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Westone ES5 - Page 2

post #16 of 5542

odigg, I very much agree with your analysis. These are interesting times for Head-Fi.

post #17 of 5542

could it be similar sounding to Fitear 435?   

 

ES5?  not ES5X?

post #18 of 5542

I think the debate about what the better buy/combo would be is irrelevant.  Clearly, from the impressions, the issue is whether one wants a 'fun' sound or an 'analytical' one.  Too many times we have different people w/ different objectives arguing about what's the better phone. 

 

On a side note, anything from Earsonic at Canjam?  I've read some prefer the Earsonic signature to the JH or UE sig so I am curious if Earsonic has anything that can slot in between the JH3A and ES5's for comparison.

post #19 of 5542
Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post


That's $1300 for the Combo - not including a DAC.  The JH-3A is $1700-$1750.  If you are willing to spend $1300, what's an extra $450?  At the end of the day both amounts are a lot of money so it just boils down to the sound you want.  JH Audio has an incredible reputation on Head-Fi.  So if I had to buy without trying them first, I'd probably just trust getting the JH-3A for a little extra money.

 

I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just making a prediction for how sales will be.  By including a Portable DAC_AMP+EQ in one package deal, I think a lot of people are going to look at the JH-3A as an incredible deal in comparison to buying stuff separately.

 

What I find really interesting was that JH Audio was the company that basically pushed everybody into the idea that an IEM could be worth $1K+.  There were $1K IEMs before JH Audio, but they were generally reported to be underperforming for the price in comparison to full sized headphones.  JH Audio somewhat set a new "High" price for what a custom is worth.

 

Now suddenly they've done a little bit of the opposite.  They've set a new "low" price for what an all inclusive package should cost.

 

It's all very interesting (to me)...

 

I would not see this as a sound buy at all. With my fair experience on sound reinforcement and home audio/ht... and anyone who's serious about sound knows that an ALL-IN-ONE solution is a trade-off in itself. For $1700 you get your hands tied on the JH-3A. You need the amp/xover/eq/dsp (prepare to color your sound to your liking) to make the IEM work and vice versa (talk about proprietary). If it works then it works but I would rather have me some wiggle room for upgrade if needed must. JH-3A is a commitment buy. IEM with it's own customizable XOVER on the other hand is more bankable and is to my preference.


Edited by ThEvil0nE - 6/7/10 at 2:41pm
post #20 of 5542

The poster above just beat me to it..... but I was going to bring up the fact that "audiophiles" in general are an extremely jumpy lot. They like to switch things in and out of their system quite often, and the more options the better. The new JH-3A is very innovative and might in fact be objectively better.... but I just can't see someone living with it, being satisfied with it, and not getting to tweak cables, switch DACs, and otherwise be finnicky.

 

Just think of all the people who proclaimed that the JH-13 was the ultimate end-all product, and they were done upgrading. Many of them have added new items to their collection since them (like T1, HE5, and others) and a decent number have even sold their JH13 altogether.

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my JH13s and think the JH-A3 is something special. But I'm also excited to maybe try the ES5 one of these days.

post #21 of 5542


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post
Just think of all the people who proclaimed that the JH-13 was the ultimate end-all product, and they were done upgrading. Many of them have added new items to their collection since them (like T1, HE5, and others) and a decent number have even sold their JH13 altogether.


I definitely agree with you on that point.  I actually found it quite amusing when people who declared the JH13 as the endgame were basically ready to write a check right there at the JH Audio stand!  Sometimes a lot of the fun in audio is trying new stuff.  This isn't an insult directed at anybody - rather just an amusing reflection on audio land and the so called end of our journeys.

 

I do agree that the JH3 needing one specific external box is going to be too limiting for some people. At the same time, this thread is basically empty and the JH3A thread is exploding.  It's obvious where people's hearts are right now.  The "All in one" solution seems like a great motivator and magnet for many people.

 

Hopefully once the JH-3A hype machine finishes its cycle people will look here :)


Edited by odigg - 6/7/10 at 6:47pm
post #22 of 5542


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post


 


I definitely agree with you on that point.  I actually found it quite amusing when people who declared the JH13 as the endgame were basically ready to write a check right there at the JH Audio stand!  Sometimes a lot of the fun in audio is trying new stuff.  This isn't an insult directed at anybody - rather just an amusing reflection on audio land and the so called end of our journeys.

 

I do agree that the JH3 needing one specific external box is going to be too limiting for some people. At the same time, this thread is basically empty and the JH3A thread is exploding.  It's obvious where people's hearts are right now.  The "All in one" solution seems like a great motivator and magnet for many people.

 

Hopefully once the JH-3A hype machine finishes its cycle people will look here :)

If you've noticed at the CANJAM, the JH Audio booth is never a dull moment the most concentration of jammers were in that room and am so saddened to see that only a few took time to sit and listen to the ES5... For those that weren't brave enough to give the ES5 a whirl missed one of the highlights of the event.

 

When the dust cloud settles we know that an all-in-one solution is a nice concept but not a fit practice :/
 


Edited by ThEvil0nE - 6/7/10 at 7:18pm
post #23 of 5542


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThEvil0nE View Post

as the good man behind the Westone booth  said (which I agree 100%)... it's sound is not measured by the number of drivers.


I agree on that "sound is not measured by the number of drivers".  I'm an ES3X owner as well.  However, it seems that Westone is led by JH in terms of the SQ.  To me the JH3A is more promising.  

 

The reason that I'm saying this is the JH3A is going to the "advanced" path of active cross over.  The problem of single driver speaker is that not one single driver can output the whole audio spectrum adequately.  So people went to multi-driver speakers.  The problem of multi-driver speakers is the cross over so that different frequency range "arrives" the drivers at different time.  Also, the frequency range leaks to the other drivers.  Hence 3-driver bookshelf speakers are relatively rare.  It's not un-rare to find some cheaply designed 3-driver bookshelf speakers not sound coherent and 2-driver bookshelf speakers are in the main stream.

 

 For multi-speaker systems, the price is usually huge, in the order of 100k.  Also electronic cross-over is used in this system to achieve the best of the two worlds: more speakers to reproduce the whole audio spectrum and the interference between them minimized.  I never touch this type of system but know a guy who did this before.  The difficulties was to calibrate the cross-over for each of the driver of his speaker, the interference of the room acoustics, ... has made the process very lengthen and full of frustrations.  Once he changes his speakers, it seems that at least another recalibration is required again.

 

The JH3A is essentially a miniature of a 3-driver speaker system in form of an IEM.  The room acoustics problems have been solved because it's an IEM; the calibration has been done by the designer of the IEM, hence the lengthly calibration process has been eliminated.

 

Hence a way I saw Westone can lead the race again was to design a better mult-driver IEM with say sub-bass, bass, mid, high, ultra-high.  I sincerely hope that the ES5 can outperform the JH3A because the JH3A needs digital input to max its potential while ES5 can be used with my existing rigs. 

 

A bit of side track, can anyone tell me the meaning of "X", I mean, ES3, ES3X.  Why this model not called ES5X?  Just being curious.

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 5542

I'm sure the 'X' is just being reserved for a future potential minor upgrade or modification.  

post #25 of 5542

ThEvil0nE - Yes, I think the JH Audio booth was the most chaotic out of all the vendors.  I do agree with you that a lot of people made a mistake by missing the ES5.  Myself, I regret not getting a 3rd (or 4th!) audition with the ES5.

 

GreenLeo -Well let me say this.  Active systems are great, but you can still have fantastic reproduction from a passive design.  I don't really agree with the people who are saying the JH3A is on "another level."  It was nice, but I felt the primary difference (if you exclude the adjustable bass) was a little more energy in the treble in comparison to the JH13/16. This gave a better sense of air and detail.  Being able to reduce the bass also helped to add some clarity to the sound.  Everything is a blur from CanJam so please don't quote me on these impressions.

 

Jerry himself said that one of the benefits of the active design is better treble extension.  The drivers in the JH13/16 can do this, but the limitation is apparently the passive crossover.  We have to take his word for it since It's not like we can buy our own resistors and capacitors and fiddle with it.   

 

Again, once the hype and FOTM phenomenon comes down a I think there will be more people who share my opinion that the JH3A is a refinement of the JH13/JH16, not "another level"

 

I don't think the JH3A is better than the ES5.  I think the ES5 will stand on it's own since it has it's own sound sig, is extended well in treble and bass and is not a copy of the JH sound.  I don't think there is a need to add more drivers - if you hear it you may agree with me.

 

Amusingly enough, I remember a short conversation where somebody asked me about the driver configuration and I said 5 drivers, only one for bass.  Their face (and interest) just dropped and they hadn't even listened to it.  It's quite sad because there are even some single BA driver IEMs that sound great. 

 

Anyway, I feel like I might come off as a fanboi.  Probably I just feel a little guilty that this gem did not get the attention it deserved because it "only" had five drivers.  Not sure why I feel guilty.  Perhaps I could have been more vocal among all the people who were running around driving people to the JH Audio room.

 


Edited by odigg - 6/7/10 at 8:18pm
post #26 of 5542

 

Amusingly enough, I remember a short conversation where somebody asked me about the driver configuration and I said 5 drivers, only one for bass.  Their face (and interest) just dropped and they hadn't even listened to it.  It's quite sad because there are even some single BA driver IEMs that sound great. 

 


While I do agree that driver number is not the most important consideration by any stretch of the imagination.  Hearing that a single armature is used to represent bass does leave one wondering from a theoretical standpoint whether enough air is gonna get moved around at those frequencies.

post #27 of 5542


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


While I do agree that driver number is not the most important consideration by any stretch of the imagination.  Hearing that a single armature is used to represent bass does leave one wondering from a theoretical standpoint whether enough air is gonna get moved around at those frequencies.


 

Well I think it depends on what you mean by "enough air."  The ES5 is NOT a bass heavy phone.  However, there was enough energy down there for music to be represented well without *audible* rolloff.  It was a pretty big sized driver!

 

Please note that I could not test the bass reproduction extensively in that demo environment.

 

Even the ETY ER4 has great bass extension with one driver for the whole FR!  With a simple bass boost (I've tried it with a parametric EQ) you can reproduce a lot of bass from ETYs single driver.  I even EQed the ES5 (just for fun) and the bass grew well, without distortion or problems.

 

Stuffing more bass drivers into an IEM may increase bass quantity and maximum headroom, but I don't know if more than one driver is required if you want something that is designed for a more "flat" sound.

post #28 of 5542
Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post

 

 

GreenLeo -...

 


Thanks for the lengthly reply.  I truly appreciate it!  

 

I wish that I could hear the ES5 but going aboard for the CanJam is a luxury that I simply can't afford at the moment.  I envy you guys truly.

post #29 of 5542


Quote:

Originally Posted by odigg View Post


 

Well I think it depends on what you mean by "enough air."  The ES5 is NOT a bass heavy phone.  However, there was enough energy down there for music to be represented well without *audible* rolloff.  It was a pretty big sized driver!

 

Please note that I could not test the bass reproduction extensively in that demo environment.

 

Even the ETY ER4 has great bass extension with one driver for the whole FR!  With a simple bass boost (I've tried it with a parametric EQ) you can reproduce a lot of bass from ETYs single driver.  I even EQed the ES5 (just for fun) and the bass grew well, without distortion or problems.

 

Stuffing more bass drivers into an IEM may increase bass quantity and maximum headroom, but I don't know if more than one driver is required if you want something that is designed for a more "flat" sound.


Absolutely. I won't argue against multiple bass divers but I don't see it as technically essential. My Triple-Fi's do a pretty nice job on bass and I expect that these well better them. In the end, Westone created what they believe is a balanced and enjoyable IEM. It sounds like they got the sparkling treble in the soundstage just right. That is my passion.

 

I wish I could have attended at CanJam to hear these! 7,500 miles was too far...
 


Edited by cooperpwc - 6/8/10 at 12:15am
post #30 of 5542
Did anyone listen to the JH 3As on this thread? Seems like a lot of you attended can jam so some direct comparisons would be most enlightening...
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