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Westone Phones and repair

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am a bit of a lurker on these forums...I usually come around when I am thinking about buying something new.  However, I had an experience with Westone that I feel ought to be put out there.  I didn't really see a lot of threads on this but I may be missing them.

 

I bought a pair of Westone 3's in July 2009.  Just the other day, I noticed that the left phone was cutting in and out a bit.  I am pretty careful with these...they live in the case when they're not in my ears...but I do use them more or less every day at work and occasionally for exercise.  I don't think anything has happened to them that would warrant them cutting out after less than two years of use.

 

I emailed Westone customer support to see if they could repair the phones for me.  They got back and asked for proof of purchase and my shipping information.  I sent them my receipt and my info.  They got back to me and told me that not only are the phones out of warranty, but they are not manufactured in the US and therefore cannot be repaired.  They offered a replacement set of phones - new out of box - for $175.

 

Those are the facts and everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to do business with this company.  I, personally, will never buy another one of their products again as long as I live.  These were over $300 phones and lasted me less than 2 years, and they cannot even be repaired AT MY COST.  That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.  They sound great, they're comfortable, but the quality and level of service that Westone offers is completely unacceptable.  I think cutting out after less than 2 years is not really acceptable but...OK...they're out of warranty and I would be willing to pay to have them repaired.  Replaced at $175 though?  Not happening.

 

I guess I will be finding a new set of IEMs when I get the money.  This was not an insignificant purchase for me.  I guess I should have stuck with $15 Koss KSC75's.

post #2 of 26

Did you purchase from an authorized dealer? Authorized dealer's have a two year warranty if you register the phones. I think that Westone does a good job honoring the warranty if its in that time period. It does suck that they can't repair them!

 

post #3 of 26

I find what's happened to you very surprising, - and if true and these were purchased from an Authorised Dealer -, utterly wrong and unacceptable to get such response from Westone. They are known to have excellent Customer Service.

 

I live in Europe (though I purchased my Westone 3 from a US retailer) and I had cable issues with it within 4 months of purchase. Westone asked me to send it back and I got a brand-new replacement. You should be able to have them repaired or replaced as you're still within the 2-year warranty period.

 

I suggest you change the title of this thread to something like "Westone IEMs and Repair - Very Disappointing" so that other head-fiers or readers are made aware of this.

 

I also suggest you send a private message to p0wderh0und23 (http://www.head-fi.org/user/p0wderh0und23), who is a Westone rep and sometimes posts on these forums. He might be able to sort things out for you. He was very helpful when I didn't know what to do about my W3s nearly 2 years ago, and subsequently when I had some quality control issues with my ES3X customs.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by endus View Post

I am a bit of a lurker on these forums...I usually come around when I am thinking about buying something new.  However, I had an experience with Westone that I feel ought to be put out there.  I didn't really see a lot of threads on this but I may be missing them.

 

I bought a pair of Westone 3's in July 2009.  Just the other day, I noticed that the left phone was cutting in and out a bit.  I am pretty careful with these...they live in the case when they're not in my ears...but I do use them more or less every day at work and occasionally for exercise.  I don't think anything has happened to them that would warrant them cutting out after less than two years of use.

 

I emailed Westone customer support to see if they could repair the phones for me.  They got back and asked for proof of purchase and my shipping information.  I sent them my receipt and my info.  They got back to me and told me that not only are the phones out of warranty, but they are not manufactured in the US and therefore cannot be repaired.  They offered a replacement set of phones - new out of box - for $175.

 

Those are the facts and everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to do business with this company.  I, personally, will never buy another one of their products again as long as I live.  These were over $300 phones and lasted me less than 2 years, and they cannot even be repaired AT MY COST.  That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.  They sound great, they're comfortable, but the quality and level of service that Westone offers is completely unacceptable.  I think cutting out after less than 2 years is not really acceptable but...OK...they're out of warranty and I would be willing to pay to have them repaired.  Replaced at $175 though?  Not happening.

 

I guess I will be finding a new set of IEMs when I get the money.  This was not an insignificant purchase for me.  I guess I should have stuck with $15 Koss KSC75's.

 


Edited by music_4321 - 3/8/11 at 11:08am
post #4 of 26

Just FYI, almost no one actually 'repair' universal IEM anymore - most just replace the whole things because many IEM are designed to be non-repairable, and W3 is just one of such IEM. To repair the cable (or maybe the solder joints or plug), the IEM need to be cracked open which pretty much will guarantee to destroy the housing in the process. It is not just Westone - Shure, UE, and many other manufacturers are all the same.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I will take some of these suggestions.  Headphones were purchased from earphonesolutions.com.  Their support did not mention the retailer being an issue.

post #6 of 26

Maybe you could contact Earphone Solutions? I think their representative is pretty active on the Westone 4 appreciation page.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by endus View Post

Thanks, I will take some of these suggestions.  Headphones were purchased from earphonesolutions.com.  Their support did not mention the retailer being an issue.


In that case you'd better also send a private message to Flavio T (http://www.head-fi.org/user/flavio+t) who will no doubt help you out. He's been very active on several threads recently, so you should get a quick reply from him, maybe even today.

 

Best of luck!

 

post #8 of 26

I once used to own Westone 3s....which I bought full price from Earphonesolutions....luckily, due to its first time release, Westone had a 2 year extended warranty on the units if the warranty card was returned in time.  The first unit had cabling defects...sent back and got a new one in 1 week....this pair lasted me for almost 2 years when one of the channels began to go.  I call, luckily still under warranty and asked how much it would cost to get it repaired out of warranty....they told me $200 or something....I got a brand new one and sold it off.  I refuse to pay $400 for a pair of earphones that will last me just 2 years and then they still expect people to pay half of retail?  Forget it.  

 

With the sell, I bought a pair of Sennheiser 25s...DJ type of headphones, Made in Ireland that has been giving me great tunes in my commute...sure it does not seal as well as the Westones but it surely is more durable...at just about 1/4 of the cost...and it is actually more accurate....because Westone 3s do sound quite bloated in the bass.  I say, spend your money on a pair of big, durable DJ or something, semi sealed phones.....and times have changed that you are not the only headphone head with a pair of large cans anymore.  

post #9 of 26

I just sent my um3x for repair.  I defected them myself though.  Hopefully, they go easy on me for the repair cost.  I just need the black shells to be replaced, since the drivers are in great working condition. 

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bemopti123 View Post

I once used to own Westone 3s....which I bought full price from Earphonesolutions....luckily, due to its first time release, Westone had a 2 year extended warranty on the units if the warranty card was returned in time.  The first unit had cabling defects...sent back and got a new one in 1 week....this pair lasted me for almost 2 years when one of the channels began to go.  I call, luckily still under warranty and asked how much it would cost to get it repaired out of warranty....they told me $200 or something....I got a brand new one and sold it off.  I refuse to pay $400 for a pair of earphones that will last me just 2 years and then they still expect people to pay half of retail?  Forget it.  

 

With the sell, I bought a pair of Sennheiser 25s...DJ type of headphones, Made in Ireland that has been giving me great tunes in my commute...sure it does not seal as well as the Westones but it surely is more durable...at just about 1/4 of the cost...and it is actually more accurate....because Westone 3s do sound quite bloated in the bass.  I say, spend your money on a pair of big, durable DJ or something, semi sealed phones.....and times have changed that you are not the only headphone head with a pair of large cans anymore.  

 

Exactly re: not spending 400 bucks on phones which last less than 2 years.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  I buy high end audio equipment because it will last.  I have speakers that are older than I am.

 

I have a pair of Audio technica A900's which are WELL used...never had a problem with them!
 

 

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmccullo View Post

I just sent my um3x for repair.  I defected them myself though.  Hopefully, they go easy on me for the repair cost.  I just need the black shells to be replaced, since the drivers are in great working condition. 


I sent my pair of UM3X's to them two and a half weeks ago, according to Jeff there is a 2 week turnaround time so I will be expecting them early next week, will post the results.

Brendan
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by endus View Post



 

Exactly re: not spending 400 bucks on phones which last less than 2 years.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  I buy high end audio equipment because it will last.  I have speakers that are older than I am.

 

I have a pair of Audio technica A900's which are WELL used...never had a problem with them!
 

 


Why didn't you complete the registation card and get a 2 year warranty?
 

 

post #13 of 26

Did you write them an angry/demanding email or something? Not that you don't have the right but I recently dealt with Westone and received excellent customer service. The cabling on my W3's started to unravel, I was not within warranty and to top it off I purchased from an unauthorized dealer. At first I received the same email asking for the $175 fee, however I responded cordially (of course praising them for their product & CS). Lo and behold, they responded within a day and offered me a free replacement pair. 

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenniepark View Post

Did you write them an angry/demanding email or something? Not that you don't have the right but I recently dealt with Westone and received excellent customer service. The cabling on my W3's started to unravel, I was not within warranty and to top it off I purchased from an unauthorized dealer. At first I received the same email asking for the $175 fee, however I responded cordially (of course praising them for their product & CS). Lo and behold, they responded within a day and offered me a free replacement pair. 



I can't deny...I was less than friendly when they told me that they wanted to charge me $175 for a replacement pair.  Up to that point I was perfectly friendly and reasonable, though.

post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

Update, Flavio is doing his best to help me out with this.  I'm skeptical about westone, but http://www.earphonesolutions.com is definitely a good place to buy phones from.  They stand behind what they sell!

 

thanks for the hint to get in touch with them.  Whether or not this works out they have been very helpful.

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