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Westone 3 vs UM3X (Unamped)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I know there's many Westone 3 vs UM3X posts here but there's no real unamped comparison.

I've read many times that the UM3X has a very natural tone which in many cases (to many people's ears) beats the westone 3's. But most of these posts mentioned the use of amps. Some posts mentioned UM3X tends to sound dull when unamped.

I listen to alot of Rock, Jazz, Acoustic, Chillout kinda music. Alot of John Mayer-ish tunes.

Given where i live right now i have no chance of trying either for myself.

I realised that on the westone site the UM3X does not appear in the 'personal listening' section but in the 'Musician's Monitors' section whereas the UM2's appear in both. Does the UM2 perform better (given that it only has 2 drivers) than the UM3X unamped?

I'd also like to mention that I will use these in a studio environment too but only about 5-10% of the time. The rest of the time I'd use it with an iPhone 3G (S).

Sorry bout there being so many questions, I've been lookin around for a while failing to find any answers.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 22
Both sound very well unamp but UM3x scales better with amp. The music I listen to is very similar to yours.
post #3 of 22
I currently own both and use unamped with Ipod nano. Both sound excellent. I wouldn't even consider getting an amp but some will say they will improve some. They are equally efficient to my ears.

Westone 3 is probably the safer bet but I enjoy both about equally.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post
Both sound very well unamp but UM3x scales better with amp. The music I listen to is very similar to yours.
Thanks for the quick reply
Which would you pick given you had to use them unamped?
post #5 of 22
I traded my W3 to UM3x and never look back. The midbass hump is not for me, I like more natural tone. Some people said not fun but for me, I like the music as it is intended.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post
I traded my W3 to UM3x and never look back. The midbass hump is not for me, I like more natural tone. Some people said not fun but for me, I like the music as it is intended.
And I did just the opposite. The UM3x was DULL, DULL, DULL straight out of my iPhone 3G with rock/pop/electronica for me. The head-fier I sold the UM3x to said he liked them quite a bit however.

Clearly, there are tons who prefer the UM3x over the W3 and vice versa. Your best bet is to try them both and sell the pair you like least. No one will be able to give you better advice than this. We all hear things differently and have different tastes. Not to mention the impact of different sources and different music.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
The UM3x was DULL, DULL, DULL straight out of my iPhone 3G .
I'm guessing this could have also been cause it was unamped?
post #8 of 22
I didn't think amping them made that much difference (the Ety's on the other hand, the amp made a big difference).

I use the UM3X. Tried the W3 and couldn't believe how wrong it sounded. Big mid bass hump and treble so spiky and over blown it almost hurt my ears.

Since the UM3X can be slightly dull sounding at first, I was hoping that the W3 would have a bit more clarity, but it swung way to far to the other direction. They are too bright and edgy sounding.
post #9 of 22
IMO um3x is more flat and stale compared to W3. for me is like classical and jazz comparison.
post #10 of 22
Amping is over-rated. An IEM has it's own sound sig and that is about it. ER4(P and S) is the only IEM I have ever heard that truly improves with amping and I have owned about 15 different IEM's.

I use to hate W3 but this time around I am loving it. Turn off the bass EQ to flat, spend some time getting use to that presentation and it sounds very balanced with very airy treble moreso than UM3X. I am actually finding it closer to ER4P than UM3X due to the brighter airier high end.

I recall Westone engineers in a review strongly suggesting using no EQ with W3 since it is naturally tipped up on both ends already. That's good advice.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kizmiaz View Post
Hey guys,

I know there's many Westone 3 vs UM3X posts here but there's no real unamped comparison.

I've read many times that the UM3X has a very natural tone which in many cases (to many people's ears) beats the westone 3's. But most of these posts mentioned the use of amps. Some posts mentioned UM3X tends to sound dull when unamped.

I listen to alot of Rock, Jazz, Acoustic, Chillout kinda music. Alot of John Mayer-ish tunes.

Given where i live right now i have no chance of trying either for myself.

I realised that on the westone site the UM3X does not appear in the 'personal listening' section but in the 'Musician's Monitors' section whereas the UM2's appear in both. Does the UM2 perform better (given that it only has 2 drivers) than the UM3X unamped?

I'd also like to mention that I will use these in a studio environment too but only about 5-10% of the time. The rest of the time I'd use it with an iPhone 3G (S).
Sorry bout there being so many questions, I've been lookin around for a while failing to find any answers.

Thanks in advance.
Your answer is right there. I would go with the UM3X. I own both and enjoy both. W3 came first and was a major reason i ditched iPOD and went with the Sony X1061. W3 is very source dependent in my opinion and no matter what i did as far as amping , lod etc, with iPOD it never sounded right. I got the X and was running straight HP out and it was great plus it was easy to make up for the W3 short comings by adjusting the X's superior amping. I think that with the style of music you prefer you would easily love the W3 sound. UM3X to me is much more forgiving with all types of music and generaly seems that a lot more people enjoy it over the 3. If forced to chose one, it would be the UM3X. Good Luck.
post #12 of 22
I would definitely go for the UM3X over the W3 but I'd also watch out for the dull factor. I'm personally increasingly finding the UM3X dull and still can't get over the small soundstage. I only ever listen unamped.

Buy second-hand (and a fit kit from Shure) and listen to it over a few months is what I'd recommend.
post #13 of 22
hmm...strange all these people are finding the um3x dull. I had the Westone 3 and switched to the um3x and did not find the um3x dull at all.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
Amping is over-rated. An IEM has it's own sound sig and that is about it. ER4(P and S) is the only IEM I have ever heard that truly improves with amping and I have owned about 15 different IEM's.
that depends on both the can and the amp. personally, i found amping the UM3X to be as dramatic an improvement as amping the ER4S. i'll be ordering an RSA Shadow in the next couple of weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bee65n View Post
hmm...strange all these people are finding the um3x dull. I had the Westone 3 and switched to the um3x and did not find the um3x dull at all.
i don't find the UM3X dull, either. but that's probably because it suits my preferred sound signature.
post #15 of 22
Rather than the sound quality of both, I think the question is more about which fits better in the ear. The sound quality of any IEM will greatly depend on how well the earpieces fit in your ear.

I've heard that there are many people who are unable to get a proper fit with the Westone 3 since the earpiece size is larger. On the other hand, the UM3X uses the same casing as the UM2 (which is slightly smaller and hence fits more easily).
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