I vaguely recall that people were stating that the Westone 3 were a bit better than the ES2, which are $650 iems. A more fair comparison would be Westone 3 with UM56 tips vs the UE11. I'm going for the Westone 3/um56 combo myself. I think it saves money in the long run, but I haven't calculated the costs.
Kick ass just doesn't make sense. I'd be interested to know if they were on a similar level. Usually, high priced phones aren't "better" than one another, they provide different sound signatures. It's all preferential. Then there's the price paid rationalization factor. I paid $xxx, there's no way this sucks. I'm not sure what this is called. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, placebo effect thingy. This headphone supreme guy on the head-fi forums says it, so it must be true! Could be the case with cables and snake oil products, but that's a topic that I am not qualified to discuss since I've yet to test them.
I don't use iems enough to justify a 1k+ pricetag. I can't do critical listening on the go or when working out. My 2¢ on iems. The UM2 are the most comfortable iem I've tried so far which is why I'm interested in the UM3.
If would suck if you had a UE11 and thought the Westone 3 was better cause you wouldn't be able to sell the UE11 given that it's a custom build. The good thing about all this is that every company out there is going to have to step up their game based on all these reviews I've been reading on the Westone 3. Things only get better from here.
My seller forgot to ship my 3s last week so I gotta wait
. I'll be testing them on a DS lite (which I think sounds horrible with my UM2), X5L, Ipod touch, pico with dac (when it ships), head direct EF1 (just curious how the westone 3 scales and with tubes in the mix). Oh yeah, I got a pandora handheld on the way. Wonder if there are any geeks here into that stuff.
No, it doesn't. I own both. But it is closer to it than any other universal making the price difference not worth it, really.
I would say the main difference is the soundstage and treble of the UE 11 is better. The bass is more or less equal in both (deep. W3 more tight I would say but UE11 go a little deeper prob.). UE11 tend to colour more the sound and is more "fun sounding" while the W3 seems more neutral for me.
Also I could tell W3 has a little recessed midrange (the mid presentation put the vocals behind the mix while the UE11 midrange is more forward) but taking into account how balanced they are you even appreciate that.