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Westone UM3x vs Westone 3 (aka W3)


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#1 [J]-ohn

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 05:56 PM

Was at Stereo this afternoon during lunch and managed to test both W3 and the new UM3x for a brief 15mins due to the people waiting.

First impression is that the UM3x seems to isolate noise (lots at Stereo hammer.gif ) better, without any music, the UM3x seem to be able to drown out at least 80% of noise. Wires are the usual Westone braided type and something I really like about Westone when I first got a UM1 3 years back.

I actually quite like the sound from the UM3x, it is warm and easy on the ears. Soundstage is decent compared to my Audio Technica CK100 ( Yes, CK100 has a wider soundstage) but is full and tight compared to the W3 which to me is a little bloated and muddy. The vocals felt slightly more forward compared to the W3 although I think that is mainly because the UM3x is overall clearer and cleaner in presentation compared to the W3.

Specification wise, although the UM3x is higher in impedance but it is also higher in it's sensitivity so I didn't feel that the UM3x was much difficult to drive, still the UM3x produced lesser hiss (5%, maybe 10%?) on the iqube on low gain setting.

I will drop over this Saturday to test again as I might consider getting this for my wife. ( I can use this when she is not.... rclxms.gif )


Headphones: Stax O2, Audio Technica W1000x, Grado PS1, Ultrasone ED8/ED9, Audio Technica ESW10, ES10

Headphone amp: Stax 717, EAR HP4, iBasso D4, IQube V2 LE

Earphone: UM Mage, JH13, UE11pro, ACS T2, UM reshell TF10 8driver

#2 blackmouth0

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 06:26 PM

hmmm, think i gg to give it a try tmr or so ba. haha
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#3 jyle

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 07:09 PM

any more impressions? besides westone 3 i'd like to know the comparison between it and SE530 as well.

#4 theory_87

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:35 PM

I'll say boldly, um3x is the closer universal IEM to a custom IEM
Source: Sansa Clip x 2 | iAudio U2 | Rio Karma | iPod Nano 4GB Gen 1 x 2 | iMod 60GB iPod Photo | iPod Gen 5.5 x 2 | iRiver H140 | HP Pavilion dv6121TX
Amp: Xin SuperMicro IV | theory_87's DPA1 | iBasso D10 Modded | iBasso fi.Quest | Onkyo TX-SV919THX | Yaqin CD1 Tube Buffer w Mullard E88CC | AMB CK˛III
Heaphone/IEM/Speaker: CrossRoad MylarOne X3 | SoundMagic PL30 | Modded Altec Lasing im716 | Fischer Audio Eterna w modified UM56 | Custom Ultimate Ears® super.fi 5 Extended Bass™ | Custom Ultimate Ears® #4/1000 triple.fi 10 Pro™ + mid driver | ACS T1 | JBL PS100 & Yamaha VS10M
Others: xxx red series 3.5mm & RCA IC | DIY HGA 3.5mm IC | DIY Jena Cryo 3.5mm IC | DIY ALO SXC 3.5mm IC | Custom Optical IC | Ridox contact protector/enhancer | DeoxIT ProGOLD | Mapleshade SilClear

#5 berserk1980

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE(theory_87 @ 30 Apr 2009, 11:35 PM) View Post

I'll say boldly, um3x is the closer universal IEM to a custom IEM




Bro could you kindly give me details?

#6 kevinsit

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE(theory_87 @ 30 Apr 2009, 11:35 PM) View Post

I'll say boldly, um3x is the closer universal IEM to a custom IEM



So in your opinion, UM3X > W3? Or that UM3X is more closer to ES3X? The latter should be the case since UM3X is based off ES3X.

What most of us are interested in this thread is how UM3X actually compares to W3... SQ differences? Frequency changes?

Edited by kevinsit, 01 May 2009 - 12:15 AM.


#7 theory_87

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:33 AM

QUOTE(kevinsit @ 1 May 2009, 12:13 AM) View Post

So in your opinion, UM3X > W3? Or that UM3X is more closer to ES3X? The latter should be the case since UM3X is based off ES3X.

What most of us are interested in this thread is how UM3X actually compares to W3... SQ differences? Frequency changes?

I have no idea on es3x. But i does sound like a full custom IEM to me with um56.
for w3 vs um3x, yes. total different in sound signature. While w3 is very thick in the mids, um3x is much more like se530 in a way. I love the way it sounds. Wide open and inviting. Added the much need sparkle that se530 lack. but not to the extend of tf10p. I just thought i end my portable journey with T1 but um3x force me to open my wallet once more.

Before um3x appear, I'll say ck100 and se530 will be my preference for universal IEM. what um3x does better is in the bass and sound depth. bass is more detail and hit harder. mid wise, ck100 is still more forward but similar in warm.

T1 and um3x is similar in LR panning. but um3x seems to have a tat more depth. Bass on um3x hits harder and louder. Mid wise, both are different. same similar level of details but um3x sound clearer. highs, t1 sound a tat louder but um3x sound more extended. Basically, the main different is in the mid.
Source: Sansa Clip x 2 | iAudio U2 | Rio Karma | iPod Nano 4GB Gen 1 x 2 | iMod 60GB iPod Photo | iPod Gen 5.5 x 2 | iRiver H140 | HP Pavilion dv6121TX
Amp: Xin SuperMicro IV | theory_87's DPA1 | iBasso D10 Modded | iBasso fi.Quest | Onkyo TX-SV919THX | Yaqin CD1 Tube Buffer w Mullard E88CC | AMB CK˛III
Heaphone/IEM/Speaker: CrossRoad MylarOne X3 | SoundMagic PL30 | Modded Altec Lasing im716 | Fischer Audio Eterna w modified UM56 | Custom Ultimate Ears® super.fi 5 Extended Bass™ | Custom Ultimate Ears® #4/1000 triple.fi 10 Pro™ + mid driver | ACS T1 | JBL PS100 & Yamaha VS10M
Others: xxx red series 3.5mm & RCA IC | DIY HGA 3.5mm IC | DIY Jena Cryo 3.5mm IC | DIY ALO SXC 3.5mm IC | Custom Optical IC | Ridox contact protector/enhancer | DeoxIT ProGOLD | Mapleshade SilClear

#8 kevinsit

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:37 AM

QUOTE(theory_87 @ 1 May 2009, 12:33 AM) View Post

I have no idea on es3x. But i does sound like a full custom IEM to me with um56.
for w3 vs um3x, yes. total different in sound signature. While w3 is very thick in the mids, um3x is much more like se530 in a way. I love the way it sounds. Wide open and inviting. Added the much need sparkle that se530 lack. but not to the extend of tf10p. I just thought i end my portable journey with T1 but um3x force me to open my wallet once more.

Before um3x appear, I'll say ck100 and se530 will be my preference for universal IEM. what um3x does better is in the bass and sound depth. bass is more detail and hit harder. mid wise, ck100 is still more forward but similar in warm.

T1 and um3x is similar in LR panning. but um3x seems to have a tat more depth. Bass on um3x hits harder and louder. Mid wise, both are different. same similar level of details but um3x sound clearer. highs, t1 sound a tat louder but um3x sound more extended. Basically, the main different is in the mid.


I suppose with Westone sound sig the mids are warmer than the T1? Interesting that you rate UM3X better than a triple driver custom. UM3X must be really good in that case.

And from your review between W3 and UM3X it does sound like W3 is the more warm and dynamic between the 2 iems. I guess that has to do with their purposes: W3 for personal listening so it should work more dynamically with consumer players, and with other applications like movies and games. UM3X might sound better solely for music in this case?

Gonna drop by to listen next week. UM3X intrigues me and so tempting me for an upgrade.

#9 theory_87

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:07 AM

QUOTE(kevinsit @ 1 May 2009, 01:37 AM) View Post

I suppose with Westone sound sig the mids are warmer than the T1? Interesting that you rate UM3X better than a triple driver custom. UM3X must be really good in that case.

And from your review between W3 and UM3X it does sound like W3 is the more warm and dynamic between the 2 iems. I guess that has to do with their purposes: W3 for personal listening so it should work more dynamically with consumer players, and with other applications like movies and games. UM3X might sound better solely for music in this case?

Gonna drop by to listen next week. UM3X intrigues me and so tempting me for an upgrade.

Not to forget i own a um56 so the sound might sound closer to es3x in comparision. um3x works well with my rio karma, sansa clip and my iriver and d10 combo...
Source: Sansa Clip x 2 | iAudio U2 | Rio Karma | iPod Nano 4GB Gen 1 x 2 | iMod 60GB iPod Photo | iPod Gen 5.5 x 2 | iRiver H140 | HP Pavilion dv6121TX
Amp: Xin SuperMicro IV | theory_87's DPA1 | iBasso D10 Modded | iBasso fi.Quest | Onkyo TX-SV919THX | Yaqin CD1 Tube Buffer w Mullard E88CC | AMB CK˛III
Heaphone/IEM/Speaker: CrossRoad MylarOne X3 | SoundMagic PL30 | Modded Altec Lasing im716 | Fischer Audio Eterna w modified UM56 | Custom Ultimate Ears® super.fi 5 Extended Bass™ | Custom Ultimate Ears® #4/1000 triple.fi 10 Pro™ + mid driver | ACS T1 | JBL PS100 & Yamaha VS10M
Others: xxx red series 3.5mm & RCA IC | DIY HGA 3.5mm IC | DIY Jena Cryo 3.5mm IC | DIY ALO SXC 3.5mm IC | Custom Optical IC | Ridox contact protector/enhancer | DeoxIT ProGOLD | Mapleshade SilClear

#10 kevinsit

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:13 AM

Ah D10... my dream upgrade from D2 Viper...

um56 might bring the sound closer, but um3x will still sound different from es3x still because of driver placement and housing shape (according to powerhound). How different I do not know... But I'm happy to stay in my non-custom zone.

Edited by kevinsit, 01 May 2009 - 08:18 AM.


#11 jyle

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:35 AM

sounds like SE530 with better highs and lows, interesting, will hear it for myself.

#12 berserk1980

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:13 PM

Nothing short of amazing. Just bought myself one! Will be back with more impressions.

#13 theory_87

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:49 PM

QUOTE(kevinsit @ 1 May 2009, 08:13 AM) View Post

Ah D10... my dream upgrade from D2 Viper...

um56 might bring the sound closer, but um3x will still sound different from es3x still because of driver placement and housing shape (according to powerhound). How different I do not know... But I'm happy to stay in my non-custom zone.

yes. there will be different. But for a fraction of the cost, I guess many won't mid biggrin.gif I hoping to meet up with someone I know who have um56 and es3x to do the comparison
Source: Sansa Clip x 2 | iAudio U2 | Rio Karma | iPod Nano 4GB Gen 1 x 2 | iMod 60GB iPod Photo | iPod Gen 5.5 x 2 | iRiver H140 | HP Pavilion dv6121TX
Amp: Xin SuperMicro IV | theory_87's DPA1 | iBasso D10 Modded | iBasso fi.Quest | Onkyo TX-SV919THX | Yaqin CD1 Tube Buffer w Mullard E88CC | AMB CK˛III
Heaphone/IEM/Speaker: CrossRoad MylarOne X3 | SoundMagic PL30 | Modded Altec Lasing im716 | Fischer Audio Eterna w modified UM56 | Custom Ultimate Ears® super.fi 5 Extended Bass™ | Custom Ultimate Ears® #4/1000 triple.fi 10 Pro™ + mid driver | ACS T1 | JBL PS100 & Yamaha VS10M
Others: xxx red series 3.5mm & RCA IC | DIY HGA 3.5mm IC | DIY Jena Cryo 3.5mm IC | DIY ALO SXC 3.5mm IC | Custom Optical IC | Ridox contact protector/enhancer | DeoxIT ProGOLD | Mapleshade SilClear

#14 kevinsit

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:43 PM

Cool if you do post a comparison here. I'm interested to read laugh.gif

#15 kneth

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 10:53 PM

Went to try the um3x today and i must say i'm pretty impressed. Compared to my T1 the um3x had a good mix of being clean yet musical. The highs may not be as sparkling as the T1 but it is present and prominent. To me, it was laid back but at the same time intriguingly engaging. The lows hit hard and low, something which I missed with the T1s. Like theory_87, the westone3 did not really impress me, but the um3x is seriously something worth listening to.

Also during my time there, Aron whipped out a blue transparent earpiece for me to try and boy was I astounded by its sound. According to Aron, it sounded closely to his UE10pro for a fraction of its price. Something definitely worth looking out for I would say!

Edited by kneth, 03 May 2009 - 01:57 AM.