I have come to a dilema. I can't decided between the Westone UM3x or the Westone 3. Basically I listen to classic rock and alternative music. Queen, Kiss, Muse, The Who, Aerosmith....ect.... I was wondering that what would sound better with an amp and/or if these headphones even require an amp to get their true colours shinning?
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HELP! Westone 3 vs Westone UM3x
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I can't help you decide between these two, as I have never heard the UM3x, but I do have the Westone 3. They sound a little more clear when I use them out of my O2 amp (with 1x gain), but I honestly don't feel you are missing that much using them straight out of your iPod. I only noticed a difference after 8 hours listening on the amp at work, and then just plugging straight into my iPod on the subway. So the difference between amped and unamped is extremely subtle, at least to me. They are very sensitive and easy to drive, as most IEMs are.
The Westone 3s are known for having a mid-bass hump, they can also come across as a little harsh on some recordings (sibilance). On the whole, I love them and have no desire to get any other IEM. Hopefully someone who has heard both can weigh in and let you know how they compare with the music you like.
I owned both, at different times, actually one right after the other. I had the UM3x, and bought into the whole - "It's nice but it's too polite" comments. I sold it and got the W3, which was punchier in the bass, brighter on top, and had the wow factor - for about 15 to 30 minutes, then it was just fatiguing. I sold the W3, and moved on to try other things, and have finally settled in with a pair of customs for iem use. If I was ever to go back to universal iem's, I would either get the shure 535 with removable cable, or if the UM3x now comes with a removable cable, I would strongly consider repurchasing it. The 535 and UM3x are different sound signatures, but both are non-fatiguing to me (I actually base my shure comments on the 530) and have pleasant, accurate signatures.
Summary, IMHO of course:
W-3 is bright, full in the mids and punchy / boosted on the bass
UM3x is a more flat, neutral natural sound signature, and one that can be listened to for a longer period of time without fatigue.
If I were buying Westone universals again, I would get the UM3x (only if it has removable cables, the UM3x and W3 have kinda crappy cables), over both the W3 (from experience) and the w4 (from comments I've read - it just doesn't sound like "my" sound preference).
After the w4 i picked up the w3 and loved it, even more than um3x!
I listen to about 90% rock, maybe similar to you, and imho w3 are amazing iems for ROCK
I found um3x good too, especially for progressive and more complex metal, as you can really hear the different instruments working together. But i think w3 are better rock earphones overall. Their excellent bass and mids just give a lot of life to the music. Um3x does come off as a bit more polite...
I agree with UM3X for rock, and the recommendations for the W3. But I really did not like the UM3X for classical; I thought its upper mids/treble was not adequate for strings, etc and lack of sound-stage made symphonies claustrophobic. I much prefer the W4 for classical. But yeah, out of the two, I'd pick the UM3X for rock, though the W3 is more exciting of the two, with its bass and treble. It's quite tough deciding! I had the UM3X longer of the two, but if I were to pick one today, it may be the W3, mostly because it would compliment the fantastic mids of my HD650 . The W3 and UM3X actually compliment one another really well.
- HELP! Westone 3 vs Westone UM3x
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