Eternal Melody (EM) is a Chinese company that specializes in producing iems. EM was founded in 2016 by a mechanical engineer and an acoustic engineer. They offer their iems in either custom or universal form. In addition, EM allows the customization of design on their iems subject to the material availability. In this review, I will be reviewing the Eternal Melody EM-5 which is a 5 Balanced Armature (BA) drivers iem consisting of 1 BA for the high frequency, 2 BA for low-mid frequency and 2 BA for low frequency. It boasts a 3 way crossover configuration. I paid the full price for my EM-5 and would like to thank EM for helping me with the design customization. At the moment, you can purchase the universal EM-5 from https://www.emaudio.com.cn/products/em-5-universal-in-ear-monitor and the custom EM-5 from https://www.emaudio.com.cn/products/em-5-i-custom-in-ear-monitor .
- Drivers Configuration: 5 Balanced Armature Drivers
- Sensitivity: 112 dB @ 1k Hz
- DCR: 20 Ohm Nominal
- Frequency: 20Hz – 20kHz
Unboxing & Accessories
The EM-5 comes in a white package with the EM logo printed on it. After opening the package, there are flight adapter, 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter, cleaning tool and a black circular hard carrying aluminium case. Inside the case, there are the EM-5 iem, 0.78mm 2 pins detachable cable and silicone tips of size S, M and L.
IEM Build & Design
The EM-5 shell is made up of acrylic and the surface is smooth. On each of the faceplate, there is the EM logo printed on it. For the left side, the logo is in silver colour while for the right side, the logo is in gold colour. The faceplate has a dark blue color. The shell is transparent light blue. The nozzle is straight. On the inside of the right side, there is the EM-5 model name printed in white while for the left side, the serial number is printed in white too. The fit is very good. The housing is light-weight and overall, the EM-5 is constructed with good quality. It has a beautiful design.
Cable Build & Design
The cable is a detachable 4 core cable with 2 pin 0.78mm connectors. On the connectors, there are blue and red dot on the left and right side respectively so users can differentiate. The connectors have an opaque black housing. The cable has a memory wire section that is enclosed in a transparent heat shrink tube. It is not very flexible due to the metal inside that helps to form the shape. The chin slider is made is made up of a transparent tube and the y splitter is made of a soft rubber material with strain relief. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated right angled with strain relief.
The EM-5 has a good amount of sub-bass quantity and it is extended with a great depth. There is an impactful hit but it is not very authoritative. The rumble is moderately quick which helps to speed up the overall presentation. Each bass note is expressed with a nice weight to it and it does not sound dense at all. Furthermore, there is accuracy to it. The bass is not the most agile I have heard but there is still pace in it. Bass texture is rendered smoothly. Mid-bass is delivered with a moderate amount of quantity and the slam is not very aggressive. There is a good combination of impact and control in the bass. The transition from the lows to the lower mids is effortless. Overall, the integration of warmth and agility ensures the bass is still exciting yet controlled.
The midrange of EM-5 is the star of the show. The intimacy of the midrange leaves nothing to be desired. With such a luscious midrange that has a good level of forwardness, the execution is spot-on. The lower mids takes on a full-bodied approach and it is enhanced by the lows. Male vocals are being conveyed well without sounding hollow and dry. For the upper mids, there is a good level of cleanliness to it. Coupled with the forwardness, the upper mids shine with an excellent mastery. Female vocals are expressed with great confidence and there is a some transparency. The midrange packs details and emotions.
The treble is extended rather well with a good level of details retrieval. The extension has a good depth although it does not stretch too far out. There is no sibilance and harshness. There is body to the treble and it is being articulated with precision. There is a lack of sparkle. The air rendered at the top end has a good amount and the space reduces the congestion of the sound. The treble is being expressed in a smooth manner.
The EM-5 tackles both aspects of soundstage well. The stage width has a realistic and natural expansion. The width also helps in the positioning of vocals and instruments. There is good depth so it is not close in.
Eternal Melody EM-5 vs Campfire Audio Andromeda
The EM-5 has more sub-bass quantity than the Andromeda but the extension of the Andromeda is better. The mid-bass on the EM-5 has more body and the slam has greater impact. Bass texture on the EM-5 is smoother and it is very relaxing to listen to. On the other hand, Andromeda approaches its bass in a transparent and clean approach. There is faster bass decay on the Andromeda as it presents itself with more agility. The lower mids on the EM-5 has more quantity and it sounds fuller than the Andromeda. This allows male vocals to not sound hollow. The upper mids on both are forward. Andromeda has the edge in crisp and definition while EM-5 expresses it in an intimate and controlled manner. Next, in the treble section, the Andromeda has more extension with better clarity. The air rendered on both is pretty similar and Andromeda has more sparkle. Lastly, the stage width on the Andromeda is greater than the EM-5 and the depth on both has quite similar magnitude.
Eternal Melody EM-5 vs Fidue A91 Sirius
The EM-5 has less sub-bass quantity than the A91 and the extension on both has a similar magnitude. With more body in its sub-bass, the A91 reproduces it with more impact. The mid-bass on the A91 has similar body as the EM-5 but it has a tighter slam. In this aspect, the EM-5 is less fatiguing to listen to in long listening sessions. Since A91 has a dynamic driver, the bass is most likely to better EM-5. There is more dynamics on the A91. The lower mids on both has similar body and male vocals are presented nicely without sounding dry. The quantity helps to enhance the emotions being conveyed. For the upper mids, the EM-5 is slightly more forward than the A91 and the female vocals benefit with extra intimacy. There is more body in the A91. EM-5 presents it with more crisp and definition which results in an organic vocals performance. The treble on the EM-5 is extended better with more clarity. The amount of air rendered on both is similar. Lastly, both have similar approach in its stage width and the A91 has a slight edge. The EM-5 has the better depth.
Eternal Melody EM-5 vs Empire Ears Athena
The EM-5 has more sub-bass quantity than the Athena and it has slightly more extension. The sub-bass body in the EM-5 provides a more weighted feel. It is very impactful and the depth it reaches is great. The mid-bass on the EM-5 has a greater slam for extra dynamics. Bass decay on the Athena is more agile which provides a quicker attack. Bass texture on the EM-5 is rendered more smoothly. The lower mids on the EM-5 has slightly more body to prevent hollowness in the male vocals. The midrange on both are presented excellently with a lush approach. In terms of upper mids, there is strong forwardness on both iems and female vocals are being presented with great intimacy. The difference in this area is that EM-5 approaches it in a smoother manner while Athena has the added crisp to it. The treble on the EM-5 has more body and the amount of air expressed on the Athena is greater in quantity. It helps to lighten the overall presentation. Details retrieval on the Athena is slightly better. There is no sibilance and harshness for both the EM-5 and Athena. Lastly, the stage on the EM-5 has a more natural expansion while the depth on the Athena is better with more space.
The EM-5 is a beautiful sounding iem that delivers a spectacular midrange. The prominent midrange exemplifies the sweet and organic sound of the EM-5. Female vocals are expressed in the most intimate way and there is great details retrieval. Coupled with the natural stage expansion, it is capable of producing a complete performance. In addition, the EM-5 has a beautiful design. The Eternal Melody EM-5 is easily my go-to iem for female vocals.