We’ve looked at a lot of Bluetooth headphones but it’s been a long time since we looked at anything wired. Simgot sent us the EM2 in ear studio monitors for review. Any audiophile still using a phone with a high end DAC or editing audio on a budget seems to be the target audience for the EM2 so lets see how they stack up.
Packaging and first impressions
Unfortunately I don’t have a proper unboxing since I was in the process of moving when these arrived however they are packaged to impress. Including a leather pouch and a variety of earpieces as well as a nice silver plated cable that seems very knot resistant. The packaging does list some performance specifications along with a JAS hi-res audio label. All of the key specifications are summarized in a table below.
|Channel Balance||<1.5dB (at 1000Hz)|
|Frequence Response Range||15Hz-40kHz|
|Distortion Degree||<1% at 101dB|
|Earpiece Connectors||.78mm Bi Pin|
Starting with the cable it’s clear something is unique about the EM2. Using silver plated copper that’s individually shielded and braided gives them a very good feel as well as a resilience to kinking or knotting. The dual pin connector is a standard .78mm connector making replacements easy if required. From a finish standpoint there were no molding issues and everything is secure when the earphones are attached. The use of dual drivers should lead to a greater dynamic range than other options as well.
I did my most extensive audio testing hooked up to my PC. Using both the venerable Delta1010 and an the once popular ADI 1984a in the PC as well as a Motorola E5 plus and LG V40 to represent mobile use. All the audio used in primary testing is in the table below.
|Don’t stop me now||Queen|
|Ride of the valkrie||Wagner|
|Brass Monkey||Beastie Boys|
Everything was crisp and perfect and clean although the E5 didn’t keep up with the V40 that wasn’t the headphones fault. Individual voices and instruments were easily distinguishable and the EM2 excelled at everything that was thrown at them. Bass didn’t turn to mud as I’ve heard on cheaper headphones likely thanks to the dual driver design. Volume scaled well from barely audible to full blown headbanging without any need for external amplification.
With a selection of 3 balanced and 3 penetrating ear tips the fit of the EM2 is very customization. I found the balanced medium sized tip to fit best although your preferences may vary. I found the included selection very comfortable and the overall driver size and molded cable suitable for hours of use both as general listening and while working.
Closing Thoughts on the EM2
Reviewing the EM2 has been a bittersweet exercise. These are easily among the best headphones I’ve ever used, but with the 3.5mm as a connector it seems less likely every day that my next phone will cooperate with them. With excellent sound quality the only question left is value. Priced at 115.99 these are without a doubt the most expensive wired headphones I’ve ever examined. However looking at other names for in ear monitors puts their competitors typically in the 200 and higher bracket albiet from more household names like shure in some cases. I’m left in a position to suggest the EM2 to anyone but the most demanding of professionals(who likely have custom eartips and such for monitors costing well near 1000 dollars) Audiophiles, freelancers and creative professionals alike should find the EM2 more than capable of whatever they require.