I visited hong kong for the week and today i spent the afternoon at the mingo store in hong kong.
While i have a smallish collection of headphones they are all full size cans which i use at home with the audio technical 900x as my personal favorite.
for in ear monitors i've had a cheapish pair of ultimate ears i got on a deal a year or so ago but i was never in love with them (i've also had sennheisers and shure).
my main gripe with iem's has always been fit, something which i suspect is more related to my ears than anything else.
making a longish story shorter, mingo has something like 200 headsets one can audition. On a monday afternoon right upon opening i was one out of two customers in the store.
i wanted to try iem's as i have enough of big can's and i already know what my next big headset purchase is going to look like. An hour in i had found a headset i liked, the westone.
i first tried the westone 1. It was excellent and i liked the fit. Then i tried the westone 10 pro. Holy cow what a difference in sound! And the fit was still great.
I spent a good hour with the 10 pro and i really liked it a lot. Then i went and tried the 20 pro. Didn't like it as much, there was something in the mid register that just didn't sound as good to me as the 10 pro. After this came the 30pro. What a difference. I spent another hour with them, switching back and forth with the 10 pro. Clearly a very different sound signature and i can see how i liked them both! The 10pro seemed to me to be more forgiving of poorly recorded material, while the 30pro seemed to call out every little detail, and went a bit deeper in the bass region. the 30 pro was just fantastic when listening to them with great recordings but a crappy recording, especially with music with lots of electronica sounded too harsh, maybe even a tad bit shrill. To me this was more a reveal of the flaws in the recording but as i want to enjoy my music even when crappy i found that the 10 pro didn't give me the same experience.
listening to the BBC news broadcast via podcast yielded about the same experience on both models.
Since i plan to travel and use iem for commute and travelling i think the 10 is the better choice for me. For critical listening i'm using full size cans anyway.
Conclusion: to me the 20 pro didn't sound good at all, the 30 pro excelled in all aspects with great program content, but the 10 pro was more forgiving of less great recordings and content at the expense of a bit lower bass. For a great all rounder i think the 10 pro is the better choice.