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Former Westone 4 Owner looking for new IEM in similar price range

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I owned the W4's for about 2 years and just recently lost them sadly :(.  Now, I'm on the search for a new set of IEM's in that similar price range.  I found the W4's to be very pure but a bit boring. The sound was very balanced but I would prefer something more engaging and exciting this time around. I'm mainly listening to electronic music such as house and trance and music with a fast tempo with a heavy beat.  I've read many reviews but would like some more specific advice.  I've looked at the Shure SE535, Heir 4.Ai, Earsonic SM64 and SM3 v2, Sennheiser IE8, and other various models.  I haven't had the opportunity to try any of them so I'm relying on the expertise of this community.  I'd appreciate any advice or recommendations greatly. I tell myself that this is an opportunity to try something new as I was super upset to lose the W4's.  Thanks again.

post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dqope21 View Post

I owned the W4's for about 2 years and just recently lost them sadly :(.  Now, I'm on the search for a new set of IEM's in that similar price range.  I found the W4's to be very pure but a bit boring. The sound was very balanced but I would prefer something more engaging and exciting this time around. I'm mainly listening to electronic music such as house and trance and music with a fast tempo with a heavy beat.  I've read many reviews but would like some more specific advice.  I've looked at the Shure SE535, Heir 4.Ai, Earsonic SM64 and SM3 v2, Sennheiser IE8, and other various models.  I haven't had the opportunity to try any of them so I'm relying on the expertise of this community.  I'd appreciate any advice or recommendations greatly. I tell myself that this is an opportunity to try something new as I was super upset to lose the W4's.  Thanks again.


You won't find anything better at this price range in terms of sound-stage, separation and magical mids.

SM3V2 might be the best bet though, don't buy SM64 if the w4 sound is growing on to you already, I did that, regretted immediately.

535 is too mid-centric that you might find it fatiguing.

My advice is to get another W4, this thing is drug.

post #3 of 25

SE535 is no more mid-centric than W4.

 

I'd recommend the SE535 but amp it and use the Westone star tips.  Compared to W4 which I just had for about 5 months.

 

  • SE535 mids are much clearer, period.
  • SE535 bass is a little bit fuller but not boosted or overdone in any way where W4 has a lower mid bump.
  • SE535 is a little less analytical and a bit more fun and engaging.

 

 

These are the 3 main differences.  The soundstage size is about the same but I slightly prefer the SE535 (the left to right panning is sensational).  The SE535 goes louder and wont distort at really any volume if that matters to you.

 

The W4 treble extends a tad better but this is somewhat ineffective due to the veil.  I prefer a less extended treble with an exceptionally clear midrange over a more extended treble but an overall veil.

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

SE535 is no more mid-centric than W4.

 

WOW i find that statement to be hardly true, to me both the se535 bronze and se535ltd-j to be far more mid centric sounding than that of the W4.

 

I'd recommend the SE535 but amp it and use the Westone star tips.  Compared to W4 which I just had for about 5 months.

 

  • SE535 mids are much clearer, period.
  • SE535 bass is a little bit fuller but not boosted or overdone in any way where W4 has a lower mid bump.
  • SE535 is a little less analytical and a bit more fun and engaging.

 

 

These are the 3 main differences.  The soundstage size is about the same but I slightly prefer the SE535 (the left to right panning is sensational).  The SE535 goes louder and wont distort at really any volume if that matters to you.

 

The W4 treble extends a tad better but this is somewhat ineffective due to the veil.  I prefer a less extended treble with an exceptionally clear midrange over a more extended treble but an overall veil.

 

the mid range might sound clearer vs the w4 is becuase the 535 mids are forward closer, than the w4 which imo w4 mids are not forward.

 

i also dont hear this veil you speak of. i am using a upgrade cable so this might be why i dont hear the veil. i donno

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  Does anyone have experience with the IEM's I mentioned vs the westone 4?  I really am looking for a step in another direction from the W4's. The sound really became lackluster after a short time for me and I would like something else.

post #6 of 25

It's cheaper but I think just a half notch to a whole behind the W4 in sound quality>> BA200. If you have W4 tips, those will fit the BA200. For the price you can't do too much better.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dqope21 View Post

Thanks for the feedback.  Does anyone have experience with the IEM's I mentioned vs the westone 4?  I really am looking for a step in another direction from the W4's. The sound really became lackluster after a short time for me and I would like something else.

 

Hi dqope,

 

I've owned the W4 for about a 1 1/2 years and the SM64 for about 2 months.  From what you describe we seems we may hear the W4 the same way - classy, smooth --but, well, somehow just not overly compelling.  If this is true, I would highly recommend giving the SM64 serious consideration.  It's got a classy sound too, but can also be kick a**, or intimate -- or whatever the track calls for.

 

There is more bass than the W4 but it's tight, controlled with good detail.  As are the mids (no veiled lower-mids here).  And the treble, too.  This is what I like about it so much, bass-to-mids-to-treble the sound is consistent, cohesive, clear and detailed.

 

I've easlily done 100+ A/B comparisons between the two with a variety of music and genres.  Whenenver I start with the W4 I think "that's good!".  Then I switch to the '64 and think "Ahhhhh wow!"  Going the other way, when switching back to the W4, many times it's been "Wow that <whatever the prominant upper mid instrument/vocal of the current track is> really stands out compared to the SM64" -- followed about 30 seconds later by the realization it stands out because of the detail that is missing elsewhere.

 

BTW, did I mention they are detailed?  It's addicitive!  :p

 

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer.

 

   -Eric

post #8 of 25

Actually, it took a while to adjust to the '64s. At first hearing details showing up anywhere in the sound stage and across the entire frequency range was for sure unfamiliar and at times fairly distracting.

 

Then after a day or so...      it bacame addicting.

post #9 of 25

The SM64s look like a great pair of IEMs. 

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'll check the SM64's out.  Is the Logitech UE 900 a good choice?  I've heard some good things about it.  I'd also like to clarify what I meant.  I think the W4's are awesome and the do everything well, but not any particular area exceptionally well.  The sound eventually became boring to me and unappealing.  I want something with an extra emphasis that'll keep things more exciting and interesting to listen to.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dqope21 View Post

I'll check the SM64's out.  Is the Logitech UE 900 a good choice?  I've heard some good things about it.  I'd also like to clarify what I meant.  I think the W4's are awesome and the do everything well, but not any particular area exceptionally well.  The sound eventually became boring to me and unappealing.  I want something with an extra emphasis that'll keep things more exciting and interesting to listen to.

 

This is exactly what the SM64 is (according to my ears)!  

 

Having bought the TF10 on Black Friday a couple of Thanksgivings ago I was very interested trying the UE 900, but thankfully, the SM64 has ended my IEM hunt (though I would still love to hear the UE 900).

 

FWIW, I also bought the Phonak 232 to try out and will be selling them this weekend.  They were very impressive too, but not worth spending the $$ vs. staying with the W4.


Edited by ericr - 5/17/13 at 12:25pm
post #12 of 25

The SM64 was way better to my ears than the W4.  Subjectivity is strong in this hobby.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasdoc View Post

The SM64 was way better to my ears than the W4.  Subjectivity is strong in this hobby.


I prefer W4 over SM64 by a big margin... The magical mids is not there, plus it is quite bright up-top and thin sounding. I returned my SM64 the next day... I prefer SM3V2 over the 64 anyday.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasdoc View Post

The SM64 was way better to my ears than the W4.  Subjectivity is strong in this hobby.

I could live happily with the SM3, W4 or SM64. The W4 has awesome mids but I also found them boring. The SM64 for me has better clarity, a sparkle in the treble & a nice growl on the low end.
post #15 of 25

To the OP, what you're looking for is the SM64. It is amazing at what it can do. You cannot top it in that price range. To top it, you must spend much more. I preferred it vastly over the W4, and even my ES5. 

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