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Review: Three Flagship Custom IEM - Westone ES3X vs Jerry Harvey JH13Pro vs Ultimate Ears UE11Pro - Page 6

post #76 of 343
Thanks for the review. Reading through it was quite a journey, a very enjoyable one
post #77 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post
You're ordering all 3 ES3X, UE11 & JH13? Working part-time & maiking $9.50 an hour?! :-)
Haha not all of them just the jh13. I find it very interesting that only a select few can experience their sound due to them being custom and also the cost issue. It seems like everyone's review of them is not only positive but they're saying very bold things about them too.

These have really sparked my curiosity. They are the flavor of the month but from what people are saying it doesn't seem like any other FOTM's have ever tasted this good.
post #78 of 343
Enjoyed the read! Thanks for taking the time (and expense) to do this Larry. Much appreciated.
post #79 of 343
Well done, Larry! It is a great review.
post #80 of 343
I was surprised that the comparison was as close as it was. I haven't heard any of the IEM's being reviewed, but my expectation was that the gap between the JH13pro and everything else would be greater than it seems to have been.

It raises some interesting questions about the relative value of the various options. It seems that the similarities between them are more significant than the differences. It causes me to think that the sound is primarily influenced by the technology, rather than significant differences in engineering principles. If they're all using the same basic BA drivers, there isn't going to be profound differences on the basics- speed, resolution, etc...

This is different than what we would typically see with full-sized headphones, where choice of materials and the wide variation in driver engineering creates a greater range of quality differences between cans.

This would seem consistent with the experiences of universal IEM users who suggest that the differences between the top models are minor on sound quality. The differences being attributed more to preferred flavors or sound signatures.



I also felt the review raised important issues around the real-world problems with doing comparative reviews. Brain burn-in and listener fatigue, component coloration, etc... all are hard to control for confounding variables.

I thought the part where HPA described his reactions to switching one IEM for another, then describing immediate impressions before brain burn-in and adjusting to the different sound signature, helped to magnify the differences.

People have described the UM3X treble as rolled off in comparison with the triple.fi, so I was surprised when the ES3X treble seemed more forward in comparison to the JH13pro's. Obviously I'm using some flawed transitivity logic, but that seems to be what we do when we're trying to paint a picture without experience.

Subjectively, it's hard for me to reconcile the extremely positive response that the JH13pro seems to have received with the overall similarity in sound quality that it seems HPA discovered when comparing these customs.

There's a tone to the JH13pro thread that seems to exceed the level of response that the UE11 or ES3X seems to have produced when they were released.

It caused me to believe that the magnitude of difference between the JH13 and the ES3X/UE11 would have been greater than it seems to have been to HPA's ears. I still find a little confusing trying to reconcile that discrepancy.
post #81 of 343
Damn that Jerry Harvey.
post #82 of 343
Alright then it's a consensus! I own the best IEMs in the world... nay, the universe!

EDIT: Is it possible aliens may have also developed balanced armature technology and have competing IEMs?


EDIT2: IS JERRY HARVEY AN ALIEN?
post #83 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post
I was surprised that the comparison was as close as it was. I haven't heard any of the IEM's being reviewed, but my expectation was that the gap between the JH13pro and everything else would be greater than it seems to have been.
I was surprised also. UE11 has been out a long time, and it has never received the same reception as the JH13. I remember only a few really good UE11 impressions, and only a select few prefer the UE11 to high-end headphones. Perhaps HPA was trying to be unbiased to the point of "they are all somewhat similar and will make you happy" Fact is, almost all JH13 owners (who also own UE11) say that the JH13 bests the UE11 on all fronts.
post #84 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
I was surprised also. UE11 has been out a long time, and it has never received the same reception as the JH13. I remember only a few really good UE11 impressions, and only a select few prefer the UE11 to high-end headphones. Perhaps HPA was trying to be unbiased to the point of "they are all somewhat similar and will make you happy" Fact is, almost all JH13 owners (who also own UE11) say that the JH13 bests the UE11 on all fronts.
Yeah, we seem to share the same perception.

I had mentioned in the JH13pro thread that I hadn't observed anyone who preferred the ES3X to the JH13pro. Another member commented that there had been a couple of owners of both IEM's that had, indeed, preferred the ES3X. I don't remember seeing those posts (not saying they didn't occur).

There does seem to be a bit of an inconsistency between my perception of the responses to the JH13pro with those of the other high-end customs.

HPA's review seems to suggest they're more similar in quality than I would've predicted based on my prior observations.
post #85 of 343
roy_jones and powertoold, the differences in how people post about other custom iems and the JH13s, imo, are due those weird psychological twists that are as real as the technology. I can only post from my experience, but talking with others who own them, I think our experiences are similar. My take is that the UE11s are wonderful iems, but the mid bass bloom (very enjoyable sometimes, and bothersome other times) became an increasing irritant, only because it was soooo close to my perceived definition of perfection, I was bothered by that one flaw far more than I am bothered by the many flaws of clearly lesser iems and headphones. When the JH13s not only took away the flaw, but also added to the strengths of the UE11s, a gulf was created between my genuine appreciation of the UE11s and my OMG, this is it! reaction to the JH13s that is emotionally huge. In reality, the differences may be subtle, but they are easily recognized by all who have heard them. When you move from years of close-but-no-cigar realities to a sudden recognition of complete satisfaction, posts reflect unabashed enthusiasm. Hope that made some sense.
post #86 of 343
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_jones View Post
I was surprised that the comparison was as close as it was. I haven't heard any of the IEM's being reviewed, but my expectation was that the gap between the JH13pro and everything else would be greater than it seems to have been.

It raises some interesting questions about the relative value of the various options. It seems that the similarities between them are more significant than the differences. It causes me to think that the sound is primarily influenced by the technology, rather than significant differences in engineering principles. If they're all using the same basic BA drivers, there isn't going to be profound differences on the basics- speed, resolution, etc...

This is different than what we would typically see with full-sized headphones, where choice of materials and the wide variation in driver engineering creates a greater range of quality differences between cans.

This would seem consistent with the experiences of universal IEM users who suggest that the differences between the top models are minor on sound quality. The differences being attributed more to preferred flavors or sound signatures.



I also felt the review raised important issues around the real-world problems with doing comparative reviews. Brain burn-in and listener fatigue, component coloration, etc... all are hard to control for confounding variables.

I thought the part where HPA described his reactions to switching one IEM for another, then describing immediate impressions before brain burn-in and adjusting to the different sound signature, helped to magnify the differences.

People have described the UM3X treble as rolled off in comparison with the triple.fi, so I was surprised when the ES3X treble seemed more forward in comparison to the JH13pro's. Obviously I'm using some flawed transitivity logic, but that seems to be what we do when we're trying to paint a picture without experience.

Subjectively, it's hard for me to reconcile the extremely positive response that the JH13pro seems to have received with the overall similarity in sound quality that it seems HPA discovered when comparing these customs.

There's a tone to the JH13pro thread that seems to exceed the level of response that the UE11 or ES3X seems to have produced when they were released.

It caused me to believe that the magnitude of difference between the JH13 and the ES3X/UE11 would have been greater than it seems to have been to HPA's ears. I still find a little confusing trying to reconcile that discrepancy.
I can understand the confusion. Their level of performance may be similar (sound quality) but that doesn't mean that they sound similar to each other (sound signature), or that the differences in how they sound are small. You will never mistake the sound of any of these custom IEM with one another - they each have their own sound vs the others. One of the main goals in the review was to elucidate the differences in sound signature vs performance or quality. I thought I was clear in both areas.

And yes, there is still a good deal of individual "preference" involved in selecting a headphone or IEM. But as I said in my review, I didn't want to use that as an easy way out to say they are all equally as good. There will always be questions of which sound is better, whether it's SE530 vs Triple.fi 10 Pro, Westone 3/UM3X vs Senn IE8, HD6X0 vs K701, HD800 vs Stax O2, Sony R10 vs Senn HE90, and so on.

Also, the brain burn-in that needed to be reset in order to get a fresh look at each IEM was one of the reasons that a review this comprehensive needed so much time to complete. In addition to fresh listening sessions at regular intervals, I still used the examples of rapidly switching from one to another for exactly the reason you stated - to magnify the differences.
post #87 of 343
HPA is truly an authority and this review is another great example of his contribution to this forum. I have been following the JH13 appreciation thread for a while since I recently bought UE11s. The UE folks gave a great deal at CanJam and at that time, I was not aware of JH Audio stuff. After I placed my order did I find out about the JH13s. I wished I had taken the time to research here before jumping in. At the moment, I do find the UE11s quite enjoyable with an iQube amp. HPA, have you tried UE11s with iQube, they seem to have great synergy. Either way, now I am wondering when I will take the JH13 plunge. To those that own it, congrats and enjoy.
post #88 of 343
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueTrader View Post
HPA is truly an authority and this review is another great example of his contribution to this forum. I have been following the JH13 appreciation thread for a while since I recently bought UE11s. The UE folks gave a great deal at CanJam and at that time, I was not aware of JH Audio stuff. After I placed my order did I find out about the JH13s. I wished I had taken the time to research here before jumping in. At the moment, I do find the UE11s quite enjoyable with an iQube amp. HPA, have you tried UE11s with iQube, they seem to have great synergy. Either way, now I am wondering when I will take the JH13 plunge. To those that own it, congrats and enjoy.
No, I have never heard the iQube yet. Sorry.
post #89 of 343
Larry and Boomana are absolutely right about the individual perceptions and preferences. If I may add also, while some of us are in the ultimate quest to quench our hunger for the ultimate sound or gear, some of us are (short or long term) somewhat more permanently satisfied with a sound that strikes the right chord. Although I am sure eventually I will buy another IEM, my ears are quite satisfied with my current set and buying another set has not crossed my mind.
post #90 of 343
Awesome reviews, now I just have to rob a bank to purchase JH13Pro. j/k.
I'll be purchasing one very soon.
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