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Westone um3 vs shure e530 vs triple 10's

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
This will ruffle some feathers lol.

So which is best, i have ue 5 pro's and love em but with the new player i find they lack a bit of clarity and top end sparkle, i can imagine the shure's loving the s9 but i've heard plenty of glowing reports on the westones.

So which do you reckon is best and why, i can't try any as i live in uk/cornwall so the equivalent of say alabama.
post #2 of 58
They really are on par with each other and to be honest no amount of reading on here will tell which will be best for you.

If you like a slightly treble happy, airy sound (which for me is what I want with rock and punk music) then the TF10s are best.

If you like a warmer, more mid-strong and bass heavy sound then the W3s or the SE530s are better. From the small amount of listening I've done to the SE530s I prefer the W3s.

advancedmp3players.co.uk have a pretty lenient returns policy which I have used in the past. Buy em and truy em :P
post #3 of 58
Indeed, there is no best IEM. It's all about what kind of sound you like. I also have made this kind of thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/i...e-iems-390117/ You should read the replys. I was not only looking at SQ, but also build quality, isolation,... I'll probably end up buying the ER4P (with an APS-cable, when I'm able to afford it), because it has the sound signature I like the most. If you didn't have done research on the SQ of those IEM, you could do it, to see which IEM suits you the most.
Well, I hope this has helped you a bit.
post #4 of 58
there is no better set of phones, it all about what detailing you prefer.

triple fi 10 =

detailed treble, airy and tingly but unfortunately not quite er4 intricasy, gritty bass, by this i mean it isnt bad but its certainly more rock bass than smooth reggae bass, the power is not quite on the level the shures are and deep low end as a result isnt as audible and can become annoying, it is good quality tho and certainly is better with instrumental bass rather than artificial. mids are a little laid back and lack the presentation the shures persue in the mids,vocals are great but sound a little washed out by instrumentals, this is a downside as usually at concerts the vocals certainly dominate.

shure se530 =

smooth treble response, no sharp sounds, even the sharpest of instruments sound a little too smooth, but its good and fits in well with the rest of the range, certainly the weakest aspect of the sound tho.

the midrange is certainly a strong point, vocals are very forward and resonate perfectly, the texture presented in the vocals is amazing and theres a true blackness and seperation to the sound.

bass again is very strong but not at all overpowering in any way imo. theres a real depth to the sound and theres no signs of bottoming out subwoofer style. the quality of the bass certainly relies heavily on your source quality, i find my cowon d2 to be superb but i cant help feeling at times that it rolls the bass off too much. in other words i think the d2 sounds better than an ipod overall but the ipod did give me better bass.

i gave a detailed descrition of the shures because its the one i own to this day and the triple fi i only tested for a short while.

westone 3 =

i dont own these, but going from what others have said, its bass is lovely, the mids are good but a little lacking and the treble is great but again is bettered by the ety's in this department. cant give a good opinion on these so dont actually have first hand experience.
post #5 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links, after extensive reading i have decided to get the er4p and the aps cable once crimbo is out of the way.

Sounds exactly what im after.
post #6 of 58
I currently own the SE530 and W3 and have owned the triples in the past. without knowing what sort of music you like, I cant really give you too much in the way of a definite opinion on what would suit you best. I will preface this by saying that these thoughts are mine and are based on my experience and with my gear; I do not want to have to put IMO after every opinion. Also bare in mind that these rating/comments are based solely on being an IEM; some ares an IEM just cant hope to compete with fullsize cans. the proximity of the drivers to the eardrum and the lack of a proper chamber for resonation means that soundstage and to some extent natural SQ suffer.

triples: no comment; my overall rating may upset some people

Highs: hmmmmm piercing, fatiguing highs, deep but not so textured bass, recessed mids. ugly as hell and uncomfortable. As you can see I didnt like them very much, as I have documented in other threads.

soundsatge. this was acceptable but the rest of the package was too much for me to even consoider keeping them. then they failed anyway in a matter of 2 weeks.

SE530: A

these IEM's are very consistent across all genres of music (except perhaps classical) and while they love a good source, they will sound good out of just about anything, they may not wow, but they will sound good. Give them a great source and they will shine

highs: B+
while certainly not the shures strongest area, the highs on these is totally acceptable; especially with quality source and amping synergy. anyone who says they dont improve with amping either hasnt tried it or cant hear IMO. Too much is made of this 'weakness' and it improves even further with the addition of UM56 custom tips. this also adds to the listen-ability of these babies, I can wear them all day without issue.

Mids: A+
Glorious is one word I would use for the SE530 midrange. Ever so slightly euphonic; the texture and layering in this area is nothing short of amazing. Vocals, guitars and synths in this range are rendered with great immediacy; very engaging indeed.

Bass: A
i'm of 2 minds of the bass on the SE530; especially since getting the W3. the quantity is great, doesn't extend as low as the triples or W3 and has great texture and a nice touch of warmth. the thing that can sometimes happen though, is when there is a very complex drumming/bass passage that is also highly dependent on lower mids; it can get just a smidge congested. this caveat wasnt even on my mind until the addition of the W3 to my line-up so it is far from being a deal breaker. I do not notice there being a 'boomy' bass at all. I think this cliche is a result of source quality and tip choice or just plain ******** from people that havent even heard them..

soundstage/headstage: these have quite a large soundstage for IEMs with instrument placement being pretty good really. out of the IEM's I have tried it is only beaten by the W3 in this area

Westone 3: A+

Love'em, these IEM's are a bit touchy, if you feed them crap, they will give you crap back. very revealing and unforgiving. but give them a top notch source and they will reward you. tip choice is very important, and seems to be different with everyone; so I cant make a hard and fast recommendation. although the UM56 is the closest to perfect (as you would expect) it seems to have a great deal to do with the proximity of the driver to the eardrum. the longer tips (tri-flange, standard long comply, UM56) seem to rid the sound of sibilance, which seems to be the biggest problem. with judicious and quality EQ'ing (read rockbox, not ipod EQ) you can emphasize or tame the SQ to your liking; these babies respond very well to EQ. I dont actually find the need much, but when I have, it has definitely worked well. The instrument separation is tremendous as you would expect from a 3 way design.

Highs: A- As has been said the highs aren't as prominent as on the ER4p/s but IMO that amount of hyper-detail and sparkle is unnatural; instruments just dont sound like that; and i'll take better performance across the range over that in a second. for me with UM56 tips, I get no sibilance, so actually my rating would be higher

mids: this is an area of contention here; straight out of the HP out on my iphone 3G perhaps they take just a tiny bit of a back seat, but nothing like the triples. but using a quality source with good amping such as my transportable rig (too long to type in here so check it out in my sig) it is just wonderful. Not as forward as the SE530, but TBH the SE530 is far from natural in this area; wonderful, but not natural. IMO the mids are at about the level that is consistent with being flat; with enough texture and detail to still wow me on a regular basis. The ability of these earphones to create texture and detail in all three ranges simultaneously is what makes this the winner for me.

Bass: A+
WOW the bass on these has such taughtness and slam that I sometimes have to do a double take that i'm listening to an IEM. the texture and vibrancy in this area is amazing. I can see how some people might see it as being a little too much, but not for me. Because of the 3 way design, It doesn't encroach on the rest of the spectrum, or the ability to convey detail in the mids and highs and never gets congested. definitely a strong point.

soundstage: the biggest soundstage I have heard in an IEM, it is also very accurate; movies are wicked on these things thats for sure.

thats about all I can think of at the moment. and of course YMMV, but W3 FTW
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huxley View Post
Thanks for the links, after extensive reading i have decided to get the er4p and the aps cable once crimbo is out of the way.

Sounds exactly what im after.
I hope you like them. they are an acquired taste thats for sure. also quite uncomfortable and without the APS cable they have pretty much the most microphonic cable on this earth. good luck with that
post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 
Hmm ok now you've made me rethink lol.

The reason why i didn't really post up my music tastes is because i love a wide variety. anything from classical to dance/trance and maybe a bit of jazz thrown in.

Im not so sure amping would reveal anything, i have a cowon s9 now which pushes out close to 60mw so should be plentiful enough id imagine, though i am open to suggestions of course, but for now it's just the iem's.
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
I currently own the SE530 and W3 and have owned the triples in the past. without knowing what sort of music you like, I cant really give you too much in the way of a definite opinion on what would suit you best. I will preface this by saying that these thoughts are mine and are based on my experience and with my gear; I do not want to have to put IMO after every opinion. Also bare in mind that these rating/comments are based solely on being an IEM; some ares an IEM just cant hope to compete with fullsize cans. the proximity of the drivers to the eardrum and the lack of a proper chamber for resonation means that soundstage and to some extent natural SQ suffer.

triples: no comment; my overall rating may upset some people

Highs: hmmmmm piercing, fatiguing highs, deep but not so textured bass, recessed mids. ugly as hell and uncomfortable. As you can see I didnt like them very much, as I have documented in other threads.

soundsatge. this was acceptable but the rest of the package was too much for me to even consoider keeping them. then they failed anyway in a matter of 2 weeks.

SE530: A

these IEM's are very consistent across all genres of music (except perhaps classical) and while they love a good source, they will sound good out of just about anything, they may not wow, but they will sound good. Give them a great source and they will shine

highs: B+
while certainly not the shures strongest area, the highs on these is totally acceptable; especially with quality source and amping synergy. anyone who says they dont improve with amping either hasnt tried it or cant hear IMO. Too much is made of this 'weakness' and it improves even further with the addition of UM56 custom tips. this also adds to the listen-ability of these babies, I can wear them all day without issue.

Mids: A+
Glorious is one word I would use for the SE530 midrange. Ever so slightly euphonic; the texture and layering in this area is nothing short of amazing. Vocals, guitars and synths in this range are rendered with great immediacy; very engaging indeed.

Bass: A
i'm of 2 minds of the bass on the SE530; especially since getting the W3. the quantity is great, doesn't extend as low as the triples or W3 and has great texture and a nice touch of warmth. the thing that can sometimes happen though, is when there is a very complex drumming/bass passage that is also highly dependent on lower mids; it can get just a smidge congested. this caveat wasnt even on my mind until the addition of the W3 to my line-up so it is far from being a deal breaker. I do not notice there being a 'boomy' bass at all. I think this cliche is a result of source quality and tip choice or just plain ******** from people that havent even heard them..

soundstage/headstage: these have quite a large soundstage for IEMs with instrument placement being pretty good really. out of the IEM's I have tried it is only beaten by the W3 in this area

Westone 3: A+

Love'em, these IEM's are a bit touchy, if you feed them crap, they will give you crap back. very revealing and unforgiving. but give them a top notch source and they will reward you. tip choice is very important, and seems to be different with everyone; so I cant make a hard and fast recommendation. although the UM56 is the closest to perfect (as you would expect) it seems to have a great deal to do with the proximity of the driver to the eardrum. the longer tips (tri-flange, standard long comply, UM56) seem to rid the sound of sibilance, which seems to be the biggest problem. with judicious and quality EQ'ing (read rockbox, not ipod EQ) you can emphasize or tame the SQ to your liking; these babies respond very well to EQ. I dont actually find the need much, but when I have, it has definitely worked well. The instrument separation is tremendous as you would expect from a 3 way design.

Highs: A- As has been said the highs aren't as prominent as on the ER4p/s but IMO that amount of hyper-detail and sparkle is unnatural; instruments just dont sound like that; and i'll take better performance across the range over that in a second. for me with UM56 tips, I get no sibilance, so actually my rating would be higher

mids: this is an area of contention here; straight out of the HP out on my iphone 3G perhaps they take just a tiny bit of a back seat, but nothing like the triples. but using a quality source with good amping such as my transportable rig (too long to type in here so check it out in my sig) it is just wonderful. Not as forward as the SE530, but TBH the SE530 is far from natural in this area; wonderful, but not natural. IMO the mids are at about the level that is consistent with being flat; with enough texture and detail to still wow me on a regular basis. The ability of these earphones to create texture and detail in all three ranges simultaneously is what makes this the winner for me.

Bass: A+
WOW the bass on these has such taughtness and slam that I sometimes have to do a double take that i'm listening to an IEM. the texture and vibrancy in this area is amazing. I can see how some people might see it as being a little too much, but not for me. Because of the 3 way design, It doesn't encroach on the rest of the spectrum, or the ability to convey detail in the mids and highs and never gets congested. definitely a strong point.

soundstage: the biggest soundstage I have heard in an IEM, it is also very accurate; movies are wicked on these things thats for sure.

thats about all I can think of at the moment. and of course YMMV, but W3 FTW
From the info i gather from threads around here, i can see a fully burned-in ie8 knocking off the w3..
post #10 of 58
And to counter Qusp's excellent comparison... which I agree with on many points, here is something I just whipped up BEFORE reading his post:

I just got done doing a direct A/B comparison between the Westone 3 and the Shure SE530. Same source, same pieces of music, etc.

These phones are both very good, and in my honest opinion which one you would prefer literally comes down to your musical preferences... or personal taste.

When you go back and forth with only a few seconds in between, the differences are glaring. The Westone is all about the boom and tiss.

Listening to a song first on the Westone, then switching to the Shure - you instantly notice the bass being lowered in volume and less thumpy. I believe this is by far the strongest quality of the Westones.

Similarly, the high hats/cymbals are more emphasized on the Westones. This, in my opinion, is good and bad. It does add a bit of detail but the tradeoff is that the cymbals are almost overwhelming. Also, it adds a noticeable amount of sibilance to the singer's voice. In SOME of my rock music when the drummer "breaks down" usually going into the chorus of a song, literally what you hear is just this cacophony of cymbals smashing that totally blots out the singing/guitars. This is distracting and adds a harshness/cheapness to the sound.

Switching to the Shures the mid range prominence instantly captivates you after coming from the Westone. Guitars and vocals are IN YOUR FACE and sound amazing. The sound is lush and comfortable.

The final point I'll say when comparing these two, is that outside of the "ranges" of sound - low, mid, and high; there is also something more difficult to quantify in the actual presentation of the music. This last quality is what solidified my decision on which to sell.

I keep getting this feeling that something is wrong with the way the Westones make the sound in my head. I am not a sound engineer and don't have the words to describe it - but it seems to be a combination of the U shaped frequency response of the phones and the smaller soundstage compared to the Shures that leave me wanting. In the end, the SE530 just comes off as a more versatile, easy listening, and more musically rich earphone than the Westone 3.

I think the Westones do sound better at certain points on certain tracks, but they also sound flat out bad on others. Whereas the Shures don't sound bad with anything, but maybe not quite as good at certain parts on other tracks... if that makes any sense.

In the end, you can't go wrong with either of these and this isn't a conclusion that came easy. I just did a BUNCH of back and forth listening with a ton of different music and this is what came out of it. I simply cannot give up the Shure's mids for the Westone's bass - for my money the music is in the midrange, not the bottom end.
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensen View Post
And to counter Qusp's excellent comparison... which I agree with on many points, here is something I just whipped up BEFORE reading his post:

I just got done doing a direct A/B comparison between the Westone 3 and the Shure SE530. Same source, same pieces of music, etc.

These phones are both very good, and in my honest opinion which one you would prefer literally comes down to your musical preferences... or personal taste.

When you go back and forth with only a few seconds in between, the differences are glaring. The Westone is all about the boom and tiss.

Listening to a song first on the Westone, then switching to the Shure - you instantly notice the bass being lowered in volume and less thumpy. I believe this is by far the strongest quality of the Westones.

Similarly, the high hats/cymbals are more emphasized on the Westones. This, in my opinion, is good and bad. It does add a bit of detail but the tradeoff is that the cymbals are almost overwhelming. Also, it adds a noticeable amount of sibilance to the singer's voice. In SOME of my rock music when the drummer "breaks down" usually going into the chorus of a song, literally what you hear is just this cacophony of cymbals smashing that totally blots out the singing/guitars. This is distracting and adds a harshness/cheapness to the sound.

Switching to the Shures the mid range prominence instantly captivates you after coming from the Westone. Guitars and vocals are IN YOUR FACE and sound amazing. The sound is lush and comfortable.

The final point I'll say when comparing these two, is that outside of the "ranges" of sound - low, mid, and high; there is also something more difficult to quantify in the actual presentation of the music. This last quality is what solidified my decision on which to sell.

I keep getting this feeling that something is wrong with the way the Westones make the sound in my head. I am not a sound engineer and don't have the words to describe it - but it seems to be a combination of the U shaped frequency response of the phones and the smaller soundstage compared to the Shures that leave me wanting. In the end, the SE530 just comes off as a more versatile, easy listening, and more musically rich earphone than the Westone 3.

I think the Westones do sound better at certain points on certain tracks, but they also sound flat out bad on others. Whereas the Shures don't sound bad with anything, but maybe not quite as good at certain parts on other tracks... if that makes any sense.

In the end, you can't go wrong with either of these and this isn't a conclusion that came easy. I just did a BUNCH of back and forth listening with a ton of different music and this is what came out of it. I simply cannot give up the Shure's mids for the Westone's bass - for my money the music is in the midrange, not the bottom end.
this is a very interesting comment, many people on head fi who are a little hardcore would say the se530 is a little boomy and loud bass presentation, if this is what you found with the westone's and its reasonably true i would imagine some purists here on head fi are really not going to dig the westone 3's.

i do agree that midrange is the most important aspect of music when you are evaluating detail, some people mistake detail as being super clear and tingly treble but fail to realise that detail is most portrayed in the human voice which is found in the mid to low ranges. this is one of the reasons i wasnt fond of the triple fi 10 as the vocals seemed to be behind the powerful instrumental work of say rock for instance.

im not going to comment on the westone 3's qualities or non-qualities because i have not listened to them but its crazy how people outright say they trounce everything else when everybody should have realised by now its not whats best but whats best to you. these competition threads are becoming old and stale very fast and are all a little silly in resolving what is the best, because everybody is going to vote for what they own and what thier ears are used to. the only true comparisons that can be taken seriously are by those that actually own more than one set. but then theres the situation that 80% are going to prefer thier new cans, it was the same when the sleeks came out and now you hardly hear a word spoke about them, hype is a strange thing but once we are over the hype we see these new earphones as just another set of quality IEM's to choose from. thats what i think anyway...
post #12 of 58
I just got my SE530's today as a xmas gift.

I've only been able to try them out for about 30 minutes so obviously need to let them burn in for a while before making final judgement. But based solely on comfort (using the default medium comply sleeves) and initial out-of-the-box sound I am extremely impressed.

Gotta leave the house now for family dinner but will report back later on my new love.
post #13 of 58
signal2noise

SE530 dont come with any comply you are using the black foamies I think. wait till you try the comply they are not as durable, but superior IMO

Jensen.

sounds to me like you werent using the right tips on the W3. you also dont say what gear you were using it with, or if you were using an amp. also TBH i'm not sure everyone here knows what a U shaped freq response actually sounds like. the W3 may have the bass tipped up 1-1.5db but the highs are not tipped up to my ears. with proper amping and tip choice they are actually pretty flat. in fact the three areas you mention; boom, tiss and smaller soundstage say to me you were using too short a tip, as these factors are all a symptom of the drivers being too close to the eardrum from my experience with the W3. but you are right it is a matter of preference and as you can see from my scoring/comparison, if the mood were to take me it could be that the W3 is relegated to second again. but not while my music choice stays the same.

Jinx20001 with your music tastes I would be surprised if the W3 didnt beat the SE530

bossnass15: I think perhaps you should save your coments for when you have actually tried at least ONE of the IEM's mentioned. I havent heard the IE8 so I wont comment
post #14 of 58
lol im sure he means the foams, its easy to mistake as they are very comply like, but you would have to say he must not have had comply before as it is a very different feel.
post #15 of 58
I'm also thinking about getting one of those three. I usually listen to trance and was happy with the analytical sound of my Mylarone X3i but now I can spend some money and want to get the best IE available. What would be the best choice for me? It's gonna be paired with a Meizu M3 + Corda Headsix.
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