Since the days of the original SM2, I've been a fan of the moody Earsonics house sound. A year later, its successor, the SM3 blew me away. Why? The intervening year brought a maturity to Earsonics that changed the way I looked at multi-armature earphones.
The SM2 was notoriously hard to drive. It still is my benchmark. Amps/sources that on paper can drive ridiculously low-Ω/high-current loads are picked apart by the SM2. The SM3, on the other hand, is easy as pie.
The EM32 follows in the SM3's footsteps, but one-ups even that modern classic. While not quite as easy to drive in terms of current, it is a close second; and what it loses there, it gains, massively, in its obviation of the most deleterious of background noise. Indeed, you will hear NO hiss from any modern iPod, any modern Astell & Kern, any modern HiFiman. Even my favourite iPod shuffle 1G, a known hisser, makes barely a peep.
Bass is deep, throbbing, and energetic. Strangely, it never blooms. And, unlike the SM3, which could sometimes sound a bit too lush, EM32 is straighter, more honest. However, it is so very unlike the chart on Earsonics page- that is unless Earsonics's engineers can no longer hear THE BASS.
The cable has seen its share of small upgrades: it is more tightly wound, and comes with a compact - and dare I say it - smartphone case-friendly plug. This slim ditty is the hippest thing I've seen Earsonics do.
And I like it.
I will be writing a full review of the EM32 at Headfonia in a few weeks. Already, I can tell you: I dig.