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Poll: Ety 4p or Westone Um2

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by donaldekelly, Apr 5, 2005.
  1. donaldekelly Contributor
    As a companion to the thread where this was discussed

    http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...+Westone+ER-4p

    Which would you choose? Any other buying advice?

    After a lot of research and asking I am still on the fence.

    I suppose one ploy is to try to audition the etys, or buy them and return them if I don't like them. I think the UM2s would be hard to audition in Washington DC (only one good store with headphones).

    Discussion of the sound would be more frutiful on th other thread, probably.
     
  2. donaldekelly Contributor
    bump

    thanks for voting
     
  3. ProleArtThreat Contributor
    I am actually in the process of auditioning the UM2's. Coming from the ER-4P, they sounded pretty muddy on first listen but I'm starting to warm up to them little by little. Altough I will say that at this point, I'm inclined to keep my ER-4P's for stationary use, even if I decide to keep the UM2's.

    The highs are definitely rolled off to a substantial degree which makes me wonder just how much more muddy the E5c would sound. In any case, I'll post a comparison sometime in the next week when I've had some more seat time with them. I'm also curious how the ER-4P is going to sound to my ears after a a couple of weeks with the Westone's.
     
  4. rabbitsfoot
    proleArtThreat, since you have both the Etys and Westones, try the tri-flanges of the Etys on the Westones. I find this combo provides for a tighter more defined bottom and a slightly better high frequency range. Seemed to me the comply tips as well as the foamies kind of added some type of muffling on the bottom end of the Westones. Your mileage may vary though.
     
  5. catscratch Contributor
    Having tried many differen tips with the Ety's, I have to say that the tri-flanges emphasize the treble while the foamies dampen the treble. I definitely prefer the foamies with the Ety's, and I've finally found a way to EQ them to raise the bass/midbass slightly without producing distortion (negative EQ - lower mids/treble and raise the volume). Now, they sound damn near perfect.

    I would sincerely recommend them over the UM2 for acoustic, classical, and ambient electronic music. Their added detail and clarity is really wonderful, and works great with those genres. The UM2 have a warmer and fuller sound, which would make them work very well with rock/metal and other kinds of electronically amplified music.

    Keep in mind that most head-fi'ers are bassheads, as our recent poll showed. I would expect the UM2 to be more popular based on that reason alone.
     
  6. donaldekelly Contributor
    Wow - catscratch - you are right - the Westones are winning the poll.

    Reading through the posts on all the threads I have seen I would have thought it would be a slight lead for the Etys.

    I guess they both can be EQd to the middle - as Catscratch has pointed out.

    I think Catscratch's post above sums up the "TRUTH ABOUT ETYS vs UM2!"
     
  7. geardoc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by catscratch
    ..snip.. The UM2 have a warmer and fuller sound, which would make them work very well with rock/metal and other kinds of electronically amplified music.
    ....




    I think I enjoy the music most with the E5's, but like the detail of the ER4P.
    I guess the UM2 is somewhere in the middle.

    Detail<------------------>Warmth
    ER4P..............UM2............E5
     
  8. dotyman
    I agree with geerdoc's rankings. Westone designed and manufactured the Shure E5s to Shure's specifications, which incorporated deliberately rolled-off highs for musician's use. When Shure moved their manufacturing down to Mexico, Westone began producing the UM2s. The new design incorporated a wider frequency response range with fewer rolled-off highs than the E5s.

    Obviously, both the UM2 and E5 have bass that is more pronounced than the ER4s due to their dual-driver designs. However, in my auditions of the three earphones I found the bass in both the E5 and UM2 to be far less articulated and controlled than the ER4s. There is a definate veil in the highs vs the Etys as well. Someone on this forum acurately described the sound to be as if you are listening from behind a fabric screen.

    Nonetheless, some people prefer this sound, and find the Etys to be a bit bright. The Etys can even sound sibilant if you are listening from a low quality source with music files of low quality encoding. Amplification also makes a noticeable difference. Finally, as mentioned above, different kinds of music and recording techniques can effect the perceived sound quality to a high degree as well.

    My final solution, with which I am extremely happy, has been to re-encode my entire music library (400+ CDs) with lossless encoding, keep my Ety ER4Ps, and buy Xin's SuperMacro 3 amp with 4 feature switches (which incorporates a ER4P to ER4S impedance converter and high-quality bass boost). With this setup, the 4Ps keep their amazing frequency range and articulation while imparting INCREDIBLE high-quality bass.

    Don't forget to ensure a good seal, which is prerequisite for good bass with the Etys, regardless. I use the Westone Comply foam tips with the Etys for best comfort and seal, although they do require replacement weekly, at a minimum ($1.50/pair).

    I hope this helps.

    dotyman
     
  9. dotyman
    Oops. Sorry about the mis-spelling geardoc.

    dotyman
     
  10. steel102
    what type of music do you listen to?
    in general, I have seen that classical/jazz/acoustic people tend to prefer the Ety's, while metal/rock/maybe trance-heads like the UM2's.
     
  11. catscratch Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by geardoc
    I think I enjoy the music most with the E5's, but like the detail of the ER4P.
    I guess the UM2 is somewhere in the middle.

    Detail<------------------>Warmth
    ER4P..............UM2............E5




    You'd love the Stax SR-001 then. Instead of being somewhere in between the detail of the Ety's and the warmth/musicality of the Shures, it's just as detailed as the Ety's and as musical as the Shures [​IMG] Definitely a very Shure-ish sound, with big bass and a recessed treble too, but also very clear and articulate in a way Shure's can't be.
     

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