CHOOSING THE BEST WESTONE EARPHONE FOR AUDIOPHILE MUSIC LISTENING
Westone is a Colorado based company specializing in audiology and in-ear devices for critical listening. They’re considered one of the best companies for in-ear monitoring devices for musicians and they even manufacture professional hearing protection products as well as in-ear devices for the military. But Westone also makes some incredible earphones for audiophiles and everyday music listening. However, figuring out which earphone is best can be quite confusing. So I decided to help demystify the Westone W-Series earphones to find out what are the best models for the price.
THE WESTON MUSIC EARPHONE LINE-UP
Westone has three main categories of earphones for music… Active Listeners, Audiophiles and Musicians. The Active Listener and Musician categories both contain music monitoring earphones for professional applications and the Active Listener category also includes a few earphone models for more durable applications like camping or hiking. The Audoiphile category however is the category that most music listeners and audiophiles need to look at in order to find the right earphone. In that category is the ES-Series (Elite Series) which are custom made for each customer and the W-Series (Westone Series) which are designed for the average audiophile and music fan. The W-Series is the best series to find a high-quality earphone for music listening on a wide range of budgets. But with 7 models to choose from, it can be difficult to choose. So let’s break down the Westone W-Series earphones and see how they compare.
THE WESTONE W-SERIES
The Westone W-Series earphone line-up is set up for a wide range of budgets (from around $200 to $1500) and each model has added high-quality features for the music listening enthusiast. The distinctive difference in features between all the models lies in three main things… Frequency Response, Type of Driver and Number of Drivers.
Beginning with the Westone W10 earphone you’ll see that the frequency response is 20Hz – 16kHz with a single balanced, full-range driver. A great way to get into a pair of high-quality earphones from the Westone brand.
Moving up through the models you’ll see that the W20 reaches 20Hz – 18kHz and has 2 balanced drivers with a passive crossover. It’s an excellent earphone and still at the lower end of the price spectrum of the Westone W-Series.
With the W30 model you get a significant boost in features and the sound quality proves it. The Westone W-30 also has a frequency response of 20Hz – 18kHz but in stepping up to 3 balanced drivers and a 3-way crossover I find that the clarity is much improved. Not a bad upgrade we’re not even at the top end of the series.
The Westone W40 earphone features a frequency response of 10kHz – 18kHz and contains 4 balanced armature drivers along with a 3-way crossover. (As you may be figuring out, the model number coincides with the number of drivers.)
The W50 model earphone also has a significant boost in sound quality as the frequency response widens even more to 20Hz – 20kHz. And with 5 balanced drivers and a 3-way crossover the intensity of the music as well as the clarity is quite noticeable.
As you would expect the Westone W60 has a total of 6 drivers for an amazing amount of force along with a 3-way crossover. The frequency response on the W60 is at a full 20Hz – 20kHz. Until recently the W60 was the top of the line in the W-Series but Westone has introduce a brand new model with even more for audiophiles to rave over.
The big daddy W-Series earphone model recently introduced by Westone is the W80. Featuring 8 balanced armature drivers (2 for bass, 2 for mid range and 4 dedicated to high frequencies) and a 3-way crossover, the W80 is where audiophiles can find the best of the best in earphone sound quality. And the frequency range is expanded once more to 5Hz – 22kHz for even more clarity.
Depending on your budget and needs, the Westone W-Series earphones are all top quality products that deliver premium sound with a wide range of added features to choose from. Choosing any model from the W-Series line-up will significantly improve your sound quality and listening experience compared to many other brands. In my opinion, the best two earphone models in this series that really grab my attention with sound quality are the Westone W30 and the Westone W50 because both give you significant feature upgrades from the lower models at a decent price. I really enjoyed the overall frequency response and power these earphones deliver as well as the comfort and noise-blocking effects.
If you’re in the market for a Westone earphone or if you’re an audiophile looking to find the best listening experience in a portable in-ear product, you’d be well advised to check out the W-Series line. Each model in the line comes with an impressive earphone case, optional color faceplates, 2 detachable wire options (one with 3-button mobile phone controls and one without) and different size foam and silicone eartips for maximum comfort. All-in-all the Westone W-Series delivers exceptional sound quality mixed with superior design for audiophiles to satisfy their need for the best possible sound on the go.
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