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Westone Range Signatures

  1. cricketbaby
    I find myself in the market for some new (probably universal IEMs) after my XBA-40 gave up on me...
    I'm looking through Westone products on various shopping websites, and reading reviews.
    Can anyone sum up the main differences in sound signature between the W and UM ranges? Are either generally regarded as better value at a particular price point, or simply 'different'?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Seamaster
  3. cuiter23
    I think he's asking the differences between the UM and W series.
  4. Seamaster
    Yes, if you read through the posts, there are comparison for that.
  5. cuiter23
    There's lots to read there. Just trying to make his life easier :p
  6. Spyro
    UM is designed for monitoring so sound is smoother and warmer (so less fatiguing) and the overall presentation is "close" and intimate with smaller soundstage.
    W is a bit crisper detailed sounding (sharper), presentation is more open and expansive with larger soundstage.  Better for general listening.
  7. cricketbaby
    Thanks, Spyro, that's exactly what I was after: a quick summary before I did some more in-depth research! 
  8. Spyro
    Been on these boards 11 years and I cant say enough about W40 for its $400 price.   Best all arounder universal on the market for its price.  Absolutely kills the SE535.  Not by preference but by pure performance.
  9. cricketbaby
    That's definitely what I'm thinking about, if I can't sort my XBA-40 out...
    I notice you've owned a pair of IE8 in the past, would you describe the W40 as a general upgrade? Of course the sound signature etc isn't going to be the same - the IE8 is pretty unique.
  10. Spyro
    Yes I would.... the W40 will give substantially more clarity and transparency.  I remember the IE8 sounding pretty veiled.
  11. proedros
    spyro , how better is the w40 from the eq5/re272 ?
  12. Spyro
    Never had eq5 but I find W40 much better than RE272.  Same detail and transparency but much thicker and fuller sounding.
  13. xaddictionx
    Hmm. A differing opinion here.. I have the W4R mounted to a silver dragon cable which, in my opinion, brings the W4R to another level of performance with better details, clarity, tighter bass. The stock Westone cable simply doesn't bring justice to the W4.

    If both W40 and W4R doesn't differ much in SQ, I would say there's no clear winner between W40 and RE272.

    Both W4R and RE272 portrays vocals really well. Smooth, lush and intimate vocals edging very marginally to the front. It's simply just right. But the RE272, IMO, wins it hands down both in details and separation. However, the W4 takes an edge back in terms of highs. W4 is much smoother and pleasing to the ears. RE272 is a tad brighter than W4. Though to me, I sense a veil over the mids with stock cable on for W4.

    Soundstage wise, both are pretty similar. Maybe the RE272 edges out slightly, only marginally slightly.

    Bass wise, W4 takes the lead here. RE272 is pretty soft in terms of bass although it can really keep up with very fast hitting lows. W4 focuses much more on mid bass which maybe bothersome for some but not so much to me, hence giving it a less fatiguing sound. But also at the expense of a slightly warmer sound signature.

    I would say both are equally competent and good. If you prefer a slightly warmer sound signature with a smooth presentation of music for long listening hours, go for the W4R or even the latest W40. It's simply a jack of all trades though master of none. But do not pair with X3. It's just too warm for my taste.
    If you prefer a brighter and analytical sound signature to slice through your music, but still with excellent vocals, stick with your RE272. :) You wouldn't go wrong.
  14. proedros
    glad to hear this especially when cosidering that RE272 went for 200-250$ while w40 goes for 500+$ [​IMG] 
  15. Spyro
    Good analysis.   My reply from yesterday was brief as I did not have much time.  I agree with all you say in comparing to W4 but I did find RE272 bass unacceptable but perhaps I had fit issues.  Bass reminded me of Ety which.....is unacceptable.
    I know it may be hard to believe but W40 is thicker and bassier than W4.  It is very different than RE272.  RE272 would actually be considered clinical and sterile next to W40 which is very lush and warm but somehow has this ability to extend treble with so much shimmer but zero fatigue or harshness.  Really unique in that regard.
    It's a preference thing and I MUST have my bass and W40 provides it along with a sensational vocal midrange and very nicely extended treble.  If I had to nit-pik on one thing I wish it had a larger more expansive soundstage but other than that I find it 100% acceptable in every regard.  $400 VERY well spent money for audio bliss, trust me.

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