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Westone 4 Appreciation Thread and Reviews (a.k.a. Westone 4 ?) - Page 17

post #241 of 5326

A "problem" with this hobby is that we are at a point in history where significant improvements continue to come through the door.  Frankly, I don't have enough hours on my UM3x (with replaceable cables) to consider replacing it.  And I also feel that a $450 earphone should have.replaceable cables, no matter how good the stock cable is.  I don't have any wearability issues due to the UM3x's replaceable cables. 

 

However, I must admit that HeadphoneAddict's review tempted me.  I do feel that I would appreciate some of the differences he noted for the Westone 4. But I will be "strong".  At least for a while.  As much as I enjoy the technology, for me it is really about the music.


Edited by otello66 - 1/5/11 at 3:33pm
post #242 of 5326
Thread Starter 

REF: the whole fixed cable vs. replaceable cable issue.

 

What if I tell you all that Earphone Solutions has hard data collected since the first replaceable cable universal earphones were launched that supports, without a doubt, and by a huge margin, that earphones with replaceable cables fail much more often and at a much higher rate than earphones with fixed cables?

 

I completely understand the perception that with removable cables, one may feel "safer". The only products we don't have enough data yet because they are relatively too new, are the SE535, SE425, SE315, UM2-RC & UM3X-RC.

 

I have a set of UM2s that are completing 5 years now.

 

Another aspect to consider. When the cable fails on an earphone with fixed cables, they get replaced or repaired at no charge for the first 2 years (after submitting registration, etc.) under the manufacturers' warranty.

 

When the cable fails on an earphone with replaceable cables, the first and most common action is to buy a new set of cables.

 

This could be big business. We sold many thousands of cables back in the day. Customers wouldn't think twice between trying to enter a warranty claim with the manufacturer or simply buy new cables.

 

So my question is: is that BETTER for the consumer? I don't think so. My everyday set is a fixed cable UM3X. I also love my SE535 but the way Shure built these cables it seems these would never fail hence never replaced.

 

I think in Shure's and Westone's case it's the manufacturer responding to demand and desire. It's the perception of the end user that replaceable cables are better, which honestly, I don't share that view. Because I know the return rate and the sales of replaceable cables, and the calls and feedbacks we receive from our customers. Hard data collected for several years.

 

The problem, I think, is because once you have a replaceable cable, you have just created a "weak link": the connection.

 

One needs to re-think the "freedom" of being able to replace ( = buy) cables every so many months (sometimes weeks).

 

I have had this conversation with numerous customers and manufacturers. It's difficult not to offer replaceable cables given the perception and desire for them. I will stick with my fixed cable set. Less moving parts, less connections, to me, equals simpler, more reliable and ultimately better.

 

Just my 2 cents.


Edited by Flavio T - 1/5/11 at 6:37pm
post #243 of 5326

Great post Flavio.  I fully agree with that train of thinking.

post #244 of 5326

those who want replaceable cables are thinking at the back of their minds that soon their cables might break and get tangled or whatever. fixed cables are much more convenient imo

post #245 of 5326

Nooo, they're thinking that the cables that come with it are inferior and they need some silver/gold/crystal cable to boost the sound quality of the Westone 4 immediately.

 

Seriously, what i think is in case one of the ear piece isn't working, one can easily switch the left/right cable connectors to verify. If its indeed the cable's problem, one doesn't have to go all the way to westone RMA for a replacement, just changing the cable will fix it. May not be much of a difference for you guys in U.S., for us in overseas where we have to mail the earpiece overseas and wait for an uncertain time, that matters a lot.

post #246 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

These are a further refinement of the UM3X as well.


Meh, the last thing we need is further refinement from the UM3X; the UM3X is already too refined and boring, what we need is something that's less refined and more exciting than the UM3X; the SM3 is superior to the UM3X for that reason.


Edited by scytheavatar - 1/5/11 at 11:22pm
post #247 of 5326

I would've bought this too but no replaceable cables.  That's a HUGE turnoff =(

post #248 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post

Meh, the last thing we need is further refinement from the UM3X; the UM3X is already too refined and boring, what we need is something that's less refined and more exciting than the UM3X; the SM3 is superior to the UM3X for that reason.



Yawn!!! Yeah, whatever.

post #249 of 5326

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the W3 the alternative that you are dreaming of?

 

The W3 in my opinion is great, a real eye opener to what great sound can be like, how important it is to me and how I hate that I can't afford the ES5's :D

 

From what I hear also, the W4 isn't going to be any bassier than the 3 series but has the 4th driver to make the sound less congested, which to me sounds great because I do find that the 3's feel a little too busy on more edgy rock / indie tracks.

 

I'm selling my 3's to  upgrade. Any idea where the best place to sell them would be?

 

People? PEOPLE!!!??? :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD1975 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post

Meh, the last thing we need is further refinement from the UM3X; the UM3X is already too refined and boring, what we need is something that's less refined and more exciting than the UM3X; the SM3 is superior to the UM3X for that reason.



Yawn!!! Yeah, whatever.

post #250 of 5326

NEWS NEWS NEWS

 

Westone new website https://www.westonemusicproducts.com/music-products/pro-audio/custom-fit-pro-audio-0

 

Westone 4 MSRP $639!!!! O_O  ......Pre-order in Feb and get it for intro price of $449!!!

 

Wow so expensive retail price, is it gonna be crazy good?  the website looks pretty good


Edited by fenom60 - 1/6/11 at 5:17am
post #251 of 5326

woops


Edited by fenom60 - 1/6/11 at 5:28am
post #252 of 5326


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavio T View Post

REF: the whole fixed cable vs. replaceable cable issue.

 

What if I tell you all that Earphone Solutions has hard data collected since the first replaceable cable universal earphones were launched that supports, without a doubt, and by a huge margin, that earphones with replaceable cables fail much more often and at a much higher rate than earphones with fixed cables?

 

I completely understand the perception that with removable cables, one may feel "safer". The only products we don't have enough data yet because they are relatively too new, are the SE535, SE425, SE315, UM2-RC & UM3X-RC.

 

I have a set of UM2s that are completing 5 years now.

 

Another aspect to consider. When the cable fails on an earphone with fixed cables, they get replaced or repaired at no charge for the first 2 years (after submitting registration, etc.) under the manufacturers' warranty.

 

When the cable fails on an earphone with replaceable cables, the first and most common action is to buy a new set of cables.

 

This could be big business. We sold many thousands of cables back in the day. Customers wouldn't think twice between trying to enter a warranty claim with the manufacturer or simply buy new cables.

 

So my question is: is that BETTER for the consumer? I don't think so. My everyday set is a fixed cable UM3X. I also love my SE535 but the way Shure built these cables it seems these would never fail hence never replaced.

 

I think in Shure's and Westone's case it's the manufacturer responding to demand and desire. It's the perception of the end user that replaceable cables are better, which honestly, I don't share that view. Because I know the return rate and the sales of replaceable cables, and the calls and feedbacks we receive from our customers. Hard data collected for several years.

 

The problem, I think, is because once you have a replaceable cable, you have just created a "weak link": the connection.

 

One needs to re-think the "freedom" of being able to replace ( = buy) cables every so many months (sometimes weeks).

 

I have had this conversation with numerous customers and manufacturers. It's difficult not to offer replaceable cables given the perception and desire for them. I will stick with my fixed cable set. Less moving parts, less connections, to me, equals simpler, more reliable and ultimately better.

 

Just my 2 cents.


No offence to you personally, Flavio, but the fact that you work for Earphone Solutions -- a company that has a clear interest in selling this new expensive product -- makes your post somewhat awkward.

 

The huge margin you refer to very likely has a lot to do with the TF10, whose detachable cable is known to be of substandard quality and nothing like the Westone (ES) detachable cable. Also, the TF10 connector is known to be of similar quality, ie not very good or as you call it "a weak link". You yourself admitted there's not enough data to talk about the recent UM2 & UM3X with detachable cables. If what you said were true, why is it that the vast majority, ie not all, of custom IEMs come with the detachable cables? That has been the industry standard for many years now.

 

Apart from the TF10 substandard cable & connector quality, there's no reports that I know of of the new UM2, UM3X (and Sennheiser IE8) issues with their detachable cables. Also, although a couple of people don't like the UM2/ UM3X memory wire, I find it very useful both on my ES3X & UM3X, and the memory wire is also used in pretty much all custom IEMs. In addition, the Westone ES cables can be had in different lengths - I personally prefer the longer 64" cable as opposed to the 50" standard length. Ultimate Ears sell 2 different lengths, too, 48" & 64". Although I don't believe in cables making a difference in SQ -- I think it's pretty much snake oil --, for those who do, they have the option of getting one of those expensive aftermarket cables.

 

On the subject of durability, I don't doubt you have had your UM2s for 5 years. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and there are many reports of people having cable issues after, or within, the 1 or 2-year warranty period. The fact is that not everyone treats their IEMs equally.

 

On a related note, both UM2 & UM3X with detachable cables come with quite a few more accessories than the UM2 & UM3X with fixed cables - you get 6 more different eartips, a 1/4" headphone adaptor, and an inline volume control:

 

UM3X_Package_1_1.jpgUM3X_RC_Package_2_1.jpg


Edited by music_4321 - 1/6/11 at 6:00am
post #253 of 5326

music_4321, thank you for this post which is spot on IMHO. Not all replaceable cables are created equal so the generalisation does not work.

 

By way of supporting example, my Triple-fi's upgraded to a modified ES cable has been a bullet proof combination, only retired now by the ES5's arrival. It was made possible by swapping cables, i.e. crappy UE for silky Westone. It is nice to have options, especially when you are dropping $400 as I did and as the new W4 is demanding.


Edited by cooperpwc - 1/6/11 at 6:11am
post #254 of 5326

Is there any place other than Earphone Solutions where I can make a preorder? I need shipping to Russia.

post #255 of 5326

I'm also with music_4321 on this (a really good post).  This is the kind of discussion that makes these forums valuable.  I would like to add one additional observation:  Very expensive custom earphones invariably come with replaceable cables.  One would think that if replaceable cable relaibility was an issue, these vendors wouldn't be using them on $1000 plus earphones.

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