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UM3X Rapid Impressions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone - so to my great excitement, I finally received my Westone UM3Xs. The wait to open the package was... well excruciating.

Some of you may have seen my posts - just to give you guys a quick idea of tastes and search. IEM history is below - no other top tier universals to compare it with, but a decent (somewhat) range. Here I present my quick impressions, right after unboxing, on the Westone UM3X, with what will probably end up almost like a stream of consciousness as I move from song to song. I will not be A/Bing phones (other IEMS sold off to pay for these, nor is this meant to be a mega review), but I will probably make some conscious comparisons, just my thoughts as they come. Look for more impressions coming later.

This is my first time doing something like this, I've commented, asked questions, but my first actual, if not review, commentary thread. Comments/thoughts are free. So to share:

Sound signature preference: Slightly forward mids, deep/extended bass (disclaimer, not a bass head), pleasant highs.

Music tastes: Mainly rock oriented, starting to throw in some more variety: Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Black Keys

Source: Lenovo T61 (MediaMonkey 3.1 w/ MAD MP3 Output) -> HotUSB1 DAC -> UM3X

Unboxing

I was prepared for almost Spartan packaging, but it still seemed a little bare. Definitely not a truly consumer targeted earphone. Just start testing right away with the supplied Complys - do have some Shure olives lying around for later. Fit is easy - most comfortable so far that I've used (X10s are comfortable, but the dangling is annnoying...).

Initial Impressions - 10/26/09 - 3:55 (0:00 headtime)

Reckoner - Radiohead

Whoah - warmer/more bass than I expected. A full, full sound. Opening beats don't sound quite as punchy as the X10s (but better than the PFE, IE7 etc.), Thom Yorke has never sounded so lush/close. Very in the head sound, coming from IEMs more known for soundstage (IE7/X10), kind of expected to have to adjust to this again. A very complex song is being very easily handled here.

Neighbourhood # 1 - Arcade Fire

Catching opening high-pitched drone but not painful as it was sometimes on the X10s or largely absent on other earphones. The highs are definitely there, if not "sparkly." Really revealing the separation of the UM3Xs here. Definitely feel like there are multiple instruments going in a studio setting, as opposed to a mere recording. Again, definitely a warmer sound than I was expecting from review calling it "flat" and "boring".

Knights of Cydonia - Muse

A decidedly poor recording, try and see just how unforgiving the UM3Xs are.
Opening hoofbeats have never sounded so percussive. Definitely not as alive as the previous two recordings (flatter sounding), but from previous experience that's not exactly the recording's fault . Guitar is definitely wailing going strong, Bellamy's falsetto is right there and has never sounded so good. More forgiving than expected, more so I'd say than X10s

B.O.B - Outkast

Something a little different here. Bass is again showing it's excellent presence/extension, without intruding into the mids/vocals. Not much more to say.

Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack

The opening to this song is almost ludicrously complex - on most headphones comes through as a kind of noise. Flawlessy resolved - never heard that kind of detail/clarity on that section (including with full size). Again a complicated song that really shows off the separating power of the UM3Xs.

Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

Something relatively simple. I can almost hear the pick going across the strings... Clapton sounds more emotional than I've heard him. Captures the acoustic twang, with the percussive effect, amazingly.

Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon, long an audio test record, and female vocals. Piano sounds warm, may a little too much? Definitely never really heard the intro commentary clearly before. Female vocals are apparently also excellent. Bass continues to hit strong (almost too much for my taste). High notes come out clearly and powerfully.

Quick hits:

Pros: Full sound, accurate, detailed and well-extended bass. Lush/awesome mids - great vocals. Ridiculous instrument separation. How are these supposed to be "boring?" - just best balanced earphone I believe I've heard, only the IE7s can compare, and the detail/clarity of those were not close.

Cons: More bass than expected, small as expected soundstage. Highs could be somewhat more present/extended

Total headtime: (00:30)


Look for more to come - unfortunately real life calls so not sure when that will be.
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Saved if needed
post #3 of 17
Nice write-up. Are you boosting the treble or just running with no EQ.
I've had my 3Xs almost a week now, they definitely respond well to a little treble EQ boost.
post #4 of 17
EQ the treble just a little bit and you will be amazed even more.

also get the Olive. it will slightly reduce the bass quantity but deepen it. Olive will also gve you slightly more treble.

I tried UM56 which bring up the treble and brightness even more but lost a little too much bass quantity than I like.

haven't tried Shure soft flex yet but I highly recommand Olive if it fit your ear
post #5 of 17
Nice review, still reinforces that the Westone 3 sig is probably better for me.
post #6 of 17
Great review. After months of indecision I finally just pulled the trigger and ordered the 3X which will join its sibbling the W3. God save me. Next stop..........divorce court!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #7 of 17
Ditch the stock foams. They soak up some of the top end and strangly add some midbass thump. The Olive tips don't soak up the highs, so the top end and even the upper midrange will be more present. The overall presentation just gets flatter and more balanced.
post #8 of 17
808FlyinHawyn... would be great if you could post your thoughts after comparing W3 with UM3x.... at the moment I've got UM3x and I've been itching to pull the trigger on W3 for quite a bit now...
post #9 of 17
Just received the large Shure Soft Flex tips for my 3Xs. These are definitely the way to go IMO. More open highs, tighter bass with less bloom. Nice.
post #10 of 17
I just received my UM3X yesterday. Yes, the package didn't wow me either however I'm sure it wasn't designed to as these phones are aimed at the pro market. After placing these in my ears and hooking up my Touch, my first impression was "balance". All frequencies seemed pretty much there with no frequency range being too dominant. I'm thinking I would have prefered a slight bass hump, maybe the W3's would have been better for me. I then put the Grado 325is on and definately prefer them. Yes, I know; apple and oranges. I thought I would have enjoyed the UM3X as much as the 325is, but the $300 phones (325is) beat out the $400 phones (UM3X). I'm not going to wear the big 325is at Starbucks or Borders Books, so the UM3X will have to do.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG Dave View Post
I just received my UM3X yesterday. Yes, the package didn't wow me either however I'm sure it wasn't designed to as these phones are aimed at the pro market. After placing these in my ears and hooking up my Touch, my first impression was "balance". All frequencies seemed pretty much there with no frequency range being too dominant. I'm thinking I would have prefered a slight bass hump, maybe the W3's would have been better for me. I then put the Grado 325is on and definately prefer them. Yes, I know; apple and oranges. I thought I would have enjoyed the UM3X as much as the 325is, but the $300 phones (325is) beat out the $400 phones (UM3X). I'm not going to wear the big 325is at Starbucks or Borders Books, so the UM3X will have to do.
Hehe, I remember your post in the W3 appreciation thread where you said you were buying the W3s. Give the UM3X some more time, but maybe you should've trusted your first instinct. I've had my W3s for 3 weeks now and love them more each day, especially now that I have a comfortable pair of UM56 custom tips. If I want a transparent, detailed, forward sound, I put on the customs. If I want a bigger soundstage and harder-hitting bass, I put on the P-Series Complys.

I thought about UM3X but was worried about the descriptions; "neutral" and "balanced" sound too subtle for me. I feel like the W3s are colored and fun, but never to the point of sounding artificially so.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_dong146 View Post
Hello everyone - so to my great excitement, I finally received my Westone UM3Xs. The wait to open the package was... well excruciating.

Some of you may have seen my posts - just to give you guys a quick idea of tastes and search. IEM history is below - no other top tier universals to compare it with, but a decent (somewhat) range. Here I present my quick impressions, right after unboxing, on the Westone UM3X, with what will probably end up almost like a stream of consciousness as I move from song to song. I will not be A/Bing phones (other IEMS sold off to pay for these, nor is this meant to be a mega review), but I will probably make some conscious comparisons, just my thoughts as they come. Look for more impressions coming later.

This is my first time doing something like this, I've commented, asked questions, but my first actual, if not review, commentary thread. Comments/thoughts are free. So to share:

Sound signature preference: Slightly forward mids, deep/extended bass (disclaimer, not a bass head), pleasant highs.

Music tastes: Mainly rock oriented, starting to throw in some more variety: Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Black Keys

Source: Lenovo T61 (MediaMonkey 3.1 w/ MAD MP3 Output) -> HotUSB1 DAC -> UM3X

Unboxing

I was prepared for almost Spartan packaging, but it still seemed a little bare. Definitely not a truly consumer targeted earphone. Just start testing right away with the supplied Complys - do have some Shure olives lying around for later. Fit is easy - most comfortable so far that I've used (X10s are comfortable, but the dangling is annnoying...).

Initial Impressions - 10/26/09 - 3:55 (0:00 headtime)

Reckoner - Radiohead

Whoah - warmer/more bass than I expected. A full, full sound. Opening beats don't sound quite as punchy as the X10s (but better than the PFE, IE7 etc.), Thom Yorke has never sounded so lush/close. Very in the head sound, coming from IEMs more known for soundstage (IE7/X10), kind of expected to have to adjust to this again. A very complex song is being very easily handled here.

Neighbourhood # 1 - Arcade Fire

Catching opening high-pitched drone but not painful as it was sometimes on the X10s or largely absent on other earphones. The highs are definitely there, if not "sparkly." Really revealing the separation of the UM3Xs here. Definitely feel like there are multiple instruments going in a studio setting, as opposed to a mere recording. Again, definitely a warmer sound than I was expecting from review calling it "flat" and "boring".

Knights of Cydonia - Muse

A decidedly poor recording, try and see just how unforgiving the UM3Xs are.
Opening hoofbeats have never sounded so percussive. Definitely not as alive as the previous two recordings (flatter sounding), but from previous experience that's not exactly the recording's fault . Guitar is definitely wailing going strong, Bellamy's falsetto is right there and has never sounded so good. More forgiving than expected, more so I'd say than X10s

B.O.B - Outkast

Something a little different here. Bass is again showing it's excellent presence/extension, without intruding into the mids/vocals. Not much more to say.

Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack

The opening to this song is almost ludicrously complex - on most headphones comes through as a kind of noise. Flawlessy resolved - never heard that kind of detail/clarity on that section (including with full size). Again a complicated song that really shows off the separating power of the UM3Xs.

Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

Something relatively simple. I can almost hear the pick going across the strings... Clapton sounds more emotional than I've heard him. Captures the acoustic twang, with the percussive effect, amazingly.

Great Gig in the Sky - Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon, long an audio test record, and female vocals. Piano sounds warm, may a little too much? Definitely never really heard the intro commentary clearly before. Female vocals are apparently also excellent. Bass continues to hit strong (almost too much for my taste). High notes come out clearly and powerfully.

Quick hits:

Pros: Full sound, accurate, detailed and well-extended bass. Lush/awesome mids - great vocals. Ridiculous instrument separation. How are these supposed to be "boring?" - just best balanced earphone I believe I've heard, only the IE7s can compare, and the detail/clarity of those were not close.

Cons: More bass than expected, small as expected soundstage. Highs could be somewhat more present/extended

Total headtime: (00:30)


Look for more to come - unfortunately real life calls so not sure when that will be.
how does um3x compare to um3(which i was dissapointed with)
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG Dave View Post
I just received my UM3X yesterday. Yes, the package didn't wow me either however I'm sure it wasn't designed to as these phones are aimed at the pro market. After placing these in my ears and hooking up my Touch, my first impression was "balance". All frequencies seemed pretty much there with no frequency range being too dominant. I'm thinking I would have prefered a slight bass hump, maybe the W3's would have been better for me. I then put the Grado 325is on and definately prefer them. Yes, I know; apple and oranges. I thought I would have enjoyed the UM3X as much as the 325is, but the $300 phones (325is) beat out the $400 phones (UM3X). I'm not going to wear the big 325is at Starbucks or Borders Books, so the UM3X will have to do.
hhmmm , i found that i wanted more bass in the um3, so are u saying the um3x has even less bass than the um3,,,,i was dissapointed but admittedly i didnt let them burn in
post #14 of 17
There is no "um3". There is the UM3X and the W3. Both are manufactured by Westone and each contains three balanced armature drivers. To which of these are you referring?
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by techenvy View Post
hhmmm , i found that i wanted more bass in the um3, so are u saying the um3x has even less bass than the um3,,,,i was dissapointed but admittedly i didnt let them burn in
If you keep saying um3 people get confused and their responses will be unreliable.
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