Westone have been revamping a lot of their universal IEM lineup of late. Well in actual fact pretty much all of it from the UM10 upwards since last last year. I had a chance to review the UM Pro 10 and Alpha series a while back and my thoughts were a bit mixed with the UM10 coming out pretty good but not so keen on the Alpha series. I also had very fond memories of the older UM3X and though never owning the W4r series most in our local forums had nothing but positive feelings on the higher end unit. I always remember Westone as doing great mids on their BA series, particularly the triple driver sets and upwards.
So I was pretty excited when Westone announced in January 2014 that they would be launching the W60 and W60 series multi-BA driver IEM’s. Despite a slightly elongated launch period with the W50 and W60 only really becoming accessible globally in the last few months I was already reading positive reviews of the W60 in the usual forums and blogs. Yet oddly nothing on the W50. Apart from the odd infomercial and update on launch dates on some blogs, the W50 has suffered from a chronic lack of exposure. Even in the last month debate has been all too light and breezy on the W50 in head-fi with myself and about 3 or 4 others doing the initial sound impression discussions. This is a 5 driver BA universal IEM that sells for $799 SRP on the Westone website and the profile is achingly low. Naturally I reached out to Westone and we went for the W50 for this review.
Sadly I do not have a Westone W60 to compare the W50 to but I do wonder if the W60 at only around $200 more will cannabalize some of the W50 appeal with it’s 6 driver setup. However, on the basis of the last month testing the W50, I do believe bassheads may have finally found their balanced armature dream setup because the W50 bass is just about the hardest hitting bass I have heard on a universal BA setup to date.
Click on next page for the build & fit impressions…