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If I like Westone UM3X signature, which full-size cans should I try?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

If I really enjoy the Westone UM3x sound signature, can anyone recommend a full-size headphone that would be similar? From my quick research, maybe Grado's 225i's or AKG K701's?



post #2 of 18

Grados does not sound like any Westones, but they do share a common forward midrange though and somewhat small soundstage. The rest of the sound spectrum is not really alike at all. I had the SR-225 and UM3x at one time and the grado sounded a lot more dynamic and energetic probably because of its bright sound. The bass on the UM3x however is more impactful and hits the lower notes with more body.  I'm not sure about the K701 but are you looking to retain the closed soundstage of the UM3x?


I enjoy both the Grado and Westone sound signature a lot even though they do not sound alike.

post #3 of 18

From cheaper stuff, I tried the MS-1s, AKG701s, the ADH700s and none have the bass that the westones have without using a dark amp or earthy tube amp to bump it up, and even then I wasn't happy. The Sennheiser eh-350s come closest in my experience, and your top end will be brighter by about 1 or 2db on the upper end of the cymbal range (11khz and up), and the sub 60hz bass is weaker in comparison, but they are the closest I've heard of the 4 in the budget range. Heard good things about the ATH-50s, but havn't heard them personally. If you can find a pair to audition, I'd consider looking at those.

From higher end stuff; I found the Denon 7000s to be what I thought the closest match was between the HD800s, D5000s, D7000s, and HD600s with the 5000s and the HD800s coming in a close second for different reasons. The Senns typically have a weaker bass, the Denon's a slightly recessed midrange (compared to the UM3x).

The tough part is finding a headphone that matches the bass output without sacking something else, best of luck.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions!


The 2 features that I really like about the UM3x are the instrument separation and bass presence. I really don't have much experience with full-size headphones so I don't even know where to start. Figured since the UM3x are fairly balanced but slightly mid-forward, something like K701s or Grados would be somewhere to start.


I'm guessing the K701s would be leaps and bounds better presenting details since the UM3x are slightly rolled off in the highs but would lack the bass?

post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by shiaulou View Post



I'm guessing the K701s would be leaps and bounds better presenting details since the UM3x are slightly rolled off in the highs but would lack the bass?

k701 is very diiferent than um3x.um3x is warm and rolled off in the highs while the 701 is very sharp and bright.detail wise and instrument seperation,k701 is much much better,no comparison really.

its hard to compare an iem to an open can,its very different experiance.FWIW,i thought um3x is like the hd650 in tonality but one is very forward and one is very laid back.

post #6 of 18

the first thing that comes to my mind is DT250/80, both of them can for studio tools, same warm and very smooth sounding, same midrange centric, but um3x has more forward vocal from what I remember.

post #7 of 18

Maybe a Shure SRH840 would suit your tastes?

post #8 of 18

If you want a similar sound signature to what you have with the UM3X, I would think you'd want something that sounds natural, fairly intimate, with a warm signature but still fairly balanced.  The UM3X isn't flat-flat in its frequency response but it's not an EQ smile with bloated bass and bloated treble. 


The UM3X is not a super sparkly earphone, like the Er4p or the PFE with light filters.  It's mellow without being overly dark and bassy.  The mids are there, but not as in-your-face as with the SE530.  


If I were comparing it to any in the Grado line, I'd go for a Grado with the least emphatic highs.  Grado doesn't make a dark headphone but it does make some - like the SR325 - that get nasty grams for HF spikes (though I think a lot of that griping is misplaced).  To my ears (and Headroom's FR graphs), the SR60 has the mellowest response.  It doesn't poke above flat until just before 2 kHz (where it has the lowest spike in the Prestige line - half that of the 325).  From 3-6.5 kHz, it only spikes above flat at about 4.5 kHz, and only by about a deciBel.  Its highest peak (+5), between 8-9 kHz, is the lowest in the Prestige line - about 5 dB below the SR125 - about 3 dB below the SR225.


If you want something a little darker, you might look at the Sennheiser HD650 or perhaps the HD600.  Right now, I'm test-driving the beyerdynamic T1, which is quite revealing but with a narrower soundstage than the HD800 and more warmth.

post #9 of 18

I instantly thought the HD600/650s. I had the UM3Xs a while back and also wanted a full sized can that compared in signature with the IEMs. I went and got some K702s and, alas, they don't sound the same. The 702s are brighter and more neutral; showing me that the UM3Xs had a bloated bass and a pushed midrange. (not saying they didn't sound good, I loved them)


After reading the extensive 701/600 comparisons over in the appreciation thread, people state that the HDs are darker and have more body than the 702s which would resemble the 3Xs more; by how much though is beyond me. 


post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the suggestions. Looks like hd650's may be my best bet, I'll give em a try!

post #11 of 18

Hope you like them man, come back and post your impressions once you get them :)

post #12 of 18

Reviving an old thread


I owned the UM3X RCs very briefly and was happy with them, but opted for the SE535s due to quality control issues with the UM3X and the realization that I really wanted a more "even" sound signature from (what is now my first pair of) high-end IEMs.


That being said, I really-really enjoyed the warmth and forward mid-range presentation of the UM3X.  For male vocals and some guitar I have never experienced a more intimate presentation than the UM3X offered.  Please, no one take any offense to the suggestions above, but I have tried all of the headphones people have recommended (sans the Beyers) and found none of them to be close to the presentation of the UM3X.  Specifically the HD600s - which I owned, were not that similar to the mid-range presentation of the UM3X.


Including the Beyers (which I have not tried yet), are there any other full-size or supra-aural headphones that offer a similar signature to the UM3X?

post #13 of 18

I'm surprised nobody said MP sextetts.  Yes, it's nice to buy new cans but those things have a similar sound style to the hd600 and um3x imo.  They're just hard to drive is their downside

post #14 of 18

I have auditioned UM3X many times.

And own a pair of ES5, which people say is the enhanced version of the UM3X, I feel the same.


I searched a long time to find a pair of cans that could offer me the fluid, intimate sound signature of the ES5.

The only cans that I have found to have a somewhat similar sound signature... (deep breath) LCD2 R2 and the recently acquired Beyerdynamic DT1350.

The UM3X, ES5, LCD2 R2, DT1350 all provide a very intimate, up-close signature which I love.


I have tried a variety of cans... 

- Grados, not even close

- Open-back ful size cans such as Sennheiser HD600, not intimate enough due to the big soundstage, can't really compare

- Portable closed cans ESW9 and TMA-1, too much increase in bass quantity, lack of highs, not similar enough the extended midrange and vocals


Keep in mind, these are my opinions, everyone hears differently.

post #15 of 18

I agree with your assessment of the Grado, Senn and closed cans you mentioned.  The LCD2s are out of my price range at the moment.  The 1350s may be "do-able," but the ES5s seem like a no-brainer at $70.  They've been completely off my radar screen in my 4+ year audiophile career.  They also appear to be about the same size as the PX-100s which I enjoy for certain types of music.  The sound leakage and lack of seal concerns me a bit, but I think I'll have to try these out.  Thanks a lot! 

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