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Heir Audio 3.ai vs. Westone 3 vs. Westone 4 vs. Sennheiser IE80

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hey guys so I am going to be making a pretty good investment pretty soon on one of these IEMs and have been viewing all the different reviews and forums on these IEMs but I am still torn on which would be best for me. So I'm choosing between

 

Heir Audio 3.ai

Westone 3

Westone 4

Sennheiser IE80

 

Each of them has their pros and cons but would like one that would last be for a while since this is my first time purchasing a $300+ IEM. I would be listening to Hip-Hop/R&B, Trance, Techno, Rock, Metal, Alternative, and some acoustic. They would need to have great isolation and comfort since I will be using these on the go and around people the majority of the time. So something with a deep extended bass with clear mids and highs are important to me. I am coming from a Monster MD Tributes and those were great but sometimes the bass sounded bloated and the mids and highs weren't as clear as I would like them. I would greatly appreciate some help on which would be best for me. Thanks!

post #2 of 37

W4 will be too bass lite, IE80 highs will be too velied.  W3 sounds right up your alley but have not heard 3.ai

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info Spyro, what do you mean the IE80 highs are too veiled? Like too harsh? Also in terms of isolation and comfort does the W3 do well on that? The 3.ai just interest me because of their price point and how they look lol.

post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AznInvasion138 View Post

Thanks for the info Spyro, what do you mean the IE80 highs are too veiled? Like too harsh? Also in terms of isolation and comfort does the W3 do well on that? The 3.ai just interest me because of their price point and how they look lol.

 

Veiled means not very clear or pronounced. It would be closer to dull or smooth sounding than harsh. The W3 does good with comfort and isolation if you get a good fit, but if I remember right, the sound tube is not very long.

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, so it would be between the Westone 3 and Heir Audio 3.ai at this point. Which one would be great for the genres stated above while still being the better all arounder for all music types like rock, alternative, and classical.

post #6 of 37

Not sure if anyone owns both but I very closely have been following the 3ai and have had the W3 for years.

 

I think both would be good for those genres.  Main difference may be the 3ai would be more controlled and midrange focused where W3 will have a larger more open sound (bigger soundstage) and more treble detail.

post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 

Huge thanks Spyro for the responses. So if I were listening to a trance song or hip hop song would midrange be an important factor needed or would having a more detailed treble be better? 

 

Also is there anyone that has tried both the 3.ai and W3 can give their insight on which would be better suited for myself? Thanks.

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Also should i consider the Audeo PFE 232? It seems to be highly regarded but the price tag seems a little much at 599.99 lol.

post #9 of 37
If you can afford it, yes, it may be worth considering.
post #10 of 37

The Sony EX1000+ZO2, RE272+ZO2 willbe perfect match for these genres music and these IEMs perform very well with ZO2 for extra bass punch.


Edited by ZARIM - 12/11/12 at 8:13am
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hey tinyman can you give me some insight on a comparison between the PFE 232, W3, and Heir Audio 3.ai. They're sound signatures seem to be pretty similar but the PFE 232 is more than a $100 more than the other two. So just wondering which would be best for me and a better long term deal. 

 

Thanks zarim for the recommendations but I've tried the EX1000 and the fit is a little hard for me and might check out the RE272.

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AznInvasion138 View Post

Hey tinyman can you give me some insight on a comparison between the PFE 232, W3, and Heir Audio 3.ai. They're sound signatures seem to be pretty similar but the PFE 232 is more than a $100 more than the other two. So just wondering which would be best for me and a better long term deal. 

 

Thanks zarim for the recommendations but I've tried the EX1000 and the fit is a little hard for me and might check out the RE272.

 

I have not heard the W3, so no comments there.  I actually did do a full comparison between the 3.Ai and PFE232 a while back.  Essentially, the mids on the PFE are slightly more forward.  The bass on the 3.Ai is tighter, while the 232s have a larger body.  Both have great depth, impact, and punch.  The 232s do better in the midrange regarding dynamics and detailing.  Clarity in the upper mids may be better done by the 3.Ai.  The PFE highs are more detailed and linear in comparison to the 3.Ai.  They also extend higher. 

 

As for which is a better value, it'd be the 3.Ai, no doubt.

post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help tinyman. Yeah at this point the PFE232 are out of my price range anyways and the 3.ai looks great. My only knock on it is the durability and isolation of the IEMs since I will be using these for travel pretty often.

 

Can anyone comment on the W3 vs IE80 and which one would provide better isolation and sound signature. 

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AznInvasion138 View Post

 

Can anyone comment on the W3 vs IE80 and which one would provide better isolation and sound signature. 

Re: PF232 if your gonna spend $600 I would be buying the JH7 instead in a heartbeat.

 

W3 versus IE80:  They both have a big bold sound with big bass.  The main difference is W3 has much better clarity and detail throughout where IE80 is somewhat veiled and smoother throughout.  I find the Senns boring and fit can be problematic for many.  In addition the dynamic driver in the Senn takes hundreds of hours to burn in so the sound changes over time.  This is one reason I don't care for dynamics.  I want to buy and IEM, pull it out of the box and know on the spot what sound I am dealing with.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AznInvasion138 View Post

Thanks for the help tinyman. Yeah at this point the PFE232 are out of my price range anyways and the 3.ai looks great. My only knock on it is the durability and isolation of the IEMs since I will be using these for travel pretty often.

 

Can anyone comment on the W3 vs IE80 and which one would provide better isolation and sound signature. 

 

The 3.Ai will isolate better than the PFE.  Durability feels better in the 3.Ai, but both are well-built.

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