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Westone UM3X RC vs. EarSonics SM3 v2 vs. SE535 Showdown (updated 10/5/11) - Page 2

post #16 of 70

So as to not give the impression that they have different sound signatures. Their signatures, as were tuned by EarSonics, are one and the same. The rest is of course however the listener's ears perceives them.

 

EDIT: my apologies, it didn't really belong there. I removed it. Came off the wrong way. redface.gif


Edited by i2ehan - 9/29/11 at 4:12am
post #17 of 70
Thread Starter 
No worries. I think we're saying the same thing. You just said it more succinctly.
post #18 of 70
Thread Starter
post #3 of 2831

SM3 Tips: because tips are important to getting the best sound out of any IEM...

 

NOTE: the more I try different tips, the tips with large openings sound less warm and the treble is more prevalent, sounding more balanced. All of the long, thin opening tips can sound very warm and treble lacking, depending on the insertion angle.

 

SM3 tips.jpg

 

Tip Notes seal isolation comfort sound
Sensorcom Single flange he bottom flange is full silicon and they have a wide opening. When I used a spacer for my right ear, they seal fine and give a nice airy sound. But because of the spacer, the tip came off in my right ear. I need a smaller space (space made from the multifiliment stalk) 5 5 8 6
Sensorcom Double flange As you can see in the background of the pic, these have a long stalk. The opening is large, which is a good thing. These work well for me some of the time, but bend other times. I need to cut them down a little bit and see if that helps. 8 6 7 8
Sensorcom Puresound hese are contoured to the ear, ribbed for, well, a seal. These have large openings. After finding the right angle, these are much better. But they make the sound warm and there must not be a great seal, as the deep bass and dynamics aren't as prevalent as some of my other tips. 7 9 8 6
Sensorcom Curved profile Similar to the Puresound but without the ribs and a little harder silicon. These come in a set of four sizes, and you need to buy 2 (one for each ear, unless your ears are different sizes). These have large openings. My left ear loves the large, this is ultra comfortable and seals real well. My right ear is another story as it must be at an odd angle. Day two of using these and now I can get a good seal with both ears. It helps to lubricate the tips before insertion. 7 10 9 6
Sensorcom multifiliment Closest to a triple flange, but soft and easy on the ear. These have a long stalk and a small opening. I cut off a bit of the stalk for my left ear, and these seal real well. But these must bend in my ears since sometimes they have less treble than others. But their treble is always less than the other tips with a wider opening. 10 8 5 2
Ear Plug Superstore triple flange The Ear Plug Superstore triple flange is a Shure copy. The small opening seems to be a limiting factor with these tips, as this tip does not work with my ears, creating a dark, muffled sound. 7 7 4 1
Ety triple flange cut to bi-flange Similar to the above tip. Bi-flange is too small and won't seal. 0 1 N/A 1
Stock foam SM3 tips Pinched before insertion, and pushed the tip down below the nozzle. These are very comfortable, but seem to reduce the liquid sound of the treble a little bit as well as attenuate the treble. The treble also sounds a little less detailed and the presentation less airy. 8 9 10 4
MC Triple Flange (need spacer) I use a Shure olive core as a spacer due to the shape, and these stay on OK. They have a wide opening. Extremely comfortable with all the details really coming through, however, they can be bent during insertion, causing a dark sound. When inserted properly, these give me by far the best sound. Punchy, dynamic, fun, detailed, great treble. They have it all except isolation, which is fine with me for my typical use. If I need more I will just throw some foam under the largest flange. 10 5 10 10
MC gel under silicon (need spacer)          
MC super tip (need spacer)          
Shure black foam AKA Olive (large) Shallow insertion with a wide opening. The sound is tipped toward a warmer presentation. Treble is still there, but there is added warmth. The bass power is very prevalent. 10 10 5 4
Ety foam (large) I installed them backward so the opening was larger and so there wasn't a wall of foam. Sound is excellent with great impact, balance, and detail, but they do give up a little in the naturalness of the sound. These feel great and work great, but don't isolate as well as the olives. 10 9 10 6
Ety Glider Nice shape with a small opening. Sound is very good, but the treble isn't what it is with some of the others. 8 8 10 6
Shure black foam AKA Olive (regular) Shallow insertion with a wide opening. Too small for my ears. 1 2 9 4
Shure foam          
Atrio foam          
PFE with Foam These have a mid sized opening, and are shallow insertion tips. They are comfortable with good isolation, but just don't seem to fit well for me. 8 10 9 3
Head-Direct RE Bi-Flange (spacer needed) Large opening, huge bi-flange that should fit all larger ear canals. Used these over olive cored. Sound is very good, but lacking the increased dynamics of the MC triple flange tips. I need more time with these tips, but very promising. 10 7 10 9

Your results may vary.

 

 

Not included in this list as all need spacers and didn't achieve desired results: bi flange, standard silicon, sony hybrids, large MC silicon. One tip I may try is the RE series large bi-flange in a spacer...

 

 

IMO i dont think you're getting the full sound from the SM3 using the olives.

post #19 of 70

I also found that using the same tips to compare odd as they have such a huge influence on universal IEMs. I could understand using whatever you felt best of whats given in the box or doing as Average Joe did and come up with an individual best for each from a stable of tips and then compare. Still a worthwhile read. Thanks.

post #20 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

I also found that using the same tips to compare odd as they have such a huge influence on universal IEMs. I could understand using whatever you felt best of whats given in the box or doing as Average Joe did and come up with an individual best for each from a stable of tips and then compare. Still a worthwhile read. Thanks.


I completely 100% disagree. Using different tips will help compensate for different sound characteristics if your goal it to get to obtain a specific sound characteristic. But in a comparison you need to use all of the same equipment in order to figure out how each IEM is different.

Example: TF.10s with Complys would help darken the signature and tri-flanges on a pair of Atrios would help brighten signature. But how could you truly compare how the drivers (and crossovers if applicable) if the tips are also different?

Using the same tips in a 1-to-1 comparison really helps determine the differences between two IEMs. The source, the amp and the tips are the constants in the equation. The IEMs would be the variables.
Edited by SoulSyde - 9/29/11 at 9:36am
post #21 of 70
Thread Starter 
@average_joe, I agree that the Olives were not the best choice for the SM3 v2s. Before I decided to return them I had ended back at the EarSonics bi-flanges as the best tip for the sound signature I was looking for. However, the Olives sounded best on the UM3X IMHO. I couldn't truly compare and contrast the two IEMs using different tips, but if I kept the SM3s I would have used the flanges for sure.

Note - we may also be looking at different preferred sound signatures in the headphones we own. I have always enjoyed the more dark, laid back approach of a Sennheiser headphone. The Olives get me closer to that signature. Maybe my taste will change as I try more IEMs, but that's where I am a the moment. My SE535s will be arriving today. It will be interesting to see what I think about them.

EDIT: PS, sorry to go toe-to-toe with you a little bit here. I do respect your knowledge and always enjoy reading your reviews.
Edited by SoulSyde - 9/29/11 at 10:54am
post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulSyde View Post


I completely 100% disagree. Using different tips will help compensate for different sound characteristics if your goal it to get to obtain a specific sound characteristic. But in a comparison you need to use all of the same equipment in order to figure out how each IEM is different.
Example: TF.10s with Complys would help darken the signature and tri-flanges on a pair of Atrios would help brighten signature. But how could you truly compare how the drivers (and crossovers if applicable) if the tips are also different?
Using the same tips in a 1-to-1 comparison really helps determine the differences between two IEMs. The source, the amp and the tips are the constants in the equation. The IEMs would be the variables.



You're already compensating by not using the supplied, designed for, tips. It's just in an arbitrary way. That's fine but olives weren't designed for either and anyone that's done tip rolling will understand my point. If you're going to aftermarket tips, find the ones that work best instead of an arbitrary 'neutral' that may not be so. I'm a big fan of olives but genuinely don't care for them with some things I've tried them on but  do like very much with other tips. The same tip that makes one IEM sing can kill another so in this case, your control tip may be anything but. I think either not deviating from supplied tips or finding an optimized one is far more fair to the products. You obviously don't and that's fine. Just stating an opinion as I've never heard either and don't have a dog in this fight.


Edited by goodvibes - 9/29/11 at 12:23pm
post #23 of 70

ahh you're right, I forgot to change into the same eartips on UM3x, one with silicone tips (not sure where its come from, UE perhaps) and the other one with olive, the olive sound better.

 

with SM3's case, both using single flange silicone that comes in the original package

post #24 of 70
Thread Starter 
post #25 of 70

That's just it. You hit on a tip that's apparently a super match for the UM3x as your control. Had you used a sensorcom dual for both, the results may have had you favor the SM3. That was my point. Using one tip as a control doesn't work because tip selection is so integral to the overall goodness of an IEM.

post #26 of 70
Thread Starter 

Update: My SE535s arrived yesterday and I have been listening to them in between client meetings today and I have to say that I am very happy with them so far.  IMHO they have the some of the strengths of the SM3 v2 and the UM3X, and only a few flaws.  I found happiness in these so far.

post #27 of 70

update: I can confirm that treble is a bit better on the RC version. More sparkly, not recessed.


Edited by miow - 12/9/11 at 4:56pm
post #28 of 70

great then

 

so which one you prefer between um3x RC and Sm3 miow?

post #29 of 70

At the moment. the UM3X RC. Better instrument separation, clarity, details, mids, more treble, etc. They give me a more enjoyable listening experience.


Edited by miow - 12/9/11 at 4:57pm
post #30 of 70

another great then, looks like we have a bit similiar preference :)

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Westone UM3X RC vs. EarSonics SM3 v2 vs. SE535 Showdown (updated 10/5/11)