Westone as a brand commands some well-deserved respect among audiophiles. Thanks to their exhaustive lineup, there’s usually something for anyone when it comes to their headphones. Adding to the W and UM Pro series, the AM Pro series is an ambient monitor aimed at performers (especially worship teams) who need to hear auditory cues around them. At $439, the AM Pro 30 is the flagship model in this new category, but how does it stand up to casual listening?
Westone AM Pro 30 Review
The AM Pro 30 comes with all the fixings of your regular Westone earphone. There’s a simple braided cable, as well as bunch of eartips (both memory foam and silicon), and there’s even a Westone earphone vault in there.
While models in the AM Series don’t offer changeable plates (like those in the W Series), they still look a little stylish. The build quality and comfort is as solid as any other earphone offered by the manufacturer.
Sensitivity: 124 dB SPL @ 1 mW
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 18 kHz
Impedance: 56 ohms @ 1 kHz
Passive Noise Attenuation: 12dB
Driver: Three balanced armature drivers with three-way crossover.
Cable: MMCX Audio™ Connection.
The specs reveal a headphone with a fairly standard frequency range (but maybe with a little less detail in the high end), a slightly higher nominal impedance, and some pretty high volume.
The low end on the AM Pro 30 is deep and rich, with a resounding character I haven’t yet encountered in any other Westone model. The bass has a little punch to it, but there is some sloppiness and bleeding in there, as well. Distortion can be heard at times, but it’s not as bad as it could be.
The midrange is accurate, but with some compression. This gives me the impression of a pinched sound missing some swathes of the frequency range, but what is there is clear and detailed, with some pretty good contrast.
In the high end, the sound of the AM Pro 30 leans bright, with a metallic hint to it. Somewhat piercing at times, it may not handle strings as well as the UM Pro headphones, but the vocals come across as being crisp and clear, even if they do sound a bit relaxed while doing so.
There’s some placement and depth, but not as much as I was hoping for. While the low end helps the sense of space along, that compression in the mids causes the sound to get a little constricted at times.
Marked by a decent level of fidelity, this headphone has a few small drawbacks that make it pale in comparison to the richer sound of the UM Pro series. Of course, it could still pull double duty as a headphone for church use, with some casual listening use on the side. One thing that should be noted is the lack of isolation – something novel when it comes to in-ear headphones. While not as open-sounding as an open-back IEM, it’s nowhere near the “underwater” feeling most people experience with earbuds.
If you’re use is casual or critical listening, the AM Pro would probably suit you okay…but there are probably millions of other headphones out there that would sound better. If you’re part of a worship team, or you need an in-ear headphone that offers a certain level of fidelity while not blocking out ambient sound, then this one takes the cake.
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