So first I'd like to say, I bought the RE262 about a week ago. And let's just say, my faith has been rekindled in IEMs. Now only one problem: I simply could NOT get an equal fit with any of the tips (my L and R ear canals never agree with each other). I even bought the MEelec 10 pack of different types of tips, that while fit the RE262 like a glove, none of those fit either. Quite bummed about my misfortune, I ended up getting some W2's, based on my love of Westone's fit from the "fake" W4 I had last year (more on that later). I was absolutely hoping they still fit as good as I thought, and obviously, sounded better than my last experience.
Put the grey tips on the W2, and they fit perfectly in both ears. HUGE RELIEF. The cable also stays put better than most others I've tried as well. But now, I had to hear real Westone sound...
Let's just say, this is one of the very few times I'm ever impressed with a headphone I buy. Without the slightest of doubt they are better than the W4 I had last year. But, I think many came to the conclusion my W4's were not authorized (bought from Amazon fulfilled 3rd party seller for $325), and thus probably a fake. At least, I sure darn hope they were, because the 2's sound much better! But I'm quite blown away to be honest by the balance of sound. I had worries about bass, but it's in a perfect proportion to the rest of the sound, and is actually better than I had thought. Much better. Midrange is definitely a bit more forward than the rest of the sound, but that's exactly how I like it (I did buy the RE262 after all). Very natural, and effortless sound, with great clarity. I think these will be a keeper! Just have to let my mind barrier down to enable me to keep a pair as expensive (inexpensive for some of you) as this.
Oh and I forgot to mention. Apparently Westone is now throwing in the Fiio E6 amp as a part of the package. Sweet! I was thinking of buying one anyway, so this is great!
Guess the biggest lesson learned is, one needs to make sure they are buying from a Westone authorized dealer. That means you'll pay the "set price" ($250, $350, $450 respectively for W2, W3, W4) and not get some "lucky" discount like I did with the W4, and pay less than what was intended. Heh, I thought I struck a deal when Amazon had the W4 for $325, but was I wrong. Then again, it was a 3rd party seller. Just be cautious...
- Update: W4 has arrived -
So my W4 just got here about an hour ago, and I have had some time listening to it against the W2 and the GR07 for kicks. This time, it's an actual "authorized" pair, so I have no worries of whether or not this is it's true sound. First, let me get the GR07 out of the way. I loved it before, but not so much anymore. First time I put it in, I couldn't get it equal on both sides -- it sounded like the right driver was defective. After fiddling for a bit, I got it to work better. At first the sound was very aggressive and in your face -- switched to W2 -- came back to GR07 -- and now it sounds as if the midrange is too distant. It's being strange.
Alright, so between the W2 and W4. W2 is definitely a lot smaller than the chubby housings of the W4. Luckily, both fit snuggly, but I still like the W2 a little better. Sound wise, I haven't tested it too much, so these are just initial impressions. W4 sounds almost identical to the W2, except a bit more zingy treble. It's nowhere near as bright as my first pair (from memory) but there is a zing to the treble that every once in a while gets just slightly uncomfortable -- but only for very brief moments. Other than that, I think I prefer the W2's smoother sound, and more forward midrange. For now, anyway...
Both are nicely balanced. W2 has more midrange less treble, W4 has more treble less midrange.
- Further Impressions -
Looking at the size, the W4 is almost twice as thick! But again, luckily it still fits me well enough. I will admit, the CNET review was kinda funny (on the W3) because they said they had to wear them "cord down" in order for them to work, because they were too big to wear over ear. Luckily, that's not an issue, but they are quite large. Everything else is the same, besides the W4 coming with more sizes of tips, a volume adjuster -- and the W2 coming with the E6 amp.
Sound wise, I'm liking the W2 more and more. Actually, let me rephrase, I'm "appreciating" the W2 more and more. Going from the W2 directly to the W4 really reveals how dry and bright it is in comparison. Simply doesn't sound as good. I've been giving it plenty of test songs, but the W2 is coming out on a consistent basis. If I just listen to the W4, and don't switch to the W2, treble is less of an issue. But once I get more or less "spoiled" by the W2, the treble on the W4 seems to be turned a couple notches up. This might explain why my first pair sounded so bright (maybe it was a legit pair after all) is because I was probably listening to something darker to begin with. Hmm, don't know though.
Edited by Katun - 2/9/12 at 3:52pm