The IER-M7 is a Sony stage monitor type offering, unlike most IEMs using off the shelf drivers, Sony went out of their way and designed their own balanced armatures used here, which makes it that much more interesting.
In the box
Build quality and accessories
The build quality is exceptional. From the IEMs, which even though plastic, feel amazingly made, there’s no sharp edges, seams are perfectly smooth and everything just feels precision made.
A company rarely provides more than one cable a this price point, but Sony went out of their way and provided 2 cables with the M7, both of them of good quality, and quite tangle free. Unfortunately the mmcx connectors are a bit of an odd size so it’s not as easy to find a nicely fitting aftermarket cables.
The case is a hard shell, with a special rubber holder to keep the IEMs in place. It feels high quality and can definitely protect them well from damage.
The amount of tips and tip sizes provided is a huge plus, especially considering they pair with the M7 quite well.
Fit and comfort
The fit is very good, the M7 is extremely light and the earhooks are very well designed which makes it great for long listening sessions. I’ve never once had an issue with them being uncomfortable even after 5+ hours of listening.
Overall the M7 is a balanced IEM, warm neutral signature with no obvious fault in its signature.
Bass is surprisingly punchy and extended for a pure balanced armature setup, it digs deep and can punch when needed. It’s quite textured but can feel a bit lacking in speed in comparison to similar some other balanced armature offerings. What they lose in speed they gain in a more natural presentation which is always welcome. “Trentemøller – Evil Dub” digs deep and hits with more authority than even higher-end offerings like CA Andromeda.
The midrange is smooth, with plenty of detail and excellent technicalities. While vocals are a tad forward they never go into being shouty or sibilant. Listening to “Fleetwood Mac – The Chain” the vocals sound very natural with their place in the mix just slightly forward, the detail is great and so is the overall timbre. And while the midrange doesn’t “pop” it is very balanced and works well across most genres.
The treble is where we can see why the IER-M9 has an extra tweeter. While it extends quite well, it does feel a bit too rolled off and doesn’t quite have the same resolution as its bigger brother. It does, however, maintain a very good timbre and balance, the treble, the same as the midrange, never offends.
Imaging and Soundstage
The stage, while not extremely wide, has very good depth and general separation is very good. The images are well defined and don’t blend together even on the busiest of tracks. All the instruments have breathing room and don’t feel like they are crammed into a too-tight space.
The IER-M7 is an easy recommend, especially while it goes on sale for 500$ and less, you get excellent accessories, very good technical performance and build quality. They won’t be great for a basshead but for anyone liking a warm neutral signature they are a great pick.