Schmitt Acoustics Limited is a fairly unheard of brand for most based off Hong Kong which offers, for now, a trio of earphones reminisce of the good old days when Westone-styled earphones dominated the market. Their audiophile offerings comes in 3 distinct earphones namely the Schmitt S10, S20 and the Schmitt S30. All the 3 of their earphones utilizes Knowles Balanced Armature drivers although I didn’t have any luck checking the actual Knowles drivers they have specifically used for the trio.
The pricing of the Schmitt Trio of earphones was largely dictated by its Knowles drivers which right now, when placed side by side with other BA driver earphones are actually priced high. The S10 which is a single BA earphone clocks in at $99, the S20 being dual BA is at $249 while the top end S30 rocking triple BA drivers clocks in at $349. All three Schmitt earphones can be purchased at Accessory Jack with these links: Schmitt S10 , Schmitt S20 and Schmitt S30. Schmitt Acoustics also have their official website where you can secure the earphones, Schmitt Earphones. Although these review units were sent in directly by Schmitt Acoustics Limited in exchange for an honest opinion.
With little known to their name coupled with a pricing scheme that not only raises eyebrows but also doubts, will these trio of Schmitt Acoustics earphones be enough to give them a measure of actual consideration in these ever challenging landscape of BA driver earphones? Let’s find out.
Schmitt S10 specifications:
Sensitivity: 109.5 Db SPL @ 1 Mw
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 17 Khz
Impedance: 27 Ohms @ 1 Khz
Driver: Balanced Armature Full Range.
Weight: 0.445 Ounces/12.7grams
Cable: Detachable High Quality And Professional Cable With MMCX Connector.
Cable Length: 50″ / 128 Cm
Available in Blue color only
Schmitt S20 specifications:
Sensitivity: 113.5 dB SPL @ 1 mW
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 18 kHz
Impedance: 33 ohms @ 1 kHz
Driver: Dual balanced armature drivers with a crossover.
Weight: 0.445 ounces/12.7grams
Cable: Detachable High Quality Cable with MMCX connector.
Cable Length: 50″ / 128 cm
Available in White color only
Schmitt S30 specifications:
Sensitivity: 113 dB SPL @ 1 mW
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 18 kHz
Impedance: 30 ohms @ 1 kHz
Driver: 3 balanced armature drivers with a 3-way crossover.
Weight: 0.445 ounces/12.7grams
Cable: Detachable High Quality Cable with mmcx conntector
Cable Length: 50″ / 128 cm
Available in Red color only
Packaging and Build Quality
The Schmitt S10, S20 and S30 actually surprised me with their packaging when it came as all 3 earphones used the same identical packaging except for the actual model silhouette and names being labeled on the packaging for each, do note though that Schmitt Acoustics Limited chose to send all 3 in a single package since they informed me ahead that all 3 uses the same packaging and accessory set.
The Schmitt earphones came in a black box which fits its price tag, it is not your shabby $25-$50 earphone box. Opening the flap shows the earphones respective FR graph, build outline and the earphones itself underneath a clear plastic with the manual on it as well. The pre-installed cable is the standard mic’d one and the black audiophile grade copper MMCX cable is hidden underneath along with all its included accessories such as 1 pair of black foam ear tips, 1 set of black silicon ear tips (S,M,L) and 1 set of clear silicon triple flange ear tips. A sturdy slim black zipper case is also included along with a cleaning brush, ¼” adapter and a black metal carabiner shackle.
All 3 Schmitt earphones have identical build except for the colors of their shells which would correspond to their model, the blue being the S10, the clear white being the S20 and the red being their top of the line, S30. The shells are all translucent with the white Schmitt logo and name on the S10 and S30 and gold on the S20. It also takes the pea shaped silhouette with a narrow nozzle bore reinforced with metal and gold-plated MMCX connections. There is R and L markings on the shells themselves as well as on the stock cables. The 2 included cables are both black with the standard mic cable being a round cable which retains folds a lot and seriously doesn’t match the Schmitt price tag, it does however give a good mic feature which is clear enough for on the go calls. The audiophile grade cable however is a different story with its nice round braid and good strain reliefs on both the Y split and the 3.5mm L plug however a nice memory wire would have been great since the 3 Schmitt earphones are mainly designed to be worn over the ear and not having a dedicated memory wire is always not welcome. Both cables uses gold-plated 3.5mm plug and MMCX connectors as well.
With Schmitt Acoustics decision to offer 3 earphones all using identical build, packaging and accessory set leaves its clients to have their focus locked on choosing what’s best for their audio signature and tonality preference, with all 3 being BA driven, a standard burn-in of 50 hours was implemented (love it or hate it). I decided to roll with the M sized foam ear tips that came with the Schmitt earphones for all 3 of the realview as well as using the Xduoo X3ii (you can check my realview of it, here) and the Sony CAS-1 desktop setup off an MSI GF 62 8RE laptop via Foobar2000 v1.4.
S10: Schmitt’s entry level offering takes on the safe path for its overall tonality giving the S10 an overall warm sound with great emphasis on the low end specially the sub bass decay.
S20: Schmitt Acoustics decision to pick the white shell for the S20 is showing its validity with how the S20’s overall tonality came out. The S20 leaves much of its total performance with what source you pair with it. It is a fairly balanced sounding earphone.
S30: Things are very simple with Schmitt Acoustics, S30, top of the line equates to upper frequency centric sound. The S30 renders tracks brightly and although this sounds aggressive, it is able to deliver an overall accurate sound.
S10: I’m not sure if Schmitt Acoustics made it their aim that their lowest tiered earphone to be also the most low-end loving from their offerings. The S10 doesn’t shy away from letting you know that it loves the low-end. When I 1st tried the S10, it sounded too warm sounding for my taste (I’m love my trebles). With DeadMau5’s Cat Thruster in 16/44 FLAC, the continuous drops of bass are rendered fat with moderate thump and bleeds towards the bass presence range giving the S10 its inherent warm sound.
S20: The S20 has modest sub bass quantity. It is punchy to some extent but not enough to be paired with being powerful. There is good sub bass attack and decay to it. This won’t give bass heavy earphones a run for their money but won’t disappoint either.
S30: There is adequate sub bass thump on the S30 and the bass attack is well defined. There is no bass bleed observed and bass hits although lacking power has great control to it. The S30 gives out a well implemented low end performance.
S10: I pulled out Lana Del Rey’s White Mustang in 16/44 FLAC to test drive the S10’s midrange capacity. The vocals are laid back which complimented Lana Del Rey’s inherent warm vocals. The lower midrange still takes the center stage with its subtle bleed. Male vocals are natural sounding and once again benefits from the lower midrange bleed.
S20: S20’s strongest aspect is its full-bodied midrange which gives an engaging sound. There is subtle upper midrange extension able to give a smile on users, hungry for those vocal-oriented tracks. Timbre is accurate and there is a degree of air that leaves a breathy experience.
S30: Correct Timbre and a lush sounding midrange highlights the strengths of the S30. Male vocals has great lower midrange and gives the masculine sound more body. Upper midrange performance is also great showcasing a strong case of distinct intelligibility of the singer’s voice.
S10: The S10’s higher frequency performance is a double edged sword. It doesn’t and will never give out harsh treble peaks but it also never satisfies upper frequency cravings. Cranking up the Dire Straits Brother in Arms in 16/44 FLAC and the highs were on the spot almost blanketed, turning up the volume doesn’t help and only distorts it even more. This is clearly for those that are treble sensitive.
S20: The upper frequency performance of the S20 is delivered smoothly, there are no noticeable harsh peaks and sibilance was not observed. Although sparkle is lacking, it is still gives out a subtle crisp attack. The S20 showcases an overall non-fatiguing upper frequency.
S30: Finally the star of the show, Schmitt Audio’s crowning glory is the S30’s upper frequency performance. This aspect of the S30 alone makes me want to automatically recommend the S30. There is great and stellar treble extension to be observed with zero sibilance and harsh peaks. Sparkle is easily noticed. Angela Bofill’s The Definitive Collection Album in 16/44 FLAC is rendered sweetly and damn crispy as can be.
Soundstage and Imaging
S10: While somewhat lacking in both its midrange and upper frequency prowess, the S10 is still able to provide a more than decent imaging presentation, instruments are distinct although the soundstage leans on being intimate. There is not much panning to be observed and there is more depth than extension.
S20: The soundstage of the S20 lets you sit smack on the middle of the musical activity, although it is not wide, it is not too intimate as well. There is great panning to be observed. Imaging has great clarity and distinction across instruments.
S30: There is great separation on these IEMs and it would be an easy task to spot left to right harmonics. The imaging of each distinct instrument presence is quite tangible. The Be exhibits a wide soundstage in IEM parameters and imaging is stellar, the Beryllium diaphragms performs great in giving out the Be’s striking clarity.
This hobby of audiophile goodness often tends and leads the community towards the heavily marketed set of earphones whilst there is so much to discover out here. The Schmitt Acoustics set of earphones is one of these earphones you’d find on the road less travelled. Its accessory set is great and complete, its build sturdy and doesn’t skimp on looking and feeling premium. The slim and cleanly braided cable matches the shell well and gives no microphonic noise.
The S10 being priced at $99 is kind of a hard pill to swallow with its warm sound alone with great options out there at far less the price, it would however please those after looking for such signature with the added bonus of a complete accessory set and great build.
Among the 3 Schmitt siblings, the S20 takes the greatest burden of being needed to be carefully compared with a buyer’s options with its $249 price tag, its strengths of being a well implemented balanced sounding earphone will be the buyer’s deciding factor.
The S30, at $349 is my recommended set from the Schmitt lineup with how clean it tackles the upper frequencies. The way it flirts with sibilance and harsh peaks is notable, those looking to experience a great upper frequency performance needs to take a listen if not buy the S30.
All in all, the lack of marketing presence of the Schmitt Audio earphones is its biggest drawback with little to no chance of being auditioned and tried for all possible buyers. I really do hope that this realview will guide Schmitt buyer’s since they are set of earphones with little to no fault at all.