New IEMs...
Jul 16, 2009 at 7:51 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21


500+ Head-Fier
Jun 1, 2007
Ok... a while back I decided to abandon all my IEMs (Atrio M5s, Etymotic ER4Ps, etc) and go into the world of full sized cans. But things have changed, and now I again require good IEMs! I haven't frequented the forums recently and am a bit out of touch on the IEM market. I basically left during the climax of the W3 and IE8 era, which seem to still be pretty popular.

So I'm basically looking to spend under $300. I'm mostly into pop music. I like soundstage and bass (which puts me in the direction of the IE8, but am scared of fit problems and how does the IE8 perform on other things (clarity, treble, etc?) ).

Can someone tell me the audio characteristics of the new generation IEMs? (IE8, W3, UM3X, etc).

Thanks alot!
Jul 16, 2009 at 9:51 AM Post #2 of 21
IE8 like the triple fi but more real sounding treble and so much better and bigger bass, an extravaganza of sound. too much so i find, hence i like the 7 more, its more relaxed.

W3 ive not heard

UM3X meh, so source fussy it can sound like anything but if you get it right its like the triple fi and se530 had a baby and add in more bass.
Jul 16, 2009 at 9:56 AM Post #3 of 21

Originally Posted by mark2410 /img/forum/go_quote.gif

UM3X meh, so source fussy it can sound like anything but if you get it right its like the triple fi and se530 had a baby...

...and got half the mids of the 530 & only a teeny chromosome of the treble of Flipple Tri
Jul 16, 2009 at 10:08 AM Post #5 of 21

Originally Posted by steviebee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...and got half the mids of the 530 & only a teeny chromosome of the treble of Flipple Tri

i disagree, if you bugger about with the source you can make them become quite 530 like in the mids but of course never as good and you can make them quite triple like in the treble but again never so abundant or quite as crisp. however you cant have both at the same time
Jul 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM Post #6 of 21
The IE8s are excellent IMO and sound remarkable like the full sized Senn's.
There are two mild problems:
1) isolation is less then other IEMs; good enough for most trains, not good enough in a noisy subway in my experience.
2) fit with standard tips; many people experience problems in that they can not find a standard tip that fits; se the IE8 appreciation read. Personally, I swear by Sony hybrid tips, giving the best SQ and comfort.

But these are mild problems; sound is relaxed, big sound stage, never sharp or artificial, yet no loss at all in detail and dynamics. I love them!
Jul 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM Post #7 of 21
Ah... the IE8s look pretty enticing to me right now LOL How about the W3? How do they sound? One of my friends swear by them, I unfortunately haven't gotten the chance to listen to them though... How do they sound like?
Jul 18, 2009 at 4:07 AM Post #8 of 21
The UM3X is a very nice IEM. The mids are a little recessed, allowing the phones to be cranked a little louder for tight bass that isn't bassy. It is quite natural sounding, very intimate, a lot of fun.
Jul 18, 2009 at 7:10 AM Post #9 of 21
Let me start by saying I tried many full sized cans and just prefer IEMs as they are much more involving to me as full sized cans sound like a driver just outside my ear, even if just a little bit (well, except the HD800, but I didn't spend all that much time with it). My IEMs seem to disappear more even if the presentation doesn't seem as out of head (well all but my IE8).

Personally I prefer the IE8 over the W3 and UM3X as I listened to the UM3X for about 10 minutes and the W3 for about 30 minutes, A/Bing with my IE8 at Can Jam. My source was my Fuze to a RSA Hornet via LOD. The UM3X sounds boring compared to the W3 and IE8 (accurate presentation vs. warm presentation).

The IE8 vs. the W3: They have a very similar sound sig. The biggest difference IMO is the stage, as the IE8 is much wider, but the W3 is a little more 3D. The W3 also has a little better resolution and transparency, but I still preferred the wider presentation of the IE8. The mids on the IE8 are more laid back, which leads to the difference in resolution and transparency.

With the decay tip mod (see second IE8 link in my signature), which I did after my W3 audition at Can Jam, the IE8 increases stage width, depth, resolution, and transparency. From memory it is better than the W3 by a bit plus the much wider stage. Very very involving, no downside except the look.

And coupled with the AMP3 the IE8 sounds even more amazing as they can still be pushed further than my other sources. Some songs sound like they are being performed in a very large concert hall.

They are all great and I am sure you would be happy with whatever one fits what you are looking for (which sounds like the IE8).
Jul 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM Post #10 of 21
Ah... it seems as if the IE8s are looking to be the winner. Has anyone used them with the Sansa Clip? That would probably be my main source.

Oh and do they sit flush with your ears? Since I'll probably be using these IEMs in bed as well.

Thanks for the help guys! Really appreciate it!
Jul 22, 2009 at 6:47 AM Post #11 of 21
Ok... I've kinda decided on the UM3X after reading 60 of the 100 or so pages of the appreciation forums LOL Now... how can I get them in Canada or Online other than the Head-Fi FS forums.
Jul 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM Post #12 of 21
seriously?! you're going for the UM3X? Don't get me wrong I'm actually gonna get my own UM3X soon. You do know that the IE8 and the UM3X have QUITE an opposite sound signature. I believe they do have their own "forte". Have you read the IE8 appreciation thread? ^^
Jul 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM Post #13 of 21
Give the underdog (the ADDIEMs) a go as well. Dual-driver at a killer price. Quite a good SQ too. And it responds nicely to amps as well.
Jul 22, 2009 at 4:36 PM Post #14 of 21
Interesting vote, for the ADDIEMs. I am a fan too. But as for the W3 vs. IE8 comparison, I had both and kept the W3s because I felt they offer a much more exciting sig and fit supremely more comfortably and with much more iso. I didn't get a chance for the decay mod, but I did give the IE8s 250+ hours of burn in. Switching back and forth, over a week or so, I always wanted the W3s back. So I sold the IE8s. They are very nice, but seemed somewhat dull to me compared to the Westone 3s. Both of those IEMs have fit/tip issues, with the W3s more of a tip thing, and the Senns more of both (because they don't isolate well with standard tips, even the hybrids, which I also preferred).

Anyway, I also am intrigued by the UM3X, but never heard it. I do have the UM56 custom sleeves coming for the W3s, so I hope that ends of high-end IEM search (though the UM56 work for both the Westone phones).

Returning to the ADDIEMs, I think they are the best value bar none, since they can be had for $30 on ebay right now. I know some disagree, but to me, they outperform all the low-budget ($25-$100) IEMS I have heard, and some even more expensive in-ears as well. In fact, just got another $30 pair (that makes six) for friends, family and myself.
Jul 22, 2009 at 7:14 PM Post #15 of 21
Yea... I think I want to try some more "neutral" phones. I owned the ER4PS and actually quite liked them so I think the UM3X can't be that bad considering they're pretty much the SE530 "improved".

Plus, I'm kinda wary of the "intense" sound from the W3 and sibilance issues. The IE8 has fit issues and I need isolation. So I'm left with the UM3X, plus I still have a few Shure Olives left around that I can use with them.

So any Canadian brick and mortar stores or Canadian online stores that sell them? I really don't want to buy them online and pay the bloody high customs fee... I will if I have to but I prefer not to. Any suggestions?

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