LETSHUOER S12 Review: A Better & Cheaper Timeless One?

That Letshuör S12 is the second major planar magnetic IEM to be released this year, and — spoiler alert — it’s good. It gets hot on his heels 7Hz Timeless, the first big planar earbuds of the year and one of the first we’ve come across that has a great, full-bodied vibe. The S12 launches for a whopping $50 less than the Timeless, but does it have what it takes to take on an already-established indie favorite? Find out in this review.

Thanks a lot to Soul for providing the template for this review.


  • Current Price: $169.99 (Soul)
  • Model: S12
  • Type: IEM planar driver
  • Impedance: 16Ω at 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 102 + 1 dB at 1 kHz
  • Frequency: 20-20KHz
  • Weight: 12+0.3g/pair
  • Color: Fog Gray / Matte Silver
  • Distortion: 0.5% ± 0.1%
  • Connector: 0.78mm double pin
  • Body Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Connector: 4.4mm balanced jack
  • Cable: 1.25m silver plated monocrystalline copper cable


LETSHUOER S12 First Impressions and Key Features

At $169, the LETSHUOER S12 aren’t what we’d call “budget headphones,” but they still fit the bill when compared to the higher prices of other planar magnetic IEMs. Planar magnetic driver technology is still making inroads into the world of affordable IEMs. In fact, up until this year with the release of the 7Hz Timeless, it was pretty much a given that planar IEMs, while incredibly popular in over-ear headphones, were either affordable and poorly tuned, or well-tuned and extremely expensive (see the Audeze in-ear range). Compared to the $399 entry point for the Audeze iSine 10 or the $219 for the Timeless$169 for the S12 feels pretty cheap.

Despite being more affordable, the S12 is well built and made for everyday use. It features CNC-machined aluminum ear pieces and a thick, plastic-coated cable with metal terminations. It doesn’t have the fancy looks of other IEMs, instead focusing on minimalism. There are no logos or imprints on the faces of the earbuds, just polished metal. The inner half that touches your ear is contoured and has no sharp edges to push into your ear. The earphones are also rather small and should fit in every ear. I had no issues with comfort once I found the right tip.


Also included in the case is a selection of accessories including tips, cables and cases. The cable is made of copper coated with high purity silver. As with the Shuoer Tape Pro, the plastic wrap gives it extra rigidity, and if you have smaller ears like me, you’ll want to use the chin strap to ensure the buds stay in place. It connects to the earbuds with two 0.78mm pins, so it’s easily swappable if you prefer something softer.

The choice of tips makes it easy to find a comfortable fit. It comes with three sets of silicone ear tips (small, medium, large) made of softer and firmer silicone. There are also three pairs of foam ear tips for better isolation.


Finally, the buds come with a lovely faux leather case that’s small enough to slip into a pocket. It has a pocket for storing accessories (alternative tips) and is solid enough that squeezing shouldn’t be an issue if you’d rather toss it in a backpack with your textbooks.

In its minimalist enclosures, the S12 uses a large 14.8mm planar magnet driver. Planar magnets are popular in the over-ear world for their low distortion and high level of detail. A well-tuned planar can deliver a tremendous listening experience, so there is an almost relentless demand for high-quality planar magnetic options to enter the IEM space at affordable prices.

This brings us to the sound.

LETSHUOER S12 – listening impressions


Diagram courtesy of Crinacle at In-Ear Fidelity

The listening tests for this review were conducted using a mix of iFi Go Blu wireless DAC/amplifier with LDAC and the Xduoo XD-05 Plus. Music was played from Spotify in very high quality and from a mix of games, streamed shows and movies, and local video files with uncompressed audio.

Bass: The bass performance of these earphones is deep but remains tight. There’s ample sub-bass, resulting in a subwoofer-like feel, but tones remain detailed and aren’t rounded out. Hear through Jonny Craig’s The places we’ll never be had a lot of fun with these and related key songs sink much more body and presence. Although the bass surge occurs relatively close to the lower mids, I didn’t find them fuzzy or muddy. Instead, the mids and highs assert themselves cleanly.


Compared to the Timeless, the S12 shines brighter. Bass texture is better on the S12, although crowds are close overall.

In the middle: The mids of the S12 are excellent and again close to timeless. The mid-range frequencies are set back slightly, giving these earphones a U-shaped signature, but rise again quickly from 1kHz upwards. This means that vocals and instruments tend to pop out of the mix a bit more. The soundstage isn’t the widest, so instruments don’t sound exceptionally far apart, parts are well layered and come through clearly. Mids are a bit more crisp compared to the Timeless, which I prefer. The S12 has a series of peaks that extend to the top end to bring detail and air to what you hear.

Triple: The S12’s high-altitude performance is good and slightly brighter than the Timeless. I sound like a broken record, but I prefer this tweak as it increases the amount of detail heard and brings the percussion forward in the mix. I didn’t find the S12 tiresome as a result, which just goes to show how well tuned it really is. Increasing the treble is a common way to give the impression of more detail, but in this case I think Shuoer actually managed to actually deliver in addition Raise the dB in the high end.

Overall impression: As you can probably tell from the frequency breakdown, the S12 is quite similar to the 7Hz Timeless. It offers slightly more warmth in the lows and brightness in the highs, while the mids are probably the closest between the three registers. However, for my personal taste I find that the S12’s frequency optimizations and improved resolution overdo it and make it a more enjoyable listening experience overall.


Final Thoughts

LETSHUOER hit the nail on the head with the S12. If you like a little more bass rumble and detail in your music, these are probably a better buy for you than the 7Hz Timeless. Sensitive listeners might find it a bit too bright, but I found it a balanced set for music, movies, and even gaming (with Dolby Atmos). At the current price, these earbuds are great value and a solid choice, especially if you’re curious as to what all the planar magnet hype is about.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. LETSHUOER S12 Review: A Better & Cheaper Timeless One?

Fry Electronics Team

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