Letshouer S12 ortho iem Impressions and Discussion

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Feb 28, 2022.

  1. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Can I hire you to write reviews for me? You seem to hear things exactly as I do :p. We also seem to have the same fit issue with the cable pulling the IEMs out of the ear, which makes it finicky to get the proper fit for the bass to come through.

    Didn't try the micropore tape mod, though.
     
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Nice review @Biodegraded ! I agree with most of what you say though I find them thinner and brighter than you seem to stock.

    I have the same issue with the cable pushing the iems out of my ears. Really it’s just stupid 2 pin connectors that are to blame because they don’t rotate in, they go straight out and hit your ear, pushing the iems out.

    but you can easily fix this if you own a pair by removing the cable and heating up the ear hook on the cable with a blow dryer (for like a minute it doesn’t take long to soften it) then you can reshape it and it will hold its shape. I have aftermarket occ copper cables on my S12 and I bent the ear hook in towards my head and they fit brilliantly now.

    also @Biodegraded please try the micro pore tape mod! It seriously turns these from unusable iems for me due to being too bright and thin to having basically perfect FR.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  3. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Which tape do you use, exactly?
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Micropore tape.
    1 roll:
    Walmart - link
    eBay - link
    Maybe I’ll take some pictures showing how to apply it. But you just cut out a small rectangle and place it over 60% of the driver with the uncovered part facing forward if you’re wearing them. Then wrap the sides around the nozzle.

    and when putting on the tips it helps to start from the side that has Micropore tape so you’re pushing the tips onto the side of the nozzle that has no tape.
     
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  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Here’s a picture of how I’ve bent the ear hook of my 2 pin cable using a hair dryer (with the cable unplugged so you don’t heat up the iems ) so it doesn’t pull out the iems. Notice how it curves in towards my head. Fits great now.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    First impressions after one hour of listening with no earlier burn in.

    Samsung S21+ > E1DA 9038SG3 dongle > deep insertion S12 wired by this cable.

    I'm dumbing 550mw into their 16ohm load and the dongle is powerful and lean neutral sounding.

    I'm coming from daily driving the Fiio FD5, a v shaped single DD costing $320 (S12 is $170-130).

    In a nutshell the Shuoer S12 is fast tight lean v shaped with small soundstage.
    It's 3dB warm at the midbass and 2dB bright above 2khz except the 7khz which is 3-4dB bright. Their brightness is persistent till 20khz which is impressive for their price.

    They excel at speed, clarity, separation, bass response and treble extension.

    Their bass is TIGHT and also tactile for an ortho driver.

    Their main cons are the tuning, timbre and soundstage.

    The timbre because they are too light and fast sounding, too aggressive/sharp/square. The dongle is partially at fault here because it's also aggressive and fast sounding.

    Compared to the Fiio FD5 (both after EQ to my preference but not yet AB test them side by side), they have better clarity, speed, imaging and treble extension but worse tone density, timbre, soundstage width/depth, microdynamics and texture.

    The key difference here is that I can listen to the Fiio with no EQ but I can't stand the S12 without one, they're too fast and sharp to be tuned v shaped imo.

    For now I think I prefer listening to them for metal tracks or maybe when I want better isolation because they isolate very well or if I wanted no noise floor, as my Fiio is a little bit noisy from the dongle.

    In the end I think I like them, they are cheap with great isolation, fit and comfort. They sound like a BA iem but with better bass and not as offensive in the timbre.


    (I will post later if I changed my mind about something mentioned above as it's only my first hour with them)
     
  7. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    After a month of weekly listening to both my impression above still stands true except:

    1- S12 brightness is less noticeable now, I reduced my EQ by one dB from the 4khz and up from my Samsung 9-band EQ. Bass and 2khz still -2dB for me.

    2- The FD5 has better bass for my preference, it's rounder, fuller and more extended and tactile. S12 is much faster.

    3- S12 is more detailed in the treble, things are more defined and textured there.

    Overall the S12 paints a clearer picture with superior separation and better treble overall (after EQ of course). The FD5 is more natural, wider and deeper stage, smoother and with better bass and mids and excellent timbre.

    The Fiio FD5 is now my go to IEM unless I need better isolation or want to listen to metal tracks.

    My next upgrade probably the FD7 or the Zen pro.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  8. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Shouer S12 Review (as short as possible) -

    I'm assuming most people who have heard this IEM or are considering it have already heard the Timeless 7hz IEM. Take the Timeless and chop the response in half at around 2khz.

    The S12 has less energy but better quality below that cutoff. The Timeless has less energy but better quality above that cutoff. Both are equally as far off the mark of what I would consider ideal tonality for an IEM in stock form. The Timeless is less fatiguing but more boring. The S12 is less boring but more fatiguing. I prefer the Timeless stock vs stock.

    The S12 bass is snappier and tighter and sounds less floppy. This is probably due to the reduced enclosure volume (and reduced venting) vs the T7Hz, providing a greater air pressure damping effect in this case. The S12 highs are scratchier, grainier, and sound less smooth/effortless, while also being elevated vs the T7Hz. The S12 has crisper imaging but a smaller perceived rendering of space vs T7hz's grander but more diffusive presentation. Surprisingly, I did not find the upper midrange fatiguing or especially boosted on these (I don't like boosted upper mids on over-ear headphones), even though I am very sensitive to the 4-5khz boost on the FDX1 IEM which I find intolerable. My only issue with the S12 was in the highs.

    Mod notes:

    I tried the 1/2 micropore nozzle cover mod and it didn't take the scratchiness totally away, though it did help a little bit. I got better results using some tuning filters that I normally use on driver frame vents for ETA headphones - they are a similar nonwoven fibrous material as micropore tape, but I have several different densities for greater or lesser effect. In my testing, micropore tape does breathe a little bit, but not a whole lot given the adhesive backing is uniformly applied. These tuning filter 'stickers' I'm using only have adhesive at the edges.

    I used a density of 3 on the scale of 1-6 after testing 1 and 2 with suboptimal effect, and I covered the entire nozzle in each case. This helped with the scratchy feeling, but even still, I sense an upward shelf in the treble response starting at about 6khz and continuing up to about 10khz. Micropore tape in my testing is similar to a density of 5. These sorts of stickers can be sourced on Aliexpress, though I don't have a direct link since I've been getting them from the driver supplier for ETA headphones. I'll have some different densities of woven meshes in a similar form factor to test soon as well and will report back at that time, along with some links.

    I'm using the stock cable and foam tips which I preferred after rolling through the three stock options as I felt the treble shelf was least evident. I have other tips on the way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Hmmm my impression of the S12 is very different, I wonder if there is unit variation and I got a pair with less treble energy. Or of course tips- I'm using Azla Cystial tips, or fit, or just the weirdness of iems in general.

    Because with 60% nozzle covered in micropore tape and Azla Crystal tips, these iems are damn near perfect in their response. The treble is clean and not exaggerated at all. I hear no scratchiness or anything else. Midrange is glorious, and the bass goes all the way down and is super tight. The micropore tape mod brings up the bass to neutral and it's very hard hitting. I've never heard such a good iem.

    My only nit picky complaint is that I wish they had a tiny bit more body. But pairing them with the RU6 or Vali2+ fixes that completely.

    Sounds like your tuning stickers might work better, but I don't like to ever cover the whole front of a driver. So if I had to resort to that, I would just give up on the S12.

    But I must say, micropore tape is porous. I have used it as a temporary testing material to damp cup vents, and it is similar to how they sound damped with felt or other porous materials, and not at all the way they sound with the vents sealed. I actually left a pair of headphones with micropore tape covering the cup vents for 10+ years, and when I checked on them, the micropore tape was still porous. The sound had changed slightly as the micropore tape aged, but it was still pretty close to the same.

    I imagine your adhesive discs could be better though.

    these iems with this simple micropore tape mod deserve way more attention. I'll have a loaner at some point and hopefully there isn't product variation. I'll send the loaner out with a roll of micropore tape.

    I'm keeping this pair for myself though just in case ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
  10. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Tips... These ones? https://a.co/d/bJE1xUz

    Maybe these are the wrong ones, indeed they removed the treble itch, however they gave me a somewhat diffusive presentation even with no nozzle filter, a little bit oversoftened and indistinct to my tastes. They were a super tight fit over the nozzle so indeed they might be the wrong variant.

    I ended up preferring the stock foam tips with the middle density front filter. I certainly agree that less (or honestly, zero) front damping is always better whenever possible... But from a subjective standpoint, I just went with what sounded best to me after trying a few approaches of partial and total covering. I am very happy with them!

    If theres a certain brand of micropore that is preferred for airflow I'd be curious as well, I'm using 3M.
     
  11. JayC

    JayC Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    I don't know if I'm in the minority here but as an additional point, I really like these because of the micropore tape necessity. I can swap out the tape for a new one every week/month/whatever and not worry too much about any wax build up behind the mesh over time

    I'm pretty picky about cleanliness and this helps to be one less thing to think about..
     
  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yeah, those are the tips I'm using but I'm not getting any diffused sound with them, sounds great to me. this might just come down to fit differences at this point. I wish you could hear what I'm hearing out of the Vali 2+ Ev!
     
  13. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    I have the same exact AZLA tips and with a deep insertion they're 2dB bright 2khz and up.
    I don't mod because my OCD demand perfection and my hands aren't machines accurate.
    So I guess with a mod I can see them having the perfect FR and I doubt they have unit variation as Shuoer have good track record of QC in general.
    Also huge plus of these is their brightness is linear with no annoying peaks, like studio monitions bright.

    I'm with you these IEMs deserve more attention here at SBAF but my guess is SBAF is DDs biased like me :p

    With the E1DA 9038SG3 slow linear filter they sounded way better. Now they have enough body and weight to sound close to natural, still not near as natural as DD tho.
     
  14. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Try the micropore tape mod, it's seriously so easy and fixes everything about them IME.
     
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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  16. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    After listening to the s12 for a few weeks, I haven't tried any mods, and don't know if I will. I'm pretty impressed with them as stock. Being very old and being blessed (argh) with quite a bit of damage from wind noise, I'm not treble sensitive at all, more like insensitive. Compared to the Blessing 2, the mid-treble is a bit grainier/more textured (depending on one's p.o.v.) on the s12, while the Blessing 2 is much clearer and smoother.

    The s12 is fantastic with busy guitar-based rock like Porcupine Tree or Tool; just slammy as hell down low, and distorted guitars sound great. Bass extension is better and certainly more impactful through the s12, and the mids are great on both, though airier and more open on the B2. In fact, the s12 is a bit more congested and less able to convey spatial info/imaging across the frequency range. These areas are a strength of the B2 (which is 2x the price after all). While both sound great from my Vali 2 (GE 5670) , the benefits of this little tube amp play more to the B2's strengths, while comparing to the Jot 2 (high gain, SE) with both shows there to be a small cost to be paid in terms of detail retrieval, moreso with the B2, which are better at this overall. I don't really have any experience with really expensive gear unless Gungnir MB A2 counts as such. I mostly use iems with portable sources though, (m11 pro, L&P W2) which narrows the delta somewhat. The B2 are noticeably better with classical/acoustic jazz/folk but most of my listening is more rock/prog/pop so the s12 really work for me.


    I will probably eventually try the mod once boredom sets in, but right now I'm just enjoying listening. The s12 are much better ergonomically and not as tip sensitive as the B2. Hard to beat the value proposition though. As my first decent iems were etys, I'm a fan of deep insertion (yeah, baby) so I've been using the s12 with the pictured tips which are the spin fit bi-flanges. Given my lack of experience with iems >$500 and my damaged hearing, many grains o' salt should accompany this post. Questions are encouraged, although I am clearly no expert, so temper your expectations. And I am clearly even less of an expert in photography.
    20220729_081925.jpg
     
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  17. Tekker

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    Are these the stickers you’re talkng about?

    https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/1005002021465052.html?gatewayAdapt=glo2nld
     
  18. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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  19. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Are those the same size as the S12 nozzle? If so I’m getting some! Will make it faster. Very cool find Ev
     
  20. Brause

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    I taped 90% of the S12's nozzles off. Works for me and does not affect the bass.
     
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