Hey guys, so to cut it short I lost my Westone 4's at the airport and have finally given up looking for them in lost and found. I've looked through both SE535 and JH5 Impression threads (and the ones in between them), and narrowed it down to the two of these earphones.
My question is after this entire paragraph, so feel free to skip it if you already know how a 4 sounds like.
Since I've already had the 4's for some time, I'll give my pros and cons take on them.
Bass detailing - This was a new level of sonic bliss for me, being able to hear every murmur, every detail of a song's bass notes were incredibly eye (or ear)-opening. I believe its one of the stronger traits of the W4 if you are not looking for slappy impactful bass.
Stellar instrument positioning - One of the good characteristics on the 4, with it I felt that the soundstage drastically improved compared with RE262's amped and even Audio Technica M50's, a closed on-ear headphone. Not only that, you can really feel the depth of all the instruments, feeling and savoring each part without sacrificing the big picture.
Superb Comfort - Despite it being a Universal I could wear it for hours. The only discomfort was that due to long hours my ear muscles sometimes feel sore holding them up. The braided wire was soft yet surprisingly durable. Perhaps a custom would be a solution to this, then again, its soft rubber vs hard plastic that you're jamming in your canals so I'm not really sure. Isolation was incredible as well (good enough for me)
So-so mids - coming from a RE262 with lush and liquid mids, I did find the W4's a little dry and bloated when I first got them. Its not really a flaw, perhaps due to W4's flat nature. But I did find myself wanting more prominent mids since they were so refined already.
Slight Veil - As explained above
So, since this clears up some vagueness to my question (and taste to phones)
Which should I get? From what I've read, the JH5 is a livelier W4's, but I get it that they have a slight dip in the mid-range. It sounds perfect for me, in terms of bass and airy highs - but so far I've not seen anyone comment extensively on its mids. Honest opinion here, how do the mids sound? Also, they seem to have a smallish soundstage. Going back from W4 to RE262's, the 262's sounded really congested. Can someone give a more detailed explanation on the JH5 that would help me in my perspective?
I'll not be using any sort of amp as well - this will be for commutes, biking and studying/programming so I'd like to keep it simple, using only an iPhone 4/Cowon J3.
The other alternative is the SE535. If it has almost the same characteristics as the W4 and preserves its lucrative mid range - that might be what I've wanted for a long time too. Fit is probably not a problem since the W4's sat flush. Thick cable could be, but I'm all ears for your input.
Thanks and apologies in advance for the ridiculously long post for such a simple question.
Edited by riddlezildjian - 9/8/11 at 1:10am