Westone have always been one of my favored earphones, particularly the UM3 I reviewed way back when we just got the blog up and running. I was slightly less in love with the more limited UM1 but I still recognized it’s appeal and of course the always meticulous and thoughtful Westone accessory and packing kit that comes with almost every edition they release. This year they have revamped some of their line up with the UM series as well as releasing the new Adventure series so I managed to get my hands on the UM10 and the ADV Alpha from each of the new ranges courtesy of Beyond the Box and see which one suited my taste better and get a greater understanding on what the two new brands actually mean and who will likely buy them.
The UM10 is part of the revamp of the UM1-3 series with the UM20 and UM30 as part of that revamp. Sadly I did not receive the 20 or 30 but again it’s a balanced armature setup with the 10 being the single armature and 20/30 being dual and triple. The idea being this should be a revision of the UM1 single armature which was selling at a much lower price but in my previous review I felt it lacked top end extension given the limitations of the single BA in the UM1. The UM10 also comes with a revamped hard case in bright translucent orange and the usual array of tips and filters. The biggest external change also is the detachable cables of the UM10 which are flush rather than recessed and should allow cable enthusiasts to tinker away to the end of their wallets imagination. The stock cable is pretty much the standard black braided variety I have seen before and terminated in a right angle 3.5mm gold plated jack. Thankfully the UM10 is not cluttered with idevice remotes and mics and is designed for over the ear insertion much like the RHA MA750i (which is a $10 cheaper then the UM10). The UM10 ships at an SRP of $149.99 direct from Westone.
The ADV Alpha is part of Westone’s new adventure series aimed at the outdoor enthusiast or extreme lifestyle kind of music listener and as such the whole packaging is a cue from the outdoor survival gear image right down the pill box hard case that looks like a cannister or a compass case. It also sports a pretty durable looking rubberized idevice remote and mic with reflective detachable cables, magnesium unibody ear piece and weather resistant for outdoors use. That is pretty persuasive if your thinking camping on a Saturday night but for a couch potato like me my radar is honing in on the fact this is Westone’s first use of a dynamic driver which in the Alpha’s case is a 6.5mm dynamic micro driver. Until Dec 3rd it is also shipping out for $149.99 direct from Westone, down from SRP of $249 which for some might be a bit of a bargain.
Click on next page for general build & fit impressions..