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REVIEW: WESTONE 3, the ULTIMATE UNIVERSAL IEM vs everything else - AKA W3 Appreciation Thread - Page 45

post #661 of 2105
it's certainly one of the best hearsphone on the market.
And with time, it comes better and better.
So, why try to search a subtitle fals.
Just hear it and have pleasure, nothing is perfect and maybe the magic sound is there.
post #662 of 2105
Hey there,

This may sound like a retarded question, but how does the overall sound compare to the Westone UM1's? I find my UM1's pretty good compared to regular earphones, but what makes the leap from this to the W3's? Hope you guys understand what I am trying to get at.
post #663 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
This is the first time I have ever owned a pair of "high end" IEMs (more than $300 MSRP), if you don't count the discounted Klipsch models, and I have to say, the entire thing is getting really tired. I even was part of the madness on a couple of posts. It's getting very clear that this process (comparing the "best" universal IEMS, re W3, SE530, TF10, IE8, etc.) is now starting to lose any real meaning, even though I realize this is supposed to be a place where people offer differing views on pieces of gear. Not sure what I am trying to say other than maybe it's time everyone just enjoy their IEMs, whatever the brand. I really think perspective/added views on the W3s when compared to other IEMs is turning into a muddled and meaningless mess due to the extreme views in either direction (and many in the middle). Every day another "revelation" about the W3s, another naysayer, another champion, another naysayer turned champion, and vice-versa. It's getting pretty weird, no?

Maybe I am just crazy. But since the only really new (in the past year or so) universal EMs on this level are the W3s and the IE8s (sorry Klipsch, but the X10s and Custom 3s are decent, but are really more worth their discounted prices), did this same thing happen when the TF10s and the E500/SE530s hit the market?
Well said! Can't agree more.
post #664 of 2105
It's sound just BETTER.
I own an UM2 before, and W3 is a step above it, so compare to UM1...
post #665 of 2105
So far from what I've read, the W3's have their positives and negatives(as expected), much like everything else in the not so-high end category, I guess you really do get what you paid for, and I guess that for $400 bucks you don't get high end*.

*= I'm referring to universal IEM's.
post #666 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by choomanchoo View Post
So far from what I've read, the W3's have their positives and negatives(as expected), much like everything else in the not so-high end category, I guess you really do get what you paid for, and I guess that for $400 bucks you don't get high end*.

*= I'm referring to universal IEM's.
ofcourse for 400 bucks you get high end lol. thats what some of us are starting to realise on here. its not about whats the best but simply what you prefer. although it is the nature of this forum i like a few others am starting to get a little tired of the constant whats best threads.

it should simply be what do you prefer above $300... because 99% of earphones above that price range is very very good and possess good qualities and bad, i dont think one is ''better'' than the other, but i do prefer some to others. this is how it should be.
post #667 of 2105
Pretty much all IEM's struggle with fast and complex music passages (with many instruments) to a certain degree. As "fast" as Etys are I find them to be one of the worst. The bass disapears and everything mushes together into a mono'ish upper midrange/lower treble. Slow the music down and they sound great. I think multiple drivers help minimize this.
post #668 of 2105
I just received my Westone 3's in the mail yesterday. I also own a pair of Shure SE530's. Previously my first intro into IEMS was the Westone UM2. I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with my 3's. It took no time at all to find the perfect tip for the perfect fit. I found that with the standard comply tip, the one with the black rubber insert works the best for me. This phones are absolutely the most comfortable IEM's I have ever worn. They fit perfectly! The short sound tube is no problem at all. The tube is just extended when using the long standard comply tip, and when I roll the tip up to compress it, it just slides very easily down my ear canal and expands to block out all the noise. The driver housing also sits flush with my ear, so it is seated perfectly and does not protrude out whatsoever. First I thought the UM2's were the most comfortable, even more comfortable than the SE530's, but now the 3's just take the cake. I love the design of the driver housing too, it is ergonomically perfect. I have not fallen asleep with the 3's yet, but I'm sure that they would be the perfect phones to sleep with. I really have not had the time to properly audition them yet but the time I have spent with them has just been magical. They are truly what I have been waiting for in terms of universal IEM performance. Everything I look at in terms of being satisfied as a consumer by a product have been met. The build quality is top notch, I love the light unobtrusive cable. Especially compared to the cable on the SE530's. The buds themselves are made of a very sturdy material, that is also extremely light. The case candy that the phones come with is also equally as satisfying. The carrying case is nice and small, and is also made of quality material, although I can agree with other people's comments on the cheesiness of the carrying case, I feel that it is what it is, and it serves it's purpose. The tips that are included are also a nice addition, and provides the consumer with a very good chance at finding a tip that works for them. As far as the volume attenuator, and the 1/4" adapter go I have not used them yet. But they also look like very top quality products. Overall I am very satisfied with my purchase, there is nothing that I feel could be considered a 'con' in this product. I am actually more satisfied than I was after I bought my Shure SE530's. Although those phones are truly incredible, and for a while were actually peerless on the market, I feel that the Westone 3's just fit the bill perfectly. I just wanted to share my feelings on them, and hope to report back with some impressions on sound quality a little bit later.
post #669 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
Pretty much all IEM's struggle with fast and complex music passages (with many instruments) to a certain degree. As "fast" as Etys are I find them to be one of the worst. The bass disapears and everything mushes together into a mono'ish upper midrange/lower treble. Slow the music down and they sound great. I think multiple drivers help minimize this.
I noticed something that's pretty much the opposite - the single armature Phonak Audéo perform among the best for complex music, better than some dual/triple drivers I heard... IEMs sure are weird animals, hard to categorize.
post #670 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkninja67 View Post
Today I went from Patsy Cline to Dimmu Borgir just like that.
Hope you didn't get whiplash from that
post #671 of 2105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstarn06 View Post
This is the first time I have ever owned a pair of "high end" IEMs (more than $300 MSRP), if you don't count the discounted Klipsch models, and I have to say, the entire thing is getting really tired. I even was part of the madness on a couple of posts. It's getting very clear that this process (comparing the "best" universal IEMS, re W3, SE530, TF10, IE8, etc.) is now starting to lose any real meaning, even though I realize this is supposed to be a place where people offer differing views on pieces of gear. Not sure what I am trying to say other than maybe it's time everyone just enjoy their IEMs, whatever the brand. I really think perspective/added views on the W3s when compared to other IEMs is turning into a muddled and meaningless mess due to the extreme views in either direction (and many in the middle). Every day another "revelation" about the W3s, another naysayer, another champion, another naysayer turned champion, and vice-versa. It's getting pretty weird, no?

Maybe I am just crazy. But since the only really new (in the past year or so) universal EMs on this level are the W3s and the IE8s (sorry Klipsch, but the X10s and Custom 3s are decent, but are really more worth their discounted prices), did this same thing happen when the TF10s and the E500/SE530s hit the market?
Agreed. Well said.


This is kinda for everyone. What drives me nuts is having people blast the W3 (either they list a huge number of faults or one huge fault), and then later or even in the same post seem to say it is still better than the other universal IEM, but just not God's gift to the world. They trash it but then they say they still like it, or maybe they are only saying it is better than the others but they still don't like any of them. I don't get it, because that part isn't made clear.

I think the negatives are way over-blown and I don't hear most of them - with the proper tips and positioning in my ears there are no withdrawn mids for me, no pianissimo lower piano chords when the upper registers are playing forte', no soft drums, no sibilance,no lack of extension, no bass blending into the mids (which can happen with the wrong tips or fit), no congestion in complex musical passages (which is something I noted in my mini-review of ATH-A900 Ltd vs modded A900 Art vs D2000 where both A900 got congested vs the D2000, which are probably congested vs my Stax if I were to compare them).

In my review I recalled my journey through IEM over the past 2 years, and many times I upgraded from something I liked to something I liked even better, which didn't automagically make the previous IEM awful. No, I would never buy another E2c, or E3c, or SE310 or E4c or ER6i, or Super.fi 5 Pro, etc... But, many of them were halfway decent and not automatic candidates for the trash bin. When I say the W3 kills all previous IEM, that is only for my ears and may not translate to another person's experience, and it doesn't mean I think the lesser or previous earphones suddenly lack merit or can't offer enjoyment.

I would hope that everyone else would get the same experience from them that I do, but when there is a different size and shape ear canal, different ear-drums and middle ear bones, and different brain between the IEM and what one hears, I cannot expect everyone to have the same experience as me. What I do NOT expect is a review of them being the polar opposite of what I hear, somehow having them turn into a cheap transistor radio or $20 ear bud. When I read that stuff I have been assuming that something is wrong and it isn't me - and if it isn't caused by the choice of tips, the fit or the positioning of the W3, then I have assumed the other person is exaggerating their impressions. And then the hostilities start because someone (me or them or both) is being put down for their ability or inability to assess the earphone properly. It gets personal.

I AM tired of that game, and I think I am just not going to play it anymore. I will, however, stick to my guns about what I hear with these. Yeah, my my hearing might change over time and they no longer work for me, or I may hear a better IEM sooner or later. But I don't expect that I will ever be saying, "Oh, those were poop the whole time and I just didn't know what I was missing". When I say these are the best universal IEM that I have heard, and I give glowing descriptions of the sound, that doesn't mean they are the best of anything at doing everything that I have heard.

I am too tired and old and sick to ever start comparing my all IEM to all my full size headphones and stats, with all my amps - and I'm not mixing apples and oranges. I did, however, mention before that the experience I get from the W3 is similar to the experience I get from the Edition 9 - that doesn't mean they sound the same, it just means that the impact and immersive experience that the music as a whole has on me is similar with the two. I am transported. Some people just don't "get" the Edition 9, and all they hear is coloration or weird soundstage, but my brain processes the sound in such a way that I am closer to the music than ever before. I get it - that not everyone hears things the same as I do.

Generally speaking, I say that if IEM are not for you or none of the ones currently available float your boat, then you may like the portable ATH-ESW10 or re-cabled RS-1 as much or more than the best IEM for taking your music with you. Unfortunately not everyone agrees on the sound of the ESW10 or RS-1 either, so take that recommendation with a grain of salt as well.
post #672 of 2105

Westone 3 + Heavy Rock music

I've been reading all your comments about the performances of the W3s with Heavy Rock music and I don't want to say that I agree or disagree with the negative feedbacks but at the same time, I would not be honest to say that they are flawless with all the albums below.

Just to make it clear with everybody, here's what I have on my iPod right now :

1- Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory
2- Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
3- Opeth - Watershed
4- Opeth - Damnation
5- Riverside - Second Life Syndrome
6- Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
7- Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
8- Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
9- Rush - Test For Echo
10- Cynic - Traced In Air
11- Enslaved - Vertebrae
12- Liquid Tension Experiment
13- Fates Warning - FWX
14- Mars Volta - Frances The Mute
15- Agalloch - The White EP
16- Pink Floyd - The Wall
17- Radiohead - OK Computer
18- Marillion - Happiness Is The Road
19- Daylight Dies - Lost To The Living
20- Epica - The Divine Conspiracy

Heavy enough ?

Equipments : iPod Touch 2G, Westone 3 with the short Comly tips, Apple Lossless files. (I'm still waiting for the delivery of my RSA Mustang)

I'd say that on 90% of these albums, the W3s are probably as good as my other phones.

For example, with Liquid Tension Experiment, (IMO, one of the most complex album ever created) the W3s are flawless to recreate all the musical layers with speed and accuracy that I tend to say that I might prefer to listen to this album on the Westone than with my Edition 9.

On the other side, with some albums like the new Opeth or the new Enslaved it's a complete different story. On these 2 albums, I have experienced the same things described by TheMarchingMule.

It's a shame because the W3s are almost perfect with everything that I have tried with them so far with the exception of only a couple of albums.

The next step for me will be to try the W3s with the Shure Olive tips and the RSA Mustang.
post #673 of 2105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfillion View Post
I've been reading all your comments about the performances of the W3s with Heavy Rock music and I don't want to say that I agree or disagree with the negative feedbacks but at the same time, I would not be honest to say that they are flawless with all the albums below.

Just to make it clear with everybody, here's what I have on my iPod right now :

1- Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory
2- Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
3- Opeth - Watershed
4- Opeth - Damnation
5- Riverside - Second Life Syndrome
6- Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
7- Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
8- Steven Wilson - Insurgentes
9- Rush - Test For Echo
10- Cynic - Traced In Air
11- Enslaved - Vertebrae
12- Liquid Tension Experiment
13- Fates Warning - FWX
14- Mars Volta - Frances The Mute
15- Agalloch - The White EP
16- Pink Floyd - The Wall
17- Radiohead - OK Computer
18- Marillion - Happiness Is The Road
19- Daylight Dies - Lost To The Living
20- Epica - The Divine Conspiracy

Heavy enough ?

Equipments : iPod Touch 2G, Westone 3 with the short Comly tips, Apple Lossless files. (I'm still waiting for the delivery of my RSA Mustang)

I'd say that on 90% of these albums, the W3s are probably as good as my other phones.

For example, with Liquid Tension Experiment, (IMO, one of the most complex album ever created) the W3s are flawless to recreate all the musical layers with speed and accuracy that I tend to say that I might prefer to listen to this album on the Westone than with my Edition 9.

On the other side, with some albums like the new Opeth or the new Enslaved it's a complete different story. On these 2 albums, I have experienced the same things described by TheMarchingMule.

It's a shame because the W3s are almost perfect with everything that I have tried with them so far with the exception of only a couple of albums.

The next step for me will be to try the W3s with the Shure Olive tips and the RSA Mustang.

Okay, I'll play one last time. But just to make it clear, I respect your opinions very much and I see your post as a positive, not a negative. As you said, they may not be perfect - but they do it well enough (90% success rate out your list of difficult or complex music). But, the above discovery still leaves many with questions and the naysayers with more ammo, as we are missing some important infos. So I ask


1. How do we know it isn't the iPod Touch that can't reproduce those two albums properly? If the answer is, "no phones can reproduce those albums properly", then try another source. If the answer is "because I have other phones that do it right using the touch", then go to #2.

2. Which IEM do reproduce those 2 specific albums better? If you have one that does, share that with us along with which albums that IEM does not do as well as the W3 - and see if we're at 90% still. If the answer is "none I have heard yet", then go to #3.

3. If not reproduced better by another IEM, what full size phones do play those specific albums properly (with the touch)? If the answer is, "the $399 W3 don't do it as well as my $1500 Edition 9 or any electrostatic", then I ask "is there nothing less expensive to beat them?". If the answer is, "not for $400 or less", then I rest my case (no #4)
post #674 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Okay, I'll play one last time. But just to make it clear, I respect your opinions very much and I see your post as a positive, not a negative. As you said, they may not be perfect - but they do it well enough (90% success rate out your list of difficult or complex music). But, the above discovery still leaves many with questions and the naysayers with more ammo, as we are missing some important infos. So I ask


1. How do we know it isn't the iPod Touch that can't reproduce those two albums properly? If the answer is, "no phones can reproduce those albums properly", then try another source. If the answer is "because I have other phones that do it right using the touch", then go to #2.

2. Which IEM do reproduce those 2 specific albums better? If you have one that does, share that with us along with which albums that IEM does not do as well as the W3 - and see if we're at 90% still. If the answer is "none I have heard yet", then go to #3.

3. If not reproduced better by another IEM, what full size phones do play those specific albums properly (with the touch)? If the answer is, "the $399 W3 don't do it as well as my $1500 Edition 9 or any electrostatic", then I ask "is there nothing less expensive to beat them?". If the answer is, "not for $400 or less", then I rest my case (no #4)
This sure is one funny thread! What point are you trying to prove HA? That the W3's are the best iems in its particular price range?! Like clieos said in another thread, when you start entering this price bracket on iems it becomes more a case of sonic signature preferences as opposed to simply plain better.

The manner in which some thread members have gone on about the W3's would lead me to believe they hold ordinary shares in Westone! OK, so bashing a product for the sake of it is unnecessary but by all means if a member who has good experience of top tier iems gives a negative assessment, it can be just as useful as the positive reviews especially for those of us sitting on the fence. Unfortunately, not all of us have the benefit of returning iems back to retailers without consequence.

No doubt it is probably time to put on my flame retardant suit...
post #675 of 2105
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
1. How do we know it isn't the iPod Touch that can't reproduce those two albums properly?
The iPod Touch is not the problem for sure because I have tried the same MP3s with my Edition 9 and the SQ was very good. BTW, I have just received my RSA Mustang from Ray Samuels, I guess that I will have a better opinion tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
2. Which IEM do reproduce those 2 specific albums better?
It's my second pair of IEMs. I had the ER4P a while ago and it's clear that they were not very good for heavy complex music. Not enough bass slam for my tastes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
3. If not reproduced better by another IEM, what full size phones do play those specific albums properly (with the touch)?
The Edition 9 ($1500) and the Grado 225 ($200)

I'll update my comments tonight or tomorrow after more listening sessions with the RSA Mustang. I have the feeling that this amp will transform the W3s

Patrick
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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