Upgrade from CX300 - boomy bass, easy fit, good isolation IEM replacements? (also UM2 questions)
Jul 31, 2008 at 2:11 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jul 31, 2008
I don't know if I'm asking the impossible here but I am after a good pair of IEM to replace my current CX300 that match the following critereon:

- Good sound isolation - I am going to be spending 40+ hours in an airplane in the coming months so this is a must.

- Thumping bass when need be, but not necessarily bass-heavy all the time. I really like the BOOF of the CX300 in things like Daft Punk's Alive album, but I also listen to a lot of rock/punk/metal and don't want the bass to be overwhelming to the point of obscuring other frequencies.

- Easy insert/removal - one of the best things about the CX300 is the ease of which I can press them into an earhole, and for those inevitable times when I require social interaction with fellow members of the species, a quick *pop* and the plugs are out and dangling around my neck, awaiting their inevitable return to the glory that is my ear canal.

With these features in mind, I have been doing a lot of scouring of these fine forums, and the Westone UM2 seem to fit the bill in both feature list and price range ($300ish). Isolation: check! Bass: check! Easy insert: err...

Just how easy is it to get these things in and out of an ear? I keep noticing a general sentiment of annoyance throughout these forums whenever the prospect of removing the IEM to talk to someone arises, and during at least one of the trips walking to and from work I need to do the whole exchange-money-for-sustenance thingo with a quick out-then-in of the buds before I continue on my way. Are the UM2 OK with dangling around my neck for these times? They have a detachable cable, but is it detachable to the extent that the actual driver housing can come unplugged of it's own accord and crash dramatically to the ground, or does it have an internal retention mechanism?

I plan on getting at least a set of black-olive tips for the UM2, do I have to engage in any sort of ear-acrobatics to seat them properly? I will have to get used to the over-the-ear wearing method initially, but this won't be a problem if I can get the actual insertion process to be as simple as possible.
In this regard, would silicone tips similar to the ones on my Sennheisers be a better option for easy access? Will these tips impact on the overall warm, bassy quality of the UM2?

Any advice I could receive on the subject would be much appreciated. Several late nights scouring these forums have left me with the impression that I want these IEMs (was a close call between the Q-jays), but I would like my fears to be allayed before I make the investment. I didn't intend to spend this much originally, but as an aspiring guitarist I can use these as stage monitors if I ever actually gig, and I may as well get something good quality that will last. I have prettymuch sold myself on this set, but my mind is a fickle thing and may be swayed with some kind words and a backrub from aonther IEM set.
I am open to your expert opinions.
Dec 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM Post #2 of 2


100+ Head-Fier
Mar 31, 2008
As far as I know if you want to have good isolation you have to sacrifice bass : Etymotics

If you want bass you sacrifice isolation: Super.Fi 5 Eb

If you want both consider on ear HD25s which have strong isolation and bass.

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