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Westone UM2 impressions

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I know there has been a lot on westone UM2, but I'd still like to share some of my impressions about the IEM. I am fairly new to the earphone world, having gone through a few pairs of Yuins (pk3 and ok2), koss (ksc75 and portapro) and some lower budget IEMs ( cx300, Ep-630, SE310). This is my first review and I hope it would be somehow good for readers :)

 

Setup

I have been listening to UM2 on my iphone 3GS, which I think is a really good DAP. Unamped, as it was mainly used portably and as far as I know, um2 do not need amp, although they might scale up nicely with a good one. I tried it with a Fiio E5 but could not hear any difference but louder volume.

 

Build Quality

 

these are built like a tank. The cable looks fragile, but it's really good quality and it's durable. It is twisted around, I don't know if it's handmade or not, but it's really soft and provides good feeling around the ears, which does not get worse over the time.

Same thing with the jack, looks really durable and well constructed. Same one as the Westone UM3X.

The cable is quite tangle-free, I believe to the rugged design and having had them for 3 weeks, it only tangled ONCE at One place. Seriously :)

 

Comfort

 

Amazing. with the stock comply tips, I do not feel the IEMs at all even though I listen to houes. The cable is nearly unnoticeable as well when worn over ears, it's really soft and comfortable. It's definitely the most comfortable I have used so far and it's really easy to put on.

One thing I do mind about the cable is that the point where the cable separates into the two earphones( the 'Y' bit) is a bit too close to the top and close to the chin, which might not be good for workouts maybe or activities.

 

Isolation and Microphonics

 

Isolation is really good with all the tips I tried( sillicone, comply P-series, Shure olives and yellow foamies). As for Microphonics, nearly none as far as I can hear, the cable is really good.

 

Sound Quality

 

I have used it unamped and the sound is terrific. the overall sound signature is on the warm side, which might not be good for analytical listening. The music coming from these phones is very musical, smooth, fun and ideal for travelling by bus or tube, where it is more about music enjoyment. While warm, there is still quite a bit of detail and good instrument separation.

 

the bass sounds, to me, quite natural, although there is some colouring to the warm side. While some might say there is not much of it, it's very punchy and precise. Comparing them to Shure SE310, ther eis much more of it and is much better delivered.

 

The mids were very warm and coloured, very forward and had the impact on the hights as well. I believe the colouring of the bass influences the mids as well, making them sound warm.

 

The heights were a little recessed and pushed backwards due to the overall warmth.

 

The soundstage sounds deep and wide, although a bit close as the phone is so warm. Using the stock comply tips, I set the EQ on my iPhone to Treble Booster, with which they open up quite nicely.

 

 

Overall impression

 

As mentioned before, this IEM is quite warm and not for people seeking analytical listening, rather than a fun and musical sound, but still able to deliver quite a bit of detail (enogh for me). I really enjoy the music listening to these and do not have to focus looking for anything.

I would definitely not recommend these to anyone listening to classical music nor hardcore jazz listener, but for example for Rock, Pop and hip hop they are excellent. I do not listen to techno so cannot rate them for techno. For me, these are simply awesome, mainly for portable use. Comfortable, light and musical.

 

Although a bit pricey, I would recommend these to anyone looking for an upgrade from the range of 75-100 dollars, who are looking for a good balance between detail and fun. As they don't need an amp, they are great for portability.

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment & Critique or some questions :) I am still quite a newbie, so might not know that much yet, but these are my impressions.

 

 

 

post #2 of 21

Great impressions! I really like the UM2 - they are very musical and natural sounding IEMs IMO.

post #3 of 21

nice impressions and nice to see an old work horse getting some review attention.  many oldies so often get ignored just due to their age even though they are still great.  these however ive never thought were great.  bland, inoffonsive and in no way justify the price tag westone seem to think they deserve.  £190!!!! i sooooo dont think so

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

that might be true, but I got them for £90 barely used, which is a different talk :)

post #5 of 21

oh i agree and if westone priced them like that theyd get more love.  however they were once claimed to be almost as good as the se530 and tf10 which they just arent but their price tag suggested they should be very close.  not a bad IEM just over priced.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have never tried SE530 nor TripleFis but it is my intention to do so in the future :) As I said, I am still quite new but hopefully will go deeper into the hobby. My wallet protests a lot though :) 

 

And I thought it would be good to post an impression thread since half of threads on this forum are asking to recommend IEMs. 


Edited by mitkooo - 6/14/10 at 11:15am
post #7 of 21

Personally, I prefer the UM2 over Triple.fi - Westones just sound better balanced to my ears. The Triple.fi is a real faliure for a triple driver IEM IMO. SE530 beats both by a long shot IMO.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

how about SE530 and UM3X?

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Personally, I prefer the UM2 over Triple.fi - Westones just sound better balanced to my ears. The Triple.fi is a real faliure for a triple driver IEM IMO. SE530 beats both by a long shot IMO.


yeah i can almost agree with you, the TF10 are in no way balanced but they do simply convey far more than the UM2 do, they take the edge off so much i feel its clarity suffers which is why i feel they never ought to have been thought of as being on a par with the TF10 SE530 or now the UM3x. 

 

as for the 530 well it is my fav IEM for good reason

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist View Post

Personally, I prefer the UM2 over Triple.fi - Westones just sound better balanced to my ears. The Triple.fi is a real faliure for a triple driver IEM IMO. SE530 beats both by a long shot IMO.



I agree with you, I own both and I find the UM2 are more balanced. Hands down they outperform the TF10 in comfort and fit too. I wished they had the UM2 with the replaceable cable version when I bought them... oh well

post #11 of 21

The TF10 was in no way a failure, it's just showing its age. It was definitely top tier in its day.

post #12 of 21

well i think they are arguing the TF10 was a failure in terms of being  balanced.  it has a very V shaped sound sig so in that sense it was a huge failure.

 

btw the UM2 is much older than the TF10

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hearing this I don't think TF10 is for me. But I definitely want to try the SE530. Anyone can compare um3x with SE530? I have heard the um3x and really liked it. 

post #14 of 21

Yes, major "clarity" problem with TFP10 IMHO.

 

UM3X versus SE530

 

Bass:  Pretty similar, pretty tight with decent slam.

 

Midrange:  Pretty similar, both somewhat forward, smooth and luscious.

 

Treble:  Also pretty similar in that there is a slight roll-off but UM3X may reveal just a bit more.

 

Soundstage:  This is the big difference.  UM3X is very closed in sounding, almost congested to some ears but does have outstanding instrument separation.  SE530 is more open sounding and a bit funner to listen to IMHO.  SE530 sounds more natural for pleasure listening.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Alright, thanks :) 

 

I think I would choose the UM3x as I love how westones fit and especially the cable, which is really soft and comfortable. well, time to save more cash on an upgrade :) 

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