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An Impulse buy that did not disapoint.

A Review On: Westone UM1 stage monitors

Westone UM1 stage monitors

Rated # 172 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $60.00
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Pros: Price to sound quality

Cons: Bass kicks sound ... 'plastic'.

It was midnight and I was surfing ebay for fun like I normally do and saw these headphones on sale from a reputable USA seller. The deal was ending in 20minutes and there was only 1 pair left... 40 seconds of thought, debate, and action take place and next think I know ive spend $60 on headphones I dont need. I already have a pair of Shure SE315s that I love so I spent the next week waiting for the UM1s to come in listing to those and justifying my purchase as a set of "spares". I was also worried that I might like my cheaper UM1s than my $200 SE315s...


So my first test was probably the most insightful. I played a song on my Sansa Clip + connected to the UM1s... Listened to the whole thing... (This song -  https://soundcloud.com/kaskade/rufus-wainwright-go-or-go-ahead-kaskade-mix) and I noticed a lack of extension in the highs as compared to what Im used to. I use an EQ on my Sansa to mainly boost the bass and tip top highs ever so slightly for my SE315s. The UM1s took quite a bit more of those boosts to achieve what I found acceptable. 


Next up I plugged in my SE315s and noticed much improved extension into the highs from the UM1s and Improved - more full sounding, bass kicks. The UM1s could produce bass in good quantity when properly EQed and impressive low extension but the sharp bass kicks sounded cheap and kinda lacking in sound. Almost plastic. The SE315s claim to have a tuned bass port which I think can help with the kicks. 


So far I have kinda talked down the UM1s as compared to my 315s. But not to say I was disappointed or upset. I usually listen to Electronic Music - House, French Touch, EDM, all lossless. Rockbox Sansa Clip +


Sound: The UM1s can produce solid bass if EQed properly - and it doesn't clip or cut the mids and highs like that of many dynamic drivers at a similar price. The highs are there but do not as extend as far as im used to but overall are pretty clear. This does not upset very much considering the price. Sometimes the highs can be a bit harsh at some volumes. The mids are there, nothing fancy, just there and acceptable. 


Design: I like the size of these! They are very small and fit in your ear so they are comfortable to lay on a pillow with or something. They stay put and I have had no problems with fit. I love the ear pieces! The foam is so soft and smooth. Its a nice neutral color too. I actually took some of the tips and put them on my SE315s. I prefer the westone foam way more than shures. Once again the fit is perfect for me. I hardly notice them when they are in. The cable im not a fan of. It feels cheap and tangles easily. Often bends into strange shapes and gets cought on things. The plug is nice and small. Keep in mind im comparing these to my 315s cable - shure is known for quality cables. I also got mine in teal - its a fun color and I like that I can see the driver, even if its in a box unlike that of my 315s where you can see the coil and all of the armature. 


Overall Points: 

 - Nice size

 - Excellent foam tips! 

 - Build quality is maybe a 5 out of 10... But to be expected for the price.

 - Good bass extension into the lows but cheap kicks. 

 - Mids are normal. Highs are lacking in the tip tops. But clear otherwise.

 - Can handle the bass.

 - Price is pretty awesome.

 - The box was cool looking

 - Decent isolation

 - Sound to price ratio



These would make an excellent gift - especially combined with a Sansa clip plus!

Excellent spare headphones or emergency.

A healthy impulse purchase


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