LETSHUOER S12 Review: You Need To Hear This Affordable And Engaging Planar Magnetic IEM!

Ed Note: As of the time of this writing, the LETSHUOER S12 is currently on sale for $118.30, which is $50 off the list price. If you’re looking for a good pair of Earphones for around $100, I would grab these before the price goes back up!

TL;DR

For $169, the LETSHUOER S12 provides an enticing mix of spacious rich sound, remarkable build quality, and amazing comfort.

Intro

The floodgates have officially opened. Planar Magnetic IEMs are now both cheap and plentiful.

The LETSHUOER S12 ($169) joins the 7Hz Timeless ($219) and Raptgo Hook-X ($239) as options for around $200, a price that would’ve seemed unimaginable just a couple of years ago. That said, we now have options that slide in under $100, like the Salnotes Dioko ($99), which I liked a lot, and the just released CCA PLA13 ($64), which I haven’t heard yet.

The S12 resides at an intriguing price point, falling below $200, yet hanging above the sub $100 offerings. But is it worth the extra scratch? Are you better off buying the more expensive Timeless, Hook-X, or something along those lines? Well, read on, and I’ll give you the scoop!

Disclaimer: The LETSHUOER S12 was sent to us by Hifigo.com for an honest, unbiased review. If you like what you see, head on over there and check this IEM out!

What’s In The Box

For the price, you get a decent set of quality accessories, including three sets of ear tips (foam, standard and clear) in S/M/L sizes, a heavy-duty silver-plated monocrystalline copper braided cable with either a 3.5mm SE or 4.4mm Balanced (I got the 4.4mm) connector, plus a nice faux leather zipper case along with the obligatory instruction booklet.

The case is hard enough to offer sufficient protection when throwing the earphones in a bag, and the cable, with its standard 2-pin connectors, is nice and thick, which keeps it from tangling. In addition, the cable is very flexible, which keeps it from curling all over the place, and the metal sleeves used at the terminations add sturdiness at the stress points.

Build/Features

The LETSHUOER S12 earpieces have a lightweight, durable aluminum build that fits my ears like a glove. The soft ear tips combined with the memory hooks on the cable aid in a secure and comfortable fit, a pleasure to wear for long periods. I dug the minimalist design with its smooth matte metallic finish, which matched well with the silver coating on the cable.

Inside each earpiece is a large planar diaphragm 14.8mm in size, which is good since it will provide a fuller sound than a smaller diaphragm (think 10mm). The use of larger drivers seems to be a trend, as even the $99 Salnotes Dioko uses a 14mm version.

In addition, the drivers have a 102dB sensitivity rating, meaning you can drive the S12 can with most devices (including laptops and smartphones). However, during my sound testing, I found it scaled up nicely with better sources like dedicated digital audio players.

Specs

  • Frequency response: 20-30000Hz
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Sensitivity: 102dB/mW
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • IP Rating: IPX3

Sound

In the S12 marketing materials, Letshuoer promises a tuning with a wider (sound) stage, better clarity, faster transients, better treble extension, and great resolution. I’m not sure what they’re comparing the S12 to when they say better. Still, I generally agree with their assessment because it has good clarity, excellent sound stage, and decent treble extension and resolution.

The first thing I noticed when listening to the S12 was a beautiful openness and depth to the sound, something I’m not used to hearing in a sub-$200 IEM. Most IEMs at the S12’s price point have a noticeable “flatness” or two-dimensional way of presenting things. This usually lets you know you’re listening to an inexpensive set of earphones.

I didn’t experience that with the Letshouer IEMs. Listening to the new album by the Yellowjackets, I loved how I was able to hear “into” the music. The soundstage width and separation were perfect for the price point, and I was amazed at how well I could pick out the different instruments from side to side and front to back.

There was also an organic quality and evenhandedness to the presentation that made them easy to listen to, even though they were slightly warmer than neutral.

LETSHUOER S12 vs. Raptgo Hook-X and Salnotes Dioko

That said, some things let you know you were listening to a sub $200 pair of IEMs. For example, while I was happy with the detail and resolving quality of the S12s when I switched to something a little more expensive like the Raptgo Hook-X, you could hear a little bit more low-level detail, especially on things like cymbals and piano parts. In addition, the transients were more apparent, making the instrumentalists’ artistry less generic.

On the other hand, the Hook-X was more of a “Just the facts, Jack” IEM. It was cooler than the S12, meaning it didn’t provide the mid-bass punch that gets you moving along to a song. It also wasn’t as spacious as the S12.

Conversely, when I compared the S12 to the less expensive Salnotes Dioko, it showed its class in the resolution department, as it sounded more transparent. The Dioko, while enjoyable, had a tubbiness and a veil through the midrange that made the S12 sound more natural.

The Wrap Up

While the $169 Letshuoer S12 may not be the end all be all of sharp focus and resolution, it has a beautifully organic way of presenting music that sounds right.

Also, if you’re a fan of open and spacious sounding IEMs, you will probably love the sound of the Letshouer. They also have just the right amount of mid-bass punch and dynamics to complement many different genres of music.

Add to that excellent build quality, a nice accessory package, and remarkable comfort. I think you have an excellent IEM that will make those looking for a good value below $200 very happy—highly Recommended!


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