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Westone 4 vs Heir 4.ai vs RE272

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

After a lot of researching, I have narrowed my search down to these three IEMs. After using the Phonak PFE232, I decided I didn’t like it since it was too v-shaped for me. I’m looking for an IEM with neutral mids (I don’t want them to be recessed like the PFE232, but I don’t want them to be really forward like the SE535 either. I dislike dark and blurry headphones) and lots of clarity. I don’t care how much bass there is, but I don’t want it to be basslight to the point of sounding anemic or thin, nor do I want it to sound bloated. As for the treble, I don’t want it to be toned down because I don’t want the IEM to sound dark or blurry, that’s all. The genres I most listen to are rock, metal, vocals, and soundtrack. According to the preferences I have stated above, these three IEMs seem to be the best for me. Which of these three do you guys think I should get (I am open to more suggestions, my budget is $400)?

post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

After a lot of researching, I have narrowed my search down to these three IEMs. After using the Phonak PFE232, I decided I didn’t like it since it was too v-shaped for me. I’m looking for an IEM with neutral mids (I don’t want them to be recessed like the PFE232, but I don’t want them to be really forward like the SE535 either. I dislike dark and blurry headphones) and lots of clarity. I don’t care how much bass there is, but I don’t want it to be basslight to the point of sounding anemic or thin, nor do I want it to sound bloated. As for the treble, I don’t want it to be toned down because I don’t want the IEM to sound dark or blurry, that’s all. The genres I most listen to are rock, metal, vocals, and soundtrack. According to the preferences I have stated above, these three IEMs seem to be the best for me. Which of these three do you guys think I should get (I am open to more suggestions, my budget is $400)?

 

My suggestions with the three above would be to go with the W4 or Heir Audio 4.Ai.  HiFiMan does have a new model coming out soon, the RE600, that will retail around 400.  It may be worth waiting for.  

post #3 of 25

I sold my westone ES5, JH13, and kept my W4, I guess that tells you something. But I won't recommand W4 to you if it's your first high end IEM as they tend not to WOW you. But honestly, if you are used to the sound of W4, any other IEM doesn't sound good anymore, and that include the K3003 I bought recently, which I thought would be an improvement over the W4, and yes it is, but I just can't move away from W4's sound signature and well I have put them on sale as well.

 

W4 is an IEM that gets you trully melt into the music. No kidding.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by czqdtc View Post

I sold my westone ES5, JH13, and kept my W4, I guess that tells you something. But I won't recommand W4 to you if it's your first high end IEM as they tend not to WOW you. But honestly, if you are used to the sound of W4, any other IEM doesn't sound good anymore, and that include the K3003 I bought recently, which I thought would be an improvement over the W4, and yes it is, but I just can't move away from W4's sound signature and well I have put them on sale as well.

 

W4 is an IEM that gets you trully melt into the music. No kidding.

 

When I first got the PFE232, it WOWed me when I first listened to it, but I ended up getting sick of the v-shaped signature. The recession of mids became more apparent and I started noticing how grainy some vocals sounded, so I kept desiring a more full sounding IEM. The PFE232 is an IEM that WOWs you at first, but reveals its flaws later. I'm looking for an IEM that doesn't really WOW you at first, but sort of grows on to you as you listen to it. From what you're describing, the westone 4 seems to be the IEM I am looking for, especially since its a sort of mid-centric IEM but with neutrally placed mids and a decent mount of highs instead of forward mids and toned down highs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

 

My suggestions with the three above would be to go with the W4 or Heir Audio 4.Ai.  HiFiMan does have a new model coming out soon, the RE600, that will retail around 400.  It may be worth waiting for.  

How do the W4 and the 4.Ai compare in clarity?

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

 

When I first got the PFE232, it WOWed me when I first listened to it, but I ended up getting sick of the v-shaped signature. The recession of mids became more apparent and I started noticing how grainy some vocals sounded, so I kept desiring a more full sounding IEM. The PFE232 is an IEM that WOWs you at first, but reveals its flaws later. I'm looking for an IEM that doesn't really WOW you at first, but sort of grows on to you as you listen to it. From what you're describing, the westone 4 seems to be the IEM I am looking for, especially since its a sort of mid-centric IEM but with neutrally placed mids and a decent mount of highs instead of forward mids and toned down highs.

 

 

The Westone 4 is more to a balanced IEM with a slight bass boost. It is not really a mid-centric IEM but i would say it portrays vocals very well. It portrays the whole picture very well and does not push or focus on any particular object. The mids is extremely smooth and energized whilst blending in lushness and sweetness of vocals. It provides a non fatiguing sound. Treble is well extended and is extremely smooth in W4. Highs are well extended with no shrills even when pushed up to a V shape sound. Bass is well lineared and extended. It's very tight and deep. IMO it's more to quality over quantity which does not hinder the clarity. Soundstage is pretty wide ~5-6 rows of the auditorium. Overall i would say the W4 is definitely a very enjoyable IEM with most genre of music. The only "flaw" in my opinion is the slight "veil" that is present in the lower mids. However, a cable change would eliminate the "veil". In my case, i paired it with the silver dragon cable. It eliminates the "veil" and improves on the clarity making it a slightly brighter IEM. It is not a "day and night" difference but subtle changes that retains the original sound signature of the W4. However, it can be slightly fatiguing to some. 

post #6 of 25
On the clarity of the W4 and 4.Ai. Overall, I would say the 4.Ai does better instrumentally with clarity. It excels well above the W4 in the lower midrange clarity, but is slightly behind when you get to the upper mids.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post

On the clarity of the W4 and 4.Ai. Overall, I would say the 4.Ai does better instrumentally with clarity. It excels well above the W4 in the lower midrange clarity, but is slightly behind when you get to the upper mids.

Which one would you say has more clarity with vocals (I don't really know if vocals are upper mids or lower mids)?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xaddictionx View Post

 

The Westone 4 is more to a balanced IEM with a slight bass boost. It is not really a mid-centric IEM but i would say it portrays vocals very well. It portrays the whole picture very well and does not push or focus on any particular object. The mids is extremely smooth and energized whilst blending in lushness and sweetness of vocals. It provides a non fatiguing sound. Treble is well extended and is extremely smooth in W4. Highs are well extended with no shrills even when pushed up to a V shape sound. Bass is well lineared and extended. It's very tight and deep. IMO it's more to quality over quantity which does not hinder the clarity. Soundstage is pretty wide ~5-6 rows of the auditorium. Overall i would say the W4 is definitely a very enjoyable IEM with most genre of music. The only "flaw" in my opinion is the slight "veil" that is present in the lower mids. However, a cable change would eliminate the "veil". In my case, i paired it with the silver dragon cable. It eliminates the "veil" and improves on the clarity making it a slightly brighter IEM. It is not a "day and night" difference but subtle changes that retains the original sound signature of the W4. However, it can be slightly fatiguing to some. 

The Westone 4 just seems so balanced, as if nothing in the entire frequency range is missing which is something great if you ask me, I hate it when something is missing.

post #8 of 25
The slight veil in lower mids is actually what I love about w4, I've changed twag v3 and twag v3/TWcu v3 hybrid on w4, they surely make w4 sounds much more clear, almost at the level of jh13, but in the mean while lost the magical overall non-offensive signature which is truly great about this iem.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

After some researching, I'm strongly considering the ER-4P as well. I'm kind of a treblehead. That's the reason I tried the PFE232 in the first place, the only problem is that the mids were too distant and grainy for me. I have taken a liking to midrange focused headphones; I used to be a fan of v-shaped signatures, but I now prefer mid focused signatures instead. The problem with mid centric signatures is that there won't be the amount of treble I desire (I still enjoy treble, despite turning into a mid-centric guy lately). The ER-4P seems to have present mids, a lot of treble, and clarity, which are the three main things I was looking for in an IEM. The only thing that will be missing is the bass since the ER-4P is said to be basslight, but I don't care much about bass to be honest. The only thing I'm concerned about is that it might sound anemic or dry, I don't mind it being analytical, I just don't want it to sound "lifeless". Have any of you ever listened to the ER-4P (or ER-4S)? If so, do you think it might be a good choice for me?

post #10 of 25
get them all. Like I did. I have bought almost all the high end IEMs...
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

After some researching, I'm strongly considering the ER-4P as well. I'm kind of a treblehead. That's the reason I tried the PFE232 in the first place, the only problem is that the mids were too distant and grainy for me. I have taken a liking to midrange focused headphones; I used to be a fan of v-shaped signatures, but I now prefer mid focused signatures instead. The problem with mid centric signatures is that there won't be the amount of treble I desire (I still enjoy treble, despite turning into a mid-centric guy lately). The ER-4P seems to have present mids, a lot of treble, and clarity, which are the three main things I was looking for in an IEM. The only thing that will be missing is the bass since the ER-4P is said to be basslight, but I don't care much about bass to be honest. The only thing I'm concerned about is that it might sound anemic or dry, I don't mind it being analytical, I just don't want it to sound "lifeless". Have any of you ever listened to the ER-4P (or ER-4S)? If so, do you think it might be a good choice for me?

You keep on going back and forth on your preferences. If you are considering the ER4, I should not have suggested you take the RE272 off the table. Both are bass light though, be warned.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post


You keep on going back and forth on your preferences. If you are considering the ER4, I should not have suggested you take the RE272 off the table. Both are bass light though, be warned.

Sorry, I am very misleading when stating my preferences lol. At first I was sure I preferred a v-shaped signature, but I ended not liking it. The problem is that both warm neutral signatures and basslight mid and treble focused signatures appeal to me, and I'm not really sure which signature I prefer because I haven't tried that many headphones. It's a bit hard for me to try earphones out before buying them unfortunately, but that would be the best way for me to choose. Either way, thanks for helping me, perhaps I can find a way to test earphones out to see which one I prefer.

post #13 of 25

with 200$ you can get RE-272 from amazon.com

 

or you can give 2 times this amount and take w4

haven't tried w4 but what i have in bold , the 272 has it

 

for 200$ , this is one hell of an IEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

After a lot of researching, I have narrowed my search down to these three IEMs. After using the Phonak PFE232, I decided I didn’t like it since it was too v-shaped for me. I’m looking for an IEM with neutral mids (I don’t want them to be recessed like the PFE232, but I don’t want them to be really forward like the SE535 either. I dislike dark and blurry headphones) and lots of clarity. I don’t care how much bass there is, but I don’t want it to be basslight to the point of sounding anemic or thin, nor do I want it to sound bloated. As for the treble, I don’t want it to be toned down because I don’t want the IEM to sound dark or blurry, that’s all. The genres I most listen to are rock, metal, vocals, and soundtrack. According to the preferences I have stated above, these three IEMs seem to be the best for me. Which of these three do you guys think I should get (I am open to more suggestions, my budget is $400)?

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by proedros View Post

with 200$ you can get RE-272 from amazon.com

 

or you can give 2 times this amount and take w4

haven't tried w4 but what i have in bold , the 272 has it

 

for 200$ , this is one hell of an IEM

it looks really good. Does it leak sound though? I heard it has a vent...

post #15 of 25

i don't think 272 has leakage issues - like i said for 200$ and if you want a neutral/balanced/transparent signature , this is quite a deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

it looks really good. Does it leak sound though? I heard it has a vent...

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