FiiO EM3 Open Earbud Earphones - Black
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- Minimalist design - light and comfortable to wear
- Durable Cables
- In-line Microphone and remote
- 1.2m cable
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FiiO EM3 Open Earbuds The EM3 utilizes NIB-based drivers of high magnetic flux and electroacoustic efficiency combining advanced equipment with artistic tuning to guarantee the consistency of the performance and musicality of output. Sensitivity is high thanks to modern technology employed while impedance stands at a well-chosen 47Ohms to ensure that the EM3 can be driven well from a wide range of amplifiers without compromising performance potential. The large drivers of 14.8mm diameter bring powerful bass while the well-designed open-earbud form factor brings excellent soundstaging and realistic tone quality preserving the authenticity of music to immerse you in the live music environment at any time and space. Streamlined minimalist design Through repeated design and modification on various aesthetic and acoustic aspects the EM3 finally presents with its simple aerodynamic style to be easy on your eyes and ears. Small and light for comfortable secure fit The EM3 only weighs 13.6g and the fit has been tested on numerous artificial and real ears to guarantee long-term wearing comfort and good acoustic coupling. In-line microphone and remote EM3's built-in high quality microphone guarantees clear voice communication and saves you the embarrassment of unanswered calls while enjoying music. Also includes widely compatible single button in-line remote to enable you to control your smartphone and music with ease. High-quality 3.5mm L-shaped gold-plated jack The EM3 comes with a 3.5mm gold-plated headphone jack with strain-relieved L-shape design for convenient and durable portable use. High-quality gold-plated jack reduces transmission loss at the critical connection point and preserves the real sound. Durable cables Sheathed in tough TPE with strain reliefs the EM3's earphone cables high elasticity and high tensile strength. The cable extends for a comfortable 1.2m is tangle-proof and will not break easily when pulled by accident. Double quality assurance Having manuf.
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First of all, I used AudioCheck's 'Headphones and Earphones Benchmarking Test Files' to see what the EM3 was capable of. I connected the EM3 to my Rega Ear headphone amplifier and got the following results:
1. Frequency Response: the earphones go down to 20 hz and presumably extend beyond my hearing limit of 17 kHz.
2. Spectral Flatness and Earbud Insert Test: PASSED, the earphones sound flat to my ears.
3. Dynamic Range: I got down to -48 dBFS.
4. Bass quality: No buzz or rattle.
5. Driver Matching: I think the right earphone is slightly louder than the left at certain frequencies. This reverses when I swap the earphones round. The difference is minimal and is already starting to even out with break-in. No complaints considering the price.
6. Wiring: PASSED.
7. Binaural Test: PASSED. Uncanny realism!
From a testing perspective then, these £10 earphones perform very well. How do they do with music? I tested these with my iPod, playing apple lossless CD rips, all pre-loudness war masterings. The sound is very good considering the price. I'll state the negatives first: strings were at times synthetic sounding, vocals at times metallic, and bass a bit boxy. Despite this however, I happily listened to music uninterrupted for a few hours. The tune was easy to follow and the earphones convey a nice sense of musicality. They seem to do better with simple electronic music, small jazz groups, and singer-songwriter acts. They struggle with more complex rock and classical arrangements. This is to be expected considering the size and price. If you're looking for the cheapest earphone that is capable of delivering good sound then these are a good option worth considering. The frequency response is even and flat, and I had fun listening to these. They are also very comfortable, I didn't get any ear fatigue even after a two hour listening session. Build quality is quite cheap and I think it would have been better if FiiO had forgone the remote in favour of a slightly thicker cable.
It's important to remember that these are inexpensive so one shouldn't expect incredible sound quality. They perform well for the price however and I'm pleased I bought them.
They do sound significantly better than those ones though. I bought these for when working on car or something manual and potentially dirtying or damaging to the buds because at this price I can take the hit a bit easier.
I'm impressed at their sound, there's bass. A clear deepish bass that allows you to hear bass guitars and deep drums, good for electronic music too. The mids and highs are clear but set back a bit. The sound isolation is non existent as expected but that's partly why you would buy these for safety as they don't shut out the outside world.
Happy with these for £10, best old fashioned earbuds I've heard.
I have a long life behind me using headphones, in ears and earbuds of various shades and prices.
I have Grado 325's and in the past Sennheisers a plenty, just to mention a few.
I like the comfort of non ear canal buds.
I find whatever combination of comfort tips and I've tried most of them, to be eventually well uncomfortable.
The over ear phones and on ear phones likewise.
These simple slip in Fiio's are just comfortable and for me present the music extremely well.
The sound itself is actually quite 'dark', not at all tinny. Neither muffled nor fatiguing; just warm. As one other reviewer suggests in a comprehensive review, if you want a little more treble transparency, take a hole-punch to the centre of the fabric covers before putting them on each earbud. The soundstage is open and natural - something I really wasn't expecting.
To be honest, I only bought these because all my other headphones are on or over-ear designs with a headband, which is fine when wearing a bandana or cap, but if I wanted to wear a hat, I had to do without music. That seemed like too much of a sacrifice! But I didn't want to spend a fortune on a solution. I'm pretty fussy about my mobile music (FiiO X5 via E12 Mont Blanc into Fidelio L2s or V-Moda M100 / XS) and since I didn't expect an earbud to be much cop I didn't want to spend much on a pair for those few occasions that I reached for a titfer. £10 felt like a 'do the job' price point, and I'm a fan of the FiiO sound, so I figured they'd make a decent go of headphones. I really wasn't expecting them to be this listenable. I wandered back from work with them plugged into the X5 (and noticed the increase in quality over my old iPod nano) and didn't take them off when I got home until the (long) track had played out because I was enjoying it so much. That there is a testament!
So, yes, five stars. Headphones so good that I don't need to take my hat off to them.
If you feel there are any earbuds better at anything like this price point, let me know in a comment! I'd be interested to know!
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