Isn't the PFE 232 discontinued? It is closer in signature to your W3s than the UE900 or even W4. In terms of bass quantity, I would say W3 >= PFE232 > W4 >= UE 900 (with the W4/UE900 having more or less "balanced" amounts of bass). I think the UE900 is very non-fatiguing without sacrificing treble energy and I like its sound with rock. The W4 doesn't bother me either. I can listen to it for a long time. Can't say the same for the W3 and PFE232.
Would you recommend the westone 4r for mainly progressive/hard rock? I've been going round in a circle trying to decide between the heir 3ai and 4ai (I know you haven't heard/reviewed them) and the 4r (not sure if the ue900 (hate swivel connectors so might rule it out on that alone!) or phonak pf232 would be suitable either). I listen to music for 5-6 hours a day (at work). Had the westone 3's and quite liked it until they went through the wash, now they just don't sound the same. Did find the 3's a little bass heavy for my taste and was wondering if the smoother sound of the 4's would sit well for long period listening? I can get 3-4 albums a day in fairly easily so a non fatiguing sound is obviously important. Sources would be either an ipod classic or a sansa clip plus mainly (need to keep it simple). Isolation is also very important to me.
Agree with joker, PFE 232 is a bit lighter on bass but it's brighter in treble. More treble quantity. PFE 232 and Westone 4r isolate pretty well with 4r has the upper hand in isolation.
If you want non fatigue sound, then probably 4r since the some find that the treble is a bit bright on the PFE 232. The treble on 4r is more neutral.
I think I'm right. Hopefully someone can verify this about Westone 4r.