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Review: Westone um 30 Pro

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

The Westone brand as we all know, had refreshed their earphones.

 

I'd like to thank Westone for the sample. I did my best to supply a neutral and comprehesive review as I could. Sorry for the lack in English competence as it ain't my natural language :)

 

Used
Various dubstep songs, 24 bit vinyl rip flacs (Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra) and my Cd-rip bands (Orphaned Land, Hijazz) 
dac/amp: Audioengine D1
dap: Sansa Clip+
Tip: Standart Grey Tip, Silicone

Technical Details
Sensitivity: 124 dB @ 1 mW
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 18 kHz
Impedance: 56 ohms @ 1 kHz
Passive Noise Attenuation: 25 dB 
Driver: 3 balanced armature drivers with passive 3-way crossover
Weight: 0.445 ounces / 12.7 grams 
Cable: EPIC replaceable cable
Cable Length: 50” / 128 cm

 

Build Quality, Box, Cable, Jack, Y Split, Isolation, Fit and Microphonic Effect

 

 

- Perfect in every aspect. Over worked though not micro detailed. Everything is in the semi soft dark grey box. 
- As cable, it is the standart double helix black cable. As usual, its sturdy and does not seem to come apart unless you want it to. But the termination had changed into a Shure compatible extension. 
- As the jack, we can oberserve that semi soft material being used. A L type small jack it is. A tiny W emblem is engraved on. And this looks sturdy too unless you pry or something.

- Y split looks enough. And light as the cable. The W is here too. But the material quality is a lil' bit poor here (at least at mine)
- And drivers seem strong and solid. There are no empty spaces between them. (unlike Tdk ba200 or RedGiant A00) This improves their longevity. 

- There is no problem regarding isolation. Humming of the commune buses engine does not harm your listening and you can still audit it clearly at %60 volume level on Clip+
- No need to ask any questions about the fit :) This is a headphone that'd never come off your ear by itself. BTW, the semi hard plastic wrapping around the ears do a good job in here.
- There are no microphonic problems due to the inserting style in the ear.

 

Sound
A forward presentation. Really forward when compared. Dark sounding. And quick too. No problems in driving..

Bass
Plenty most of the time, even sounds "just like" a mid-bass hump if the recording likes it too (ie. Metallica). But this does not mean that there is a bass heavy signature in the sound. No man, no :) Everything is balanced. Bass beats can go deep and recover quickly. Never loses its hard and edgy - harsh style even in the fast beats. When it comes to dubstep, its only a personal choice now. For example, in the Knife Party's Destroy Them With Lazers song when it is 01:08 the bass starts and descent into deeps but never loses that bassy atmosphere and keeps the beats hard and volumed like 3d. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKTpWi5itOM If you accept the basses quick recovery and harsh status, then you are with us :)
 
Mid
As the guitar begins its solo, it almost makes you cry as the saying goes :) Vocals are nearby but if the record demands, can get behind the drums and others.  This fact, though partially based upon the stage, can sometimes occur for ie. a trumpet diminishing the vocal underneath in a funk recording. BTW, interestingly, metallic sounding of Example's songs are not anymore that metallic with this IEM. And all the details are positioned behind him. In dubstep, all the effects are in your ear too. In natural instrumented songs, there are no problems thanks to its accurate presentation and mid band details. Being a mainly mid sounding band, listening the fusion project Hijazz is a real pleasure.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u33y8qQ6Mig 

 

Treble
Not placed forward but audible all the time. Combined with the good fit value, they never tire even in treble heavy genres like metal. Threbles are placed at the back of the stage as it is. And they are succesful in resolution so we can hear tonal differences in songs. Plus in songs such as Haggards The Observer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDiyzyKY5n4 trebles tonal differences can be heard.

 


Stage, Instrument Seperation and Details.
Stage is near. There is no space between the listener and the stage. But, you can observe its depth. And the place of the vocal. For example, place of the Middle East instruments placing is obvious in Orphaned Land. Or the violin that is following the vocal. Thus we can claim that the stages depth is enough for a closed IEM. Imo, they had gone one or two clicks beyond in the um3x's strangling stage problem. And as it comes to seperation, its really good. Though they aren't meters seperated, the result is still really good. And its possible to hear many instruments at the same time, and this is a huge plus.


PRAT 
Definitely high! My heart began pumping stronger in Muse's New Born and I said Wow!. The agressive atmosphere was transferred into :) Or Macklemore's Can't Hold Us made my head bang subtly as the beats go. 

Amp Performance
Sound and stage aren't near as in Clip+. One or two clicks wider, distant and deeper. Thanks to this, it gains an airy atmosphere after the amp. Now you can feel Sinatra's singing coming from a complete emptiness. Instruments around him can be pinpointed now. BTW, you can easily get amazed at Michael Jackson's songs detail structure now. 


Sibilance
Rarely heard. But can't say the same for so-so or bad recordings.

Result
Westone had built a really good earphone. It's clear. IMO, better than its father um3x. And more practical+versatile with the interchanging cable and balance in sound. But the hard call is this: If only the price as a lil' bit lower, I could easily recommend it for every music enthusiast out here. That price tag naturally narrows its spread.

post #2 of 32

Really nice review!

post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

Really nice review!

x2 nice read

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

Really nice review!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post
 

x2 nice read

 

O' really? Thank you guys for these nice feedback :) That was my 16th review but the first one I published in head-fi as well my local community http://www.techno-fi.net/forum/index.php.

post #5 of 32

The only thing that I will say in the 3-4 times I owned UM3X is this.     While I loved so many things about it...all of which you mention.   After a couple months I tired of the "closed in" soundstage and really wanted something more open sounding.  Just be leary of this.  It happened to me every time but I guess I never learned. :rolleyes:

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

The only thing that I will say in the 3-4 times I owned UM3X is this.     While I loved so many things about it...all of which you mention.   After a couple months I tired of the "closed in" soundstage and really wanted something more open sounding.  Just be leary of this.  It happened to me every time but I guess I never learned. rolleyes.gif

I had 2 um3xs before and I think i am like you at this point smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 32

The W30 is along more or less the same than the w3 correct.....not the same sound as the um3x right?

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post
 

The W30 is along more or less the same than the w3 correct.....not the same sound as the um3x right?

 

 

Yes, W30 is suppose to be = to old W3.

FYI...when comparing UM3X (UM Pro30)  to W3 (W30) the following are the differences:

 

 

Bass:  Qty and impact is about the same but UM3X better....no mid bass hump and more linear.  Really excellent for a single bass driver.  Better than W3.

 

Midrange:  A little forward like SE535.  Excellent for vocal and, again, better than W3.

 

Treble:  Less extended than W3....softer...smoother...perhaps a bit boring for some.  W3 while siblant for some has more crispness and sharpness in a good way.  Offset siblance by using p-series comply tips :)

 

Soundstage:  W3 destroys UM3X in a landslide.  WAAAY more open and expansive with some nice reverberation effect.  All for fun of course.   This soundstage factor is the one effect that would make one choose W3 over UM3X.

 

Generally....UM3X is smooth and refined sounding but closed in too.  W3 is sharper detailed and crisper with more open sound.


Edited by Spyro - 11/23/13 at 2:40pm
post #9 of 32

How are these compared to UE900? Better? Different?

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellkitchen View Post
 

How are these compared to UE900? Better? Different?

Different.  UM30 is much bassier and a more forward midrange.  UE900 has much larger soundstage is much flatter and neutral (less fun) sounding.  UE900 treble extends a bit further but it is soft.  No real bright or crispness to it....in fact, neither IEM have much crispness to them.  Both have a soft easy on the ears sound sig.  UM30 is somewhat closed in sounding (it's a stage monitor) and UE900 is much more open sounding.


Edited by Spyro - 12/11/13 at 7:08pm
post #11 of 32
T
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

Different.  UM30 is much bassier and a more forward midrange.  UE900 has much larger soundstage is much flatter and neutral (less fun) sounding.  UE900 treble extends a bit further but it is soft.  No real bright or crispness to it....in fact, neither IEM have much crispness to them.  Both have a soft easy on the ears sound sig.  UM30 is somewhat closed in sounding (it's a stage monitor) and UE900 is much more open sounding.

Ty for reply. Do you suggest these iem for rock and metal? (Over UE900 at least)
post #12 of 32

I have tried UM1 before but didn't buy it, but it really fits very comfortable!

For me, overall sound quality, the UE600 is better than UM1.

And now, for the sake of comfort, i am going to buy 1 UM PRO 30 and see how high end in-ear perform!!

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellkitchen View Post

T
Ty for reply. Do you suggest these iem for rock and metal? (Over UE900 at least)

Yes, definitely.  Great for that!

post #14 of 32

I have the opportunity to have this for less than 200€ used. Since I've just bought (from the same guy) a pair of UE900 I must regret the offer. 
I'm now thinking to upgrade my HD598 with an hi-end headphone. I have to save money before :D

post #15 of 32

Nice review and extremely cohesive. Was considering replacing my UM3X with these since they have been one of my favorite IEMs for a long period of time.

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