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Westone ES5 - Page 352

post #5266 of 5542

I just sold off my SA5K's after many years with them. Staring into the sun, that's about right. 

 

Well, I have wanted a good cable for a while. Order in to try the Symbiote - thanks to Girls Generation. 

 

You guys don't think there is undeniable high end roll-off? It is a classic trait of BA's, The high end sparkle isn't there like it is with a full-size dynamic. 

post #5267 of 5542
No you're right in saying that the hi end is attenuated, otherwise I wouldn't be able to listen to them for sustained bouts (much like I can't listen to the 5ks for too long due to its treble energy), but I feel like the amount of treble is enough to lend things like cymbals credible energy. I'm often more bothered by the sub bass quantity on the ES5 if anything. Anyway, looking forward to your thoughts on the cable. I've never been one to believe in aftermarket cables so itd be interesting to hear the thoughts of another skeptic
post #5268 of 5542

I completely agree with you. Credible energy for sure. Aside from the SA5000 though, there is still some missing shimmer and air in the high end of every BA driver I've ever heard. That's all I am saying. And in comparison, it can sound dark and congested. By itself, it doesn't necessarily sound so. It's definitely not fatiguing. 

post #5269 of 5542
Well the ES5 and most other hi end CIEMs are designed as monitoring solutions for on stage musicians, so they are tuned the way they are for the intention of conveying as much information as possible whilst protecting the musician's hearing. I'd imagine that sustained listening comfort has to take precedence over absolute frequency reproduction. I think that head Fi being what it is, it is easy to forget what these things were originally designed for since we look at them like expensive consumer toys lol
post #5270 of 5542

Fair enough, but if the sonic signature is catered for such a sound, why does it interest the audiophile crowd?

post #5271 of 5542
Well... the overwhelming majority of us latch onto glowing hype and praise. It's hard to deny that pretty much all of us depend upon others for evaluations of what's overwhelmingly subjective. My ideal is likely far from being someone else's, and his "experience" isn't likely to be shared amongst an entire collective of individuals. A good number maybe, but certainly not all, as there will always be detractors, and those with different tolerances, preferences, and different gear to eke out whatever 10% extra performance that can be gained from a chain (and that 5% might mean more to them holistically than it would to someone else). That being said, I suppose once a "credible" individual weighs in on a phone, it breeds excitement, and when a credible manufacturer, like Westone releases a flagship phone, enthusiasts are naturally drawn to it. Once a large enough audience has had some time with the phones in question, we can draw some basic conclusions from the aggregation. And even that is a leap of faith! My "bright" could be someone else's dark, his microdetail could be an embellishment, perhaps I'd only find it to be moderately resolving? It's a vicious cycle, and our wallets are the victims
Edited by Idsynchrono_24 - 11/28/12 at 3:49pm
post #5272 of 5542
Yes, exactly. Very well said. This should be a disclaimer or caveat noted to all joining members. One of the better posts I've had the pleasure to read around here.
post #5273 of 5542

Well I quite disagree with the last few posts. A delicate rendering of treble is one of the keys to "audiophile" (if we must use this term). Even Etymotic acknowledges that most will prefer the ER4S or ER4P to the ER4B. The ER4S is generally considered the "audiophile" choice. The ER4B is more accurate in its treble and simply too bright.

 

Speaking of which, if flat frequency response equals "audiophile", why not just get the ER4S (or ER4B)? They won't sound as good as the ES5 but you will save a bunch of cash and they will be more "audiophile" by that definition.

 

Lastly the ES5 is very much a hybrid monitoring/consumer offering. Westone used to distinguish the two by providing a mid hump for stage monitoring. That ended with the ES5. I am also quite certain that the majority of their sales are consumer. They have a successful product - a good one too.

post #5274 of 5542

cooper, your thoughts are well taken. 

 

I did not understand a natural or "a delicate rendering" of treble until I heard the MG6Pro. It has the least amount, quantitatively speaking, of treble produced. Many admire it for its most natural reproduction. When listening to live performances in a concert hall, by comparison, the vast majority of treble by headphones is definitely too bright by my standards. 

 

But there is a big difference between receiving a cymbal crash from 20 yards out and being the percussion musician himself.

 

So with your points in mind, cooper, is what is the most fun in headphone reproduction the most "audiophile?" Having done a head-to-head with Stax 009 and my Fostex TH900, there's no doubt that I would mostly prefer my heavily colored, more "inaccurate" sound of the Fostex for electronic dance music. It's more fun in an engaging way, not an accurate way. 

 

Having said all this, in A/B's with the ES5 and the Sig Pro, I find the ES5 midrange to be thicker and more lush than the SP, in an unnatural way. I think the SP mids are just simply more true, accurate and natural. In the same vein, the ES5 highs are probably more natural, but the SP highs are enveloping, shimmering, and engaging like the ES5 can never be. They border brightness, but are not. It's magic. Combine those natural mids, shimmering highs, and the rumble of dynamic best-in-the-business bass, and it is hard for the ES5 to directly compare. For me, I need to add some shimmer and rumble, and reduce the thickness of the mids to make it sound more neutral. With my EQ, I don't think I added a "v-curve" - I think I made it flatter. Look at the measurements. Even then, it's still more mid-centric than a truly neutral phone. 

 

The fact of the matter is BA high end is rolled off. It just is when compared to dynamic/ortho/stat cans - which many are definitely too bright. So what is right/correct? Do we compare all to the 009? What is considered audiophile? Fun? Accurate? 

 

I think most of it boils down to personal preference and what you like. For me, there's magic in the SP highs the ES5 will never have. And the ES5 has punch and a clean forwardness the SP will never have. 

 

Also, please don't confuse "dark and congested" to mean that the ES5 isn't super clean and tight - which it is. In soundstage and sparkle, BA's are rolled off. That's what I mean. 

post #5275 of 5542

Soundfreq, I agree with you. I have the Ultrasone Sig. Pro and the Westone ES5. When I use both with my Ibasso Dx100 and Alo Mk3b amp I hear darkish mids and slightly rolled off highs. The Ultrasones are much cleaner and detailed. They can be bright. I equalize down the top end and the midbass and the sound is better. I cannot equalize the Westones to sound open no matter what settings. I have tried Silver Dragons and Toxic Silver Cables on the ES5 and still can't get that transparency. I sure don't want to go through other impressions and other in ear phones which sell for 1000.00 and not like them as well. It is a lot easier to try over the ear phones. I am going to have to use my Ultrasone's when I travel. the ES5 just won't cut it. I also have HIFIMAN HE 500 and find those more transparent than the ES5. I use to own the AT3000ANV and sold as they were too colored for me. People say the Heir Audio 8A is good, but I don't want to take a chance.

post #5276 of 5542
Amen, brother. Amen. That's exactly how I feel. Every last part.
post #5277 of 5542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post

Well the ES5 and most other hi end CIEMs are designed as monitoring solutions for on stage musicians, so they are tuned the way they are for the intention of conveying as much information as possible whilst protecting the musician's hearing. I'd imagine that sustained listening comfort has to take precedence over absolute frequency reproduction. I think that head Fi being what it is, it is easy to forget what these things were originally designed for since we look at them like expensive consumer toys lol

Originally designed that way, yes, but in the past few years I think the design technology and growing portable listening audiophile crowd has forced companies to make more audiophile type CIEM's with huge soundstages or hyper trebles sort of going away from the dedicated stage monitor sound (like UM3X) and getting these things to sound more and more like headphones.

post #5278 of 5542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idsynchrono_24 View Post

No you're right in saying that the hi end is attenuated, otherwise I wouldn't be able to listen to them for sustained bouts (much like I can't listen to the 5ks for too long due to its treble energy), but I feel like the amount of treble is enough to lend things like cymbals credible energy. I'm often more bothered by the sub bass quantity on the ES5 if anything. Anyway, looking forward to your thoughts on the cable. I've never been one to believe in aftermarket cables so itd be interesting to hear the thoughts of another skeptic

Fairly new owner of ES5s and a long time cable skeptic.  Purchased them to use at work and I was not happy with the treble presentation of the ES5 with the stock cable - they lacked the treble   prominence that I had expected from them.  I replaced the stock cables with Silver Dragons - for me the difference was immediately obvious and not subtle - enhanced treble clarity and a treble prominence that for me was much more synergistic with the mids and lows.  An added benefit was an improved clarity in the bass.  I still wouldn't consider the treble at all bright or super transparent, but now the overall presentation is much more satisfying.  The cable upgrade has been one of my more satisfying audio purchases.  They still aren't my go to for listening at home though...  MacBook Pro > Pure Music (integer mode) > Solo -db > Pico > ES5

post #5279 of 5542
Do you have other headphones for home use?

Looking forward to see what the new cable renders.
post #5280 of 5542
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

Do you have other headphones for home use?
Looking forward to see what the new cable renders.

Nothing that I would prefer more than the ES5s.  My older headphones are IE7s and SR125s.  Finding the work system somewhat addictive though, so I am getting seriously tempted for a higher end headphone for home.  I wanted a work / travel system that would be a satisfying musically - it didn't need to be perfect.  Perfection would probably be too much of a distraction at work! At home I still greatly prefer my big rig, which has a Mac Mini > Pure Music (integer mode) > QB9 as the source.  I've actually run my QB9 > Pico > ES5 - it is a really fun combo with great dynamics and improved transparency over my work system, but even with that, the ES5s don't come close to the transparency of the big rig.

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