The Westone UM Pro 20 and the Shure SE425 are very similar earphones. Both are in-ear monitors, both have dual armature drivers, and both cost $299.99. So what are the differences between the two, and which one is better? Today, I’ll try to find out by conducting a Westone UM Pro 20 and Shure SE425 comparison review.
Westone UM Pro 20 and Shure SE425 Comparison Review
|Westone UM Pro 20||Shure Se425|
|Impedance||27 ohms||22 ohms|
|Type||in-ear monitors||in-ear monitors|
|Drivers||dual balanced armature drivers||dual balanced armature drivers|
|Sensitivity||119 dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz||109 dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz|
In the Box
|Westone UM Pro 20||Shure SE425|
|5 foam, 5 silicone eartips||3 foam, 3 silicone, 1 yellow foam, 1 triple flange eartip|
|protective case||1/4” adapter|
Both the Westone UM Pro 20 and the Shure SE425 are in-ear headphones whose cables are detachable. Both have MMCX connectors which makes them easy to replace if anything ever happened to them. Likewise, they both hook over the ear to help make a secure fit.
Both earphones have driver housings that are made of plastic and are very similar in size, although they differ slightly in shape (see below).
Unlike the Westone UM Pro 20, the Shure SE425 has a thick, yet sometimes stiff Kevlar cable. This makes it ultra durable, but a little bit uncomfortable. On the other hand, the Westone UM Pro 20 has a lighter, more flexible cable. This cable is potentially more fragile than the other.
Additionally, the shapes of the driver housings of both earphones are slightly different. As it turns out, the UM Pro 20 fits my ears better. The SE425 is a little bit thicker and this bulkiness disagrees with my ear shape.
Westone UM Pro 20
The low end of the Westone UM Pro 20 is detailed and articulate. It has a boost somewhere around 200 Hz. This gives instruments like bass guitars and cellos a little extra energy. The earphones are a matched pair and this exactness in the left and right ear creates a greater sense of space and front to back imaging. This adds a lot to the emotional impact of very dynamic songs, especially orchestral and jazz music.
The high-midrange and the high frequencies in the UM Pro 20 are lively sounding with a boost around 10kHz. There is also a boost around 6kHz and a cut around 1khZ. I’m impressed with the quickness of the drivers, especially in the midrange and low end frequencies.
The imaging from left to right is very accurate, as is the imaging from top to bottom. The depth is also nice on these earphones and I’m especially impressed because of how sound isolating they are.
The Shure SE425 is very balanced sounding. It has excellent sound isolation, even better than the Westone UM Pro 20. There as a boost around 7kHz that gives nice detail to the high end. There also seems to be a cut around 5kHz which makes vocals sit a little bit lower in the mix than the Westone UM Pro 20. The earphones’ response to the midrange is fast acting and detail oriented, giving these earphones a dynamic which contributes to the emotions in the music. The low frequencies are a little more cloudy than the UM Pro 20 but they aren’t overemphasized like in other cheaper models. In fact they seem a little on the polite side for my taste.
For the level of noise isolation in these earphones, I’m impressed by its soundstage. The left to right is accurate sounding. The high to low imaging certainly gets tall, but fails to get low because of the lack of bass response. The front to back imaging is not remarkable but it is decent.
Both the Westone UM Pro 20 and the Shure SE425 earphones are great! And while I personally like the Westone earphones better, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that someone else would like the Shure better. To make a decision on these two earphones, I would recommend trying them both yourself to see which one fits better and sounds better to you. Sorry for the vague answer, but alas, it really seems like it might be a matter of taste.
Both the Westone UM Pro 20 and the Shure SE425 are available for the best price here: