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My W4s Came In! Preliminary Review Inside......(Westone 4 Vs Earphonics SM3) - Page 2

Poll Results: So which One?

 
  • 56% (41)
    Westone 4
  • 43% (32)
    EarSonics SM3
73 Total Votes  
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingice10 View Post

Well either way you will be making the right choice...sorry, I can't suggest you where to buy these phones given your location but if you are here in SG, there are a lot of audio shops out here carrying top of the line headphones. you can even try them out.

 

Happy to have your impressions in the W4 club!

 



 


Again, I am amazed at the poor offerings in what some consider the best city in the world...I've been told I cannot come in and try earphones even if they do have them -- I mean these people really expect to sell $450 IEMs to the general public without offering a demo? Health issues, my ass...I've seen demo kits full of silicon and foamies - must just be lazy salespeople or who knows what.

 

Either way I am glad I decided, and I should have them before the weekend which will give me ample time to allow them to burn in, and get a good feel of what they do.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by IpodHappy View Post

Agreed, it will be great to know your impressions of the W4 as a DJ.  I have both IEMs, but end up listening to the W4s more for 3 reasons: (1) the higher frequency response of the W4s give music a bit more airiness, (2) the W4s have more clarity, allowing better discrimination of tracks which are in the background of the mix, (3) the W4s are more comfortable than the SM3s.

 

That said, the sound signature of the SM3s, being warm and lush, tends to bring out the bass.  I like the W4s more for acoustic/classical music and the SM3s more for electronic.



Yes, definitely. Well to be honest, being a DJ is something I am very familiar with, being an audiophile - not so much. Although I do own a considerable amount of high-end sound equipment - studio monitors, PA/Subs, etc. So I do have "some" experience. As far as headphones go, I can compare the W4s directly to the Triple Fi 10s, Monster Turbines, and Etys - those are primarily the ones I've had experience with and I won't mind sharing my thoughts. Headphone wise I've used a variety of DJ quality headphones - my all time fav is the DJ1-Pro by Ultrasone. Ultrasone makes great quality stuff - but I've found their customer service to be lacking....actually non-existent which is considerably annoying considering all the business I've given them.

 

Back to the W4s - (1) This is something I am trying to get a better handle on. When you guys say more "airiness" are you referring to a wider soundstage? I apologize if I am not up on the audiophile terms yet - I am sure that will come with my time on this forum. (2) being that these have more clarity, and excellent instrument separation, you think these might be something of value for production/studio mixing use? Are they neutral enough for that? (3) Comfort is always important - Like I said before, the logistics were a primary reason I decided against the SM3...while the sound signature *may* have been more to my liking, I felt the W4 was equally good, and presented better cable design, build quality and comfort over all. Let's hope my anticipation holds up :-)

 

On the bass, quantity is always good, but I think it is important that the bass is accurate and tight as well....so that should go for something. Accurate reproduction of bass is important - that it's there when it should be and not overpowering when it shouldn't. I guess I'll know more in a day or so now...

post #17 of 31

Start here

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sounds-audio-glossary-glossary

post #18 of 31

I voted for the Westone 4 for you but I like the sound signature of SM3 more. You can't really go wrong with any of them. In my opinion, the SM3 is like listening live with you close to the band and the Westone 4 is like listening inside the studio. SM3 has more bass quantity, but I found the Westone 4 has better quality. Treble wise, the Westone 4 extends more than the SM3 but both are smooth and non-fatiguing with good sparkle in that area. I prefer the mids of the SM3 though, I find it more engaging to listen to. I only listened to the Westone 4 for a few minutes, while I owned the SM3 before. The W4 is very comfortable, the build is better, the Y-split is longer, but more expensive. :)

post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by incongnit0 View Post

Start here

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sounds-audio-glossary-glossary



Thank you! This is an excellent resource!


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by airwax View Post

I voted for the Westone 4 for you but I like the sound signature of SM3 more. You can't really go wrong with any of them. In my opinion, the SM3 is like listening live with you close to the band and the Westone 4 is like listening inside the studio. SM3 has more bass quantity, but I found the Westone 4 has better quality. Treble wise, the Westone 4 extends more than the SM3 but both are smooth and non-fatiguing with good sparkle in that area. I prefer the mids of the SM3 though, I find it more engaging to listen to. I only listened to the Westone 4 for a few minutes, while I owned the SM3 before. The W4 is very comfortable, the build is better, the Y-split is longer, but more expensive. :)



I guess quality is generally better than quantity - I don't want the sound to feel like it is "forced' if you catch my drift.


I am wondering, if I really end up liking the sound of the W4s and want to increase the bass response, remolding them as a custom (1964 ears does that I believe?) Might be a way to go? As customs....well most people know the benefits of them.

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

Okay - so after checking and re-checking the delivery status like a obsessed little child - I was very recently just connected with my Westone 4s

 

I've only been playing around with them for about an hour so far.....but I figured I didn't want to make you guys wait - and I will give some preliminary points of review.

 

When I first opened the package, the first thing I noticed was the cable itself. I mean, when I say this is an excellent design...I am talking about the build quality of the cable being terrifically superb (pardon me if I don't make sense, I have them in my ears right now and the sound is just....more on this later)! Really though, before this I had the TF10 - I am not going to sit here and do a comparison (because I don't feel it is fair to UE cause the W4 is really out of the TF10s league). While I do like the UE sound signature, this does blow it away. The SQ is retarded (in a good way) - and whoever said W4s are the gateway to customs - I completely understand what you meant now. I would be highly surprised if I have these for another 2 months and don't jump up to customs (got the UE11s in my sights now).


Back to the music though - so far I've tested these out with a variety of hip-hop, pop, top 40, dance, and even more mellow tracks which really focus heavy on vocals, piano instrumentals (the detail here is incredulous). The detail is really very very good. The bass (I won't really get into mid/low bass just yet, but suffice it to say that it can reproduce sub-bass as some pretty decent frequencies without roll-off). Actually the bass overall is very good - I can see how some people might want a little bit more bass (I even feel like I could use a little bit more right now - BUT WAIT - I've heard sets which push the bass out harder and it ends up being perceived as distorted, almost like when you pushing a woofer past the limit of it's voice coil (if you understand where I'm going with this). 


I will say this - when I first put these in my ear, I was about to jump through the screen and choke you people who made me buy these - cause the first thing I heard when I put these in my year was TINGYNESS and MUD! This all went away within about 2 tracks....I don't know if that was my ears getting used to them, or the tips or what. The more I am listening to them (as I type), they are beginning to open up. It's almost like (if any of you guys are wine aficionados) when you open a really good bottle of wine and toss it into a decanter, the wine slowly opens up - and these are doing the same thing. It's like slowly and slowly the air is hitting them and blowing life into the aroma (so to speak). The tingyness is definitely gone, and the muddyness is pretty much gone with it,  I think the more I listen my ears will better understand the sound signature.

 

Instrument separation - Is very good. Not much to be said here. I am hearing things that I'd normally only hear in a studio setting (vs. live vs.audition setting), and that is truly amazing to me. I almost feel like I could use these tracks to master a mix (this is after about 1.5 hours of use (roughly). 

 

I have to mention - on the piano instrumental - You can really "FEEL" the bass. I mean, on the hip-hop tracks you know the bass is present - it's expected, it's hip-hop -- BUT, on the piano tracks you can really FEEL the bass, it's punchy, TIGHT, accurate. I really don't know how better to explain it at this point. I read someone saying these were lifeless and flat when it came to their instrumental music....I don't know what you were talking about (or maybe my ears are just not as trained as I had thought), but the bass on those piano tracks is warm, and encapsulating....

 

Finally (for now at least) - I will go on and mention that these are really LIGHT (weight wise), I mean really not heavy at all, compared to the TF10s, these are feather light. 

 

Ohh, and I ended up using the foam tips (I believe they are complys?). The large ones fit the best for me so far, to get the best seal at least. The large tip is actually huge, but the medium ones while they are longer, the circumference of the tip is not as great - the tip is quite narrow and my ear canal must be larger as they did not give me a good seal. The smaller tips have a better circumference, but they are super short and barely go far enough into my ear canal (shit they barely go far enough into my ear itself, lol). So right now I'm working w/ the large complys. I tried out the triple flange - they also provide a good seal and decent sound - but are a bit uncomfortable. When I had the TF10s, I tried all the tips they came with, and my fav were the medium complys. Some of you have been mentioning the shure foamies are good, can someone provide me with a link if possible?

 

Also what is the recommend burn in procedure for these per you guys? Should I just connect them to an audio source and let it play non-stop for a couple days or burn them in as I use them occasionally (won't be very occasional this week though, I'll tell you that!)?

 

That's all for right now - if anyone has any particular comments or questions, let me know! Thanks again everyone for your help in uniting me w/ the W4s!

post #21 of 31

w4 over sm3 anyday. congrats alphahelix. enjoy your w4

post #22 of 31
Congrats.
post #23 of 31

Nice @alphahelix! Enjoy your gear and your music!

post #24 of 31

Congrats, and BAs don't need burn in IMO, just the crosssovers which is less than an hour and the brain which is anywhere from 15 min to a week

post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the congrats everyone - Day 2 so far, so good! Sounding better and better as we progress so far!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by incongnit0 View Post

Congrats, and BAs don't need burn in IMO, just the crosssovers which is less than an hour and the brain which is anywhere from 15 min to a week


 

Thanks for the tip! They def did open up a lot after the first hour, so I agree with your point completely. Probably my brain getting used to them :-)

 

 

PS: They are very, very comfortable. I almost fell asleep on them. They are not like the TF10s which stick far out of your ears so if you roll on your side with the W4s you won't even feel them!

post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
I've heard a number of you here talking about the various Shure tips and how they are the best thing since sliced bread.

I thought I'd give them a shot because between the hard silicone(clear tips) & the complys I'm stuck between comfort and proper isolation.

What do you guys recommend and how can I go about getting the right ones for the W4? I imagine all sizes are not universal?
post #27 of 31

Alphahelix,

 

Thanks for sharing your impressions.  Glad you're liking these.  Your first few minutes of horror might have been due to a new pair of Comply tips just expanding to give you a good seal.

 

The Shure black foams come in three sizes, large, medium, and small.  You might want to start with a medium pack and see how they work for you.  The Shure material is much denser than the Comply foam, meaning that if the fit isn't right, it's going to feel a bit uncomfortable in your ear.  You might also find them a bit hard to get on and off the W4s.  I'd recommend you rub the W4 sound nozzle with your fingers before putting the Shure tips on just to be sure there is a bit of lubricant between the two plastics.

 

My W4s came with two diameters of long Comply tips.  I use the larger diameter Comply's even though the smaller Shure foams fit me best.

post #28 of 31

i would say sm3 is more liquid and has better mids, but the westone 4 has better treble, sm3 treble is kinda recessed. 

post #29 of 31

SM3 treble is kinda recessed?! OMG!!! deadhorse.gifIt's the best, most accurate, most realistic treble I've ever heard on universal IEMs. And quantity is just perfect.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphahelix View Post

 

Also what is the recommend burn in procedure for these per you guys? Should I just connect them to an audio source and let it play non-stop for a couple days or burn them in as I use them occasionally (won't be very occasional this week though, I'll tell you that!)?

 

Dude, burn-in is just for dynamic drivers. Those ara Balanced Armatures (BA). Burn-in does nothing.
 

 

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