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Ultimate Ears UE-x Pro Custom; Appreciation, Review & Discussion thread - Page 4

post #46 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

So curious question for you folks w/ full Acrylic tips.  Can you eat w/o irritation or does it cause discomfort sometimes?



 

I can eat and drink without any problems whatsoever. I can open my mouth as wide as I can and there's no loss in SQ. The only thing that will slightly unseat my customs is a silly wide grin (think trollface.jpg) that will push the customs out a tiny bit (less than 1mm), if you gently push them back in with your fingers everything is fine and dandy.

post #47 of 263

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daigo View Post

Really enjoying the UE11 so far.  The fit and seal has been excellent, and the only time I experienced any discomfort was when I tried to eat a sandwich with them on.

 

Something I learned is to never eat dry cereal while wearing IEMs.  basshead.gif

 

Quote:
Currently enjoying Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society album, which show off how well the UE11 can perform with her playing bass while performing vocals on several tracks.

 

So glad she won that Grammy- might not have bought her stuff otherwise.  That's gotta sound amazing on the 11s.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

So curious question for you folks w/ full Acrylic tips.  Can you eat w/o irritation or does it cause discomfort sometimes?


I generally try not to eat with IEMs, although I often do.  I think with the customs I find myself having to be a little more relaxed while wearing them because when I do move (facial expressions, resting my chin, whatever) I become a bit more aware of the acrylic shell being in my ear compared to universal tips.  One thing I notice too is that after wearing them for a few hours straight, when I take them out I feel *very* slight discomfort around the pinna that lasts for about 10 seconds.  I don't think I have a bad fit because I generally don't feel any discomfort while they are in.  I'm sure this is something that is personal and not everyone will have this.


Edited by Mkubota1 - 3/17/11 at 2:34am
post #48 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by tengen View Post





 

I can eat and drink without any problems whatsoever. I can open my mouth as wide as I can and there's no loss in SQ. The only thing that will slightly unseat my customs is a silly wide grin (think trollface.jpg) that will push the customs out a tiny bit (less than 1mm), if you gently push them back in with your fingers everything is fine and dandy.


Troll face... Ha ha! I can think of several live performers who might have this issue when they perform! biggrin.gif
post #49 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

So curious question for you folks w/ full Acrylic tips.  Can you eat w/o irritation or does it cause discomfort sometimes?


if I do eat with IEMs in, neither actually makes me uncomfortable in the ears, it's just the noise inside one's head from chewing that would make me take them out first. it hardly ever happens, except on airplanes, that I eat or drink with IEMs in, although last night I started cooking before my album was done playing on the HM-601 (you know how one can be about new toys, I didn't want to stop just yet), and it was fine to keep IEMs in for a while - until I had to taste stuff etc.

post #50 of 263

As long as you have a good fit (mine is still a bit off) it shouldn't irritate or cause any discomfort while eating with your customs in.

post #51 of 263

Beautiful, I would get a pair of them too~

Think about those for quite a whilegs1000.gif

post #52 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by miprasetya View Post

 

@ HeadphoneAddict: for direct setup from ipod, which one is your favourite and why ? thanks b4


In my big "Flagship Custom IEM" review which included the UE11Pro I found my iPod Video 5.5G had the best synergy with UE11Pro.  The bass was well controlled and not over-the-top like with my iPhone 3GS or several different amps.  That was summer 2009 but I haven't gone out and tried all my new gear with them because I was spending more time with the JH13Pro and ES5.  At some point I can revisit amp synergy with UE11Pro, but for now take a look at my old review.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcn View Post

After all of 30 minutes with my new UE Reference Monitors, here's my initial impressions:

The sound is very well balanced and crystal clear.  It's slightly laid back and should be easy to listen to for hours without fatigue. The highs remind me of my LCD-2. It has good bass but it's not punchy.  Bassheads should look elsewhere.

They're very detailed. With a good recording the soundstage and imaging is very convincing.  

For those of you who've received IEMs -- try playing the 'Virtual Barbershop' binaural recording.  It's amazing.  The imaging is holographic and it had me laughing out loud.

It's too early to say about the fit.  I haven't worn IEMs for several years and my ears are adjusting to them.  I can feel a couple of irritation spots that may either disappear or become problems that require adjustment.

Unfortunately, I've been surprised by an issue that wasn't apparent at the meet.  There is a very slight residual hiss from the UERMs when they're plugged into my Isabellina HPA. This is the first time I've heard anything but a black background from the Isabellina.  It's not a deal breaker, but it is a bit disappointing. I also have very little latitude with the volume control.  It goes from off to too loud very quickly.  I plan to give Vinnie at Red Wine a call and see if there's anything that can be done to address these issues.

Overall, despite some minor annoyances, I'm pleased.  I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of these.


I reported a while back that I had some background hiss with my Amphora, which uses the same circuit in the headphone amp.  The ES3X hiss the most with it, and the JH13Pro the least, while the UE11Pro  and ES5 are in the middle.  So only the hiss with ES3X is really intrusive during quiet passages - but a Westone volume attenuator with very slightly reduced volume kills the hiss completely, although it hurts the transparency slightly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

As long as you have a good fit (mine is still a bit off) it shouldn't irritate or cause any discomfort while eating with your customs in.


I have trouble chewing food while wearing my custom IEM because my TMJ makes clicking and popping noises when I bite down, and sometimes the IEM make it worse.  The Westone are more comfortable but no better with the clicking.

 

post #53 of 263



This is due to moisture.   The tinsel conductor used in these cables are high purity copper with silver coating, the round conductors are then "flattened" into tiny ribbons and grouped together to make the tinsel.  During the flattening process, the silver coating gets stretched and may leave blank spots to expose the copper underneath.  The type of cable still offers the best combination in terms of strength, flexibility, and sonic quality, but unfortunately, no one has figured out how to avoid the blank spots to avoid oxidation without sacrificing flexibility and sound.  We are still working on this :-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PANGES View Post

Does anyone know what physically causes the clear/silver cables to turn green? Is it moisture? heat?



 

post #54 of 263



Just want to clarify something and we'll need to do a better job with the manual... the "attenuator", while looks exactly the same as the one comes with the TF10s, it has different guts and purpose.  The ones that come with the TF10s are for in-plane use, while the ones included with the UERMs are for "impedance matching".  As yo know, BA-based earphones have low-impedance and this presents a challenge to many headphone amplifiers in the market today.  This impedance matching issue could show up in a variety of ways, but in general it alters the cross-over frequency.  The end results maybe less bass response than the original design, or high frequency noise...  I suggest you try listening with and without the impedance adapter and judge for yourself.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post




I'm not even sure if I should say this, but mine came with the 1/4" adapter and attenuator.  It's the same one that comes with the TF10s.  But like you said, no biggie.  smile.gif

 

 

The packaging is nice.  I was really impressed by the magnetic flap on the outer black fiberboard case.  I never use the OEM supplied cases and I'm not starting now.  tongue.gif  The case is quite nice with the printed name and it looks almost military stealth-like.  But it is a little big just for carrying around and it doesn't have an air tight seal.  I bought a re-usable desiccant pack (because I'm insane) and planned on using it.  So I might go with a Pelican box or something similar.



 

post #55 of 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL View Post


Just want to clarify something and we'll need to do a better job with the manual... the "attenuator", while looks exactly the same as the one comes with the TF10s, it has different guts and purpose.  The ones that come with the TF10s are for in-plane use, while the ones included with the UERMs are for "impedance matching".  As yo know, BA-based earphones have low-impedance and this presents a challenge to many headphone amplifiers in the market today.  This impedance matching issue could show up in a variety of ways, but in general it alters the cross-over frequency.  The end results maybe less bass response than the original design, or high frequency noise...  I suggest you try listening with and without the impedance adapter and judge for yourself.


That's so interesting... thanks!  I was wondering because when I tried using the one that came with the customs, I didn't notice any attenuation.  confused_face%281%29.gif  I'll try one from my TF10s and see what happens.  These customs are pretty efficient!

 

post #56 of 263

 

Had no idea my UE Reference Monitors were in the mail and received them last night!!

 

These are exactly what I had hoped for in balance and extension, clarity and spatial imaging (though it is in the head), and "general" sound signature.

 

What I mean by "general" sound signature is that I wanted something just a tad brighter than the HF2 and not as bright as the RS2i (some kind of combination of these phones with isolation and great fit/detail/extension). 

 

I didn't know what truly "designed as neutral" phones would sound like.  As it turns out, I absolutely dig them and they remind me of my RS2i with more low extension/clarity/imaging, a less bright/harsh and more "natural" top end.  The sub-bass is there (but not huge), the bass is great (not too much and very clean, but also very tunable on Sony X to "BIG" levels if desired and not already big) so it is a very satisfying and actually pretty amazing presentation to me.  I can concentrate on any section of the music or frequency range and enjoy it without distraction.  If I am lying in the dark, I can also kind of "visualize" the sounds on different planes and at different angles moving in time and that's certainly a new one for me...

 

Initial custom fit and impressions:

 

  • Fit is very deep (this is embarrassing- they can tickle) but they are surprisingly comfortable and it's a good snug fit.
  • It took me months to get used to universals/tips so I'm pretty happy that these already are very promising...the right side gets actual "suction" but both seem to seal well.
  • As I am getting used to them, I will probably be taking them out every couple of hours.  
  • Quick/Easy to insert, a little slower to remove (still learning).  
  • Love them better straight out of X or iPhone with no effects or EQ than with LOD and iBasso D12 (which muddies and dampens clarity a bit).  
  • They seem very efficient, I wonder if a Pico Slim or Stepdance would improve the performance at all...
  • I can now really tell that my Sony X is warm (piano sounds very warm with decay), I like the pairing but am also interested in hearing an analytical source just to see how much the UERM can resolve and just how warm my sources are.   

 

 

Running through some reference tracks:

 

Sibilance check:  David Gray "Please Forgive Me" and Lyle Lovett "Flyin' Shoes"...passed with "flyin' colors"- lots of detail, the sibilance is just on the edge for Lyle but no bother.

 

Sub-Bass:  At about a minute left on David Gray's "Please Forgive Me", there is a sub-bass beat that sounds great. Lyle's "Flyin' Shoes" does have more audible/apparent sub-bass on my friend's mastering rig (Duntech/Dunlavy).  On Massive Attack Heligoland's "Paradise Circus (Breakage's Tightrope Remix)"- the female vocal takes precedence, the sub-bass is clean, present, but not overly abundant.  It's all there but not trying to take you into the club (the IE8's still have the best "club feel").  Last night, lying down however...I had a strange sensation like I could feel the sub-bass kind of go down my throat and into my lungs a little bit (which was cool and weird at the same time).  BTW, Bass Booster EQ on the iPhone is horrible on "Paradise Circus"- it really distorts.  Plus side of hearing the sub-bass but with less quantity with UERM is that I can hear the sound design and "texture" on more sounds in Massive Attack that I didn't notice before.  The minus here would be that they are not really designed for the Massive Attack sub-bass intensity and for bass impact on those tracks I will lean toward HF2 or MS1.  But it presents well on all but the lowest electronic sub-bass that you are supposed to "feel".  (I had my heart massaged at the Massive Attack concert last year.)     

 

Bass:  Wow- on Massive Attack's "Dissolved Girl" bass is less sub-bass and more in the bass region- it is big, full, and has impact- all depends on the Massive Attack song...lacks no bass to me whatsoever.  Me'Shell Ndegocello's presents Spirit Jamia Dance of the Infidel actually sounds <just right> on the UERM and the RS2i while on the TF10 and HF2 it is too much.   Same with The Roots Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to The Roots Vol. 1 "Sacrifice (Live)".  Just right on the bass/vocals/snare all- on the RS2i there is just too much energy in the snare and it grates...so better balance here from bass to high end.  Sade's "Soldier of Love" just sounds awesome where there is this big string bass and beat together.  Does on HF2 also but I just pick out a separation between the heavy bass "string sound" and underlying beat which I couldn't pick out before.  In "Babyfather", the bass now sounds a little leaner than I am used to with more mids and vocal emphasis.  With Sony X setting changes the bass is totally tunable (just turn the DSEE on or EQ it) whereas in the Massive Attack sub-bass you couldn't just "dial it up" and have it sound/feel right.  Dave Gilmour's "On An Island"- bass is a great floor for the floating mid-range vocals but here also it does seem a little recessed from what I am used to.  Will be interesting to see what "normal bass" is to me after a month with the UERM... 

 

The kick-drum on DSOTM's "Any Colour You Like" is nice on the UERM but the RS2i do something a little more fun (move air with the kick-drum that is satisfying).  Physically, these are not moving the same amount of air so you won't have the same physical effects of open-air cans and dynamic drivers.  I could kind of "feel" the sub-bass a bit though, so this will probably be in the perception of the listener.  (Guess later they can come out with dynamic/balanced armature/planar magnetic Three-Way Driver Technology customs with additional "Air-Gun-Vibrostatic" engines to transmit sonic sensation through the pinnae...or not.)  Bottom line is that I can get the bass I want if it seems a little light on some tracks but it is mostly fantastic so far, also clean/fast enough, and does not get in the way of anything else.

 

Mids:  The quote goes, "The music is in the mids."  One mastering/musician friend says this and one mastering/musician friend really likes his sub-bass.  I want to hear it all.  On music that I am used to going to for big bass impact, I find the mids more forward on UERM.  On everything else, it all just sounds "balanced/natural" (most of the time) and I can roam around the music and just listen to whatever I want to...  The mids of these are just awesome.  On the TF10 I find the mids a bit recessed.  These seem like they are great for vocals...vocals are in the middle of my head and very clear, though sometimes a bit too pronounced on some tracks.  (Hmmm, I know I am in the mids section but while listening to Sufan Steven's "Jacksonville" for the mids, I can just hear/feel this very low kick-drum I never really noticed before.  Will have to see what other phones I can hear that on...)  At the meet where I got to hear the universal-fit version of the UERM, the mids really stood out to me and that makes sense based on further listening and especially with certain tracks.

 

Highs:  Here is another surprise for me.  I think I may have fallen into the camp that started to want more treble because I wanted more detail.  On the UERM, the treble has not bothered me once and I feel like I can still hear great detail/texture/shape in the upper mid-range and the attack of transients in electronic music especially.  The highs may be a little rolled off at the top, which makes these sound easy and "natural", probably also curtailing sibilance.  I don't feel I am missing clarity or wanting any more treble though because I can now even pick out which instrument tracks seem "rounder" and which tracks are left "crisper" within the same recording (which I couldn't really pick out before). For example, on some Sufjan tracks the strings are "warmer/rounder" and the banjo or the guitar is crisper (which also makes it more percussive) and that contrasts with the fullness/softer edge recording of other instruments (Casimir Pulaski Day on the Illinoise album, for example).  I guess that I would say I get "shimmer" and "attack" but for treble-heads I would not say "sparkle." Definitely not fatiguing or harsh as the RS2i can sometimes get...will have to see over time if I would like a bit more treble, if it is really good as it is, or if I will EQ a little.

 

 

That all said in rambling form (sorry 'bout that- I'm a real newbie when it comes to sharing impressions like this), I'm very happy and excited about having "neutral, reference" high-end customs that reach a level of imaging, clarity and detail (with extension and balance) that I have not had. 

 

Sometimes they seem "mid-centric" which can be great for the vocals or sometimes a little light in bass or sub-bass, but that depends on the recording and your preference.  I would not get these for "goin' clubbin'" in your chair at home but that's a small percentage of my listening and HF2 are good enough for that (IE8's were the best at that). 

 

My impression is that these are very balanced and are designed for me to hear as much as possible and across the frequency range in my music.  Because of the quality of the sound, detail, and imaging, I find them very fun and "musical" too.  (If I can hear my music and it's really good music with good sound- that's gotta be some type of "musical".) 

 

I also think you can use some EQ and/or warm sources to get beautiful and liquid sound on the UERM since they sound great to me right out of my Sony X with all effects and EQ off.  Some music that I am used to the bass on the HF2 and TF10, I can bump up the bass a little bit for the UERM and it is perfect.  This is definitely to taste.  

 

I'm still getting used to having the customs in my ears but hope that I will be able to use them all day.  Cable is great and very flexible, fortunately with enough room on the split section of cable (as opposed to something like the SM3).  The detachable cable connector looks great and robust and protective.  The big hard case I really like but I do plan on bringing these lots of places so will probably also get a hard case that <just> fits them.  (I bet I could customize <cut> the foam to get my Sony X in the hard case too without a problem...hmmm.)

 

Okay, you guys are already gonna kill me for the length of this post so: THE END.


Edited by CEE TEE - 3/18/11 at 11:50pm
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post #57 of 263

Any differences of note that you can remember between the demo and your custom w/ regard to signature?

post #58 of 263
Thread Starter 

CEE TEE....

Brilliant and thorough writeup !

The length was no issue whatsoever. More impressions please, as you listen for longer periods and to different music.

 

Cheers, and congrats on your new beauties !

post #59 of 263

^^Thanks Shane55...it will take me a little while to figure out what the UERM are and what is in the recordings.  I should go between all of my phones and also go check reference tracks on my friend's studio set-up to try and confirm my impressions.

 

Right now one of my initial impressions is that I will love jazz (bright harmon mutes on trumpets will not bother) and 70's rock on these but on classical/soundtracks such as Yo-Yo Ma's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I still like the greater air movement from my Grados with Jumbos.  I think I might need to amp these though.  Crouching Tiger's dynamic range and quieter production may be challenging my Sony X.   (Wow, the Tron soundtrack is much louder and really compressed on some tracks like 7 and 8...very crunchy.  I would like to see the various tracks on a meter.)  So, I'm still seeing hearing what these can do!
 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Any differences of note that you can remember between the demo and your custom w/ regard to signature?


@Anaxilus- I had a brief audition with them at the meet in universal form and my takeaway was that the mids really jumped out then.  Now I understand why- I used my "bass reference" tracks and was comparing to TF10.  I can replicate that sensation now.  Electronic music that relies more on the sub-bass vs. bass region or after listening to RS2i.  I think I need to amp these with a high-quality amp though because using a different source I am getting more sub-bass.  Also, they are not "bright" so that contributed to me thinking "mids"!  They may be just what they are said to be- balanced, with extension.  I switch back and forth between RS2i/HF2 and these do seem to live in the "mid-dle"...  So that's with regards to signature and I'm sorry I don't have more to say about demo vs. actual.  (The actual customs have so much more presence and imaging to me compared to the demo that I heard with my TF10 medium silicone tips, though.) 

 

Having the actual customs now and running through more tracks (noone is standing in line to listen to these), I think they might end up being just great as they are ~70% of the time "sound sig-wise" and maybe 15% of the time I may wish to tick up the bass an increment or 15% of the time ticking up somewhere in 6K-16K range.  (Hmmm, I'm listening to Dave Gilmour again and I wouldn't mess with it.  Listening level may also play a part in wanting to adjust...anyone have any comments on that?)

 

To clarify my comments about "sparkle" on the top end in my impressions post, I was listening to the intro to DSOTM's "Time" last night.  I think I hear a lot of detail in the chimes intro but it is not at all grating/harsh to me with the UERM...I don't have to turn it down at all, even if I EQ up the 6K-16K or 2.5K-16K.   Zeppelin's "Achilles Last Stand" and 70's rock is great with these...  With RS2i's I do sometimes want to take the Jumbo pads off and put comfies on or jump to HF2.  

 

Hmm, UERM are smoother than the HF2 in the upper mid-range and treble...UERM compared to TF10 is very interesting.  (TF10 are big/full-sounding, and "fun" with lower-end emphasis but not linear [some areas/info seem missing] and also it's difficult to concentrate on individual sounds vs. the overall sound.  UERM would definitely be better tools as monitors.) 

 

I'm going to need to spend a lot more time listening, glad I finally have a free weekend!  

 

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post #60 of 263

has anyone experimented with cables other than the stock ones? e.g. the twag for the UERM?

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