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Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review - Page 25

post #361 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post
 

 

What was your issue with the UERM/Asgard 2?


I found the combo REALLY bright. It could have been because neither one was really broken in, but I didn't spend much time with the combo cause I needed to send my uerms back to UE for a refit.

post #362 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post
 

Does anyone know if Ultimate Ears offers a Black Friday deal? Kind of tempted to sell my 2x HD600 (one for home and one for the office) and Westone 4R and get the UERM. I just heard the W4R from the SR71A and I have a whole new appreciation for what iems can do...

PM me if you need a buyer for one of the HD600s.

post #363 of 654
Given the date of the OP's review, seems I'm a couple years late to the UERM party.  Well, let's keep it going then.  
 

My new ears have arrived, and they sound glorious.

 
A few months back I made the happy mistake (happy to ears, misery to wallet) of researching a replacement for my UE10s.  Back in the day, when I got 'em, I chose the 10's over the 11's specifically due to the former's neutrality.  
 
The UE11 to me, was excessively forward and boomy, and I figured they'd be fatiguing in long listening sessions.  I demo'd both models at the LA Airport CanJam, ordered on site, and have loved the UE10 ever since.
 
Technology has taken quite the jump since then.
 
Compared to the UE10s, the UERMs have more sparkle, more life, more vocal ring, more black background, more air between the notes, faster attack and decay.  
 
I've read the criticisms of the UERMs being "bass-lite", and don't entirely agree.  First, I'm powering them with Centrance's 1.5W M8, balanced dual 3-pin XLR.  The UERM craves power (as did its older sibling) and has fantastic synergy with the M8.
 
Given this power, the UERM has no problem reaching low.  But the lows hit hard and fast and withdraw equally fast.  It's more of a "thoom!" vs a "thoooom..."
 
Other reviewers have stated that the treble can be harsh.  This I will agree with, but the harshness to me seems to be very much linked to the quality of the track.  
 
Stellar recordings like "Best Audiophile Voices" or Sarah Darling's acoustic tracks on "Angels & Devils" sound just incredible.  Soaring highs, sweet sweet vocals, with no harsh edges.
 
Lots and lots of pop, and other poorly recorded tracks, however, sound just awful.  ugh.  The UERMs reward you with the good and punish you with the bad.
 
Many thanks and props to Mike Dias and Roy Cochran.  Mike was my very patient and cool dude UE contact who answered all my product questions and ultimately connected me with Roy, for my local demo in San Diego.  Mike's first description of the UERM was that "it's the 10, just better".  The UERM is exactly that, and embodies my preferred sound style.
 
The UERM's sound just sounds... right to me.  That "back of mind" sound critic, always listening for flaws, is quiet.  I love this sound and listen with deep content and satisfaction. 
 
My audiologist done good - the fit / seal is solid, a tiny bit tight, but it's a well distributed fit.  I don't feel any pokey parts.
 
It comes in a hefty, not small metal case, much better than the flimsy, soft aluminum-like holder that came with the UE10s, so I'm pleased about this.  The fit and finish, and "out of box" experience is exactly what I'd expect from a premium product.
 
All in all, this has been an ideal purchase experience from pre-sales questions to demos, ordering, customization, follow ups and obviously end product quality.  These guys are pros.   
 
Lastly, the custom balanced cable is from Headphone Lounge.  Ted does damn fine work. 
 

 

post #364 of 654
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadie View Post
 
Given the date of the OP's review, seems I'm a couple years late to the UERM party.  Well, let's keep it going then.  
 

My new ears have arrived, and they sound glorious.

 
A few months back I made the happy mistake (happy to ears, misery to wallet) of researching a replacement for my UE10s.  Back in the day, when I got 'em, I chose the 10's over the 11's specifically due to the former's neutrality.  
 
The UE11 to me, was excessively forward and boomy, and I figured they'd be fatiguing in long listening sessions.  I demo'd both models at the LA Airport CanJam, ordered on site, and have loved the UE10 ever since.
 
Technology has taken quite the jump since then.
 
Compared to the UE10s, the UERMs have more sparkle, more life, more vocal ring, more black background, more air between the notes, faster attack and decay.  
 
I've read the criticisms of the UERMs being "bass-lite", and don't entirely agree.  First, I'm powering them with Centrance's 1.5W M8, balanced dual 3-pin XLR.  The UERM craves power (as did its older sibling) and has fantastic synergy with the M8.
 
Given this power, the UERM has no problem reaching low.  But the lows hit hard and fast and withdraw equally fast.  It's more of a "thoom!" vs a "thoooom..."
 
Other reviewers have stated that the treble can be harsh.  This I will agree with, but the harshness to me seems to be very much linked to the quality of the track.  
 
Stellar recordings like "Best Audiophile Voices" or Sarah Darling's acoustic tracks on "Angels & Devils" sound just incredible.  Soaring highs, sweet sweet vocals, with no harsh edges.
 
Lots and lots of pop, and other poorly recorded tracks, however, sound just awful.  ugh.  The UERMs reward you with the good and punish you with the bad.
 
Many thanks and props to Mike Dias and Roy Cochran.  Mike was my very patient and cool dude UE contact who answered all my product questions and ultimately connected me with Roy, for my local demo in San Diego.  Mike's first description of the UERM was that "it's the 10, just better".  The UERM is exactly that, and embodies my preferred sound style.
 
The UERM's sound just sounds... right to me.  That "back of mind" sound critic, always listening for flaws, is quiet.  I love this sound and listen with deep content and satisfaction. 
 
My audiologist done good - the fit / seal is solid, a tiny bit tight, but it's a well distributed fit.  I don't feel any pokey parts.
 
It comes in a hefty, not small metal case, much better than the flimsy, soft aluminum-like holder that came with the UE10s, so I'm pleased about this.  The fit and finish, and "out of box" experience is exactly what I'd expect from a premium product.
 
All in all, this has been an ideal purchase experience from pre-sales questions to demos, ordering, customization, follow ups and obviously end product quality.  These guys are pros.   
 
Lastly, the custom balanced cable is from Headphone Lounge.  Ted does damn fine work. 
 

 

 

You are never too late to enjoy a good CIEM!  Thanks for sharing your experience and images...those balanced connectors dwarf the shells!  Glad to hear you enjoy the IERM and it works well for you.

 

My thoughts after reading what you wrote are that you are right, many tracks sound horrible, and the IERM isn't "bass light."  But, with my experience, the IERM treble is quite possibly one of the least forgiving of bad tracks for any CIEM I have.  That is a good trait for a studio engineer trying to make high quality tracks, but not necessarily the best for listening to a wide range of tracks of varying quality.  The bass quantity is good and on the neutral side, but in the world of balanced armature bass, more drivers do allow deep bass notes to be sustained better, resulting in more power and emotional conveyance.  Of course, it is dependent on the track as rock and pop typically don't have the same deep bass as electronic and movie soundtracks, so it won't be that noticeable to everyone (especially without direct comparison to something more capable).

 

Ultimately, the IERM is a very well done CIEM that is still Head-Fi relevant today! Sources and cables can and do help smooth the treble and improve the bass, and the soundstage presentation is quite impressive, which most likely improves with a balanced setup.  Cheers!

post #365 of 654

Hmm, I've read someone say that BA drivers don't benefit from balanced drive. I actually don't find the UERMs to be that unforgiving, it is actually pretty smooth sounding to me. Of course it reveals bad recordings and sibilance issues, but it is not all in your face. 

post #366 of 654

I like UERM too. But since after i demo the FitEar MH335 DW... if i wanna upgrade CIEM i will go for FitEar.

post #367 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoengJyh View Post
 

I like UERM too. But since after i demo the FitEar MH335 DW... if i wanna upgrade CIEM i will go for FitEar.

 

There is nothing you can upgrade the UERM into. It is the best in its class. 

 

If you want a different sound signature then that is a different story. I won't call it an upgrade but rather a deviation to a more coloured and fun sound.

post #368 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post
 

 

There is nothing you can upgrade the UERM into. It is the best in its class. 

 

If you want a different sound signature then that is a different story. I won't call it an upgrade but rather a deviation to a more coloured and fun sound.


I can see perhaps a upgraded UERM in the future, with a second bass driver for a total of 4 drivers per side. The extra bass driver should assist in the really low frequencies. 

post #369 of 654

Uelover: Have you tried the MH335DW before?

post #370 of 654

I had trouble with the bass response when I first got my UERM's. There were really four reasons.

First was the seal. I still have to really jam them into my ears or they sound a bit thin. A bit of downward pressure on the very back of the units also helps 'seal the deal'. They also sound the best when I'm a little sweaty. They are my first customs and I'm sure I would have had this problems with any CIEM. 

Second was the source. The AK120 and my iPhone don't have the power to push the deepest notes out of them with authority. The Meridian Explorer DAC really powers them much better through the bottom range.

Third, break-in helped a lot. I know a lot of you don't believe in this but leaving them running overnight with a Depeche Mode SACD rip with a lot of bass really helped the bass driver get over it's initial stiffness.

The fourth problem was undoubtably me. I came to them from a pair of Sennheiser IE80's and HD600's, which have a very generous bottom end.There was a period of acclimation to a more neutral balance.

But from the first day they sounded so much more clear and precise than any headphones I'd tried, that they were worth the extra effort. 

And let's be realistic, not every recording comes from the same mixing room. And I'm not sure mixing rooms are all dead flat. Most loudspeakers have a euphonic hump in the low end and lots of music sounds better when reproduced that way. I have no issue with cranking the bass in the EQ of my DAP or computer music player if I feel the recording calls for it. But I return to flat for most music. 

If you listen to music to try to understand what the musicians did, as I do, you will love these headphones, and there's no reason to think that you're late to the party.

Enjoy!

Sam

 

EDIT: UE remade my impressions and Reference Monitor to fix the seal. The bass and balance improved tremendously with the second pair. If somebody tells you these don't have enough bass it's quite possibly a problem with the seal. 


Edited by Sam Edwards - 12/29/13 at 11:09pm
post #371 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Edwards View Post
 

I had trouble with the bass response when I first got my UERM's. There were really four reasons.

First was the seal. I still have to really jam them into my ears or they sound a bit thin. A bit of downward pressure on the very back of the units also helps 'seal the deal'. They also sound the best when I'm a little sweaty. They are my first customs and I'm sure I would have had this problems with any CIEM. 

Second was the source. The AK120 and my iPhone don't have the power to push the deepest notes out of them with authority. The Meridian Explorer DAC really powers them much better through the bottom range.

Third, break-in helped a lot. I know a lot of you don't believe in this but leaving them running overnight with a Depeche Mode SACD rip with a lot of bass really helped the bass driver get over it's initial stiffness.

The fourth problem was undoubtably me. I came to them from a pair of Sennheiser IE80's and HD600's, which have a very generous bottom end.There was a period of acclimation to a more neutral balance.

But from the first day they sounded so much more clear and precise than any headphones I'd tried, that they were worth the extra effort. 

And let's be realistic, not every recording comes from the same mixing room. And I'm not sure mixing rooms are all dead flat. Most loudspeakers have a euphonic hump in the low end and lots of music sounds better when reproduced that way. I have no issue with cranking the bass in the EQ of my DAP or computer music player if I feel the recording calls for it. But I return to flat for most music. 

If you listen to music to try to understand what the musicians did, as I do, you will love these headphones, and there's no reason to think that you're late to the party.

Enjoy!

Sam

Hmm. Sorry to say this, but the bass you feel is likely due to the fact that Meridian Explorer has 5ohm output impedance, so the treble of UERM rolls off couple db, making the bass sound relatively stronger.

post #372 of 654

I've been enjoying my UERM very much.. I have had them for a couple of weeks now.  IME so far, they do seem to improve with a certain amount of use.  They sound distinguishably less compressed/more dynamic, less harsh through the upper mids & treble.. and the bass has better impact and detail.  I'm getting familiar with their nuances and will comment more on them in time.. but so far, they're exactly what I hoped they'd be (after hearing a UERM demo).

post #373 of 654
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post
 

There is nothing you can upgrade the UERM into. It is the best in its class. 

 

If you want a different sound signature then that is a different story. I won't call it an upgrade but rather a deviation to a more coloured and fun sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post
 

I can see perhaps a upgraded UERM in the future, with a second bass driver for a total of 4 drivers per side. The extra bass driver should assist in the really low frequencies. 

 

The PRM is technically an upgrade that you can tune to sound like the IERM (or at least close) if you want.  The Lear LCM-5 is similar, but has different strengths and weaknesses. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Edwards View Post
 

I had trouble with the bass response when I first got my UERM's. There were really four reasons.

First was the seal. I still have to really jam them into my ears or they sound a bit thin. A bit of downward pressure on the very back of the units also helps 'seal the deal'. They also sound the best when I'm a little sweaty. They are my first customs and I'm sure I would have had this problems with any CIEM. 

Second was the source. The AK120 and my iPhone don't have the power to push the deepest notes out of them with authority. The Meridian Explorer DAC really powers them much better through the bottom range.

Third, break-in helped a lot. I know a lot of you don't believe in this but leaving them running overnight with a Depeche Mode SACD rip with a lot of bass really helped the bass driver get over it's initial stiffness.

The fourth problem was undoubtably me. I came to them from a pair of Sennheiser IE80's and HD600's, which have a very generous bottom end.There was a period of acclimation to a more neutral balance.

But from the first day they sounded so much more clear and precise than any headphones I'd tried, that they were worth the extra effort. 

And let's be realistic, not every recording comes from the same mixing room. And I'm not sure mixing rooms are all dead flat. Most loudspeakers have a euphonic hump in the low end and lots of music sounds better when reproduced that way. I have no issue with cranking the bass in the EQ of my DAP or computer music player if I feel the recording calls for it. But I return to flat for most music. 

If you listen to music to try to understand what the musicians did, as I do, you will love these headphones, and there's no reason to think that you're late to the party.

Enjoy!

Sam

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimvictor View Post
 

Hmm. Sorry to say this, but the bass you feel is likely due to the fact that Meridian Explorer has 5ohm output impedance, so the treble of UERM rolls off couple db, making the bass sound relatively stronger.

 

All reasons the bass response would improve!

post #374 of 654
I've always wondered how these and the jh10 or jh10x3 would compare. I can't remember which but one of those two are supposed to be the neutral signature from jh audio. As far as an upgrade I'm sure there's something better but I doubt it would come cheap.
post #375 of 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegunner100 View Post
 


I can see perhaps a upgraded UERM in the future, with a second bass driver for a total of 4 drivers per side. The extra bass driver should assist in the really low frequencies.

 

 

That would miss the point of the product.  A neutral sound for engineers to mix on the road.  We don't want colored sound.  We want to hear what's there.

 

These are reference monitors, not listening monitors.  The bass is designed for accuracy.

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