LetShuoer S12 IEM Review
LetShuoer S12 IEM Review
LetShuoer (aka Shuoer) is a Chinese company located in Dongguan, Guangdong, China and is specialized in design and development of portable audio equipment’s such like Universal & Custom In-Ear Monitors and USB DAC/Amplifier (DT-02).
The LetShuoer S12 is the company’s latest In-Ear Monitor that is features a pretty large 14.8mm Diameter Planar Magnetic Driver, which is located inside a 5-axis CNC processed Aluminium Alloy Monitor shell that is equipped with a 2-Pin connector interface.
I would like to thank LetShuoer for providing me the S12 In-Ear Monitor as review sample. I am not affiliated with LetShuoer or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the LetShuoer S12 is 169,00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The LetShuoer S12 came inside a rectangular cardboard box that sports the illustration and some product related brandings on its surface.
Inside the box are the following items/accessories;
- 1 pair x LetShuoer S12 In-Ear Monitors
- 1 piece x 2-Pin Detachable Cable With 3.5mm Headphone Plug
- 35 pairs x Semi Transparent Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 pairs x Grey Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 pair x Foam Ear Tips
- 1 piece x Leather Case
- 1 piece x Cleaning Tool
- 1 piece x Print Material
Design and Build Quality:
The LetShuoer S12 has a pretty minimalistic industrial monitor design with a smooth surface that is made from durable & lightweight 5-Axis CNC Processed Aluminium Alloy material.
The monitor is available in two different colour options, which are Nebula Grey and Frosted Silver same like my review unit.
On the front (faceplate) is a relative clean surface that has a slightly protrudes area, which is part of the 2-Pin connector interface.
At the rear surface of the monitors is a slightly angled sound nozzles and one of the two vent holes drilled to the side of the unit to reduce pressure against the ear drums to protect the users hearing. The sound nozzle has fine metal mesh/filter on the top to prevent the insertion of small particles such like dust or ear-wax that can damage the driver overtime.
On the top of each monitor shell is a 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin female connector interface that offers a tight connection with the 2-Pin male connectors, located on the detachable cable. Near the connectors is a second vent hole that is part of the pressure balance system of the S12.
At the rear surface of monitors are the L (Left) / R (Right) markings, the model branding and the serial number of each In-Ear Monitor.
The overall build quality of the monitors is decent, and doesn’t show any imperfections such like burrs or gaps.
The LetShuoer S12 comes with a decent detachable cable that is made of 128 stands of Silver Plated Monocrystalline Copper wire.
The cable has a braided design and the wires are protected by a stiff and PVC insulation that shows a very low amount of microphonic effect.
The 2-Pin connectors do have a metal housing in gun metal colour that do sport left (transparent) and right (red) colour indicators.
Near the left and right connectors are heat shrink ear guides for extra comfort on the go.
There cable comes with a metal Y-splitter and a transparent plastic chin slider.
LetShuoer offers two different headphone plug options that you can select on their website. Those are the 4.4mm Balanced (TRRRS) plug variant and the 3.5mm Single Ended variant.
My review unit came with the 3.5mm Single Ended plug that features a straight profiled metal housing, which has the LetShuoer branding on the top. The plug sports a semi-transparent plastic strain relief for extra durability. My only complaint for the cable could be the stiffness and the weight, which is a bit high compared to the monitors that are pretty lightweight.
Comfort and Isolation:
The LetShuoer S12 is a pretty small and lightweight In-Ear Monitor with a pretty comfortable shape that fits perfectly to my average sized ear chonca. When it comes to the passive noise isolation, I can say that it is on a sufficient level that is suitable for the use in relative noise environments such like a bus or a train.
Drivability and Pairing:
The LetShuoer S12 is quite efficient for an In-Ear Monitor that is equipped with a pretty large 14.8mm dia. Planar Magnetic Driver, thanks to its impedance of 16Ω and a sensitivity of 102dB/mW. Sources with a relative weak amplification such like USB DAC Dongles (Hidizs S3 Pro), Tablet’s (iPad Air 2) or DAP’s (FiiO M3K) do work just fine.
- Driver Unit : 14.8mm dia. Planar Magnetic Driver
- Sensitivity : 102dB/mW
- Frequency Response : 10-30 kHz
- Impedance : 16Ω
- Connector Interface : 0.78mm dia. 2-Pin
- Plug : 3.5mm Single Ended or 4.4mm (TRRRS) Balanced
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : LetShuoer S12, TIN HiFi P2, 7HZ Timeless
- Sources : FiiO M11 Plus, iFi xDSD Gryphon, Questyle M15
Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Daft Punk – Contact (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
The LetShuoer S12 offers pretty lively, dynamic and entertaining presentation. It has not a reference type and tuning, but the colorations that you will hear from the lows to the highs make it to an IEM that is suitable for a wide variety of genres. The lows are produced in a quite deep, pretty fast and impactful manner, while the midrange sounds pretty transparent, vivid and detailed thanks to the well pronounced upper midrange tuning. The treble range on the other hand is able to produce a good sense of airiness and sparkle, while the resolution and extension of this area is on an efficient level for a product at this price tag.
This review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 70 hours. I have used the stock semi-transparent silicone ear tips and the stock cable that are included in the standard package.
The LetShuoer S12 comes with a very entertaining bass response that shows a decent level of subbass rumble, depth and control that was especially audible in songs like Bro Safari, UFO’s “Drama”, Lorde’s “Royals”, and Massive Attack’s “Angel”. Planar magnetic drivers are general known with their fast response, which is not an exception in case of the 14.8mm diameter driver found on the S12. What I also like about the subbass region of the S12 is the clarity, especially in relative dense passages.
The midbass region of the S12 is slightly more highlighted compared to the subbass area. It shows a decent sense of depth and impact when called upon, while the clarity and resolution is quite enough for a product at this price range. I didn’t notice any remarkable negative conditions such like muddiness or mixings when I have listen to songs like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven” or Charly Antolini’s “Duwadjuwandadu” that do have some complex bass passages.
Instruments on the other hand, such like a cross drum, trumpet or bass guitar are reproduced with a good amount of intensity and with an efficient level of detail and speed, which fulfils my expectation from a product at this price level.
The LetShuoer S12 shows a pretty transparent and spacious midrange atmosphere thanks to its pronounced upper midrange tuning. The level of clarity, airiness and detail retrieval is on a pretty good level, which will satisfy most listeners.
The lower midrange of the LetShuoer S12 shows a good sense of depth and body, which is an advantage for male voices. Male vocals such like Dave Gahan, Sting or Elton John do sound pretty intimate and emotional, while the level of clarity is decent. Instruments like violas, acoustic guitars or bassoons are reproduced in a pretty clean and detailed manner.
The upper midrange of the S12 is more highlighted and detailed compared to the lower midrange. Female vocals like Adel, Diana Krall or Edith Piaf are reproduced in a pretty lively, emotional and detailed way. The energetic upper midrange tuning creates a vivid and transparent overall midrange atmosphere, while only soprano voices can do sound a little bit sibilant and energy loaded from time to time when I do listen at higher volume levels.
Instruments from pianos to cymbals, from flutes to cellos are reproduced in a pretty detailed and dynamic manner, while the extension and authority is quite decent compared to previous In-Ear Monitor with Planar Magnetic Driver that I have listen before.
The treble range of the LetShuoer S12 shows an above average grade of brightness and is able to create a good sense of clarity and airiness, while the extension is in general on an adequate level. The transitions in this area are in general fairly fast and controlled, when instruments do play with high level of distortion, thanks to the well-adjusted 14.8mm dia. Planar Magnetic Driver.
The lower treble region is slightly less highlighted compared to the upper treble. Woodwind instruments such like a side flute or clarinet are fairly pronounced and clear, while pianos are shown with a pretty good grade of intensity.
The upper treble area is shows an audible elevation around the 7 – 8 kHz region that gives the overall presentation a good sense of airiness and sparkle. The LetShuoer S12 offers in general a decent level of resolution and upper treble extension, when I do listen to instruments like snare drums or cymbals.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The LetShuoer S12 shows a fairly expansive soundstage atmosphere with adequate sense of airiness, which is suitable for fairly precise positioning and separation of instruments and vocals. The soundstage has an above average wideness, while the depth of the stage is on a moderate level.
LetShuoer S12 versus 7HZ Timeless:
The LetShuoer S12 and the 7HZ Timeless do shows a pretty similar sound profile that is highly entertaining from the lows up to the highs.
The subbass region of the 7HZ Timeless shows a bit more depth and rumble, while the control and level of decay in this area is pretty similar. The midbass region is the area where the LetShuoer S12 is more pronounced and impactful. The speed and authority is decent with both IEM’s, while the 7HZ Timeless seems so be a bit reveal a bit more micro detail.
The Midrange of both IEM’s sound pretty transparent and lively, whatever you listen to vocals or to instruments. The midrange of the 7HZ Timeless sound a bit warmer in tonality compared to the LetShuoer S12 to my ears, while the difference of coloration is quite minimal. Vocals are a bit more forward and intimate when I do listen to the S12, while the Timeless sounds slightly recessed in direct comparison.
The lower midrange of both IEM’s shows a good sense of depth and body when I do listen to male voices or violas and guitars. The upper midrange on the other hand is a bit more highlighted, extended and detailed when I do listen to the LetShuoer S12, while the 7HZ Timeless sounds a tad smoother and controlled in this area, which was fairly audible when I do listen to female voices or to violins, flues or pianos.
When it comes to the treble range, I can say that the LetShuoer S12 is the Planar Driver IEM with the more energetic signature. Both the upper and the lower treble regions of the S12 are shown with slightly higher sense of presence and extension. The 7HZ Timeless sounds in general a bit smoother and controlled compared to the LetShuoer S12 that’s sounds a bit more energy loaded and shouty.
The soundstage of both IEM’s offers a sufficient level of performance in terms of separation & placement of instruments and vocals. The stage of the 7HZ Timeless is a tad deeper, while the sense of airiness and wideness is pretty similar.
LetShuoer S12 versus TiN HiFi P2:
The first audible difference you will hear is that the TiN HiFi P2 needs a lot more power to be driven properly, while the LetShuoer S12 is much easier to driver.
The S12 has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the P2, which sounds a bit brighter and thinner in direct comparison. The subbass region of the LetShuoer S12 offers slightly more depth and rumble, while both do offer a pretty equal sense of decay and control in this area. The midbass region of the S12 has more intensity and shows also a better level of body and impact, while the difference is not very high but audible.
The midrange of both IEM’s does offer a good level of transparent and airiness, while the midrange of the LetShuoer S12 is a bit more upfront when I do listen to vocals and instruments.
The lower midrange of the TiN HiFi P2 shows slightly less depth and intensity when I do listen to male voices or to instruments like guitars or cellos, while both are pretty similar in terms of clarity in this area. The upper midrange of the LetShuoer S12 is more highlighted and detailed compared the TiN HiFi P2 that is missing the clarity and extension that the S12 has when I do listen to female vocals or to pianos, violins and flutes.
Both In-Ear Monitors do have a pretty highlighted treble presentation with great sense of resolution and extension, but with different focal points. The S12 has more presence in the lower treble area, where the P2 has an audible roll-off. The S12 offers a better grade of clarity and definition in the lower treble register. The upper treble region is the area where the TiN HiFi P2 noticeably more highlighted and detailed. The upper treble region of the P2 creates a higher sense of airiness and sparkle, while it sound a bit too energetic and unnatural compared to the S12 that offers a better level of control in this area.
Both the LetShuoer S12 and the TiN HiFi P2 do offer an efficient performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments and vocals. The S12 has the upper hand for the soundstage wideness, while both IEM’s are pretty similar when it comes to the depth of the stage.
The LetShuoer S12 is a Universal IEM that shows a decent build quality and pretty comfortable fit. It is equipped with a carefully tuned 14.8mm diameter large Planar Magnetic Driver, which offers a pretty lively, dynamic and entertaining presentation from the lows up to the highs. It has not a reference type of sound tuning, but the colorations here and there do make the S12 to pretty suitable In-Ear Monitor for a wide variety of genres.
Pros and Cons:
- + Lively, Dynamic and Entertaining Sound Profile
- + Punchy & Fast Bass Response
- + Transparent & Detailed Midrange Tuning
- + Airiness & Sparkle of the Treble Range
- + Fit & Comfort
- + Great Value for your Money
- – Upper Midrange is Slightly Prone to Sibilance
- – Maybe a bit Minimalistic in terms of Design
- – Stock Cable is a bit heavy and stiff
Thank you for the Read!