This is an in-depth review of the new Westone Audio MACH 70 which is a co-flagship 7 balanced armature driver universal in-ear monitor. It is priced at £1399.
Disclaimer: This is a sample that was sent in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website that does not have any affiliate links. We thank both HiFi Headphones UK and Westone Audio for this opportunity.
To learn more about previous Westone Audio products covered on Headfonics you can click here.
Note, that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read up on here.
Westone Audio MACH 70 Review
The Westone Audio MACH 70 is an absolute joy to wear and it is definitely not a boring IEM with strong technicalities and deep, immersive bass. Westone Audio could have named it a bassy version or something but they don’t, somehow justified by the strong performance in the upper register that isn’t covered by the bass lift.
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Clean vocal and treble while delivering strong bass impact
Excellent passive isolation
Clean vocal and treble while delivering strong bass impact
The MACH 70 is one of two flagship IEMs released by Westone Audio this year and is tuned in a significantly different way to the professional monitor-styled MACH 80.
Sharing the exact same aesthetics and futuristic design as the MACH 80, the MACH 70 includes the flagship Linum Estron ULTRABaX™ quad-twisted cable from Denmark and is $200 cheaper than the MACH 80, making it a sweeter deal for those who prefer an engagingly tuned, bass intensive and highly resolving IEM with an extremely sleek profile.
Designed to satisfy bass lovers and to be an all-rounder for all genres of music, the MACH 70 features seven proprietary drivers consisting of single low, dual mids, and quad BAs under its 3-way crossover system. The frequency response is incredibly wide-ranging from 5Hz to 22kHz, and the MACH 70 has the biggest bass amongst the MACH series.
If you have read our MACH 80 review, you may have noticed that the MACH 80 has one more bass driver and their response to power is pretty different.
Measuring 42ohm and 110dB in sensitivity the MACH 70 is audibly much more sensitive than the MACH 80, achieving strong dynamics and clarity even when powered by phones and dongles.
The MACH 70 uses the T2 connector system as well for high durability and a sleeker form factor. The connector is IP-67 Proof which allows it to be more durable if you wear the IEMs for sports and other heavy duties.
The full MACH series has probably gone through a sci-fi facelift, it is appreciably more stylish and reliable in material design than the previous W series.
Westone Audio has trimmed down the weight on their design tremendously and the enclosure looks and feels metallic if neglecting the weight, despite the fact that it is actually made from polycarbonate and topped with a metallic faceplate.
The palette and satin finish on the MACH 70 are identical to the MACH 80, and you could only tell them from each other by the model number on the earpieces. It is an appealing industrial design cooler than many in the competition. L
Similar to the MACH 80 experience, the MACH 70 is a well-executed design that is extremely light, and comfortable without sacrificing durability, isolation, and visuals. Overall, the finishing quality is impressive and the assembly is firm and flawless. Unless you are looking for a flashy design, everything is right on point with this design.
The unique long flanges and high-density True-fit foams fitting on the thin nozzle as a part of the design are very nicely manufactured to offer excellent noise isolation and comfort, which completes the package perfectly.
Comfort & Isolation
Westone Audio has been creating monitors for a few decades and doubtlessly their monitor designs are one of the most comfortable and compact albeit packed in multiple drivers.
The MACH 70 has excellent isolation. With a deep fit using the supplied flanges or foams, the seal and fitting are excellent quite close to wearing a custom monitor.
The Linum cable with a rather small gauge and an ergonomically tilted extrusion angle is stressless to the ears and allows the MACH 70 to fit on the cavum without any discomfort in any direction. When tightening the cable behind the neck it is almost weightless and free from microphonics.
Inside the package, you will find 5 pairs each of flanges and Westone Audio’s high-density True-fit foams. The different sizes could easily fit any ears and once getting the best fit it could totally seal you from ambient noises.
The fit allows exceptional noise sealing capability and enhances the bass delivery and clarity that again, exceed my expectation with an IEM that is based on balanced armatures only and has a small nozzle diameter, outputting very dynamic and full bass.
Only the top two models in the MACH series are given the Linum Estron ULTRABaX stock cable designed by the Denmark company Estron a/s.
The Estron ULTRABaX cable is one of the thinnest upgrade cables with 224 strands and a quad-twisted design. It also has a very low impedance rating at just 0.6Ω, so it won’t color the output.
Not just by how it looks but by how it matches the tuning of the MACH 80 while not adding up the impedance and colorings.
For those who think common aftermarket cables are too thick or too prone to damage, the ULTRABaX is much tougher than most cables you can find. It is very compact, allowing users to roll it easily and fit it in a small vault. The unique slider is also very handy allowing users to quickly lock it in position.
Packaging & Accessories
Westone Audio is very good at visual appeals and you could feel the professionalism in design from the way they pack their products. Taking off the sleeves Westone Audio fits in a Pelican shock-proof and water-proof case that could protect the IEMs from almost any kind of physical damage.
Aside from that and the rich selection of tips and foams, there is a cloth bag, as well as a brush tool that could be used to clean off dirt and earwax from the nozzles.
The MACH 70 being one of the top models in the latest lineup from Westone Audio, has a very engaging and rich tuning, on top of its highly defined output that sounds very resolving even out of the laptop or small dongles.
The sound design unveils Westone Audio’s ambition to please bass-thirsty ears with plenty of energy in the low end, which is almost as responsive as dynamic driver-based IEMs. By using a sensitive network of BA drivers it could be driven rather effortlessly and expansively with different portable sources.
For those who enjoy the almost overwhelming rumble on previous Westone flagships, the MACH 70 captures the essence of the house tuning, sounding exceptionally lush and dense with strong resolution and bass layering.
The perceived definition is leveled up from the previous generation products, with a stronger sense of control and speedy response for stronger transient performance in the two ends.
The MACH 70 has 1 low, 2 mids, and 4 treble drivers which is rather unusual in its configuration. It sounds more V-shaped than the MACH 80 which is much flatter and reference-tuned.
While the bass is very powerful the treble and vocal line rides very smoothly on top of the rumble with outstanding clarity. The decent control is very good even when listening at high volume.
On the MACH 70, the low end is very fun and prominent, and it is probably the most bass-dominating unit within the series that is at the same time highly resolving and controlled with an expressive decay.
The bass is clearly the focus especially the rich mid-bass range spotlighted, despite having the bass-driver-count trimmed in half when compared to the MACH 80.
Testing with Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls with thunderous, distorting bass very heavily weighted in the intro, it is hard to not swing your head. The ambiance from live shows is also captured very emotionally as if you are a part of the crowd in a spacious stadium, where the bass has plenty of room to develop and disperse.
The big bass favors rocks, metals, and guttural singing, where voices and instruments are nicely polished to sound rounded, energetic, and dynamic. the definition between clarity and power is finely balanced.
Westone Audio has proven that using a single dedicated bass driver instead of a dual BA for bass could be a fun alternative that sounds bigger, and airier but without compromising much in the way of clarity.
The strong, intimate punch on drum sets and double bass is much more within reach with bass guitars sounding really playful and wet.
Stress testing the MACH 70 with higher volume, the bass design can accommodate the stronger swings pretty well. The bass is still dense and speedy sounding with a strong texture at relatively high volume. Separation is decent even at higher volume with little in the way of blur or bleeding over the vocals.
The mid-range on the MACH 70 has some resemblance to the MACH 80, which is smoothly articulated from the lower register.
There is a stronger sense of lushness and forwardness with the increased bass intensity that strengthens the overtones of vocal frequencies also instruments with resonance chambers. The tuning is empowering in particularly hoarse and powerful voices from metal singers as well as acoustic instruments while keeping the air from the mix.
Unlike the MACH 80 which is more laid back, the MACH 70 has more emphasis on the lead singer and instrumentals, which at the same time colors the output a bit warmer.
There is excellent roundness and good clarity that outlines the vocal distinctively and to balance the elevated bass, there is adequate energy in the upper mids that strengthens the vocal image.
There is a good sense of steadiness on the MACH 70 and as it gulps up more power the mid-bass sounds firmer and more exciting, giving more weight to string plucking and to percussion instruments.
Some earthy string instruments, for example, the viola sound full, smooth, and very well weighted with a nice articulation across the midrange.
The tenor rides on the mids smoothly with excellent control and roundness. If you have already forgotten about the specifications of the MACH 70, there are 4 tweeters assigned to handle the upper register.
As a result, it is able to extract a lot of subtle details. It is also able to handle drastic changes in sound intensities, and replay fast, tight rhythms without a sweat.
Using the 1812 Overture to test, the blast from the 105mm Cannons is dynamically captured so that the orchestra sounds rhythmic while maintaining decent control.
I can hear the cannon explosion radiating up ahead to the air around, a lot of details are captured and the expansion of air sounds stereophonic. There is hardly any irritancy in the treble yet it is not short of impact and energy, and the overall dynamics and musicality are pleasing.
The smooth treble rides on the midrange with a little bit more energy that again, balances the strong bass to deliver a highly dynamic, full-bodied output.
At higher gain, the treble will be pushed forward and with stronger transients, and when powered by laptops and dongles it will be more polite and sweet, and in any case, the strong dynamics and energy from the two ends make it very suitable for pop or any genres with rhythmic bass lines.
The MACH 70 renders a deep, controlled listening environment with the ability to handle a lot of space as if the headroom is acoustically damped. When the bass gets really big it won’t feel messed up or bounced back with distortion but absorbed into the background.
The roll-off in the treble has limited expansion in staging, as such the stage experience on MACH 70 is similar to a lecture hall, having enough room for the bass to expand and for a handful of instruments to be accommodated. Similar to the MACH 80 the crossover is designed well to not overlap and results in a coherent, realistic stage.