Originally Posted by tracyrick
Pulled the trigger on the UM3X, looking for an alternative to my Shure SE535's. Regretted that decision very quickly. Almost immediately obvious that the SE535 are very similar and slightly better, IMO. Here are my first impressions after trying my best to like these, A/B comparison (back and forth) with my SE535. Sources are Sansa Clip+ and H140/d10 optical out, music was rock, prog rock, metal.
Ergonomics: I agree this is great. The lighter cable is nice. No microphonics. The earphones themselves fit very nice inside my ears where the SE535 stick out a bit. No complaints here. The Shure olives work well on them. Sound can cut out if you try to wear a headband over them though, same as my Shures. Not sure why that happens. Doesn't happen with the triple flanges, but they are very uncomfortable of course.
Bass: Very good to excellent. Similar. Possibly more detail & impact. Maybe these are being tuned for drummers and not just "musicians."
Mids: Similar if not the same.
Highs: My biggest complaint. The SE535 has significantly better highs (which is hard for me to believe). When I first got the SE535, I thought they sounded like mud. I couldn't even tell there were highs (but to be fair, that was coming from the bright ER-4S/P). Well, the UM3X sound like mud x2. If you want to called this "recessed highs" or a "veil" then that's another way to say it. The opposite of what was I was hoping for. Now I can tell my SE535's have highs, and they're not as bad as I thought, maybe OK even. There is nothing even close to sparkle in these earphones. I think if I would have read the posts a little better I would have seen that no one has claimed the highs are good, it's all about bass and mids and detail. I should have looked for that more specifically.
Instrument separation: Not hearing any improvement vs. the SE535. Except for maybe more detail in the bass drums/guitar. Not getting why this is supposed to be a strength of the UM3X. Compared to what?
Soundstage: Yeah, it's close as described by many. Closer than the SE535. I don't like it. But I was expecting this so not a surprise.
Overall, very smooth, as described, but also very similar to the SE535 with emphasis on the mids and lows, but lacking even more highs. SE535 are brighter (but certainly not close to "bright."). Guitars sound much better. So why would I want to keep these and my SE535 at the same time? Will probably send them back. Bummer.