Head-Fi.org › paddy567 › Reviews by paddy567

Reviews by: paddy567

Expensive, but good


Pros: built like a brick shithouse, good soundstage

Cons: isolation, price

I lost these on the train, and boy was I sad.   UM2 are good phones, the best thing about Westone is their almost legendary build quality. Make no mistake, these puppies are built to last: strain relief out the woozah, and a thick plastic housing that looks and feels tough. Westone's braided cables are also the best cables I've used; low microphonic and very tangle free.   Comfort is also great on these phones, like wearing nothing at all - especially with the supplied comply tips. However I did find - for my ears - that only the long comply tips provided significant isolation. Isolation with other tips was very average - these phones don't go very deep - and comply tips are so...
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One of my faves


Pros: good isolation, warm, friendly mids, bargains can be had

Cons: Shure cables. God I hate you Shure for your cables.

I like this phone so much I am onto my second pair. Are they perfect? No. Are they the best IEM for the price? Unless you get them at $79 like I did the second time, no. Do they have a good soundstage? Not really. Are they durable? Like a boat made of paper.   But...Do they isolate well? With the Shure olives, hell yes. Do they have delicous, buttery mids that I could and have listened to for hours on end? Yes. Are they comfortable and easy to insert/remove? Definitely.   If you like those things, consider these.

Not for me.


Pros: detachable cables

Cons: everything else

Major caveat: I have small ear canals, and I appreciate strong mids. These phones are not for anyone with my preferences.   They are huge, they don't go very far in my ears, and I found getting a good seal all but impossible. Isolation was appalling; the cable was stiff and heavy; the mids recessed to the point where I felt I could only hear bass and cymbals.   I know lots of people who love and swear by these, but they didn't work for me at all. I sold them on ebay after only five weeks or so. I think they are currently a bit overpriced, and to be sure there are much better phones - even if you don't have my preferences - out there for the price.

Great value


Pros: cheap, astonishing sound for price, reasonable isolation

Cons: isolation middling, odd tip size, reasonably microphonic

These are astonishingly good value for the price. Build quality is much better than you have a right to expect, and the sound is equally so - though mids are promoted at the expense of highs and bass. Great phone as a gift to someone getting into iems, a back up pair of phones, or for phones in high stress situations (gym etc) that you can't expect to last.   Be aware that the tip size is a bit funny - smaller than UE's, larger than Shures. Isolation is reasonable, not fantastic.   Update: I have now used my Shure olives w/ PL50, rather than the supplied foams, and microphonics have markedly decreased.

Shure e3c


Pros: Fnatastic isolation, strong mids

Cons: terrible soundstage, notorious Shure cable quality, expensive

E3c were my first serious headphones, and whilst I loved them at the time, I would not recommend them to anyone now.   The best thing about them is the isolation, it's fantastic, and the best I've experienced (not tried ety's). However, the cables crapped out on my after a year of use, and an upgrade illustrated to me how incredibly limited these phones are to mids. It leaves you with a "muffled" feeling.   The e3c has since been eclipsed by a huge variety of single armature driver IEMs at much lower price points like the soundmagic pl50 etc. I would only recommend to someone who is really desperate for good isolation above everything else.
Head-Fi.org › paddy567 › Reviews by paddy567