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Shure SE320, westone UM2, or any alternatives? Please help!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello everybody

I cam across this forums only a few days ago while doing some research on some IEMs. I am pretty impresed with how much information there is and how helpful alot of ppl are on here, hence my decision to ask for help myself!

Ok basically im after a set of good quality headphones for sound isolation, comfort, and better quality sound than my current pair (Sennheiser CX300). I dont listen to one particular genre of music, more like a bit of everything really (except metal!). I wanna spend about £100 but after seeing so many different models, pros and cons etc im undecided, so hoping u guys would help me reach a decision.

I have done a little research and noticed that shures are getting good reviews and seem to be a popular choice for a lot of people, so I was considering these models: Shure SE310, Westone UM1, UM2 and the Ulltimate Ears Super fi 5 Pro but I had a few concerns:

1. Comfort is pretty important to me and shures + westones seem to be getting good reviews in that department, unlike the UEs which seem like they r a bit too long and will stick out of the ear.
2. I am aware that the SE320 have a single driver, but how is the sound quality compared with other IEMs with multiple drivers? I understand this is a heated discussion, but what im looking for here is cost effectiveness.
3. I noticed the Westones r also getting good reviews with regards to comfort and fit. The only problem is that the cable seems really thin and easy to damage. I preveiously owned a pair of Etymotic ER-6Is. I was happy with the sound isolation and quality since they were my first decent pair. However, one of the phones started crackling and eventually lost the sound there because of a loose connection in the jack. So I wanna avoid such problems if posible.
4. Is price linear with performance? Are £200 phones twice as good as £100 ones?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Im open to suggestions.

One final thought..
I live in the UK and for hygiene reasons shops here wont let customers try IEMs on before u buy. Isn't it utterly ridiculous that u can spend £200 on a pair of headphones without even trying them on?! At least have like a tester that ppl can try on and then its up to u if u wanna take the risk. If you get an ear infection u can get treatment for free on the NHS, but if the phones dont fit its £200 down the drain! I know wot i'd chose!
post #2 of 14
It depends how much money you want to spend. The Westone 3's are supposed to come up this week and are anxiously anticipated.
post #3 of 14
of the few that you listed, I'd choose the UM2.

SE310s will most likely have less bass than the UM2. And from what I've read, the UM2s are better than the SF5 in terms of balance and fit.
post #4 of 14
I mght be biased on this but i'd chose westone anyday. It depends what you come from. I chose the Shure SE210 first and was disappinted that my sony canal phones could reproduce a better bass signal than shure did. I switched to my Westones and wow. I certainly am NOT disappointed.

If you mind listing what source you're listening from and genre thatd be great! :]

For me and my wanna-be british musical tastes, Craig David's voice come out STUNNINGLY from UM2's.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post
It depends how much money you want to spend. The Westone 3's are supposed to come up this week and are anxiously anticipated.
yeah i noticed how much attention the UM3 r getting, im excitted to read the reviews when they come out. Unfortunately they are way out of my budget!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
of the few that you listed, I'd choose the UM2.

SE310s will most likely have less bass than the UM2. And from what I've read, the UM2s are better than the SF5 in terms of balance and fit.
I see your point but the UM2 are about £190 which brings them very close to the SE530 (which are £199.99 @ play.com). How do the UM2s compare to the SE530 then? Also the difference in price between the UM1 and the UM2 is large, does the difference in performance justify?

Thanx alot for your replies guys, im surprised how quick you are!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverknit3 View Post
I mght be biased on this but i'd chose westone anyday. It depends what you come from. I chose the Shure SE210 first and was disappinted that my sony canal phones could reproduce a better bass signal than shure did. I switched to my Westones and wow. I certainly am NOT disappointed.

If you mind listing what source you're listening from and genre thatd be great! :]

For me and my wanna-be british musical tastes, Craig David's voice come out STUNNINGLY from UM2's.
I have Sennheiser CX300 atm, so i expect any of these headphones to sound and feel much better. I had an ipod classic which just broke on me so I'll also be getting a new player, reluctant to stay with ipods to be honest but still undecided on that. Good point actually, how much difference does the player make if any? I listen to a variety of music really, some hip hop, jazz, classical, reggae (love bob marley!) etc
post #8 of 14
The comfort in the UM2 is undeniable and their sound is said to rival the SE530. I personally can't vouch for the comparison because I have not been able to buy them and hear them for myself but I think they would compare nicely soundwise. Many would argue but I own the UM2's not the SE530's. I would prefer the UM2's anyday to anything except for the Westone 3's of course.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_M_303 View Post
I have Sennheiser CX300 atm, so i expect any of these headphones to sound and feel much better. I had an ipod classic which just broke on me so I'll also be getting a new player, reluctant to stay with ipods to be honest but still undecided on that. Good point actually, how much difference does the player make if any? I listen to a variety of music really, some hip hop, jazz, classical, reggae (love bob marley!) etc
All the genre's you mention would do the UM2's justice! Pair it up with a Sony DAP and you're all set to go! I use the Sony A818. I love every song that comes from this player's 3.5 mm hole.
post #10 of 14
I agree with other posts. The UM2's are very comfortable and have a fun, at times dark sound, they respond very nicely to equalization and hold their own against the SE530's, which may be a bit better, but not a whole lot better. You may be able to find good deals for either phone. Somebody also mentioned some great deals on the SE530 on Amazon. I had the Shures E2C. They were nice and clear but had almost no bass.
post #11 of 14
Do consider the X10 that's on sale at the moment. Also the Sleek SA6 that loses to the UM2 when it comes to bass and built quality but trumps the UM2 when it comes to highs and soundstage.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Seems like the UM2 is the one to go for at that price range. But what about the UM1 and the SE310? I didn't wanna spend that much so im wondering whether the difference in price between the UM1 and UM2 for example justifies the extra cash. Same goes for the SE310 and SE420.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_M_303 View Post
Seems like the UM2 is the one to go for at that price range. But what about the UM1 and the SE310? I didn't wanna spend that much so im wondering whether the difference in price between the UM1 and UM2 for example justifies the extra cash. Same goes for the SE310 and SE420.
UM1 to UM2 is a big jump in everything and worth the extra $$ IMHO. I have not heard the Shure 310 but briefly owned the SE420 and was very dissapointed with it. Perhaps worst IEM in its pricepoint. The SE530 absolutely destroys it in every regard.
post #14 of 14
The UM2'a are supposed to be a very big step up from UM1's, whilst retaining they're comfort and fit. I've also heard quality wise that they are very good.

The SF5 Pro's are also considerred to be very good, with a clear but bassy sound.

Out of your selection, the UM2's are definately the best, followed by SF5's, Shure's and then UM1's.

In regard to your question about price and quality of the earphone being linear, spending more gets you better sound quality almost all of the time. However, as you move up into the higher quality stuff, spending an extra £20-30 won't have as much of a difference e.g The difference between a £5 pair of unbranded sh!#ters from amazon will be much worse than £25-35 sennheisers or Denon's, but £190 triple fi's aren't neccessarily any worse than £230 SE530's.
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