Managed to audition the W50 and um 50 pro just awhile ago and here are my initial impressions:
By the way this was the track i played during the audition:
Superb quantity, really rich and strong but lacking really slightly behind the um 50 pro in terms of texture. By far the most powerful bass experience in the westone line up. Not muddy at all. Very clean sounding and aggressive. Cleaner than the W30 and other iems i tried such as the Senns IE80 (the bass on the W50, totally crushes the senns in every aspect, texture, detail, quantity, etc)
At 0:32 of the track, when the first peddle drum kicks in, it has a nice rumble to it. It makes the bass feel less agile and slightly slow IF and only IF i were to compare it with the UM50 PRO (primarily i think it's because um 50 pro is a totally different "type" of iem a.k.a stage monitor). Where else the sound of the peddle drum produced by the um 50 pro had lesser rumble and each boom seems to last slightly shorter. Because of this, the bass seem more aggressive and quick.
At 0:48 of the track, when the main bassist/bass guitar starts to kick in, it sounded strong, deep, rich, and powerful. I basically could feel the impact and was blown away by how great the bass was in terms of quantity, i kindda enjoyed it. But than i tried the um 50 pro and at the exact 0:48 moment, while there was slightly lesser bass(or perhaps the bass was sharing the 2nd to the frontline(vocals) with the other mid and high frequencies), there was more texture here, and it sounded slightly cleaner with slightly more detail.
Really smooth and clear. However if compared to the UM 50 PRO, it seems the violins (especially at 1:20 of the track) seems to be less present/forward making it sound slightly thin. With the UM 50 PRO and at the exact same 1:20 mark, i was basically enclosed with buttery moans of the violins floating around mostly at the top right-middle end of the soundstage. It could be due to the smaller soundstage of the UM50 PRO though, as the same impression was experience when played with the W30.
As good as the W40's. Cymbals and high hats has the shimmery effect to it that makes it easy to enjoy. Didn't notice any sibilance. Drums have right amount of detail making it extremely enjoyable over those sharp piercing spats with other iems (especially iems with dynamic drivers). Really sweet sounding (drums on W30, W40, um30 pro, W50 and UM 50 pro all were equally enjoyable and made me actually enjoyed treble for the first time.) Drums on the UM50 PRO hat the biggest punch/impact though which may seem too hard for some.
Much more open and spacious than the UM 50 PRO. The soundstage is the most noticeable difference between the two iems. It felt like i was taking a breather after coming from the um 50 pro to the W50.
Bass felt like it was infront of all the other instruments, followed by the vocals. Violins came from the left-behind the vocals when listening to the track.
Mids and Highs needs to be slightly more forward. Violins, cymbals and high hats tends to sound slightly thinner than the um 50 pro. Maybe that's why it makes the bass stand out more. There's no way i'll be complaining about the superb bass, great job westone on the bass!
Wide Soundstage, Extremely clean and insane bass, Crystal clear highs, Buttery Smooth mids.
Overall, big improvement over the W40 which was lacking mainly in the bass/low frequencies. Would've been an easy pick if only the um 50 pro didn't exist..
UM 50 PRO:
Extremely well textured, can feel and hear the kicks and slams. Quantity is great, much more than the W40 and slightly or equally as big as the um30 pro.
Vocals seems to still give the in-your-head kindda feeling but slightly lesser than the um 30 pro. Vocals sounded slightly clearer here than the W50. Violins (especially during 1:20 mark of the above track) basically filled up the top right to middle side of the soundstage. Felt really buttery and clear! Boosted the musicality of the song by a fair bit over the W50.
Definitely more cymbals and high hat crashes here than the W50 and the um 30 pro. Drums hits harder here than the w50. May come across as too hard for some, but the detail and texture of the drums makes it seems less hurting on the ears as oppose to listening drums off of a dynamic driver iem where it basically pierces your eardrums with high pitch screams that doesn't sound like drums at all. No sibilance heard.
Still gives the in-your-head experience although it took sometime for me to notice. It seems to give more breathing space than the um 30 pro though. The um 30 pro gave me some kind of pink noise effect after hearing the extremely close vocals singing away to my eardrums, but i no longer experience that with the um 50 pro.
Vocals are at the frontline, followed by everything else. Violins can be heard more from the top-right side and it sounds much fuller than the W50. This just boosts the musicality of the song and makes it more enjoyable as everything feels just right.
Soundstage still makes it feel slightly suffocating, although it has slightly more breathing space than the um 30 pro.
Extremely well defined bass, Crystal clear highs, Buttery smooth mids, Balance across the frequencies.
Overall, another big improvement over the um 30 pro. Has a more spacious soundstage than the 30 pro.
I'm not an extreme basshead but i wouldn't deny that i'm a basshead as i enjoy listening to bass more than any other instruments. But i did find the bass to be slightly forward in the W50 and find that the bass was just right in the UM 50 PRO. I enjoyed both iems nonetheless, as their cons hurt only slightly at best and their difference between them is minimal. Both gave me the WOW feeling.
W50 for it's hard hitting bass slams and more open soundstage, and UM 50 PRO for it's musicality. Came out of the shop empty handed though as i couldn't make up my mind which i enjoyed more (probably would've gotten both if they cost half their msrp). If the um 50 pro had a slight more open soundstage i would've gotten it on the spot. Which do you think is more important? Soundstage or musicality?
EDIT: Will constantly edit more stuffs in as soon as i can recall my experience with these 2 iems, which i basically auditioned for 2-3 hours straight.
Edited by Kepller - 5/25/14 at 7:32am