With a lot of details, accurate tonality, precise notes presentation and huge stage size the Pola39 is impressive from every aspect.
Matching with sources
Feel inside the ear
Value for money factor
MATCHING WITH SOURCES:-
Don’t be fooled by the lowly resistance of just 12ohm, The electrostatic powered earphone is not something even some flagships who boast about their audio prowess like Asus 5z and LG V30+ cannot drive properly. The clear message here is if you are spending $1000 on an earphone, get a decent DAP or amp, not something cheap or inadequate.
Driving the Pola39 with low end DAPs is not much better either. Tempotec V1a and even the A35 are unable to drive the Pola39 to its potential. It needs low impedance source with good amount of power.
Tempotec V1a($109) (6.5/10):- It leaves a lot to be desired. If you exclude the sub-bass rumble and slam there is nothing really good about this combination. The V1a makes things clumsy and dark. Notes feel less natural, there is little amount of air between instruments. Treble lacks with extension and stage size. Nothing good to talk about here really.
A perfect example why one should not use low profile DAPs for the Pola39. Using a low-fi DAP and blaming the IEM will not do justice to any.
Plenue R (~$300) (8.3/10):- Even when the DAP is a very decent one, it still lacks a bit of power for the Pola39. It sounds far far better than V1a and mobile phones but the dryness of the R somewhat limits 39’s dynamism. Bass Lacks a hint of body and sounds faster, leaving little time for the note to precipitate. Mid bass is untouched, the fullness is there with a nice body. The level of texture is well maintained. Mid range feels a bit limited with dynamics and stage. Vocals are a hair more sharp. Treble has very good energy with top class extension and air but the stage size feels slightly smaller. Sonically the R sounds slightly inferior to the Shanling M5s.
This pairing is not bad at all but the lack of power of the R limits the Pola39 a bit.
Shanling M5s (~$400) (9.2/10):- The powerful M5s nicely compliments the Pola39. It sounds fuller and meaty. Where the R tends to make things sharp the M5s keeps things musical and more enjoyable. The Sub-bass is deeper with better rumble and slam. Mid bass is nicely rounded with body and fullness. The decay speed is more accurate to enjoy the lower end grunt of the 39. Mid range is nicely balanced with good amount of details and clarity. Vocal region is slightly thicker than the R, The power of the M5s lets the M5s’s drivers express them better with better dynamism and sonicality. The mid range starts sounding more layered with very good separation. Treble is equally good with fantastic extension, good energy and very good stage. Everything sounds nicely layered.
This combination compliments each other nicely.
VS Pola ($800):-
The biggest competition to the Pola39 is its predecessor. Similar in many ways the Pola39 improves on the bits the Pola was slightly scratchy with.
The bass is slightly more mid bass heavy with slightly less sub-bass presence and extension. The decay speed is slightly slower. Upper bass is slightly more energetic than the 39. Mid range is slightly less uniform with notes depth and thickness. Tonality is similar. Treble has similar extension but has a bit more energy around lower treble region and notes have a bit more sharpness. The Pola is slightly less pleasing with tonality and marginally less cohesive. Both have similar stage size with pola39 having better depth.
The Pola39 is nothing but a more polished Pola. If you want a bit of rawness the Pola is still very good.
VS IMR R2 aten ($450):-
The IMR R2 with its open back feels like a Pola on low budget.
Has very similar bass presentation with slightly more sub-bass presence. Mid bass is equally healthy and full bodied. Decay speed is similar. The only difference is with texture and details which is a bit lacking with the R2. The mid range is not that resolving with a bit of lack of micro details. Notes don’t sound as deep. There is slightly more smoothness with less sharpness and attack. Tonality is slightly more engaging with thicker vocals. Treble feels equally extended but it is not as detailed or transparent as the 39. The clarity is missing with a slight veiling. Stage wise both are similar, the R2 shows its muscle here. The open back emulates a huge stage. As the lack with details is evident the equally distributed stage feels less dense.
R2 aten is outstanding for the price.
VS InEar SD5 (1049 Euros):-
The German IEM maker has a similar approach as the Pola39 but differs with presentation and tonality.
The sub bass on SD5 has more depth to it and similar rumble. The Mid bass is less fuller with slightly less textured feel to it. Decay speed is similar to the Pola39. The bass quantity and quality of the 39 is better. Mid range is slightly calmer with less shine with instruments. Vocals sound equally good but the texture in better with Pola39. Treble has similar extension but the 39 is more energetic and the lower treble region is cleaner than SD5. Stage wise the Pola39 and SD5 are neck in neck. The SD5 has slightly less width and height.
When it comes to amount of details and transparency, both the IEMs are equally impressive, it all comes down to notes presentation and tonality. The SD5 has smoother notes and slightly less cohesive and accurate tonality.
The level of refinement and resolution delivered by the Pola39 is very hard to find even in this price range. The way it adapts to the pace of the music with accurate notes speed and depth across the spectrum is outstanding. Aided by its fantastic sonic characters it delivers an experience worthy of a flagship.
If you are in the market looking for an IEM that is fun still very accurate, transparent and filled with details without any drawbacks, close your eyes and go for the Pola39.