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Universal similar to the Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've had a chance to listen to the Ultimate Ears RM universal demo, and all the JH demos(own the JH5) and all the Ultimate Ears demos. The RM was honestly the best earphone I've ever heard, and the second I put it on realized it was the one to stop the madness. However, I can't justify dropping a grand on headphones. Any suggestions on something similar, I believe in the hype that they were perfectly balanced. The EQ-5 somehow has me interested...although they're probably not that similar at all.  

post #2 of 16

I received an UERM demo unit today and from first impressions I'd say Westone W4. e-Q5 is no bad guess, but the W4 are closer with just a smidgen of added warmth. More impressed by the UERM-D btw than by the JH13-D I heard a few days ago.

post #3 of 16

^

Now that is surprising based on what I've read about them. I would have thought something like the DBA-02, GR10 or earphones with that kind of tone would be closer to them.

post #4 of 16

I haven't heard the DBA-02, but the UERM-D have a tad more weight and fullness to their sound as compared to the likes of e-Q5 and GR10, just like the W4 (to these ears). At the same time they're still somewhat sparkly and airy, but without any hint of spikes, again closer to the W4 than to the others. Though these are just very early impressions and only from direct A/B with the W4.

post #5 of 16

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Edited by Anaxilus - 6/27/11 at 1:41pm
post #6 of 16

DBA-02 w/ Arrow Bass boost or a Digizoid ZO is closest I've heard.  The DBA does a few things better for less critical listening and a more euphonic experience.  It has a slight treble boost that adds to a greater sense of perceived clarity and it hides more unwanted 'issues' w/ non pristine tracks.  The DBA is very resolving and detailed except for lower end texture and some transients or ambient micro detail due to its speed but it's great.  The IERM is just an accurate and resolving beast though.  The extra engineering is apparent.  I've kept wavering back and forth between selling my IERM or not but I've since upgraded my chain and they've scaled well enough to where I have a hard time stopping the music.  That's a sign so they're a keeper.  If UE replaced the bass driver w/ the Sony 16mm and made it work I would say that would be the most accurate, neutral and detailed IEM I've heard yet.  Till then.... 

 

So James, don't you think the IERM has an interesting bass driver for a single armature?  The ES5 even takes that to another level.  I'm now convinced that multiple armature bass drivers are not the way to go.


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/27/11 at 1:42pm
post #7 of 16

^ I'd reckon that both the UERM and W4 are slightly too bass light for your taste, and from my short listen I didn't get the impression that one of these has a significant edge over the other in bass. Agreed, the Sony 16mm is the most intriguing bass I've heard so far, though not sure I'd also call it the most accurate. Whatever, there's plenty of room for different flavors of accuracy between Fletcher, Munson and Pianist. wink.gif

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

^ I'd reckon that both the UERM and W4 are slightly too bass light for your taste, and from my short listen I didn't get the impression that one of these has a significant edge over the other in bass. Agreed, the Sony 16mm is the most intriguing bass I've heard so far, though not sure I'd also call it the most accurate. Whatever, there's plenty of room for different flavors of accuracy between Fletcher, Munson and Pianist. wink.gif


Haha.  Not at all.  I actually find the UERM bass just fine for me.  Seems pretty accurate quantity wise.  I think it has just a hair more bass quantity than the EX1000 but loses in most other quality aspects.  I just got done listening to How We Do by The Game on the UEIERM and it was bumpin' yo!  wink.gif

 

post #9 of 16

Ok, so I think I need an explanation. You told me to stay away from the ES5 if I liked the W4. Back then I thought that was because of bass quantity, but since you find the UERM's bass just fine I'm not so sure any more. Care to elaborate?

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Ok, so I think I need an explanation. You told me to stay away from the ES5 if I liked the W4. Back then I thought that was because of bass quantity, but since you find the UERM's bass just fine I'm not so sure any more. Care to elaborate?


Trying to recollect that conversation.  Maybe I was trying to save you money.  I usually tell people to just skip the W4 for the ES5 lol.  Put it this way, if any more bass than the UERM is too much then don't get the ES5.  It goes lower, hits harder and is a fuller, thicker sound as Westone is known for.

 

The UERM is for listening to the recording.  The ES5 is for being transported beyond it to a live venue.  The ES5 is a more visceral experience.  You can close your eyes and find yourself in the middle of a club or Godsmack concert or trumpets blaring right in front of you.  I also like it for acoustic performances as it has that sort of rich tonality for woods, strings and horns.  But, if you like a more delicate sound of say an unamplified live jazz quartet then the UERM w/ a rich and full sounding source would do the trick.  Otherwise you would want something analytical to lean out the ES5 a bit.  

 

For example I just upgraded my portable amp to a UHA6 w/ OPA627 Burr Brown opamps known to be slightly warm, rich and highly detailed.  That little bit seems to have added a bit of sweetness elevating the UERM a bit above the sound of a recording.  If that makes sense.  I hope no objectivists are reading this.  tongue_smile.gif

 

So I would say it comes down to you sources and sonic preferences as to which way the scales tip.  To put it simply the ES5 is the most accurate and neutral stage monitor I've heard.  But it's still a stage monitor, that's its original intent.  The UERM is just as accurate and neutral as BA's get.  To my ears anyway.   

 

post #11 of 16

^ Thanks for that, Anaxilus. From first impressions the W4 and UERM-D seem to have similar levels of bass. Considering that the full custom should have more visceral impact than the demo, I think I'm gonna stick with the UERM. Got far to little sleep last night cause I couldn't stop listening. I believe there must be some truth to the story about the JH demos not being close to the real thing, at least I hope so for JHA. To my ears the UERM-D surpass the JH13-D in several ways, almost feels like different levels of refinement and coherency. I hope I'll find some flaws with prolonged listening, otherwise it's bad news for my wallet. wink.gif

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

^ Thanks for that, Anaxilus. From first impressions the W4 and UERM-D seem to have similar levels of bass. Considering that the full custom should have more visceral impact than the demo, I think I'm gonna stick with the UERM. Got far to little sleep last night cause I couldn't stop listening. I believe there must be some truth to the story about the JH demos not being close to the real thing, at least I hope so for JHA. To my ears the UERM-D surpass the JH13-D in several ways, almost feels like different levels of refinement and coherency. I hope I'll find some flaws with prolonged listening, otherwise it's bad news for my wallet. wink.gif


Glad you like them James.  They are quite good and to my surprise have scaled well w/ some upgrades to my chain.  The UERM is my usual tool of choice when I AB gear.  Relative changes and nuances are just so easy to pick out.  The UERM is a great tool that can be fun while the ES5 is a fun phone that can be used as a tool.  I'll have to give a JHA demo a listen sometime to see what all the fuss is about on both sides of the argument.

 

Sorry for your wallet too but you could always sell an overhyped universal or something.  eek.giftongue.gif  J/K!!  Lol....etysmile.gif

 

Oh, demos having more or less bass is also a tip dependent thing.  Universal rules apply on that front.  The ES5 demo had a touch more bass w/ my silicone biflanges.  That's also because the demo was a single bore so they probably had more air to play with.  So it all depends.  The UERM might have the same or slightly more than the demo, not sure anymore.  Others can chime in if they recall.

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/27/11 at 10:42pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

The UERM is a great tool that can be fun while the ES5 is a fun phone that can be used as a tool.

[...]

The UERM might have the same or slightly more than the demo, not sure anymore.  Others can chime in if they recall.

 

well put. I just my UERM redone, and they're everything people say in this thread...

 

uerm.jpg

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by asak View Post

I've had a chance to listen to the Ultimate Ears RM universal demo, and all the JH demos(own the JH5) and all the Ultimate Ears demos. The RM was honestly the best earphone I've ever heard, and the second I put it on realized it was the one to stop the madness. However, I can't justify dropping a grand on headphones. Any suggestions on something similar, I believe in the hype that they were perfectly balanced. The EQ-5 somehow has me interested...although they're probably not that similar at all.  

 

might be time for UE themselves to try and release a good universal version based on one of their successful customs - you'd think after a few years that's possible, no?

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post

might be time for UE themselves to try and release a good universal version based on one of their successful customs - you'd think after a few years that's possible, no?

Possible.. definitely. But worth it to them? Doesn't look like the answer is yes.
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