Westone ES50, A Make-over of Westone's Flagship Custom IEM
Dec 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 48

Kunlun

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Westone is upgrading their flagship ES5 custom iem to the new ES50.
 
In the Head-fi Winter Gift Guide, Jude reports that the new ES50 keeps the warm ES5 sound while adding both the bass presence and improved clarity overall.
 
There's a new, more secure socket connection and new options for faceplate customization, too.
 
Westone is keeping their soft-canal material for greater comfort than all-acrylic designs.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Here's the official Westone page for the ES50
 
 
The Official Press Release! The ES50 will be the flagship of a whole upgraded Westone line of ciems.
 
 
Looks good! Who is up for these?!?
 
Dec 15, 2013 at 7:54 PM Post #4 of 48

Kunlun

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  Is this truly a new CIEM or merely a change of cable (and aesthetics) like the other 'new' Westone products?

 
That's the big question. Has there been any sort of re-tuning? Jude says they sound different, but some have questioned whether what he heard is due to fit differences, etc. One EU Westone vendor said they were the same ciem, however, that information may not be correct. I think we'll need someone to go to the source and get confirmation either way from Westone.
 
I've just written Westone, we'll see what the official word is on whether this is just a new cable/connector and new faceplate option or whether some new tuning has taken place.
 
Dec 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM Post #5 of 48

Kunlun

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Update! Westone wrote!



> [COLOR=FF00AA][COLOR=FF00bA]   Thank you for your email. Yes that is correct. The only difference is going to be the cosmetics of the cable and connection. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Have a great day. [/COLOR][/COLOR]

And that answers that.
 
Dec 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM Post #6 of 48

Deviltooth

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Update! Westone wrote!



>    Thank you for your email. Yes that is correct. The only difference is going to be the cosmetics of the cable and connection. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Have a great day.

And that answers that.


Some press releases and suggestions are that the sound has been changed and refined.  It might be wise (more honest) if the Head Fi gift guide reflected this new information.
 
Dec 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM Post #8 of 48

Spyro

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In the Head-fi Winter Gift Guide, Jude reports that the new ES50 keeps the warm ES5 sound while adding both the bass presence and improved clarity overall.
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Here's the official Westone page for the ES50
 
 
The Official Press Release! The ES50 will be the flagship of a whole upgraded Westone line of ciems.
 
 
Looks good! Who is up for these?!?

 
 
I thought ES5 was sort of  a brighter version of W4?  It's considered warm?
 
Can someone give a quick run down comparing to W4R in terms of bass and general sound sig?
 
Dec 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM Post #11 of 48

Deviltooth

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  Keeping the good sound signature and improving the cable system strikes me as smart. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


It's the ambiguous marketing and presentation of a 'new' product that's misleading and annoying.
 
It looks as if  Westone is pouring it's money into marketing ahead of innovation.  The only truly new product they've introduced is their adventure series dynamic driver model.  People on Head Fi are underwhelmed by this IEM but the mainstream press loves it, or at least they love the advertising dollars that might come with a positive review.
 
 
Dec 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM Post #12 of 48

Spyro

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It's the ambiguous marketing and presentation of a 'new' product that's misleading and annoying.
 
It looks as if  Westone is pouring it's money into marketing ahead of innovation.  The only truly new product they've introduced is their adventure series dynamic driver model.  People on Head Fi are underwhelmed by this IEM but the mainstream press loves it, or at least they love the advertising dollars that might come with a positive review.
 

I agree with your logic but where do they go from here?
 
If they have done their homework and engineering they have succeeded in creating various IEM's to fill various niches based on people's likes and dislikes.  As outdated as I personally feel Etymotic's offerings are...decade after decade they continue to offer the same products.  Can't Westone do the same?
 
Where else do they go from here?
 
Dec 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM Post #13 of 48

Deviltooth

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  I agree with your logic but where do they go from here?
 
If they have done their homework and engineering they have succeeded in creating various IEM's to fill various niches based on people's likes and dislikes.  As outdated as I personally feel Etymotic's offerings are...decade after decade they continue to offer the same products.  Can't Westone do the same?
 
Where else do they go from here?


They decide to innovate and create new and better products.  We see this continuously in the portable audio field, be it at the high end with JH Audio's Roxanne, or lower down where hybrids are quickly becoming cheaper and more competent (i.e. Dunu's latest).  Even small bluetooth speakers are getting better all the time.  We should expect technology related products to improve as the technology itself does (and balanced armatures are getting better).
 
Westone has opted to spend it's money on cosmetic changes and more promotion.  They have ceased to be innovators in the world of portable audio and are instead focused on offering different colored face plates.  It's their choice but it's not one that should engender joy in an audiophile's heart.
 
Dec 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM Post #14 of 48

Macgirl

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I can understand and empathize with your disappointment but Westone is a diverse operation whose sole mission IS NOT just music products. They do assisted hearing devices and equipment, military communication devices and DefendEar hearing protection also. That's a lot of R&D to go around. I'm pleased to see that they are addressing the lack of a functioning in line mic and controls cable BUT highly disappointed that it now uses a different connector. If you want cutting edge development on a continual basis you may be better off elsewhere.
 
Dec 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM Post #15 of 48

Spyro

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Yea, Westone is undeniably a leader in the IEM market.
 
W3 was a breakthrough IEM as first 3 way crossover and the first BIG BASSY balanced armature IEM that also had really good clarity.
 
6 months later UM3X raised the bar again for musicians's stage monitors.  To this date...UM3X (now UMPro 30) still might be THE BEST dedicated universal stage monitor on the market.
 
Then a short 2 years ago Westone was the first company to come out with a quad-driver for true audiophiles.
All their products are great and well thought out (unlike a UE900 that is already discontinued) and maintain steady sales year after year. 
 
Their patented "star" tips was another breakthrough design in offering more clarity to their IEM's with a great fit.
 
When you get it right the first time you don't have to keep re-inventing the wheel.
 

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