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Westone 4 with comply - awesome! But with star-tips...horrible??!!

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

I spent a lot of time researching the posts on this particular forum before I purchased my new Westone 4 IEM's. When I first tried them on, I used the comply foamies that were already installed. I loved the sound rigth from the start (liked it better than my old Shure SE 530's), but I was not used to the soft, pressure free feel of the comply foam and thought that maybe I was not getting a good seal. I figured, if the sound is this good with a mediocre seal, how good would it be if I could get a proper seal? My Shures always felt a lot tighter, and blocked out more outside noise, so I decided to try some other tips instead. Firstly, the Shure olives from my SE 530's would not fit in my ears properly anymore with the Westones (??), and the sound actually deteriorated. So I tried the new Star tips instead. They sealed my ears properly, and the fit was good, but the sound was just unbearable! Very harsh and restless, instruments all over the place, the bass was boomy and it felt like there was an echo in my head. The triple flanges have never been for me (they don't fit me at all), so I finally just went back to the (already slightly grubby) comply foamies, and ... man, what an awesome sound! Fullbodied, tight bass, and no harshness at al. Do any of you have the same experience with the various materials of tips? Am I doing something wrong or do the Westone 4's really sound terrible with the silicone tips, and unbelievably good with the comply? Should I start saving up for a shipment of comply foamies now?

post #2 of 38

Complys tend to dull the treble, and Shures in general are not very bright headphones.

 

My first IEM were Shure's. I know the transition from Shure's to another brand was (somewhat) difficult as Shure's really make you sensitive to hot treble.

 

With that said, I don't think you're getting a good enough seal with the star tips, either that, or you're pushing them too far in.

 

For the record, I own the W4Rs and they sound better to me with the star tips than with complys. FWIW.

post #3 of 38

Yea, I much prefer the star tips.  Just too veiled and cloudy with complys.

 

But with W3 + star tips.  I do not like at all.  Many of the same traits you describe.  Really depends on the IEM and the fit/person. 

post #4 of 38

I use Star tips on all of my Westone, Shure, and Earsonics IEMs. Also on TDK BA200. Finally a good seal! 

post #5 of 38
You can also try out the triple flange by cutting the top flange away and trim the stalk shorter until the isolation and depth suits you. IMO, it's among the best silicon tips but I have not yet tried the star tips.
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. I have been trying outall  the different tips again (including the new true-fit tips, which do not really wow me), and I understand what you all mean by the comply making the sound veiled and cloudy. I think it is indeed the treble that is causing my problems. The black star tips seem to fit me best, and I have turned the earphones forward a bit, which has helped the bass somewhat. I do appreciate the clarity of the sound in comparison with the comply foamies, but I do miss the thick, warm sound that they produce. Perhaps I can get used to this new sound by turning down the treble just a little in the eq. Would the UM56 tips help me at all, or do they have the same properties as the star tips (as they are made of the same material)?


Edited by Xantippe - 3/27/13 at 5:01am
post #7 of 38
I have had the most success with Sony hybrid tips. For me, they are the most comfortable and produce the best sound. Unfortunately they don't fit the W4s by default, so I had to "de-core" a pair of shure olives to use as a base. Not sure how easy or cheap it is to find these components, but definitely worth a shot if you have said pieces lying around. smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 38
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaddictionx View Post

You can also try out the triple flange by cutting the top flange away and trim the stalk shorter until the isolation and depth suits you. IMO, it's among the best silicon tips but I have not yet tried the star tips.
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xantippe View Post

Would the UM56 tips help me at all, or do they have the same properties as the star tips (as they are made of the same material)?

 

No, they would not sound like the star tips or the foam for that matter.  Sort of in between.  But I find the UM56 dramatically collapses the soundstage creating a more "in the head" presentation which I do not care for so I never use my UM56.  Waste of $120 but now I know.

post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 

I tried the triple flange mod, and that produced a remarkably well fitting double flange, but the sound was a bit too dark for me. It really brought out the bass though. Because of all the positive feedback regarding the star-tips, I decided to check the settings on my Cowon player, thinking the problem might be located there. It turns out that I had the Mach Bass all the way up to 7, from when I still had the Shures. I turned this down to moderate levels, and tried the star-tips again, taking care not to push them in too far. It actually made a fair bit of difference: I am beginning to like these tips now. There certainly is a huge difference in sound signature compared to the comply. Apparently, the Westones are good enough to do without all the digital processing that I needed for my Shures, in fact, it just seemed to make things worse. I alsno need to get used to turning down the volume a little with the star-tips :-).  I still need to adjust to the amount of treble I am getting now, but these just might become my preferred tips. They will certainly last longer than comply, and they are washable. Have any of you had positive experiences with the UM56 custom tips, or should I just recondition my ears first to this new sound?

post #11 of 38
Can't wait to try out the new Westone Star Tips too! For the UM56 custom tips, wouldn't it be better to top up abit more and reshell the W4 into customs?
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Yea, I much prefer the star tips.  Just too veiled and cloudy with complys.

 

But with W3 + star tips.  I do not like at all.  Many of the same traits you describe.  Really depends on the IEM and the fit/person. 

i agree. bass is great with complys, but mids and highs are too muddled. they are super comfortable but imo ruin sound.

post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 

@xaddictionx: custom shells are a little beyond my budget, though I wouild lover to someday own a pair. The last few days I have been going back and forth between the Comply foamies (still extremely comfortable) and the black Star-tips, and the Star-tips are indeed superior. I have had to adjust the eq settings on my player slightly (but Cowon players are great in that respect), but I am now completely convinced. I just needed to adjust to the difference. The Shures were indeed never this bright! Thanx everyone for all the replies, I don't think I would have tried the Star-tips again if I had not gotten so much positive feed-back on them. First time silicone tips have actually felt comfortable in my ears too. Well done Westone I guess!

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xantippe View Post

@xaddictionx: custom shells are a little beyond my budget, though I wouild lover to someday own a pair. The last few days I have been going back and forth between the Comply foamies (still extremely comfortable) and the black Star-tips, and the Star-tips are indeed superior. I have had to adjust the eq settings on my player slightly (but Cowon players are great in that respect), but I am now completely convinced. I just needed to adjust to the difference. The Shures were indeed never this bright! Thanx everyone for all the replies, I don't think I would have tried the Star-tips again if I had not gotten so much positive feed-back on them. First time silicone tips have actually felt comfortable in my ears too. Well done Westone I guess!
Can't wait to try out those star tips too!
post #15 of 38

You mentioned having some kind of echo in your head. I experienced this when I first try triple flange tips for my Etymotics and already thought they weren't good for me. But then I watch the insertion guide video and I realized that I didn't put them in correctly so the poor fit resulted in some muddied, boomy and echo-ish sound. I followed the instructions in the video and now the flanges are the best tips for me... though a bit uncomfortable. I know the Star tips aren't 3 or 2 flanges tips, but this could help you even better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KwXEqe6Gq4

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