"HeadphoneAddict, I recall somewhere that the Westone 4 was supposed to be the universal version of the ES5 but I can't recall where. Are they similar enough where you can call the Westone 4 that?" - rawrster
"The W4 sound a little smoother than the UM3X which I still love. And they have a little bigger soundstage vs the UM3X, like the ES5 do over the ES3X. It's not as deep as the W3 which can seem slightly recessed with some tips or amps, nor is it as forward and on-stage as the UM3X. And the W4 seems to do a better job of surrounding you with music, like the ES5. They tell me that they spent a lot of time working on maintaining good phase alignment between the drivers (or timing, whatever), which helps with good instrument placement on the mini-stage, while the air and ambience of the room or hall surrounds you. It does seem that they were shooting for the ES5 sound in a universal IEM. " - headphoneaddict
those are probably the things i read that lead me to believe that...
anyhow, how does everyone here find the JH5 for picking apart music? I realize that instrumental separation isn't going to be nearly as good as the UM3X and Westone 4, but is it still above average?
and also, how is detail in the highest of highs and lowest of lows on the JH5, am I going to feel underwhelmed going from a 4 driver iem to a 2 driver?
A lot of that was more of a comparison of the W4 to the UM3X. The biggest difference between W4 and ES5 is that the ES5 still has better treble extension and presence (like an HE-6), while the W4 seems more laid back in the treble (like a v1 LCD-2). The ES5 also seems to have better micro-detail, imaging, soundstage, and bass impact than the W4. They were shooting for the ES5 with the W4 in the way that they tried to the get the phase alignment right for good imaging, but they didn't really make it all the way there. I actually still prefer my ES3X a little more than the universal IEM I own. I don't want to make it sound like the W4 are like an ES5 in a universal shell, but I do think that they are a little better than my UM3X, which are a little better than my W3. And their design philosophy for the ES5 was extended to the W4.
There are a couple of people who have JH5 and W4, and I seem to recall they preferred the JH5 a little more. There seems to be a definite audible advantage to customs, due to the custom fit and having properly tuned sound tubes in the ear canal portion.