UM2 mini-guide
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spinali

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For those who own the Westone UM2, I've published a blog which (I hope) addresses the major issues of sound quality and preservation. Hopefully, anyone who uses a UM2 will be able to find useful information there.

http://um2.blogspot.com/

I've disabled feedback on the blog, but you can leave your comments here. I'm adding material all the time.

New information is being added on a regular basis, so feel welcome to visit.

 
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probedb

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Sweet
Mine are on the way so hopefully it'll help if I need it! Talking about loud music, it'll be fantastic when we can plugin direct to the nerve (or whatever) and bypass the ear completely
 
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bLue_oNioN

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In your guide, you state:
"The UM2, however, has no moving parts. That would seem to obviate that burn-in can't be an issue."

Are you sure of this?
 
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drssyoon

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Well done. However, there is no microphonic issue with the new black cables. Also, custom molds are $100. They are much more comfortable (especially for a long term use) and sound incredible. Since you already have invested $300+ on the phones, mind as well go all the way and add another $100. Return on investment is well worth it.
 
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RiderCoach

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A very nice site for those of us using the UM2, and those contemplating ownership. I might comment on only one thing....the RED dot signifies RIGHT ear, the BLUE dot is LEFT ear. That is standard on all hearing aids and IEMs. It is that way on my Westone #56 custom molds.
 
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Nick B

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Well done, spinali. That you for pulling all of that info together and putting in in one spot. My UM2s are due to arrive Monday. I can hardly wait.

Nick B
 
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AuroraProject

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Any headphone has to have some moving parts, sound comes from vibrations.
 
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spinali

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Quote:

Any headphone has to have some moving parts, sound comes from vibrations.


Quote:

"The UM2, however, has no moving parts... Are you sure of this?


Your comments seemed to make sense, so I emailed Westone. They confirmed that the UM2's have drivers just like regular headphones, except they're extremely tiny. This lends support to something we'd experienced: burn-in.

Please note that several other editorial changes and additions have been made to this blog, including a surprising bit of info in Comply tip wear and sound quality.

 
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CaptainChet

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drssyoon
Well done. However, there is no microphonic issue with the new black cables. Also, custom molds are $100. They are much more comfortable (especially for a long term use) and sound incredible. Since you already have invested $300+ on the phones, mind as well go all the way and add another $100. Return on investment is well worth it.


I just picked up my custom molds for my UM2's. Although I think I might need another fitting (they just don't feel quite right....yet), I can say the sound is just superb! They really sound great and I would highly recommed the custom molds for these IEM's.
 
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spinali

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Quote:

I just picked up my custom molds for my UM2's. Although I think I might need another fitting (they just don't feel quite right....yet), I can say the sound is just superb! They really sound great and I would highly recommed the custom molds for these IEM's.


Another post says that the sound is 50% better (by his non-mathematical estimate), and this has convinced me that custom molds are the way to go.

I plan a more a more adventurous route. I'll follow my own blog's advice and do the molds at home, then send them out to either Westone or The Earplug Super Store. The Comprys are okay, but the sound and fit aren't what the UM2s deserve.

 
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drssyoon

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Hmmm... I don't know if doing your own mold is a good idea. My "impressioning" process was simple, but I don't think I could have done it by myself. A professional was definitely useful. The audiologist also cleaned out my ears so that there were no nasty surprises in there. My audiologist matched the price on the internet (Westone site) and went down from $140 initial quote to $100.
 
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spinali

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Point well taken. I keep my ears obscenely clean (even minute wax build-up is a rarity), and the DIY ear-print process is a two-person affair. The whole thing comes in a kit. I'd have extra casting gunk onhand in case of newbie screwups, too. And just imagine the great copy I'll have for the blog!

It's mostly economics, though. In high-cost of living San Francisco, an audiologist visit will cost $100+, and then there's another $100 for the fabrication. DIY casting is $117 inclusive.

I still haven't made a decision, and it would be comforting to have a professional handling things. I wish there were more people out there with unbiased feedback on the DIY process.

 
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Just thought I'd pipe in and say hello and thanks for the great info on the UM2's.

Thanks to some of your posts I decided to order a pair of UM2's and should have them by Wednesday. I'm a little nervous because I've never even tried canalphones, but I've slept with earplugs in many times and don't find them too bad to wear. I realize these won't feel quite so nice, but at least the quality of music might help me overcome the minor annoyances.

I've been an on and off audiophile for the past 30 years, but its been mostly off since wifey doesn't quite get the audiophile experience. I still have an old pair of Stax SR-5's from ~1975, which I think still sound great. I also have some Senn 555's and PX 100's which sound pretty good.

So how much more am I going to like these UM2's? Give me something I can actually explain to my wife!
 
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spinali

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Quote:

So how much more am I going to like these UM2's? Give me something I can actually explain to my wife!


I wouldn't explain anything to your wife. Turn on your computer, put the UM2 into the audio output, set up the EQ so it's perfect, stick the Compry tips way into her ears, and let her listen to some music. I don't think you'll have to do too much explaining.

Problem is, you'll probably have to spring for another UM2 somewhere down the line. So maybe that isn't a good idea.
 
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