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Simgot EA500LM - For Better or For Worse, Is This An EA500 Upgrade or Side-grade? - Honest Audiophile Impressions


Is the Simgot EA500LM an upgrade or sidegrade to the venerable EA500?


I want to start by thanking Simgot for providing the EA500LM for review, much appreciated.


The Simgot EA500LM is a single 10mm dynamic driver IEM that will set you back $90 from your bank account. It has a Lithium-Magnesium Dome Diaphragm along with a Dual-Magnetic & Dual-Cavity Dynamic Driver; the original Simgot EA500 came with DLC composite diaphragm. The EA500LM has impedance of 21Ω, sensitivity of 123db and a frequency response range of 20hz-20khz.




The Simgot EA500LM comes in a black box with some artistic flair on the front. Oh, Oh we have a Hi_Res sticker, it's got to sound good!



There is a smaller box inside that pulls out and houses the EA500LM and accessories.


The included accessories are a small, pill shaped, hard-shell carry case, silicone tips and tuning filters.




The carry case is nothing special but it will protect the EA500lm, has ample room for accessories and will easily fit in a bag or pocket.



The silicone tips are usual fair but worked well for me.



Three tuning filters are provided, more about those later.


The build of the Simgot EA500LM is very similar to the original EA500. A metal shell that is a shiny, fingerprint magnet.



The faceplate has a little bit of SImgot branding on it.






The back of the shell is smooth and there is a small step-up for the nozzle. The nozzle length is about average. The weight of the shell is a bit on the hefty side.



The cable that Simgot includes is an okay cable. It looks nice, feels nice and sounds okay,



The ear-hooks have aggressive tension and the cable is slightly stiff. Overall, a decent cable; what more do you want for the price tag?


Fit of the EA500LM is okay for my ears. The flat back and short nozzle can cause a little bit of a fit issue. Thankfully the tips held the EA500LM in place adequately. I can have the EA500LM in my ears for about an hour before discomfort starts to set in. Isolation of outside noises isn't very good, I am going to guess about 55% or so as it barely muffles louder devices like vacuums, coffee grinders. Outside I was able to hear louder vehicles very easily. Carrying on conversations was easy, all I had to do was pause the music.


The Simgot EA500LM is fairly easy to drive with impedance of 21Ω, sensitivity of 123db pretty much anything can power it. I had no issues with dongles, DAP or desktop getting the EA500LM to loud volumes. There were no issues with hissing or popping with higher output impedance devices. The EA500LM does scale a little with better quality gear. I also noticed that it was more pleasant with a warmer source as the more analytical, neutral leaning devices brought out a cold, sterile presentation that was fatiguing.



The Simgot EA500LM includes three tuning filters. I have to admit, I am not a fan of the tuning filters but there have been a few IEM over the past several years with tuning filters that I have enjoyed. Oft times with tuning filters they don't make enough of a difference or are too drastic that it just isn't worth it in my opinion. I wish that manufacturers would just pick a tuning and roll with it. Anyway, with the EA500LM the tuning filters differences are noticeable. Gold (pre-installed): warm, more balanced presentation

Silver Black: aggressive and emphatic uppers

Silver Red: slightly warm, mildly aggressive, emphatic uppers


How does the Simgot EA500LM sound? I preferred the gold filters and I used the stock tips.



Bass:

The bass of the Simgot EA500LM is quite pleasing. The sub bass extends well and there is good amount of rumble and grumble when called upon. The mid bass has nice impact, slam and punch. The upper bass is a little bit thinner and tucked but isn't completely missing. The tonality of the bass is good as everything sounds reproduced accurately. The note weight is a bit thinner and could use some more heft. The bass has enough energy and punch to keep the toes tapping but isn't going to really drive home with lots of power and authority, it is just enough.


Mids:

The midrange of the EA500LM is troublesome for me. The lower midrange is thin and recessed and the upper midrange is thin and elevated. The mids are somewhat of a lightweight and lack authority. The upper mids are elevated and sound thinner than the lower mids. The upper mids have an extra layer of bite and crispness, this really shines threw with the black and red filters. When going through the octaves there is an obvious difference in note weight the higher you travel. From about 1.5khz-5khz the EA500LM is very forward and aggressive, the gold filter helps to calm it down but it is not for those sensitive to mids and treble elevation. The EA500LM presence region 5khz-8khz is prone to sibilance and there is a lot of hot and spicy moments. The tonality is not the most natural as the elevation and thin note weight throws off the accuracy of reproduced instruments and vocals. Timbre also isn't the most natural. A warmer source helps to overcome these issues a little but look out ears if you use a neutral, analytical leaning source.


Treble:

EA500LM has a lot of treble to offer. The treble extends well. There is plenty of energy, sparkle, sizzle on tap. From the hot and spicy presence region of 5khz-8kz all the way to 10khz the EA500LM is very elevated. There is another rise around 13khz-17khz that adds a fair amount of air and space. The treble is full of rabid energy and is rather fatiguing, again I find a warmer source helps overcome somewhat.


Technical Abilities:

Sound stage of the EA500LM is pretty average in width and depth. The EA500LM does a good job of portraying venue sizes but never gives you that grand feeling. Depth is adequate enough so that the stage doesn't feel cramped but you can't go more than a few rows deep.

Layering is good enough but it does get a tad confused on busier tracks.

Imaging is quite good for the average size stage. You can follow and track details from side to side and there is no gaps, stutters or skipping as they move around the stage. Details are easy to place but they aren't pin-point laser accurate.

Do you like hearing all the details? Good news, the Simgot EA500LM has a lot of them to offer. There isn't a detail left behind, you won't miss anything. A very detailed presentation the EA500LM offers, especially when you consider the price tag.

Sadly, the resolution of those details is mediocre, especially in the upper mids and treble regions. The resolution of details in the upper regions have a sheen, glassy, glaring tendency that is very noticeable on poorly mastered tracks.

Tone of the EA500LM is good enough but the lightweight notes throw off the naturalism, especially in the mids and treble.

Timbre is mostly accurate but the elevated mids and treble add a bit of an unnatural sheen.


Comparison to Simgot EA500:

The original EA500 is rather similar to the EA500LM but there are a few noticeable differences. The EA500LM isn't as bright and hot as the original. The EA500LM has a little more bass impact and better texture. The EA500 is pretty similar in mids and treble elevation but the EA500LM is just a tad less but still retains aggression and sibilance tendencies. Staging, depth and imaging are all similar. The EA500LM has similar detail retrieval abilities but does resolve better. The EA500LM has a little more naturalism in tone and timbre.


Overall, is the Simgot EA500LM an upgrade or sidegrade to the EA500? Ehh, neither? It is a little better than the original in that I can actually listen to it and somewhat enjoy it so is that an upgrade? Side-grade, maybe because it does do a few things differently and better? Is it better or worse? I say the EA500LM is better than the EA500 but not by much. Which one do I prefer? If I had to choose between the EA500 and EA500LM, I would select the EA500LM. But if I could choose anything other than either of them, I would.


I am Dave the Honest Audiophile. Thanks for reading, and I will catch you in the next one. Don't forget to enjoy the music and that honesty is the BEST policy!


I am not a professional sound engineer, producer, musician, or vocalist, etc. I have not done any scientific research, measurements, or in-depth testing of any kind; just my own listening, comparing and internet reading/research.  I have limited, real-life experience with recording, mixing and mastering gear.  I have been involved since my teenage years with various churches as an amateur sound booth technician.


Please take these thoughts, opinions and reasonings as just that, my honest audiophile thoughts, opinions and reasonings.

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