Westone UM PRO 30 Earphones
The UM PRO 30 feature a true three-way crossover design. The 3 drivers are matched to individual low, mid and high frequency range making your mix smooth and balanced across all frequencies.
The UM PRO 30's superior build quality and sound signature specifically tuned for performing artists is unmatched by any other universal-fit product.
Westone UM PRO 30 Earphones Review by Earphone Solutions
The UM PRO 30 is Westone's triple driver that delivers a great balanced sound signature. The frequency ranges are balanced and one will not stand out more than the other, making this model extremely versatile.
However, I did find several drawbacks to the UM Pro 30s... Read more of Jeff Browand's (Commercial Pilot), Review of the Westone UM PRO 30
A side-by-side comparison of the predecessor UM3X vs Shure SE846.
We transferred all customer product reviews from the predecessor UM3X-RC over to the page of the new UM PRO 30 due to the similar configuration (3-way crossover, triple drivers). The new UM PRO 30 now includes a new and improved braided cable for audio only, featuring a soft arch that goes behind the ear. During A/B tests between the UM3X-RC and the UM PRO 30, we can assure you there is a big upgrade in sound quality thanks in part to newly-updated drivers, different 3-way crossover tuning, drivers placement (which can impact sound) and new shell acoustics. All customer reviews dated before December 5, 2013 are for the predecessor UM3X-RC model. All customer reviews posted after December 5, 2013 are for the new UM PRO 30.
Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews
These are an amazing pair of IEM's. The monitors as well as the detachable cable feel high quality. The ear tips included are great as well, allowing me to forget that they are in my ears. I can listen to them for 5+ hours without any discomfort. I use them when I run and workout. They stay in my ears and there is very little microphonics. The sound quality is wonderful too. The best way I could describe the sound is dark. At times however the treble can be a tad bit piercing. Westone has been great at responding to any questions I have. I highly recommend these headphones.
These monitors have a strong bottom end and very articulate mids. The highs are a bit toned down compared to other headphones, but I can use these monitors for a 4 hour practice or show without any noticeable hearing fatigue. I highly recommend these for working musicians.
Note: This review is for the UM3XRC! If the UM PRO 30s sound this good, I can't wait to try them -- especially if the cables and body are even a bit more ergonomic! Warning: Poorly recorded music has never sounded so terrible...but good recordings will absolutely come alive. My experience with these earphones began years ago, but today I heard them again for the first time. I'll explain: I had thought mine were broken for the last year or so. I've been using my older UM2s in the mean time to tide me over until I could either have them repaired or replace them. Don't get me wrong: the UM2s are great, but for a little bit more I get a lot more clarity. I don't know how else to explain it; everything just sounds that much more real, and it is wonderful. My only complaint is they are less comfortable than the UM2s. My wife isn't as finicky as I am, so she uses the UM1s. Those, by comparison, are almost nonexistent. By comparison, the size difference between the UM2s and UM3X is negligible, but it is noticeable to me. I sleep in my earphones, so I'm a bit picky. Maybe that makes me insane, but the (only) slightly larger housing causes me some discomfort after extended use. But it's worth it. No pain, no gain! My only other complaints are the removable cables. I'm really not a fan of those plastic guides that wrap around the top of the ear. I modified mine to bother me less, but I wish I could forego them entirely. The cables themselves are less of a nuisance than those on my UM2s, but still get twisted up much too often. Someday they will solve these minor gripes. Until then I will just close my eyes, open my ears, and be transported. If you aren't quite so finicky about fit, you'll think I'm nuts as soon you "enter a world of such sensual delights most [people] dare not dream of". Enjoy! Pros: Amazing sound! Seriously. Get these. Cons: A little uncomfortable (for me)... The cable earguides. Not a fan.
Forgive me as I am posting this a little late. I purchased a pair of the UM3X and have not looked back, Pure Bliss. I can honestly say that as an audio enthusiast I was unable to believe that any IEM was "Worth" the money. was I wrong. As clean and smooth as I had hoped for. Perfect balance in all ranges. Anyone looking to purchase new IEM's, Please do yourself a huge favor and buy them here. The "Oh I can get them at so and so cheaper" is not worth it. You cannot replicate the personal service you will receive from Flavio and his team. The warranty will not be questioned nor become a drag, try that with a second hand supplier from Amazon or E-Bay. I can't recommend Earphone Solutions highly enough. I can say this as I have purchased from F.M.A. before and had an issue with a product that was taken care of without haste. It was a defect from the factory that Flavio bent over backwards to resolve. With the changes to Westones product line, rest assured that they build a quality product. Pros: For me, perfect highs, no sibilance at all, No High end hiss Warm, beautiful midrange Bass blends perfectly, will rumble if called for. Does not bleed over and color the low midrange at all Cons: Not a thing, wonderful product
Previously I have already had the UM3X IEM headphones and they were really detailed and balanced . The only flaw of the UM3X was a slightly reduced treble extension which deprived parts of the music of a magic touch of shine. Another thing the UM3X was the slight predominance of low and medium frequencies . UM30 PRO headphones have solved all these problems in a divine way . The music is now perfectly balanced across the spectrum with an extension and a separation truly impressive. The bass is there, in the right quantity , narrow and very detailed , you can hear the detail of the low harmonics of organs and pianos . The mids are without mincing words celestial , in the middle there is the essence and the power of music . The detail is amazing , the voice seems so real to the point of feeling the breath of the singer and the buzz of the public in live recordings . Not to mention the instrumental part that takes a real detail throughout , pianos , guitars , strings are there in front of you real. Now we come to the recognition of UM30 PRO , the high . Here westone has really done a nice job going to improve one of the main problems present in the UM3X . The highs are now really detailed and crisp with the total absence of sibilance to all volumes ( I can tell you that I 'm sensitive to sibilant ) . The sheen of the high from the music a feeling of spaciousness further real . And ' possible to hear the percussion with impressive detail on the plates , the tinkle of the triangle, the shaking of castanets , xylophones in the background. Summing up the music now rises to the upper harmonics with the unique detail that makes the music all to enjoy. Hats off to westone . These are the real audiophile headphones or people who like to feel good music. These rival models of HD full-size headphones even going to overcome some of them. The comfort and the build quality is truly exceptional. The new connectors allow you to replace the cable with universal cables . However, they are supplied with the epic cable that is one of the best on the market. We now come to power . These headphones can be driven comfortably even from portable sources such as mobile phones , PCs, or portable players. The impedance of 50ohm is a correct choice that causes it to reduce the peak voltage in the analog signal output from the devices. These peaks ( relative to high frequencies) are at the origin of sibilance . For example, the ridiculous impedance 9ohm own headphones akg K3003 , makes the balanced armatures so sibilant to the point of having to use an impedance adapter . The 50ohm also allow you to amplify them without any problems. For example, if you amplified the K3003 , the tweeters will emit a hiss and will damage the drivers. In summary if you want a headset balanced and neutral without exaggerations hateful , take this without a second thought . Not for nothing is called universal monitor which means detail and flat response. The W4R are much lower than this , and their lowest impedance generates sibilance in the high that they lose detail . Pros: All Sound Imaging Lows 10 Mids 10 high 9 to 10 with burnin Fit and cable comfort Cons: Nothing
I was surprised by the clear and substantial improvement from my UM2s, particularly in the mids and the bass. I am a satisfied customer. Pros: The mids, the bass and the fit Cons: I wish they came in black in addition to clear
I won't go into the technical specs as they are listed for you. I just want to give you an idea of what I think of the UM3x so that it may help you make an educated decision. I've spent 15 years in the music industry working at major and independent record labels. Thus, I've had access to some pretty good sounds over the years. I've owned many earbuds including Sony, UE, as well as the Westone 1 and UM1's. The UM1's and Westone 1's have a nice sound. The fit is wonderful. I was never tired of wearing them. I didn't notice them after a while. Several weeks ago, I decided to to upgrade to the UM3X. Okay, once again the fit is by far the best in comparison to other in-ear competition. I even tried my friends' Shures. If you are thinking of a comparable Shure model, the fit should make the Westone UM3X an easy choice. What good is beautiful sound if you can't wear them for more than 15 minutes? As far as the music I tested the UM3X with?? From Aerosmith to ZZ Top. From Shubert to Bach. I've always felt many in-air's lacked bass response. Not anymore! I honestly did not expect what I heard. Again, I am not going to get technical. Just understand you will hear what you have always wished for. I feel closer to the music. There is a certain intimacy the UM3X delivers. I am reliving some of my favorite releases that I I've listened hundreds of times. Even Springsteen's Born To Run has a freshness. Try Grant Green and you can hear hear/see him picking each string. Okay, finally most of us do not factor in customer service. However, this may be nearly as important in a decision as sound. What good is spending money on a product if after the sale, you are ignored. Each and every email I sent to Westone (to help with my decision making process) was responded to in less than 12 hours, and at times, in less than 1 hour! I can't even get family members to respond as quickly. While I won't name a person at Westone to respect their privacy, i will say you will have a one on one first name basis....unheard of! Thank you for reading. Thank you Westone! Pros: Sound Customer Support Fit Plenty of tips for a great fit Cons: Can be pricey, but you already know this prior to purchasing them.
I won't go into the technical specs as they are listed for you. I just want to give you an idea of what I think of the UM3x so that it may help you make an educated decision. I've spent 15 years in the music industry working at major and independent record labels. Thus, I've had access to some pretty good sounds over the years. I've owned many "buds" including Sony, UE, as well as the Westone 1 and UM1's. The UM1's and Westone 1's have a nice sound. The fit is wonderful. I was never tired of wearing them. I didn't notice them after a while. Several weeks ago, I decided to to upgrade to the UM3X. Okay, once again the fit is by far the best in comparison to other in-ear competition. I even tried my friends' Shures. If you are thinking of a comparable Shure model, the fit should make the Westone UM3X an easy choice. What good is beautiful sound if you can't wear them for more than 15 minutes? As far as the music I tested the UM3X with?? From Aerosmith to ZZ Top. From Shubert to Bach. I've always felt many in-air's lacked bass response. Not anymore! I honestly did not expect what I heard. Again, I am not going to get technical. Just understand you will hear what you have always wished for. I feel closer to the music. There is a certain intimacy the UM3X delivers. I am reliving some of my favorite releases that I I've listened hundreds of times. Even Springsteen's "Born To Run" has a freshness. Try Grant Green and you can hear hear/see him picking each string. Okay, finally most of us do not factor in customer service. However, this may be nearly as important in a decision as sound. What good is spending money on a product if after the sale, you are ignored. Each and every email I sent to Westone (to help with my decision making process) was responded to in less than 12 hours, and at times, in less than 1 hour! I can't even get family members to respond as quickly. While I won't name a person at Westone to respect their privacy, i will say you will have a one on one first name basis....unheard of! Thank you for reading. Thank you Westone! Pros: Sound Customer Support Fit Plenty of tips for a great fit Cons: Can be pricey, but you already know this prior to purchasing them.
I'm mainly here to speak of Earphone Solutions fantastic service!! Truly world class, if you guys are hesitant to buy from here, don't be, because want you see is what you get. Buy with absolute confidence. I have, twice! OK, while I'm here let me speak a bit on the amazing Westone UM3X's. These are no joke, they deliver superior sound quality. Last year I bought the Westone 4R's from here, great experience as well...you're maybe wondering why would I spend even more money on, essentially a downgrade? Well, I wanted to replace my secondary earphones because they were to old, plus, since I've been rocking the 4R's I could not bare getting another $100 pair. My old ones were the Shure E2C's. Mind you I had those when I got the 4R's so it was like night and day...the ultimate upgrade in quality. I got those because I love music and the extremely curious about how much better the sound quality could get, and while it worked out, the truth is I didn't need to get the absolute best, but if I didn't at the time I was never going to get them. You can say my eyes are open now to the prospect of only quality ear pieces. That is the main reason I got the UM3X's. Curiosity killed the cat folks. Now on to the question if YOU were to buy earphones, and you wanted the best (I haven't and won't try the Shure S535 because I'm officially bankrupt haha) but can't decide on the $500 4R or the $400 UM3X's, I would say get the UM3X's. Yes I said it, if you are on a BUDGET and want top notch pieces then look no further than the UM3X's. Trust me, I looked and looked for about two weeks before I caved in and brought the 4R's last year, and while amazing, they don't have the immediate "wow" factor. They are not leaps and bounds better than the UM3X's at all. And take a while to sink in and fully admire, that's the brilliant of the 4R's, it's BALANCE, you can hear every instrument very clearly. I only listen to them while at home because of how much they cost, safe to say they'll last me the rest of my life. The UM3X's are my new daily drivers and I can't be happier with them. There the same design than the other Westone's and fit perfectly in my ear, you can easily fall asleep with these on. If you are not an audiophile like me (but still enjoy hearing the absolute best quality sounding music) the most reasonable choice if you want to spend top dollar, and want the Westone brand is the UM3X's. As soon as I put them on they "wowed" me, unlike the 4R's because they offer more Ohms meaning they work very well on low volume levels while keeping the music well balanced and having a bit better impacting bass than the 4R's. Now, I hate a lot of bass, but it's a magical thing when the UM3X doesn't distort from the other instruments playing and can hear every little sound coming from all directions. So I guess I like these better than the 4R's, shocking right, they may be better all around but with the audio tools I use to listen to music, which are a CD player and my 5.5 gen iPod I don't need a lot to get the best of those products. I hope this helped you, and if you still want to purchase the best, by all means, I'm just saying they may not suit your particular needs; everyone's ears are different. If I say the UM3X's are good enough, believe me they are because I have the 4R's as well, trust me, you'll fall in love with the UM3X's and never look back...or forward for that matter. For now. I wish I read a review like this last year, I would have brought the UM3X's then and now have gotten the Westone 3's or maybe even the W2's as my secondary's and still would have been just as happy because I'm not going to hook it up to a state of the art sound system. Those are my 2 cents, look @ the other great reviews here for frequency levels Lows/Mids/Highs and all the technical stuff. Because their on point. :-) Enjoy the MUSIC!!! Thanks again to EARPHONE SOLUTIONS!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!! Pros: Light Weight. A lot of bonus ear pieces. Sickening (in a good way) audio reproduction from these little bad boys. Amazing sound stage. Cons: Once you have these you won't want to buy something that is not equally as incredible.
Thank you for the great review. Lauren!
I am an audio production professional as well as an amateur electronic musician and DJ. If you read any bad reviews of this product, it is mostly likely because the user did not know how to properly insert or choose the best fitting tips for their ear, which are common rookie mistakes regarding in-ear monitors. I am pairing with the small size Shure rubber tips, but 3 of the 4 sets of rubber tips included with these buds work equally well for me. I think I'm just used to the Shure tips after many years of owning SE310's. I am not a fan of comply foam tips in general, but if you want the absolute best seal and bass response, u may prefer them. The white flanged silicone tips are imo absolute garbage, but I'm open to the idea that they could possibly work for someone out there in the audiosphere... After expensive research, I chose the UM3X to replace my Shure SE310's, which had died once due to an airline PA system blowing out one ear (thankfully covered under warranty), then ultimately due to issues with the right-side cable. It began cutting in and out all the time. I certainly could have opened up the wire and fixed the issue, but coincidentally the right earbud got completely destroyed shortly after. I suspect this was either by stepping on it or leaving it unprotected in my laptop bag. I don't know exactly when it happened or what happened bcuz I was no longer using the right bud. Lesson is - always store expensive earbuds in their travel case. If you lose the travel case like i did a while back, buy a new one! Based on my experience I could possibly say the Shures are not durable, but the issues were caused by extreme and/or idiotic situations. Mostly my fault and airline's fault. Possibly minor design flaws. In terms of sonic performance, the UM3X blows away the Shure SE310 for imaging, bass at low volume, high/mid clarity, lack of ear fatigue, removable cable feature, etc. I would even say they have better efficiency than the Shures, though the actual specs suggest otherwise. Special tip - when storing your buds, always slide the "cable harness" up towards the earbuds. This will prevent a lot of the tangling issues which a few folks complain about. Credit goes to my Dad for discovering this! Pros: Stereo imaging Bass at low volume Bass at high volume Mids/Highs at all volumes Removable Cable Comfort (eardrum AND ear cartilage) Efficiency (great volume with standard iphone amp) Cons: For the price, it'd be nice if they were a bit more stylish. I suppose it reminds one of a BMW or Volvo sedan in that sense. I can't imagine Westone would object to being compared to those brands?
I am a big fan of Westone products, and the UM3X earphones I purchased only intensifies my admiration for the company. I normally listen to my earphones while working out, so keeping them in place when I am moving around is a huge factor - I am totally impressed with the over-the-ear plastic cable cover that "molds" to the contour of my ear. I never have to adjust anything......I simply place them in the ear canal, and go. The sound is wonderful. I am a rock music listener, and the drivers do a great job with the mids and highs. I also have the Westone 3's, which are great, but I swear the bass is better in the UM3X. The more I use them, the warmer and more vibrant the sound. Very happy with my decision to add them to my collection. As for the removable cable design, I prefer it to the 3's hardwired connection, although I haven't found a reason to unplug the cable yet? If you can spare the $$ for these earphones, buy them. You won't regret it. Pros: Awesome sound quality Great fit No discomfort / feel very light Removable cable Solid bass Cons: None really, unless I say the cost!
This is not my first high end IEM purchase, owning some Sonys, Shures... I've decided to buy something that I truly like. Hence, i took my friend's UM3X to try out, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Having chanced upon Earphonesolutions, the price is absolutely great. Therefore, I bought it on the spot. Having receiving it promptly, i tested out with my usual classical fix, some old rocks and ... I must say its worth every penny. The clarity, and treble balance, is by far a class of its own. Although there are better ones, such as customs like JH , Heir etc, but it would be completely unfair to UM3X with its price. Its absolutely flat, and thats what i love about this earphones, it simply plays what the musicians will want us to hear. After about few weeks, the left earphones somehow became softer and softer. I contacted Westone, which they then refer me back to EarphoneSolutions as it is within 30 days. The Earphonesolutions staff are prompt to my quires and get me started on the return process for a 1 to 1 exchange. It was smooth, prompt and easy. I love the service from this site. Thereafter, i recommend this site to my friends and once again, superb services were mentioned in our conversations. Thank you EarphoneSolutions ! Pros: Clarity Treble Balance Worth every penny Cons: Nothing much.
Have sold these and replaced them with W4R and will say all the reviews here are just accurate and helpful. But what is also worth noting is the extreme services offered by ES. I believe everyone here will agree with me that they are just the best. They offer top notch services to their customers across the globe (at least to me), I have been a client since 2005 and from the Netherlands. Helpdesk is very helpful, they always call back. Words cannot express how happy I am and willingness to recommend their services to others -- Keep this up and have a successful 2013 Pros: My ear don't hurt anymore Cons: none
Hey Charles, Thank you for the very kind words :)
I have to say that I am not happy with these. They sound great but I am not sure about the build quality which is sad because they are made in USA. I am on my second pair. On the first pair (replaced by EPS), one monitor just stopped working. On the second pair, the mid range cuts out in one monitor when I move my head side to side. I have had a pair of Westone 3's since they came out and have had no issues with them at all. I will be sending my second pair to Westone for warranty replacement. Pros: Sound Cons: Quality?
Dear Carl, If you purchased form us you will receive a free replacement for 2 years from the date you purchased them. Just give us a call and please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.
Having had a few different/ indifferent earphones over the years, mainly Shures, from expensive down the range. I have to admit these UM3X are standout the best that I have had for sound quality and in ear fit. I have worn them for many hours straight with zero discomfort. Really nice case and a variety of buds make getting the right fitting easy. Just have a concern about the wires lasting. I specifically didn't go for the replaceable cable version because the fitting of the replaceables looks cheap and an afterthought compared to the Shure set-up which looks right for that price bracket. Of course buying from Earphone Solutions was flawless and made the experience a pleasure. Pros: *sound quality is outstanding *case is sturdy *variety of buds Cons: *the finish is quite rough for the price bracket *the wires look a little fragile, remains to be seen if they'll last
Thanks for the feedback, Lal!
I purchased these earphones knowing in advance that they are not as "fun" as the UM3. The main reason I got these is because they supposedly have a flatter sound which allows for longer periods of wear. And to that extent they are perfect. I typically do 24 hour flights from the USA to Asia and can wear these comfortably most of the way. They isolate wonderfully and the shape is perfect for comfort. If you have experience with Westone UM2 then you can expect the same fit. Honestly, with some EQ tweaks these actually turn out to be rather "fun" and offer more clarity than the UM2. But you should be using a relatively clean source file and a good audio player. I run lossless FLAC out of a Cowon D2 and these sound great. High bit-rate MP3 sounds good too, but you lose a bit of ambient sound. The only thing I wish these did a bit better was soundstage. Don't get me wrong, the soundstage here is very present, but not as wide as I would like. Everything is very crisp and clear (almost to a fault if your source material is not good), but does not surround you as much as high end Shures or full sized headphones. It feels like you are sitting in the front row of a concert, whereas I'd like to be sitting 10 rows back. Anyway, I am not taking points off here because I expected this and it's a matter of preference. Shipping and service from earphonesolutions was great as usual. I expect to be using these for several years since they sound great and are built like little tanks :) Pros: - Excellent SQ - Comfortable - Non fatiguing - Crisp lows, full mids, beautiful highs - Decent isolation - Durable - Tangle free cable that is removable - No microphonics Cons: - Sound stage could be wider.
When I first put them in my ears I left the supplied small comply foam tips in situ and the sound was attrocious. Thick, bass and mid heavy with no detail and boy was I dissappointed.......at first. So I tried all of the other tips supplied and settled on the medium grey silicon ones. These give a good seal and the sound quality is the most balanced to my ears. Now the sound is utterly brilliant. No frequencies are exaggerated, the bass has got real extension and the clarity and detail are superb. One word of warning, these phones make ripped cd's sound average but feed them a lossless source and they are simply brilliant. You ABSOLUTELY MUST get the correct fitting tips for your ears otherwise they sound like $9.99 phones (I kid you not). Finally, Earphone Solutions immediatly refunded a wrongly charged carriage fee so good customer service. Pros: Superb sound quality (but only with the right tips) No part of the frequency spectrum is exaggerated. Amazing micro detail (try a nature/tibetan album) Good isolation (not quite as good as Etymotic ER6i) Cons: Takes a while to get a tip thats fits well and provides the level of sound quality that they are capable of. Cable tends to tangle as its like twisted bell wire but its not a major issue. Really expensive in UK (c£300) but I bought them from US based Earphone Solutions
This a great set, delivering the details of the Etymotic 4P with additional bass and sound separation, and a slightly larger sound stage. The highs are a tad lower than Etymotics, however the lost detail in highs is given towards better detail in the mids. The bass is definitely better, and is amazing in detail. Although it will not be enough for a basshead, however, you equalize the source, the um3x is more than capable of giving ample bass. The IEM's are very comfortable and the set gives you a variety of tips to work with. I definitely recommend this set! Pros: Sound Comfort Sound stage Instrument Seperation Cons: None.
These In ear's are awesome. Smooth response across the spectrum. The only thing you really need to do is figure out which canal tips fit you best. Once you get that straight these IEM's are super comfy and the outside noise reduction is superb. They work great for both on stage and critical listening. Great price from Earphone Solutions as well. Pros: Comfortable. Sound great. Made right here in the USA. Cons: Removable cables can come loose if you are not careful.
It's absolutely top notch. No other company I have dealt with comes close to Westone's. See, I lost my um3x's carrying case a week after I bought it, and that was two years ago. Because of the lack of case protection, I simply stored the um3x's in my jeans pocket and jacket (lots of friction, lint and gunk). Eventually, which was about a month ago, the right side's cable started to fray around the area near the ear piece. I promptly emailed them and was met with a response that I was still covered under warranty, and if I sent my unit down there, they'd fix it and send it back free of charge. That is exactly what I did, no questions asked, no hassle, no ifs, ands or buts from their representatives. Furthermore, inside this box when you first buy it, comes with a postcard-like letter that, if you mail in you get a FREE extended warranty. Now, how many companies do you know that offer that to you? Think of Best Buy where their sales practically have to BEG you to give money to them, for an extended warranty. For Westone? You simply fill out a form and send it. Done. Warranty extended. Prior to mailing my um3x, I explained to them that I lost my protective zipper case and whether or not they can provide one with me free of charge. Lo and behold, when I received my repaired product, they included a zippered protective case! WOW. Not to mention they even changed my ear tips (mine was all gross and yellow). Bottom line is: Yes, this um3x is expensive. The sound quality (which I'm sure has been praised countless times by the other reviewers) is excellent and doesn't need anymore reinforcing. But for that price, not only do you get amazing sound, but reliable customer service who "has your back", and they are willing to look aside the costs of a small zippered pocket and a few foam tips to make a customer happy. Westone has my loyalty for life, and I will not hesistate or think twice to recommend this product and company to anyone. Pros: Their customer service pros: Fast email replies (within a day). Very business like, they get the job done. Provided me with a free zippered case and foam tips which I lost. The repaired item came back in tip-top shape. Cons: It will be hard to find another company that does customer service so well.
First of all I don't consider myself an audiophile I have heard many high end headphones but don't really know the vocab...just what sounds good to my ears. I tried the Westone 3's, PFE 232 and the UM3X and IMO the UM3X sound the best for my type of music...I mainly listen to hip hop, rap, electronic and some rock... While I liked the westone 3's I wanted more clarity in the vocals, I exchanged them for the UM3X and fell in love with them! There is still strong bass although not as strong as westone 3's I would say that the bass is higher quality? The vocals also are more detailed and clear which was what I was looking for. I also upgraded the cable which enhanced the headphones and made them the perfect headphones for me! My only downside is the oem cable while its not bad it just gets tangled extremely easily which drove me crazy. Pros: Sound Fit Build Cons: Cable tangles by just looking at it
these are the best in-ears i have ever owned -- clear, full, comfortable and highly efficient (way more response at the same volume level than my sennheisers ... and the buying experience + lowest price available @ EARPHONE SOLUTIONS was just the best ... i could not be more satified/happy ... rock on!!! Pros: great product, killer price ... Cons: (no negatives)
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Westone. My review is done from an un-biased standpoint. Packaging: The um3x from westone comes in a fairly compact package. The opening flap allows you to read a little more into the company's past and its previous audio achievements (I find that appealing). The box very sturdy overall and I would not worry to much about anything being damaged in shipping. They do very well at presenting the earphone in the transparent plastic. You are able to get a good idea of what the earphone looks like and what all it entails. Accessories: Upon opening my um3x's, I immediately knew I was getting more than enough extra "Supplies" as I like to call them. As seen in my picture's above, the buyer is supplied 3 comply foam tips, 1 t-100series, and 2 medium and small size p-series. Westone also supplies a large amount of silicone tips. Some confuse the grey silicone tips with shure's gray silicone tips, but just through examining them you can tell there is a distinct difference in shape. With the grey silicones, you receive a medium, large, and small size. In the box also comes an opaque set of silicone tips. They have more of a cone shape, and when used the monitor tends to stick fairly beyond the ear canal. With the white silicones, you receive a small, medium, large, AND for a twist. A tri-flange design. Other accessories include a cleaning tool with a small brush and a wire to gather debris from the nozzle, an airline/amplifier adapter, and a volume attenuation tool (a plug in with a knob to adjust the listening volume. The carrying case included is very sturdy and is hard-plated. I would not worry for a second about my um3x being demolished in the case. The perfect amount of accessories are supplied. Absolutely no complaints. Build/fit: Let me start by saying... The cables on the um3x are the business. Some of you may be familiar with their design, which in my eyes is gorgeous. The transparency of the plastic used allows you to see all the components of the iems. It really appeals to the technical nerd in me! Out of the box, I had a feeling I was dealing with a fragile baby, but boy was I wrong. They are assembled very well, and the plastic is rather thick, but the IEM still is able to maintain a low profile design. The fact that they are hand-made in America makes me feel great about my purchase. You can tell that time went in to assembling these beauty's. My opinion on the design of the housing is. "wow, these are great." Westone's cables are nothing short of utterly amazing! they flex extremely well, they are sturdy, they eliminate nearly all microphonics, and the length is just right. Splitter and yoke included on the cable are slightly closer to your neck than the average earphone you may purchase. I actually enjoy that feature, because it rids of my need to adjust the slack of the cable. The "Westone Epic Cable" Truly is EPIC my friends. Now for the most important part. THE FIT. I have always had issues with pain, sealing, and the general size of some other IEMs. To give you an idea. My ears are in physical pain after using the shure se535 (I do enjoy the sound,) the aurisonics asg-1, shure se215, and many others. You get my point I'm sure. The housings on the um3x are low profile and fit flush and comfortable. The first night they arrived at my house, I was able to listen for 6 hours straight without a single wince of pain. They fit is fantastic. They are small and wonderful, and I could see these being easily worn by a woman who has smaller ears than my manly self does! The tips that a person can use on the um3x are fairly based upon your personal preference. The p-series goes DEEP. It can be painful for me at times, therefore I just stick with the stock foam tips included. The fit is absolutely painless for anyone. I will go as far to say that the um3x is an overall guaranteed comfort IEM. Isolation: Isolation tends to be a somewhat gray area on most IEMs. We have etymotic who crams the tips into your brain, and boasts a 35-42dB isolation, we have shure who boasts a somewhat questionable "Up to 37dB of isolation", and many other IEMs that isolate well and not so well. I am happy to say that the um3x isolates just as much as the shure series, which makes me question shure's "up to 37dB" isolation. To test the isolation, I took my new um3x's out on a standard 1-2 hour bike ride on my road bike on a windy and cold illinois day. As I road on the sidewalk next to traffic, I was unable to hear the roar of the car's engines, the wind was absolutely non-apparent, and the music still had the same quality as if I was sitting at home on the couch. Further through my ride, I got to the opening in the trees where the wind determines the men from the boys. The winds can reach gusts of up to 30mph on days like today. The um3x sucessfully blocked 90% of all the wind that was directly in my face. (keep in mind, my ride speed was around 16-17 through that open field.) The isolation is above-par of what I would consider perfect. Sound (With Sub Categories): An introduction and an overall statement that would describe the UM3X's sound is "Warm, Mid-centric, and what I would consider a totally relaxed and chilled sound signature." Highs: Not exactly the selling point of the monitor. But they are slightly recessed. As I listen, I can tell that the highs are there, They just do not have the stage presence and strength that one would expect. It is likely that the um3x was designed this way if you consider the crowd it is marketed towards. Some claim that the highs are piercing and painful. I find that difficult to digest due to the lack umph or strength of the highs. Overall, the highs are kind of mehhhh. They are definitely there, but they are not powerful. The Highs definitely DO NOT make this headphone bad by any means. Mids: As most of you can expect... The mids are gorgeous. They fairly forward and upstage, warm, lushy, and I feel like it is the mids that give the um3x a sort of "Chillaxed" sound signature. The mids are beautiful, and what is surprising is that they do not take away from the quality and the little quantity of the highs. The main reason I purchased the um3x over the w3 was the fit, and more importantly, the lack of the mid-bass hump the w3 has. I am unable to detect any mid-bass in the overall sound. I have never been a big fan of mid-bass as I feel like it subtracts from the quality of the mids. It just muddies the signature in my personal opinion. Luckily, there is none on the um3x! :D I cannot explain the mids, but the mids do bring out the gorgeous texture of any guitar, mid frequency drum-line etc. You must listen to understand what perfect sounds like;). Lows: The low end of the um3x is perfect for my taste. The bass is slightly colored and has an ample amount of low end rumble. What really perplexes me about the low end, is its ability to have the perfect amount of punch while still sustaining a low end rumble on certain songs. I have listened to several armature based IEMs that fall apart during demanding low end of several songs. Perhaps they are to bass heavy to some (completely understandable.) When I first plugged in the um3x I was semi shocked at the amount of rumble an armature based iem could supply. Nonetheless... The um3x could satisfy a bass head and the average listener, which is a great quality of any earphone. Instrument Separation: Absolutely no complaints in this category! The um3x enables you to pick out every instrument with ease. And by ease... I mean no effort what so ever. The separation these monitors have is phenomenal and it is definitely a large selling point for the phones. The um3x performs well in very busy songs, namely guitar based music, orchestral music, and jazz. I would bet any musician that if they used the um3x on a song, they could tell me every instrument in less than 10 seconds. Treble Quantity/Quality: Many people will claim that the um3x sound signature is rather dark. I would have to agree, but it is not to the extent that some have claimed. Treble is not recessed by any means. It is merely at a perfect aural balance. The um3x will provide you with hours upon hours of a non fatiguing listening experience. Soundstage: The most difficult category to elaborate on is by far soundstage... I would say the soundstage is below average, but on the contrary, how the music is perceived could easily confuse the average listener into thinking it is a wide soundstage. The um3x thrusts you into the middle of the of the concert with your head directly next to the singer. The fact that the singer and even the guitarist feels so close to you really makes you appreciate what westone has done here. Regardless of how small the soundstage is, the um3x really utilizes and works well with what it has at its disposal. Conclusion: Beautiful monitor for the musician or the general public. If you purchase the um3x, I can assure you that you will not be in regret of your purchase. The warm and lush sound signature really makes the monitor a beautiful piece of work. For once... after going through a large amount of earphone and monitors, I can safely say that I will NEVER sell this amazing creation from westone. If you have not tried the um3x. I encourage you to buy it, or at least give it an audition (then buy it.) EDIT: I decided to add another category after my main review. Song review: "Cough Syrup" by young the giant: As the song begins, there is an intro of a simple guitar riff and a violin playing. The UM3X places the guitar left stage and oh my how beautiful it is. The guitarist must be standing directly next to me as though it may feel. The violin is placed right stage, and what extravagant warmth there is to it. The vocals kick in centerstage while the lead guitar remains left and the rhythm guitarist is placed right. The um3x performs so well when the song gets busy maintaining its wonderful instrument separation and warmth. When the kick drum finally jumps into the song, you can feel the quick accurate punch, while still maintaining the warm and smooth rumble of the bass guitarists part in the piece. This song is the most amazing song to listen to when you first open up your UM3X. The ability to choose what instrument is played, the ability to hear the beautiful vocals, the quick and accurate punch of the kick drums, and the overall beautiful stage presentation makes this headphone possibly the best at what it does. "Codename Rondo" by Ghostland Observatory: The simplistic but very vocal based song starts with a small a simple snare drum and kick drum. The um3x plays the opening to the song where you can practically see the snare being rocked by the drumstick. The low-bass rumble kicks in, and the um3x still maintains perfect balance of each spectrum of the song. The low-rumble is almost heard in a category of its own not affecting ANY other part of the song. What shocks me about the um3x is its ability to be un-affected by any demanding high frequency, low frequency, and mid frequency song. It maintains itself in all busy pieces and its ability to play what is needed to be heard. The vocals stay flawless throughout the song, and considering that 95% of the "vocals" is just spoken word, it is amazing that I am able to perfectly understand what he is saying. The voice almost seems as if he is standing to the left and right of me talking directly in to my ear. Pros: Mids Lows SQ Fit Warm Perfect Treble Balance PLENTY of Accessories Cons: Comply P-series (OUCH THESE HURT!) No Shure olives ;) Soundstage (at times)
My progression into headphones started with the Apple ear buds, which for a free pair of ear buds are quite good. I then moved into several low end ear buds including the Logitech 200's. None of them were clean enough for my tastes and so I tossed the idea of using them entirely and purchased some large Shure over-ears for increased fidelity. While they were amazing, they were too combersome to use in my real life. The next explosion of sound came from some Klipsch Image Ones. These are excellent headphones and should not be overlooked. They are on ears, and produce some of the most powerful sound I have ever heard although it is not a very accurate representation of the track. Nothing a little EQ tweeking could not fix. Reading reviews lead me to the S4i's and a frustrating couple of days figuring out how to seal the headphones in my ear. When I did achieve a proper seal I was blown away by the sound. This in turn drew me to see what else was out there and the potential that something else could sound ever better. The next set of headphones was the SE-215's. Those headphones were amazing, just pure bliss for sound, except the more I listened the more I noticed that when things got complex sometimes they could produce some muddy sounds. So my quest for fidelity let me to the UM3x. I put these on four days ago and I have been listening for 8 to 10 hours a day, including right now while writing this review. So how do these sound in comparison to the others, in one word, "BETTER." They don't have the impact of the Image Ones or the S4i's, and they don't have the buttery smooth mid tones of the Shures. So why do I feel that they are better, simple, they are the most accurate headphones I have ever heard. There is plenty of bass response, which is tight and accurate. Not as much as the Klipsch, and not as much as the Shures, but enough to convey that spectrum very musically. The mids are pushed forward a little, but not over emphasized. The highs are crisp and bright. Now admittedly, I almost returned these headphones intially, I thought I was getting a lot of sibilance emphasis from them. It was piercing and painful, I could not figure out how no one else had noticed this. I actually sent Earphones solution a return request, and they responded immediately and appropriately (excellent customer service). But I decided to give them a little more of shot. I took them home and pulled the tips off to try some of the other fit kit tips and see if I could get them to not have this response. To my astonishment there was some wax blockage in the actual plastic of the earphone. I used the tip cleaner and made sure everything was clear. I put the phones back on and voila, the sound was perfect, flat, not over emphasized, no sibilance (beyond what is natural to the "S", "T", "Z", "Ch" sound). What else have I noticed about them, well the response is clear, crystal clear, looking glass clear, or maybe lense clear. It allows you to really get into the recording behind the track, disect what was used to create the sounds and how an artist's voice succeeds and fails throughout a track. These are anything but boring, they make music vastly more interesting. The largely flat response of these headphones lets you choose a flat EQ, my default setting, or if you are so inclined they have plenty of range and you can use a digital EQ to bump the parts you feel need work. Last, they are the most comfortable earphones I have ever used as well. They just sit perfectly in the ear, no fatigue whatsoever. In short, if you are considering these, pull the trigger. There is no disappointment here, just pure audio bliss. And a much lighter wallet. Pros: The best, most accurate response I have heard from an earphone. Excellent fit and finish. Incredibly comfortable. Amazing clarity. Cons: A little pricey.
I bought these earphones when my Westone UM1 was stolen from me in a bar. I wasn't sure what I was thinking then, going from a hundred dollar price range, to nearly four hundred. I have no regrets, however. I sometimes can't believe how good the sounds are on these pair of earphones. Before I first put these on, I kept thinking: "there's no way I can tell the difference between the UM1 and this", but I was wrong. Don't get me wrong, I love the UM1 to bits, but you really do get what you pay for with Westone. The clarity of the UM3X is so real that one of my favourite things to do is to put them on, play a favourite tune, and close my eyes. Whether it's the highs, or mids, or bass, the details is astounding. I should, however, mention that my UM3X pair did change its sound a little bit in the first week of me putting them on. I don't know if it's just perception, or if the earphones actually does require some "breaking in", but by the end of the first week, the mids and highs became a lot smoother, where it was previously harsher. Perception or not, I love the smoother sound much more than when I first put it on, which is saying a lot, considering how much I already love it from the get go. The downside is, after using the UM3X, it's pretty hard to go back to $100 earphones. So, if you're getting these, be sure to take a very good care of it and don't lose it! I lost mine when I was vacationing in Tokyo, thanks to my loose jeans pockets. I seem to be doing that a lot. But, despite that, the two years I had with my UM3X was worth the money I paid. Pros: Extremely accurate sounds Durable, tangle-free cords Impressive comfort Cons: May seem harsh at first
Headphones are very well made and provide great sound detail and a broad sound stage. Very balanced without over emphasizing the highs or the lows. Of course with an EQ to manipulate your sound driverm, you can fine tune for the detail you prefer. UM3X are also very efficient and provide plenty of volume without having to set controls to maximum. Pros: Sound quality Material quality Ear tip options that come with the earphones Separate volume control comes in very handy Cons: Nothing. All good.
First off, I'm not a musician. I work in a factory that machines wing spars for 777s. The Spar mills are incredibly loud and drone on for hours. I've bought or tried in-ear, over ear, noise cancelling headphones of both types and have never found anything that would last. Or shut out the mills w/o deafening me. I've been using UM3x's with a pair of industrial earmuffs over them for two weeks now and love them. I listen to a 120gb Zune loaded w/a varied selection of music. The sound of these is incredible to me. With the Sony MDR NC60 and NC200 I set volume at 15-16. WIth the UM3X it's at 12-13. And I wear them for 8 hours straight w/o any discomfort. Saw that a previous reviewer complained about quality. These are the best made headphones I've tried. Don't know what they're crying about. How many other brands have a warranty like these anyway? The price isn't bad compared to the Japanese/Chinese stuff available for $200+ either. When you can get a quality product, AND buy American made is there any question? Pros: Comfort, sound quality, and build quality. Cons:
I just received the UM3X this morning and I'm listening to them as I type. All I can say is unbelievable. I love music, mostly acoustic, vocals, classic rock, and classical. I spent an enormous amount of time researching the best IEMs. I was torn between purchasing the UM3X and the Westone 4. I sent an email this past weekend just to get some idea which would be better for me. I didn't expect a response until Monday. Flavio emailed me on Sunday afternoon. Tell me, what other company ever sends a response to an email on a Sunday afternoon. Besides a great product, customer service is another top priority when purchasing an item like this. So, I decided to go with the UM3X. I am still testing out the different sets of eartips to find the ones that fit and sound the best. I'm using this IEM with my iPod touch. No amp is needed. The sound produced is plenty. Classical repetoire review: The first piece of music I listened to was Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach's Cantata #167. The cello is crisp and dramatic. It feels as though one is near a stage with the music running through your soul. Next up - Jennifer Leitham playing bass on her rendition of West Side Story's, Somewhere. The song is a trio of bass, piano, and drums. One feels as though you are in a jazz club. Each instrument shines during it's solo and is never muddled by the others. Beethoven's Pathetique - during the first movement with some heavy chords I think here is where the Westone 4 would probably be best. I felt that the piece was missing some clarity as the notes were not as clean. However, the second movement was beautiful. Vocal review - Andrea Bocelli singing Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" - it gave me chills. I didn't want it to end. Absolutely beautiful. Acoustic and vocals - James Taylor "Fire and Rain" - clarity, clarity, clarity, smooth, silky. Jackson Browne's solo acoustic - his voice was if he was in front of me. Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant- ethereal, Carla Bruni - I can finally understand every french word being said. Classic Rock - Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker, The Kinks, Billy Joel, Counting Crows, REM, etc. Great soundstage. Overall impressions (which is based upon one day of analysis): The UM3X is a superb IEM. It excels in its quality of sound. It is outstanding for acoustic, vocals, solo piano, and Jazz. Certain classical music sounds excellent, but there are other pieces where I I feel it could be better; however, it's not enough for me to purchase the Westone 4. And of course, Earphone Solutions customer service is as excellent as this product. Pros: The sound and production quality is superb. Earphone Solutions' customer service is second to none. Cons: Could be better for some classical music, but I already knew that before purchasing. However, not enough to feel that I dislike this product.
Dear Tim, Thanks so much for the kind words. The Team appreciates it!! Happy Holidays to you and your family! Flavio
I use an Audeze LCD-2 as my main headphone and previously has the Shure SE420 for portable duties. I always found the Shure dark and fuzzy. The UM3X is incredibly clear but its propped up lower end smooths everything out. RHCP should hurt, but on the Westone its smooth and full. Overall I prefer the Westone to the Shure but flat it isn't. Fit is a mixed bag. They are comfortable when inserted but between the memory wire and a small body getting them in and out is annoying in comparison. Pros: Clarity Smooth Cons: Fit Lower end raised shelf
This is a tough review. I'll start off by saying that either one of these - the UM3X, or the W4 - can qualify as being the best IEM I have personally used. I have Etymotic ER6i, Shure e3c, and UE somethingorother as well. The trouble is picking the favorite of the two Westones. There are differences to be sure, but they are in nuance rather than bombast. I would guess because they are both superior monitors, their differences are diminished somewhat. Both have tremendous depth and soundstage. The W4 may have a better bottom end, not that the UM3x is light. Both present vocals with glorious clarity, and treble is detailed without being tinny, shrill, or hollow. I have a small earphone amp that I prefer to use with my iPad, iPhone, and iPod, and find it does make a real difference. I don't think the head amps of these devices do justice to either of the Westones. Do yourself a favor. If you are going to purchase either of these - or another high end IEM - get a reasonable external amp to drive them. And be prepared to reconsider reimporting a lot of your music. These will reveal a LOT of the bad in lossy codecs.... Go lossless if you can. Then you will know what you were missing! I really do have a hard time choosing between these two. My listening is everything except Rap. Dang, I just can't choose - I'm glad I got both! Pros: Just about everything Cons: Nothing
I bought this product after reading many reviews on lots of websites. As these are my first set of in-ears I can't really compare them to anything. However I found the sound to very clear and with the right closure found the bass response to be just enough with out being to over powering. Mids and highs cut through the stage noise and allow a good reference points to be heard. My only Con is the lead could be a little longer maybe 10 inches or so. Overview- I'm happy with the product I bought. they worked a lot better then I expected them too. Pros: Slider- allowing the leads to be secured in place at the back of the neck. Comfortable to wear Cons: Lead could be a little longer, I have had to use extender lead.
I couldn't ask for a more balanced and efficient headphone. In my opinion, these can handle any genre with ease. Pros: Quality, fit and comfort! Cons: na
Just got them for about a week or so and I have been trying them on every chance I have, they sound great do not stress my ears and provide great noise isolation even with the silicone tips. I have been using shure black olives and every time a song ends a void occurs until the next song comes on and that really sucks. Overall these um3x's are the best thing i ever had both in build and sound quality. Pros: Build and Sound quality Great noise isolation extremely comfortable Cons: The void when the music ends.
These still do not isolate plane noise as well as the Shures 4xx/5xx series but they are pretty good. They sound incredible, a little better than the Shure 500. I wish they were a hair smaller. The Shure 4xx still fit the best out of all of them and still isolate noise the best. I do love these as they are clear and the midrange is almost as good as the Shures. The bass is better and the three drivers make a difference. Recommend. (Used with a Verizon iphone 4). Pros: The bass. Three drivers. Cons: Not as good at noise isolation as Shure 4xxx/5xxx.
I am not an audiophile but I enjoyed the comfort of the earphones and the beauty of their sound. Pros: Comfort. Beautiful sound. Cons: Nothing.
I bought these the same time I bought the W4s. As I mentioned in that review applies heere as well. I've been a long time Shure user and so, the first thing I noticed was the light weight and the cable system. I thought the sound from the UM3X was cleaner than the W4; not as "colorful". Regardless, I'm no expert, but I find that I pull these out from my collection more often than any of my other earphones. They remind me more of my high-end Shures (500, 530, 535) as far as clarity goes, with the added convenience of the light weight and easy to use cables. Very happy with my Westones and can thank Earphone Solutions for introducing me to them. Pros: Clarity Light weight cables Earphone Solutions Cons: Can't think of any
Used Westone 3 for a couple of years until cord developed a intermittent break by the plug (sound would cut out, bend cord and sound would come back). Really loved the W3 but never did like the thin cord. Bought um3x because could replace the cable if it broke again. When first used it had same problem, but found cable ends wasn't making good contact with the earphones (both sides). Reinserted them seems to fix it. As far as how it compares with the W3, because the um3x is a monitor the sound is up front with no enhancement and not as full as the W3. But you can hear everything in the music (heard sounds in songs never knew was in there) Can make the sound fuller by playing with the ipod EQ settings. (kinda like the flat setting) Also might have to burn it in, about 12 hours, before it really starts to sound great. Just like the W3, need to get a real good fit to hear the bass. The W3 was my favorite but now I think the um3x is better. Pros: Unbelievable sound! Cons: Cable connection to earphone sometimes comes loose. Might try a aftermarket cable but they cost over $100
Estan bastante bien ,comodos y definicion de sonido Pros: comodidad Cons: le falta tener mas refuerzos el cable
The UM3x weren't even on my short list initially and I could have overlooked them entirely as something really only meant for musicians on stage. The more I read about the UM3x, the more I found others who were using them at home and with portable devices. I haven't found anything to dislike, but if I had to complain about anything at this point it would have to be the price. I won't complain because I have never regretted paying for quality. Pros: Balanced sound quality, comfortable fit, good variety of tips in the kit Cons: I have found nothing to dislike about these IEMs.
I have just purchased the UM3X and I am very impressed with the quality of sound as well as the way that it cuts out a lot of ambient sound from the drums. Pros: Cons:
I've owned the UM3X's for some months now. I have them with the non-removable cables as Westone uses some of the best cables on the market, I did not see the reason in adding a point of failure with removable connectors. I thought to write this review now because of a very recent revelation I had with this pair. I also own the Westone 3's currently (for over a year) but perhaps not much longer due to my recent discovery. You may read many things on forums about these IEM's being very mid-heavy and lacking a wide soundstage. This is partially correct and had I written this review before, I might have even docked it a star. I generally preferred the Westone 3's over the UM3X for listening to electronic music due to their big sound and deep bass. I bought the UM3X because the W3's can be pretty hard on the ears after some hours and get fatiguing, it's a very big sound that's not for everyone. The UM3X have the same fit as the venerable UM2's and are also made in the US (big disappointment seeing China on the W3's). I should note that I have had a W3 pair fail, I've never had a UM2 or UM3X pair fail. If it happens to you, Westone has excellent service and will have a replacement pair at your door within a week. In any case, a few weeks back I had decided to take the jump and buy my first headphone amp/portable DAC. The unit I have been using is the Fiio E7, which is cheap and good looking. It is not a top performer but very good for a sub $100 amp. My only gripe would be it hisses a very tiny bit, much less than a laptop out or most ipod outs, but more than my Cowon A3. It is also limited to 16bit/48khz output as a DAC on laptop (not an issue for most music sources, only an issue for very hi-fi recordings). I stress that this unit is an excellent starter unit and fairly well suited to the low power requirements of IEM's, it will not compare to a $300 amp, but it is good for an on-the-go user. Ibasso and Headroom make competitors in this lower price range that will likely give you the benefit I've had. Plugging the UM3X's into the Fiio E7 and MY GOD, they aren't even the same IEM. The soundstage opens right up, the bass is clear and accurate, the mids go from being the most forward element to fitting in perfectly. They still keep the refined sound without any muddiness. It is like taking a blanket off a pair of speakers. This is the case for my 4g/5.5g ipods, my Cowon A3, and my laptop outputs, all sound somewhat boring with the UM3X, but amping these they sound great. I have tested the W3's side-by-side with the same standard comply foams and same amp, and while they see some improvement, it's rather minor with an amp. I believe the W3's were designed to not require an amp and really don't see the benefit, but the UM3X scales *REALLY* well with an amp. The W3's almost sound muddy compared to the perfect clarity of the UM3X when it is amped. I now have no reasons to prefer the W3 over the UM3X. Unless you lack an amp, the UM3X are better in every single possible way. Of course the W4's may also be an option, I have demoed a friend's unamped and they sounded quite excellent. I will have to re-demo them amped against the UM3X to see just what the differences are, I am betting that the unamped W4's are quite comparable to the amped UM3X's. I have performed a little research and it doesn't appear anyone did impedance measurements on the UM3X over different frequencies. The published impedance measurements from manufacturers are very misleading. It may be that their impedance rating drops dramatically with lower frequency which will cause an attenuation of bass on cheap headphone op-amps not able to supply the current due to a higher output impedance rating (especially laptop headphone jacks and older ipods). There is a graph of the Westone 3's impedance, which shows it never really drops below 20ohm even in real low frequency, this is probably why average reviews state the W3's as having a greater amount of bass than the UM3X as the engineers designed it to work well on ipod outputs. In any case, the UM3X are a world different on an amp. Final note, even with a crappy source; these IEM's sound *much* better with the amp. If you don't intend to amp these, I'd pass and consider the W3's. But if you do amp these, the W3's cannot compare, these are a phenomenal pair of IEM's and I cannot state enough the importance of buying even a cheap amp. Pros: -excellent fit -not fatiguing -made in US -PAIR WITH AMP WONDERFULLY -huge soundstage when amped Cons: - modest sound unamped/average source (narrow soundstage, unexciting) - The packaging on the UM line is more boring then the W-line, "meh" case included. I liked the original soft W-series case, but even the hard W-series case is better with the little clip.
I'm starting this review by saying that I love my music but I'm no expert. I think that the first time I tried a pair of "quality" earbuds I was so blown away by the clarity and quality of the sound that the experience has coloured my perception of the subsequent earbuds I have purchased to date. What this means to me is that the gains I have achieved in listening pleasure through successive earbuds have been incrementally small compared to my first experience and I have struggled to rationalise this. My first quality earbuds were the UE superfi.5 pro's. Fantastic; I loved them despite their bulk and their not being particularly comfortable. But eventually they broke and I decided to try something else. I bought some UM2's. But the UM2's despite being more comfortable and seemingly indestructible (my wife has put them through the washing machine twice ..) never seemed to live up to (the bass of?) the Superfi.5 pros. Maybe I would have felt differently had I tried the UM2's before the superfi's, or if I still had the superfi's working so I could compare them to the UM2's sound ... So I had some custom earbud sleeves made to see if it would make a big difference. It made a difference, certainly a worthwhile difference, but not the huge difference i was hoping for. Eventually, in an attempt to recapture the "essence" of the superfi.5 pros, I gave the UM2's to my wife and purchased the UM3x's - partly because of what I had read on the internet - but also because it meant i could still use my custom sleeves (the UM2 and UM3x shells are the same size and shape). The UM3x's are just about broken in now; I still don't believe that they deliver quite the same bass as the superfi's but I also believe that part of this belief is nostalgic. I believe I'm hearing more of the mid's that I've read about. ... but i'm not sure ..... I can, however, tell you this with certainty. .... they make me smile alot. PS.. All of my buds have been purchased from www.earphonesolutions.com. This is because they have provided nothing but exemplary prices and exemplary service and I would recommend them in an instant to UK purchasers who are worried about purchasing from the USA. Pros: Comfort Sound Cons: The cheap (though improving) case - this is not a Westone fault alone, ACS, Ultimate Ears haven't got their act together here - I use a soft leather zipped pouch bought for 5 euros in a Spanish market.
new to ear phones ,but have experience with sound equipment love the quality of sound. Pros: Cons:
I have owned quite a few higher end earphones, including Shures, Sennheisers and a set of Beats by Dre. Most of them sounded good, a couple were excellent, but none of them had what I would call a truly balanced sound. Each of them had either an over-emphasis on highs, mids or lows. The ones that had over-emphasized lows had plenty of bass, but it was sloppy and boomy... Extended highs become fatiguing and are generally unpleasant to listen to and too much midrange tends to leave the lows and highs sounding recessed and distant. The UM3X's are a revelation to me after searching for so long for exactly the right sound. The highs are spot-on.. plenty of extension and sparkle, yet smooth and not fatiguing. The mids are full and precise; the voicing is perfect, without any of the recessed effect of some other 'phones, yet not too forward. The bass is where I think the UM3X's shine; let me explain: Once you get the correct fit, the bass is deep, tight and accurate.. it brings a new sense of life to some music I thought I really knew well, it makes the bass sound musical and lets you hear the notes, as opposed to just being a series of impressively deep muffled thuds. You HAVE to get the right tips and they HAVE to fit your ear correctly... it's worth taking the time to go through every set of tips to see how they fit you. Experiment a bit and take some time to see how they work over a period of time.. don't just stick them in and wait 10 seconds then pull them out again. Do some critical listening and see which ones sound best. If necessary, get out a pair of scissors and make them fit your ears. I found that the two best tips for me, were: The medium sized clear rubber tips and the triple flange tips, BUT!!! I had to cut off most of the stalk of the triple flange tips, because they were too long for my ear and also, they sounded muffled (probably because they ended up with a bit of a bend in them due to me shoving them into my ear and them being too long). Once I had cut the stalk off the triple flange tips, they were by far the best sounding and really helped the UM3X's shine. These are truly one of the most neutral and balanced sounding earphones I have ever heard. I have a custom made set of Tyler Acoustics speakers for my Home Theater setup that are astounding and detailed, yet I am hearing nuances in my music on the UM3X's that I never heard through my $30K plus speaker setup. The UM3X's are very revealing and definitely expose limitations in your source material.. I ended up re-importing every CD I have on my iPod in lossless format due to hearing some really unpleasant stuff in a few tracks on my iPod encoded in 320KB format. After re-importing in lossless, all was well and some of the really extended bass in tracks like Massive Attack's "Angel" and Crystal Method's "Cherry Twist" as well as the Organ music in "Toccata in D minor" was on full attack again. Overall, I am really happy with these earphones and can't say enough good things about them... If you are searching for an accurate, balanced studio quality monitor type earphone with no discernible flaws throughout it's entire frequency range, I really recommend the UM3X's. If you are looking for something to add more dynamism, give you pumped up bass or overly bright treble, look elsewhere. Pros: Accurate across the entire frequency spectrum; balanced, revealing; best bass I have heard in terms of reproducing it accurately, comfortable, amazing price for this level of brilliance. Cons: Wish the cord was longer.
I have purchased both version of the UM3X (with and without removable cables) to loan to other band members (I typically use UE-10 custom ears myself). I purchased the non-removable cable design secondly because the removable cable design was less comfortable (the stiff plastic tubing at the plug-in can be abrasive over the back of the ear sometimes). However, both versions are well liked by the players; and especially our bass players who need to hear low frequencies clearly onstage. At least one player (a guitarist) mentioned that he would probably prefer a brighter sound with more highs. But for the most part, everyone in the band is very pleased with the sound accuracy and understands the rather flat/uncolored frequency response is meant to reduce fatigue and enhance definition of all instruments in the band. So as pro-audio gear, I think that Westone hit the mark. However, players need to be aware that these ears are not designed for casual listening and will not reproduce the coloration that they might be used to say, for example, compared to their iPod buds. Pros: Cons:
No1 Pros: Cons:
Was always wondering about the UM3X, when my Westone 2's were swiped from me I went ahead and took the plunge and purchased the UM3X triple driver in ear monitors. The UM3X's dynamic range is amazingly, in a class all by it's self. What I hear now is all of the nuances of the music that others cannot reproduce. Would I recommend this, with out a doubt, On another point, when my Westone 2's developed a short in them,, Earphone Solutions replaced them with no question asked, and shipped the replacements without hesitation. World class customer service. Will I purchase from Earphone Solutions in the future? No question! Yes. Pros: Amazing sound reproduction, Comfortable fit. First class build quality. Great sound isolation. Cons: Nothing.
First of all, to all those worried about IEM's being high risk to your hearing this is far from the truth. I never realized how loud my stage was until I got my IRM system and my band is not loud at all compared to the others I've heard. Now down to business, the UM3X is by far the best sounding ear phones I've ever used. In my opinion, better then the Shure and Sennheiser models in that price range and even higher. Something I noticed right away was how comfortable and loud they were. Then I tested for sound quality using the George Benson/Al Jarreau "Give it up" album. I've never heard ear phones sound so defined. It was clear even at very load levels, the whole frequency spectrum sounded awesome, the bass response was surprisingly well defined. The true test was when my 4 piece band performed on a 20' moving trailer with 16 21" subs and matching full range speakers to go with it. You can imagine how loud the ambiance was. We performed for more than 8 hrs straight for 2 days. All I can say is "WOW". Ear fatigue or discomfort was never an issue and isolation was out of this world. Just imagine being 6' from the drum kit and hardly hearing a thing while the band was performing and as I said earlier we do not play loud. Pros: Great sound Comfortable Light weight Ear tips for all types Secure fit Cons: For the price I think the carrying case can be better
I ordered these earphones as a special treat to myself and they did not disappoint at all. I also own the UM1 Earphones by Westone (those were my first IEM's) and I was so impressed with them that I got the "itch" to try the higher end earphones. Right out of the box these blew me away. I was immediately on "Twitter" thanking Westone for the great technology that they put into their sound quality. The fittings that are shipped with these are also wonderful. I tried a few different pairs and I ended on the small comply-foam ones. I listen to mostly acoustic based rock music and some lighter style pop songs and these sound great with both. I had an awesome experience with earphone solutions as well. I got a follow call directly from the Reps to confirm the shipping address and a few days later I received them exactly as promised. AWESOME experience and AWESOME product!!! Pros: Sound Quality Fit Removable Cable Option Cons: I like everything!
Accurate reproduction. Great fit, superb sound. What I really want is a set from the ES series. The UM3Xs' sound great so those ES's must be heaven. Flat response across the band, nice tightly controlled bass. What was recorded by the artists is what you're going to hear. Extremely comfortable, I wear them on the job (UPS Driver) for at least 10 hours a day and I always forget I have them in. They double as good ear plugs when the music's off. I listen to all kinds of music but I was really surprised to hear Dr. Dre's, "The Chronic". The production and recording of that album was the best I've ever seen. You'd think it would be all bass and distortion, but the mids and highs come through crystal clear. On one track "Deeez Nuuuts" the background T.V. conversation, a Perry Mason rerun, can clearly be heard...That's never been possible for me before. These earphones bring out the best in all music. A terrific product. I'm going to have to break down and buy a pair of Westone 4s' Pros: Price, High Degree of Accuracy. Fit and durability. Superb reproduction. Sound is just right...not too bold or bright. Being unbiased, you can really appreciate the music producers ability. You hear things you'd never knew existed. 'BEAUTIFUL PRODUCT' Cons: That I didn't know about this product before. I'd never heard of Westone before I stumbled across the Earphone Solutions website. I purchased a set of Westone 2s and then went for the UM3Xs. The UM3Xs are much richer than the Westone 2s'
Thanks for your feedback William!
Bought some klipsch image s4s, really really enjoyed them but they broke within the first week and i got a full refund. i decided to get a 'proper' pair of earphones so i went for these. 15 months down the line, still doing great. despite the fact that they aren't the most attractive earphone and don't have that 'polished' look that large scale production earphones have, they are incredibly durable and its the best sounding earphone i have ever listened to. they really shine through when listening to FLAC files too. I wouldn't say that I have particularly good ears or am as an experienced listener as many of the audiophiles out there, but you can certainly hear the difference between mp3s and FLAC with these. currently using klipsch medium oval ear tips which fit well and are extremely comfortable whilst providing a good seal. have quite a neutral sound and represent frequencies very evenly, so they respond very well when using an equalizer because they reflect the equalizer pretty much perfectly. Pros: Durability Sound quality Represent frequencies well Comfortable Cons: Appearance
What a difference from my old ones Pros: highs lows and mid range sound great to my ears. the um3x is as comfortable as was advertised. Whether I wear them hiking or lounging around the house they feel great. Cons: I only thing I can come up with is I don't know what size the foam inserts are. Small, med, or well I know they aren't the large
What I liked: I bought a pair of UM3x recently from Earphone Solutions because I was really happy with my UM2s and read such great things about the UM3x and needed to find out for myself if they were really that much better than my UM2s. I planned to either upgrade my UM2s (I was within the return period) or give my UM2s to my wife. When they arrived, I compared the two headphones for 1/2 hour and really was surprised by how full bodied the sound was and how detailed they were. I made the mistake of letting my wife compare the two and she too really liked the UM3xs over the UM2 which she thought were really great. The bad part is, my wife ended up taking my UM3xs and I have to buy another UM3x for myself. What I didn't like so much: One reason I bought these over the W3s were the removable cables. I was worried at first when they came because the left side phone kept going out when I moved the cable (I thought I had to return them). I had to detach the cable from the phone and reinsert it, it seemed to have stopped the problem. I know Westone had to recall some of the removable cable models so I thought this may be one of them (I did notice the yellow dot on the bottom of the packaging though that meant it was the newer fixed version). The other item I'm still on the fence on is the memory wire. It made it hard at first to get the phone into position, but after I had them kinked the right way, it didn't seem to be a problem. Buy yet again, I only had them for 30 minutes so I need more time to make a call on the memory wire. Pros: Awesome sound Cons: Loose connection when it came from the factory on the removable cable. Memory wire takes some getting used to.
Coming from an SCL4, the UM3X sounds a lot more "complete". The bass is stronger and crisper, the mids and highs are more detailed. It's a very balanced sounding head phone with no one area more emphasized than the other, which is not quite as exciting sounding as headphones that focus more in one area. The foam tips that come with the headphones are very comfortable and isolate very well. The triple flanges don't fit my ears well so I can't give much information on that, and I don't like rubber tips in general. The headphones themselves aren't very big and fit in my ear very nicely. The cable is very sturdy, despite looking quite flimsy. It's very light and thin, which leads to very little microphonics, but also tangles quite easily. The inline volume control is a nice accessory to have since these headphones are quite sensitive. Now onto the bad part. I have only one gripe about these headphones and it's related to the removable cable connector. My cables were connected very tightly to the headphones themselves, so tightly that when I removed the cable, part of the connector housing broke off and another part remained in the headphone. The other issue problem with the connector I ran into is that it breaks quite easily when you straighten the strain relief or bend it the wrong way. The top and bottom part of the housing pops off. Other than the poor connector, these headphones are excellent Pros: Excellent sound quality Inline volume control accessory Carrying case Sturdy cables Comfortable fit Cons: Flimsy removable cable connector
Simon thanks so much for the great review and great photos.
Bought this iem's on November and loving it every time i use it up until now. I am not a musician or a performer, but i chose this because of the removable cable and sound sig and it's very useful because i can change the cables into customize iem cables.The SQ of the iem's its just perfect and crisp, bass are tight, but not too punchy(i am not a bass head), the high's are just crystal clear with 0 sibilance. The iem's not definitely cheap, but it is worth the money. Pros: Comfortable Treble's High's and Mids Bass Sound Signature Removable cable's Durability Looks Cons: Price
This is the S$T!!! Pros: The sound quality. Cons:
I recently purchased these as an upgrade from my UM2's which are marvelous to listen to. I was on the fence trying to justify the cost yet I found myself wanting a little nicer sound stage and separation of low/mid/highs. I knew a tripple driver was needed. While I loved my UM2's, I can't do without my UM3X's. The cost is easily justified as the experience is beautiful listening to music on my iphone. Now listening to CD's simply make you melt with the accuracy and sound quality... but generally I am limited to music on my iphone. I am not a professional musician, but I love that these have a little flatter sound as I can use an eq to adjust settings and my ears never, NEVER get fatigued. I can listen to them all day long with no discomfort at all. My UM2's now have become my gym earbuds, and while wearing them I miss my UM3X's. Fit makes all the difference in the world. I had previously always used the standard comply tip with a nice experience, however once I used the large/long tip I couldn't go back. Pros: Incredibly accurate. Easily justified cost upgrade from UM2's. No fatigue, a beautiful experience. Cons: The only thing I have is a wishlist item: I use the large comply tips which are longer and wider than the standard ones. While the base is incredible and isolation fantastic, I need them to be just a little bit shorter for better comfort as they are a little too deep in length for my ear canal. Essentially what I'm saying is I wish they had a comply tip which was just as wide, but just a little bit shorter.
Thanks for the excellent review. Your wish just came true :) The Shure PA910-L is exactly what you wish. Shorter and wider. Take a look (don't mind the image though). They are REALLY much shorter and much wider than the other sleeves. Only Shure has these eartips and they will fit ALL Westone and ALL Shure models since the nozzles are about the same diameter.
I own UM2 and UM3, both with custom adaptor which fits into my ear canal. Without the custom adaptor, you're only unleash the earphone's performance about 40%. The custom adaptor is capable to block almost 100% of ambient sound and avoid the bass leaking. Seeing is believing... get one custom adaptor, hear the different and you would probably make another pair for spare. Cheers. Pros: Cons:
Thanks for the review. Keep in mind that custom earmolds are *not* for everyone. I have a set of custom earmolds but find the universal eartips more comfortable and definitely softer to the skin.
OK - I will start out with the one thing I wish for..... a built in mic setup to use with my iPhone. Seriously, if it wouldn't hurt the sound, it would be the ultimate. Without it it still is the best, most transparent earphone I have tried. Folks may chafe at the perceived lack of bass, but I say that it actually is better. Many recordings (IMHO) sadly boost bass and with a high quality earphone, that becomes rather annoying. The UM3X does not suffer from a bloated bass. Comfort is exemplary, I also picked up some third party foam plugs that feel fantastic. I am happy indeed with these! Pros: Cons:
I sing in a top tier cover/original band in the Tampa Bay area. First let me say that I have put these things through the ringer so a little about the durability of these things. My band plays both indoor and outdoor venues and with either one thing is true...I sweat. These things are abused by my sweating in air conditioning or when we play on the beach. No matter what I've put them through I've had NO problems with them at all. The only thing I need to do is replace the earpieces that are made to wear out with extended use. (kind of like tires on a car). My band plays from 5 to 8 times per month and our normal set is about 4 hours. I've used them for about a year now. Second, I stand directly in front of a drummer who doesn't know how to drum lightly. His DW kit would have made me deaf by now but the noise cancellation of these things makes it SO much better to stand out front and sing on key since they block out what I don't want to hear yet give me what I do ... my vocals. Last the sound is just amazing. I mix in just what I want to hear and I get what I want. The sound these things produce is just wonderful. On stage they give me exactly what I want. When I listen to my MP3 Player I really do hear things in the music I've never heard. It's almost like being in the studio and hearing each track that was laid down. If you're SERIOUS about ear monitors or even a badass set of earphones....these are well worth it. www.blistered-band.com Pros: Durability Sound Clarity Comfortable Cons: N/A
Awesome review from a musician stand point Neal! Thank you.
Finally! After going through top of the line models from companies such as UE, Shure, I think I finally found an Earphone that I can live with. Pros: I would recommend this item to a friend. Cons: Expensive. Can sound dull on some material
In one word, these IEMs are outstanding. Even at 56 ohms, they are easily driven by portable music players, such as my Sansa Clip+ and overall they sound fantastic, at least for the music that I listen to: Acoustic to Soft Rock to Alternative. I cannot comment on other types of music such as classical, jazz, or metal because I have not tried them. The first thing I noticed about these is that they are not truly a neutral set of earphone, they emphasize vocals. And to me, this is not a negative, but a positive. There is a clear separation between the vocals and the rest of the music which sounds awesome, however there is a mediocre, at best, soundstage for the other instruments as they seem blend together. Secondly, the detail is amazing. I can hear things in the music that I have never heard before, like the ever so slight slide of fingers up the neck of a guitar. Some other reviews have stated that the detail is too much, making the listening experience too analytical, and less enjoyable. I can see this point of view, but I love all the detail and after listening with these its hard to listen on less sophisticated speakers/headphones. I miss the detail. This probably comes from the fact that the IEMs were built for musicians to monitor themselves on stage. The 3 drivers make the highs, lows, and mids all great. I think the highs shine the most and I do not notice any significant roll off that other IEMs experience. Listening to songs like the Mars Volta's Tetragrammaton is a great experience with great highs. The mid range, especially vocals are emphasized the most, complimenting both the lows and highs very well. The bass is not as prominent as could be, but with a good fit the earphones produce a strong, tight bass. The kick drums sound very precise and Flea's bass in songs like Throw Away Your Television sound great. NOTE: I use the Shure Olive and Tri-Flange Modded to Bi-Flange Tips. The included comply tips don't sound as good as these. The Olives are more comfortable than the Bi-Flanges but take some of the high away and the Bi-Flanges sound the best but can be uncomfortable after long use. Pros: separated vocals; detail, detail, detail; great response throughout the spectrum Cons: mediocre at best soundstage; detail can cause analytical listening
Finally! After going through top of the line models from companies such as UE, Shure, Etymotic, I think I finally found an IEM that I can live with. Prior to the UM3X, I had used the Etymotic ER-4P for the longest time. Although I loved the clarity of this headphone, I missed the bass and had occasional problems with an overall thin sound. The UM3X basically is the other side of the coin. Good bass, never bright or edgy, yet still very detailed. The supplied Comply ear tips are extremely comfortable and I can leave the phones in for hours without discomfort. The UM3X also sounds fine straight out of an iPod. Some phones like the Etymotic benefit greatly from using the line out from an iPod into an outboard headphone amp. The UM3X also sounds better with an amp (I use the RSA Predator) but I don't feel it's absolutely necessary. Complaints? The UM3X can sound a bit "dull" on some recordings. Because of this I decided to give the Westone W3 a try since it was reported to have increased highs and bass compared to the UM3X. Well, the pendulum swung too far the other way with the W3. Highs were boosted way too much and the mid bass bump was very obvious and got in the way of much of the music. Putting the UM3X back in was one of those "Ahhh" moments. For the times when I feel I need a bit more clarity, I have substituted the Shure "Black Olive" ear tips (also sold at Earphone Solutions). Those open up the sound somewhat but aren't nearly as comfortable as the Comply tips. Pros: Comfortable. Never bright or irritating. Well balanced, smooth sound with no one range dominating another, Cons: Expensive. Can sound dull on some material.
- Bought with coupon and received within 3 bus. days! Still pricey, though! - The included foam sleeves do NOT fit and I had to use Shure's newer black foam sleeves, esp. large size, for proper fit in order to get sound isolation and good music playback. - I used earphones on iPod Nano and iTouch and Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone. The music quality on Nano stinks but is very good on iTouch and W995 (Very strange considering it's the same files so it could be the lousy circuitry/music chip in the Nano)! - I have a slight case of tinnitus so I like to hear whatever sounds I still can and prefer sound isolation IEMs. Most IEMs should be used without using the EQ on the music device as music should be heard as it's recorded, unadulterated and pure! - There's not much bass but it is present! - These are very good that I barely have the volume up to LESS than 5% and it still seems a bit loud! I listen with the EQ turned OFF and prefer the natural sounds as I listen to a range of music from classical to jazz to pop to light rock! - I'm not an audiophile so I can't tell you about any technical stuff but the earphones work pretty well. Just try on different foam sleeves until you get it properly fitted for the best sound quality. - I do question the cable since it's short and is very thin so I'm worried about tearing it! - The earpieces themselves aren't bad in that they're not as bulky as the Shure SE530 (which I also own) but it's still bulky enough that I have to adjust it accordingly to fit! - I miss my old Shure SCL-4 as those earphones provided a terrific fit with Shure's newer black foam sleeves which I now use on my UM3X and Shure SE530 models. But it was time to move on from the SCL-4 (and probably the Shure models), hence the reason for buying the Westone UM3X, which many reviewers gave good reviews on various online websites/forums! - I read that the UM3 is the commercial brand but emphasizes bass (Bass-heads would buy this model) but I bought the UM3X instead as it's meant for music professionals and their monitoring systems but still can be used for listening to music. It just doesn't have the bass emphasis and is meant for listening to music as it naturally sounds! Pros: - Lightweight - Shure's newer black foam sleeves are compatible with Westone and offer a better fit - Delivers a natural sound as music was recorded and played Cons: - EXPENSIVE - Westone foam sleeves fit terribly - Need proper fit for sound isolation and good music playback - Questionable quality as the cable is very thin and short - Earpieces are somewhat bulky in shape - Must send in registration postcard to extend warranty through earphonesolutions.com from 1 yr to 2 yrs.
I just received these earlier today and all I can say is WOW. They are WELL WORTH the money. The fit is amazing and the mids and highs are incredible. The bass is well controlled but could be just a tad deeper for my taste. There earphones bring out backing vocals that I didn't even know existed in some of my music! These are a must for those who love all genres of music. I had a pair of the Shure SE310 and these blow them away!!! I am a Westone customer for life!!!! Pros: Great fit Great sound Crystal clear treble Cons: Too few foam tips Bass could be just a tad deeper
I have both the W3s and the UM3Xs and I love them both. my call is that the UM3Xs sound amazing amped, unamped out of an iPod they are kind of boring. The W3s on the other hand are my choice for listening unamped. So there you have it, amped the UM3Xs are the best IEMs I have listened to and unamped the W3s have the edge. Pros: UM3x is even and accurate. Awesome amped Good comfort and isolation Cons: Sound a bit boring unamped Look a bit cheap
First of all, the look and the fit is excellent. The cable seems to be weak but it is very flexible, thing that it is a plus. We'll see how long the cable lasts. Length just perfect. THE SOUND: Clear and deep sound, too bright for my taste I have to use an equalizer to cut the highest frequencies and boost the midrange ( 1Khz to 3 Hkz). I use the UMX3 for live performing, I play bass and I sing 6 nights a week, I must say that my ears don't get tired, nothing to compare to the Shure E3 that I used before. I need a week to get used to them. Pros: BASS FIT NO FATIGUE LISTENING Cons: TOO BRIGHT
Overall, UM3X is a fantastic product, especially so if you are not bothered by rough exterior. Sound is AMAZING: beats any universal-fit IEM I've heard so far, including more expensive SE530. The only minor complain I have is notchless nozzle design: Comply tips slip off easily, but most likely would not be a problem with tighter fitting silicone tips. Conclusion: if you are after a great-sounding universal-fit IEM, look no further! Pros: Wide soundstage; neutral sounding; high level of detail yet not sibilant; deep, tight, well-controlled bass; excellent mids and highs, incredible clarity; comfortable fit Cons: Not-so-pretty rough exterior, tips are relatively loose on the nozzle
These are the best IEM out on the market right now. They aren't muddy nor to they distort when there is alot of lows. Vocals and the midrange sound extremely full and rich. They are comfortable and do not fatigue your ears. I would have liked to see more tips come with them but that's the only thing I don't like. If you can afford them then I recommend you pick these up asap. You won't want to use anything else in your ears. Pros: Great highs lows & mids. Triple crossover tripledriver. Cord construction. Comfortable fit Cons: Do not have enough tips that come with the IEMs.
Westone Review W3 vs. UM3x Bottom Line: I find the W3 and the UM3x both extraordinary in terms of sound quality and fit. They do sound very different though, and in this review I offer an overview of the differences. As for my preference, I HAD been planning to keep one pair and sell the other, but, well, I'm probably going to keep both and use them for different purposes. Background: I use these earphones with my iPods and only with my iPods: shuffle 2nd generation, classic 80, and Nano 4th generation. I rip my music from cds, using lossless on the 80 gig Classic, and 256 bit rate compression for the nano and shuffle. I have listened to virtually all the major brands of earphones under $500, and prefer Westone's sound signature and fit by a substantial margin. They just seem to have the most natural sound of the major brands to MY ear, and by happy coincidence, the best fit as well. I have owned the UM1 and continue to own the UM2 in addition to W3 and UM3x. I know that a LOT of folks are fans of Westones like I am, but some probably do prefer the sound signature or fit of other brands. YMMV. For me, naturalness of sound is an extremely high priority. Shure comes in second - a definite second - on both naturalness of sound and quality of fit in my experience. Other brands were behind further on both sound and fit. Caveats: (1) Tightness of seal is essential for deep bass, and comfort is essential for extended listening. I have found that I get the best fit out of the Shure black foam tips on my Westones, and I use them exclusively. ($15 or $20 for a box of five pair.) (2) I break-in every new pair of earphones for around 40 hours before trying them. Tonal balance: W3 has slightly deeper bass and slightly more extended highs than the UM3x. However, the UM3x has PLENTY of deep bass and it is better controlled than on the W3, which sometimes seems loose and boomy by comparison. UM3x highs are plenty extended as well. Midrange is more prominent on the UM3x, whereas it seems a bit recessed on the W3. I am tempted to say that the UM3x has a more natural tonal balance, but these two earphones simply emphasize different aspects of the music. For example, using the UM3x is like you are sitting closer to the singer or the sax or the piano. With W3 you feel like you are sitting closer to the drums or the violin. UM3x has an overall slightly lighter tonal balance in direct comparison to the richer sounding W3. The richer balance of the W3 is slightly more pleasing but there is a price to pay in terms of loss of upper midrange presence and detail. Refinement versus detail: W3 has a refined sound, more refined than the UM3x; that is. However, to my ear the UM3x is plenty refined, and also more revealing of detail and nuance, top to bottom. I think it simply gives you more detail of the recording, for better or worse. That is, W3's extra dollop of "refinement" might just be that it is designed to be more forgiving of potentially unpleasant sonic characteristics of MP3 and AAC compressed sound. If I am correct, this means that UM3x would be better on great recordings, but less forgiving on harsh recordings. Pacing: The UM3x offers incredible pacing. This sound is punchy and lightning fast. This is great fun for music that moves your feet! W3 is no slouch in this area, not at all, but slower in a direct comparison to UM3x. Build and fit: W3 seems to have better build quality of the ear piece, but the UM3x is fine in this regard. UM3x is more comfortable because it is a bit smaller. I think they use the same cords, which are thankfully very light and flexible. My decision? a. Continue to use the UM2 for the gym with my shuffle (YES it is worth pairing a $300 earphone to the shuffle provided you use at least 256 bit rate!). The UM2 has incredible bass and dynamic drive, very natural sound, and more than enough detail for the live rock concerts that I love to play while I work out. b. Alternate the W3 and UM3x on my nano and the classic. I keep the nano in my briefcase for travel and coffee houses. The heavier Classic is kept home. Yeah maybe I'm nuts but I'm gonna keep both. These cans are different and have their own virtues. Audio is my hobby and passion, so why not? If you held a gun to my head and made me pick one? I'd pick the UM3x for my purposes, but please bear in mind that I am a long time audiophile, and I love to hear the extra bit of detail that audiophile speakers offer - even that it makes poor or highly compressed recordings more difficult to enjoy. It makes the best recordings of great music sound all the better. This is a VERY TOUGH CALL, comparing "apples versus oranges", because I would miss the strengths of the W3. For me, though, overall I value accuracy of reproduction, as long as the timber is very natural. Also bear in mind that I never use 128 bit rate, which was the default until recently at the Apple iTunes store. The least I use is 256, and there are FAR fewer artifacts of compression at 256 than 128. Finally, I find the UM3x is slightly more comfortable. If I had an iPod filled with 128 bit rate recordings, or just wanted the most FUN sound - staggering bass and extended highs - or the smoothest and most relaxing sound over a wide range of quality of recordings - my choice might be different. Art Altman July 2009 Pros: UM3x: very comfortable, punchy, natural sound, very highly detailed, deep bass, prominent midrange, EXTREMELY ENJOYABLE Cons: No cons in absolute terms. W3 has slightly deeper bass, less controlled though.
It rings evenly, and the below puts it out to a low point as it is not possible to think especially from top to bottom with BA. Vocal is not buried, and the high pitched sound doesn't become cloudy in the high pitched sound, be misted, and be sounded because of the clear sound though is considerably amount of feeling of the bass. I think that dissatisfaction doesn't go out no matter what it listens. Pros: Cons:
The UM3X is a terrific product! First and foremost, what one likes or dislikes when listening to musical sounds is extremely personal. As for myself, I enjoy the following: very deep and strong bass frequencies. Midrange and high frequencies that are well defined, but not overwhelmed by the very deep and strong bass output. I have found the Westone UM3X's can extract sounds within the music that do not appear to be present when I use other brands of earphones. Lastly, when I wear my UM3X's I can say that my search for the sound that I enjoy has ended! Hope you like what I had to say! Sincerely, Bill Webster Pros: Cons:
I have use with my iPod Video 5.5G, the sound is great. Treble is clear listen. Especially I like the Bass from UM3X, deep and soft. Soundstage is not too wide, best for long last listening. This is also great design for wearing comfort. I have use the Standard Comply Tips, much better than UE which have to fine tune & adjust until find the best fit. The package is good material, better than paper box for long last keeping. The only concern is the accessories come along with have provide too little if compare to others. (only Comply Tips and Purse). No rubber tips or Triple flange and level attenuator. Pros: Cons:
If you liked the sound of UM2, UM3X does everything better. The sound is incredible and bass is controlled. The soundstage is wide and these are not fatiguing after long usage. I have used bi-flanges and the stock complys and sound seems better with complys. Overall i would say this is one the best sounding IEMs in the market Pros: Excellent soundstage Incredible vocals Clear and concise treble Extremely comfortable Cons: Few tips shipped with the product
I own the Shure SE 310, SE 420, SE 530 and the Westone 3 and these are overall the best. Yes, they sounds better than the W3, they are a little louder in a positive way and the lows mids and highs are outstanding! But the most important thing for me between the W3 and the UM3X are the vocals and specially the background vocals, the vocals on the UM3x are more up in the front. The W3 's are more sparkling and the UM3X are more neutral so they are more easy to listen. So overall they are the best you can get. And for Earphone Solutions thank you for the outstanding service! I got mine both earphones the UM3X and the W3 just in 3 days and I live in the Netherlands! I'm going to order more things in the future for sure. Pros: Cons:
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