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