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Bass Response between UE900, Westone 4R, and SE535?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I currently have SE310's, and they are my only point of reference.  The cables are shot, so it's time to upgrade.  I'm looking for an IEM that retains the detailed mids of my SE310's, but has a little more bass impact- nothing on the level of being bass-centric, but a little more "boom" in the sub bass area. With the 310's, mid bass is fairly good, but drums just have very little substance and don't carry.

 

I'm open to other suggestions, but the three mentioned in the title are on my short list because they all have replaceable cables.

 

By the way, I tried the Introductions forum with this post http://www.head-fi.org/t/686590/looking-for-iems-to-replace-se310s, but after all day and no replies it's nearly buried to the second page so I thought I'd give this forum a try.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBer View Post
 

I currently have SE310's, and they are my only point of reference.  The cables are shot, so it's time to upgrade.  I'm looking for an IEM that retains the detailed mids of my SE310's, but has a little more bass impact- nothing on the level of being bass-centric, but a little more "boom" in the sub bass area. With the 310's, mid bass is fairly good, but drums just have very little substance and don't carry.

 

I'm open to other suggestions, but the three mentioned in the title are on my short list because they all have replaceable cables.

 

By the way, I tried the Introductions forum with this post http://www.head-fi.org/t/686590/looking-for-iems-to-replace-se310s, but after all day and no replies it's nearly buried to the second page so I thought I'd give this forum a try.

 

Thanks!

 

Westone W4r are more of a reference sound. no frequencies are emphasized more than the other pretty much a equal sound across the spectrum. as far as bass its not a basshead iem, it does have quality bass but that depends on your other equipment  dap,dac,amp,cable,interconnect.

 

Shure SE535 are MUCH BETTER than the 310's, IMO they are thre best shure iem with exception of 846....anyway, mids are emphasized and very forward. bass is again more quality than quantity.

 

i own both and LOVE them Both.

 

im not a fan of the ue900 sound as IMO its not much of a jump from the tf10 and the tf10 is cheaper than the ue900....however imo both have more of a V shaped sound signature which means they arent going to have the mids you are looking for.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight! I think I should specify that I don't intend to use any special equipment beyond the IEM's and my iPod/iPhone, but I would be open to a cable upgrade eventually so long as it doesn't compromise the portability (too thick or too inflexible to fold).

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm still having trouble with the term "reference". If it means to accurately reproduce sound naturally, shouldn't IEM's have a natural, lifelike sounding bass output? It's confusing me because when I see an IEM's sound signature described as "natural" or "reference" it usually means the bass is lacking in terms of punch, compared to hearing the instrument in real life.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBer View Post

Thanks for the insight! I think I should specify that I don't intend to use any special equipment beyond the IEM's and my iPod/iPhone, but I would be open to a cable upgrade eventually so long as it doesn't compromise the portability (too thick or too inflexible to fold).

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm still having trouble with the term "reference". If it means to accurately reproduce sound naturally, shouldn't IEM's have a natural, lifelike sounding bass output? It's confusing me because when I see an IEM's sound signature described as "natural" or "reference" it usually means the bass is lacking in terms of punch, compared to hearing the instrument in real life.

yeah 

 

''reference'' doesnt have to mean that it lacks in low frequencies, a reference IEM is going to reproduce low frequencies if low frequencies are present in the track, its not going to over emphasize any one particular frequency...i also wouldnt call a reference iem flat either, it all comes down to the track at hand, if the track has bass it produces bass. but its not going to be over emphasized ''bass head'' kind of bass...more about quality of bass, control, rather than quantity.

 

and if you are not going to be using a amp or  anything like that....the se535 will be your friend, they are sensitive iem's that will produce more than ample sound out of a dap.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ah I think I'm starting to understand. One more question- coming from the SE310 with it's "tuned bass port", is there any chance that I would be disappointed in the quantity of bass with either W4 or SE535?  Also, I've seen multiple references to the W4 as having a "mid bass hump".  Does this necessarily make them more lively than the SE535's at lower frequencies?

 

Edit- I should add that I would happily trade a little of the mids that I like with the Shures if it means a slightly more rounded bottom end.  I've considered the Westone 3 even though it doesn't have a removable cable because of how strong the bass is said to be, but if the V-shaped sounds mean recessed mids, and worse, treble emphasized over mids, then I don't think I'd like them.


Edited by MTBer - 10/20/13 at 12:57pm
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

After stepping back and evaluating exactly what I'm looking for, I've come to these conclusions:

 

- I like the overall sound and clarity of my SE310 and appreciate the mids, but the bottom end is lacking.  From what I've read, headphones that emphasize the mids may be described as having an upside down U shaped sound signature.

 

-I want something a little warmer sounding which again, based on what I've been reading, will be less fatiguing over extended periods.  This suggests I am better off with the W4R compared to the SE535. (Being $70 cheaper doesn't hurt either:wink_face:)

 

-However, since the W4/R is often described as neutral, I may feel the base isn't present enough.  Also, the W4/R is said to benefit from an AMP.

 

-I kill two birds with one stone and buy a FiiO E11 amp.  I get hardware EQ, which allows me to dial in a small bass bump without bleeding into the upper frequencies, AND I get the benefit of a small amplifier.  I know I JUST said I didn't want to bother with an amp or anything "extra", but it's small and portable enough.

 

Any thoughts before I press the buy button?

post #7 of 13

W3.   Completely demolishes the 310.   All the bass you want...huge soundstage...detail.... All the others will only have "a little bit" more bass....but overall presentation will be superior.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

W3.   Completely demolishes the 310.   All the bass you want...huge soundstage...detail.... All the others will only have "a little bit" more bass....but overall presentation will be superior.

Ugh I was afraid of that! I was really hoping to go with removable cables this time around, but if those are closer to the signature I'm looking for I guess that's it.

 

Would the amp help round out the bottom end of the W4R at all?

post #9 of 13
Imo with the price of the w4r and you were looking for a removeable cable it would be stupid not to move on the w4r.

And yes it would but it depends on the amp the jds labs c421 bass boost on I think is excellent with the w4r also the jds labs c5 with bass boost again excellent.
post #10 of 13

Just a pinch perhaps depending on the amp but it's not a dramatic difference or anything.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well that made up my mind.  There was only a $70 difference between the W3's and W4R's at EarphoneSolutions.  Notwithstanding the cable issue, I'm not sure how appealing I would find the extended treble of the W3 after awhile since I actually like the rolled off highs of the Shures.  Since the W4R is more flat, I'm hoping it will provide a good starting point for EQ adjustment if need be.

 

Thankyou both for the suggestions!

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just received both my E11 amp and the W4R today, and after just a few hours of listening, WOW.  Any fear of the W4R not having enough bass has been completely alleviated.  Now I understand what everyone means when they say the bass isn't forward, but definitely present.  Even without the amp or any EQ, I detect slightly more in terms of quantity, but the real difference is of course how it's presented.  Sub bass is more than the anemic "thud" I got from the SE310, and songs like David Essex's Rock On and The Eagles' Life in the Fast Lane show this perfectly.  Also, setting the E11's EQ on "1" gives just enough added emphasis on the lows without making the mids muddy.

 

I have however noticed that the mids of course are not quite as forward as they were with the SE310, making the guitars, vocals, and pianos sound a little distant on some songs. The more rounded bottom end easily outweighs this, and it makes me think I might not have liked The W3 if the mids are yet more recessed.  It's also a little easier to pick out which songs are encoded at a lower bitrate, but that's not the fault of the IEM's.

post #13 of 13
Give them a little more time. A little more brain burn in.

I have both the se535 bronze and the westone w4r and with my given setup I feel the westones mids are as forward sou ding as the 535 yet still not really out of line in the frequency ranges.

Basicly what im saying is the mids and vocals can and will be brought out with a audiophile setup.

You seem happy with the currebt sound so its not 100 needed but they are certainly capable of delivering more sound than you currently hear. So keep that in mind.
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