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[Help] UE Ref. vs. JH 13 Pro (JH3A?) vs. JH16 Pro vs. UE18Pro

Poll Results: Preferred selection for listening to Ballad songs with alot of ambient noise coming from outside?

  • 13% (4)
    UE Reference Monitor (Accuracy)
  • 20% (6)
    JH13 Pro
  • 6% (2)
    JH 13 Pro + JH3A
  • 20% (6)
    JH 16 Pro
  • 13% (4)
    JH 16 Pro + JH3A
  • 24% (7)
    UE 18 Pro
  • 0% (0)
    Wait for amp from UE
29 Total Votes  
post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've finally decided to buy a custom molded IEM after saving for months. I'm in the early stages of being an audiophile and have yet to be baptized by the holy music that spills out from each one of these gifts from God.


I listen to Ballad and KPop, but my preference is sad, slow songs. However, I am a Bass addict, although I don't think bass goes along well with ballad.


I currently own Audiotechnica CK10 and I really like it but it isn't comfortable anymore. I tried using triple flangs and I just can't get the right fit. If I laugh, the seal breaks and my sound turns into crap. I've yet to try sony hybrids. Is that worth getting? My right ear hole is slightly larger than my left...



Anywho, back to the JH and UEs.


As of right now, I don't know if I should go for flat/balanced or exaggerated. What do you suggest for the type of songs that I listen to? 

I do go out a lot and I appreciate noise isolation because it's usually loud outside and what not; I do hear more bass will help with this problem.


Now, I've read UE Reference Monitors are super flat and accurate and I'm leaning towards those, but I did hear JH 13 Pros were pretty flat too, along with crisp mids/highs. Now I see that there's a new amp JH3A being offered as a bundle with the JH13 Pros, and comes to 1650. Are the amps worth it? I was going to get an amp anyways but not really super high ends. But seeing that the amps themselves are over a thousand bucks, I might as well go for the deal. 

Now the soundstage... I don't know much about it, but I do like soundstage. Does the JH3A really improve soundstage for the JH13 Pro? Comparison between UE Refs? 

Now, as for the exaggerated bass IEMs, I have the choice between JH 16 Pro and UE 18 Pro. In a comparison thread, the UE 18 Pro didn't score very well as opposed to the JH13 and 16. However, I do "prefer" UE because my favorite band has them (forgive me for my retardedness). Do the UE 18 Pro match my type of genre and noise isolation expectation? But then again, there's the JH 13 Pro with JH3A that would outplay the UE 18 Pros... or am I wrong?


Since JH Audio released JH3As, it would be sensible that UE would launch some type of amp too, right? I could wait until then and get those along with the UE Reference monitors (if you guys suggest getting flat over exaggerated for ballad)


Thank you for your time.






-Flat or bass exaggerated for Ballad?

-JH3A worth getting or minimal difference compared to UE Ref?

-Soundstage of JH3A+JH13Pro vs. UE Reference

-Accurate UE Reference monitor  VS.  JH 13 Pro with JH3A Amp?

-JH 16 Pro vs. UE 18 Pro vs. JH13 Pro+JH3A

-More bass = better noise cancellation?

post #2 of 13

JH3A hasn't been released yet.  It's due to come out in the next few weeks; if you're seriously considering it, I suggest you wait a month or so for reviews and impressions to start coming in.


As for sound isolation, I believe that all custom IEMs are roughly the same.  Westones may be a bit different, considering they have a hybrid tip rather than pure acrylic.  Isolation will depend mostly on the length and width of the tips (you can ask for a more snug fit), but most people seem to feel that the isolation of customs isn't as complete as the best-isolating universal-fit IEMs.

post #3 of 13

JH13 Pro + JH-3A, if you don't mind carrying a huge brick with you all the time.

Otherwise, JH13 Pro or UE18 Pro, the last being more on a "fun" side.


Originally Posted by Girls Generation View Post

Now, as for the exaggerated bass IEMs, I have the choice between JH 16 Pro and UE 18 Pro.

UE18 Pro are not bass-heavy at all, UE11 Pro have more bass quantity.

post #4 of 13

Why not the Westone ES5? It should have better isolation and comfort than all-acrylic customs and people really like how it sounds, they report that it's a bit more fun than the UERM while not being as colored as the ue18.


For the jh3A, consider if you need it to be truly portable for daily trips via bus, train, to libarary/office, etc. (in which case, no) or simply transportable to move it rarely between office/home etc.


post #5 of 13

OP: I'm not sure if you're aware, but getting the JH-3A means your JH-13 Pro or JH-16 Pro will be completely unusable without the amp. Do factor that into your decision.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hmm, yeah I read that it's unusable without the amp.


I'm trying to go for the brands I know which happens to be JHa and UE :P I'm sorry to the Westone users but it's my personal preference, and I hope you could respect it.


So I'm guessing I shouldn't really consider the Ref monitors?


@kayser, I don't mind carrying a huge brick with me (unless it's super heavy also). How much of a difference would the JH3A make through JH13Pro?


Also, this isn't related to this section but I don't mind getting reasonably priced headphones that rival the sound quality of a custom IEM(as long as it looks pretty kickass also, because I'm Korean and I tend to care alot about fashion).



And I guess this is probably the most important note: For slow, and sad songs like ballad, would a more colorful IEM be preferred or would a flat one like JH13 Pro or UE Ref sound more... harmonized? (although I listen to bouncy korean pop music also :|)


post #7 of 13

Well fashion depends on what artwork you put on your IEMs. However i dont think a lot of people would recognise what you have tbh.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't really care about how my IEMs would look besides color but I would really care how my big headphones would look :P Right now, Monster beats are pretty popular among the Koreans as having superior sound quality as well as good design.


but at the moment I need to figure out what IEM would be the best for the genre of music I listen to >_< My CK10s are pretty flat but I don't like muddy bass either... I prefer a little more color than what ATH-CK10s have. :)

post #9 of 13

yifu: on fashion, I believe OP was referring to universal IEMs that look fashionable.


OP: these are general statements on headphones/IEMs/speakers, and I have no experience with customs, so take it for what it's worth

A "flat" or "neutral" earphone will adapt itself to any genre. By virtue of it being "flat", it will not emphasize bass that one may like in hip hop or techno, nor will it emphasize mids that one may crave in vocal-led tracks.

A "bass exaggerated" earphone will make bass sound louder than what was actually recorded. For some genres, this may not be a bad thing--e.g.: with rap. But with others, the exaggerated bass could distract you from the rest of the song--an example would be a drum solo. If the bass is exaggerated, you'll just hear a lot of the big kick drum, but this may drown out the cymbals.


Having said that, the customs you are asking about all have excellent reputations. To say the JH16 and UE18 are bassy would probably just be relative to the JH13 and UE Ref; it is unlikely that either company would risk grossly over-exaggerating the bass on these, their flagship models.

post #10 of 13

The UE18s are not bassy at all, it's more like they lack treble. I don't know about the JH16s but the UE18s are designed for performing musicians who need their custom IEMs to produce extremely high listening levels without distortion, so the lack of treble is probably good for preventing hearing loss from regular usage. How good the sound isolation depends on how good a fit you can get, I for one is one of those lucky ones that got a perfect fit; the sound isolation is better than any of the universal IEMs I owned and they are very comfortable. Although the UE18s lack treble, they are still very detailed and the lower frequencies are very extended, similar to the LCD-2s. However, if you think the Beats have superior sound quality, even with the lack of treble, the UE18s will still produce a million times more details and clarity than something like the Beats Solo HDs. As for the look, probably no one would be able to see any difference between the JH13/16s or the UE18s except the logos. wink.gif

post #11 of 13

I'm not sure if any of these custom IEMs are best with any particular genre, my opinion is that if it's a highly-resolving, accurate monitor, it should sound good with any genre.  Some people have said that the JH16 is better than the JH13 for live music, due to its increased sub-bass presence and headstage.  As for most pop music, Based on impressions I've read, it seems that the choice between the JH13, 16, and UE models depends on whether you want a bit more bass emphasis (JH signature) or more midrange focus (Westone and possibly UE18 signature).


As for fashionable, portable full-size cans that isolate sound and also sound good, I'm a bit biased towards these beauties:



post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

I won't be performing live, so I might not really need the emphasized bass, although I do love bass @_@. But I'd think the emphasized bass wouldn't go along too well with vocal-led songs. 


Perhaps if I showed you an example of what I listen to, some of you pros could direct me. Thank you!



K-Ballad Watch in 720p for sound quality :P

Another K-ballad

One more click 720p


K Rock




I'm not sure what genre this would be but I listen to these too :P

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Close/Delete please thank you ^^

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [Help] UE Ref. vs. JH 13 Pro (JH3A?) vs. JH16 Pro vs. UE18Pro