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IEM's?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to decide on a new IEM. I'm looking at the UM3X, the W3, the W4, and the SM3. The SM3 is kinda out because of the France thing, and it's also the most expensive. From what it seems the W4 and W3 are similar, so the W3 would be my choice there cause I'm on a budget. So it's between the UM3X and the W3. I know that the UM3X is more neutral and the W3 is more "fun". I just want to hear about the sonic differences, in terms of detail. Soundstage would probably my biggest influence in buying choice. I don't like perfectly flat sound, it's boring. But I don't like extreme coloring, like Grado's. I like the sound to be a very slight "U" shape. Basically, I like flat sound when it's not boring flat. So what are the key differences? And the biggest influence of all - driving. Can the UM3X be driven straight out of an iPhone 4 or does it need an amp? Same question for the W3. Thanks!

post #2 of 19

There are two type of SM3, old one and New V2

Old one is much cheaper then the new V2. You can even get it second hand for under 300US on FS section.

 

 

post #3 of 19

The UM3X pairs well with the iPhone 4. Minimal hiss and plenty of power.

post #4 of 19

http://www.soundearphones.com/brands/earsonics/earsonics-sm3-earphones

 

Dunno about shipping on those, but the price seems good.

post #5 of 19

Are W3 and W4 really similar? because the W3 has extremely emphasized bass and treble.

 

SM3 and UM3x have similar sound signatures but VERY different presentation. I just got my UM3x yesterday and i have them on right now :D I preferred it over the SM3 which doesnt work well with rock, but great for acoustic and simpler genres.

 

W3 is probably on the "extreme coloring" side so you should probably cross that one out.

 

If you listen to rock, I would cross the SM3's out as well as they have a lush sound signature that doesnt let rock fly but for anything else, they are a thing of beauty.

 

UM3x focuses on instrument separation, has some great warm mids and really sounds like what you're looking for. SM3's if you only listen to slow music as they have great 3d soundstage along with great bass

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

yeah i probably should have noted my music genres. 70% rock, 29% hip-hop (good hip-hop not this new trash coming out), and 1% jazz and other stuff.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliKot View Post

Are W3 and W4 really similar? because the W3 has extremely emphasized bass and treble.

 

SM3 and UM3x have similar sound signatures but VERY different presentation. I just got my UM3x yesterday and i have them on right now :D I preferred it over the SM3 which doesnt work well with rock, but great for acoustic and simpler genres.

 

W3 is probably on the "extreme coloring" side so you should probably cross that one out.

 

If you listen to rock, I would cross the SM3's out as well as they have a lush sound signature that doesnt let rock fly but for anything else, they are a thing of beauty.

 

UM3x focuses on instrument separation, has some great warm mids and really sounds like what you're looking for. SM3's if you only listen to slow music as they have great 3d soundstage along with great bass


The Westone 4 basically fixed everything that was wrong with the W3

 

post #8 of 19

There was nothing "wrong" with W3 although some people had fit/siblance issues.

 

I would take W3 over W4 in a heartbeat.  Unamped I find it more efficient, better, punchier bass, fuller sound (like a headphone), better clarity, crispier more detailed treble, and a larger soundstage.  I even prefer the midrange where I find W4 a bit too forward.  Yes, I find W4 a bit more refined sounding but it is too much where the presentation is overly smooth and almost veiled sounding.  But that's just me.

 

Actually if you dig up Headphone Addicts original long edition review on W3 he was even more praise-worthy that I am being and compared it to $1,200 customs and I would agree.

post #9 of 19

the france thing?

post #10 of 19

HFA's very long review on W3:  One man's opinion but his audio accumen is as highly regarded around here as anyone's

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/386477/review-westone-3-the-ultimate-universal-iem-vs-everything-else-aka-w3-appreciation-thread

 

Excellent review!

post #11 of 19
The W3 is a mid bass cannon. The W4 exhibits greater bass control and texture and I find more detail retrieval throughout the entire spectrum.

I find the W3 great for certain genres, whereas I find the W4 great with everything.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post




The Westone 4 basically fixed everything that was wrong with the W3

 


Is there anything wrong with Westone 3??  

 

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freefallr4545 View Post

Is there anything wrong with Westone 3??  

 


The main things that were wrong with the W3 were its significant midbass hump (you'll read about it quite a bit) and occasional sibilance (because it is very fit/tip dependent). The W4 still has rich, full bass but the midbass is better controlled and does not overpower the mids. It is also more forgiving of a less-than-perfect seal than the W3 is.

 

I have only briefly demoed the W4, but this is what I noticed right away. I had the W3 on loan from a friend for a couple of weeks but was not able to do a side-by-side comparison. I ultimately chose to go with the UM3X, if that tells you anything.

 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

The W3 is a mid bass cannon. The W4 exhibits greater bass control and texture and I find more detail retrieval throughout the entire spectrum.

I find the W3 great for certain genres, whereas I find the W4 great with everything.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliKot View Post

Are W3 and W4 really similar? because the W3 has extremely emphasized bass and treble.

 

SM3 and UM3x have similar sound signatures but VERY different presentation. I just got my UM3x yesterday and i have them on right now :D I preferred it over the SM3 which doesnt work well with rock, but great for acoustic and simpler genres.

 

W3 is probably on the "extreme coloring" side so you should probably cross that one out.

 

If you listen to rock, I would cross the SM3's out as well as they have a lush sound signature that doesnt let rock fly but for anything else, they are a thing of beauty.

 

UM3x focuses on instrument separation, has some great warm mids and really sounds like what you're looking for. SM3's if you only listen to slow music as they have great 3d soundstage along with great bass


I rest my case.

 

post #15 of 19
Do your research. Go try them at some headphone meet. I don't know what else to say. Its basically flavor of the month. Some people like W3 over W4. I think the SM3 are interesting because I read a ton of reviews about them and a lot of people have a hard time describing them. I never heard them.

UM3X has a forward presentation. I think its purposely designed that way for stage monitoring. Sensitivity is off the scale - lowest setting on my iphone 3GS drives them too loud. I bought an amp to deamplify the UM3X.
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