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Shure se535 vs. Westone UM3x for a person with small ears?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 



I am relatively new to sound, but recently there is nothing I think about more than headphones. Although I have been stalking threads on this forum for sometime, this is my first post. I found that more often than not, someone had already posted on a subject I was looking for, and I found my answer. This time however...


So after much deliberation and research, I recently bought a pair of Shure se535s. I am overall happy with the sound but the overtly forward mids, deep yet bodiless bass, and relative lack of instrument separation works well for some kinds of music, but leaves something to be desired when listening to jazz, classical and other forms of instrumental music. This has lead me to become highly interested in westones UM3x. HOWEVER, alas, I have small ears and ear canals. Whats worse is that my left ear is smaller than my right ear! While the 535 fit quite well in my right ear (at times it feels like its not even there) my left ear starts to hurt after sometime, and I am constantly aware that I am wearing earphones.


I have read in many threads that UM3x is probably one of the most comfortable earphones available today. However, I also read that the body of the UM3x is larger than some of the other westone earphones. I live in India, so I have no chance of trying or returning these headphones once I have them shipped over, so any purchase for me is more or less final. 


So my question is: Is the housing of the UM3x smaller than the se535 or are they more or less the same size? Also, does the UM3x go as deep into the ear canal as the 535s? Even if it is marginally smaller, my left ear should be able to find it comfortable.


Thanks in advance for any responses!

post #2 of 12

their sizes dont have much difference... if u really want comfort got for klipsch x10

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the reply premonition. Does anyone else have any experience with the comfort/fit of these two earphones? A more detailed comparison would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

post #4 of 12
I have both and the fit is almost the same the um3x are more comfortable the cable is softer and the case is thinner

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post #5 of 12
Anyway if you have the 535 and you want a quality sound upgrade check out the sony ex 1000 if you dont care about isolation too much

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post #6 of 12

I would like to know what the Sony does that the 535 doesn`t in terms of sound quality. What I will say is that if you shy away from badly encoded dance/trance tracks and listen to acoustic, jazz and rock then I would be very surprised if the 535 can be beat iems in that bracket.

Simply stunning soundstage and imaging. Yes they have bass, not a moving coil bass but it is definitely there.


Maybe you are correct, just my very short opinion over the weekend.

post #7 of 12

From my experience with both the SE535 and UM3x, the 535 was more comfortable sitting in my ear. It doesn't press against the bowl of my ear, whereas the UM3x did.   I found that this fit (for me) is the same for the W3 and W4 as well.   I ended up staying with the SE535  because of it.  The Westone cord is more comfortable though, especially when wearing glasses. 


I agree with the above post; if the driver pressing against your ear is uncomfortable for you, you should look at a more cylindrical housing, like the Klipsch. (<-- This statement is based on form factor alone, not sound)

post #8 of 12

Im loving my SE535's, just dont work out in them...

post #9 of 12
I have the shure 535 with custom tips and the ex 1000 with the stock tips beat them in every way

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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Wow! I wasn't expecting so many replies so quickly; thanks a lot guys. What I seem to understand is that the size of the housing in both these earphones are almost identical, while the cable is more comfortable in the UM3x. 


Kurdt-bada, what do you mean when you say the case is thinner? Do you mean the housing of the earphone, or the carrying case that comes along with the earphone? Also, what about the length of the nozzle? Are they the same, or is one even marginally smaller than the other?

post #11 of 12

I personally love the 535's, but......after using the Westones, I had a difficult time even wearing them anymore. Can I ask what tips are you using? I sometimes had a problem with one ear, using triple flange for the shures. The cable while is a nice design, requires some breaking in. Westones are so darn comfortable I sometimes don;t even notice they're in. Westone cables, while at first I thought might be flimsy, but rest assured, along with being extremely light, it is Very durable

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm using the comply tx-100 tips, the small ones. Those are the ones with the wax guards (although I used a small scissor and pulled out the wax guards as I found they were dampening/texturizing the sound too much). While they are much more comfortable than all the other tips included with the 535's, I find that even the small ones are too large for my left ear! I guess I just have a freakishly small left ear canal. Unfortunately, I am not sure if there are any companies in India presently that can make me custom tips, although that might seem to be the only solution for me. Are there any foam tips out there in the market that could fit these IEMs are are smaller than comply's small tips? 

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