Smabat M0 & M2s Pro Modular Earbuds Review
Both Smabat M0 and M2s Pro have changeable dynamic driver units and fine-tuning damping units which you can buy separately and custom tune the earbuds for your desired sound if you wish. We can name both earbuds as simple-grade DIY earphones. Simple but still unique as it gives you the chance to change the sound character of your earbud without the need to buy a new one.
Drive unit: 15.4mm titanium-plated diaphragm
Plug type: 3.5mm
Model: M2s pro
Drive unit: 15.4mm titanium-plated diaphragm material
Plug type: 3.5mm
The price difference between the two comes from different dynamic driver units, slightly different designs, and again a slightly better cable for M2s Pro. But the good thing is that you can buy M2s Pro’s driver unit separately for just $8.50 and change it on your M0 and get almost the same sound for less. Isn’t that nice? The same goes for the M2s Pro, you can upgrade the driver unit with a better and powerful one and have fun. Here are the M series upgrade units ($8.50-$38):
And here you can get the idea of how you can fine-tune both earbuds with tuning dampers.
Both M0 and M2s Pro come in simple boxes which include earbuds themselves, the braided cable, some foam tips(?), and a nice suede pouch. M2s Pro has 4 strands of single crystal copper hybrid cable with L-shape 3.5mm plug made from metal as the mmcx connectors, M0 has a simpler cable with a straight plug and connectors which were made from plastic. Both cables are soft in touch which is good.
To be honest this is my first contact with earbud-style of earphones. In my daily routine, I use IEMs. Some still don’t know the difference, which is earbuds sit in your outer ear but IEMs (in-ear monitor) as you may guess from the name in your ears, some even in your ear canal like Etymotic’s.
The problem is, at least in my usage example, because I can’t get a good seal in the standard sitting position of the earbuds which leads to no low frequency, sibilant mids, talking about M0 here. But if I push them a little for a better seal, wow. So I will describe the sound in that slightly pushed position. I know it’s not practical but I have no other choice, I don’t have any gear for a better seal that I can use with earbuds if there is any.
The first thing about the sound is the soundstage, I think this comes with earbud-style as the driver sits away from your ears, is wider and deeper compared to IEMs and you are thankful from the first moment because it affects the whole experience in a very good way. Secondly, the clean, natural, and very well-balanced sound. I love mid-centric and natural sound style, controlled bass, and airy trebles for the most detail retrieval and the Smabat M0 is so close to this style except for the lows. Lows have good rumble for sure and good amount of kick, but they get boomy in fast tracks. Mid-bass is better as drums, percussion, and bass guitar sound close to natural. Mids, instruments sound very clean, have good amount of detail and texture. As also the vocals both male and female except some high pitch vocals, they tend to come close to sibilance but be assured, does not cross the line. M0 is on the bright side but is under control, which I liked. I must admit, I wasn’t expecting that kind of a sound from M0’s. In a nutshell, I think it’s very good for this price range.
This one needs power to scale, I’m using my Khadas Tone2 Pro connected to my Pixel phone and using the Hiby Music app, and pumping up the volume to %90 to feed the M2s Pro from the unbalanced 3.5mm output. A simple dongle won’t be enough. Let me say first, this earphone can be my daily driver easily! If anyone thinking to buy M0, buy M2s Pro’s driver unit and double the pleasure for just $8.50. Smabat uses this driver also in their flagship model ST10s, now I understand why, and also wonder how the other upgrade driver units sound like.
The clarity is just amazing and the soundstage is almost doubled. M0’s instrument separation is ok, nothing special but M2s Pro surprises me, way better from the IEMs compared with the same price range models. The 15.4mm titanium-plated diaphragm dynamic driver is really doing a great job here.
Comparing to M0, lows are more defined, amazing rumble, and not so boomy anymore more technical. All the instruments ranging from lows to highs have much better quality and timbre. Listening to Miles Davis’s Siesta album right now. This might be one of the best instrumental separation and stage that I have ever witnessed. I really liked the tonality of this earbud. Now I am getting to understand why many people prefer earbuds over IEMs, this is definitely another level of music listening experience. M2s Pro’s are perfect for acoustic tracks, genres like Blues and Rock. Follows the M0 and is also on the bright sounding side, but again very controlled, gives you some good level of details without being harsh. Connecting it to a warmer source like a tube AMP made the whole picture more fun and engaging for me.
Both M0 and M2s Pro gave me more fun than I expected and opened the door to the earbuds world. I surely will dive deeper. But the most important thing about these earbuds is that they can be upgraded with different driver units and re-tuned. You get a completely different earphone after these steps which in my opinion is very important and unique for people out there who like DIY stuff and I am one of them. I hope Smabat can get this project further including different shell designs, colors, and more parts so we can OEM our own earphones and play with them for the perfect sound.
Don’t forget to check out their new modular IEM project, I surely will try that one too. The modular IEM idea was a dream for me, now it’s real.