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WESTONE 3 IMPRESSIONS AND APPRECIATION THREAD - Page 60

post #886 of 2096
Some people have to run the Westone cables behind their head due to the short y-split, but fortunately I don't and I have a 17.5" neck at 240lbs.
post #887 of 2096
Do people just prefer the shorter Y-split? I'm just wondering why Westone would decide to shorten that length when Shure and Ultimate Ears didn't, unless it was a cost decision which I would understand. It's just a shame having such a fantastic cable have this limitation.

I taped the Y-split on my SE530 at 28 cm. I'll try it out to see if I can stand it.
post #888 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by moseboy View Post
Do people just prefer the shorter Y-split? I'm just wondering why Westone would decide to shorten that length when Shure and Ultimate Ears didn't, unless it was a cost decision which I would understand. It's just a shame having such a fantastic cable have this limitation.

I taped the Y-split on my SE530 at 28 cm. I'll try it out to see if I can stand it.
I think the length of the Y split is a tad bit short but not unusable, at least for me. I definitely would prefer a slightly longer length since I tend to prefer wear them over my front neck and not behind.
post #889 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProleArtThreat View Post
I think the length of the Y split is a tad bit short but not unusable, at least for me. I definitely would prefer a slightly longer length since I tend to prefer wear them over my front neck and not behind.
Exactly, me too.
post #890 of 2096
Right. More days of listening have brought... nothing good at all.

I'm hearing serious problems with the W3's midrange. The mids are recessed compared to the UM2 and ES2, and there isn't enough midrange clarity. It really sounds like the mids are coming from a speaker with a blanket draped over it - muted and distant.

The second problem I'm hearing is in the lower treble. With the Kenwood HD20GA7 player, I didn't hear treble problems because the Kenwood has very delicate highs, much like a standalone CD player. However, the iAudio 7 player that I bought to use with the W3 is voiced much like your typical mp3 player - bright, with slight midbass boost and lower treble boost. Together with the W3's upper bass boost and lower treble boost, it creates a U-shaped EQ with the mids taking a back seat to the bass and lower treble, which together makes for a very un-musical sound signature to my ears. I can't crank things up loud enough for the mids to become full and really manifest themselves because the treble becomes painful and the bass becomes intrusive/overwhelming.

Midrange tone is also a bit off - the highs don't have enough extension which kills overtones and harmonics, while the upper bass and lower midrange are exaggerated, which makes the mids a lot warmer. The net effect is that textures are washed-out, detail is glossed over, and tone is warm but artificial. Warm mids are great when you have a lot of texture and detail, but when you don't, they just sound artificial, muddy, and a bit plasticky - though not plasticky to the same extent as the E500 mids do, which are tonally even more wrong with most mp3 players.

The UM2 really did have better mids than either the E500 or W3.

Everything else I've said though is still there - great bass, wide soundstage, decent detail, lots of dynamic range, and of course superb comfort and physical design.

However, the nasty mids are disappointing, especially since Westone IEMs have been known for their midrange quality.

What's the extra midrange driver in there for? I can't quite figure it out.

Right now, I'd say the W3 is about on par with the UM2 and E500, maybe slightly better but not in a different league. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I'm working on a full-review. It won't be primarily negative, since I still like the W3, but I will try to provide a balanced perspective and highlight the faults that I'm hearing.
post #891 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by moseboy View Post
Exactly, me too.
I got my W3 5 days ago and originally felt cable could've been longer too, but since cable is much more flexible than the SE530s, it's actually more comfortable being shorter as you don't have (thick) cables (and extension) swinging sideways constantly.

I suppose you could say I have a big(gish) head and I have to say I find the W3 great, very unintrusive. Cables on W3 are thinner, of a plastic material that is more maleable, and makes NO noise at all when it moves, like the SE530 do!

The cable + extension on the SE530 were too heavy for my taste, terrible for travelling, and simply quite impractical, imo. And yes, one thing I like quite a lot about the W3 is precisely that there are no cable extensions, making the W3 incredibly light! - you just don't notice the cables at all.

However, the most important thing for me as for everyone else, I suppose, is the sound.

To me, the overall sound on the W3 beats the SE530 considerably. The only thing I can describe it as is 'more real or natural', the balance of lows/mids/highs is incredible. And I insist, instruments and voices sound very real indeed.

I enjoyed the SE530 but could not use them for more than hour or so, but perhaps that's just me. With the W3 I can listen to music for more extended periods of time.

I've used the large silicon grey sleeves on both SE530 & W3 which provide the best seal for me, most comfort, and better sound reproduction.

It's great to not have the need to adjust any part of the sound via EQ settings, and just have the EQ off permanently.

In the last 5 days I've listened to lots of different types of music on my 160 GB iPod Classic: Classical (Orquestral, Chamber & solo violin), Rock (from Beatles to Henry Cow), Avant Garde, Jazz (Coltrane, Kenny Wheeler), World, & Pop.

Also, the Inline Volume Control is of a better buid quality - the se530 looked and felt cheap and tacky, and did NOT work properly, as you could not mute sound completely. The W3 looks and feels right, and works perfectly. On a perhaps irrelevant note, I thought that for a £220+ pair of earphones the SE530 looked rather cheap. Yes, the metal box and rest of packaging looked very classy, but actual earphones & Inline Volume Control looked tacky.

By contrast, the W3 packaging is nothing to write home about, but the actual earphones & accessories are of better quality, in my view.

I also prefer the L-plug end of the cable on the W3 - something I found impractical on the se530 somehow, as cable ended in a straight line.

So far, I'm very, very pleased with my W3, and hope thay last a long time.
post #892 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
Right. More days of listening have brought... nothing good at all.

I'm hearing serious problems with the W3's midrange. The mids are recessed compared to the UM2 and ES2, and there isn't enough midrange clarity. It really sounds like the mids are coming from a speaker with a blanket draped over it - muted and distant.

The second problem I'm hearing is in the lower treble. With the Kenwood HD20GA7 player, I didn't hear treble problems because the Kenwood has very delicate highs, much like a standalone CD player. However, the iAudio 7 player that I bought to use with the W3 is voiced much like your typical mp3 player - bright, with slight midbass boost and lower treble boost. Together with the W3's upper bass boost and lower treble boost, it creates a U-shaped EQ with the mids taking a back seat to the bass and lower treble, which together makes for a very un-musical sound signature to my ears. I can't crank things up loud enough for the mids to become full and really manifest themselves because the treble becomes painful and the bass becomes intrusive/overwhelming.

Midrange tone is also a bit off - the highs don't have enough extension which kills overtones and harmonics, while the upper bass and lower midrange are exaggerated, which makes the mids a lot warmer. The net effect is that textures are washed-out, detail is glossed over, and tone is warm but artificial. Warm mids are great when you have a lot of texture and detail, but when you don't, they just sound artificial, muddy, and a bit plasticky - though not plasticky to the same extent as the E500 mids do, which are tonally even more wrong with most mp3 players.

The UM2 really did have better mids than either the E500 or W3.

Everything else I've said though is still there - great bass, wide soundstage, decent detail, lots of dynamic range, and of course superb comfort and physical design.

However, the nasty mids are disappointing, especially since Westone IEMs have been known for their midrange quality.

What's the extra midrange driver in there for? I can't quite figure it out.

Right now, I'd say the W3 is about on par with the UM2 and E500, maybe slightly better but not in a different league. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I'm working on a full-review. It won't be primarily negative, since I still like the W3, but I will try to provide a balanced perspective and highlight the faults that I'm hearing.
Amen to that
post #893 of 2096
What I hear converges with Cascratch's notes - I produced my own writing of this independently and did not put it up yet...
post #894 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
Right. More days of listening have brought... nothing good at all.

I'm hearing serious problems with the W3's midrange. The mids are recessed compared to the UM2 and ES2, and there isn't enough midrange clarity. It really sounds like the mids are coming from a speaker with a blanket draped over it - muted and distant.

The second problem I'm hearing is in the lower treble. With the Kenwood HD20GA7 player, I didn't hear treble problems because the Kenwood has very delicate highs, much like a standalone CD player. However, the iAudio 7 player that I bought to use with the W3 is voiced much like your typical mp3 player - bright, with slight midbass boost and lower treble boost. Together with the W3's upper bass boost and lower treble boost, it creates a U-shaped EQ with the mids taking a back seat to the bass and lower treble, which together makes for a very un-musical sound signature to my ears. I can't crank things up loud enough for the mids to become full and really manifest themselves because the treble becomes painful and the bass becomes intrusive/overwhelming.

Midrange tone is also a bit off - the highs don't have enough extension which kills overtones and harmonics, while the upper bass and lower midrange are exaggerated, which makes the mids a lot warmer. The net effect is that textures are washed-out, detail is glossed over, and tone is warm but artificial. Warm mids are great when you have a lot of texture and detail, but when you don't, they just sound artificial, muddy, and a bit plasticky - though not plasticky to the same extent as the E500 mids do, which are tonally even more wrong with most mp3 players.

The UM2 really did have better mids than either the E500 or W3.

Everything else I've said though is still there - great bass, wide soundstage, decent detail, lots of dynamic range, and of course superb comfort and physical design.

However, the nasty mids are disappointing, especially since Westone IEMs have been known for their midrange quality.

What's the extra midrange driver in there for? I can't quite figure it out.

Right now, I'd say the W3 is about on par with the UM2 and E500, maybe slightly better but not in a different league. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

I'm working on a full-review. It won't be primarily negative, since I still like the W3, but I will try to provide a balanced perspective and highlight the faults that I'm hearing.
Maybe you have bad synergy with your portable sources. Could you instead try using a better source and amp for the review then, so you aren't reviewing the lower end source and amp instead of the earphones?
post #895 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Maybe you have bad synergy with your portable sources. Could you instead try using a better source and amp for the review then, so you aren't reviewing the lower end source and amp instead of the earphones?
For what it's worth, I'm experiencing something very similar to what catscratch is describing. I've tried them on my iPhone 3G headphone out, a 4G iPod amped with a Hornet M, and the headphone out of my Sherwood CD-980T. The basic sound signature stays the same. Although with the Hornet M, low bass does seem to pick up some slightly better definition.

I'm not ready to give up on them yet, but I will say they are no where near as refined and detailed as my Sensas across the frequency spectrum, including bass which is presented with more than adequate impact and still remains detailed on the Sensas.

Comparing them to other universal IEMs, however, it becomes clear that at the high end of the market, there really is no "better" phone. It all comes down to what you prefer. The W3 certainly are "fun" to listen to, but there does seem to be a midrange veil that will turn off some people.
post #896 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Maybe you have bad synergy with your portable sources. Could you instead try using a better source and amp for the review then, so you aren't reviewing the lower end source and amp instead of the earphones?
I thought about that, but I don't think so. The Kenwood DAP is one of the best I've ever heard as far as DAPs go, and with it, I still have the same exact problems. The treble is perhaps more refined, but the midrange tone is more off.

The IA7 is a pretty good DAP, above average sonically and voiced in a very typical way for DAPs. It's a very good indicator for how well the W3 would perform with iPods and the like.

Sure, I could use the Opus 21 with a good amp, but that's not what these headphones were designed for. I'm using them as they were intended - on the move.

You could say that the W3 is just a universal-fit IEM and I'm being too critical, but the ES2 is only $250 more and doesn't really need an amp to sound good. Toss out the amp and you're on even footing, so comparisons with it, I think, are valid.
post #897 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
I thought about that, but I don't think so. The Kenwood DAP is one of the best I've ever heard as far as DAPs go, and with it, I still have the same exact problems. The treble is perhaps more refined, but the midrange tone is more off.

The IA7 is a pretty good DAP, above average sonically and voiced in a very typical way for DAPs. It's a very good indicator for how well the W3 would perform with iPods and the like.

Sure, I could use the Opus 21 with a good amp, but that's not what these headphones were designed for. I'm using them as they were intended - on the move.

You could say that the W3 is just a universal-fit IEM and I'm being too critical, but the ES2 is only $250 more and doesn't really need an amp to sound good. Toss out the amp and you're on even footing, so comparisons with it, I think, are valid.
What tips are you using? When I switch from my Westone UM-56 custom molded tips to the transparent and hard Westone tips for the first time time tonight I can hear a little of what you are talking about. The lower mids and upper bass blur together a little and it colors the mids and vocals. They are worse to my ears than an un-modified triple flange which goes in the other direction. I mentioned in my review that I hadn't gotten around to trying them yet.

The grey silicone tips are acceptable sounding but not outstanding, while the modified cut-down triple flange sounded better to me, and I can get a nice smooth natural but detailed sound with the Complys P-series except for the treble is a little rolled off with them (long foam tips). I cannot get the T-series tips to seal my ear canal as they aren't big enough or go deep enough.

But the UM-56 tips are the best for me - the fit and seal and isolation are top notch with the custom tips, and make the Westone 3 really shine. Maybe that is the problem. The stock tips don't get along with all ears, and maybe you can't find one that does it for you?
post #898 of 2096
The clear flex tips always worked best for me on Westones and Shures in the past, and they work the best with the Kenwood player. However with the IA7 the treble is way too steely and I have to use the Comply tips. The grey flex tips are also not bad, a bit more muted in the highs than the clear ones but still acceptable. The stock triflanges are simply idiotic, and I have no idea how they passed quality control in their stock form. They're way too long, compress way too much in the ear canal, and introduce all sorts of nastiness into the sound. It's a perfect example of designers not using their own products. Modding them has worked in the past and I will try that here too.

I agree, the tips could play a very big role in the sound. I'm sure the UM56 tips make a huge difference.
post #899 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Maybe you have bad synergy with your portable sources. Could you instead try using a better source and amp for the review then, so you aren't reviewing the lower end source and amp instead of the earphones?
I'm beginning to wonder if the SQ variance noted by some here, isn't simply due to a "lack of synergy" with the specific ear canal topography of the members involved.

(if that's true, it's a damn shame for you guys - sorry you can't hear the transparency, detail & punch some of us do)
post #900 of 2096
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraHotel01 View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if the SQ variance noted by some here, isn't simply due to a "lack of synergy" with the specific ear canal topography of the members involved.

(if that's true, it's a damn shame for you guys - sorry you can't hear the transparency, detail & punch some of us do)
Not likely the case, I'd dig into the history of the people putting out various reviews. You will find that some people tend to be alot more positive than others.
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