I haven’t listened to a ton of Letshouer in the past. A while back I reviewed the Tape Pro, which I found to be not very impressive. Since then, I have been hearing about their planar IEM, the S12 a lot. It has gained a ton of traction, and some significant acclaim since it has released. Planar IEMs are becoming a lot more common now, especially in the ChiFi spaces, and I have liked a lot of what I’ve heard so far. Now it is finally time for me to hear the S12 for myself and figure out if it is worth the hype or not.
What You Get
- Memory foam
- Standard and transparent ear tips
- Stock cable with 2.5mm / 3.5mm / 4.4mm adapter
- Faux leather carrying case
- User manual and quality assurance certificate
Look and Feel
Just by the design of the shell, the S12 has a fine appearance. Its polished blue aluminum chassis is elegant and perfectly sized. The cable is what really stands out though. For a stock cable, the S12’s silver-plated monocrystalline copper cable is quite a surprise. With its replaceable jack adapters, the presentation of the S12 is even more special. As for the fit, the housing sits in my ear very well. Even with the thicker cable, the feeling of the S12 is supportive and comfortable.
The S12 features a custom-made 14.8mm planar driver. Its large diaphragm aims to deliver strong and impactful bass and clarity through its frequency response. Its high sensitivity and low impedance make the S12 easy to drive from most systems, whether that be from your phone, DAP, or small amplifier. I preferred using my S12 with its 4.4mm connectors, which is what most of this review will be based on.
I was expecting something impressive with this soundstage, and the S12 didn’t disappoint me. The S12 makes its best effort to individualize every instrument and vocal. Each body of sound is given a solid position, with plenty of separation that makes the performances easy to localize. Enough dimension is formed here to create a dimensional sound environment with good height and depth. In terms of width, the S12 doesn’t quite open up as much as other planar IEMs. However, for its price, the stereo field gives the imaging enough room to display the sound elements as it needs to.
While some of the responses from the bass can be quite dynamic, they won’t feature much slam. There is a good shape to the lows that feels energetic enough to enjoy though. It appears smooth and textured, while also providing some solid punch. Subtle vibrating grooves emerge from the sub-bass, providing a strong foundation to the sound signature. For some, it may lack impact though. I felt the potential that this bass could offer more, but it stays at a medium level of drive.
In addition to its realistic positioning, the S12 presents its midrange with spaciousness. Instruments showcase natural details, and they receive just enough gain to make an impression. Its emphasis is presented cleanly, providing a strong body of frequency content that makes each mix feel complete. Each performance appears whole, and they stick out in a transparent fashion. This makes the instrumentals sound almost crisp in their resolution. You’ll get this impression mostly with vocals though, as you can always tell that there are layers of detail in each voice. The vocals on the S12 resonate in a satisfying way, underlining each performance with a pronounced expression of texture.
The treble isn’t as rich as the midrange or the bass but still has a good presence. They don’t feature much splash in the mix and can be a little too quiet when it comes to cymbals. It is the most linear region of the sound signature, but I would never say the timbre is dull. They hover above you in thin pools of resonance, making subtle expressions of detail. It does enough to feel satisfying, but the response here can be lacking for some.
I enjoyed the Letshuoer S12 quite a bit. It impressed me most with its soundstage and midrange fidelity. Its lack of emphasis in the highs isn’t a destructive part of the sound signature as you might think, but more improvements can be made there. The shell design and cable are fantastic. For under $200, the S12 is a great pick for a planar earphone.
The Letshuoer S12 is available from Linsoul.