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Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review - Page 35

post #511 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post

I'm strongly considering pulling the trigger on these.  Traditionally I'm a bit more of a bass head, but I've been slowly devolving towards a more neutral stance.  (going from Shure SE 530s, to Triple,fi 10s, to UE 900s)  I'm kinda looking for something with more details than the 900s but perhaps with a tad more bass impact, without increasing bass quantity.  I really like the sound of my Grados bass, (tight punchy quick) as well but obviously am looking for a portable setup.  Has anyone spent a decent amount of time comparing the UERM to the 900's sound?  I'd definitely be willing to give up some bass quantity if they also have a quicker punchier feel in the low end, especially if, like I assume they do, have much greater detail resolution throughout the spectrum.

Normally I'd go for the UE-11's or the JH16's but I'm thinking about getting these because I'm trying to tune my ears towards a more neutral response.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Hi
I own both the UERM as well as the UE 900s. The uerm is much more detailed has a much bigger sound stage than the 900. They both have a similar sound signature, but the uerm is more neutral. Because the uerm is a custom, you get perfect isolation and for this reason, the uerm has more bass impact imo.
Plus one thing you can always do is EQ, I also used to be a basshead and I sometimes miss that deep sub bass, so I just use eq. Because the uerm is perceived as neutral I have found it the easiest iem/headphone to eq just to my liking smily_headphones1.gif
post #512 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post
 

I'm strongly considering pulling the trigger on these.  Traditionally I'm a bit more of a bass head, but I've been slowly devolving towards a more neutral stance.  (going from Shure SE 530s, to Triple,fi 10s, to UE 900s)  I'm kinda looking for something with more details than the 900s but perhaps with a tad more bass impact, without increasing bass quantity.  I really like the sound of my Grados bass, (tight punchy quick) as well but obviously am looking for a portable setup.  Has anyone spent a decent amount of time comparing the UERM to the 900's sound?  I'd definitely be willing to give up some bass quantity if they also have a quicker punchier feel in the low end, especially if, like I assume they do, have much greater detail resolution throughout the spectrum.

 

Normally I'd go for the UE-11's or the JH16's but I'm thinking about getting these because I'm trying to tune my ears towards a more neutral response.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 

They definitely are as flat and neutral as you can get in an in-ear.  It's not to everyone's liking, because compared to other options, you will think they are 'bass light'.  For a few hundred more, you'd get a more rounded out sound.  For $1000 more (yikes) you can have them tuned to your ideal sound through UE.  

 

I use the UERMs constantly-- probably 5 hours a day.  For listening, they aren't ideal, but I've warmed them up with a Pico Slim amp, which is as perfect a match as anything I've heard on the UERMs.  I also keep a pair of Klipsch X10s (and HiFiMan's-- I'm such a junkie) on hand when I want that bottom.  

 

Keep in mind-- the UERMs don't thump at all on the bottom end, because that's not what they're supposed to do.  A little EQ helps, but you start to create compromises, so I tend to stay flat.  

post #513 of 608

Ok so I realize the UE IERM's are kinda old news now, but I ordered a pair a few weeks ago and just got them today.  All I can say so far is, the sound is exactly what I want from an IEM.  

 

I have been a bit of a bass head in the past, and oddly enough still think of myself as one, but apparently that's not the case anymore, because these sound just perfect to my ears.  The treble is nicely extended, yet seemingly neutral.  I have noticed that the treble can sound just a tad and by "tad" I mean <5% harsh sometimes but I am very confident this is due to the recording and not a fault of the earphones by any means.  

 

Mids are nice, present, not forward, not back.  

 

Also the part I was most worried about, the Bass seems just right to me.  Lately I've noticed when listening to things with my grados or UE-900s that the bass was either too light which gave emphasis to the treble or the bass seemed just a touch compressed (forced?) over pressurized in the UE-900s which led to this slight muffling of the treble extension.  Possibly due to the fact that these are customs, but regardless the bass sound perfect to me in the IERM.  Direct, punchy, but never getting in the way of anything else.

 

All in all I'm glad I went with my gut on this one and didn't follow all the reviews that suggested the JH-16s because "I like bass"  Also huge thanks to UE and their amazing team that got the fit exactly perfect the first time.

post #514 of 608
Seems you are hearing them as I do. Yes, UERMs have been around for a while, but IMO, they are still only one of a handful that do it right. Yes the treble can have a tendency to sound harsh, that is a limitation of the drivers used, I think. This is one reason I am considering attending RMAF this year to see what the latest-greatest IEMs are doing with treble extension.

If you like the bass on the UERM, the JH16 would have been far too much. I tried both at the same show and even the JH13 was a bit too much bass for me.
post #515 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post  Seems you are hearing them as I do. Yes, UERMs have been around for a while, but IMO, they are still only one of a handful that do it right. Yes the treble can have a tendency to sound harsh, that is a limitation of the drivers used, I think. This is one reason I am considering attending RMAF this year to see what the latest-greatest IEMs are doing with treble extension. If you like the bass on the UERM, the JH16 would have been far too much. I tried both at the same show and even the JH13 was a bit too much bass for me.

 

My guess is that you'll be a bit disappointed. JM2C

post #516 of 608

This may or may not be wrong, but whenever I hear slight harshness in the treble, it sounds like it's more a fault of the recording not in the UERM's themselves.  When listening to the same spots on other headphones it sounds like there is harshness there, but they just lack the resolution to really make it "harsh".

 

I will say this though.  If I go to a live orchestra concert or listen to a college sports band in the front row, there are some sounds that are harsh, like "oww that trumpet is so shrill" or "that xylophone really rings in my ears"  or "that cymbal feels like it's about to shatter my brain".  As harsh as those sounds can be at times, they are realistic, much in the same way that I feel certain "harsh" sounds I hear in the UERMs are realistic.  I wouldn't think of it as a distortion of the treble, to me it sounds more like a level of realism in certain recordings that I've never heard before.

post #517 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

My guess is that you'll be a bit disappointed. JM2C
Still not good enough? I thought some places were using new drivers that had better treble extension.
post #518 of 608

I'll have to upload some pictures too but I find these have quite a bit more bass than I was expecting them to have, based on what everybody has been saying.  This is a good thing cause I was actually expecting them to be bass light.  

 

I am curious to see if UE has perhaps done some retuning of the UERMs since the first models.  Based on average_joe's pictures the sound tube for bass is significantly smaller than the tube for mids and treble, whereas on mine they're almost the same size, close enough that I have to look at the drivers to tell which hole leads to which.  If this is true and this is kind of a "revised" version, I'd be curious to see if anybody else has noticed this recently on a recent order.  I will say I hear very very deep bass extension in these and by that I mean very very deep sub bass vibrations in the background of songs that I've never heard before, even with the HD650s on my Anedio D1.  

 

Now I realize comparing a $1k IEM to a $500 full-size headphone is kind of apples and oranges (fresh picked apples and wal-mart oranges?)  Either way the more I listen to these and compare them to other equipment I have on hand, the more satisfied I am with them.  They sound perfectly flat to me with the D1, (I don't really notice a bass roll off at all except the slight roll off as it transitions out of human hearing range approaching 5hz)  Also, because of the sheer neutrality, I feel like these are the most "real" sounding headphones I've heard in a long time.  It's no longer an issue of "good bass" "good mids" "good treble" etc. etc.  

 

The resolving power/imaging/soundstage/instrument separation all sound very realistic to me.  So much so that some recordings approach that "virtual live concert" kind of feel, mostly due to the additional extraction of what I like to refer to as "micro details."  By that I mean details not from the instruments and vocalists, but the kind of auxiliary sounds, tiny little reverberations off walls, resonance of drums at rest from nearby instruments, etc.  I think I could tell the difference between a taylor and martin guitar, and probably the difference between light and medium gauge strings, assuming they're recorded in a similar fashion.

 

To sum things up, based on my impressions over the first few days, I'd say these lie exactly in the middle of everything to my ears.  

Not too bright, not too warm.  

Not too forward, not too distant.  

Also in terms of their analytical nature, I'd say they sound right in the middle between too cohesive and too separated.  You can easily hear every instrument, singer, but at the same time I don't feel like the UERM is prying apart the music to an artificially analytical level.

 

I realize this has been said many times before, but since the frequency response is so flat in these, they almost seem to change their character depending on the type of music you're listening to.  I always play my music with no EQ on foobar using WASAPI or on my laptop with bitperfect.  

 

Earlier I had listened to DJ Billy-E's Beats 4 My Van, as rudimentary as this song is, it does a great job of evaluating a headphone's bass characteristics, resonance/decay etc.  I'll have to say that the bass was at least if not more powerful sounding in this song as it is using my Sennheisers, indicating to me that the UERMs are not bass light by any means.  This song sounded very boomy, club subwoofer like, which is what I anticipate the audio engineer's intention was.   I quickly transitioned into Ludovico Einaudi's Le Onde still with EQ disabled and instantly the UERMs shifted into a nice crisp piano sound, with absolutely 0 change in settings from me. 

 

Something that has stood out to me in particular with these IEMs is their ability to replicate a piano's sound, dynamics and dimensionality.  As a pianist myself, I spend a lot of time playing different pianos, and while I realize all pianos sound different depending on their type and size, I have grown quite familiar with what a piano should and shouldn't sound like in a recording.  No matter how hard I try, pianos never seem to sound right from my triple.fi 10s, grados, UE-900s.  The universal UEs have this slight bass compression, which makes the upper register of a piano sound like it's coming from a speaker, very flat and 2D.  The grados on the other hand can never seem to capture the lower register.  The individual notes sound fine in and of themselves, but on a piano you never just hear one note, the harmonics should ring through the entire instrument.  So far the UERMs capture both the upper and lower registers of the piano more completely and realistically than anything else I've listened to.

 

I'll continue switching around source equipment and listening for any glaring flaws but so far I have yet to find any.  All of the things I mentioned above seem to add up to create something greater than the sum of the parts, in that they all combine to give an added layer of realism I don't think I've ever heard before.

post #519 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post

I'll have to upload some pictures too but I find these have quite a bit more bass than I was expecting them to have, based on what everybody has been saying.  This is a good thing cause I was actually expecting them to be bass light.  

When I first pop in my UERM I was surprised by the amount of bass I was hearing too. Not only the bass but everything else sounded so real and correct.
post #520 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

P1000950.JPG

 

 

 

I just wanted to post this pic to illustrate what I was referring to previously about the size of the ports.  In average_joe's original post they appear to be about 70/30, whereas in mine it appears more like 55/45 split between the Treble and Midrange drivers and the Bass driver respectively.  I'm not sure if this means mine sound significantly different than other's, but I can honestly say these have more bass quantity than probably 80% of the headphones I've heard.  The bass seems much more present, but at the same time more separated and distant.  When I say distant, I don't mean volume wise, I mean the bass can be at an extreme volume but sound like it's coming from a completely different direction than the rest of the sounds.

post #521 of 608

I had mine for a year now and its bass quantity definitely increased. Though even though I feel like I have a perfect seal, pushing the IEMs further into my ear gives much better bass. It would seem like these are VERY sensitive to seal and fit in the ear.

 

When I tried on the demos, the amount of bass was very good. The brand new CIEM I received a year ago had pretty small bass for me, but it definitely improved now.


Edited by Xymordos - 3/27/14 at 8:43am
post #522 of 608

Yeah I'll agree that these are very fit sensitive.  Mine were almost too tight when I first put them in but then I realized my glasses were just pushing on the wire pinching my ear.  Also my audiologist made sure to mold well past the 2nd bend in the ear canal meaning the sound bores fire straight onto my eardrum instead of reflecting off of any portion of the ear canal.

post #523 of 608

My only complaint to this UERM is the sub bass. Barely listen to it when there are lots of instruments playing around, etc double bass.

 

But the lack of sub bass extension was the edge of UERM too.

post #524 of 608

Holy cow! Didn't think AJ would have reviewed these(now I definitely have faith in AJ's picks).  I've heard them at the NY meet yesterday.  

 

Amazing!!!  Very neutral, clear, accurate, and no bloating(poor source it could have some bloat, so it needs a good source).  These monitors revealed which source is great, and UE brought AK100,120, and 240.  I really enjoyed them with AK120 and 240.  I was surprised how great sounding AK were, and UE revealed how great they were.  :eek:

 

I'm relieved AJ liked these as I ordered NT6 which AJ likes also.  I hope I like NT6 more than these, but these were really great.  I would have purchased these on the spot, but unfortunately I have NT6 on order.  :(

 

These CIEMs proves more drivers does not meen better quality.  


Edited by SilverEars - 4/6/14 at 3:57am
post #525 of 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Holy cow! Didn't think AJ would have reviewed these(now I definitely have faith in AJ's picks).  I've heard them at the NY meet yesterday.  

 

Amazing!!!  Very neutral, clear, accurate, and no bloating(poor source it could have some bloat, so it needs a good source).  These monitors revealed which source is great, and UE brought AK100,120, and 240.  I really enjoyed them with AK120 and 240.  I was surprised how great sounding AK were, and UE revealed how great they were.  :eek:

 

I'm relieved AJ liked these as I ordered NT6 which AJ likes also.  I hope I like NT6 more than these, but these were really great.  I would have purchased these on the spot, but unfortunately I have NT6 on order.  :(

 

These CIEMs proves more drivers does not meen better quality.  

+1

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