Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post
Usually a custom shell lasts 4 years, not two.
ahh cool, mustve been talking about young people perhaps. I do vaguely remember that actually, maybe in the HY thread talking about getting cheap custom IEM';s for their kids. well that seals it then im off the IEM wagon. need more impressions now!!! (the literary kind that is)
post #32 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post
Usually a custom shell lasts 4 years, not two.
the custom shell last only 4 years? it will disintegrate by itself by then?

i thought supposedly our ear canals changes over time which is true. the custom shell should be still rigid by then with careful usage.
post #33 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcluded View Post
the custom shell last only 4 years? it will disintegrate by itself by then?

i thought supposedly our ear canals changes over time which is true. the custom shell should be still rigid by then with careful usage.
My assessment wasn't to be taken literally.
post #34 of 1867
Hi all,
Thank you for the comments.

> My worry on the UE11 is that it's far too bass heavy, and I do like a prominent midrange that Westones usually have.

Not so sure about the midrange of the westone but ES3X is fairly flat over the entire frequency. I'd say it's realistic rather, as the sound is so natural and holographic, not emphasized nor recessed on anywhere.
This is quite impressive but bassheads would miss something

> How did the weekend treat you? I am anxious to hear how the sound of the ES3X is progressing with burn-in.

I got it on Sunday night, not the holy Friday night

> Boo sasaki, first your review on ESW10jpns made me buy one, now probably ES3X

But it's a motto of headfi sorry about ..
post #35 of 1867
I wouldn't be surprised if the ES3X is a viable alternative to the UE11 (priced $300 or so higher!).. I really think UE missed the mark on this one with the
UE11... [unless you're just a basshead..but then why bother with 4 freakin' drivers!!]

Quote:
At a $1,150 price, we think that buyers should reasonably expect nothing less than the best sound available from an in-canal earpiece; in fact, given that it demands a $650 MSRP or $750 street price premium over top triple-driver solutions—enough to buy an iPhone or another pair of super-expensive earphones and still have some cash left over—the UE-11 Pro should sound something close to incredible. Thanks to its over-aggressive low end, which can be found in earphones at any price, it doesn’t.

Customization frills aside, we see the UE-11 Pro as an expensive earphone for people who love bass so much that they probably don’t need a quadruple-driver earphone in the first place, and would as easily be satisfied with a more heavily bass-skewed double- or triple-driver design that costs less. This needn’t have been the case; with slightly different tuning and a more reasonable price, UE-11 Pro could have been a product we’d recommend widely to audiophiles with as much or more vigor than its predecessors. Our general level recommendation acknowledges that there is enough good in the UE-11 Pro design, particularly in the depths of its low-end response, to satisfy some users, but for the time being, we’d hesitate before climbing to this particular step on the earphone ladder.
With above quotes like that, it makes it very hard to for me to part with $1150+ on something I cant audition and\or return back!
post #36 of 1867
Hello Sasaki, is the bass as thunderous (deep) as UE11, but a lot tighter across the spectrum?

Thanks in advance.
post #37 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasaki View Post
Hi all,
Thank you for the comments.

> My worry on the UE11 is that it's far too bass heavy, and I do like a prominent midrange that Westones usually have.

Not so sure about the midrange of the westone but ES3X is fairly flat over the entire frequency. I'd say it's realistic rather, as the sound is so natural and holographic, not emphasized nor recessed on anywhere.
This is quite impressive but bassheads would miss something

> How did the weekend treat you? I am anxious to hear how the sound of the ES3X is progressing with burn-in.

I got it on Sunday night, not the holy Friday night

> Boo sasaki, first your review on ESW10jpns made me buy one, now probably ES3X

But it's a motto of headfi sorry about ..
yep... definitely a gonner; i've got the idea in my head now and from experience, that wont go away until I make it a reality
post #38 of 1867
likewise, just waiting for more impressions from Sasaki after he's had it for a bit longer and HPA said his will be coming soon I think. Then I'll probably have to drive 30 mins to the ONLY westone dealer on Oahu
post #39 of 1867

Mini-review Westone ES3X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasaki View Post
My Westone ES3X has arrived!
I did not expect the arrival, since I got no shipping notice so this was a surprise, a good surprise
But I got a notice when they've got my impressions (on Feb. 3rd) and their communication is very good.
The fitting of the custom mold is very good.

Click pictures to enlarge.


ES3X and iBasso D10, iHP140.


The left one is my UE11 I've been using it for over a year. The cable is almost worn out.


Here is my first impression. I will post more on later.
I hooked it up with my best portable setup for IEM, iHP-140+iBasso D10(w/AD8397) and iMod+P51.
First I was so surprised that the ES3X deliver a huge expansive spatial sense of openness. I couldn't believe I was listening to IEM.
Second I was impressed how ES3X deliver micro details from that blacker background. ES3X has really great resolution.
Overall the sound is sooo crisp and crystal clear, fairly tight and solid. Music sounds very realistic.
I'd say the ES3X is something like "UE11 meets ER-4S". The higher impedance works as designed I think.

Next you may say "so which is better?"
This is not worse at least, could be better but depends.
Anyway I want to hold more observations for the time being.. this is fresh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasaki View Post
Hi all,
Thank you for the comments.

> My worry on the UE11 is that it's far too bass heavy, and I do like a prominent midrange that Westones usually have.

Not so sure about the midrange of the westone but ES3X is fairly flat over the entire frequency. I'd say it's realistic rather, as the sound is so natural and holographic, not emphasized nor recessed on anywhere.
This is quite impressive but bassheads would miss something

> How did the weekend treat you? I am anxious to hear how the sound of the ES3X is progressing with burn-in.

I got it on Sunday night, not the holy Friday night

> Boo sasaki, first your review on ESW10jpns made me buy one, now probably ES3X

But it's a motto of headfi sorry about ..
Sorry it's taking me so long to post my ES3X impressions, but I am 80-90% of the way through my iBasso D10 review and haven't been able to devote much time to writing my impressions of the Westone ES3X. Plus, I wanted other people to post their impressions before me, because I don't want to be accused of trying to start a new FOTM.

I think it helps that as much as I love the Westone 3 that I can hear there are a few things the ES3X can do even better. Sasaki is not making anything up in his praise for the Westone ES3X that I quoted above.

I once posted that my Livewires were more of an analytical detailed and neutral monitor while the Westone 3 were more fun, engaging and immersive in the musical experience, and that everyone should have both types of IEM. Well the ES3X have combined the best of both worlds into one IEM. It is just as fun, engaging and immersive as the Westone 3; but with better balance to the bass, mids and treble, with improved space plus all the detail and accuracy in timbre and tone that one could ever ask for in an IEM or headphone. There is no need to find the right tips or ear position with this one. There is nothing to fix. And, I love the fact that they are more comfortable in my ear canal when I am chewing food, since I have longer ear canals. So, I am glad I went with the normal heat-sensitive tips. The different materials are poured and still liquid at the same, and are permanently bonded to each other at the interface between them.

Now the ES3X is able to replace them all. Yes, replace them all, because from this point on (short of one universal for quick use with it's built-in mic on my iPhone) I see no reason to listen to any other IEM for musical enjoyment or for detailed study of an amp or source that I am reviewing. I am very attached to my Livewires, Custom SE530 and Freq Show 3-driver, but they are not as comfortable as the ES3X nor as balanced sounding and immersive and engaging. Those customs have loads of details available, but the ES3X clearly beats the other customs.

The bass is more powerful than that of my other customs, and slightly less than the Westone 3, so it is never oppressive or overbearing; but rather it is level, clean, fast, detailed and powerful bass. Vs the Westone 3, there is a better balance to the frequency response. The bass is slightly less but clearly deeper and flat to 20Hz and still very audible at 16Hz. My 46 year old ears go from 16Hz to 16Khz and I can hear it all. So, the Phonak Audeo are no longer the only IEM I have that are this strong as high as 16Hkz, and the Nuforce NE-7M dynamic IEM are no longer the strongest in the bass at 16Hz. The mids are slightly more forward than the Westone 3 but in a level way rather than a boosted way, while at the same time being more detailed. This renders vocals very transparently and accurately, whether male or female, close mic'd or live. This is the FIRST IEM I have heard to take away the sibilance that seems to be mastered into "Diana Krall "Girl in the Other Room" CD. The highs are sweet and smooth, and are more extended than the Westone 3. Decay and ambience and space also seems just right.

Isolation cannot be topped, and I feel like I am in the vacuum of space with them in. And, the sound does not seem to be coming from little speakers in my ear, but comes from outside of my head and inside, to the left right and front and back.

I will post more impressions when I have had more than a weekend with them...



UPDATE - 2/17/09:

As far as good amp choices for the Westone 3, there is absolutely no hiss so far with the ES3X and my iBasso D10, Headamp Pico, or iPhone 3G - dead silent, and those are a good match in sound as well. I haven't gotten to other portable amps with them yet. There is a slightly bit of hiss with the volume turned down with Blutarsky's Apogee Duet but not enough to be bothersome once the music starts, and that is of course the fault of the Duet. I can also get very quiet listening volumes with those without having to deal with channel imbalance at the low end of the volume knob until they are so low that the sound is almost gone.

UPDATE - 2/18/09:

Still trying to figure out the Macro on this stupid Nikon, as it doesn't always focus on the subject of the photo. I specifically requested "long ear-canals" because my other three customs sounded best with long ear canals and Freq had to redo mine once for that. This Nikon Coolpix L12 doesn't seem to allow manual focus. I need to find my Nikon S6 that I used on vacation 2 months ago, and try it. I can't get too close, but I can move back, turn on macro and them zoom in on the subject.

















UPDATE - 2/19/09:

The ES3X cable is clear, thicker and very tightly twisted, and looks almost like a piccolino cable from afar. It's very nice, nicer than W3 cable, and I'm one of those with Zero issues with the stock thin W3 cable. It comes in a pelican water-tight case, with desiccant, a bottle of oto-ease, a chamois, a sound tube cleaner, warrantee card, and various instructions, with a laminated card tied to the case with your name and SN and manufacture date on it, and small carabiner attached to it. And of course the customs and cable attached inside.







I was up till 2:30 or 3:00 AM listening to my ES3X, and for some weird reason I ended up watching Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix on my Macbook with them. These are really good for movies, and there were times like when they were in the commons room or dining hall when I would look behind me to see who was there behind me. And, parts where the bass kicks in were solid and full.

The Denon D2000 (even modded) do not have enough mids for proper movie dialog sometimes, and so the Edition 9 would come out of the flight case for movies. Basically, I don't need my Edition 9 for quiet night-time listening anymore, so those are going up on the chopping block now.

I find the ES3X more comfortable than either of my two pair of Livewires or my Freq Show. They also are more comfortable as I move my jaw around - and they are not "soft" per se' but rather just not "hard". And, my ear canals would feel sweaty and slick with the Livewires and Freq Show after they were in for a while, making my ear canals a little itchy; but I wore these ES3X for about 5 hours Tuesday night and never once got the sensation that would make me get out a q-tip and try to "dry" or scratch my ear canals like with my old customs.

There is no going back for me, I've been spoiled...

UPDATE - 2/22/09:

I have tried the ES3X with Pico, and it is nice but I slightly like the iBasso D10 and RSA Predator with the ES3X more, while with the Westone 3 IEM I prefer the Pico and then D10. The 3MOVE sounds quite nice with them but mine is in high output mode for my full size phones and laptop, and so the volume gets loud quite quickly. They also sound very good with the Apogee Duet (possibly the best, except for a slight hiss not heard with the other amps), and is also very good right from my iPhone 3G headphone out.

It is depressing how much more I now hear the veil in the HD600 with the same portable DAC amps where the ES3X can carry all the details. Now I have to relegate the HD600 back to only used with the desktop amps where they still shine. The ES3X also sounds noticeably better and more open than my APS v3 Edition 9 and woodied recabled D2000, which the ES3X make sound like the closed headphones that they are. So I have much less need to grab those closed cans at night when I don't want to bother my wife at night listening to music on my laptop in the bedroom when she goes to sleep. Basically the ES3X, like my electrostatics, have spoiled me for many of my full size dynamic headphones and make it harder to listen to closed headphones as well. My APS V3 RS-1, AKG K240M and maybe my ESW10 are my only full size dynamics to approach the clarity or openness of the ES3X.

Last night I put on a song by Emily Sparks "Let it Show" and for a minute I almost thought someone came into the room and started singing. I could hear the vivid voice and the sound bouncing off the walls of the small room, and everything. It was a goosebump moment (and makes Elephas cry, he says).

Anyways, I will continue to try the ES3X with a variety of sources or amps and report back over time. I just finished my iBasso D10 review so I have more time with the ES3X and other amps now. I'm going to try them on the PD XM5, TTVJ Millett, iBasso D3 and D2 Boa, Nuforce Icon Mobile, Meier Headsix and Vivid V1; as well as desktop amps like my HR Micro Amp, Meier Headfive, Travagans Red, Apogee mini-DAC, Woo WA6 and Single Power Square Wave XL. The volume control on the Head-direct EF1 and Millett starving student is gonna make those more difficult, as it is with most IEM on those amps.

UPDATE - 2/23/09:

I would like to say the ES3X are neutral or flat - more neutral than the Westone 3, but not bass shy at all. The ES3X bass would fall in the middle between the W3 and Livewires, and is NEVER lacking and never overpowering. And, ES3X is never too bright like the Livewires occasionally can be. But ES3X are still rich and full and commanding like the W3, yet with more midrange presence and detail than the W3, and a little smoother more extended highs than the Westone 3.

The Livewires (which I have previously said are neutral) actually have less bass than ES3X, and a bit less presence or authority along with less richness or refinement, unlike the ES3X or W3. The LW remind me more of the Phonak Audeo with grey filters and foam tips, and I have compared the LW to my recabled Grado RS-1 before. The LW are very good and detailed, but they not as engaging and powerful feeling as the ES3X (which put you right there at the performance).

These ES3X just expand on everything the Livewires or Westone 3 do right, and I would say they are closer to the sound of my Senn HE60 but with the bass and presence of the Stax O2.

On another note, at this point I don't think I have a full size dynamic headphone that can keep up with the ES3X - the HD600 with upgraded cable and run off a powerful balanced headphone amp might get close, but they are still not as fast as the ES3X. The ATH-ESW10JPN are probably close to what I would call neutral and off a good amp they are similar - but ESW10 are still not as good as my ES3X or balanced HD600, having less detail and less sparkle and more forward mids. What is not neutral? I would say my woodied recabled D2000 have a smiley face response with slightly recessed mids, and my Editon 9 have a boosted bass response with forward mids, making them less neutral and transparent. The ES3X are not like that at all.

UPDATE - 2/24/09:

Like Jude said today about the HD800, that he finds them flawless and cannot think of anything he would change about them, well I find the ES3X to be that same thing to me - flawless.

Obviously due to fit issues some people find flaws all the time in any of the top universal IEM, and we may all never agree on the best. And while the W3 were pretty close to my goal and beat all my other universal IEM, they aren't perfect as demonstrated by listening to the ES3X. With the UM-56 custom tips the W3 are pretty darn close, and I was comparing them to $500-1500 headphones.

I can find flaws in ALL of my top of the line full size dynamic headphones - Open phones that can't reach down below 30-40Hz, Edition 9 that sometimes have overwhelming bass and a forward aggressive sound although exciting and present sounding, woodied recabled D2000 that have delicious bass but somewhat recessed mids with treble that is brighter than the mids are forward, RS-1 with APS V3 cable that is not visceral or involving enough with small soundstage and lack of presence unlike that found in the Ed 9 or D2000, HD600 are little soft around the edges and needing just the right amp to sound as good as they really are (like a dynamic version my HE60, so a little slower but better bass). And it goes on and on - Stax O2 Mk1 are a power hog with recessed treble, Stax O2 Mk2 less of power hog with a bit too aggressive and forward mids, HE Audio Jade too flat soundstage, recabled Koss ESP950 like an electrostatic RS-1, Senn HE60 everything is there but the bass or presence so the sound is etherial and airy but instruments are not solid, Stax Lambda Signature slight recessed mids with forward treble and lower treble etch.

Shall I go on? I have spent a small fortune over the past 18 months looking for the ultimate sound in headphones, or audio nirvana without spending $100,000 on a speaker rig. I knew one single rig for $10,000 might have been the answer (source/amp/phones) but nobody could agree on the answer, the Holy Grail. So instead I have several rigs ranging from $500 to $5,000 and some get closer than others, and it's not always the most expensive that beats the cheaper ones. Now I find out that a Macbook with iBasso D10 and Westone ES3X is pretty much all I ever really needed to be truly happy (may sub Pico or Duet or Micro Stack for the D10, in staying with a very detailed DAC/amp for laptop). It's like finding Jesus - I want to share it with the whole world, but don't accuse me of starting FOTM (or of talking religion, that was just an example).

Now, if only my OCD tendencies would allow me to sell the RS-1, HF-1, Edition 9, D2000, ESP950, Jade, Lambdas, my iMod/Vcaps and all my spare DACs, amps and IEM. I know I could put a LOT of money back in my pocket. For my full size rig I'd stick with just the GES/O2 Mk2/HE60 rig with SR-003 for quiet listening, and a simple HD600 balanced Single Power rig with my Apogee mini-DAC feeding both amps (until the HD800 arrive and replace the HD600). But no, I'm too attached to them all and I like having a little of everything to keep around and talk about - while seeding a DAC and amp here and there for a living room rig, basement rig, bedroom rig and car rig and all that other craziness that my wife shouldn't have to deal with.

Whew. Glad to get that off my chest! I'm plugging into my music again and chilling out now.

PS: As for the ES3X impressions, here are a couple more. I was listening to some jazz music last night and the pianos have never been so convincing, although the W3 came close before these do it even better. Vocals are so transparent the singer is in the room with you. My daughter had made a lossless 1411 kbps WAV binaural recording of her playing her guitar a while back, and I had left my lossless music playlist running where at the end of the list was her song - I jumped when her song came on as I thought she had just walked into the room with her guitar playing live and was looking for her. I was freaked out in an empty room, till I popped out the ES3X and realized that is where the music was coming from.

UPDATE 3/1/09: Still Amazed by the ES3X, and so are a few others: Ultimate Ears UE-10 vs Westone ES3X and included comparisons with UE-11 pro as well. They hold up well and their impressions of ES3X match mine as well.

UPDATE 3/2/09: This has been stated earlier in the thread. The ES3X have great imaging, presence and immersion in the music, and while the soundstage is not as great as a full size circumaural can it is better than any IEM I have tried before. To the extent that I am not missing anything, nor find it lacking in any way. In the big UE-10 vs ES3X thread there is some great discussion about soundstage and imaging and how they mesh with these high-end customs.

The transparency, immaculate imaging and holographic presentation with presence and space for each instrument is there with the ES3X, but soundstage is a little different without the pinna of the ear catching the sound coming from outside the ear (except for binaural recordings). Very few of my full size headphones have ever done this as well as the ES3X. The ES3X will do the "imaging, headstage, soundstage and instrument placement, timbre, tone, speed, detail", and all the rest as well as it needs to be done to complete the illusion. No worries there.

Now I shall speak blasphemy, or heresy or whatever you call it at head-fi. I will also say that very few headphones can replicate the soundstage and imaging of a good speaker system, and very few will argue with me about that. A few will come close but nothing matches it. There are just certain things that we can't change (until we all have a Smythe Virtual Surround Technology box in our rig) . With my Polk SDA CRS speakers I get the band in front of me, and sound going out behind the front wall and outside of the side walls if the recording is done properly, with all the ambience cues and echos of the venue. There is almost no headstage, just soundstage. If you want better than the ES3X soundstage, get a speaker rig.

However, these days the speaker rig's cost goes up exponentially higher to achieve the same natural timbre and tone and detail and transparency of a good affordable headphone system. I can't buy a $60,000 speaker system (including room treatments) and dedicate a room to it, but I can afford a good headphone system that beats it in all areas except soundstage for 1/10 the cost. And even then my ES3X on a $300 portable DAC/amp and laptop with lossless music is so close it makes the $6,000 headphone rig seem like a total waste of money.

One other thing I want to stress - no matter how hard I try when listening to music, I cannot hear the sound coming from the ES3X in my ears - the drivers are totally transparent and the sound comes from anywhere except from inside my ears. NONE of my full size headphone rigs give me the same complete sense of immersion and presence and weight of the instruments that the ES3X can - since I got the ES3X I hardly listen to anything else if I can avoid it.

UPDATE 3/20/09: When not using RSA Mustang or ES3X with my Macbook and DAC/amp, I use my either my iMod/Vcap dock or 4G Nano with an amp and LOD, or headphone out of an iPhone 3G. I have listened a lot last night to the Mustang with my iMod and portable Vcap dock, and the iMod/pVcap is on par with most DAC/amps in sound quality. The 4G Nano LOD is just a little below that but still kills the headphone out of the 5.5G iPod or Macbook. The ES3X is only as good as the source, and while they still sound good with a 5.5G iPod headphone out, the difference between that and an iPhone 3G headphone out is about as big as the difference between Macbook headphone out and a good DAC out. The iPhone 3G has the best iPod headphone out I have tried so far, while the 4G Nano is brighter than a 3G Nano but has a decent LOD.

With any of those sources my impressions of the ES3X being #1 have not changed, and my impression of great synergy with the Mustang has not changed. The Predator and P-51 are a little punchier or dynamic sounding, but the iPhone 3G is still offers a very transparent and clean sound that doesn't get in the way of the music. It can even drive an HD600 to sound good, although without as much of the volume when amped.

I would pick the iPhone 3G + Westone ES3X over the iPhone 3G + P-51 + Westone 3. But, both are great and I will take the second place rig over everything else but the ES3X. I actually own both rigs.

UPDATE 3/25/09: The IE8 soundstage/headstage is very nice, but not up the level of the ES3X. You really can't compare them. Don't have a UE11 Pro to compare. The IE8 soundstage is still above average for an IEM, with other similarly ranked IEM for an above average soundstage size being the Westone 3, Livewires, and maybe also the Phonak Audeo (amped with grey filters).

UPDATE 3/27/09: The Phonak Audeo do not compare to the ES3X except they are close in detail and transparency. But the ES3X bass, mids and highs do not sound like the Phonak. While the Phonak stand out as a detailed IEM, the ES3X have all the detail you could ask for but with smoother richer more natural tone, more power and presence, great extension down low and high, excellent frequency balance with no sibilance or brightness like the Phonak, and a more holographic soundstage. Regardless of which filters you use the Phonak they are not on this level, and that is coming from someone who likes the amped Phonak a good bit.

UPDATE 3/31/09: You will find the ES3X are a very well balanced phone - while the W3 can be a little bright at times or a little bassy at times, the ES3X still does it right every time. The ES3X are still my favorite dynamic headphones, although I also enjoy an nice balanced K1000 or balanced HD600 every once in a while (and the modded D2000 still intrigue me, as do my re-cabled RS-1). And, I'll still grab the W3 for listening away from home because I am afraid to lose or damage my ES3X. But with the ES3X I listen for several hours a day out of my Macbook and a nice DAC/amp, and my other headphones are being neglected.

In my mini-review I said the isolation is like I am in a vacuum. Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread Very good isolation, and the comfort is beyond my wildest dreams - I am so glad I didn't go through with an all-acrylic version and kept the heat sensitive tips. My other 3 pairs of customs are not this comfortable.

To the person worried about the highs - don't worry. The highs are perfect, non-fatiguing, detailed and present. But there is no artificial boost to make up for a lack of extension and fool you, since these do not roll off before my ears do. Not one person has yet said they wanted more highs in the ES3X.

UPDATE 4/3/09: The ES3X are very enjoyable with mid-fi sources like an iPhone 3G in my case. But the better the source and amp the better the ES3X will perform - they ES3X will not hold back your source and amp, or act like a bottleneck.

UPDATE 4/7/09: I am a bass-head and the ES3X have enough bass for me, although slightly less than Westone 3, IE8, D2000 or Edition 9. I'd say more bass than my RS-1, Livewires, re-cased custom SE530 or Phonak Audeo as well.

UPDATE 4/8/09: I still find my ES3X to be flawless, but they reveal any flaws of the recording.

Portable amps with excellent very low volume balance and volume control for the very sensitive ES3X include ALO Amphora, RSA Mustang and Predator, iBasso D10, Headroom Micro Amp. The Pico volume control is useable but not quite as precise as the above amps. The XM5 and 3MOVE have volume control almost as good as the Pico. Desktop amps with good volume control with the very sensitive IEM include my Meier Headfive, and my Woo WA6. All the amps I mentioned are quiet with the ES3X except the Amphora that has a bit more hiss, about at the level of my Macbook Pro headphone out, which requires me to use a volume attenuator for the hiss but not for channel balance.

The only portable DAP I have used for any amount of time with the ES3X is my iPhone 3G and 5.5G iPod video - the iPhone was much better but the 5.5G iPod wasn't too bad, although with a little hiss that the iPhone doesn't have.

With a higher level DAC you can hear the nicer DAC's extra micro-detail, ambience and space and air, the quietest rustlings of fingers and strings and papers, echoes off the walls, etc. Just moving up from the PCM2702E based DAC of the 3MOVE or XM5 (or Predator if that is what it uses) to the Pico DAC or iBasso D10 offers this upgrade in sound. You also get it from upgrading your iPod to an iMod.

UPDATE 4/18/09: Well, I spend so much time with the ES3X in my ears that I did get around to selling my APS V3 cabled HF-1, APS V3 cabled Edition 9, as well as my Koss ESP950. That just leaves the RS-1, HD600, modded D2000, ESW10 and AKG K240M as full size dynamic cans that get any use, but the ES3X get used about 3-4x as much as all of those dynamic cans put together, and probably 2x as much as my stats. I could be happy if the ES3X were my only headphones other than 2 or 3 full size electrostatics (O2, Jade, HE60).
post #40 of 1867
Nice, that's pretty much exactly what I was hoping for.

So it begins. Time to sell off some junk I don't need to raise the funds. And by junk, I mean really good stuff like W3, K340, a Stax amp or two...
post #41 of 1867
It was my lousy iPhone photo that helped with the decision wasn't it? Emerald Green is sweet

The only junk I'm selling were my Stax O2 Mk1 (done), and now it's my Edition 9 - sure you don't wan't those? :-|

(okay, so the Stax were so I could get a pair of K1000)
post #42 of 1867
time to sell my spare O2 MK1 and make an appointment with the one westone dealer on Oahu
post #43 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
It was my lousy iPhone photo that helped with the decision wasn't it? Emerald Green is sweet

The only junk I'm selling were my Stax O2 Mk1 (done), and now it's my Edition 9 - sure you don't wan't those? :-|

(okay, so the Stax were so I could get a pair of K1000)
Heh, I'd offer to snipe your ESP950 if I had the cash.
post #44 of 1867
I doubt I'll ever sell off the Mk1. Only if I really need the cash, or if I don't ever have time to listen to a stationary rig anymore. Or if something better comes along, which so far doesn't look like it's happening any time soon.
post #45 of 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
I doubt I'll ever sell off the Mk1. Only if I really need the cash, or if I don't ever have time to listen to a stationary rig anymore. Or if something better comes along, which so far doesn't look like it's happening any time soon.
Agreed, especially a certain dynamic phone, from what we are seeing.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Westone ES3X Appreciation Thread