Monday, January 4, 2016

Philips SHE-3590BK IEM Review

Cost approx INR 400 or so or about USD 6 or so

Biggest Advantage:

More comfortable than any IEM/EarPod I have ever worn. I have had several expensive and cheap IEMs in the past, these are hands down the most comfortable I've ever worn. It isn't even close. The difference in comfort is huge. 

My ears don't ache when I wear these. Unlike other IEMs. The moment I use any other IEM my ears have always ached. These aren't perfect, but much better in this regard. 

And I'm talking of stock tips. Comply tips are the most uncomfortable for me and I fail to understand how people find them wearable. And I've bought both comply and monster tips in the past. But these IEMs are hands down the most comfortable I have worn till date. 

Headphones are still more comfortable. But these are pretty decent. Unlike typical IEMs that are a big pain. 

Coming to the Sound:

I have owned much more expensive IEMs in the past like Monster Turbine, Soundmagic E80S, Soundmagic PL50, Sennheiser CX500 and others. 

I won't say these are as good. But they aren't that far either. I actually sold my Monster Turbine after I got these. Yes, the monster turbine were a bit better. But not worth the discomfort that came along. 

And no, these aren't neutral. They have a V shared sound signature. Similar to the Soundmagic E80S. But they have less treble energy than the Soundmagic. These are less harsh and less fatiguing. Even if the Soundmagic E80S (retail USD 99) were for USD 5, I'd still take these Philips over them because:

1. They are not as harsh. 
2. These aren't as fatiguing and bright. 
3. They are way more comfortable. 

Of course in terms of clarity and transients the Soundmagic has an edge. But wearing the SM for a few minutes is enough to give me a headache. And yes I did burn them for a few hours. And the Philips sound okay right out of the box. 

They can't rival high end speakers or headphones for sure. Nor are they the ultimate in neutrality. 

But they definitely compete with IEMs a few times their price. And when it comes to comfort they are legendary. I don't even see the reason to experiment with more Hifi IEMs any longer because all of them are uncomfortable. That and because I'm mostly a speaker and headphone guy. :)

The sound of these Philips IEMs is good. Of course you can do better for several times the price. But these aren't bad. I'd buy them over anything else even if they were 4x or 5x their current price. 

I don't see much wrong with them. Yes, they are far from neutral. But considering the V SS they still aren't fatiguing and harsh like many others. 

They aren't the most clear or articulate if you include competitors in the sub USD 50 market. But they aren't bad. And you must remember that they are a steal even for USD 20, much less the USD 6 asking price. And still have their merits that punch well above their asking price. 

Highly recommended!

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