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REVIEW: WESTONE 3, the ULTIMATE UNIVERSAL IEM vs everything else - AKA W3 Appreciation Thread - Page 75

post #1111 of 2105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post
Headphone Addict,
I was wondering, in terms of percentages, how much better is your ES3X than the W3 and IE8?
According to the guys "at the forum that must not be named" I can't give percentage comparisons anymore, as it is a total "fail".
post #1112 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
According to the guys "at the forum that must not be named" I can't give percentage comparisons anymore, as it is a total "fail".
Now that is very strange indeed. If you could PM me with the info, that would be great. I just love my IE8's so much, it is difficult to imagine that the ES3X is that much better. Apparently, though, it is.
post #1113 of 2105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post
Now that is very strange indeed. If you could PM me with the info, that would be great. I just love my IE8's so much, it is difficult to imagine that the ES3X is that much better. Apparently, though, it is.
Everything that needs to be said is in my IE8 review and here this thread, and in my ES3X review I explain what I think about the ES3X in more detail: Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread - Page 3 - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

The ES3X are a noticeable upgrade to all my universal or custom IEM, and can beat most or all of my full size dynamic headphones. There is no need to embarrass myself and put a % on it.
post #1114 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by my.self View Post
where do u guys buy the westone 3's? are there any legit westone 3 dealers other than amazon? where do u guys buy ur westone 3's from? and are they all about the same price? wheres the cheapest?
Freq. city on ebay is where I got mine, great service, fast (and free shipping) $339.

Earphonesolutions is another place you can get them.

The 3's had me smiling all the way to work today, and it was so nice to see all the cars making noise without hearing them at all. But it is definately a good thing that we have sidewalks
post #1115 of 2105
Hi all, been lurking on the boards for a while now and was wondering if anyone knows what's the cheapest way to get my hands on a set of these in Australia. So far I'm thinking the eBay option is probably best, but if anyone knows of a better way I'm all ears
post #1116 of 2105
you lurked real long man... joined on may 08, 1st post on march 09 lol.
post #1117 of 2105
That is some lurking feat!

I've had my set of W3 approx 2 weeks or so now and I have some impressions to give. Firstly, like with the majority of IEMs I've aquired, it took me a good little while to get a good feel for how to insert and fit the earphones physically into my ears/ear canals for a reliable, secure and quality fit and seal.

I didn't read the manual's insert/fit guidance until about 11 days after recieving my W3 from another Head-fi member here- I recieved the headphones on the morning I was set to go to Manchester to celebrate a friend's birthday and then stay over at his, for various other events, in the other end of Liverpool, for over a week and so didn't get a chance to view it before going, simply taking the headphones with me out the box- and that, stating that the 3's are supposed to be inserted into the ear canals at somewhat of a raised angle (relative to the back of the earphone body), that causes them to somewhat stick out from the ear surface, ie not totally flat and flush with ear shape, has been a big problem solver for achievin a sound fit and seal with most of the tips, bundled or not, I've tried with the 3's, as it allows for a deeper insert and, therefore, for a better, stronger and securer seal to be formed with most tips I couldn't achieve a decent seal/fit with before, with the insertion/fit experimentation I was trying by pure feel and with no specific guidance. Even so, I still find I have to really cram the earphones in my ears to achieve a strong seal and even then it can be unreliable, particulary in my left ear, and come undone; I think the realtively short nozzle on the 3's is largely responsible for this and I will try, in effect, extending that with the core of an old foam tip and/or some plastic tubing of concordant size. I havn't tried all tip varieties since achievin this better understanding of how to insert the 3's, however, so I may not need to do this yet. Also, as I've had difficulties in fitting the 3's I havn't really, yet, moved on to assessing which tip is best for sound and/or compare how different tips affect sound quality and/or sig. Casually, however, foam tips do not seem to change the sound reproduction that much, from those I've tried, unlike with other IEMs eg SE530s and TF10's. I really do still have that level of experimentation to come, though, predominantly; so far, I've really only been assessing tips for fit/seal quality and/or comfort (the clear silicones are pretty uncomfortable) and/or for sibilance levels relayed with them in place.

Yes, after a nice, rosey initial period of listening to the 3's with no sibilance, I bumped into it big time when I moved on to listen to other certain songs/recordings. The harsh sibilance I've encountered has always been with vocals and not really with cymbal (crashes) or any other high frequency instruement noises; the Eagles 'On the Border' album and Guns N' Rose's 'Chinese Democracy, two examples where the sibilance is frequent, overly harsh and ultimately detracting and unpleasant. I understand that the sibilance could be in the recording and/or due to the mastering of the recording, or at least the precursors for another audio device to make sibilant, however, I've never encountered sibilance with these songs before with any of my other IEMs, and the are albums that recieved respectable listening time and/or oscilation! Also, even if the 3's are magical with songs/recordings that have no capacity for sibilance, I'd preferably want to find a (tip/fit) solution with them so such songs/recordings are least listenable with them, as all my IEMs/headphones to date have accomodated such (well, in truth, I havn't encountered sibilance anywhere beyond weak with any of them). So that has kinda became another primary objective of mine; to find a tip/fit that is, not only quality, comfortable and secure, but also that, on tracks where the 3's with other tips/fits can produce nasty, harsh sibilance, reduces this to bearable, if not removing it entirely.

I've found that the the long complys pretty much reomove any sibilance I hear with other tips/fits- namely, the bundled grey silicones and clear silicones and shure yellow foams (though, I am yet to retry the 3's with any of the bundled tips again since learning how to best insert the earphones)-, however, I wasn't confident they sealed well ( isolation not as profound as with other tips and bass was a little light) so I wasn't wholly satisfied wit this option. I will try them again though, now I have the better understanding of how to insert the W3's. Concerning reducing to removing sibilance, the shure olives are the best tip/fit option I've reached thus far in my tip/fit experimentation. The sound loses none of it's clarity, transparency, detail or dynamism and is still large, airy, broad and deep! Sibilance is still there but's it's shrillness and harshness totally numbed down-nullified. I still have much tip options to try, however, so I may yet discover better!

Otherwise, when no detracting sibilance is reproduced, these IEMs are very impressive sounding and just lovely to listen to music through! The bass is tight, quick, punchy, textured, deep/extensive and in substantial quanitity without being in any way flabby, boomy/uncontrolled nor bleeding into the mids. The mids have been labelled as recessed by quite a few members here and, while I don't doubt that you are relaying your experience with them honestly, my experience with them is quite the contrary! To me, with the best tips/fits I've attained with the W3's so far, the mids are certainly not recessed, nor flat, really, but rather,tastefully, a little bit forward and warm whilst remaining very clear, transparent and detailed. The highs on the W3 have come under much scrutinisation, naturally, but, alarmingly, at least for me, criticism over their extension (especially as the 3's highs have a dedicated driver for them). I havn't yet examined the highs extension for myself, but, just going on what I'm hearing as I play music through them, the highs, like the other two main regions of the frequency spectrum, do feel as they have that dedicated driver supplying them! They are equally defined as the other frequency regions, crisp, somewhat bright (again, tastefully judged and executed IMO for my taste), naturally decaying; cymbal crashes really do shimmer and sparkle!

I've already echoed much of what HPA (Larry) had to say about the Westone 3's sound in his opening review to this thread, however, I'm gona have to do some more as I think possibly the most impresive aspects of the 3's sound are two qualities Larry has already drawn attention to in his review! They are, how all the frequency ranges meld and combine into one overall brilliant animal to produce a terrific overall sound and, the terrific body/depth to sound these earphones convey! These two attributes, along with the detail and transparency to the 3's sound, help create a lucid, lush, stimulating and realistic listening experience, also helped to be created by the 3's avoiding sounding articial, clinical or thin and overly analytical, via the life breathed into their sound in that hint of warmth and energy that accompanies and counterbalances, both, the detail and transparency so well! I'm very happy with this purchase thus far and look forward to conducting more experimentation with tips/fit and, perhaps, making them sound even better!

EDIT: I forgot to mention an important factor that all the above is based on! These impressions are concerning what I hear from a flat (no EQ) ipod Classic 6.5G straight out of hp-out, via a 120 Ohm resistor adaptor. I have listened briefly to the W3 with my Sony NWZ-A829 but not really critically.

EDIT: I've had an hour or so's listening time with tri-flanges installed- not the one's supplied with W3 as previous owner lost them and so I didn't inherit them, but, the set, which I believe is identical, that came with my SE530's- and I do like the sound they provide. These are unmodded however (I have ordered a batch of 3 replacements and when I have them I'll be prepared to mod; one with a trimmed stalk, another turned into a bi-flange and the last into a single flange).

As tsarn06 has vouched from his experience, they kill sibilance that I hear with other tip/fit configurations! However, and again, though I like the sound sig these provide, this comes about at a price, I feel. Firstly, the treble is dampened/stifled and stunted in extension a tad making it faster decaying as that shimmer and sparkle is lost. I also feel as though the soundstage is significantly narrowed from the mids upward giving quite a pyradimal imaging to the sound that borders on being congested with more complex music (passages); the airiness and space between instruements and/or compionents of sound is considerably reduced. Some of the depth to the body of the sound is lost also, the imaging being more 2D than with other tips/fit. I do quite like this sound sig, however, and the sibilance being quashed is a big bonus! From memory- I havn't used my SE530's in a while and certainly have not gotten round to side-testing them against my Westone 3's yet- this tip/fit makes the 3's sound very SE530-like, giving a similar presentation as them! I am surprised a silicone tip adds to bass and lower midrange whilst killing some treble- I'm familiar with foam tips having that effect!- but I guess this is down to how much the tri-flanges exceed the end of the earphone nozzle?
post #1118 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyle_t View Post
you lurked real long man...
Yeah, i surprised myself actually! I've only really been looking around for about a month, then when I went to register an account a few weeks back the system told me an account already exists with my username/email :P So apparently i'd made one ages ago and forgotten about it...
post #1119 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by BloodSugar00 View Post
That is some lurking feat!

I've had my set of W3 approx 2 weeks or so now and I have some impressions to give. Firstly, like with the majority of IEMs I've aquired, it took me a good little while to get a good feel for how to insert and fit the earphones physically into my ears/ear canals for a reliable, secure and quality fit and seal.

I didn't read the manual's insert/fit guidance until about 11 days after recieving my W3 from another Head-fi member here- I recieved the headphones on the morning I was set to go to Manchester to celebrate a friend's birthday and then stay over at his, for various other events, in the other end of Liverpool, for over a week and so didn't get a chance to view it before going, simply taking the headphones with me out the box- and that, stating that the 3's are supposed to be inserted into the ear canals at somewhat of a raised angle (relative to the back of the earphone body), that causes them to somewhat stick out from the ear surface, ie not totally flat and flush with ear shape, has been a big problem solver for achievin a sound fit and seal with most of the tips, bundled or not, I've tried with the 3's, as it allows for a deeper insert and, therefore, for a better, stronger and securer seal to be formed with most tips I couldn't achieve a decent seal/fit with before, with the insertion/fit experimentation I was trying by pure feel and with no specific guidance. Even so, I still find I have to really cram the earphones in my ears to achieve a strong seal and even then it can be unreliable, particulary in my left ear, and come undone; I think the realtively short nozzle on the 3's is largely responsible for this and I will try, in effect, extending that with the core of an old foam tip and/or some plastic tubing of concordant size. I havn't tried all tip varieties since achievin this better understanding of how to insert the 3's, however, so I may not need to do this yet. Also, as I've had difficulties in fitting the 3's I havn't really, yet, moved on to assessing which tip is best for sound and/or compare how different tips affect sound quality and/or sig. Casually, however, foam tips do not seem to change the sound reproduction that much, from those I've tried, unlike with other IEMs eg SE530s and TF10's. I really do still have that level of experimentation to come, though, predominantly; so far, I've really only been assessing tips for fit/seal quality and/or comfort (the clear silicones are pretty uncomfortable) and/or for sibilance levels relayed with them in place.

Yes, after a nice, rosey initial period of listening to the 3's with no sibilance, I bumped into it big time when I moved on to listen to other certain songs/recordings. The harsh sibilance I've encountered has always been with vocals and not really with cymbal (crashes) or any other high frequency instruement noises; the Eagles 'On the Border' album and Guns N' Rose's 'Chinese Democracy, two examples where the sibilance is frequent, overly harsh and ultimately detracting and unpleasant. I understand that the sibilance could be in the recording and/or due to the mastering of the recording, or at least the precursors for another audio device to make sibilant, however, I've never encountered sibilance with these songs before with any of my other IEMs, and the are albums that recieved respectable listening time and/or oscilation! Also, even if the 3's are magical with songs/recordings that have no capacity for sibilance, I'd preferably want to find a (tip/fit) solution with them so such songs/recordings are least listenable with them, as all my IEMs/headphones to date have accomodated such (well, in truth, I havn't encountered sibilance anywhere beyond weak with any of them). So that has kinda became another primary objective of mine; to find a tip/fit that is, not only quality, comfortable and secure, but also that, on tracks where the 3's with other tips/fits can produce nasty, harsh sibilance, reduces this to bearable, if not removing it entirely.

I've found that the the long complys pretty much reomove any sibilance I hear with other tips/fits- namely, the bundled grey silicones and clear silicones and shure yellow foams (though, I am yet to retry the 3's with any of the bundled tips again since learning how to best insert the earphones)-, however, I wasn't confident they sealed well ( isolation not as profound as with other tips and bass was a little light) so I wasn't wholly satisfied wit this option. I will try them again though, now I have the better understanding of how to insert the W3's. Concerning reducing to removing sibilance, the shure olives are the best tip/fit option I've reached thus far in my tip/fit experimentation. The sound loses none of it's clarity, transparency, detail or dynamism and is still large, airy, broad and deep! Sibilance is still there but's it's shrillness and harshness totally numbed down-nullified. I still have much tip options to try, however, so I may yet discover better!

Otherwise, when no detracting sibilance is reproduced, these IEMs are very impressive sounding and just lovely to listen to music through! The bass is tight, quick, punchy, textured, deep/extensive and in substantial quanitity without being in any way flabby, boomy/uncontrolled nor bleeding into the mids. The mids have been labelled as recessed by quite a few members here and, while I don't doubt that you are relaying your experience with them honestly, my experience with them is quite the contrary! To me, with the best tips/fits I've attained with the W3's so far, the mids are certainly not recessed, nor flat, really, but rather,tastefully, a little bit forward and warm whilst remaining very clear, transparent and detailed. The highs on the W3 have come under much scrutinisation, naturally, but, alarmingly, at least for me, criticism over their extension (especially as the 3's highs have a dedicated driver for them). I havn't yet examined the highs extension for myself, but, just going on what I'm hearing as I play music through them, the highs, like the other two main regions of the frequency spectrum, do feel as they have that dedicated driver supplying them! They are equally defined as the other frequency regions, crisp, somewhat bright (again, tastefully judged and executed IMO for my taste), naturally decaying; cymbal crashes really do shimmer and sparkle!

I've already echoed much of what HPA (Larry) had to say about the Westone 3's sound in his opening review to this thread, however, I'm gona have to do some more as I think possibly the most impresive aspects of the 3's sound are two qualities Larry has already drawn attention to in his review! They are, how all the frequency ranges meld and combine into one overall brilliant animal to produce a terrific overall sound and, the terrific body/depth to sound these earphones convey! These two attributes, along with the detail and transparency to the 3's sound, help create a lucid, lush, stimulating and realistic listening experience, also helped to be created by the 3's avoiding sounding articial, clinical or thin and overly analytical, via the life breathed into their sound in that hint of warmth and energy that accompanies and counterbalances, both, the detail and transparency so well! I'm very happy with this purchase thus far and look forward to conducting more experimentation with tips/fit and, perhaps, making them sound even better!
Excellent review, and you will love the tri-flanges if you liked the large Comply sleeves. The tri-flanges remove any sibilance...gone. I do need to tweak the treble a bit via EQ, but the W3s don't mind. They sound great.
post #1120 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
Excellent review, and you will love the tri-flanges if you liked the large Comply sleeves. The tri-flanges remove any sibilance...gone. I do need to tweak the treble a bit via EQ, but the W3s don't mind. They sound great.
Thanks for complementing my impressions/review of sorts. Much appreciated. The triflanges are definately on the menu!
post #1121 of 2105
Thread Starter 
Nice impressions BloodSugar. I hope you continue to enjoy them.
post #1122 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Nice impressions BloodSugar. I hope you continue to enjoy them.
Thanks! I'm pretty confident I will
post #1123 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by BloodSugar00 View Post
The mids have been labelled as recessed by quite a few members here and, while I don't doubt that you are relaying your experience with them honestly, my experience with them is quite the contrary! To me, with the best tips/fits I've attained with the W3's so far, the mids are certainly not recessed, nor flat, really, but rather,tastefully, a little bit forward and warm whilst remaining very clear, transparent and detailed.
I agree. I once thought the mids were recessed but with the right tips, I couldn't possibly say that again
post #1124 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by kite7 View Post
I agree. I once thought the mids were recessed but with the right tips, I couldn't possibly say that again
I'm happy to have shared impressions of this hp's sound Keep on rockin' in the free world!
post #1125 of 2105
Have you tried the acoustic setting on the iPod? With my Touch, that really goes a long way towards mitigating the loss of treble, which I do hear as well. The other issues don't bother me as much. Also, have you tried tweaking the EQ on the Sony? I realize that's not the preferred route, but the W3s respond very well to EQ. And when I make those small adjustments, they really sound terrific. Also, trimming the stalk will also help reduce the veil.

I am experimenting with the bi-flange mod (again), based on some feedback by MaloS on another thread, but haven't had the time to try this newer mod, which means slicing off the top flange, but trimming the stalk very, very little. In the end, I am getting the UM56s custom sleeves. Have to do it, since I love the W3 sound when I have heard what it can do.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › REVIEW: WESTONE 3, the ULTIMATE UNIVERSAL IEM vs everything else - AKA W3 Appreciation Thread