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Westone ES1 Mini-Review

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago I received my Westone ES1 IEMs, which I had purchased as a pair of cost-effective customs to block ambient noise in my office environment. Today, I returned them. The following comments/thoughts will hopefully help anyone else considering this cheap CIEM.

NB - I do not have experience with other CIEMs, so I will not have a good 'baseline' to compare against. I am very familiar with the Shure SE535, which is my personal baseline.

Comfort/Fit:
The ES1 fit snugly, especially after a minute or so when the silicone tips had warmed up. They formed a good seal, although while I was walking I could sometimes hear a 'squeaking', like part of my canal was rubbing against the tip of the ES1, even though the outer shell did not move relative to my ear, and the seal stayed intact. In terms of comfort, I would consider the ES1 more comfortable that my SE535 with 'black olive' tips, but slightly less comfortable than the SE535 with Comply TS100 tips. The cable resists tangles quite well but is somewhat microphonic.

Sound Isolation:
Generally as good as or slightly better than my SE535 with Comply TS100 tips. The ES1 was a touch better at blocking out voices and other ambient noise, and was noticeably better at blocking out engine sounds on my morning subway commute.

Sound Quality:
The ES1 had a distinct lack of bass quantity, which ruined the music. I was aware, prior to purchase, that Westone's own FAQ (http://www.westone.com/music/index.php/faqs) states the ES1 "is not recommended for drummers or bassists, as it not designed to handle the low end response that is necessary for those instruments". However, the same FAQ claims "The ES1 is also a great choice for use with any personal listening device." I completely disagree with that claim - as far as I am concerned, the ES1 is a terrible choice for personal music listening. And for those who might be wondering, I did have a correct seal on the ES1. The bass wasn't leaking out, it just wasn't there to begin with. The ES1 did have a pleasing, clear treble, perhaps even clearer than the SE535.

Conclusion:
Skip this CIEM for any music listening.



post #2 of 4

Matter of fact: those high end CIEM and their higher prices are there for a reason bigsmile_face.gif

post #3 of 4

would earplugs have done the job just as effectively for blocking out noise?

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
They might have, but I wanted to listen to music as well.
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