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My quick listen to Westone 3's

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Got a chance to listen to a fellow head-fier's Westones this week and I think they pretty much sound like what people described versus the Shure SE530's.

The short summary is it isn't as forgiving (reveals flaws in music) as the Shure SE530's and has tighter (but less) bass (no surprise since it has only one lowrange driver) with a slightly more open soundstage (probably because of the extra high frequency volume). This is based on what I remember of the SE530's music (Adam is enjoying them up in Canada now :-)

Tested it via headphone out on an iPhone 3g as well as via a lineout cable through a Hornet amp and used the yellow foamies I brought; also tested it on my T-Mo Wing. Surprisingly, I didn't have issues w/ getting it into my ears with a good seal using the relatively short yellow foamies. I had expected to have issues because of the shorter nozzle.
Unfortunately, we didn't have a male/male 3.5mm cable so I couldn't put the Hornet between the headphone amp and the Westone.

As others have mentioned, the vocals aren't as forward. It sounds quite a bit like my Sennheiser HD590's through the headphone output of both devices (the iPhone has more bass and a more open presentation), but with more high frequency volume and more bass.

The volume on the headphone output and the Hornet amp were set so they were approximately the same because "louder" makes something sound better subconsciously. What surprised me was how much the Hornet and iPhone lineout made a difference. Through the headphone output, high frequences were a bit too high with some songs (e.g., cymbals and vocals in songs by Christina Aguillera and Mariah Carey...there are times when the cymbals and voices feel like they're in your face). The amp output got rid of this excess high frequency, increased the soundstage so you could pick out instruments, and increased and tightened the bass more. The EQ on the iPhone was flat. This effect was true when comparing with Mark Anthony music as well (this music didn't have excessive high freqency volume). It was a huge difference..much like the difference between my T-Mo Wing's headphone out vs. through a cheap ghetto amp (the same amp made little difference w/ the iPhone's headphone out).

Anyone else try different MP3 players with the Westone 3's? I'm confused as to why there would be that much of a difference unless the Hornet rolls off the highs a bit.
post #2 of 4
thanks for that quick take, lots have said theres more sub bass and mid bass and it kinda veils the sound, i know you said there is less bass and as a result sounds tighter but did you experience eny humps in the mid bass during your quick test??

i only ask because mid bass is seen as a little bit of a hidden flaw, its not a likeable sound, ofcourse it needs to be there but when its amplified a little more it can tend to ruin the midrange and bring muddiness into the sound.

i really want to like the westone 3, and i want to be tempted to get it but would it really be worth my money if im happy with the se530?? i mean i am happy but if i can get better i would like to if it really is better, so far ive argued numerous times with folks about the opinion they have and its unfair on them but i just want to be sure its wise to spend the money, i want to like them i really do, but i suppose i was expecting them to be the end all and so far this isnt the general feeling.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
jinx: I'd say put up your location in your profile and ask if there is a fellow head-fier who would like to try your SE530's. Or buy them from earphonesolutions and use their return policy if you hate them. That's the only way to know for sure. That way you can test the Westone w/ *your* source and preferred tips. The earphonesolutions way is probably best because you'll only be out the shipping cost for test driving them for an extended period of time.

I have no idea what a hump in the mid bass would sound like in terms of how it affects a song, so you'll have to elaborate a bit more :-)

I do know that if I had an iPhone and listened on the headphone output to the W3 and SE530, I probably would choose the SE530 because it masks off the annoying highs of some songs...a few of those Christina songs were downright annoying. However, if I listened to it on the Hornet amp, I would have sold my SE530 in a heartbeat (though I don't know how the SE530 sounds on the Hornet so that's something I'd have to try first but I doubt the SE530 would have sounded so much better). That's an apples and oranges comparison, so that's why I said try it w/ your sources before deciding...
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention the Westone cable. Microphonics are zero and that's one big advantage over the Shures if that bugs you...
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