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post #3526 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

I wouldn't be so quick to assume this (the bold) BTW.  Tuning can do very odd things to a driver.  I am interested in seeing raw graphs for the W4 though :)

Yes so do I, please let us know how does it looks like ?

post #3527 of 5326
HI guys, rejoining for another tip question...

You've been mentioning the Sony hybrids, so the innocent questions are:

Do they fit the W4's well, or is there a specific model to be bought?
Any mods as the one posted necessary?

I think that for so cheap, I'll try them just to see how they fare...

I was also thinking about the Comply foams, though some reviews have not convinced me yet... reason being that I find the sound of the small W4 foams (black) fit well but lose in SQ, especially staging and as always mid-high performance, and I'm afraid that could be a consequence of shorter tips not allowing for enough resonance along the ear canal...

Any thoughts please?
post #3528 of 5326

jump to * if you want to get straight to the review

hey everyone! i've been hobo-ing around the headfi forum for a year or two now but never really gotten down to posting anything but i guess i'd just like to share my impression on the westone 4 (i have the removable cables but they sound the same!) just to confuse anyone else out there's who still thinking about getting them even more. i know many people in this thread have already posted their reviews/impressions (i got from page 1 to about 68 then gave up following the conversations) but i'd just like to give mine just to add additional perspectives. 

 

just abit of history, over the past 6 years i've gone from super fi. 3 --> super fi. 5 pro really old second hand and the shell broke (probably part of the earlier bunch that were defective at the cable area)--> super fi. 5 (i believe they're UE500 now?) --> um3x --> reshelled (&broke) --> westone 4's. i have to say that the swap from UE to westone was one heck of a milestone for me because everytime i got a new UE product i'd love it for a couple of months and then start to get bored of the punchy bass and the highs probably due to the emptier mids from UEs. when i got to the um3x, they were a god sent because finally i had the rich thick mids that i loved and i swore never to change IEMs again (and they lasted me 2-3 times longer than a UE would, i still love their sound today) until the cable broke when i got into an accident with a friend. taking it as a reason to upgrade, i got it reshelled (bad move) my ear canals just aren't meant for custom shells somehow and a few months later the internal cable connections died on me which got me in the tight spot of choosing to upgrade or to just get another pair of um3x.

 

why's the history relevant? because i think (like many out there) its easy to see how someone can love both the um3x and w4 equally and (very) greatly and it can be hard to quantify the differences without being too technical. if i were to write a review on the um3x, i'd dish out the details in technical terms highs, mids, lows, soundstage etc. but because its the westone 4's i figured i'd give this review based on musical instruments/parts of songs i've heard that blew me off to mars

 

* HERE haha

 

so, yes by instruments(sorry if its long >< you can skip ahead to instruments you're interested in!): (i'll start with the things that wow-ed me least [but still wow-ed me compared to my old um3x] over to the most)

 

electric guitars - like many have mentioned before um3x puts you on the stage whereas westone 4's put you right infront of the stage. for me i find um3x and westone 4's ability to render distortion chord based electric guitar parts equally well, appropriately thick and balanced from the lower notes to the higher, giving a very natural rendition of chords. they also provide impact very appropriately, if you close your eyes you can tell the difference between the musician slamming away in the choruses vs strumming normally while bobbing his head in the verses. very life like and very good.

 

acoustic guitars - it starts to get interesting. with the um3x acoustic guitars sounded (natural) and powerful even though they're not usually powerful instruments in the mix. when the other parts fade away acoustic guitars come out nice and warm with a good amount of reverb showing. the difference? i play the guitar and i know how a full spectrum well built acoustic guitar sounds like and the um3x deliver just that with the mild exception of less bass and quite reduced high end response especially when you compare it to the real thing - the way you don't just hear a high note, you also hear the thin steel string oscillating back and forth. the westone 4 delivers in that aspect of realism. not only do i hear how the artiste's (probably) high end guitar's low notes reverb longer compared to the guitar i have sitting at home, i hear the tiny mistakes he makes with the angle of his guitar pick on the thinnest string. when the guitarist moves up the fret board, you don't just hear a higher note, you hear more tension in the strings, the way it mutes off slightly because of the shorter string length (physics woohoo!). at times you can even pick out when the guitarist lifts his fingers off the strings abit too early (when the chord's still going) and all of these to me aren't just additional detail/transparency but realism that comes out from extremely well balanced sound. (oh crap something tells me this review's going to be quite long)

 

bass guitars - dual low end drivers really come into their own with providing detailed, fast, accurate low end. i always found it challenging for earphones to produce good bass guitar tones because of the fact that the nature of a bass guitar is it can sound muffled easily/quickly/by nature. its almost like an extremely low muffled boom from a subwoofer. yet the westone 4's deliver improvements over the um3x in realism again. previously with the um3x, i felt that bass guitars were already great, they were fast (the drivers could respond quickly when notes are changed, i think) and provided appropriate punch. with the westone 4, the punch has gone down a slight bit but what you get in return is less of that subwoofer booming and more detail. for example, before i heard a very good bass guitar tone that was punchy and did its role in the entire musical spectrum. now i heard the musician strum/pluck the string with that slight twang, i heard the note come out in a slightly more rounded way and i hear it decay off (well bass guitars usually aren't very loud in the mix so its hard at times) nicely. this also means that i can hear when tracks don't let their bass guitars decay off nicely, which gets quite irritating at times. but all in all i think the westone 4's do a great job in rounding out bass guitar tones where most other earphones would just deliver a more "dead" note from this great supporting instrument.

 

violin/strings - i'm a violinist myself and when your ears are so close to your instrument you're playing, it becomes a very intimate activity where you really try to pour out your expressions and emotions through the musical piece. its a combination of knowing how to vibrato on your left hand and move your bow with the correct force and speed all at the same time. i feel like the westone 4's really deliver that level of expression. you feel the force going into the bow and you can just picture the way the violinist is doing a vibrato on his left hand. the tone is so well rounded off, violins don't sound shrill and thin on music tracks anymore. granted they usually play a very supporting role with most music pieces these days other than classical and yes they're probably covered by other instruments, but when they're allowed to shine through, westone 4's do a damn good job at showing off each violin's unique tone. i was listening to a classical piece that day and it blew my mind how instead of hearing the 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola section etc, i heard everything like it were a spectrum of tones (granted, not all the violins could be heard) but you'd hear so many different tones just on the same note that you had to be convinced a full orchestra was there recording (it was in this case but you get my point). compared to the um3x? i really don't know how to put it, in a way um3x isn't delicate enough with the way it handles details? i think many have mentioned before that the westone 4's blend the 3 frequency "ranges" well whereas some other triple drivers you can sort of here the different drivers at work and there's a separation? with the um3x i somehow felt that strings usually came out of the twitter/high driver only and it tends to sound thin but with the westone 4 they really did a goob job with the blending. feels like the crossover separates instruments out of the musical track, not frequencies.

 

i know its super long i'm sorry D: this' the really good part if you skipped everything!

 

vocals - oh man where do i begin. when i first got the w4 and used it through my ibasso t4 (i used it with bass boost on for my um3x) i used it with the bass booster and it was like woah this is good stuff man. after awhile i felt that the bass took some of the mids away from the westone 4's and when i turned them off, i finally got why everyone was saying they had amazing balance (i thought they were pretty well balanced even with the bass boost heh) its almost like vocals have their own little speaker cone and they're right dead smack in the center with that singing to you. its almost like there's a "voice" driver in there to be honest. you hear every breath, (you did on the um3x too but since the sound stage's smaller it was more like gasps not full inhaleexhales) and you hear every expression. it sort of forces you to picture the singer in a recording studio eyes closed hands cupped on a nice expensive pair of monitor headphones singing their heart out and doing their very best to capture what they're tryingt o convey/express in their music. the way they breathe/timing which they inhale after each note almost gives you details and ideas of how they might be moving about during the recording process, what's going through their mind. just one example not too sure how many daughtry fans there are here but when i re-listened to his first single "home", i felt the pain and loneliness in his breaths between notes in the chorus, and some breaths come right after notes some are slightly slower and in a awesome musical way, it tells you so much more about the music in a very refined state. i can go on and on forever, but these are the vocal machines for me, hands down. needless to say, i'm blown away and even though the um3x are more intimate in your face earphones, it seems like singers have to be a small distance away from your head for you to hear them breathe and they need that space to express themselves. don't get me wrong, the um3x does vocals amazing (i still think that um3x's mids are something that i will miss coming to the westone 4's) with a degree of intimacy that blew me away before and still does off and on. but the additional transparency, space and blend between the 3 frequency ranges of the westone 4, that brings it a whole level up.

 

drums - are another instrument that seem to have their own sonic space in music through these phones. for some reason (and i can't tell why, really) kick drums always have a space below everything else. by below i don't mean it plays a note lower than everything else because many a times i've found myself listening to a bass guitar playing something very low down but drums (even though note wise they're higher) are still finding a sweet spot below that bass gutiar player to kick me. they just have a way of producing something punchy like a real kick drum (i play the drums too and after feeling how its like to slam a kick drum and feel that wave come back at you all over i'd never find anything that would come anywhere close to that sound/feeling. i did with the um3x and it just gets better with the w4s) without having boomy bass. respect for that, i find that dr dre boomifies its bass and kick drums sound really nice and punchy, but the w4s control it so well its so amazing. its like in a rock concert live, you expect to feel the bass drum and that feeling's totally awesome from the giant subwoofers back stage and stuff, just having a nice slam to the stomach and i think dr dre's do that ( i could be wrong) but the westone 4's put you in the recording studio with the drummer himself and nice anechoic walls so that what you hear isn't a powerful subwoofer, but an actual instrument being played by an actual musician. you can hear the hammer hitting the drum's skin (some recordings have more plasticy sound to them and others have real good quality kick drum pedals to them) and a slight reverb to let you know it was powerful. its abit like the difference between slapping someone who's really flabby and fat (like me) and someone who's really toned with the same amount of force. it delivers the same message of "don't mess with me imma slap you" just that one's powerful control and precise the other as shockwaves wobbling back and forth, showing how great a force was exerted but ultimately distorting the energy driven. other parts of drums also somehow find their way into the mix very naturally. i have to say cymbals aren't as real as i'd expect them to be, they can come across as shimmers and not actual crashes at times but for the most part any more presence up there and i think they'll be too bright for my liking so its alright. snares come across with commanding force, they slice through when its their turn and do so in a very fashionable way. i know it sounds like the w4's bring the drums to the front of the stage for everyone to admire and neglects every other instrument but it really isn't that way, i'm just blown away with how well these phones reflect characteristics of an instrument that many hear but don't actually listen to and it provides detail that i would think out-resolves the microphones in place to record the drums.

 

and i'll end off with some bad points:

  • i'd prefer deeper insertion, i use the P-100 on them but prefer how the um3x allowed me to get deeper in the past
  • i think the bass punch is 0.1 level off perfect. granted when the track has nice bass its auzzum but half the time i'm just cursing the person who did the mixing for not including abit more low end
  • because of its warm nature, some higher end female voices can become thin probably because its in the range which westone might've reduced abit to down the sibilance/overly bright areas that some complained about wrt w3.
  • i think having "4R" on my ears in orange's abit ._.
  • my friends steal them too often. well, "friends".

 

i know its been a long one and honestly i'd be surprised if ANYONE read till here (or the first paragraph) but i had to get this out of my system. i'm not saying its perfect, and there are times i wished i had the intimacy of my um3x back (they're broken though so) but i just wanted to point out some real life examples where they provided a sensible upgrade for me from um3x. i wanted to give insights into real world things i've heard/felt from these phones which i haven't heard anything else deliver before. realism's another word i'd add into the discussion along with transparency detail clarity etc. but i think it'll be even more difficult to quantify. in anycase, these are just my opinions feel free to let me know what you think(agree or disagree) and if i've produced a report that bores everyone/makes people think i'm a biased prick/spy from westone labs who's trying to use unreal situations to sell their products, then well all i can say is i really do wish i'm in that position. who wouldn't want to crash test the latest and greatest as a job right.

 

cheers!

post #3529 of 5326
Why did I end up on this thread? Been trying not to purchase as last week, I bought the ALO National and a used DT1350 from another headfier and told myself, ENOUGH! With all the great reviews and the 20% coupon offer from earphone solutions, I had to pull the trigger. That money was reserved for the solo-r. I can't wait. I thank everyone for their great reviews.smily_headphones1.gif
post #3530 of 5326
Just to warn people not to put too much trust into somebody's else experience/advice with tips. It's all extremely subjective and depends 95% upon each particular person's ear physique and hearing not speaking of type of music they listen too and their sonic preferences. With 4s which have short stems there's especially can't be some magical tip and/or mod that works for most people most of the time. For example, I love 4s to death but the only tip I found that gets for me a good compromise between SQ for the music I listen to, comfort and isolation are triple-flanges cut to two flanges. For others this may be the least desired mod and so on. Just saying...
Edited by albau - 11/11/12 at 12:47pm
post #3531 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post

Just to warn people not to put too much trust into somebody's else experience/advice with tips. It's all extremely subjective and depends 95% upon each particular person's ear physique and hearing not speaking of type of music they listen too and their sonic preferences. With 4s which have short stems there's especially can't be some magical tip and/or mod that works for most people most of the time. For example, I love 4s to death but the only tip I found that gets for me a good compromise between SQ for the music I listen to, comfort and isolation are triple-flanges cut to two flanges. For others this may be the least desired mod and so on. Just saying...

If it works for them, it works for them. The great thing about tip rolling is that you never have to take somebody's word for it. If something intrigues you, or possibly suits you, it takes little effort and resources to try them out. In that sense, tube rolling, amp pairings, can be extremely subjective and depends 95% upon each particular person's listening preferences and hearing abilities. Except with those, the money spent is infinitesimally greater. What would you rather do, spend $10 on a pack of tips, or $1000 on a new tube amp for these?

post #3532 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisonic View Post

HI guys, rejoining for another tip question...
You've been mentioning the Sony hybrids, so the innocent questions are:
Do they fit the W4's well, or is there a specific model to be bought?
Any mods as the one posted necessary?
I think that for so cheap, I'll try them just to see how they fare...
I was also thinking about the Comply foams, though some reviews have not convinced me yet... reason being that I find the sound of the small W4 foams (black) fit well but lose in SQ, especially staging and as always mid-high performance, and I'm afraid that could be a consequence of shorter tips not allowing for enough resonance along the ear canal...
Any thoughts please?

Hi Luisonic,

 

I haven't ordered and tried the Sony Hybrids + Shure Olive tips combination here, as I must buy them separately here in my country, but as for Comply foam,

Yes I am using Comply Tx-100 (black medium with ear wax guard), it is shorter by a few millimeters compared to the medium grey stock foam shipped by Westone.

 

SQ wise I don't hear any significant different apart from the wax guard keeping the dirt away from the borehole.

post #3533 of 5326

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisonic View Post

HI guys, rejoining for another tip question...
You've been mentioning the Sony hybrids, so the innocent questions are:
Do they fit the W4's well, or is there a specific model to be bought?
Any mods as the one posted necessary?
I think that for so cheap, I'll try them just to see how they fare...
I was also thinking about the Comply foams, though some reviews have not convinced me yet... reason being that I find the sound of the small W4 foams (black) fit well but lose in SQ, especially staging and as always mid-high performance, and I'm afraid that could be a consequence of shorter tips not allowing for enough resonance along the ear canal...
Any thoughts please?

 

No mods other than the adapters for the tips are necessary for the Hybrids. They aren't too different, just the some best single-flange silicones available at the moment (due to the large bore size). If you can find something cheaper and even better, that would be fantastic. The Hybrids are just more wide-spread and available. I think Doc posted a 8-pack of $2.00 biflanges from buyincoins, I haven't gotten them in, but it's a great example of not having to spend too much on tips.  Aren't the stock foams for the W4s Complys though? Or did you get the new packaged stock tips. If so, those stock silcones provided look fine, you won't even have to do the adapter mod for them to fit (although I found them to help in isolation and a deep seal, probably because it makes the tips decompress less as the core is harder) . I think Tyll has an article on Comply tips and tip changes in general. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/comply-foam-tips-and-effects-tip-selection

post #3534 of 5326

Great review.  I am a big fan of UM3X.  It has more bass presence, great instrument separation (W4 too!) and other great features but the pure fact that W4 presentation provides a much larger soundstage and a bit more air on the higher frequencies makes it the "no brainer" better choice IMHO.

post #3535 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Except with those, the money spent is infinitesimally greater. What would you rather do, spend $10 on a pack of tips, or $1000 on a new tube amp for these?

Amen my brother. I the $2 bucks i spent on the biflange tips from buyincoins FOR SURE makes more audible tangible sound improvement than any gazillion dollar fancy pants re-cable job. Thats a measurable fact.
Edited by Doc-holliday - 11/11/12 at 2:57pm
post #3536 of 5326

Twinqy, I find out that the shure's foam doesnt fit to my ear. It feels that the material is too solid, so I used the comply T-100 small size foam, decored, and this how it looks like:

 

 

1000

 

1000

 

^ the foam tips fit better on the hybrid, and sound better than I expected! I'll take more time how they'll sound.

 

 

1000

 

 

The shure's core is dangerous. Removing it from my westone 4 could potentially break the nozzles...so I decided to extend the diameter of the core by stuffing it into a Nintendo's DS touch pen.

 

 

 

1000

 

1000

 

I followed Tyller's tips for the foam, by cutting from top of the tips until the core is visible.  Trimmed stock complys and the westone's foams are shown to compare their look. works great with the large one, but not the middle one since the nozzle is too short. I prefer using the comply's than the hybrid now! 

 

 

edit: I realized that all my modded tips sound faaaaarr better than the stock's...including the shure's olives, which is painful. I feel satisfied that hardwork and search for the sound-fix pay off!


Edited by Gandasaputra - 11/11/12 at 5:45pm
post #3537 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post

Twinqy, I find out that the shure's foam doesnt fit to my ear. It feels that the material is too solid, so I used the comply T-100 small size foam, decored, and this how it looks like:

 

^ the foam tips fit better on the hybrid, and sound better than I expected! I'll take more time how they'll sound.

 

The shure's core is dangerous. Removing it from my westone 4 could potentially break the nozzles...so I decided to extend the diameter of the core by stuffing it into a Nintendo's DS touch pen.

 

 

I followed Tyller's tips for the foam, by cutting from top of the tips until the core is visible. I used my old comply's than the westone's to compare their look. works great with the large one, but not the middle one since the nozzle is too short. I prefer using the comply's than the hybrid now! 

Yeah, I would expect the Comply foam to work better with more peoples ears. Sort of looks like the noise-isolating Hybrids you get with Sony IEMs. I managed to get a good fit with both, and since the Olive isolated more, I stuck with those. Sound-wise, they just act as filling, so it's pretty much identical.

 

When trimmed, the Comply stop sucking out that treble, and begin to sound surprisingly good. Can't afford replacing them ever so often, so have to put the Hybrids over them for easier insertion/to protect them from getting dirty. Good to see that you're enjoying them!

post #3538 of 5326

I'm afraid that frequent changing tips can harm the nozzle....has anyone heard any broken westone's nozzle ?


Edited by Gandasaputra - 11/11/12 at 6:28pm
post #3539 of 5326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post

I'm afraid that frequent changing tips can harm the nozzle....have anyone heard any broken westone's nozzle ?

Yes, some reports of broken nozzles with the Olives. Probably the most common way to break these, apart from the cables unwinding and some of the drivers failing. Then again, the Olives are reported to break the nozzles off the Shure IEMs as well. If you stretched the core though, it's fine. If it's too tightly on for some reason, try the freezer trick. 

post #3540 of 5326

The tip that has always provided me with the best overall fidelity for my Westones has been the Shure olives, Westone foams are a close second.  For starters, you don't need to jam these things on hard.  I usually rub the nozzle between my hair and fingers for a sec to apply some slight natural oil.  Then I carefully twist the tip on like a screw, once it begins to get snug..one more little twist.  I had my beloved 3Xs for about 4 years before my puppy chewed them up; I've had my 4Rs for almost 2 and never had an issue with the nozzles or anything else for that matter. 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Westone 4 Appreciation Thread and Reviews (a.k.a. Westone 4 ?)