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Westone 3 Impressions Thread - Page 37

post #541 of 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by p0wderh0und23 View Post
Huh... the 2G Touch is the same jack as the iPhone 3G and I use mine all the time... hmmmmm
Mystery solved
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
I have my Touch in a Switcheasy Rebel Touch case, which I love (really protects the machine), and that could be the problem. The base of the W3 plug is round and fat, and while it may sit flush in the Touch without the case, the rim around the plug from the case input prevents the W3 plug from going all the way in.
post #542 of 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by p0wderh0und23 View Post
Huh... the 2G Touch is the same jack as the iPhone 3G and I use mine all the time... hmmmmm
See my answer. It is the Switcheasy case preventing the plug from going all the way in. But not a big deal, since I prefer using an extension with added Touch controls (pause/skip to next song). Isn't using the W3s on the iPhone without such an extension a pain, since it was not made for iPhone/Touch?
post #543 of 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
See my answer. It is the Switcheasy case preventing the plug from going all the way in. But not a big deal, since I prefer using an extension with added Touch controls (pause/skip to next song). Isn't using the W3s on the iPhone without such an extension a pain, since it was not made for iPhone/Touch?
It might be an idea to go back and edit this part of your original post...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
I could not get the plug to work with my Touch 2G. It would not go all the way in, so I had to use my Griffin iTalk to make it work. Not good.
... and include the fact it's the case preventing full connection, not the plug. That way, no one else will freak out and stick their head in an oven......
post #544 of 2135
Any comparisons to E500/SE530? Can't wait to read it
post #545 of 2135
Ive been close to pulling the trigger on a pair of Hear Yourself customs, but this thread has me waiting for review and comments on the 3.

Ive not had great success with universals. Wonder if the new threes could be retrofitted to a custom if fit is a problem. Or at least a custom tip...
post #546 of 2135

Custom tips for Westone 3's

Best of both worlds?

For an additional $80 - you can get custom tips fitted (by a local Westone authorized provider) for the "3's".

Info is on the Westone website.

Attachment 10933
LL
post #547 of 2135
sierra: thanks for the info. I should have been clearer: I use custom tips now, and i am curious as to a custom "one piece" solution as the tips kinda move around too much.
post #548 of 2135

Comparison Write Up: W3 vs. UM2, TF 10, E500, SA6, + more

I started this review as a series of posts that I have combined into this review. The initial out of the box impressions: seriously tight and low bass, I definitely hear bass elements I am not used to hearing this distinctly or fully. Tight, not muddy or colored. Mids seem quite lush, pleasantly forward, but not aggressive, highs clear, no sibilance. There might be a bit of a lower mid-emphasis due to the powerful bass, but I have to see how this sounds over time. The whole presentation is very balanced, no grain to the sound, very smooth, the bass strength will take getting used to for me, but it is both tight and deep, something I am not used to hearing to this degree. I will do a comparison between the W3s and UM2s, TF 10s, E 500s and SA 6's. I used a 5.5 G 80 g Ipod as a source with a Travagans Colors (Dogbone) amp connected by a Diamond Reference mini to mini cable. I decided to use this rather than my SR-71 or SR-71A because I often carry this around during the day and this little amp sounds great even out of the Ipod headphone jack as it is used. (See photo). I also listened to it with the Sr71’s and nothing I say here would be different, except with those amps connected to the line out these phones pick up differences in mini to mini cables like nothing I have ever heard (I tested about 5 different ones for comparison.) This may be related to the W3s ability to pick up decay and reverberation as the write up will make more clear.



UM2
First, the UM 2. The W3 has far superior bass, it adds a solid and deep underpinning that the 2 doesn't have, and this is extremely noticeable, although without having heard the depth of the 3 I wouldn't have noticed the absence of this level of musical foundation. The soundstage is wider and deeper and larger on the 3 and the instruments and singer seem closer up, maybe a 15 or 20% difference in perceived size and closeness. The vocals seem smoother, I could hear a slight rasp with the 2 that the 3 does not give you. The sound is just a lot bigger. Also the decay and reverb in the music is very much more noticeable as are very low level background details.

TF10
After going several rounds back and forth with the TF10s and the W3s, I’d have to say both are great phones. They have a certain similarity of sound signature also, but the W3s are slightly cleaner sounding, kind of like if you took the TF 10s and with some kind of magic sound cleanser stripped away a very fine layer of sonic film from the entire presentation. This is not dramatic, but you can certainly hear it. In addition, the bass on the TF10, while quite good, is not as deep, clean, detailed, or impactful as the W3. One of the songs I have been using for this comparison is Patricia Barber’s version of “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles. Besides excellent recording quality and female vocals, there is a lot of stand-up bass, piano, drums, and some bells in the background. While the TF10 renders the bass fiddle well, the W3 is just cleaner and more impactful, including the sound of the fingers plucking the strings, which you do get some of with the TF 10, just more resolution and impact comes with the W3. The vocals are competent with the TF10, although the placement is ever so slightly recessed compared to the main body of the music. The W3 places the vocals slightly forward of the instruments on this cut, which is, in my opinion, where it belongs. It is not way out front, just a bit and pleasantly so. The W3 has a very smooth musicality to its presentation, you hear no grain in the voice, it flows very well. With the TF 10 there is a very slight hint of grain and a sense that something is resisting the flow of the music very slightly. Again, this is a subtle effect, but depending on one’s sensitivity to such things, noticeable.

The biggest difference I found between the W3 and TF 10 was in listening to classical music. I used the Cleveland Symphony’s recording of the Dvorak 8th Symphony, conducted by Christophe von Dohnanyi for this test. Listening to large string elements with complex textures of woodwinds in the mix, the W3 is phenomenal at rendering the weight of the orchestra with clarity and definition. I do not think I have heard anything like this done so well. You get the low rumble that a real orchestra creates in the hall, but the string definition is all there, not smudged or approximated, and the woodwinds and flutes are all there very clearly heard, but integrated into the sound as they should be. The 4th movement of this work starts with a big trumpet introduction and this is clear and biting while retaining a certain sweetness in the sound, the way it sounds live. This section of the music can sound more biting and acerbic on lesser phones. I am extremely impressed with the W3s performance with classical music. The same holds true for piano music. The W3s ability to pick up bass energy just gives a reality to the piano that the TF 10 does not duplicate. In fact, as I have been listening to the W 3 off and on all day, I have gotten used to hearing this lower bass weight underpinning the music and now I hear the lack of it with other phones quite glaringly, when I wouldn’t have recognized it before to the same degree.

To test the higher registers I listened to a Judy Collins tune called, “All the Pretty Horses” which has bells and triangles and such. Here the TF 10 showed a lot of strength, with clarity and definition in the higher realms. The W3 was also quite good, but the higher sounds of the bells and triangles didn’t sound quite as defined, but more “in the mix” of the music. Whether they should stand out like the TF 10 allows or be slightly less emphasized like the W3 presents, I do not know. The highs on the W3 are very clear and very smooth, with a kind of golden color to them (if that can describe a sound) while some of these sounds with the TF 10 may be ever so slightly more extended and defined. Others may perceive this differently, I do not see it as a major difference. Also, I did not yet mention soundstage. Generally the TF10 has a slightly larger and deeper soundstage, I’d say about 5% larger all around, not so much, but perceivable. BTW, if there are any lovers of classical violin out there, the W3s sound fantastic on violin music because of their smoothness and lack of grain and easy flowing sound they allow.

Shure E500, Sleek SA6, plus more
I also compared the Shure E500 and Sleek SA6, with a little ESW9 thrown in. To make a long story short, I prefer the W3s to all of them. I loved the Shure’s when they first came out and adapted to their warm signature, loved their large soundstage and got used to the rolled off highs. Compared to the W3s they sound a bit veiled, the bass does not have the impact of the W3s and the highs are nowhere near as clear and clean.

The SA6s have been my everyday phones since I got them some months ago and I really like them, great soundstage, excellent detail and clarity. I still like them, but in direct comparisons to the W3 they are grainier and not as sophisticated, or smooth sounding. Voices are a bit more forward and slightly “etched.” I still enjoy their sound, but the W3 is much more integrated in presentation. I have the SA 6’s configured with the ++ treble filters and a neutral bass, finding that a + bass muddied up the midrange and highs to my ears, so take that into consideration when I say that the bass on the SA6 is clean and clear, but in no way has the impact of the W3. None of the units I have used to compare with the W3 have anywhere near the bass weight, clarity and impact of the W3, including the ESW9 (keeping in mind the difference in presentation between IEMs and outside cans). Just to test the bass impact and overall detail, I hooked up the source I was using for these tests to my Singlepower Extreme using the Ipod’s Line-Out and an ALO cotton mini to RCA cable, and listened using a pair of re-cabled Senn HD 600s, which are ultra clear and without the famous Senn veil due to their RAL re-cable. I was using as a test track the Pepe Romero performance of Zapateado on the K2 disc. This is a guitar performance with a lot of flamenco dancing in the background. With the W3s you hear the rapid footfalls and rhythms of the dancers with great clarity, but you also hear with stunning realism the vibrations and reverberations of the stage under their feet! So, you get not just the clack, clack of the rapid footwork, but the vibratory boominess of the floor. NONE of the other IEM’s nor the ESW 9 came close to capturing this sound, only the W3. Additionally, at the end of this cut you can hear the last dance steps slowly fade away into silence. Again, nothing captured this anywhere close to the W3; it really lets you hear these subtle fading decays and reverberations like nothing else. I tested this effect with the Senns and Singlepower. Now just to make clear, the soundworld of an IEM and an IPOD is different than a big can like a Senn 600 and a Singlepower. However, within the soundworld they each create, I was shocked to find out that the W3 captured these low level vibrations and decays slightly better than the Senn did. The impact within its sonic reality was greater with the W3, the only IEM I have ever heard that produces a visceral reaction to bass notes and well as capturing the decay and musicality of everything with such ease and naturalness. The Senn with the Singlepower reproduced these effects far better than any of the other phones I listened to, but within its particular soundworld had less weight and impact and detail (relatively speaking) than the W3 in it’s soundworld. I hope this part is clear to everyone. I am not saying that the W3 has a bigger sound than the Senn, I am trying to capture the listener’s perception in each soundworld in relative, not absolute terms, because obviously a Senn 600 on a big Singlepower is going to produce a bigger sound than an IEM out of an amped IPOD. These are relative comparisons I am using to try to clarify the impact that the W3 produces in this area.

Conclusions
Ok, so to sum up. No IEM that I own or have ever listened to captures the bass and gives an underlying weight to the music like the W3. It is smooth as silk throughout the entire spectrum, a beautiful listening experience. The soundstage is wide and deep, although not the largest of the IEMs available. It is larger than the UM2s and maybe very slightly smaller than the TF10, Shure E500, and SA6, but you do not notice it when listening. The isolation is as good as any IEM I own. I used medium size gel tips that come with Q-Jays, as they fit me perfectly and have a wide opening at the tip (see photo). As I did the listening tests for this write up, one thing kept coming to mind repeatedly the more I listened. With the W3 I kept being reminded of how a real, real good analogue system sounds with a top flight turntable and cartridge. It has the same kind of smoothness, clarity, musicality and flow you used to hear on high-end systems like that before the digital age. In fact, the more I have listened to it the more it struck me that the music didn’t sound “digital” at all, but very “analogue” (you old guys will know what I mean by this, I think). For folks who have never heard one of these systems, they produce a kind of warmth and glow to the music without sounding colored, or sacrificing detail and clarity. So, there you have it. Guess I’ll keep the W3.

Addendum, 12-3-2008, Additional Impressions
After I wrote this comparison review I did some further experimentration with the various tips included and with some other one's I had laying around. I found that the W3s are very sensitive to different tips and the seal one gets. Of the universal tips the one I used for the review ended up sounding the best. However, I also have a UM 56 that I haven't been using which I fished out and attached to the W3. Made quite a difference. The bass was not as boomy as with the gels, but still of the same basic character as I discussed in the review. The highs were more extended and sparkly. This was a quite noticeable difference and made them sound better in the treble than the TF 10s in the higher regions, cleaner and more detailed. So, it is quite clear that small differences in the seal and charater of the tips have a strong effect on the sound of the W3s.

post #549 of 2135
GREAT REVIEW vorlon1!

It has definitely made me happy that I should be expecting a set of these to arrive in the mail in a couple of days.
post #550 of 2135
X2 vorlon1 and nice pics too.
post #551 of 2135
Thank you very very much for your comparison vorlon1.

Okay, hows things going on European sellers right now on Westone 3?
I know PJBOX from here but is there any other out there yet?
post #552 of 2135
Absolutely fantastic and well-written review, vorlon1. Thank you!

The whole sound spectrum of the W3's seems to be line of my personal preferences 100 percent. And ordered. Finally.
post #553 of 2135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayajin View Post
Okay, hows things going on European sellers right now on Westone 3?
I know PJBOX from here but is there any other out there yet?
I recommend Earphone Solutions. I too live in Europe and have nothing but positive experience with their shipping and costumer service. Fast (and free, not via Fedex) shipping included.
post #554 of 2135
Now I am anticipating these even more. Thanks for the review.
post #555 of 2135
Vorlon's review...that's what I'm talking about.
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