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Classic, Desert and Grunge Rock - which Westone - W4 or UM3X

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey all, first post here.  I've read a ton of reviews and posts and just can't make up my mind here.  Could you guys give me some insight on which move to make here?

 

I listen to mostly classic rock, desert rock, grunge, indie rock in the vein of Sonic Youth, some doom metal, stuff like that.  All pretty organic rocky stuff, often fairly balanced across the spectrum but with a good amount of lower mid thickness.

 

I'm upgrading from Super Fi 5s that I got around 5 years ago.  I don't have a headphone amp now and would rather avoid the need, as I like to walk around with music and don't want that extra bulk, but I am considering the idea.  I also have Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and Neumann KH120 that I mainly use for making music, which I consider to be pretty neutral and nice.

 

I hate upper mid range harshness - silibance drives me nuts.  Upper treble is fine, but I don't like a ton of it either.  Too much upper bass boominess is also a real peeve of mine, but not nearly as much as shrillness.

 

So I want something to compliment what I listen to and my taste.  I would really like to stay under $350 new and think either W4 or UM3X is the way to go.  

 

 

Which one should I chose?

post #2 of 15
Try the W4R
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well W4 (I woulf rather stay cheaper than the R) seems like the safe bet, but I've seen people say that the UM3X excels at rock more.  ?

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryandfl View Post

Well W4 (I woulf rather stay cheaper than the R) seems like the safe bet, but I've seen people say that the UM3X excels at rock more.  ?

it also has more boomy powerful bass.

post #5 of 15
Well firstly, I would say that the W4R does a great job with rock genre of music. But UM3X wins in the area of rock music.

The W4R sports a different sound signature from the UM3X. The W4R is tuned towards a more "balanced" sounding. It places equal emphasis across the spectrum. However it does have a slight mid bass boost making the IEM slightly warm. Both female and male vocals really shine through being lush and full. IMO, it does male vocals slightly better. Mids are very well positioned and extremely smooth. Treble extends very well and sounds buttery smooth and it does not pierce. The tuning of the W4R makes it non fatiguing. Bass extends linearly which focus on quality of bass over quantity. Bass is very tight and digs deep. Instrument separation is great and soundstage is fairly wide. IMO, the W4R is a safe bet across many genres of music including rock.

The UM3X does sport a fairly different sound signature. The UM3X, IMO, is a mid centric IEM with a bass boost and fairly lazy treble presentation. The bass of the UM3X edge over the W4R in terms of quantity. That said, the bass on UM3X is still tight and full bodied. Vocals on the UM3X really shines through. It is forward positioned as though you are right in front of the singer. Mids are very well positioned and smooth as well. Instrument separation is amazing. One of the best I have ever came across. Very well layered and you can distinguish each instrument easily. However I do find that the treble on UM3X is rather lazy or dull. It does not give the sparkle. Soundstage is pretty constricted as though you are sitting at the first row of the concert hall. IMO, the UM3X really excels in rock music as it handles fast paced tracks and busy instruments really well. Vocals are emphasized too.

I would recommend you to audition both out before making your decision. smily_headphones1.gif Both IEMs are a safe bet. If possible, do get the RC version as an aftermarket cable change may improve the SQ of the IEM. smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the feedback. I'm leaning toward to W4. Anyone else have any insight for this sort of music before I make the move?
post #7 of 15

Exactly what xaddictionX said.

 

Also, I would definitely go with UM3X, especially if you are going unamped.

post #8 of 15
Agreed with spyro as well. The UM3X is easier to drive than the W4.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I got the UM3X and am not liking them.  The bass is more abundant than I want, it turns out, and I think it is fairly flubby and without distinction.  And even through the highs are recessed, what is there has a harsh quality to my ears.  

 

I ordered the W4 and will compare them directly.  Hopeful the W4 is a winner and I can send back the UM3X and that will be that.  

 

If I like the W4, there is a good chance I will get the FiiO E17 to drive them.  I had volume to spare with the UM3X, but not a ton.  If the W4 is significantly less sensitive, my Nexus 4 alone most likely will not drive them sufficiently for my hears.

post #10 of 15
Let it go for the record that I said you would not like the bass in the UM3X.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburton View Post

Let it go for the record that I said you would not like the bass in the UM3X.

 

Yeah, you were right.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryandfl View Post

 

Yeah, you were right.

biggrin.gif, and did you get the W4's yet?

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Blast from the past here. 

 

I got non-r W4s a couple years ago. They are very good, but have more bass than I want. Or maybe it is low mids. Too much lows.

 

I'm looking for something equality smooth, with a little less bass. Any suggestions?

 

I'm using an iPhone 6 with Tidal (no eq functionality). Listening to a lot of Grateful Dead. 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryandfl View Post
 

Blast from the past here. 

 

I got non-r W4s a couple years ago. They are very good, but have more bass than I want. Or maybe it is low mids. Too much lows.

 

I'm looking for something equality smooth, with a little less bass. Any suggestions?

 

I'm using an iPhone 6 with Tidal (no eq functionality). Listening to a lot of Grateful Dead. 


Wow....less bass than W4?

 

GR10, ER4P?

 

LOL......I don't dig any IEM's with less bass than W4.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post


Wow....less bass than W4?

GR10, ER4P?

LOL......I don't dig any IEM's with less bass than W4.


Yeah I mean they aren't like skull candy's, but the W4s have more 'weight' and 'thickness' than I would like.

I think the iPhone 6 is a factor. The sound is very good, clear, but has more bass than my previous phone, nexus 4, for example. It's a little 'fun'.
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