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Westone 4 Appreciation Thread and Reviews (a.k.a. Westone 4 ?) - Page 244

post #3646 of 5402

I just love the sounds of these earphones, and the ability to fit so comfortable in my ear (may make me buy another one in the future when this one fails). I try to baby it as much as I can, mostly by putting them back in the case when not in use.

 

I pray & hope these survive atleast 6-7 years for that reason I play around with other headphones & reserve the W4R for serious listening time.
 

post #3647 of 5402

I see a lot of talk about the Shure Olive tips, but I cant decide if I should get it one.

 

Since I get a good seal with it, I must resist the impulse to buy.
 

post #3648 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenB View Post

I just received a set of Westone 4 ear buds having taken advantage of a "Black Friday" deal from Earphone Solutions (30% discount!). etysmile.gif   They are replacing Shure E4C's purchased back in 2005 (based on Head-Fi recommendations at the time) and which have served me well. 

Fortunately, the first ear tip I decided to try was the triple-flange. WOW! With a full insertion, the sound was/is impressive. The bass is deep and articulate, super-wide sound stage, and intricate detail - instruments are easily differentiated. After an hour or two, though, I started to feel a bit of discomfort in the right ear and decided that the tips were a bit too long for my ear canals. In fact, I had pushed it in so far that it actually stopped sound entirely. So, I simply trimmed the stalk to be even with the largest flange. Now, when I insert them fully, I get good isolation and outstanding bass response. One technique I learned on Head-Fi that helps with triple-flange insertion is to pull down on the ear lobes, then gently press the buds into the ear to ensure a nice seal.


For grins, I did try other tips (except Comply-never liked the foamies), but none of them could get quite deep enough to provide a satisfactory sound field -- the most noticeable result being substantially weaker bass. 

One concern I had was that, due to the W4's slightly higher impedance (31 Ohms), I might need a supplementary portable amp to drive them. Not so at all - at least not with the triple-flange tips. My Samsung Galaxy S3 and my Cowon iAudio X5 both generate plenty of volume at about 75% of max. My Lenovo X201T laptop is considerably weaker in volume, but still sufficient. 

Based on another recommendation from Head-Fi, I just ordered a package of 3 MEElectronics triple-flange tips (large black; $5.99 + shipping). I'll report on my experiences with them once they arrive and I have tested them. 


Ken
Contrats on your new W4! Glad you are enjoying them.

The other tips you might look into that work well with the adapter mod (cutting the stem from the useless grey tips) are the doube flange tips from china at buyincoins.com. They are ubersoft. I tried the M6 tri flange and they just irritate my ears. They are only $2 including shipping so it's no loss if you don't like them.
post #3649 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post

I see a lot of talk about the Shure Olive tips, but I cant decide if I should get it one.

 

Since I get a good seal with it, I must resist the impulse to buy.
 

 

No, no, no, you need to try out Olives AND Hybrids. Maybe even put the two together? Gosh I hope someone has a tutorial for that...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post


Contrats on your new W4! Glad you are enjoying them.
The other tips you might look into that work well with the adapter mod (cutting the stem from the useless grey tips) are the doube flange tips from china at buyincoins.com. They are ubersoft. I tried the M6 tri flange and they just irritate my ears. They are only $2 including shipping so it's no loss if you don't like them.

 

The buyincoins biflanges go in the ears really well. Not too deep like the triflanges that they intrude too much, but just enough that the seal and isolation becomes perfect. 

post #3650 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisonic View Post

While I wait for my buy-in-coins flanges, a question to all:
Anybody try the alpine double-flanges, with the widened exit hole? Found them here: http://www.sensorcom.com/product.asp?PT_ID=268&P_ID=1142
Anybody familiar?
Edit to say: I did NOT get the new tips, so I'm pissed and looking for alternatives while they get marketed...

 

I have those tips and can give you some impressions, but it won't be very timely. You see, I haven't dared to remove the Olives from my W4 stem yet. It is on there good! A little too good, if you know what I mean O_O And I am OK enough with the sound to not try to remove them yet... but since their material is finally starting to wear out, I will give it a shot. I'll try to post the details sooner than later.

post #3651 of 5402

My W4 opened up a little bit after using it for about 30 hours. I'm actually listening to it with one notch less volume on my iphone 4s compared to the first couple of days and loudness seems same. Anyone experienced something like this ? 

post #3652 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

My W4 opened up a little bit after using it for about 30 hours. I'm actually listening to it with one notch less volume on my iphone 4s compared to the first couple of days and loudness seems same. Anyone experienced something like this ? 

 

Yes, I've posted that a few times.  It was just the first day or so of continuous music playing through the W4 that opened them up, and then they were good to go.  Unusual for a balanced armature IEM, but it happened to mine.

post #3653 of 5402

So I bought a pair of 4Rs from Earphone Solutions just after Halloween for a nice 25% discount (a bit annoyed when I saw 30% off on Black Friday but oh well)...

 

Anyway, I figured I needed to update my profile picture from my Westone 3s to this pair, so I took the below picture this morning, with my favourite sleeves.

 

Some questions for y'all though:

  1. I'm just a bit worried about humidity - I live in Hong Kong atm and the humidity can go past 90% frequently, so I hide these in my old Westone 3 case whenever I'm not using them - fair enough precaution or paranoia?
  2. Anyone else's cables unravelling right at the bit where the memory wire ends?
  3. What amps/DAPs do you guys use (if any) (I've been looking at Fiio E17 but I need some names to start somewhere)?

 


Edited by phnx90 - 12/1/12 at 11:29pm
post #3654 of 5402
Congrats and very nice pic!
post #3655 of 5402

Nice pic! Looks like yours came with the new tips! Are they comfortable ?

post #3656 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenB View Post

I just received a set of Westone 4 ear buds having taken advantage of a "Black Friday" deal from Earphone Solutions (30% discount!). etysmile.gif  They are replacing Shure E4C's purchased back in 2005 (based on Head-Fi recommendations at the time) and which have served me well. 

 

Fortunately, the first ear tip I decided to try was the triple-flange. WOW! With a full insertion, the sound was/is impressive. The bass is deep and articulate, super-wide sound stage, and intricate detail - instruments are easily differentiated. After an hour or two, though, I started to feel a bit of discomfort in the right ear and decided that the tips were a bit too long for my ear canals. In fact, I had pushed it in so far that it actually stopped sound entirely. So, I simply trimmed the stalk to be even with the largest flange. Now, when I insert them fully, I get good isolation and outstanding bass response. One technique I learned on Head-Fi that helps with triple-flange insertion is to pull down on the ear lobes, then gently press the buds into the ear to ensure a nice seal.

 

For grins, I did try other tips (except Comply-never liked the foamies), but none of them could get quite deep enough to provide a satisfactory sound field -- the most noticeable result being substantially weaker bass. 

 

One concern I had was that, due to the W4's slightly higher impedance (31 Ohms), I might need a supplementary portable amp to drive them. Not so at all - at least not with the triple-flange tips. My Samsung Galaxy S3 and my Cowon iAudio X5 both generate plenty of volume at about 75% 80-85% of max. My Lenovo X201T laptop is considerably weaker in volume, but still sufficient. 

 

Based on another recommendation from Head-Fi, I just ordered a package of 3 MEElectronics triple-flange tips (large black; $5.99 + shipping). I'll report on my experiences with them once they arrive and I have tested them. 

 

Ken

 

I want to amend my post regarding the Comply tips after some unanticipated experimentation this morning. I know that a lot of Head-Fi'ers prefer the foam tips and I have been avoiding them largely because my perception has been (1) they cannot be cleaned easily and (2) need to be replaced more often. Well, for the sake of audio nirvana (which we all strive to find), I decided to pull out the Comply's that came with the Westone 4: short medium, tall medium, and tall large. The tall large Comply's seem to give me the best fit and, after some listening, I noticed several obvious improvements that I confirmed after back and forth testing...

 

PROS:

  1. They are easier and quicker to insert - a little compression of the tip like rolling a cigarette, slide in, pull the ear lobe down, push gently - done! The triple-flanges require a bit more twisting/fidgeting to get a tight fit and I find myself occasionally nudging them while listening. 
  2. They stay put in the ears and hold their position - a minor improvement over the triple-flange only because I feel no need to fiddle with them once inserted properly. They lock in nicely and no movement of my jaws causes any dislodging. I gather that the memory foam expands and makes a tight and semi-permanent fit. 
  3. Isolation is considerably better with the Comply's, but I wouldn't know how to quantify it. We had a TV running in the other room and, with the Comply's, when there was no music playing, I could barely hear it; whereas, it was more discernible with the triple-flange's. 
  4. Sonically, the bass is actually more pronounced which surprised me. Is it because of deeper penetration and/or better noise isolation? Everything else - mids, treble, sound stage - seems comparable; but, with the Comply's, I need one less volume click which is yet another improvement. 
  5. Finally, these tips are more comfortable causing less pressure in the ear canal, which means I can wear them longer. 

 

CONS:

  1. Even though I attempted to clean out my ear canals with a little water, pinky, and tissue - the Comply tips still get some residual ear wax at the insertion end. I tried gently rubbing with a tissue, but the wax doesn't want to come off. I am afraid to use too much pressure for fear of tearing the foam. I expect them to be an unsightly and sticky mess after just a couple of wearings. If anyone knows a cleaning method, I would be appreciative. 
  2. I am expecting that these tips will need to be replaced more frequently, so I will be looking for a supplier. 

 

The PROS clearly outweigh the CONS and, even if I have to replace the tips every week, audio nirvana is worth a little extra investment!

 

I am glad I gave them a try this morning...live and learn! wink_face.gif

 

Ken

post #3657 of 5402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc-holliday View Post

Congrats and very nice pic!
Thanks smily_headphones1.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by aras View Post

Nice pic! Looks like yours came with the new tips! Are they comfortable ?
Having tried the other sleeves when I first got my Westone 3s way back, those sleeves were the only ones I needed to try out. I can say that they're my favourite sleeves - low maintenance, high isolation, high comfort. Before I used to switch between Shure Olives and Shure grey silicone sleeves.

In terms I what they're like, well, they are between the grey silicone sleeves and the white bullets in terms of thickness and flex. They're not glossy like the grey silicone sleeves so they feel very smooth and easy to put into the ears as a result.

My issue with the mushroom sleeves (is that what you call them? The grey silicone sleeves with a very small opening) was that they're very thin and glossy, so I could never get a proper seal in one go; I'd have to move it around for a few seconds before I can listen properly.

I also don't like the Comply Tips - strangely enough and unlike almost everyone else anywhere it looks like - because they discolour very quickly and feel wet and mushy to the hands when you remove them after use. That, and the fact that they discolour to an unspeaking yellow-green if not replaced often enough; did I mention that they're annoying to insert and they're also rather expensive?

Then there are the bullets and the triple flanges - I actually like the former, if it didn't hurt to wear them for extended periods, and if they didn't change to a rather off-putting transparent yellow-brown/black after a while. They do provide good seal as they're stiff enough to press against your ear canal, forcing a seal. They hurt for this same reason after a while, however. Triple flanges didn't offer much seal to me and seems to remove a lot of "depth" to my music, probably due to the reduction of bass. Also, I could never figure out I should stop cutting my triple flanges to size, or whether I should remove a flange, etc.

Anyway, these are great because their isolation is superb, without the hassle of squishing the sleeves that Comply or Olives bring about, and even more isolating as I chose to use the longer length sleeves; IIRC, like the Comply tips, these have a shorter version. Shorter sleeves weren't as isolating or fitting as I found with my W3s, its nozzles being too short and all and causing me to hear more background noise and lose bass simultaneously. So these solve that problem (4Rs seem to have a longer nozzle than do the 3s, but still) and slide into my ear so smoothly. That matte feel really makes a difference to me in ways I couldn't have imagined and the orange colour designation on top of it all (to identify sleeve size) matches the orange of the 4Rs themselves perfectly.

Most importantly, they sound great. Complys really muffled the sound for me, as did olives to a smaller extent. Westone grey silicones were too distracting to put on to even get to listening, though once I did manage to get a fit, I found them a tad bit lacking in bass, while Shure silicones were just fine. Bullets sound great (more bass, almost no sacrifice to the highs and mids) until they start feeling like actual bullets in my ears. Triple flanges lose way too much bass and sound like a super detailed version of my bass-anaemic laptop speakers. If the Shure Olives had a child with the Shure silicone sleeves that (literally) looked like the overgrown child of the bullet and grey silicone sleeves, this would be it.

tl;dr: easy to wear because of matte finish, comfortable because softer and thinner, yet has stiff enough to impose good seal/isolation, looks bad*ss because of complementary colour scheme, and sounds somewhere between Shure olives and grey silicones. What's there not to like? Best sleeves ever, IMO.
Edited by phnx90 - 12/2/12 at 7:41pm
post #3658 of 5402

Thanks for the detailed writeup! New tips do look promising. I agree with your points regarding bullet and the grey mushroom. If this new tip is something in between, it may really be a winner.   I'm currently using mushroom tips and I agree that it is hard to get enough isolation with them. However this was not a problem with UM3X using the same tips. So I actually blame it on the short nozzle design on W4. 

post #3659 of 5402

Comply tips are actually the most time-consuming tip to place.  I can do a silicone in about 3-4 seconds but between compressing the compy, insertion and allowing for expansion...it is more like 15 seconds.

post #3660 of 5402

Quote:

Originally Posted by aras View Post

Thanks for the detailed writeup! New tips do look promising. I agree with your points regarding bullet and the grey mushroom. If this new tip is something in between, it may really be a winner.   I'm currently using mushroom tips and I agree that it is hard to get enough isolation with them. However this was not a problem with UM3X using the same tips. So I actually blame it on the short nozzle design on W4. 

 

np...your experience could of course differ (but I hope not!). Anyway, I'm thinking I should get another pair of those sleeves for my W3s once I get them replaced. I managed to lose a whole box of Shure olives somewhere at home, so I might as well...they certainly would offset the midget nozzles on the W3.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Comply tips are actually the most time-consuming tip to place.  I can do a silicone in about 3-4 seconds but between compressing the compy, insertion and allowing for expansion...it is more like 15 seconds.

 

Well for you perhaps...for me, the silicone tips are rather awkwardly sized; because they're so thin, I have to put them on perfectly, otherwise they get pressed down too much in one direction, leaving gaps between the sleeve and my ear canal in other places. At least with Comply tips, you can put them in and forget about them.


Edited by phnx90 - 12/2/12 at 9:20pm
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