UE10 vs Sensas: A second take
Apr 25, 2005 at 4:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

iamdone

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Well I said I'd never post again but I thought I have something new to add.

After spending much more time with the UE10 and declaring it the winner, I've been using the Sensas to sleep with. This is because the sensas are much more comfortable laying on your side with. I've just been listening to meditation rain to help me fall asleep so I haven't been using an amp (so I don't wear down the battery on my SR-71 and it's not really needed for this use).

So this morning I had my ipod with the sensas and no amp and decided to listen to my friend's album that I just loaded on the ipod the other day. After listening to a few tracks, I got the UE10 and gave it a listen. The sensas did indeed sound better. They are better balanced and had a fuller body to the music making it more enjoyable. Had I been wrong about the sensas all along?

Well, here's we're the big difference happens. The amp. Straight out of the ipod, the bass dropoff on the UE10 is too drastic, making the music kind of thin. It had a little more detail than the sensas, but is not balanced. Leans too much to the highs and has no warmth. The sensas sound very nice.

Now add the SR-71 to the mix and the UE10 pulls ahead by a noticeable degree. The bass is in full force and the balance is perfect. The soundstage opens up, the drums are full, there is actual warmth to the music. The sensas bass now sounds too strong on some songs, it's now too thick, does not have as much depth or width as the UE10. The UE10 is now the much more enjoyable headphone of the two. My first review was done almost exclusively with the amp.

So to sum up:

Straight out of the ipod: Sensas win
Ipod w/SR-71: UE10 win
Everyday comfort: Tie
Sleeping comfort: Sensas win


Oh, for anyone wondering, yes the RS-1 still beats both headphones by far. I haven't tried it straight out of the ipod, but I believe these were made to be amped so I don't think it would be a fair comparison.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 4:37 AM Post #3 of 34

iamdone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Blitzula
You should try the RS-1 out of the Ipod and see what you think. Since all the Gradoes have low impedence, they should all sound at least decent without an amp. My PS-1 is great out of the Ipod.



Maybe I'll give it a try. I really hadn't had any need since it's my dedicated home headphone and the home amp is always on and ready to go. I don't really have anywhere to take the RS-1 except to the other room.

Anyway, the point of the post was that I think the sensas are the better of the two headphones for straight out of the ipod.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 4:46 AM Post #4 of 34

Zoide

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The RS-1 sounds quite good straight out of the 4G iPod.
rs1smile.gif
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 5:05 AM Post #5 of 34

Blitzula

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iamdone
Anyway, the point of the post was that I think the sensas are the better of the two headphones for straight out of the ipod.


That's interesting. Never tried the UE universal, so I don't know how those are.

When I tried the universal fit Sensas out of my Ipod, I found the sound somewhat muffled and the highs really missing. A lot of people say the Universal Sensa sound is close to the custom sound too.

Other than not caring that much for the Sensas (un)amped for portable or home use (my MS-2 easily crushed them, although the SR80 was clearly beaten), I don't know what to think about the UE and Westone products.

Why doesn't Grado just make an IEM so I can be done with all the evaluating and reading? : )
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 8:04 AM Post #6 of 34

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Blitzula
Why doesn't Grado just make an IEM so I can be done with all the evaluating and reading? : )


They probably would, but that would require a design change, which they haven't done in 50 years.
wink.gif
Maybe they could do a custom IEM similar to the Sensa or UE design and then attach it to a pair of RS-1 drivers and include a harness of some sort to hold it all in place.
blink.gif


Where is Edwood when I need a photoshop job done? Ed, can you do a UE/Grado mock up for me?
icon10.gif
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 1:55 PM Post #7 of 34

iamdone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Blitzula
Why doesn't Grado just make an IEM so I can be done with all the evaluating and reading? : )


Well some were saying that Westone's ES3 is supposed to have more of a Grado sound since it is designed more for guitar players and emphasizes the clarity and detail of the mids. I'm not willing to try them though. I think the lack of space and air of all canalphones will never really satisfy me no matter how much they tweak the sound.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 2:12 PM Post #8 of 34

digihead

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iamdone
Well some were saying that Westone's ES3 is supposed to have more of a Grado sound since it is designed more for guitar players and emphasizes the clarity and detail of the mids. I'm not willing to try them though. I think the lack of space and air of all canalphones will never really satisfy me no matter how much they tweak the sound.


Indeed, this is the case. If you are looking for a Grado like IEM, the Westone ES3 is the answer. I was listening to these this morning, oddly enough thinking if they sounded close enough to the RS-1 to make Iamdone happy. Now here Iamdone posts today...crazy. No canal phone will be able to do the sense of air like the RS-1, simply due to their design. The Westones do a good job of producing a bit more of an airy sound, however.

The Westones have a great sound. Great instrument separation, killer bass, clear midrange and they really do the guitars right. They are an upfront, in your face kind of Grado like IEM. Hoping to put down more thoughts and compare them to the UE10Pro, and Sensas as well.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 2:20 PM Post #9 of 34

guyverl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iamdone
Well I said I'd never post again but I thought I have something new to add.

After spending much more time with the UE10 and declaring it the winner, I've been using the Sensas to sleep with. This is because the sensas are much more comfortable laying on your side with. I've just been listening to meditation rain to help me fall asleep so I haven't been using an amp (so I don't wear down the battery on my SR-71 and it's not really needed for this use).

So this morning I had my ipod with the sensas and no amp and decided to listen to my friend's album that I just loaded on the ipod the other day. After listening to a few tracks, I got the UE10 and gave it a listen. The sensas did indeed sound better. They are better balanced and had a fuller body to the music making it more enjoyable. Had I been wrong about the sensas all along?

Well, here's we're the big difference happens. The amp. Straight out of the ipod, the bass dropoff on the UE10 is too drastic, making the music kind of thin. It had a little more detail than the sensas, but is not balanced. Leans too much to the highs and has no warmth. The sensas sound very nice.

Now add the SR-71 to the mix and the UE10 pulls ahead by a noticeable degree. The bass is in full force and the balance is perfect. The soundstage opens up, the drums are full, there is actual warmth to the music. The sensas bass now sounds too strong on some songs, it's now too thick, does not have as much depth or width as the UE10. The UE10 is now the much more enjoyable headphone of the two. My first review was done almost exclusively with the amp.

So to sum up:

Straight out of the ipod: Sensas win
Ipod w/SR-71: UE10 win
Everyday comfort: Tie
Sleeping comfort: Sensas win


Oh, for anyone wondering, yes the RS-1 still beats both headphones by far. I haven't tried it straight out of the ipod, but I believe these were made to be amped so I don't think it would be a fair comparison.



So it seems the difference is in the source. Perhaps it would be only be fair to compare them when using your home reference source and then decide which ones better? Surely iPod -> SR-71 ought to be a more 'neutral' source then straight out of the iPod. Would that suggest that given a neutral source the UE10s perform better in your opinion?
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 2:43 PM Post #10 of 34

random person

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Maybe that's why Jerry Harvey of Ultimate Ears says he prefers the UE5c over the UE10Pro for right out of the Ipod. Clearly, it would seem as if the UE5c's bass emphasis is designed to compensate for the Ipod's "bass-shy" sound signature. In any case I'd be disappointed if I "upgraded" from the UE5c to the UE10Pro only to find a "thin bass" out of the Ipod without an amp, as I find the balance and fullness of the UE5c to be ideal straight out of the 'Pod -- just as UE promised.

On the other hand, BigD's received his newly redesigned UE10Pros, which he says have a fuller bass than his original ones. I think he plans to do a more thorough post about them, once he's tried them for enough time.

In any case so much of this may well be a function of how each pair of IEMs actually fits -- hence the frequent disparity of comments about the same IEMs from different buyers. I say if the custom IEM actually fits well, rejoice and be happy and don't worry about others that might even be theoretically "better," as fit variations alone might significantly alter one's experience.

Nice to hear from you again, iamdone! And I'm happy you found a good use for both sets of IEMs!
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 2:52 PM Post #11 of 34

Wmcmanus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by digihead
Indeed, this is the case. If you are looking for a Grado like IEM, the Westone ES3 is the answer. I was listening to these this morning, oddly enough thinking if they sounded close enough to the RS-1 to make Iamdone happy. Now here Iamdone posts today...crazy. No canal phone will be able to do the sense of air like the RS-1, simply due to their design. The Westones do a good job of producing a bit more of an airy sound, however.

The Westones have a great sound. Great instrument separation, killer bass, clear midrange and they really do the guitars right. They are an upfront, in your face kind of Grado like IEM. Hoping to put down more thoughts and compare them to the UE10Pro, and Sensas as well.



Hey, thanks for your "ultra mini review" of the ES3! There is precious little posted by users of the ES3, and the Westone website is not helpful at all. It would be way cool if you did a UE10-Pro/Sensa 2S-X/Westone ES3 review!!!
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 3:08 PM Post #12 of 34

gorman

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I wonder if the problem is with the iPod headphone-out. My Karma's, while definitely leaner on bass than my amp, it's quite good.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 3:43 PM Post #13 of 34

iamdone

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I don't know if the Karma has the same bass drop off problem as the ipod. I wouldn't say the UE10 sounds bad straight out of the ipod (not at all), definately more like etys in this mode, but the sensas just had a thicker, more complete sound.

I think the UE10 do beat the sensas when amped (or paired with a proper headphone out). Not necessarily a source problem, since I'm still using the ipod as a source, more to do with the known bass rolloff problem of the ipod's headphone out. So I'd imagine the UE10 would beat the sensas with any device that doesn't have this problem. Once hooked up to a balanced output, the sensas are too think and bassy for my taste but as I said, not only are the UE10 better balanced, they are more dynamic, have better details, and a bigger soundstage in all directions.

Big D said he got a set back with a single bore giving it more bass but someone else said they had the same thing as it was too bassy and ue was going to shorten the stem. I believe they are still supposed to end with two bores. Mine are definately of the new batch with the new cord and recessed plug insert. The treble's from a small bore and the bass are from a bore that is twice the size (not exactly round) and the small tube inside is recessed. I have all black so I can't really see what going on inside them.

Regarding the ES3. I was actually thinking of getting these at first instead of the ue10 and I called Westone's recommended audiologist in my area. When I asked about custom molds, they assumed I wanted them for the ue's. That seemed enough to push me in that direction. So maybe I made the wrong choice again. At this point I'm completely tapped out of money and will be for a long while so I don't see the ES3 in my future anytime soon. I guess if the iem's really do only last 3 years, I'll look at Westone's products at that time.

One last thing, do you see why I left. I'm back on for one post and I already have the Westone ES3 to think about. Everytime you go on this site, you're tempted to buy something new or mod what you already own. At least being broke helps.
 
Apr 25, 2005 at 3:57 PM Post #14 of 34

NeilPeart

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Now I need the Sensas for un-amped portable use AND the UEs for amplified usage!
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Apr 25, 2005 at 4:08 PM Post #15 of 34

iamdone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilPeart
Now I need the Sensas for un-amped portable use AND the UEs for amplified usage!
tongue.gif



Don't forget the Westone's for your rock needs.
 

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