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Shure E4 ----> W3 or UM3X?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So long story short, one of the wires on my E4's has a short (haha), and I am way out of warranty.  I'm considering either the Westone 3 or UM3X; I'm hesitant to go with Shure again due to the cable problem, even if the new SE535 has a detachable cable...

 

Anyway, I've searched a lot on this comparison, but I still haven't been able to discern which sound signature I would prefer of the two Westones.  I really like the way my Shures sound, but they don't have enough bass (that being said, I'm not a basshead either; I just want strong punch).  

 

I listen to a lot of house, downtempo, chillout, jazz, general instrumental, ambient, rock, etc....

I know the UM3X's are more accurate, but I don't know if I want that.  Are the E4's considered accurate?  Are there any guidelines that would allow me to make an educated purchase without trying them out, or would it be safe, in this case, to take a shot in the dark?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1123 View Post

So long story short, one of the wires on my E4's has a short (haha), and I am way out of warranty.  I'm considering either the Westone 3 or UM3X; I'm hesitant to go with Shure again due to the cable problem, even if the new SE535 has a detachable cable...

 

Anyway, I've searched a lot on this comparison, but I still haven't been able to discern which sound signature I would prefer of the two Westones.  I really like the way my Shures sound, but they don't have enough bass (that being said, I'm not a basshead either; I just want strong punch).  

 

I listen to a lot of house, downtempo, chillout, jazz, general instrumental, ambient, rock, etc....

I know the UM3X's are more accurate, but I don't know if I want that.  Are the E4's considered accurate?  Are there any guidelines that would allow me to make an educated purchase without trying them out, or would it be safe, in this case, to take a shot in the dark?

 

Thanks.

 

1st, There are excellent threads devoted to both models and I suggest searching them out and reading them thoroughly before making a decision. 

 

2nd, keep in mind I own the W3's and haven't heard the UM3X's yet and I'm not familiar with the Shure E4. 

 

3rd, Based on what I've read, the UM3X has excellent punch, and it lies a notch below the W3 in depth or impact. It really comes down to what you want as far as presentation is concerned.  The W3 has been described as the more fun of the two and the UM3X is more analytical (it's meant to be a monitor for musicians).  There are pro's and con's to both I guess, but I haven't found a con yet with the W3's, it's like they were made for my taste in presentation.  It's detailed enough for me across all ranges, but I would never call these analytical.  They are the most fun IEM I've owned.  They have a very "dynamic" type of bass for a BA IEM.  I don't find the mids recessed and they are definitely not veiled like the Senn IE8's. The highs definitely shine more then the IE8 as well and some have called them overly bright, but I haven't experienced any sibilance with the Shure olive or Comply tips. They work well for all genre's for me, because they fit my ear, not only comfort wise, but sonically as well.  I guess I really am a basshead, as my favorite IEM's have all been classified as "basshead approved"   so take that for what it's worth.  Best of luck in your search.  

post #3 of 11

I've owned the E4 and I wouldn't refer to them as accurate. I gave them up for the ER4 IIRC which remain to this day as being the most detailed IEM that I've owned. IMO, W3 is very fun and works for me very well but ER4 is more detailed...with much less bass(enter XM5).

 

W3= big step up from E4 IMO.

post #4 of 11

Owned all three for extensive periods.

 

E4 was my first upper tier IEM (about 6 years ago) and I really liked the neutral and balanced sound with the forward midrange. 

 

UM3X is closer to E4 than W3 even though both are big upgrades.  The UM3X will have more bass, slightly more treble and some insane instrument separation, not to be confused with soundstage which will sound very closed in and intimate.  Some like it this way and some find it too congested.  Still, a very great IEM but it IS marketed as a musicians monitor so it is more about exposing the intracacies of the individual instruments and not so much an entire musical presentation.

 

W3 is much bigger and bolder sounding than E4.  It IS about the entire musical presentation and quite fun.  Big bass, very revealing treble, a slightly recessed midrange and a very big soundstage.  It is like IEM on steriods coming from E4.  The bass can be overpowering and overdone to some people but most seem to enjoy it.  It is my next favorite IEM after SE535 and I generally prefer it over UM3X.

 

W2 is another great option.  It is definitely an upgrade over E4 but not as drastic as W3.  W2 is like E4 with 25% more bass, treble and soundstage but still stays very balanced.  Ergonomics, cable and fit are among the best out there.  Highly recommended if you want to save a little $$ while still betting a nice upgrade.  I might go as far as saying W2 is sort of in between UM3X and ER4P.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I just ordered the W3's.  Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

post #6 of 11

Enjoy them.  Either the W3 or UM3X would give you more bass than the e4c.  Both have lower microphonics.  I still have my e4c, but haven't used it in a couple of years due to how much better the multi-driver IEMs perform. 

post #7 of 11

I had a chance recently to try out the W3 and UM3X side by side.  My impression is both are bass heavy as compared to Shure and UE models.  The W3 has more of a 'thump' bass and wider soundstage.  The UM3X has a slightly tighter and cleaner sound.  I'd choose W3 if it was the weekend and I'm out having fun.  The UM3X will better suit me after a hard day work and I'm travel an hour to get home.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I received my W3s a few days ago.  Initially, I thought there was too much bass.  After experimenting with various sleeves, I found the comply tips make the bass muddy and roll off the highs.  The soft flex rubber tips are fantastic.  Perfect fit, almost as comfy as the complys, and no ear wax trouble.  Highs are much clearer but not fatiguing, and bass is much tighter.

 

These earphones are epic; huge upgrade from E4's.  I love the bass response and overall warmness of these.  Not fatiguing at all, which means the claustrophobic soundstage is what fatigued me with the E4's.  Anyway, wow.  I'm super happy.


Edited by mike1123 - 9/17/10 at 8:48pm
post #9 of 11

i'm definately settled on W3's now.

 

Strange i just noticed: my avatar is the W3's because there was no MTPC picture, which is what i thought i was going to be getting about a month back after lurking for a month.  if that makes sense.  it's been staring me in the face all this time.


Edited by frustin - 9/17/10 at 3:16am
post #10 of 11

tried both but chose the um3x cause of a more natural sound and more comfortable over longer listening sessions

post #11 of 11

amazon replaces used iems,

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