Westone already make some of the best professional and audiophile earphones in the world which are renowned for build quality, if not looks But coming this May, the earphone company will offer two of its best-selling professional monitors, UM3X and UM2, with removable cables. Pricing is still up in the air. There are advantages and disadvantages to both fixed and detachable cable systems. Ultimate Ears’ detachable cable earphones are quite infamous for cable breakages, while Sleek Audio’s cables are known to crack. If Westone can support the contact well enough, they will have an earphone solution which will outlast most DAP’s and maybe catch up to good wireless mics.
TMA has a review of the Westone UM3X from a self-dubed ‘casual listener’. I can vouch for its quality and sound – a lovely, neutral presentation maintained by excellent midrange/bass detail. My second high-end IEM was the benchmark-setting UM2.
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Until very recently, iPhone HD playback has at best been a fabulous rumour and at worst, a marketing buzzword. Tear downs have revealed that the hardware is at least capable of 720p resolution playback, but still, there is no official software support and thus, no playback of such files. Purecaeli, an adventurous MacRumors member discovered that Air Sharing can be used to transfer and play HD files in both 720 and 1080 resolutions, but more importantly, that Apple’s schemes to limit the platform can be overrun without the need for jailbreaking.
[UPDATE] The iPhone 4G may have a higher resolution screen of 960*640 and is dubbed by a few, the iPhone HD.
[Before we get to the meat of this, it is important to point out two limitations. First, uncompressed HD is simply too much for the iPhone 3GS - it does not have the bandwidth to provide smooth playback (nor really storage space) of RAW nor BD-quality files. Secondly, of course, the low-resolution screen of the iPhone means that the files do not display in HD, rather, they are viewed in the iPhone's native 480*320 resolution. The importance of this find is that DVD and above resolutions can now be played without the perplexing second step of re-coding videos for the iPod]
Avatron Software, Air Sharing, 4.99$
Westone’s UM3x is clearly a professional product. Where hitherto, our headphone reviews have focused on the casual and audiophile listener’s tastes; and in the case of the Sleek CT6 Custom, the musician; the UM3X is designed for stage performers. It’s sturdy, unadorned housing and well-relieved stress points clearly illustrate this fact. Despite Westone’s intended professional market, many users are clamouring to buy this unit for personal use. How does it fare when compared and contrasted with other personal earphones? Let’s take a look.