Custom IEM (Westone) MMCX connectors vs. 2 Prong?
Jan 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


100+ Head-Fier
Dec 20, 2004
Hi All,
I have to send my Westone ES5's in for service and noticed that they've updated their ES line to include an extra 0 after the model numbers and also that they're using the Shure style MMCX connectors now.  While talking to the guy at Westone, I asked if they could swap out the 2 prong connectors for the MMCX connectors.  He said they could for $250 which would include a new cable (iDevice mic/remote if I wanted).
I've been using the 2 prong connectors since around 2008 and to be honest, I've been tired of them for a long time.  The Westone cable and connectors have been the most solid and only cable that has lasted over a year and never gotten loose.  However, lack of a decent iDevice remote/mic cable or adapter combined with failure prone (on average) cables and connectors is making me think about doing the upgrade.
Anyway, does anyone have a good comparison or opinion on the MMCX (I've always considered them the "Shure style") vs 2 prong (UE/JH/Westone) connectors as far as usability, durability, how well they hold, etc.?  Think it's a worthwhile upgrade?
Jan 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM Post #2 of 5
Wow, no one?  Anyway, I had also spent some time running searches.  From the [ ] thread, most of the replies regarding the MMCX connector were either neutral or negative... that it was actually inferior to the 2 pin... and expressing general disappointment that the connector and new colors were the only updates to the product line.
While it would be nice to be able to swap the connectors out if they were an actual upgrade, it appears as though they aren't an upgrade.  It would also be nice to have more replacement cable options.
Guess I'll have to wait for the 4 pin twist lock connector JHA will be using on the Sirens Roxanne.... Looks like I'll stick with the 2 pin for now, though I'll probably have till Monday to decide.
Still, if anyone has firsthand experience and opinions with both style connectors, I'd appreciate your input!
Jan 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM Post #3 of 5
Only experience I had was with the shure se215 when they first came out.  Faulty connection due to the mmcx connectors.  If you have a trawl through the ue900 thread right at the start you'll notice a similar trend as well, to the point where various issues forced (or so it seemed anyway) logitech to temporarily suspend production of the ue900 whilst they fixed the issues.  On a more practical note, $250 seems a hell of a lot to spend just to get a cable change over to a certain type of connector.  Depends how much you want i device accessories I suppose.
Jan 23, 2014 at 7:59 PM Post #4 of 5
Thanks.  When I first started thinking about it, I was under the impression that they were push-twist-lock style connectors.  I had been contemplating getting a set of Shures or something "cheap" with that style connector to check them out.  Anyway, with more research, MMCX is just one of the push style connectors that Apple and others had used for external wifi antenna connectors years ago.  
Think I'll pass on the retrofit, Westone's 2 pin jacks were the best I've used, sturdy and solid, they've never gotten loose or fallen out.  Their OEM 2 pin cable has been the most sturdy I've used also.  It has lasted longer than cables from UE, JHA, Whiplash, Beat Audio, and Moon Audio.  All of which I've had fail within weeks or months.
Part of the $250 was probably because they said they'd make new faceplates, and mine are the "premium" Mother of Pearl option.  I was just impressed that they said they WOULD retrofit the plugs instead of other companies who'd have said that the only option would be to buy new custom IEMs.  The good news is, since it looks like the glue from the cap just failed, they said there probably wouldn't be a charge (or much of a charge) for fixing them a few months out of warranty.
Jun 8, 2015 at 2:57 PM Post #5 of 5
I've had an ES5 for several years and I am pretty happy with them with the right EQ. One day the 2-pin connector on one unit broke off flush with the body and I couldn't pull it out with needle nose pliers so I sent them in to Westone for repair and "upgrade" to the MMCX connectors. They arrived and felt loose and one channel was intermittent which I believe is inherently part of this design's problems. I don't trust them and so I sent them back to have the units reverted back to the 2 pin connector which I feel is more solid. Then only advantage I can see with the new MMCX connector is that it swivels but to me that is just asking for problems and again I don't trust them for long term reliability. I also ordered an bought a set of ES60's a year ago thinking they would be an "upgrade" to the ES5's and after briefly listening to them I was very disappointed. They sounded horribly strident in the lower treble and were unlistenable to me. I sent those back for rework and Westone said they made some "adjustments" and sent them back. They still don't sound as good as I would have expected for the money. Westone said they are "voiced" differently than the ES-5, which I still listen to and prefer. So that was $1500+ down the drain plus all the hassle of getting impressions, shipping them back and forth. Even the bass isn't that much better than the ES5 notwithstanding that the ES60 has dual bass drivers vs. one in the ES5. I put them away as a spare but I would like to hear what others feel are the best custom IEMs that don't need much power to drive and have about the same impedance as the Westones.

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