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Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review - Page 3

post #31 of 573

 

@purrin:  I go back and forth a bit on the Sony X...but do like how I can start from UE RM mid-centric signature and add bass/treble if desired.

 

+TINY player

+can disable touchscreen

+physical controls on top of unit for play/pause/track

+EQ (nice to have but find I end up preferring none in the end!)

+DSP Effects (don't use these now but they sound nice if you like them)

+warmer presentation than some players (especially iPod Classic 6th+ Gen)

 

-can seem to have less resolution (at times to me)

-battery seems to drain REALLY quickly with LOD plugged in and not using or playing

-makes me keep my library in WAV uncompressed

-only 16GB or 32GB (and mine is only 16GB)

-batteries not easily replaceable and are expensive

-discontinued model

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post #32 of 573

If you think 'Time' has treble I need to get you some files.  I might send some along w/ purrin when he sees you up north.

post #33 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

 

@purrin:  I go back and forth a bit on the Sony X...but do like how I can start from UE RM mid-centric signature and add bass/treble if desired.

 

+TINY player

+can disable touchscreen

+physical controls on top of unit for play/pause/track

+EQ (nice to have but find I end up preferring none in the end!)

+DSP Effects (don't use these now but they sound nice if you like them)

+warmer presentation than some players (especially iPod Classic 6th+ Gen)

 

-can seem to have less resolution (at times to me)

-battery seems to drain REALLY quickly with LOD plugged in and not using or playing

-makes me keep my library in WAV uncompressed

-only 16GB or 32GB (and mine is only 16GB)

-batteries not easily replaceable and are expensive

-discontinued model

 

I recall the X having a very warm sound that worked extremely with the Grados back then. The Gen 6+ iPod Classics certainly sounded brighter than the X, but I felt the X had better ability to resolve low level information, although it lacked the clarity of the Gen 6+ iPod Classics. As you said, the X does have a good basic EQ where you can adjust things. On the LOD draining batteries on the X - I guess it wasn't just me.

 

Trying to decide on a source right now...
 

 

post #34 of 573

Thanks, I would love some files that specifically test treble response...I use the example because when I first got the UE RM I was a bit disappointed and the intro to "Time" seemed dull with the portable gear I had.  (I remember posting my initial impression of the clocks/chimes as being "lackluster".)

 

When I start to convince myself there is something I might want to change...the next day they sound <just great> again.  blink.gif

 

BUT:

  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <very> different compliment, which would they be?
  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <slightly> different compliment trying to be "fun"?
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post #35 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

Trying to decide on a source right now...


If you just want a single DAP w/ no muss or fuss you should go for the iPhone 4 as it solves your camera issue as well.  It measures appropriately for the most part among all the DAPs.  You really need to figure out all the aspects if you are going to get more complicated and seek absolute resolution versus good enough for portable.  Honestly the UERM might be too analytical for you as I know how you like your sound.  You should figure out your phone first.  If you like the bass on the UERM as sufficient and want to warm them up a bit then the Sony or Hifiman might be a way to go, depends.  I'll let you play w/ my portable gear next time.  Put your wallet back.

 

post #36 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

BUT:

  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <very> different compliment, which would they be?
  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <slightly> different compliment trying to be "fun"?


Easy.  My ES5.  The MG6Pro might be another being an adjustable port custom w/ a big dynamic driver.  You should check out averagejoes custom reviews if you haven't.  The only other customs that have my interest piqued are the SE-5 but that's a fortune and not easy to get.  The other is the Merlin in full custom form, not the demo.  I kind of want something ported for when I want to relieve a little SPL and desire some ambient leakage for environmental awareness.

 

post #37 of 573

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

 Honestly the UERM might be too analytical for you as I know how you like your sound. 


So are you saying I might find them more KenRad-ish than Brimar-ish? regular_smile%20.gif

 

post #38 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

Thanks, I would love some files that specifically test treble response...I use the example because when I first got the UE RM I was a bit disappointed and the intro to "Time" seemed dull with the portable gear I had.  (I remember posting my initial impression of the clocks/chimes as being "lackluster".)

 

When I start to convince myself there is something I might want to change...the next day they sound <just great> again.  blink.gif

 

BUT:

  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <very> different compliment, which would they be?
  • IF there was ONE pair of customs that you would recommend as a <slightly> different compliment trying to be "fun"?

 

For me source and more importantly perspective can change how I feel about a certain headphone.  Some days I think "wow, this is absouletly amazing" and others I think "meh," even with the same setup which I attribute to what other headphones I have listened to prior (or lack of listening time).


<very> different: EP-10 Plus, with the mid-bass EQed down has a very open, headphone sound.  There are signigicant pluses and minuses, but that is the furthest from the UERM I have that is on a somewhat similar technical level.  There are others I have that are very different but technically they are not quite up to par.

 

<slightly> different compliment: picking one I would say the LS8, whcih is more punchy and fun with a smoother and thicker presentation yet I could hear a little more detail.  It is not reference sound and has a similar sound sig to the JH16, but with less bass and a little more warmth.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


If you just want a single DAP w/ no muss or fuss you should go for the iPhone 4 as it solves your camera issue as well.  It measures appropriately for the most part among all the DAPs.  You really need to figure out all the aspects if you are going to get more complicated and seek absolute resolution versus good enough for portable.  Honestly the UERM might be too analytical for you as I know how you like your sound.  You should figure out your phone first.  If you like the bass on the UERM as sufficient and want to warm them up a bit then the Sony or Hifiman might be a way to go, depends.  I'll let you play w/ my portable gear next time.  Put your wallet back.

 


Do you know how the iPhone 4 measures vs. the iPhone 3G which I use for testing?  And the RoCoo-A may be a great on the go source with the UERM if the treble is completely non-offensive to you.

post #39 of 573

I only have the UE RM so it is great to hear about comparisons to the other customs- thanks guys!

 

(And enjoy all those iems...)

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post #40 of 573

All right...I really think my portable/trans-portable rigs are in GREAT SHAPE. 

 

I've got really nice, clean sound (no fatigue, plenty of clarity) and after I sometimes wonder if I am <missing something> I come to the conclusion that I am not...

 

My day work rig now has 60 GB of capacity, great battery life, clear sound, isolation:

 

 

WorkRig.jpg

 

Portable will be iPhone 5>Slim>UE RM.  Should be all good!

 

Now I will probably concentrate on the home rig...hmmm.  bigsmile_face.gif

 

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post #41 of 573
Thread Starter 

Now all you need is a AlgoRhythm Solo to eek out all the detail the UERM can muster wink_face.gif

post #42 of 573

I know.  I'll have to listen to shipsupt's CLAS again.

 

I may notice more of a difference now.

 

It may never end!

 

 

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post #43 of 573

Great review, joe.  I've been meaning to comment on your review for a while, but never got around to it.  While I mostly agree with your characterization of the UERM's sound signature, I'm surprised that you didn't seem to find the UERM to be qualitatively better at detail resolution and transparency compared to the JH16.  I think it's true that the UERM's bass is much thinner than the JH16's, and its midrange and treble are more robust (and forward) than the 16's, but I don't think it's just a matter of the UERM having different frequency bands emphasized compared to other IEMs. 

 

As I go back and forth between my ES5 and UERM, the first difference I notice every time is the increased sense of openness and clarity that the UERM deliver.  The ES5 sounds significantly warmer and lusher, but also hazier and less focused.  Imaging feels more precisely located, and the soundstage appears to be more 3-dimensional with the UERM.  I sold my JH16s after feeling much the same way about them as I do the ES5; they are far more similar than different.  The UERM is a totally different headphone altogether.

 

People seem unconvinced when I say there is a qualitative (and not just sound signature) difference between the UERM and the JH16 and ES5.  Even my LCD-2 and Edition 8s don't deliver quite the same level of crisp detail.  While some might find the UERM's presentation a bit thin due to the minimal bass impact, I think the UERM's bass output can vary considerably depending on the source and amp.  A fairly neutral source and amp like the CLAS and Pico Slim allow the UERM to give razor-sharp resolution, but perhaps at the cost of bass presence.  On the other hand, my warmest portable source, the HM-801, gives me the right amount of bass for most genres (and sometimes too much bass with the ES5).

 

I'm hoping to eventually post an ES5 vs. UERM (and possibly JH16) review, but it's clear to me that the UERM is the only custom IEM I've heard that was designed as a studio monitor.  As a consequence, it doesn't have (as its default signature with most sources) the bass warmth that can help performers cancel out stage noise or feel the rhythm of the song.  But it also provides the pinpoint accuracy that I would think studio engineers require.

 

In case anyone's interested, Craig from Whiplash is able to make one of his TWag cables using the UE prong covers.  He took a pair of covers off of a stock UE cable and heatshrunk them onto one of his cables for me, and the result is a polished beauty that I hope will prevent the prongs from getting bent or being exposed to moisture.

 

photo.JPG


Edited by dj nellie - 10/12/11 at 6:26pm
post #44 of 573

Hmm, I think there seems to be split camps on how people hear the ES5 similar to how people hear the W4s.  I have various theories about why this is but regardless the ES5 offers more coherence in the actual rendering of instruments and performers giving a better 3D feel to me.  The UERM certainly has the clear spatial cues.  The UERM has the cleaner spearation and placement but what I call imaging (think rendering) the ES5 does better.  UERM is great for lasering in on the recording but you really need to do some source manipulation get the UERM to get close to that 'live' presentation.  The ES5 is technically superior to me though the UERM has the more neutral and precise tuning of a studio monitor.  I'd say they are both about as close as two different sounding phones can get if that makes sense and I enjoy them both for different reasons and seasons.  

post #45 of 573

^@dj nellie,

 

I don't have any other customs so cannot compare.  But I have tried a bunch of amps with the RM and recommend trying the iQube V2 if you have a chance.

 

I found the amp gave a bit more bass quantity but did not sacrifice anything else in the range.

 

When I get my mini^3 back I will compare with Pico Slim.

 

The Mustang boosted bass but took a bit of upper mids out...

 

May I ask, how does Pico Slim compare to TTVJ Slim with RM?  

 

(I only had the TTVJ Slim for a little while a long time ago with PK1).

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