship custom monitor. And this time it’s tuned for audiophiles rather than musicians, despite their heavy roots in the professional musician industry – something that quickly becomes evident from its tuning. For with the EM10, EarSonics is diverging yet again from their path, with a new type of sound – one that’s especially easy to listen to, and has a very special type of tone.
-Drivers: 10 BA drivers (2 low, 4 mid, 4 high)
-Design: 3-way crossover, 3 sound bores
-Impedance: 26,6 Ohm
-Sensitivity: 119 dB
EarSonics iems traditionally come in a matte black box. While some people found their iems could be included with a larger selection of accessories, the box itself eludes an elegant sense of understatement. I was expecting the classic EarSonics box I’ve opened regularly over the last years, but was pleasantly surprised to see they’ve spent renewed attention to their packaging, as it has a high quality feel to it. The top of the case flips open to reveal the nested earphones, after which you need to slide the case out. Admittedly, it took a moment to figure it out, but all in all, it’s a packaging that matches the expectations that come with a top tier product. Being a custom earphone however, the accessories are pretty slim; a 6.3 mm adapter, cleaning tool, and the classy matte black ES carrying case, which of all the cases remains my favorite to use. But nothing out of the ordinary here, as a custom earphone really doesn’t need any more. The cable is the trusty Plastics One that comes stock with all of the EarSonics earphones.
Build and design
The EM10’s design options follow Henry Ford’s classic quote: “You can have any color, as long as it’s black”. The EM10 is only available in a glossy piano black finish, combined with a golden letter/number combination on the shells. The S-EM9’s design had more prominent logo’s filling the sides, but the flamboyant design didn’t appeal to everyone. Since then, EarSonics decided to tone it down a bit, resulting in a more subtle and ‘timeless’ design for the EM10 with smaller logos, reminiscent of the S-EM6v2. The build quality itself is impeccable, feeling completely smooth to the touch without any imperfections. The nozzles contain one large and two smaller bores, similar to the S-EM9.