Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review - Page 6

post #76 of 573
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post

exactly, we agree. and there's nothing "neutral" about playing an instrument - for instance, I used to have three basses, one tuned and strung for classical music and folk, one tuned and strung for jazz (softer strings, longer decay, softer attack, less need for the higher register than in other genres, etc), and the electric one which sounds like neither. I still have two cellos in the house, because they sound differently. - of course, if you're listening to an organ (or synthesizer, or drums, or movie sound tracks) then maybe the UE reference monitor is not your best choice - I might reach for the 11pro on some tunes, or for beyers on some, or just go for a speaker rig, ideally... but before we give people who haven't heard a UERM for themselves the idea that it's bass-shy, let's beware: I maintain that on too many recordings there is too much equalization going on already (and in some entire genres, for instance I love reggae but pu-leeze - that's not bass, that's oomph shaking the house, and nobody is going to expect "accuracy" or "neutrality" or "faithful rendering" of timbre or attack and decay).


Nice set of instruments you have there!  And yea, I wouldn't categorize the UERM as bass lite or weak with acoustic music.  In my previous post I didn't explain correctly what I meant by "movement of the driver(s)."  I meant attack and decay.  The UERM is very good at this, but until you hear something more capable (at least to my ears), it exposes the weakness.  However, this is just me going off to the extreme as I more than likely wouldn't notice it unless I was A/Bing with the other custom IEMs.  I can grab a $500 custom IEM and think "wow, this sounds amazing" or think "wow, this really isn't very good" all depending on what, if anything I listened to just before.

 

And electronic music can have some great texture and detail in the music including the bass.  Sure, it isn't a natural instrument, but it is present none-the-less.  The JH16 for example will accentuate those details due to the attack/decay, which aren't quite as natural with say a lower tone on a Piano.  For me, with electronic music it is more about hearing the details and understanding the sound, which takes shape better with better resolution and driver capability.  And today's pop music is the house shaking undefined stuff, but mostly undefined because of the poor mastering IMO.  The bottom line is the UERM is an exceptional custom IEM, but it isn't going to please all the people for all the genres.

post #77 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post

exactly, we agree. and there's nothing "neutral" about playing an instrument - for instance, I used to have three basses, one tuned and strung for classical music and folk, one tuned and strung for jazz (softer strings, longer decay, softer attack, less need for the higher register than in other genres, etc), and the electric one which sounds like neither. I still have two cellos in the house, because they sound differently. - of course, if you're listening to an organ (or synthesizer, or drums, or movie sound tracks) then maybe the UE reference monitor is not your best choice - I might reach for the 11pro on some tunes, or for beyers on some, or just go for a speaker rig, ideally... but before we give people who haven't heard a UERM for themselves the idea that it's bass-shy, let's beware: I maintain that on too many recordings there is too much equalization going on already (and in some entire genres, for instance I love reggae but pu-leeze - that's not bass, that's oomph shaking the house, and nobody is going to expect "accuracy" or "neutrality" or "faithful rendering" of timbre or attack and decay).


Totally agree.  I love to hear a musician say that as that confirms my sentiments from playing violin and piano.  Non musicians seem to think there is some perfect absolute reference signature.  That case should be made for mastering but not necessarily for listening unless you've convinced yourself the two are synonymous.  However, for tracks I know well it's just a hair shy but not bass shy or bass light the way you mean it.  That's similar to my feelings on the EX1000.  There is also a technical argument to be made on how accurate bass should be measured or voiced in a phone compared to a speaker but that's another topic.  Considering all the different gears and ears it's basically impossible to dial this in correctly for everyone so the end user needs to choose and adjust wisely.  

 

I do believe there is an inverse reaction going on to the 'too much bass' camp.  The 'too little bass' camp.  I personally feel a lot of 'audiophile' voicing is becoming more averse to accurate/natural bass and people are going 'WOOOOW' the bass is just right when it really is too light.  I don't put the UERM there but I think it is not 100% spot on especially below 30hz.  There are times when it seems just right or even too much but that's my ears reacting to environmental and physiological changes as ears tend to do that.

 

As an aside, your post reminds me of a debate I had with a friend about Mike Portnoy versus Mike Mangini who holds 3-4 world records for speed.  I prefer the sound and technical ability of a Portnoy or Peart vesus Mangini but others might like the more technical speedier side Mangini has.  I was trying to figure out why exactly his sound bothered me and I believe it was the fact he rolls tighter skins to accommodate that technical speed coming from a drumline background whereas Portnoy and Peart and true bred rockers that prefer a more robust musical signature over technical performance.

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 10/26/11 at 10:03pm
post #78 of 573

I have the UE700 (currently) for home listening. How would the transition be from the 700 to the UERM? I'm assuming the UERM are more resolving all across the spectrum, but especially in HF extension, detail, and micro-detail. True? 

 

In my system I find the UE700 to be very smooth in the HF, and could imagine more energy and extension in the highs.

post #79 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

JH5 is still a big and robust sound.  Not what I would consider balanced and neutral (but fun).

 

JH13 is very balanced and neutral but there is an intrusion of lower bass at times.  It sounds odd because there is very lean mid-bass.  I understand this lower bass was added in to add in some fun and to keep it from being overly neutral.


As a user going from JH5 to the Reference Monitor, I agree with your points on JH5.

JH5 sounded lively, fun, engaging and occasionally rough but not spot-on balanced.

However, I can't complaint much as it's just a USD400 earprice.

Many are doing even worse at that price point.

post #80 of 573

Hey Joe,

 

I have an artist friend who is <seriously into music> and needs to switch to headphones due to his new studio situation.  He does art/animation for films.  I know that bass/sub-bass is going to be a big plus for him.  I'm loving the UE RM but if I was <specifically needing to audit potential soundtrack music and hit sub-bass rumble>, would you recommend the 5-ways (I know you don't have your re-fits back yet)?

 

Quoting your comparo vis-a-vis UE RM:

 

"Spiral Ear SE 5-way: First, this really isn't a fair comparison since the 5-way cost nearly a 3rd more and at the time of this comparison has limited availability due to Polish import/export customs practices.  Also, the 5-way won't fit in everyone's ears while the UERM shouldn't have any issues.  The UERM and 5-way share some things traits but ultimately are two different sounds.  Overall the UERM is much more analytical with a brighter and leaner presentation across the frequency spectrum, however the soundstage size and proportions are pretty close.  Resolution and detail levels are noticeably better with the 5-way, both in the individual instruments and in the overall space within the presentation.  Tonality is very different as the UERM is thinner and brighter, however the 5-way isn't dark by any stretch of the imagination. 

 

Bass of the 5-way has more weight, thickness, headroom, sub-bass rumble, and texture than the UERM.  Emphasis is similar in some tracks but when there is a moderate amount or more of bass in a track the 5-way delivers a much more authoritative bass experience.   Some examples range from Chemical Brothers live at Coachella where the 5-way moves significant air (the UERM doesn’t do too bad here) to Hotel California live where the initial drums reverberate significantly more with the 5-way.  This was surprising and counter-intuitive to me as I would have figured it would be the opposite as the amount of bass in Hotel California is significantly less.  It seems that the reverberation ability of the 5-way is much closer to a dynamic driver and the UERM is similar with this level of BA custom IEMs."

 

I want to recommend what I know and am happy with but wondering if you had a specific "cinematic score repro-reco"?

 

Thanks, JOE!!! 

Reply
post #81 of 573
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

Hey Joe,

 

I have an artist friend who is <seriously into music> and needs to switch to headphones due to his new studio situation.  He does art/animation for films.  I know that bass/sub-bass is going to be a big plus for him.  I'm loving the UE RM but if I was <specifically needing to audit potential soundtrack music and hit sub-bass rumble>, would you recommend the 5-ways (I know you don't have your re-fits back yet)?

 

Quoting your comparo vis-a-vis UE RM:

 

"Spiral Ear SE 5-way: First, this really isn't a fair comparison since the 5-way cost nearly a 3rd more and at the time of this comparison has limited availability due to Polish import/export customs practices.  Also, the 5-way won't fit in everyone's ears while the UERM shouldn't have any issues.  The UERM and 5-way share some things traits but ultimately are two different sounds.  Overall the UERM is much more analytical with a brighter and leaner presentation across the frequency spectrum, however the soundstage size and proportions are pretty close.  Resolution and detail levels are noticeably better with the 5-way, both in the individual instruments and in the overall space within the presentation.  Tonality is very different as the UERM is thinner and brighter, however the 5-way isn't dark by any stretch of the imagination. 

 

Bass of the 5-way has more weight, thickness, headroom, sub-bass rumble, and texture than the UERM.  Emphasis is similar in some tracks but when there is a moderate amount or more of bass in a track the 5-way delivers a much more authoritative bass experience.   Some examples range from Chemical Brothers live at Coachella where the 5-way moves significant air (the UERM doesn’t do too bad here) to Hotel California live where the initial drums reverberate significantly more with the 5-way.  This was surprising and counter-intuitive to me as I would have figured it would be the opposite as the amount of bass in Hotel California is significantly less.  It seems that the reverberation ability of the 5-way is much closer to a dynamic driver and the UERM is similar with this level of BA custom IEMs."

 

I want to recommend what I know and am happy with but wondering if you had a specific "cinematic score repro-reco"?

 

Thanks, JOE!!! 


Hi Cee Tee, thanks for the question.  First, knowing what sound your friend uses in the studio for mixing and mastering would help in my recommendation.  Personally I think the UERM is on the bright side but can get used to the sound, however I find the 5-way and SA-43 to both sound more natural to my ears.  Based purely on technical ability including bass I would recommend the 5-way, but I do think the SA-43 is more true "neutral," at least to my ears.  The added resolution of the 5-way is nice, but probably overkill for the purpose, and while giving up some of the resolution, the SA-43 soundstage space seems to me that it may translate better soundtracks.  Of course, listening to many soundtracks I do know the importance of bass and sub-bass, and the 5-way is the best I have heard with a nice amp and the SA-43 does have a little roll off in comparison with the 5-way.

 

Something else on my radar that seems very interesting is the Hidition NT6 which is supposed to be very neutral.  Anyways, I think a recommendation based off what the person currently uses and what qualities they value the most would give better results, so if you can get more info or have your friend post that would be great (and maybe in my main custom IEM thread if this turns out to be non-UERM specific?).

post #82 of 573

Joe, I think people are just making new IEMs for you to listen to now.  This is getting crazy.  Have you checked the IEM scene in Burkina Faso lately?  tongue.gif

post #83 of 573

Hi Joe,

 

Thanks for your thoughtful response...he isn't mastering music- he audits soundtracks that might be used in movies and also uses soundtracks while animating/creating art for movies.  He has to put his monitors away in his new situation, I will ask him which monitors he was using.  Knowing his love of a certain Yello album for testing bass in a system (Baby) plus his shared love for Neil Davidge and Massive Attack...I figured your sub-bass reco without messing anything else up would be something to pass on to him.  If the hassle/expense becomes too much for him, I'm gonna tell him to come to the next meet and get UE RM + an iQube v2 (good bass) and probably be pretty darn happy. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Hi Cee Tee, thanks for the question.  First, knowing what sound your friend uses in the studio for mixing and mastering would help in my recommendation.  Personally I think the UERM is on the bright side but can get used to the sound, however I find the 5-way and SA-43 to both sound more natural to my ears.  Based purely on technical ability including bass I would recommend the 5-way, but I do think the SA-43 is more true "neutral," at least to my ears.  The added resolution of the 5-way is nice, but probably overkill for the purpose, and while giving up some of the resolution, the SA-43 soundstage space seems to me that it may translate better soundtracks.  Of course, listening to many soundtracks I do know the importance of bass and sub-bass, and the 5-way is the best I have heard with a nice amp and the SA-43 does have a little roll off in comparison with the 5-way.

 

Something else on my radar that seems very interesting is the Hidition NT6 which is supposed to be very neutral.  Anyways, I think a recommendation based off what the person currently uses and what qualities they value the most would give better results, so if you can get more info or have your friend post that would be great (and maybe in my main custom IEM thread if this turns out to be non-UERM specific?).

 

Reply
post #84 of 573

Hey guys.. I'm really interested in getting UERM... what universal would you guys say the UERM sounds closest to? I'm really digging the ortofon eq7's sound signature... 

post #85 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwanness View Post

Hey guys.. I'm really interested in getting UERM... what universal would you guys say the UERM sounds closest to? I'm really digging the ortofon eq7's sound signature... 



I haven't heard the Ortofon so I can't comment on that.

 

The only thing my new UERM remind me of is the full size headphone AKG K702 I used at home. They both provide similar feeling in terms of exceptional level of clarity, transparency, and details. Actually, I think the RM might have a edge in terms of details and the lack of colouring, but the "scale" of headphone soundstage and lower frequency from a 40mm moving coil driver can't be easily matched.

post #86 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwanness View Post

Hey guys.. I'm really interested in getting UERM... what universal would you guys say the UERM sounds closest to? I'm really digging the ortofon eq7's sound signature... 

 

DBA/B2/EQ5
 

 

post #87 of 573
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

Hi Joe,

 

Thanks for your thoughtful response...he isn't mastering music- he audits soundtracks that might be used in movies and also uses soundtracks while animating/creating art for movies.  He has to put his monitors away in his new situation, I will ask him which monitors he was using.  Knowing his love of a certain Yello album for testing bass in a system (Baby) plus his shared love for Neil Davidge and Massive Attack...I figured your sub-bass reco without messing anything else up would be something to pass on to him.  If the hassle/expense becomes too much for him, I'm gonna tell him to come to the next meet and get UE RM + an iQube v2 (good bass) and probably be pretty darn happy. 


The UERM + iQube still doesn't output the same sub-bass as anything like 5-way, JH16 (although the bass is always on), aud-5X, i9pro, or TS842.  I actually think the TS842 may be a decent choice either with an impedance adapter to smooth out the sound like the ER4P->S and the bass is still pretty tight and the new aud-5X maybe a good cheaper alternative (review will be done in a week or two).  The UERM does have more detail than all but the 5-way and JH16, but it is the most analytical, well, save the TS842 in the mids/treble.  Really, there are many very good choices out there and if he can listen to the UERM and get a feel for the sound, that is a good way to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwanness View Post

Hey guys.. I'm really interested in getting UERM... what universal would you guys say the UERM sounds closest to? I'm really digging the ortofon eq7's sound signature... 

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

DBA/B2/EQ5


What he said.

post #88 of 573
Got my UERM end of last week. Sound is excellent, but fit was not good. Got pain in both ears shortly afterwards. They are going back, despite my molds being done by UE's audiogist at RMAF. Both sides were slightly too large, the left more than the right. I'll report back with comments on the sound when they fit properly as that can certainly change the sound.
post #89 of 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Got my UERM end of last week. Sound is excellent, but fit was not good. Got pain in both ears shortly afterwards. They are going back, despite my molds being done by UE's audiogist at RMAF. Both sides were slightly too large, the left more than the right. I'll report back with comments on the sound when they fit properly as that can certainly change the sound.


I would recommend using them off and on for a week or two to see if your ears adapt.  A poorly done refit where they remove too much would be a curse and not a blessing.  Have you had customs before?

post #90 of 573
No these are my first. The first day I had them in I didn't feel any discomfort, just felt very full. The next day though when I went to put them in, my left ear was very sore and my right was only slightly sore. I can only wear them for about 30 minutes at a time now before I have to let my ears rest for 4-5 hours in between.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors Review