Review: EarSonics Purple

EarSonics Purple


EarSonics Purple – Direct link to purchase

EarSonics – Homepage


A Little Technical Stuff:


  • Sensitivity: 127 dB/mW
  • Frequency response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
  • DCR: 25 to 45 ohms (depending on the switch position)
  • Driver: 5 balanced armature drivers, HQ 3-way tunable crossover
  • 3-Switch setting manual

 MRSP: Universal fit € 1190.00

As the world turns, landing upon my workbench was an unexpected treasure. My love for Franck Lopez’s work and his beloved company, EarSonics, started years ago. It began with the SM64, which to this day I have regretted selling because it started me down this audio rabbit hole.

My second purchase from EarSonics was the Velvet. Ah, the Velvet. I first purchased the Black version and then after a couple of redos on their housings they developed a Clear or Crystal shell. I liked the Black version so much I was compelled to purchase the Clear version. It was a new acrylic as opposed to the acrylic used in the Black version. I always found the design fresh and sexy. It is the niftiest design; it has a little screwdriver which was used to tune the sound to your liking, adding color and changing its signature. Remembering the Velvet, I will now say it was not the most technical IEM, but man was it musical and fun. I was a real fan of the Velvet. There has since been a Velvet 2 released, and I have never heard it so I cannot expound on it.

Enter the Purple. Unlike the 3-driver Velvet, the Purple has 5-drivers, but like its younger brother, it has a tuning system. It is hard not to draw the design parallels between the two IEMs, the Velvet and the Purple.

I asked one of my contacts at EarSonics about the origin of the name Purple since the IEM is a Smoky Gray color and not Purple at all. The logical side of my mind was trying to fabricate some wild purple haze induced dream state that led Franck to the name, Purple. The answer I received was that it had been in Franck’s mind for some time to develop a follow up to the Velvet and that will be named Purple, a continuation of the word Velvet. I would think Velvet is a unique fabric and Purple Velvet kind of made sense the more I pondered it. The conversation ended with, “It is rather a personal choice of Franck’s.” So, there you have it, no hookah smoking Caterpillars’ or wild purple haze dreams, just a continuation of Velvet in the color Purple.

The Purple is a progression in the Velvet line, but the Purple ups the ante in every way conceivable, enough so that the tuning system is one of the few similarities remaining between the Velvet and the Purple.

Purple is part of the Signature Series from EarSonics, a series in which its younger brother/sister Velvet is akin, these two Universal offerings comprise the Signature Series. The Purple is the second EarSonics IEM to incorporate their new technology coined TRUEWAVE, the first being the EM64, which I would love to hear as well. TRUEWAVE as they explain it allows for excellent work on the control of the phase and a magnitude-coherence curve for an ever more realistic and musical listening.  Whatever mojo it is, it works! Let us delve a little deeper into the latest EarSonics offering.

A little marketing hype from their website:


Power, balance, respect for timbres and maximum sound output.

The Purple delivers full sound in all parts of the spectrum with a sense of presence and a fearsome first sound for a new audiophile listening experience.

The sound is balanced, natural and musical, with the ingredients that make EarSonics so popular with sound lovers.

A serious organic and hot, a medium worked and a control of aggression in the high medium.

The highs, meanwhile, are textured and fine, with a presentation rich in harmonics and a sensation of air and incomparable clarity.

An acute typology inherited from our universal “flagship”: Grace.

Its electronics based on a new driver architecture, including 2 mediums integrating a vent system, will make you discover a new horizon in terms of sound listening.


The Purple uses the EarSonics EVS® shell incorporating the FUSION® process inaugurated on the ES5. The latter allows the integration of new drivers exclusive medium vents, for more realism in sound reproduction.

The cannula, meanwhile, incorporates the process TRUEWAVE®, the latest technology from EarSonics inaugurated with the arrival of the EM64. This configuration allows an optimum work on the control of the phase and a magnitude-coherence curve for an ever more realistic and musical listening.


Power, balance, respect for timbres and maximum sound output.

The Purple delivers full sound in all parts of the spectrum with a sense of presence and a fearsome first sound for a new audiophile listening experience.

The sound is balanced, natural and musical, with the ingredients that make EarSonics so popular with sound lovers.

A serious organic and hot, a medium worked and a control of aggression in the high medium.

The highs, meanwhile, are textured and fine, with a presentation rich in harmonics and a sensation of air and incomparable clarity.

An acute typology inherited from our universal “flagship”: Grace.

Its electronics based on a new driver architecture, including 2 mediums integrating a vent system, will make you discover a new horizon in terms of sound listening.


The Purple is entering our Signature range with its modularity system. Its 3 sound adjustments allow a listening experience always more adjusted to your music and your choice of readers.


  • PURPLE with its detachable cable
  • 2 pairs of foam tips of different sizes
  • 4 pairs of silicone tips of different sizes
  • 1 cleaning tool
  • Hard carrying case
  • Instructions for use

Unboxing and Accessories:

I have written a few EarSonics reviews, so I could almost copy my unboxing and accessories from any of those reviews, in fact, I think I might and tweak the nuances, if any, specific to this model.

The outer sleeve covering the box is Purple, yes finally something Purple about the Purple. A very plain, but albeit purposeful sleeve covers the box. The jacket has Purple monitors written in the upper right side and the EarSonics ‘ES” logo and the word EarSonics written in the lower left corner.  The back of the sleeve has the specifications printed as well as graphics of the drivers listing, 1X Low, 2X Mid, 2X High.

Upon removing the jacket, you are presented a black box with the ES initials in the lower right corner. Once you flip open the lid, there is a thank you note, in French, from Franck Lopez the CEO. Above the note are two circular windows which showcase the monitors.

Laid out in a foam tray beneath the Thank You note are the accessories. The packaging is efficient, purposeful and rather dull, but I like it. All of the inclusions are listed above, and I would consider the EarSonics retail packaging and accessories to be average with other TOTL offerings. I will include a photo below to show you can expect to receive. There is a card included that let me know that Carine Cot handcrafted my Purple. They include a Platics1 cable, in light gray, with memory wire. Keep in mind that EarSonics uses a reverse polarity in their design. Included in this package was a little screwdriver to adjust the tuning and a diagram to explain how to do just that. There are plenty of tips with three silicone pairs and two foam pairs in various sizes. A cleaning tool and the usual EarSonics carry case, which even though I have quite a few, I still think they are my favorite cases.


Build Quality and Fit:

I gave the Purple a worthy inspection and noticed that is ABS shelled IEM appears to be a two-piece design held together by a screw.  The Purple that I have was well put together, but the seams of the two-pieces can be felt with your finger. The seam does not present me with an uncomfortable fit, but I guess it could if the seam hits a sensitive spot in your ear.  The IEM is lightweight and sat comfortably in my ear for lengthy listening sessions. The nozzles and their TRUEWAVE design are color coded. The right side has a Red cannula part, and the Left side has Black. You will see more clearly and have a better understanding of the photos shown.

The monitors sit relatively low and close inside your ear. EarSonics called this technology EVS; it was introduced on the ES5 IEM. The nozzle is long, but it is on an upward angle which I think is best suited for a double flange type of tip so that you can achieve a deeper fit.

I went to my goodie bag of eartips and decided on my old reliable Final Audio E tips, but later found some Spinfit double flange tips which I like a lot, I have no idea where I got them. Upon trying the Spinfit, and in tandem with the design of the Purple I was able to obtain a good seal.  I have never been able to find a good seal with an EarSonics stock tip, but you may have no problem.

Design-wise, there is not much that is going to catch your eye on the Purple if you are the type of a person that likes flashy or colorful designs. They are a translucent, smoky shell on the front side and clear on the backside that sits inside your ear. If you like to see the technology inside look at the back and you can see the drivers. I, only on a rare occasion, like a flashy design on my IEM’s, but only when I am bored with the Black designs I generally choose when given the option. To me, the Purple is appealing and looks professional and esoteric in its design. The ergonomics are certainly one of the best attributes of the design, even the smallest of ears should not have an issue with the fit, no small feat since there are five BA’s internally.

Review Setup:

The review was written utilizing multiple sources, QP2R, iBasso DX120, QLS QA361.  I listened to only the stock cables. I found the EarSonics EM10 did not change significantly with an aftermarket cable, so I followed suit with the Purple. My sample music consisted of 320kb, FLAC, 24bit as well as streaming Tidal Masters, and Qobuz HI-Fi.

Moving on to the sound section….

I have gone full circle with the Purple. There are three sound modes or settings with the Purple. Tight Mode, Standard Mode, and Warm Mode. What I mean by going full circle is I started on Tight Mode, progressed to Standard and ended up on Warm Mode and back again finally parking the setting on Standard.

The tuning “screw” can be a little confusing, but if you follow the diagram and hold the Purple as exactly shown, you will have no problem. The “left” setting on the tuning screw will provide you with the Tight Mode.

The Tight Mode is what I envisioned EarSonics thinking when creating the Purple as it is their reference setting. This setting is crystal clear and provides exceptional transparency. I was captivated by its level stage and depth. It is more reference sound than I generally enjoy in my signatures as I prefer a bit more warmth and sub bass. The bass is somewhat distant in the mix, but it is most apparently in the mix.  It is more of an apparent midbass as opposed to a sub-bass thump. The midbass is crisp and clean, as is the sum of the entir signature. I think the bass balances very well to showcase the overall synergy. The signature is classified as a little north of neutral. It is technical, refined and precise.  There is a snap in the notes, and there is very little lingering in the marginal decay. The treble extension is just superb in Tight Mode and provides quite a bit of distance between each note. When listening to jazz or acoustic music in Tight Mode the air and holographic properties emerge. Tight Mode is an audiophile mode, but it is not my preferred signature.

Standard Mode is the middle setting on the tuning screw. After my first time turning the screw from the Tight setting to the Standard setting, I was feeling more comfortable with the signature. There appears to be an enhanced amount of sub-bass but assuredly more mid-bass and a taming of the top end sparkle. I hesitantly say taming because Tight Mode is not offensive or strident, it was very technical. I feel that the Standard Mode does what it is designed to do, sit firmly between the technical and the warm. The incremental increase in the bass frequencies, mainly the mid-bass appears to help to lessen the effect of the upper end of the treble. My ears had a difficult time deciding whether it was an actual lessening in the treble or if the lift in bass created that illusion. In the Standard Mode, you are hearing a more natural sound with extra fullness in the tone of the instruments and not giving up clarity or the transparency that is the trademark of the Purple.

Warm Mode is right up my alley. I fell in love with it out of the box.  The bass rumbles from the depths of its sub-bass and has a more forward presence. The mid-bass is present but is not as aggressive as the sub. I would not say that the mids morph into anything different than they are in the other two modes. The mids still maintain their clarity and technical prowess. If anything, the further north in the frequency we go the more pulled back the sound is. That is not a criticism of the treble in Warm Mode it just retracts in its bite and crispness. The stage is more confined without the airiness of the Tight Mode, but it is not claustrophobic either, just a little less dynamic.

As you go around the tuning dial to the right, the overall signature changes to have an increased bass presence and a more tamed treble, in a nutshell. Impressive is the Tight Mode, an impressive stage with holographic properties, broad and detailed with layers of transparency and clarity.  The Warm Mode was the mode I spent the most time with because of its closeness to my most preferred signature and tone, with a kicking sub-bass sound. Where I ended my journey, is the Standard Mode.  The Standard Mode provides me with the best of both worlds. Most of the width of the Tight Mode, and detailed in its mids, with clarity and extension in the treble. Its lift in the mid-bass creates a fuller sound that I felt is a fantastic compromise.

It is a bonus to have the tuning options at the turn of a screw, without changing filters or fumbling with tiny pieces to alter and morph the signature.

To list the genres of music that the Purple excels in exhibiting would require me to define the distinct differences in the different tunings, again. As you begin to visualize your favorite music, I am also sure you can imagine which adjustment may be best for that genre. EDM in warm, Jazz in Standard and Acoustic in Tight and so on.  You may decide to settle on the Standard Mode and hear your favorite tunes such as Fleetwood Mac, The Chain, in all of its detail and definition as all of the songs nuances are unveiled. You can dissect all parts of the song, clearly and with confidence.


The Purple is driven easily with moderate volume. I love the definition and detail of the Purple, and I found myself bumping up the volume to scrutinize my music and become immersed in the clarity which allows you to discover a cymbal crash possibly not noticed in previous sessions.

The QP2R pairs exceptionally well and adds some fullness by providing the enhancements in the Tight Mode. It will add some heft and weight to a light and airy signature. In 2.5mm balanced output the definition is sublime. I wholeheartedly recommend this pairing and the organic tone portrayed, with either the Tight Mode or Standard Mode.

The QLS QA361 is a fantastic DAP, which is reference quality and neutral in its signature. The pairing almost came off too analytical in Tight Mode and lacked a little of the dynamic feel that makes the music tap your foot. For critical listening, it does not get much better, but for fun, it was not my first choice to pair with the Purple in Tight Mode. In Warm Mode, the QA361 is a match made in heaven. The detail retrieval is kicked up a notch in the Warm Mode.

The DX120 is an exciting blend of budget and fun. If you are looking for a DAP that will not create a big hurt on your wallet and provide you with a focus on quality music listening, the DX120 will be the DAP to pair with the Purple. There is a positive energy level with the Purple, especially in the Warm Mode. There was a slightly uncomfortable edge in the Tight Mode’s treble, but it was tamed in Standard and almost perfect in Warm Mode.

The source pairings are going to be dependent on the tuning setting you have selected on the Purple. I can imagine that the Shanling M3S is a perfect pairing with the Purple in Warm Mode, whereas you may want a DAP with a more full, organic sound when selecting the Tight Mode.

You might want to own this IEM if:

+ You want a crystal clear, transparent, dynamic signature, in Tight Mode

+ You crave the ability to tweak your sound to your liking and mood

+ You want an IEM that disappears when you place it in your ear

+ You would like to drive this from your cellular handset as it drives easily

+ You like a vast stage with a holographic character, that can be tweaked to more closed but never claustrophobic

In Closing

Not sure what to expect, the Purple struck me out of nowhere. It is not the warmer signature that I generally prefer, but it can be warm when selecting the Warm Mode on the tuning dial.  The Purple has oodles of transparency and detail in its Tight Mode. Similar to the children’s story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, after trying the other two settings, I finally settled on the Standard Mode, and it is just right. I am not going to rehash all of the tunings again in the closing remarks, only wish to say that it is lovely to have options, a tale of three IEM’s if you will.

The Purple has 5 BA drivers and surprisingly the shell almost disappears in your ear. While there is a discernable seam it did not present me with any comfort issues. The build quality is good, and the accessories that EarSonics includes are the typical EarSonics fare. I think that as the IEM market continues to become crowded, more and more inclusions, such as a broader collection of tips, upgraded cables are going to be the norm. Worldwide, EarSonics has a considerable fanbase that are accustomed to their pack-ins but to reach a new crowd; they may need to rethink their accessories. I do love the included zipper case, and I use them with other IEM’s in my collection when on the road.

A neutral DAP may be the best pairing unless you know you will use the Tight Mode the majority of the time, in which case a more full, organic signature will be the best bet. Be selective because the last thing you want is a source that will interfere with the immense transparency and detail.

The Purple adopted the TRUEWAVE system first introduced in the EM64.  TRUEWAVE works on the control of the phase and a magnitude-coherence curve for an ever more realistic and musical listening, or so the marketing says.  The cannula is color-coded and unique in design to the Purple.

Designed as a follow up to the successful Velvet IEM, the Purple improves on the Velvet in every way possible to bring you the future of EarSonics. It is difficult not to like an IEM that has so much to offer. It is a sound chameleon with diverse enough distinctions between its variety of tunings, certainly anyone can find the IEM that most appeals to them.  I love the direction that EarSonics is taking with the Purple.