REVIEW: WESTONE 3, the ULTIMATE UNIVERSAL IEM vs everything else
Dec 3, 2008 at 4:47 AM Post #197 of 2,117

SierraHotel01

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jwm6780 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just made an appointment with a local audiologist. It is a 15 min appt and the cost for the impressions and the earpieces is $150. They are on Westones list and they say they Guarantee the fit. I thought it was better doing that than getting someone to do the molds then sending to Westone.

My appt is next week. I have a feeling it will take a little longer because I think the UM56 are going to get real popular for awhile with the 3's out!



jwm6780: Thanks for mentioning the $150 price tag.
Looks like I'd better shop around.
First quote for UM56's in N. CA was $185 (silicon) and $195 (vinyl).

Never heard of vinyl tips.
Anyone have any experience / comments on silicon vs. vinyl?
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 4:59 AM Post #198 of 2,117

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SierraHotel01 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
jwm6780: Thanks for mentioning the $150 price tag.
Looks like I'd better shop around.
First quote for UM56's in N. CA was $185 (silicon) and $195 (vinyl).

Never heard of vinyl tips.
Anyone have any experience / comments on silicon vs. vinyl?



Mine are the westone custom vinyl tips and the sound is fabulous. I didn't know UM56 came in silicone as an option, but I suspect the sound will be different being that the silicone is more flexible. Since the sound is perfect with the custom molded vinyl tips I wouldn't want to change anything. These tips have a long path in the sound tube and you want just the right physical properties in the material to transmit the sound without absorbing or adding to it.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 4:59 AM Post #199 of 2,117

ZephyrSapphire

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I went through all the tips again and in my all out honest opinion the tips all sound all very similar with very very subtle differences once you get a proper seal. The only time did they all variy in sound is when I didn't get a proper seal for some of them.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 5:03 AM Post #200 of 2,117

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZephyrSapphire /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I went through all the tips again and in my all out honest opinion the tips all sound all very similar with very very subtle differences once you get a proper seal. The only time did they all variy in sound is when I didn't get a proper seal for some of them.


The biggest difference in the stock tips's sound to me is that the triple flange tips sound a little unnatural if you don't cut them shorter, and the Complys foam absorb a little bit of the highs. The cut-down triple flange, or grey silicone tips sound a bit closer to a good balance between highs and lows and mids, and are the closest to my UM56 although not the same.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 5:04 AM Post #201 of 2,117

kite7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fatman711 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
LOL true...it is actually a very amazing thing when one day one piece of equipment sounds pretty good. Then the next day in comparison with something else, it sounds like trash.

If we never tried anything...



True, that's why I tried the E500 and Triple.fi 10 pro before a few months ago and didn't keep them for long. Nothing made me go wow except this Westone 3. If I had never listened to any other high end iem I might think the Westone 3 isn't that good.
redface.gif
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 5:14 AM Post #202 of 2,117

ZephyrSapphire

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The biggest difference in the stock tips's sound to me is that the triple flange tips sound a little unnatural if you don't cut them shorter, and the Complys foam absorb a little bit of the highs. The cut-down triple flange, or grey silicone tips sound a bit closer to a good balance between highs and lows and mids, and are the closest to my UM56 although not the same.


Gotta agree there. But oh well. I guess custom tips and every other tip besides the Comply standard long tips are out of the question for me. I had the press the Westone 3's with my fingers to get a good seal with every other tip aside from the cut-down triple flange. I hate deep canals
frown.gif
But the triple flange still sound a bit artificial even though I cut them down to my size. I have to place the long comply tips slightly further out than the left since I'm a tad bit deaf(er) on my left ear. Lol.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 6:29 AM Post #203 of 2,117

Trager

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I definitely think I need to try cutting down my triflange tips a little. After another day of playing with all sorts of tips (Shure olives, Comply short, triflange, even Sleek tips), I have to agree that the W3 are very tip-dependent.

I really want to try a set of the Ety grey foamies that made me love the Atrios so much. I suspect they will be a very good match, but I only have one set left and they're currently on my Atrios and hidden so well that I cannot conveniently locate them. Curse my security policy!
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 7:38 AM Post #205 of 2,117

tldoxmf87

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I'm sure my W3s will be here by tomorrow..
It would take 3 days at most to get from Florida to Seattle with USPS priority right??? I hope so.. it was shipped monday
biggrin.gif
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 8:00 AM Post #206 of 2,117

SierraHotel01

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mine are the westone custom vinyl tips and the sound is fabulous. I didn't know UM56 came in silicone as an option, but I suspect the sound will be different being that the silicone is more flexible. Since the sound is perfect with the custom molded vinyl tips I wouldn't want to change anything. These tips have a long path in the sound tube and you want just the right physical properties in the material to transmit the sound without absorbing or adding to it.


Thanks for the info, HA.
Sounds like vinyl is the way to go, especially for just 5% more than silicon.
Assume vinyl will be more durable too.

Do you find them comfy?
(good seal; not too hard, or irritating)
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 8:20 AM Post #207 of 2,117

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SierraHotel01 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the info, HA.
Sounds like vinyl is the way to go, especially for just 5% more than silicon.
Assume vinyl will be more durable too.

Do you find them comfy?
(good seal; not too hard, or irritating)



I wouldn't recommend them if they weren't comfortable. I actually tend to get itchy ear canals with silicone tips (except for Klipsch ear gels), and these vinyl tips have never done that to me either, ever.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 2:51 PM Post #208 of 2,117

EyeAmEye

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Spent a few hours last night swapping tips and becoming very frustrated over the lack of highs, especially after reading most of the impressions here. Went through all of them and still couldn't bring the treble out.

So I decided to take the recommendations on modding the triflange. I trimmed the stem down considerably and turned it into a single flange. Modded, the Westone 3 sits flush with my ear and the single flange seals right at the entrance to my ear canal. I don't even have to play with it to attain a seal, just a very small twist and it seals. VOILA!!!!! The highs are there afterall!

Swapping back to the grey tips, silicon tips and complys and the highs disappear again.

With the newfound highs, I have to say they are very close in SQ to the UE11. The UE11 still has the edge in treble, though with the single flange on the 3 the gap is narrowed considerably. I prefer the bass on the 3, as I still stand by my opinion that the UE11's bass tends to drown out the subtle details in the midrange. Midrange is fairly equal, but I can pick out smaller details on the 3. The UE11 has a thicker sound, which is fun for some kinds of music, annoying for others. The lighter, airier sound of the 3 is better suited for all kinds of genres.
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 3:09 PM Post #209 of 2,117

MarcusL

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye /img/forum/go_quote.gif
With the newfound highs, I have to say they are very close in SQ to the UE11. The UE11 still has the edge in treble, though with the single flange on the 3 the gap is narrowed considerably. I prefer the bass on the 3, as I still stand by my opinion that the UE11's bass tends to drown out the subtle details in the midrange. Midrange is fairly equal, but I can pick out smaller details on the 3. The UE11 has a thicker sound, which is fun for some kinds of music, annoying for others. The lighter, airier sound of the 3 is better suited for all kinds of genres.


Wow, thanks for sharing those impressions! That really says A LOT about these phones!
eek.gif


Great job, Westone!

Now UE and Shure, time to get the 4/5-driver universals out of their cages. Its gonna be a fun 2009.
ksc75smile.gif
 
Dec 3, 2008 at 3:25 PM Post #210 of 2,117

EyeAmEye

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MarcusL /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Wow, thanks for sharing those impressions! That really says A LOT about these phones!
eek.gif


Great job, Westone!

Now UE and Shure, time to get the 4/5-driver universals out of their cages. Its gonna be a fun 2009.
ksc75smile.gif




It does say a lot about the 3, but it says a lot about the hype of the UE11 as well. The 3 isn't the only IEM that costs much less and competes in SQ. The Sleek custom and Alien Ears (hearyourself) C3 I believe are competitive (if not quite on the UE11 level, but close) at a much lower price.

The 3 is certainly top of the mountain for universals and, IMO, beats the Sleek Custom, and C3 by a narrow margin, and the FreQShow by quite a bit.
 

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