Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › IEM Advice Needed: Shure SE425 vs Westone 2 vs UM2 & UM2 RC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

IEM Advice Needed: Shure SE425 vs Westone 2 vs UM2 & UM2 RC

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 


Hi,I've seen various threads here debating the merits of various IEM's. Including the ones I'm asking about. What I'd like to ask,is some specific advice. And answers to some specific questions.



 



First off,I'm interested in the Westone 2, Westone UM2 & UM2 RC,Finally,The Shure SE425. I will get one of those three. Your advice is appreciated. I currently have Klispch Image S4, Shure SE215, and the SE315. From what I'm interested in,you can see that I want a Dual-Driver IEM.



 



I currently use my 315's for daily use. The 215 for biking & workouts. My S4's are my Back-Ups now. I use my S4's with Shure Tips. Which was a GREAT improvement over the flimsy tips that came with them. My 215's were my first IEM's. But I wanted a warmer sound on the bottom end. So I bumped up to the 315's. I like the warmer tone. So that's what I'm looking for in my next pair.



 



Looking at the various threads on my IEM's of choice,I do see a lot of consistent views concerning their sound. I would like to ask,which would be best for me. Given my questions. A lot of people like the W2's over the UM2's for their clarity, openness and balance. Others like the UM2's for their warmer bottom end. Others like the 425's for their flat response. A worthy trait for sure.



 



1) Between the W2's & SE425's, which has the "Warmer" Bottom End? Given their Flat response?



 


U
2) With the UM2's warmer bottom end,does it "Muddy" it. Or,does it just give the bottom end more punch?



 



3) Do the UM2's have a noticeable Soundstage?



 



4) Between the W2's & 425's, which one's Highs won't overpower the Mids?



 



5) Between the W2's & 425's, which one has the better Soundstage?



 



6) Is it better to get the UM2 (if chosen), or, the RC model? And will it stay connected (RC's), like the Shures. And is the connection snug like the Shures. Without shorting out, disconnections, etc?



 



7) A good portable amp for less that $150. A few suggestions would be nice.



 



 



Those are my questions. My Music is on a iTouch 3rd gen with iOS 5.1? The latest anyways. And on my iPhone 4S. Encoded with Apple Lossless on both. I listen to Pop,Rock,Hard Rock, and Jazz. Miles,Coltrane,etc. But,mainly Rock and Hard Rock.



 



I do want Good Sound. I'd like my Cymbals to sound like Crashes instead of Tinks. The Bass Guitar and Bass Drum to be 2 separate and distinct sounds. Vocals are clear. The Snare Drum to have a Snap/Crack to it. And the Bass Drum to have a solid "Thump" and not a Generic "Whoop" sound. Piano/Keyboards sound Natural. Horns to not sound Strident.



 



My budget for IEM's is $300. Hence no SE535's, W3's,etc.



 



Thanks for helping this Head-Fi Nube out.


Edited by Thrill Killer - 4/11/12 at 6:50am
post #2 of 12

I can only speak for the SE 425, as I've been enjoying them for a while now.

The bass is tight, mids are liquid smooth, and the high roll off ensures that the highs are not overpowering. Very good for jazz/trip hop/soft rock or any music where vocals and horns play a big role. But they are not very sparkly, so electronic wont sound as 'electronic'.

For portable amps, I've heard good things about Fiio E17, and the Objective 2 amp. They differ in their 'portability' so take a look.

 

post #3 of 12

IMO stay away from the shure se425/se4xx line, i found them to be very neutral and boring. so much so that music was hard to get ''into'' and listen to, it just wasnt all there. it wasnt a fun sounding signature at all imo.

 

you said you wanted cymbal crash, well with roll off you arent going to hear that high extension, you arent going to get the full representation of the highs with roll off.

 

if you can save your money and get the shure se535. the last part of your thread describes the shure se535. forward mids, crisp clean vocals,extended highs, they have amazing separation of instruments, so if its guitar,bass,drum, and vocals, everything is separate from eachother you hear each individual instrument, the highs sparkle and have alot less roll off than the se425. the bass is tight,controlled and natural sounding.

 

to me i think you would enjoy the se535, i have seen them go for 330.00 ,so i mean its alot more earphone for 30.00 more than your budget.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the Input Mooses9.

                                             As far as the Se535's go,I'm gonna pass. I saw a deal on a site for the SE535 for $330. But, there's no way to tell if they're Real or Counterfeits. The site didn't seem to be reputable to me. I'm so sure that I would enjoy the 535's. But,my limit for IEM's is $300 from Legitimate sites only.

 

I'm still looking on the Portable Amp thread for something $150 or less for my iTouch and soon IEM purchase.

post #5 of 12

Most IEMs don't need an amp.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that info proton007. I would've never known that. I was thinking that a Portable Amp would improve the sound quality from my iTouch. Thus improving the sound of the IEM's I would be buying. Of the IEM's listed in my OP. Would they benefit sonically from the Fiio E17 Amp? Or would it be an unnecessary Luxury with little gain in overall sound quality?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Most IEMs don't need an amp.



true but also depends on the source too. i find some iem's sound better amped if the source all that great. the amp seems to pick up and fill in the gaps that the source lacks.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

My source is a iTouch 32GB 3Gen. w/iOS 5.1? And all music ripped from CD's into iTunes  using Apple Lossless.

post #9 of 12

There are no gaps to fill when the source is lossless. Most DACs are pretty good in this regard.

An amp relies on this DAC output. Anything that was to be lost/gained is already done. 

But an amp can do this:

a) Increase the amplitude, hence power of the signal, making it louder.

b) "add" noise/distortion.

c) "favor" some frequencies more than others.

 

Now, if the amp favors some frequency, and the earphones also favors some frequency, finally you get an addition of the two favored frequencies.

In another case, if the amp adds nothing, but earphones have a high/low roll off, you end up with a sound that favors the mids.

 

Generally, a neutral amp is readily available, but headphone/earphone drivers have certain characteristics (material properties) that makes it very difficult to make them sound perfectly neutral.

Moreover the drivers produce the biggest difference, since they are the ones that convert the signal into sound waves.

 

The idea is this. If you already have a relatively unbalanced part in your chain, and the one that produces the biggest difference, it is not wise to make another link in the chain unbalanced *unless* you are deliberately looking for some addition (read tube amps).

 

If you are looking to enjoy the music as it is, and if all this above makes sense to you, go for the earphones first. Enjoy the sound. Most IEMs are low impedance and will reach their peak SPL through the pmp alone.

As for the comment regarding SE425s, they have a high frequency roll off. It favors the mids and lows, but that also means you get to enjoy the vocals, guitars and drums more than the cymbals that seem to overpower a lot of the sound.


Edited by proton007 - 4/11/12 at 10:01pm
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I want to thank everyone for their great advice.

 

                                                                    I pulled the Trigger on a pair of W3's. $285 on eBay.

 

PS: and a Fiio Alpen E17 w/L9 LOD.


Edited by Thrill Killer - 4/13/12 at 4:49am
post #11 of 12

good choice. you should be happy

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrill Killer View Post


Hi,I've seen various threads here debating the merits of various IEM's. Including the ones I'm asking about. What I'd like to ask,is some specific advice. And answers to some specific questions.



 



First off,I'm interested in the Westone 2, Westone UM2 & UM2 RC,Finally,The Shure SE425. I will get one of those three. Your advice is appreciated. I currently have Klispch Image S4, Shure SE215, and the SE315. From what I'm interested in,you can see that I want a Dual-Driver IEM.



 



I currently use my 315's for daily use. The 215 for biking & workouts. My S4's are my Back-Ups now. I use my S4's with Shure Tips. Which was a GREAT improvement over the flimsy tips that came with them. My 215's were my first IEM's. But I wanted a warmer sound on the bottom end. So I bumped up to the 315's. I like the warmer tone. So that's what I'm looking for in my next pair.



 



Looking at the various threads on my IEM's of choice,I do see a lot of consistent views concerning their sound. I would like to ask,which would be best for me. Given my questions. A lot of people like the W2's over the UM2's for their clarity, openness and balance. Others like the UM2's for their warmer bottom end. Others like the 425's for their flat response. A worthy trait for sure.



 



1) Between the W2's & SE425's, which has the "Warmer" Bottom End? Given their Flat response?



 


U
2) With the UM2's warmer bottom end,does it "Muddy" it. Or,does it just give the bottom end more punch?



 



3) Do the UM2's have a noticeable Soundstage?



 



4) Between the W2's & 425's, which one's Highs won't overpower the Mids?



 



5) Between the W2's & 425's, which one has the better Soundstage?



 



6) Is it better to get the UM2 (if chosen), or, the RC model? And will it stay connected (RC's), like the Shures. And is the connection snug like the Shures. Without shorting out, disconnections, etc?



 



7) A good portable amp for less that $150. A few suggestions would be nice.



 



 



Those are my questions. My Music is on a iTouch 3rd gen with iOS 5.1? The latest anyways. And on my iPhone 4S. Encoded with Apple Lossless on both. I listen to Pop,Rock,Hard Rock, and Jazz. Miles,Coltrane,etc. But,mainly Rock and Hard Rock.



 



I do want Good Sound. I'd like my Cymbals to sound like Crashes instead of Tinks. The Bass Guitar and Bass Drum to be 2 separate and distinct sounds. Vocals are clear. The Snare Drum to have a Snap/Crack to it. And the Bass Drum to have a solid "Thump" and not a Generic "Whoop" sound. Piano/Keyboards sound Natural. Horns to not sound Strident.



 



My budget for IEM's is $300. Hence no SE535's, W3's,etc.



 



Thanks for helping this Head-Fi Nube out.



1) W2 is slightly warmer than the SE425
2) The UM2 is far from muddy, anything but muddy, it even seems to be clarity tuned. Also, the bass you get from it won't be as much as dynamic drivers.
3) UM2s have a front row to middle row soundstage, not the widest, but a tad wider than the crammed up UM3x.
4) Both won't. Both do not have the kind of sharp or harsh highs. 
5) SE425 has a wider soundstage hands down.
6) It could be better to get the RC ver., but you may become even more wary about it than without, fearing that the connections may break off.
7) iBasso D-Zero, FiiO E7, Hippo Box+

All are rather neutral IEMs, so they should be good at most music genres. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › IEM Advice Needed: Shure SE425 vs Westone 2 vs UM2 & UM2 RC