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Old October 3rd, 2014, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review of SIDY DM3 in-ear headphones w/lots of pics!!!

This is a review of SIDY DM3 in-ear headphones. BGVP SIDY DM3

One thing I found fascinating with the original SIDY DM2 model was the ability to shape the sound by swapping different nozzles. Among some of the advantages of in-ear headphones, in comparison to full size ones, is how easy we can fine tune the sound by swapping eartips (tip rolling). Of course, you can also change the audio source, from brighter to warmer signature, and in some cases play around with removing a filter from the nozzle (if you are an adventurous type and don't mind voiding the warranty). But tip rolling is the easiest way to adjust the sound to your liking, in addition to improvement in sound isolation. In case of SIDY's new DM3 model it had almost the same effect as changing nozzle filters. Here is what I found.

I have to tell you that SIDY really stepped up to the plate with their latest releases in terms of packaging and presentation of the product. I like when a company takes a pride in presentation, and with DM3 release SIDY followed footsteps of their recently released flagship DGS100 hybrid IEM with an identical packaging. You get a tin square box with their new logo marking, which from a distance kind of reminds me of Wu-Tang Clan symbol Inside of the box you get a high quality hard zipper case, a pair of over-ear wire guides, and 4 sets of S/M/L eartips including foam one and different color silicones. It's great to have a set of foam tips since these are a lot nicer than Comply (softer and faster to re-shape in your ear), but I do have a gripe with silicone tips since they are redundant with a same semi-narrow bore opening. As I found out later, the narrow versus wide bore opening of the eartips makes a night and day difference in sound shaping of DM3 where a narrow one will give you more bass while attenuating higher frequencies, almost making sound signature to be L-shaped, while the wide bore opening tip settles down the bass and brings up upper mids for a more balanced sound. Is this a show stopper? Absolutely not because wide bore tips are easy to come by, and I wanted to bring this to everyone's attention because my review is based solely on using wide bore tips to get SIDY's signature mid-bass hump under control!

In addition to quality packaging, SIDY also paid a lot of attention to a design of their new shell. Featuring a solid metal lightweight alloy material, this is not just a plain cylindrical shell, but a shaped fixture with a nice design touches of swirling lines. The back of the shell features their signature logo, the top front has a clear L/R marking to ID these symmetrical pieces, and at the bottom behind strain relief there is a pinhole port opening. Strain relief is very sturdy and just a perfect length. Cable has a typical SIDY build quality; thinner round part between earpieces and y-splitter and thicker round part going from a splitter to 270deg 3.5mm gold plated headphone connector with a decent strain relief. Y-splitter is short, with a nice shinny finish, and made out of some alloy material. Chin slider is also in place and comes handy to keep the wires down if you choose to wear these over ear, though they look more natural with wire down. Either way, you get very little cable noise, and the same average sound isolation which going to depend on eartip selection.

So how do these sound? As I mentioned above, the sound will highly depend on selection of eartips and also your source. Using my smartphone and X1 dap, both of which have a warmer sig, and narrow bore tips made sound signature more L-shaped with enhanced bass and slightly recessed mids and rolled off treble. BUT, switching it to a brighter source like X5 or using with an amp (which btw not necessary, only for sound shaping purpose) - yielded a GREAT evenly balanced sound with a smooth melodic signature. Low end has a nice punchy mid-bass with a supporting sub-bass, but not too exaggerated. It's definitely above neutral level, but nowhere near "enhanced" level. Bass is very well controlled (but not as tight) with hardly any spilling into lower mids (keep in mind - wide bore eartips!). Upper mids are clear, smooth, and melodic, though not super detailed. Vocals sound smooth and organic, a little on a warm side and with a nice body. Treble is not as extended and also very smooth, not crispy or peaky. This sound signature is great for extended listening without fatigue. What I really appreciate in here, smooth sounding IEMs usually lack a bass punch, but here you have a very tasteful dose of it. Soundstage has an average width/depth, actually more width than depth. DM3 doesn't require any amping to drive it, only to enhance the sound characteristics if you prefer to. Also, since these are not super detailed, it was quite forgiving when it comes to lower quality audio.

For the reference in comparison to other IEMs, here is a quick rundown. DM3 vs VSD3: VSD3 has faster punch, wider sound, brighter more detailed upper mids and better treble extension. DM3 vs KC06A: KC06A sounds narrower, upper mids harsher/brighter, treble more extend, punchier mid-bass but with less sub-bass. DM3 vs T1E (using wide tip): T1E sounds wider, very similar mid-bass but a bit more sub-bass crunch, upper mids/treble brighter and more detailed. DM3 vs B3 Pro I: B3 has wider sound stage, brighter more detailed upper mids/treble, but less mid-/sub-bass. DM3 vs DGS100: DGS100 has a wider soundstage, more clear/detailed upper mids/treble though a bit more peaky, and bass is more boomy spilling into lower mids.

Overall, I was surprised and impressed with this release at the same time. While using a wide opening eartips, these are great for everyday listening if you like a smooth balanced music sound without too much of booming bass or harsh highs. With other SIDY headphones you don't have as much flexibility in controlling the bass, but using DM3 after 15-20hr burn in yielded great results - definitely a pleasant surprise! Though YMMV, I also think these have a very sexy design, a definite eye candy. I like how they don't overlap with a sound signature of my other headphones and actually contribute something different at a very reasonable price of under $60, a great value considering included accessories.

Here are the pictures.

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Complete List of all smartphone and tablet Accessory and Gadget REVIEWS by Twister => HERE
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