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westone UM2 hissing problem, help

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
hi people,

I just got a pair of westone UM2 and I can believe how sensitive it is and is giving me so much problems.

I picks ups hiss from a LOT of my DAPs.

My nokia N95 and epson P3000 has so much hiss that they are unuseable.

The new creative zen has lower hiss but still loud enough to irritate me during quiet passages.

My sony u8g has zero hiss but it is not very portable.

What portable sources do you guys use your UM2 with and have ZERO hiss, ie dead quiet. Or is there no such thing.
post #2 of 20
The only solution for hissing sources with the UM2's that I have found is to put an in-line attenuator in between the headphone out and the phones. You can get one at Radio Shack (called an in-line volume control) or from Shure at this site: http://www.shure.com/PersonalAudio/P...vel_attenuator

Hope this helps, CK
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I already bought the shure volume control in an attempt to solve the hissing but I find that it degrades the sound so much that I prefer the hiss instead.

There isn't a portable DAP that doesn't hiss with the UM2? I googled the web and found reports of hissing for so many DAPs, from ipods, to zen to samsung.....

wonder why westone designed the UM2 to be so sensitive?
post #4 of 20
I think their low impedance design resulted in hissing.

In my opinion, even an added 50 ohms can substantially reduce the hiss without adding too much of a load on the DAP itself.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind30 View Post
I already bought the shure volume control in an attempt to solve the hissing but I find that it degrades the sound so much that I prefer the hiss instead.

wonder why westone designed the UM2 to be so sensitive?
i'm in the same boat as you.
i love the sound
i love the fit.
but i can not stand the hiss.

the attenuator completely destroys the sound.

i think they are so sensitive because the drivers were originally designed for hearing aids, and the more sensitive they are, the less they will drain the battery.


...

now.
since westone is making (using) a higher impedence driver for the Westone 3's, that is why they are a consideration.


oh
and yes, i've tried a tomahawk.
with my ifp-799 it still hisses, but less.
and with an ipod and line out + tomahawk, it hisses much less but still present.


btw, this sucks
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Culverin View Post
i'm in the same boat as you.
i love the sound
i love the fit.
but i can not stand the hiss.

the attenuator completely destroys the sound.

i think they are so sensitive because the drivers were originally designed for hearing aids, and the more sensitive they are, the less they will drain the battery.


...

now.
since westone is making (using) a higher impedence driver for the Westone 3's, that is why they are a consideration.


oh
and yes, i've tried a tomahawk.
with my ifp-799 it still hisses, but less.
and with an ipod and line out + tomahawk, it hisses much less but still present.


btw, this sucks
Wow really??? The tomohawk actually hisses?

I am highly inclined to believe that its your music causing it. Even the AE-2 didn't hiss with high gain on my sensitive earphones.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
the tomahawk does not look cheap and it is added weight.

Has anyone gone through this path b4 and found out which DAP has the least hiss? ok, if there is no such thing as no hiss with the UM2, which DAP has the least hiss from your experience. Please tell me which ones you have compared as hissing is comparative and it is hard to judge what a person meant by loud, soft hiss without a point of comparison

I will go down to my local shop and audition a few player myself and post the results here.

Currently my testing with players I own

N95, epson P3000 = huge hiss unbearable
creative THE ZEN: moderate hiss, maybe bearable
sony u8g: ZERO hiss or close to zero.
post #8 of 20
I have a 5th Gen. iPod and I have Rockbox loaded on it, and for some reason the hiss is drastically reduced compared to the Apple software. This is very strange to me that software could affect something so "hardware-linked".

The only reason I don't use Rockbox all the time is because of the shortened battery life and the lack of good video playback. Otherwise I would use it all the time, purely based on the lack of hiss and quality EQ. -CK
post #9 of 20
The only time I have hiss with my UM2s when using my IAudio X5L is if increase the volume to levels that would make me deaf. Without music playing, I don't hear hiss until the volume level reaches about 30. Even then, it's not that noticeable. FWIW, I usually keep the volume anywhere between 12 and 16. The max is 40.
post #10 of 20
I use it with a nano 2nd and also a 3rd generation with MP3 320; only hear a hiss when I connect it, but dissapears when music starts, even when I stop it, there is no more hiss, so I am not sure why you are having this problem.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
tested a few more stuff.

one dell axim handheld and china no brand mp3 player. hiss is similar to creative zen.

Tested a naim ampflifier at local shop, hiss is smaller than Zen but not by much.

Tested a samung mp3 player, hiss is significantly smaller than the creative zen but also present.

Also tried an ibasso T2 amp. With adjustment of volume, etc, there is no hiss but I don't like the sound and the added device.

Also tested another pair of UM2 at the shop. similar hiss.

I should go down to an apple shop to test the ipods but I think it is futile.... I am more or less resigned myself to the hiss....
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind30 View Post
I already bought the shure volume control in an attempt to solve the hissing but I find that it degrades the sound so much that I prefer the hiss instead.

There isn't a portable DAP that doesn't hiss with the UM2? I googled the web and found reports of hissing for so many DAPs, from ipods, to zen to samsung.....

wonder why westone designed the UM2 to be so sensitive?
that is not true. i used md players from sharp and sony and none of them hissed. i also believe that the newest panasonic sd player will not hiss, but it has very small amplifier.

the um2 almost hisses with about everything. if you use an amplifier it will reduce the hiss to very reasonable levels or at least make the hiss uniform and quiet.

i eventually sold it as i did not want to use an amplifier, so um2 was out the question - i could not enjoy the music as i sold my md players as well.

ipod shuffle 1g, 2g, meizu m6, iriver anything = too much hiss to enjoy
cowon d2, ipod nano 1g, 5.5g ipod = little hiss, almost bearable, but not
panasonic new sd player = very low hiss, very nearly bearable, better than cowon d2 etc.
any modern md player (2003 - present) no hiss at all. beautiful for this iem. i have used recorders,players and netmd machines and not a single one had any hiss at all. cheers and good luck.

eventually as i said, i changed to atrio m5 which is much less sensitive and now my d2 is bearable though if i listen for it, i can still hear a fuzziness in the sound even when music is playing. iem should not be so sensitive especially as for monitoring, musicians use amps anyway and for portable play, it ruins the player.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
sometimes, I wonder if we are listening to the same things. There are so many conflicting reports. Some of us are like 90% sure that the um2 hisses with almost 90% of the players out there while some of us says there is no hissing...

I checked the new panasonic sd card players but they are not available in my country.

Even the cowon is overpriced locally.

Still I liked the UM2 sound and fit and wires. If only it doesn't hiss.
post #14 of 20

Hiss is not noticable with ipod Classic

I think some people are much more sensitive to hiss than others. With UM2's I certainly don't hear any noticable hiss when they are playing. Have you tried switching tips? - Although I don't think that will make much difference - Does the hiss vary with volume or the file compression?
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhirnigs113 View Post
I have a 5th Gen. iPod and I have Rockbox loaded on it, and for some reason the hiss is drastically reduced compared to the Apple software. This is very strange to me that software could affect something so "hardware-linked".

The only reason I don't use Rockbox all the time is because of the shortened battery life and the lack of good video playback. Otherwise I would use it all the time, purely based on the lack of hiss and quality EQ. -CK
x2 on this, rockbox is actually amazing in that it improves the ipod sound and gives user alot more control.

i would also say that the shure attenuator isnt too bad at all,it eliminates hiss completely with the se530 and i dont find too much quality degradation aslong as the attenuator is left at full volume and ipod is used to control volume, its when you use the attenuator to control volume that it starts fighting the ipod to control volume therfor degrading sound.

just a theory ofcourse but in my experience this helps...rockbox is a blessing tho, cant wait for an update that controls power usage
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