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Dackzy

UERM - Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor Thoughts/Review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Okay this is a custom IEM, which means they are made to fit my ears perfectly. They are made after impressions of my ears, where I had to get my ears filled up with this weird substance, this is the "old" way of making impressions. Today some placess can also scan your ears and then they have a 3D model of your inner ear, that they then can make the shell with. To get a set of custom IEMs you will have to wait for a fair bit of time, it can be a few weeks, but it can also be a month, it all depends on where you are and how busy your given dealer is. So this is not for people that want their stuff here and now.

 

Before I decided on that these were the ones I wanted I took a long trip over to a Ultimate ears dealer to test all of the different models. So I tried the UE 4, 7, 11, 18+, RR and RM

 

If you want to see ear impressions, then here they are.

Spoiler

IMG_20171017_090909.thumb.jpg.7ad80e8734599e179931f00a5d93f6f5.jpg

 

Gear used in testing: Onboard, ZTE Axon 7, Sony A45, Sony NW-ZX300, Meier StageDAC and my dual PCM 63k tube DAC hooked up to a Meier Classic amp.

I thought it was important to give them a listen across a wide range of different setups, mainly to see how well they would scale.

Albums used: 

Spoiler

Volbeat: seal the deal & let's boogie, Beyond Hell / Above Heaven, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies

Queen: Greatest Hits

Bruno Mars: XXIVk Magic

Ed Sheeran: Divide (Deluxe)

B.o.B: No Genre 

B.o.B: Psycadelik Thoughtz

Audiomachine: Tree of life

Singles used: 

Spoiler

Kansas: Carry on wayward son

Bastille: World gone mad

Camila Cabello: Havana

Imagine Dragons: Thunder

Robin Schulz: OK

Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato: Échame La Culpa

James Blunt: Don't give me those eyes

All the music that was used was FLAC 16/44.1 or higher

I used a fair bit of different music to see how they would performe with different types of music.

 

Price: 1000 USD (sadly discontinued) 

 

Before I start going into the sound I would like to say I am doing my usual short and concrete style. So it won't be multiple pages or anything like that.

 

Fit/Comfort: Not sure if there is much to say here, the comfort is on a whole other level than any of IEM I have ever used. This also means that I kinda forget that they are there. A normal IEM like Hifiman RE 400 would start to fall out of my ears after 5 min or so, while a IEM like the InEar Stagediver SD-2 would tend to fall out of my ears after 10-15min, while these can stay in my ears for hours without falling out. I have multiple times used these for 4-5 hours straight, with no sore ears or anything thing like that.

 

Isolation: It is almost like putting in a set of earplugs, I have no complaints about that, except that it takes a little while to get used to it.

 

Soundstage: I would say the soundstage is like what you would expect from a IEM, maybe a bit wider, what I mean by that is that the sound isn't wide like if you used a set of open headphones like K612 or HD 800. It is narrow, but not too narrow, kinda like a decent set of closed full size headphones. A song like Carry on wayward son by Kansas will still sound spacious. Other IEMs like Campfire Audio Andromeda defiently have a wider sound. If I were to sum it up, then I would say it is focused. Which makes sense, since these were made for the studio in collaboration with Capitol Studios.

 

Imaging: It is good, you can easily hear if things are slightly difference in distance between instruments. It is a bit limited by the Soundstage though, but this is to be expected.

 

Separation: This is often the make it or break it catagory for me. If a headphone, speaker or IEM cannot handle a song with a lot of instuments and a fast beat without making it into a blur, then I will not use them. I am happy to repport that these can. This is where Volbeat really comes into the picture, their music tends to be rock or metal, if we just take the song Black Bart, which isn't even one of their fastests songs, then on some gear like M50, all KZ IEMs and Eve Audio SC 204 tends to make it "blurry" in some areas. This is often something you don't really notice until you try gear that has better separation than what you are used to. So to sum it up: Solid separtion.

 

Detail: If you have a bad source weather it is a bad DAC and amp or a bad file, then you will notice it real fast. Ed sheeran sounds absolutely awful with these, because you can hear how shitty mastered his songs are. If there is a flaw in a song then you will notice it. They also scale pretty well because of this, so the difference between my phone the Axon 7 which is a audio focus phone and then the ZX 300 is pretty big. Though they still sound good out of my phone. To sum it up: Very revealing both when it comes to the DAC and amp, but also the quality of the master and file. You also really start to notice how badly a lot of music is mastered. So you might end up disliking a lot of music you used to like.

 

Lows: They extend very well without getting muddy and it has a really nice texture to it, but they are tuned to be flat, meaning this isn't a basshead IEM. They do a great job at reproducing the bass in a realistic way, ofc they could always be a bit tighter, but I can say that about all IEMs, headphones, subs and speakers. I must say this is probably some of the best bass I have heard from a IEM, if not the best. The detail in the bass is absolutely fanstatic, it isn't something you would expect from a IEM, but yet they let you hear tiny details in the bass.

 

Mids: Oh lord these are wonderful. They are a bit airy, but not too airy. Very nicely detailed and textured. The way they reproduce mids is absolutely wonderful, it feels so natural and effortless. But again very revealing. Which fits nicely in line with the fact that they were made in collaboration with Capitol Studios. They have a small bump in the upper midrange, but it only helps to make the upper mids feel more present. Vocals are crystal clear and you can really hear all of the small details a given vocal might have.

 

Highs: They aren't harsh or sharp in any way, they have a bit of sparkel to them and they are extended very well for a IEM, though again, they are going after a flat response. This is actually the area where the UERM and its replacement the UERR are different. The UERR has less treble than the UERM, which I think makes the UERR worse for monotoring and really any kind of studio usage. 

 

Conclusion: These are absolutely wonderful, I would 100% recommend getting a set if you can, but you will have to get used set and then reshell them. I can also defiently see why these have been viewed as the benchmark for dead flat IEMs for a long time. The detail retrival is absolutely amazing, which is both a good and a bad thing. They aren't cheap at 1000 USD when they were new and then their new price which seems to be around 500 USD and then you need to add in a reshell, but I have personally thrown out all of my plans to get high end closed headphones, because these just do such a wonderful job. If you want a IEM that is as faithful to the recording as it basically gets, then look no further.

Though I would recommend having a set of IEMs or headphones that are less revealing, just because sometimes you want to listen to music that isn't that well made

I use them daily and I will continue to use them daily until the day they break.

 

Side note: If they are too expensive for you, but you can spend 400$ and want this type of sound, then I can highly recommend the Ultimate ears 4, they are basically a less refined version of the UERM.

 

Picture and Frequency response:

Spoiler

5aaeda501171a_UERM3.png.7de1de20979f79dd653b4081b264d08d.png

 

5aaedb43de375_UERM4.png.64fa9ccf84c98b5c8afb74e7c09c2cb5.png

Thanks for reading. :) 


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Nice. I have heard great things about these. Im sticking with my campfire audio Orion for now, putting my main focus on speakers.


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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i would love to do some mixing with earbuds

Sadly 1000 is almost more than the price of almost evreything in my kitchen put together


My life

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 hours ago, Himommies said:

i would love to do some mixing with earbuds

Sadly 1000 is almost more than the price of almost evreything in my kitchen put together

Yeah it's a lot of money, plus you can't get them new anymore, unless you are lucky to find a UE reseller with old stock. They are also not the easiest IEM to find used.

 

8 hours ago, spwath said:

Nice. I have heard great things about these. Im sticking with my campfire audio Orion for now, putting my main focus on speakers.

I am also putting my main focus on speakers right now. :D


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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I’ve never seen the mold that fits into the ear (spoiler edit was appreciated & added to the effect). Um, just how close is that pink tip getting to your eardrum?

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Are you using it for otg iem or do you typically use it at home?

 

My custom iem usage is 80% + are outside so i actually like a custom that’s more warm sounding as it can overcome the ambience noise

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, PrometheanCat-1970 said:

I’ve never seen the mold that fits into the ear (spoiler edit was appreciated & added to the effect). Um, just how close is that pink tip getting to your eardrum?

Pretty much at the eardrum. The green part stops right after the second bend in the ear.

 

3 hours ago, xtroria said:

Are you using it for otg iem or do you typically use it at home?

 

My custom iem usage is 80% + are outside so i actually like a custom that’s more warm sounding as it can overcome the ambience noise

I use them a lot on the go and also a lot at home. I would probably also say my usage is around 80% outside, since I both use them when I am at the uni, in the city and working.

What customs do you have?


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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3 hours ago, Dackzy said:

Pretty much at the eardrum. The green part stops right after the second bend in the ear.

 

I use them a lot on the go and also a lot at home. I would probably also say my usage is around 80% outside, since I both use them when I am at the uni, in the city and working.

What customs do you have?

Alclair RSM, got it during the black friday discount and got free ear impression as well since their HQ is 20 minutes drive from my college

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, xtroria said:

Alclair RSM, got it during the black friday discount and got free ear impression as well since their HQ is 20 minutes drive from my college

That's pretty nice. Got pics? :D 


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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...beside the eardrum. Shudder. I’ve screwed up my right ear due to diving mishaps (Saint Laurence Seaway) & and me over-equalizing inner ear pressure. Not a product for me.

Fascinating product, regardless.

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17 hours ago, PrometheanCat-1970 said:

...beside the eardrum. Shudder. I’ve screwed up my right ear due to diving mishaps (Saint Laurence Seaway) & and me over-equalizing inner ear pressure. Not a product for me.

Fascinating product, regardless.

It's not nearly that close. The earmolds need to be extra long because they need to figure out which direction your ear canals go after the 2nd bend. Most companies build the canals to right before the 2nd bend and some don't even go that far.

 

I have a bunch of custom IEMs and here's my most recent addition, the excellent QDC 8CH.

 

 

Spoiler

SsQlIl9.jpg

 

MiiTD38.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, Zhanming12 said:

It's not nearly that close. The earmolds need to be extra long because they need to figure out which direction your ear canals go after the 2nd bend. Most companies build the canals to right before the 2nd bend and some don't even go that far.

 

I have a bunch of custom IEMs and here's my most recent addition, the excellent QDC 8CH.

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

SsQlIl9.jpg

 

MiiTD38.jpg

 

I think I watched a bit too much Star Trek, Wrath Of Khan in the 1980s. I appreciated your hidden content drop down. Nice... then I immediately thought about parasitic brain mind-control-muncher-uppers.

 

Thanks for the response, @Zhanming12 :-)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
24 minutes ago, PrometheanCat-1970 said:

I think I watched a bit too much Star Trek, Wrath Of Khan in the 1980s. I appreciated your hidden content drop down. Nice... then I immediately thought about parasitic brain mind-control-muncher-uppers.

 

Thanks for the response, @Zhanming12 :-)

oh yeah it is only the impression that goes that deep. Here is a pic of one of them from the side, so you can somewhat compare the impression pic and the actual CIEM.

But there might be some preasure inside of the ear still. Since they are made to seal 100% or as close to 100% as they can, but I wouldn't worry too much about it, since you probably can get them to either make a small vent in it like audio64 does with some of theirs or tell them that you want it to be a fraction smaller than it really needs to be, just so air can get out (though I do not recommend the latter). Though if you put them in the proper way, then I wouldn't worry about preasure.

Spoiler

IMG_20180321_135559.thumb.jpg.38edf4db9e6a80b6d06b86f3c100403b.jpg

 

6 hours ago, Zhanming12 said:

It's not nearly that close. The earmolds need to be extra long because they need to figure out which direction your ear canals go after the 2nd bend. Most companies build the canals to right before the 2nd bend and some don't even go that far.

 

I have a bunch of custom IEMs and here's my most recent addition, the excellent QDC 8CH.

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

SsQlIl9.jpg

 

MiiTD38.jpg

 

what customs do you have?


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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3 hours ago, Dackzy said:

 

what customs do you have?

 

Currently the Westone ES3, ES3X, ES5, the ACS T1 (soft silicon mold), the QDC 8CH and the Fitear Monet 17. Next pair is either going to be the JH Lola or the Canal Works L77. 

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What the hell is that frequency response -20db at 12k is a bit disappointing followed by a spike and then the drop to the abyss after 15k. Christ i hope your ears are feeling old RIP high end.


I find I only comment on posts which are either incredibly stupid or slightly interesting.

Don't forget to keep telling your self it's the latter. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
54 minutes ago, Ahoy Hoy said:

What the hell is that frequency response -20db at 12k is a bit disappointing followed by a spike and then the drop to the abyss after 15k. Christ i hope your ears are feeling old RIP high end.

The thing is measurements of IEMs in the top end are never accurate. They are extremely hard to measure. That you can basically go ask anyone that measures IEMs and use them, the general response is going to be at like 6k and above IEM measurements don't really show the real response. Peaks can be moved or created by resonances. You can fiddle around with the insertion of the iem and change the treble response.

 

But if you purely want to look at measurements, then you would see other high end IEMs also have weird treble, with drops and peaks. The campfire Andromeda and Vega seem to be worse or about the same as UERM. The UE18+ extends treble a bit better, but those are also like 50% extra. Audio 64 A6 also have weird AF treble response.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, Zhanming12 said:

 

Currently the Westone ES3, ES3X, ES5, the ACS T1 (soft silicon mold), the QDC 8CH and the Fitear Monet 17. Next pair is either going to be the JH Lola or the Canal Works L77. 

That's quite the selection you got there. You can almost use different once for each day of the week. How are those soft silicon ones? I imagine them as bring extremely comfortable.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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8 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

That's quite the selection you got there. You can almost use different once for each day of the week. How are those soft silicon ones? I imagine them as bring extremely comfortable.

They are the most comfortable pair by a longshot. Super sound isolating and you can't feel them once you get used to the stronger seal. Next best thing is Westone's semi-soft canals which are pliable at human body temperature. I'm not super in love with the T1, though, since the customs turned out to have a lot more bass than my demo unit. 

 

Noble makes a selection of silicon IEMs and Sensaphonics occasionally does 25% off sales on the 2-XS bringing it down to $600 range. Even though they are a 2BA design the signature is clean and excellent, and I would recommend having a pair of soft CIEMs for better isolation and comfort while traveling.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zhanming12 said:

They are the most comfortable pair by a longshot. Super sound isolating and you can't feel them once you get used to the stronger seal. Next best thing is Westone's semi-soft canals which are pliable at human body temperature. I'm not super in love with the T1, though, since the customs turned out to have a lot more bass than my demo unit. 

 

Noble makes a selection of silicon IEMs and Sensaphonics occasionally does 25% off sales on the 2-XS bringing it down to $600 range. Even though they are a 2BA design the signature is clean and excellent, and I would recommend having a pair of soft CIEMs for better isolation and comfort while traveling.

 

 

Demo unit always gonna have less bass especially if you dont have a proper seal. Same thing happened to me and my custom but I don't mind it since the sound came out really balanced overall

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8 hours ago, xtroria said:

Demo unit always gonna have less bass especially if you dont have a proper seal. Same thing happened to me and my custom but I don't mind it since the sound came out really balanced overall

 

That's also been my experience but the silicon molds seem to amplify the bass a lot more than acrylic shells. It kind of makes sense since the drivers are completely embedded in the material so more of the lower registers must be coming through. To this day the bass on those still sometimes surprises me, and the T1 being ACS's 'bassy' model certainly doesn't help. 

 

Still really enjoy them, though. But have to say the 8CH is my favorite CIEM so far.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 hours ago, Zhanming12 said:

They are the most comfortable pair by a longshot. Super sound isolating and you can't feel them once you get used to the stronger seal. Next best thing is Westone's semi-soft canals which are pliable at human body temperature. I'm not super in love with the T1, though, since the customs turned out to have a lot more bass than my demo unit. 

 

Noble makes a selection of silicon IEMs and Sensaphonics occasionally does 25% off sales on the 2-XS bringing it down to $600 range. Even though they are a 2BA design the signature is clean and excellent, and I would recommend having a pair of soft CIEMs for better isolation and comfort while traveling.

 

 

with the demo unit of the UERM and then my unit I would say my customs have a tiny bit less bass. Maybe less isn't the correct word, but rather less fat sounding.

 

Now I kinda want a soft silicon CIEM, but man CIEMs are expensive here, the price premium is crazy high, you can easily add another 50% to the US price. I personally don't like how noble tunes their stuff.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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