Etymotic & Westone - Discussion & Impressions (index in 1st post)
May 30, 2022 at 3:36 AM Post #211 of 403
I will look for this track and give it a listen with the MACH 60 and 70...
I've done some messing with a bit of parametric EQ to remove the peaks at 5.5 and 8k, for me all MACH 80 needs is this, I can leave the 5.5k peak as it is.

Screenshot_20220530-083257.png
 
May 30, 2022 at 4:47 PM Post #212 of 403
Westone Audio ES70 vs. MACH 70

This is going to be a short one… Shorter than I anticipated, to be honest.

Today, I am going to share with you my personal impressions of the newly announced Westone Audio MACH 70 compared to the custom ES70 IEM.

1653943187153.png



Comparing the shells

First and foremost, the ES70 is custom fit IEM (CIEM), so the shell size is the same as the ear’s concha. The MACH 70 on the other hand is a universal fit IEM, and the shell size is relatively small.


Comparing the cables

The MACH 70 comes stock with the UltraBaX T2 cable, while the ES70 comes stock with EPIC MMCX cable. Both cables feel very high quality, and both (unfortunately, IMHO) terminated with a 3.5mm plug. Connector wise, the T2 is mechanically superior to MMCX, and I wonder if Westone Audio would switch to T2 for the ES line as well at some point... :thinking:


Sound test setup

For all my testing and comparisons - I used my FiiO M11 DAP, which I believe is very neutral.
Since both IEMs are very sensitive – it helps when the source has a very low noise floor. In fact, I could not hear ANY hiss of noise floor with either IEM driven by the M11.

All test tracks are lossless FLAC files stored locally (microSD card) on the M11 DAP. No streaming. Lastly, the M11 was set to high gain.


Ease of driving (or power requirement)

Both IEMs are very easy to drive:
  • MACH 70 – sensitivity is 110dB @ 1kHz and impedance of 42 Ohms.
  • ES70 – sensitivity is 115 dB SPL @ 1mW and impedance of 39 Ohms.
Due to high sensitivity – source used should be quiet (low noise floor). Source power is of no consequence here, IMHO.


Sound comparison

In my MACH 60 vs. MACH 70 writeup, I had the following introduction:
As a reviewer, it could get stressful for me when I know I should compare 2 IEMs (or other pieces of gear) that are expected or perceived to sound very similar…

“What if my hearing is not good enough to notice the tiny differences?”

“What if my auditory memory fails me? It takes me a good 10 seconds to swap IEMs.”

You get the idea… well, the good news when it comes to MACH 60 vs. MACH 70 – my concerns evaporated almost immediately! Some differences between those 2 IEMs were big enough that I could not miss them even if I tried.

Well… in the case of ES70 vs. MACH 70 – it is the exact opposite! (and is the reason for this post being so short)

My conclusion here: Westone Audio MACH 70 is the universal version of the ES70. Done. :wink:

To my ears, those 2 IEMs are tuned the same. Now, due to fit and seal (especially with the universal MACH 70), and small variances that could occur due to different tips – there could be small sound differences. If there are – they are very subtle and could change by changing tips for achieving a better seal.


Summary

Personally, I really like the tuning of the custom ES70. Up until now, there was no universal fit IEM that is tuned the same. Now – there is! :)

To experience the MACH 70 (and the rest of the MACH series) – stop by Westone Audio’s table at NAMM Show (June 3-5 in Anaheim), CanJam Chicago (June 18-19) or join the launch tour (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/westone-audio-mach-launch-tour.963440/).
 
May 30, 2022 at 5:06 PM Post #213 of 403
Really appreciate the comparison, I've been looking at the ES series particularly recently, it's good to know there's a lot of common ground with the mach series for comparison.

FYI, I was chatting with the support people on Westone's sight and they mentioned they can already do T2 connectors on the ES series, you just need to note it in the order. I could imagine that including a cable might add a bit to the order cost if the connector itself doesn't already, I didn't get that far as my wallet got scared lol.
 
May 31, 2022 at 12:45 AM Post #214 of 403
I guess @vsg28 or @twister6 (both of whom got the MACH 60, 70 and 80) could chime in here, and let us know whether they hear the brightness of the MACH 80 that you're hearing. They can also shed some light of MACH 80 vs. 60 (or vs. 70) with regards to the 60/70 being less bright than 80 model?

Looking at the @vsg28 generated MACH 60/70/80 overlap FR graphs (which are awesome) - I am wondering which track or instruments should I listen to, in order to hear the difference in the 5.5kHz peaks... :thinking:

Do you want to see something crazy :p This will give you a snapshot of all 8 models. I do have to use Westone foam eartips with all MACH models, otherwise, it does sound a bit bright to my ears in lower/mid treble using silicone tips.

Westone_mach10-80.jpg
 
May 31, 2022 at 1:03 AM Post #215 of 403
Do you want to see something crazy :p This will give you a snapshot of all 8 models.
Alex, are you going to post your review soon? I am really curious to read your take on the MACH series, and especially how the models I got so far (60 and 70) compare to the rest of the gang... :wink:

I do have to use Westone foam eartips with all MACH models, otherwise, it does sound a bit bright to my ears in lower/mid treble using silicone tips.
I will play with some tips tomorrow (time permits). The silicone tips that came on the IEMs fit me perfectly, so I did not even bother!!
 
May 31, 2022 at 3:28 AM Post #216 of 403
Comparing the cables

The MACH 70 comes stock with the UltraBaX T2 cable, while the ES70 comes stock with EPIC MMCX cable. Both cables feel very high quality, and both (unfortunately, IMHO) terminated with a 3.5mm plug. Connector wise, the T2 is mechanically superior to MMCX, and I wonder if Westone Audio would switch to T2 for the ES line as well at some point... :thinking:
A very controversial subject to bring up in a review, but I will bite. :wink:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 3.5mm plug, there I said it.

I have several dongle type DAC's that all sound awesome and only have a 3.5mm connection, plenty of power to drive all the IEM's I own. Its a shame because plenty of people will skip the entire MACH range simply because there is no good value/easily available balanced cable option.

Don't fall for the balanced "marketing hype", if you have a player or DAC and are happy with it and it only has a single ended output don't worry about it and be happy. :)
 
May 31, 2022 at 11:33 AM Post #217 of 403
A very controversial subject to bring up in a review, but I will bite. :wink:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 3.5mm plug, there I said it.

I have several dongle type DAC's that all sound awesome and only have a 3.5mm connection, plenty of power to drive all the IEM's I own. Its a shame because plenty of people will skip the entire MACH range simply because there is no good value/easily available balanced cable option.

Don't fall for the balanced "marketing hype", if you have a player or DAC and are happy with it and it only has a single ended output don't worry about it and be happy. :)
Here is my personal take on the SE vs. Balanced debate:
There is no magic with balanced. Depending on the specific DAP or amp you test SE vs. Balanced on - sometimes there is a sound difference. Sometimes - there is none!
Usually, more power from balanced, but not really needed for sensitive or average IEMs anyhow. Technically, if implemented correctly, less crosstalk or noise, but many times even the SE is not audible!
So... back to my personal take on the plugs: Give the people choices! Balanced cable with SE adapter would provide the flexibility to use it with any source.
 
May 31, 2022 at 11:50 AM Post #218 of 403
Usually balanced circuity can be critical for desktop applications if you drive power hungry planars, when you get twice more power from your desktop amplifier going balanced. For IEM I don't think that it is that critical but it depends on the IEM, not all of them are very sensitive ones. I usually try to utilize balanced connections if they exist on my device regardless the type of IEM/headphones I use.
 
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May 31, 2022 at 12:13 PM Post #219 of 403
The fundamental advantage of balanced is immunity to single ended (SE) interference . For the cable lengths and noise levels we're talking about for modern headphones this would actually be most important for highly sensitive, low impedance loads exactly like typical IEMs (and then probably still not very important unless you are in an electronically noise environment).

Unfortunately, in a true balanced system you need +/- power supplies, which fundamentally doubles your noise floor. So basically balanced gives you higher signal to noise ratio (S/N) but N is also doubled because you have 2x PSU. In practice, this noise floor is also constant, meaning that as your power rating increases, less and less of the amplifier output range above noise floor is accessible on lower impedance / high sensitivity devices like IEMs (rather than being able to dial the volume between 0 to say 7, you can only go 0-3) - this is why voltage dividers like ifi's 'iem match' can help for sensitive IEMs, despite actually increasing output impedance slightly.

It's a bit of a sorry situation. Balanced output is generally targeted for high power (big S on S/N), but low sensitivity / high impedance loads are generally less susceptible to the single ended interference that balanced systems address. The reality in my opinion is that the amplifier itself is the likely noise source, so using a differential topology (which headphones are inherently) to lower emissions is actually most important... this is why you see really great performance in differential designs (on both XLR and SE) like the THX 780, despite not being balanced.

TLDR: My 2 cents, power rating pairing >> differential / balanced in terms of practical effect
 
May 31, 2022 at 3:02 PM Post #220 of 403
Been playing with various DAC pairings, the latest I'm testing now is MACH 80 with an oldie but goodie, the Oppo HA-2SE.

The brightness of the MACH 80 seems to be toned down with the Oppo DAC, I've got the Bass+ feature switched on too and it sounds great.

Recommended for anyone who like me still owns the Oppo HA-2SE. :)
 
Jun 1, 2022 at 7:36 AM Post #221 of 403
Its a shame that Westone seem to have fallen out of favor a bit round here and I guess the choice to use the T2 connector won't help much in getting the MACH series noticed but I do believe Westone have made and continue to make excellent products.

Anyway I have to thank @MarkParity for suggesting the parametric EQ option with the MACH 80 it makes a great sounding IEM perfect IMHO.

UAPP allows EQ over a Bluetooth connection too allowing for a great sound over Bluetooth.
 
Jun 2, 2022 at 10:48 AM Post #222 of 403
Who said that, you can hear a pin drop round here which for a new product release is not good. At least we had a bit of a debate about the relative merits of Balanced vs Single Ended. :wink:

tumbleweed-lonely.gif


Bye everyone I'm off to enjoy my MACH 80...
 
Jun 2, 2022 at 9:03 PM Post #223 of 403
Hi! I wonder if anyone knows whether there are any differences in sound signature between Westone Pro X50 and the previous UM 50 Pro Gen 2, or is it just a change of connector? it seems the description of the Pro X50 on Westone website is basically the same as 50Pro.
I already own the latter. If they are mostly the same I would probably go for something else.
 
Jun 3, 2022 at 11:47 AM Post #224 of 403
Westone Audio ES70 vs. MACH 70

This is going to be a short one… Shorter than I anticipated, to be honest.

Today, I am going to share with you my personal impressions of the newly announced Westone Audio MACH 70 compared to the custom ES70 IEM.

1653943187153.png


Comparing the shells

First and foremost, the ES70 is custom fit IEM (CIEM), so the shell size is the same as the ear’s concha. The MACH 70 on the other hand is a universal fit IEM, and the shell size is relatively small.


Comparing the cables

The MACH 70 comes stock with the UltraBaX T2 cable, while the ES70 comes stock with EPIC MMCX cable. Both cables feel very high quality, and both (unfortunately, IMHO) terminated with a 3.5mm plug. Connector wise, the T2 is mechanically superior to MMCX, and I wonder if Westone Audio would switch to T2 for the ES line as well at some point... :thinking:


Sound test setup

For all my testing and comparisons - I used my FiiO M11 DAP, which I believe is very neutral.
Since both IEMs are very sensitive – it helps when the source has a very low noise floor. In fact, I could not hear ANY hiss of noise floor with either IEM driven by the M11.

All test tracks are lossless FLAC files stored locally (microSD card) on the M11 DAP. No streaming. Lastly, the M11 was set to high gain.


Ease of driving (or power requirement)

Both IEMs are very easy to drive:
  • MACH 70 – sensitivity is 110dB @ 1kHz and impedance of 42 Ohms.
  • ES70 – sensitivity is 115 dB SPL @ 1mW and impedance of 39 Ohms.
Due to high sensitivity – source used should be quiet (low noise floor). Source power is of no consequence here, IMHO.


Sound comparison

In my MACH 60 vs. MACH 70 writeup, I had the following introduction:


Well… in the case of ES70 vs. MACH 70 – it is the exact opposite! (and is the reason for this post being so short)

My conclusion here: Westone Audio MACH 70 is the universal version of the ES70. Done. :wink:

To my ears, those 2 IEMs are tuned the same. Now, due to fit and seal (especially with the universal MACH 70), and small variances that could occur due to different tips – there could be small sound differences. If there are – they are very subtle and could change by changing tips for achieving a better seal.


Summary

Personally, I really like the tuning of the custom ES70. Up until now, there was no universal fit IEM that is tuned the same. Now – there is! :)

To experience the MACH 70 (and the rest of the MACH series) – stop by Westone Audio’s table at NAMM Show (June 3-5 in Anaheim), CanJam Chicago (June 18-19) or join the launch tour (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/westone-audio-mach-launch-tour.963440/).

Would you be able to comment on how these compare to the B50 (in particular the bass) in case i wanted to upgrade.
I'm a bit of a basshead myself and swapped to it from the W80s for that sweet, sweet bass.
 
Jun 3, 2022 at 1:19 PM Post #225 of 403
Would you be able to comment on how these compare to the B50 (in particular the bass) in case i wanted to upgrade.
Sorry - I have never owned the B50...
IF I auditioned them (in a CanJam) - I do not even remember, and it might have been a short audition. Sorry I cannot help with that.
 

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