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Ultimate Ears UE 900 Discussion and Appreciation Thread - Page 71

post #1051 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Mango View Post


The real question is "which holiday?"
Hopefully just a week or so rather than months...

 

About a week, give or take a few days :p  I'll be comparing the 4.Ai extensively to other IEMs as well:

  • Phonak PFE232
  • Westone W4R
  • Logitech Ultimate Ears UE 900
  • Heir Audio 3.Ai
  • Brainwavz B2
post #1052 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by glac1er View Post

The UE900 doesn't sound mid-bassy at all to my ears. In fact, it is IMO one of the few BA IEMs out there that gets the bass right. Many are too bass-light, though lighter bass does help with perceived clarity.

Still very interested in listening to the Heirs...

I understand what you mean about some maybe being a bit bass light and we all like a bit more bass and that is where the 4.Ai sit, little boost, tiny but of warmth and extremely right and punchy, it is very nice. The 900s as it stands now have more mid bass than the EX1000 and GR07 which are two of the most regarded dynamic IEMs but it can't match them in sub-bass. The mid bass is also not as tight or fast as the 4.Ai or EX1000. I am listening to it more and more though so hopefully it settles like some have reported from that little sound bore but it will also need to tighten a bit.
post #1053 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimsonny View Post


I understand what you mean about some maybe being a bit bass light and we all like a bit more bass and that is where the 4.Ai sit, little boost, tiny but of warmth and extremely right and punchy, it is very nice. The 900s as it stands now have more mid bass than the EX1000 and GR07 which are two of the most regarded dynamic IEMs but it can't match them in sub-bass. The mid bass is also not as tight or fast as the 4.Ai or EX1000. I am listening to it more and more though so hopefully it settles like some have reported from that little sound bore but it will also need to tighten a bit.

 

I know I'm fresh with the 4.Ai...  But the tightness and speed of either IEM is really not that great of a difference...  If anything, the 900s are perceived to have a slightly tighter mid-bass.  IDK how the 4.Ai will fare with burn in though.  They have a much larger low-mid-bass hump than the 900s that are very linear.  Presence is much greater with the 4.Ai while being able to not sacrifice speed.  Just about perfect bass really, just lacks a bit of depth (rolls off a little earlier than is needed; not really a roll off, but you get the idea).

post #1054 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

I know I'm fresh with the 4.Ai...  But the tightness and speed of either IEM is really not that great of a difference...  If anything, the 900s are perceived to have a slightly tighter mid-bass.  IDK how the 4.Ai will fare with burn in though.  They have a much larger low-mid-bass hump than the 900s that are very linear.  Presence is much greater with the 4.Ai while being able to not sacrifice speed.  Just about perfect bass really, just lacks a bit of depth (rolls off a little earlier than is needed; not really a roll off, but you get the idea).

It was so long ago that i do not really remember the 4.Ai out of the box and never really recorded big differences regarding burn in. But on mine it is noticeable to anyone how much tighter and punchier the mid-bass is on the 4.Ai as well as the smaller body it has in comparison. Can agree with that last statement however, they could do with just a tad more extension not a crying shame but yes, the UE900 make a better job here for sure.

post #1055 of 2919

Hey everyone - first post. Thanks ahead of time for providing your expertise - it's appreciated!

 

About 11 years ago, I bought my first and only IEMs, the venerable Etymotic ER-4Ps. They've served me extremely well over the years and I really love how they sound. That said, I must admit that I haven't heard any other "good" IEMs. But don't mistake me for an audio newbie - I'm a 2 channel audiophile and am well-versed in describing what I like and don't like about what I'm listening to. I've just not had a ton of cause to invest in IEMs.

 

I have the luxury of working from home. I used to listen to my KRK Rokit 5's (with a Triad Speakerworks Inline silver sub) while working. It's no candle to my 2 channel system, but good enough for non-critical listening. But lately, I've not been able to really use those. I have a 5 month-old who is at home with my wife and his room shares a wall with my office. So I can't really listen to my monitors and have been heavily relying on my Ety's, which are driven directly by a Revolution 5.1 sound card on my computer (and my iPhone 5 when I'm out and about).

 

I'm in a good financial situation and can afford to spend some money on some great IEMs now, so I'm looking to add another pair:

 

  • I love the ER-4P's noise isolation. Just unbelievable. But I don't need isolation quite this good -- enough to not hear my crying baby next door would be sufficient.
  • I generally wear my Ety's down and not up, but I think I could adjust to wearing up, if necessary. I use the clip to avoid microphonics, which is a good-enough solution for me since I'm sitting at my desk. I learned early-only, however, that I can't run in these things - the microphonics annoyed the snot out of me.
  • I must have a microphone. I use them often enough with the iPhone 5 that pulling them out isn't an option, especially since there are several great IEM's with microphones.
  • The triple flanged tips on the Ety's create a fantastic seal for me. I can get them in easily, but have to remove them carefully so as not to hurt myself. I probably have a pretty easy ear to fit.
  • I love the neutrality and detail of the ER-4P's. _love_ it. That said, my listening tastes have expanded over the years from standard rock/pop/classical to a ton of EDM. I've always thought that the bass in the ER-4Ps was "good enough" and accurate, but I'm pretty sure no one would mistake them for having visceral impact or extended, full bass. I suspect my brain fools me into hearing a harmonic of the fundamental that makes it sound fuller than it is, regardless. It's been adequate for everything but EDM, when I really wish I could unplug and listen to my KRK/sub combo.
  • If I could get the neutrality of the Ety's and add some punch and extension to the bottom end, that's what I would do. I realize one option would be for me to get an external amp, but I really would also like a microphone. Plus I have money burning a hole in my pocket.
  • I don't mind a slight v-shape to the sound for EDM. When iTunes was my preferred player, I used to EQ it that way for EDM, so if the headphones added that shape (subtly!) for me, I'd be ok with it.
  • For IEMs, I couldn't care less about soundstage. I have a 2 channel system for that sort of listening.

 

...all of which leads me to the UE 900's. Based on what I've described, are they the best thing for me to try first? If not, what would you recommend? ~$400 price range would be good. For example, I don't think I could stretch to the PFE232's.

 

Thanks!

post #1056 of 2919

Yes, UE900.  Go for it!

 

But keep in mind if you choose UE900 you have poorer ergonomics and less bass.  if that is where your tastes are then UE900 is your best choice.

 

I personally prefer the slightly heavier bass, great ergonomics and overall HUGE soundstage of W4 but to each his own.  Many people hate Westone.

post #1057 of 2919
Might be worth checking into the Heir options as well. Very competitive with UE900 and Westone 4.
post #1058 of 2919

The Heirs seem to be wanna bee customs.  Not sure what their goal is?  I have heard many say fit is a problem.  I find the wood thing hideous...they don't look very comfortable.

 

Westone ergonomics beat the pants off everyone else.  They just nestle into your ear cavity like a smooth glove.

post #1059 of 2919
There and brands and makes and models that some people love and others hate. Especially in the ~$400 price range many are polarizing. Westone, Heir, and UE all have camps for and against.
Hauser would be well advised to look at all the options and decide for his/her self.
post #1060 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Yes, UE900.  Go for it!

 

But keep in mind if you choose UE900 you have poorer ergonomics and less bass.  if that is where your tastes are then UE900 is your best choice.

 

I personally prefer the slightly heavier bass, great ergonomics and overall HUGE soundstage of W4 but to each his own.  Many people hate Westone.

 

Thanks for the reply. "Poorer ergonomics and less bass" -- as compared to what? My basis for comparison is the (I'm assuming) relatively bass-lite Etymotic ER-4P. I'm certainly looking for more bass than can be found in the ER-4P's, but I don't need a ton more, really. I'm hoping there's someone out there who could say "While the UE 900's don't have the most bass in the price range, it's certainly extends deeper and more authoritatively than the ER-4Ps."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Mango View Post

There and brands and makes and models that some people love and others hate. Especially in the ~$400 price range many are polarizing. Westone, Heir, and UE all have camps for and against.
Hauser would be well advised to look at all the options and decide for his/her self.

 

For contextual/educational purposes, I've read the Westone and Heir reviews and researched them, but the lack of an iPhone compatible microphone is a self-imposed show-stopper for both of those lines. The Westone 1/TS1 doesn't have the sound quality I'm looking for.

 

I think this leaves me with the following options, and my "uninformed" opinion I have on them based on what I've read:

 

  • the UE 900s - seems relatively neutral (a good thing) but would have better bass than the ER-4Ps
  • Shure SE535 - probably still a step up from my ER-4Ps, but doesn't seem to be as good an option as the UE 900s for what I like
  • Sennheiser IE80: I think I'd prefer something with a little more isolation
  • Phonak PFE122 - ya know, maybe. They're less expensive, but maybe they'd be perfect for what I need. Maybe I buy a pair alongside another so I can A/B them and see if it's worth it. I love the idea of different filters.
  • Phonak PFE232 - Probably out of my price range, but I'd be really curious to hear what they sound like. Every review I've read said their bass is fantastic.
  • The various Monster products - I would just have a hard time buying anything with the word "Monster" on it. Also, I worry about TOO much bass. I want more than the Etymotics, but I'm not a huge bass head.
  • Etymotic HF2 - I figure these sound a lot like what I have, but have a mic. Nifty, but I already have that sort of sound.

 

Am I missing anything? Are my impressions of these IEMs, relative to what I want, reasonably accurate? Or am I mistaken?

 

Thanks!

 

Are there any others I'm missing?

post #1061 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauser View Post

Hey everyone - first post. Thanks ahead of time for providing your expertise - it's appreciated!

 

About 11 years ago, I bought my first and only IEMs, the venerable Etymotic ER-4Ps. They've served me extremely well over the years and I really love how they sound. That said, I must admit that I haven't heard any other "good" IEMs. But don't mistake me for an audio newbie - I'm a 2 channel audiophile and am well-versed in describing what I like and don't like about what I'm listening to. I've just not had a ton of cause to invest in IEMs.

 

I have the luxury of working from home. I used to listen to my KRK Rokit 5's (with a Triad Speakerworks Inline silver sub) while working. It's no candle to my 2 channel system, but good enough for non-critical listening. But lately, I've not been able to really use those. I have a 5 month-old who is at home with my wife and his room shares a wall with my office. So I can't really listen to my monitors and have been heavily relying on my Ety's, which are driven directly by a Revolution 5.1 sound card on my computer (and my iPhone 5 when I'm out and about).

 

I'm in a good financial situation and can afford to spend some money on some great IEMs now, so I'm looking to add another pair:

 

  • I love the ER-4P's noise isolation. Just unbelievable. But I don't need isolation quite this good -- enough to not hear my crying baby next door would be sufficient.
  • I generally wear my Ety's down and not up, but I think I could adjust to wearing up, if necessary. I use the clip to avoid microphonics, which is a good-enough solution for me since I'm sitting at my desk. I learned early-only, however, that I can't run in these things - the microphonics annoyed the snot out of me.
  • I must have a microphone. I use them often enough with the iPhone 5 that pulling them out isn't an option, especially since there are several great IEM's with microphones.
  • The triple flanged tips on the Ety's create a fantastic seal for me. I can get them in easily, but have to remove them carefully so as not to hurt myself. I probably have a pretty easy ear to fit.
  • I love the neutrality and detail of the ER-4P's. _love_ it. That said, my listening tastes have expanded over the years from standard rock/pop/classical to a ton of EDM. I've always thought that the bass in the ER-4Ps was "good enough" and accurate, but I'm pretty sure no one would mistake them for having visceral impact or extended, full bass. I suspect my brain fools me into hearing a harmonic of the fundamental that makes it sound fuller than it is, regardless. It's been adequate for everything but EDM, when I really wish I could unplug and listen to my KRK/sub combo.
  • If I could get the neutrality of the Ety's and add some punch and extension to the bottom end, that's what I would do. I realize one option would be for me to get an external amp, but I really would also like a microphone. Plus I have money burning a hole in my pocket.
  • I don't mind a slight v-shape to the sound for EDM. When iTunes was my preferred player, I used to EQ it that way for EDM, so if the headphones added that shape (subtly!) for me, I'd be ok with it.
  • For IEMs, I couldn't care less about soundstage. I have a 2 channel system for that sort of listening.

 

...all of which leads me to the UE 900's. Based on what I've described, are they the best thing for me to try first? If not, what would you recommend? ~$400 price range would be good. For example, I don't think I could stretch to the PFE232's.

 

Thanks!

 

My honest suggestion here would be to go with either the PFEs listed (they were on sale recently for 450 :(  I don't know if the sale is still around or the W4s.  The UE 900s have a stronger punch an the Etymotic (HF5), but less sub-bass presence despite being able to dig deeper (doesn't roll off as early as the Ety does).  So there are trade offs there (I just ABed recently with them and found this out :p).  If you keep the small pinhole nozzle unplugged, it may do the trick, but you're still better off with a W4 in this case.  PFE would fit your needs as well.  Can't go wrong with either.  I'd still go W4 over PFE knowing your background.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Yes, UE900.  Go for it!

 

But keep in mind if you choose UE900 you have poorer ergonomics and less bass.  if that is where your tastes are then UE900 is your best choice.

 

I personally prefer the slightly heavier bass, great ergonomics and overall HUGE soundstage of W4 but to each his own.  Many people hate Westone.

 

+1 on poorer ergonomics...  Kinda iffy on bass.  Read above :p  +1 to the W4 suggestion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Mango View Post

Might be worth checking into the Heir options as well. Very competitive with UE900 and Westone 4.

 

If you can live without the upper midrange, lower treble extension that the ER4s give, then the 4.Ai may be a good fit.  To test it out, lower the 4k range by about 12 dB to emulate this dip while keeping the 2 and 5 k range at 0. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

The Heirs seem to be wanna bee customs.  Not sure what their goal is?  I have heard many say fit is a problem.  I find the wood thing hideous...they don't look very comfortable.

 

Westone ergonomics beat the pants off everyone else.  They just nestle into your ear cavity like a smooth glove.

 

Heir isn't a wannabe custom company.  They are a custom company.  Their universal models (with the exception of the Tzar series) are all derived from their custom.  They offer 3, 4, 6, and 8 driver customs.  The have 2, 3, and 4 driver universals (the 3 and 4 are derived from their custom counterparts).  The wood looks beautiful to me, but to each their own.  I have to say they are extremely comfortable (universal models), even moreso than the Westones. 

 

LAST NOTE ON THE UE 900: If you plug the small nozzle boar, you can actually get them very close to neutral. 


Edited by tinyman392 - 11/24/12 at 9:15pm
post #1062 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

My honest suggestion here would be to go with either the PFEs listed (they were on sale recently for 450 :(  I don't know if the sale is still around or the W4s.  The UE 900s have a stronger punch an the Etymotic (HF5), but less sub-bass presence despite being able to dig deeper (doesn't roll off as early as the Ety does).  So there are trade offs there (I just ABed recently with them and found this out :p).  If you keep the small pinhole nozzle unplugged, it may do the trick, but you're still better off with a W4 in this case.  PFE would fit your needs as well.  Can't go wrong with either.  I'd still go W4 over PFE knowing your background.

 

All great comments and exactly what I was hoping someone would know. I greatly appreciate the comparison to the HF5 and how they compare on neutrality and bass. I also agree the PFE232 sounds right up my alley. Do you remember where they were on sale for $450? (was it black friday?) I could make that happen.

 

Thanks again.

post #1063 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauser View Post

 

All great comments and exactly what I was hoping someone would know. I greatly appreciate the comparison to the HF5 and how they compare on neutrality and bass. I also agree the PFE232 sounds right up my alley. Do you remember where they were on sale for $450? (was it black friday?) I could make that happen.

 

Thanks again.

 

Just a word of warning, you are going to end up with a different sound with the PFE232.  It is a V-shape, that is undeniable :p  Link is here for the sale: http://www.head-fi.org/t/539710/news-discussion-impression-phonak-aud-o-pfe232/795 I don't know when it expires (or if it already did). It was posted about 3 weeks ago though :(  Halloween thing I guess :(

post #1064 of 2919
Hauser, don't let the omission of a mic or remote cable completely deter you from a headphone. You can likely get a mic/remote cable that fits whatever you buy, or get an adapter extension cable that you can use when needed (adds mic and button in line, I have several of these and are not audiophile equipment but serve their purposes well).
post #1065 of 2919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

The Heirs seem to be wanna bee customs.  Not sure what their goal is?  I have heard many say fit is a problem.  I find the wood thing hideous...they don't look very comfortable.

 

Westone ergonomics beat the pants off everyone else.  They just nestle into your ear cavity like a smooth glove.

 

Universal customs at a lower price than customs id assume. I'd go for one if I thought I would like the sound sig. The Heir IEMs do look pretty big which could be uncomfortable.

 

Eh, I'm actually not sure about W4 ergonomics since I haven't used them that long. I've felt some pain from the large housing pushing against my ears though. I'm weird and the TF10 is actually more comfortable for me vs the W4 and stuff like the X10 which everyone says has the best comfort.

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