I recently bought a pair of W40’s, and I adore them. So, I’m very excited to try out their top of the line model, the W80. Like the W40, the W80 has an extended low frequency response, which might please those who find Westone to be too light on the bass. So, let’s find out if these buds rock in this Westone W80 Earphones Review.
Westone W80 Earphones Review
IN the BOX – Westone W80 Earphones Review
Exchangeable silver, gold, red, and new blue color faceplates with secure attachment.
Five sizes of patented STAR™ silicone ear tips
Five sizes of premium True-Fit™ comfort foam ear tips,
MFi three button cable,
ALO Audio cable,
Premium Deluxe Carrying Case,
Premium Small Carrying Case,
Cleaning tool cleaning cloth.
DESIGN & FIT – Westone W80 Earphones Review
As the name suggests, the W80 holds 8 balanced armature drivers; 2 bass, 2 mid and 4 high. Unlike most of Westone’s other models, the W80 has a bass response that extends to 5Hz. The only other model that comes close to this bass extension is the W40, which is one of Westone’s most popular earphones.
If you get a pair of Westones, you have to really look after them. There’s no steel or aluminum housing on these guys. And they put a lot of drivers in a very small package. Certainly, Westone’s priority is brilliant sound over shell durability. I highly recommend keeping them in the provided carrying case because they’re not meant to be thrown around in your pocket.
However, the great thing about the Westone design is that the earphones are very light and ergonomic. They fit closely and snugly to the contour of your ear. The result is a secure feel with superior sound isolation. The earphones have over-ear memory wires and come with a thicker ALO cable, which is not used with cheaper Westone models. (It also comes with a remote cable.) Overall, the W80 feels more durable than the lower priced Westone earphones.
SOUND – Westone W80 Earphones Review
The bass is punchy, dry and it’s got a ton of grip. It’s quite deep. However it doesn’t have a resonating subby feel at all. The lows are well separated for the rest of the mix. And because of the W80’s speedy response, they sound fantastic when listening to pop, hip-hop and EDM.
The mids are perfectly balanced. No emphasized upper mids, so I felt absolutely no harshness. The W80’s convey a beautiful fullness that’s perfect for big rock and pop-rock choruses. The downside is that it’s not the most clear and well separated sound I’ve heard in this price range. So, it’s not the perfect earphone for folk music, for example. Rather, its defining character lies in its rich and luscious feel. Vocals aren’t very forward, which bring out the mix even further. And instruments like electric guitars have a solid, pleasingly thick quality.
No piercing highs to speak of. It’s a very round and smooth sound that makes high pitched instruments, like trumpets, very easy to listen to. Again, Westone has gone with richness over transparency. That’s not to say that you can’t hear a significant amount of texture in soprano instruments and vocals. However, it’s not a delicate sound. In terms of classical music, I really enjoyed the fluidity of the strings and choirs. Having said that, people who mainly listen to jazz and classical may find that the W80’s don’t have enough clarity in the higher range to authentically convey the nuances and subtleties of classical and jazz instruments. Even so, with respect to percussion, I could definitely hear a crispness and a higher frequency extension than other Westone models.
The W80 has a great amount of width and a decent amount of depth, but less height than I expected. Still, the imaging felt accurate and multidimensional.
SUMMARY – Westone W80 Earphones Review
If you love rock and roll, look no further. The mid range is superb. Those who listen to pop and hip-hop will love these buds too. However, if you’re a jazz or classical music fan and enjoy extremely transparent highs, you might be better off investing in a different pair. That being said, because the W80 is so beautifully balanced, I think it is also the perfect earphone for those who listen across genres. If you’re strapped for cash, go for the Westone W40. The W40 has less extended highs and less clarity, but they’re still very similar to the W80. And almost 1000 bucks cheaper!
You can find these earphones for the best price at:
Audio 46: Westone W80 Premium Earphones
SPECIFICATIONS – Westone W80 Earphones Review
Frequency Response: 5Hz – 22kHz
Impedance: 5 Ohms
Passive Noise Attenuation: Up to 35dB
Driver: Eight balanced armature drivers with three-way crossover
Cable: ALO Audio / MFi Replaceable