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[Review] Westone 4 Quad Driver earphones - Bird of Prey

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 

HPR-Westone-4-glamour.jpg

 

This is a wild paraphrase of the original Westone 4 review at TouchMyApps.

It goes without saying that Westone know how to rile the geek world. The heavily delayed Westone 3 kept Headfi up for many months and the UM3x still causes insomnia. They were the first with dual drivers, with a true triple driver universal, and now with 4 drivers and a three-way crossover.

 

After it all, I'm not sure where I stand in the whole 'driver war' thing, but I do know this: I like what I hear. But, then again, I liked what I heard with the Westone 3 and the Westone UM3x.. and the UM2 ;)

 

So, Headfi, you've seen the package - it's been regurgitated since the Westone 3. Comply, silicon, triple rubber flange, hard gumdrops, wax loop, step down adapter and case. It's all good, trust me.

 

What you don't see is what you hear, and after a very long flight back from the US of America, my tired ears are ready for bed. Before I get there, though, I think I'll lay down my observations on sound.

 

Overall, the Westone 4 is more UM3x than it is 3. That stays true with the midrange and pretty true for the upper frequencies. The low end is, I feel, a bit more tame in comparison, pushing out slightly less presence than both the 3 and the UM3x. It never bunches up or attacks too heavily. It is very natural which is why I caught myself going back many times, wondering: is this really a four-driver earphone? I mean, come on, every time another driver comes to market in a tiny shell (well, except for the CK100), there's been a step up in bass presence if not response. 

 

The 4 is an exception to the rule. Its thickest tunes are above 100Hz and up top, it fades away similarly to the Westone 3 and Um3x. Unlike the 3, however, the screechy peak from 8 000 Hz is easy to bear nearly almost all the time. And that is the starting point you should be aware of: there simply isn't a way to make this earphone offend. That isn't to say that it is dull - it's not. Nor is it a polite way to say that the Westone 4 is polite - it's not. There is a lot of edge to find on guitar edges and especially percussion. Clinking hats to make Maxi Jazz proud are this earphone's particular forte, and so too are vocals in both male and female varieties. 

 

I consider this earphone the closest to my DT880, though without the screechiness that can play around with my favourite tunes at times.

 

I think it is a great earphone, though I think that unlike the Westone 3, it is less of a benchmark product and more of a pleasure product.

 

Again, original Westone 4 review at TouchMyApps.


Edited by shigzeo - 1/18/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 71

Nice review - as usual - shigzeo. Well, based on your review (and reading that the W4 is suppose to be the universal equivalent to the ES5), I can pretty much ascertain that W4 and the 1964-Q have nothing in common in sound signature (except perhaps for the mids). Highs are smoothed out but quite extended in the quad, and the bass is definitely quite low in quantity and quality (deeper than the SM3). Nevertheless, the W4 sounds interesting.

post #3 of 71

Wondering for those of us that could achieve a perfect fit with W3....zero siblance or screechiness and generally had no issues with the bass....would we really consider the W4 an upgrade or more of a different sound?

post #4 of 71

Great impressions @ shigzeo  , it does sound like the w4 will suit me down to the ground ,i enjoy the w3 a lot these days so am looking forward to the w4 quite a bit .

post #5 of 71

interesting but i think ill wait for the UM4x

post #6 of 71

Nice review! Are you sure there will be a UM4X, mark2410? The W4 already sounds like an improved UM3X according to some fist impressions.

post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Fool View Post

Nice review! Are you sure there will be a UM4X, mark2410? The W4 already sounds like an improved UM3X according to some fist impressions.



oh of course they will

post #8 of 71

Wow, I haven't really been following that closely but I thought it would be another few months before these came out.  

I'm sort of surprised at the bass too, definitely thought the extra driver would do something more.

Is the cable not replaceable?

Btw, the first link to the touchmyapps review seems to just redirect me back to this page but the link at the end of the review works.

post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

interesting but i think ill wait for the UM4x


popcorn.gif

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

interesting but i think ill wait for the UM4x



Same here, but I thought you disliked everything Westone?

post #11 of 71
Thread Starter 

Sorry for all the mistakes. I've been recovering from a very long flight back from Los Angeles and made a number of mistakes. I'll try to fix them. Yes, the Westone 4 extends well in both directions, but has less overall bass presence than the 3. I don't really know which is more sensitive at the player level, though, so the amount of bass/treble/midrange you get at the same volume step might be more or less depending. That I need to check again.

post #12 of 71

It's nice to see less bass versus the UM3X.  The low end of the UM3X was a little strong and needed to be cut down, and the UM3X has a moderate 8kHz peak too, although you refer to the W3 instead.  A modified UM3X is a nice thing.  I am curious, EQed to EQed, would the W4 or the UM3X stand out from each other?

post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Overall, the Westone 4 is more UM3x than it is 3.

 

Music to my ears. I personally really prefer UM3X much over the W3 in almost every ways.

post #14 of 71

Good revew at TMA. The conclusion from your TMA review is much more positive and useful than the confusing benchmark/pleasure reference.

 

 Quote:

 

Conclusion
My scalp starts to itch when I’ve nothing negative to say about an earphone. But in the Westone 4’s case, I’ll have to contend myself with scratching and scratching. Detailed, well made, well accessorised, and good sounding, it is an excellent earphone for the audiophile and the consumer alike. And where the 3 sort of splayed out wildly, chasing away some good-intentioned musicians, the 4 will probably find space in the ear of your favourite musician.

 

The only downside I see is that the 4 is an upgrade to the three. If you are in the habit of upgrading, this shiny bird will prey on your wallet. If however, the Romulans ravaged your home base and looted your stash of warbuds, you are in equal danger of parting with the better part of 500$. 

post #15 of 71

interesting..   i like um3x then I should give W4 a chance!

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