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  #1  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:45 AM
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Default 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

So anyone have any experience with ear monitors with 3 drivers in the earbud? We just got some Westone UM2 earbuds as part of our sound system upgrade. I've been using Shure single drivers for years and after hearing the dual driver I thought WOW!! As of right now each person shares an ear monitor with someone else (we have our own individual pieces for the ends) Well I find that kind of gross so looking at ordering my own.

The company that designed and setup our system can get us some really good prices on westone monitors, the UM2, UM3X and the 4.

I'm trying to weigh my options between the UM2 and UM3X (4 is out of my price range, if I was making money playing it might be an option but not right now)

So does anyone have experience that have used and compared dual and triple driver ear monitors?
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

I have a set of $100 singles and a set of $300 duals and really dont notice much of a difference.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Dual or triple driver earbuds are very much like two or three way speakers systems. With more speakers or drivers dedicated to covering specific portions of the audio frequency spectrum, you'll get a flatter or smoother response with generally extended ranges on both the upper and lower frequency extremes. With this usually comes a higher sound pressure level or earbud sensitivity because you're not causing the single or double driver to over exert and extend from it's more limited range of frequencies. Sometimes I wonder how they can fit all those drivers and the cross overs needed to make them work inside such a small device.

If this makes any sense, lol.

Dennis
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Dual or triple driver earbuds are very much like two or three way speakers systems. With more speakers or drivers dedicated to covering specific portions of the audio frequency spectrum, you'll get a flatter or smoother response with generally extended ranges on both the upper and lower frequency extremes. With this usually comes a higher sound pressure level or earbud sensitivity because you're not causing the single or double driver to over exert and extend from it's more limited range of frequencies. Sometimes I wonder how they can fit all those drivers and the cross overs needed to make them work inside such a small device.

If this makes any sense, lol.

Dennis
I was hoping you'd chime in Dennis. Have you used both two and three driver earbuds?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

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Originally Posted by konaboy View Post
I was hoping you'd chime in Dennis. Have you used both two and three driver earbuds?
I never used the three driver buds. I was just surmising what the differences would be between all three. In fact if using them for monitoring in a live gig situation, I hardly doubt if you'll notice a substantial difference in sound between two drivers and three. If you were using them to critically monitor a mix to evaluate how to EQ the material for possible mix down, maybe then the three driver buds might come in handy because you would want to be able to hear both extremes and as flat as possible from one end to the other. There has to be some know standard from which to judge. I have many pairs of monitor speakers with just two drivers that everyday I stake my career on for their accuracy.

Dennis
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:50 AM
In Ear Guy In Ear Guy is offline
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Konaboy - you have some great questions. I'm the Marketing Director here at Westone Laboratories. I see a lot of posts on this forum regarding in-ears, I hope I can add some value to the conversation. (not here to market Westone products but be of assistance with forum questions ONLY)

audiotech has a very good description of the differences between 2 and 3 driver products.

Westone UM2 uses a 2-way crossover with a dedicated high-freq and very large low-freq balanced armature driver. For anyone using an IEM on stage playing drums or bass this is about the minimum we'd suggest based on bottom end response and sheer output.

Stepping up to the UM3x will get you a 3-way crossover and dedicated high, mid and low freq balanced armature drivers. This is my personal IEM of choice and if you can swing it you'll be rewarded with both accuracy and fantastic response.

Both the UM2 and UM3x are available in removable cables. This is a nice feature if you are hard on cables or would like to upgrade to a longer cable (standard is 50" - you can get a 64")

DO NOT approach the Westone 4 or Westone 4 R-Series if your plan is to use this as a stage monitor. The Westone 4 was designed as a purpose built reference monitor for personal listening or mastering and does not have the output or the bass response for stage use. While it is VERY accurate and has a flat response you will bottom this earpiece out if you use it in the stage environment.

I hope this helps - remember that FIT is key to any in-ear monitor that you use and trying out several different tips is really important until you find one that seals your ear canal completely. This will not only assist in attenuation but can be the difference between ok bass response and exceptional bass response.

David
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

David thank you so much for your response.

Do the UM3x deliver the same low frequency response and sound as the UM2? Is it more defined with having the midrange driver in there?
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Konaboy - the response for these earpieces:

Westone UM2
20Hz - 18kHz
119dB @ 1mW

Westone UM3x
20Hz - 18kHz
124db @ 1mW

As you can see the frequency response is the same, the output is much higher in the UM3x. If you can swing the extra $100 bucks it is well worth it in my opinion. Although you will see dramatic improvement in output and range over a single driver full range balanced armature speaker (regardless of mfg) with the two driver UM2.

Again hope this helps with your pursuit. Happy to answer any additional questions that you might have.

David
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

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Originally Posted by In Ear Guy View Post
Konaboy - the response for these earpieces:

Westone UM2
20Hz - 18kHz
119dB @ 1mW

Westone UM3x
20Hz - 18kHz
124db @ 1mW

As you can see the frequency response is the same, the output is much higher in the UM3x. If you can swing the extra $100 bucks it is well worth it in my opinion. Although you will see dramatic improvement in output and range over a single driver full range balanced armature speaker (regardless of mfg) with the two driver UM2.

Again hope this helps with your pursuit. Happy to answer any additional questions that you might have.

David
So if the frequency response is the same how would you see any difference, the decibel level really wouldnt matter at that point considering hearing loss can occur with regular exposure to noise levels of 110 decibels or more for periods longer than one minute and no more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to 100 decibels is recommended.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:54 PM
In Ear Guy In Ear Guy is offline
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Danger danger will Robinson! Yes... The name of the in-ear game is to keep output levels as LOW as possible. Cranking up an IEM on stage is one of the biggest mistakes we see. Lots can be done in the mix itself to avoid the "just make it louder" approach.

Don't think you can go wrong with either earpiece. As an interesting data point we have several artist the prefer UM2 and it's response curve, ie Brad Paisley. Next time you see him perform notice his UM2.

Thanks again for your great questions. Keep those ears safe!
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

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Originally Posted by In Ear Guy View Post
Danger danger will Robinson! Yes... The name of the in-ear game is to keep output levels as LOW as possible. Cranking up an IEM on stage is one of the biggest mistakes we see. Lots can be done in the mix itself to avoid the "just make it louder" approach.

Don't think you can go wrong with either earpiece. As an interesting data point we have several artist the prefer UM2 and it's response curve, ie Brad Paisley. Next time you see him perform notice his UM2.

Thanks again for your great questions. Keep those ears safe!
+1 on the hearing protection, I use a Shure P4HW body pack with my in ears which has a built in limiter , I never get them that loud anyway but its there just in case a sound guy happens to twist the wrong knob...lol
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by In Ear Guy View Post
Konaboy - the response for these earpieces:

Westone UM2
20Hz - 18kHz
119dB @ 1mW

Westone UM3x
20Hz - 18kHz
124db @ 1mW

As you can see the frequency response is the same, the output is much higher in the UM3x. If you can swing the extra $100 bucks it is well worth it in my opinion. Although you will see dramatic improvement in output and range over a single driver full range balanced armature speaker (regardless of mfg) with the two driver UM2.

Again hope this helps with your pursuit. Happy to answer any additional questions that you might have.

David
So that third driver just gives you a bigger soundstage essentially with more definition? (sorry just trying to be as educated as possible.)
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:18 PM
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MusiQmaN MusiQmaN is offline
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

I had extra drivers added to my dual custom moulds witch are full concha. I did noticed a difference in the mids and lows, a fuller sound.

They even have 8 drivers out nowadays, crazy!

I think you notice the single, dual or tripple less when you use regular in ears.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

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Originally Posted by MusiQmaN View Post
I had extra drivers added to my dual custom moulds witch are full concha. I did noticed a difference in the mids and lows, a fuller sound.

They even have 8 drivers out nowadays, crazy!

I think you notice the single, dual or tripple less when you use regular in ears.
There is a 16 driver out :-o
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

I will not rest happy when there are twenty thousand drivers! Never any need for crossovers - just send each frequency to a defined driver!

Honestly, if it's an in-ear monitor it's serving a purpose. Two driver would cover most 'practical' needs with three driver probably sounding nicer if you need it. I can't think of too many live sound situations where you'll actually need a particularly high-fidelity feed. It's nice to have a high-quality feed but it's not absolutely essential. I think it's much more essential that in-ears seal well and are comfortable to use for long periods of time as well as being robust. Those are my main criteria.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: 2 driver vs 3 driver in ear monitors

Appreciate all the responses. I think I'm going with the UM2. I've been happy with the ones I've been using at church and after all this is for church and personal use, not like I'm making money using them. (Which makes it hard to justify another $100+ for the third driver.) Going to order them tomorrow, can't wait to get them!
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