"High definition" friggin' headphones. The term is just as meaningless here as it has become everywhere else.

Posted by Palmer Woodrow on October 11, 2005 at 1:54 AM (PDT) Comment 1

After hearing many great things about the EM3's, but not wanting to buy such ugly headphones, I have a pair of these on order. I hope they live up to the recommendations. I had a pair of Etymotic ER-6i's and Ultimate Ears 3's, and thought both were seriously anemic in the bass department (to the point where the lost bass extension was not superceded by the improved clarity). I'd sacrifice this clarity to go back down to a pair of sony EX71SL's to regain what was lost. Hopefully these rectify the situation. Currently I'm using some Shure E2's, which are a step up clarity-wise from the Sony's, but still drop out some of the bass detail. I find that the "accurate" headphone designs that Etymotic and Ultimate Ears sell ignore all of the music these days that is designed to be played on systems with deeper bass response (i.e. with subwoofers), and as such sounds totally lifeless on their products.

Posted by misterblendy on October 11, 2005 at 2:49 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Palmer, that is true up to a point. I think though that the higher end of earbud and earphones have a better fidelity, but "hi-fi" sounds so 70's.

I can't imagine though, that these "high definition" $150 buds compare to Shure E5s or Ultimate Ears high end models for real definition.

Posted by stark23x on October 11, 2005 at 5:55 AM (PDT) Comment 3

Now I could be wrong but I got the EM3 on the say so of this site and have loved them alot. They are getting kind of worn out and the foam is not cheap. The fit thing was in trying to different foamies until I got the one that worked. I don't care if they put a hundred types in the box if I get the sound. I hope there is a new ugly one too. I got the custom sleeves so does anyone know if that's coming for this. Then I could see wanting better from the plungers. I just want to hear them.

Posted by losdosikos on October 12, 2005 at 4:11 PM (PDT) Comment 4

The quest for "more bass" in earsets like these is, I believe, futile. I thought that to create "bass" that a lot of air needed to be moved off of a large surface. Although I am sure thereare are differences between my Shure e2c set and the $200+ earpieces, I wouldn't expect a dramatic increase in the low end - it's just physically impossible to reproduce what a traditional headset's much larger drivers can produce.

But I've been wrong before...(grin).

Posted by clintbradford on October 22, 2005 at 1:58 AM (PDT) Comment 5

I bought a pair of these last week and I must say I am impressed with how good they sound with the foam sleeves on. The amount of bass is massive for such a small set, and very well defined for my needs (not golden ears but silver). The sound isolation is excellent too, so there's no need to blast your ears off in loud environments to hear some music.

I totally agree with the editorial review on the silicone sleeves being a complete waste. They are uncomfortable, sticky, and I couldn't get a mildly decent sound with them on (even my old cheap-o Sonys sounded way better). Instead of packing all that useless silicone, Xtreme Mac should provide extra foam sleeves (which are readily available online for $15 a 10-Pack, but not in Chile where I live). It also wouldn't hurt that the foam sleeves matched the earphones. The "skin-colored" ones are UGLY and should never be seen in public outside someone's ears!

Posted by institutoaplaplac on July 16, 2006 at 9:21 PM (PDT) Comment 6

has anyone else noticed that xtrememac has posted images of its fs1 earphones with a different look to its silicone sleeves? they seem to be selling a new version of the fs1s. i wonder how much else they have changed? i have to admit, though i finally got the hang of these bullet-style sleeves, that these new sleeves look like they'd be much more comfortable. can someone at ilounge confirm this change, and get us an official statement from xtrememac about these changes? if they will be available for previous fs1 owners as replacement sleeves, how much they will cost, etc.


Posted by acostaa on August 24, 2006 at 7:11 AM (PDT) Comment 7

I have been using the Future Sonics (FSI) EM3 with my G5 IPOD for over 2 years now and I've been extremely impressed with their overall performance (especially strong bass response). I have even invested in custom ear molds (highly recommended!!!) that were custom fit to replace those hideous foam inserts. Just recently, I damaged one of the earpieces and was lost without them. On multiple recommendations and experience with the EM3's I went with Extreme Mac's FS1 (drivers made by FSI). My expectations were that the newly designed FS1s were an aesthetic improvement upon the EM3 design while keeping their sound quality. I also did not want to loose the investment of the custom ear molds.

Upon arrival I was surprised to find that the diameter of the earpieces is considerably smaller than my EM3? I was expecting to find that the same driver was being used in this new FS1 units. Not sure if improvements have been made or FSI has went with a smaller driver in the FS1 design. A slight curve ball...

I quickly changed out the provided silicone sleeves for my custom ear molds. I was relieved to see that the diameter of the mounting tube was identical (only shorter) and they fit snuggly on my molds. My initial impression is that the FS1s seem to have equivalent performance to the EM3. Without an extensive listening session, I'm not sure if I will get improved/reduced performance with a driver break-in period.

The bottom $60 I would highly recommend these units to anyone that is looking for earphones with good bass performance while maintaining decent fidelity. I would also highly recommend investing in some custom molds if you are a listener who logs some long sessions or finds them self on 17 hour long international flights.

Posted by cwykle on February 21, 2007 at 9:13 AM (PDT) Comment 8


noting that you tend to use your custom ear molds as opposed to the ear pieces provided with the FS1's, do you have any plans for them, and/or would you consider selling/trading them? I am looking for replacement ear pieces for mine.


Posted by acostaa on April 7, 2007 at 10:04 AM (PDT) Comment 9
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