Westone UM PRO 50 Signature Series 5-Driver Earphones
Listening to the UM PRO 50 is pure bliss. Joss Stone plays wonderfully. It outputs a velvety sound that doesn't offend your ears.
Hello all, Flavio here. The sound signature of the UM series has a warm, big bottom and are the first earphones I now grab for long hours of listening. If I'm going on a trip or anything that will take more than 3 hours of listening, the UM PRO 50 is now my first choice. They are non-fatiguing, exceptional sounding earphones that play amazingly straight our of my iPhone. Definitely my favorite earphones for long sessions. About the Westone cables: the cables are the most comfortable cables we have ever tested. Note that the UM series comes witih the "UM" cables which are slightly different than the "W" cables. The soft arch behind the ear is very easy on the skin and they are not like the other forming wires used by the legacy W4R for example or the Shure SE series. They are trully the most comfortable to wear specially on those long overnight flights. 10-12 hours with the UM PRO 50 = NO PROBLEM!
The new UM PRO 50 Signature is the top-of-the-line in-ear earphones made by Westone for musicians and audiophiles. It features a 3-way crossover with 5 balanced armature drivers per earpiece. You can read an article written by Victor with the Comparison of Shure SE846 vs Westone UM PRO 50.
Westone UM PRO 50 Signature Series 5-Driver Earphones Review by Earphone Solutions
The UM PRO 50 has 5 drivers and Westone artfully uses all of of them. These offer a rich sound signature; plenty of bass - not boomy, not overwhelming but velvety and detailed. The mids come with a clarity that is borderline scary - you will notice the singer's voice like never before.
The highs are in the right place and make for a very pleasant experience. It will be hard to find earphones more comfortable than these; they offer a flush fit and at times you will forget these are actually connected to cables. The Star Tips did a great job isolating and providing great seal; its soft silicone is plenty moldable and pliable.
Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews
I stepped up from the UM2. The UM PRO 50 are also super comfortable and the sound is amazing.
We recently stepped up to these "Westone UM PRO 50 Signature Series 5-Driver Earphones". We have been using various other earphones for our in-ear monitor system but wanted a more balanced sound and a better bass response. These do it all - the bass is really great and the overall sound is very true to what we expect to hear. We are playing strictly acoustic music through some very high quality mics & the Pro 50s sound very natural & smooth. All the instruments & vocals seem to have their own place in the mix. Everyone loves them & our double bass player is especially happy now!
Great sound in a small and comfortable package! These have become my daily drivers. I have used Westone UM-2, Pro-20, Pro-30, W-60 before settling in on these Pro-50s. I must also be transparent and say I have used a pair of Shure 846's as a reference point. Although I absolutely love the 846's, for me the Pro-50's are a better overall balance of price/performance/comfort. Compared to the 846 I have found that with the exception of using the IEM's as a drummer or bass player, the Pro-50 is a clear winner. There is a significant difference between the Pro-20 and Pro-30. The jump to the Pro-50 was more subtle, but brought a greater balance and full sound. Small form factor is great for smaller ears - whether they belong to guys or gals. ES - Great partner in the evaluation and purchasing process. Thanks for your advice and coaching - you were spot on!
I have auditioned a LOT of headphones and IEMs over the years. With most of the products I was usually disappointed by too much or too little bass, overly bright upper frequencies, small soundstage, etc. So, a few years ago I decided to try some IEMs made by people who actually design and manufacture hearing aids. I thought, "If they make hearing devices for the hearing impaired, they must make great IEM's." I was right. My Westone UM-2's were fantastic. I loved the natural sound, and I discovered that I could sit and listen to them all day without fatigue. During a recent trip out of town, I listened to my UM-2's quite a bit. I still loved the sound, but I wanted a little more definition and depth. After doing a little research on the Westone and Earphone Solutions web sites, I decided to fork over the coin for the UM Pro 50's. I'm very glad I did. The Pro 50's add depth and width to the soundstage I'm used to (from the UM-2's), along with greater definition and bass punch. Instruments and voices have greater separation. And the top end is smooth as silk. I can wear them all day in total comfort, thanks to the unique Star earpieces. I feel completely relaxed during my listening sessions. I have found my musical home! I will mention a couple of caveats. First (and foremost), proper fit is critical. The IEM MUST seat properly in the ear in order for you to experience the most that it has to offer. Make sure you pick the proper size and material for maximum comfort. Also, I use an outboard Oppo HA-2 DAC/headphone amp with the Pro 50's. Although the headphones sound great on their own (using iPhone, iPad, computer, etc.), the Oppo smooths and defines the sound even more. I recommend an outboard headphone amp in order to get the most out of these phones. Bottom line: if you are planning on spending up to $1K on headphones, and you like smooth, well-defined and spacious sound, look no further than the UM Pro 50's. Forget the big, ridiculous, heavy, over-the-ear phones, and treat your head to true audiophile sound!
I've been listening to or making music for a lot of decades. I've used a variety of systems - from scratched records and torn speaker cones to amazing near field monitors in the studio, and a lot of different headphones. I'm a recent convert to IEMs, though I still don't use them live as I typically am playing jazz gigs (as a bassist) where we aren't at high volumes and don't use a lot of front of house support. But for listening at home and around town, I wanted to find something beyond typical ear buds. Most important to me are the mids - as a bassist I know that is where I'm doing to find my articulation and attack (and be able to hear myself without turning way up in a mix). The nuance typically lives in the mids as that is where the voice and many of the lead and harmonic instruments are. So my listening system needs to be able to present all that information clearly and differentiated. I also can't stand strident highs - I'm really sensitive to them after years of live music (so evidently I haven't killed off my ears completely). I want to be able to hear the stick hitting the cymbal and string noise from guitars, but not have that dominate the landscape. And bass needs to be tight. I HATE low-mid bass bloat, which is typically where headphones emphasize to make it sound "fat." As a point of reference, I have Focal Solo 6be monitors in my home studio, and have Focal Spirit headphones along with NAD HP50 and Beyer T51s (and have run AKG K240s in the past). My jump into IEMs was first with the Shure ES215 (surprisingly good for the money, though a little bass heavy), and then SE846. I ended up not keeping the 846 - couldn't justify the price and while they sounded good, they didn't thrill me and they were a bit uncomfortable. I decided to try Westone, especially given their reputation with musicians I know. Never one to go halfway, the UM Pro 50 seemed to be the way to go. Happy to say that I think I've made the right choice. It took me awhile to find the right tips. My ears aren't exactly the same size so there was some fiddling around. Also the positioning can be variable so it took awhile to find how best to insert them and hit the sweet spot every time. But now, not an issue. Sound - damn near perfect for me. Listening to a variety of hi-fi streams on Tidal, I actually have heard a few details on songs I've listened to hundreds of times that I missed on other systems/environments (including my NFMs). The bass is tight and there is no bloat. The bass guitar sounds like it is supposed to - not hyped or overly fat. Treble is not overly aggressive - not strident at all. The mids are downright awesome. They have a bit of edge to them which I like as that helps bring out the detail that can be in dense (but well done) mixes. Horns speak well, strings pop, and vocals are well rounded. In short - these do everything I hoped for. Great set of IEMs.
I've experienced near top-end earphones from both Shure and Westone over time and landed on the latter due purely to their enhanced comfort. For personal reasons I decided a few weeks ago it was time to upgrade to a top-end product and having shared my requirements and thoughts with Earphone Solutions, took their advice on the different options they proposed for my consideration.
I took delivery of the Westone UM Pro 50s some 5 weeks ago and have been using them constantly since. First-off the comfort is right there as with other Westone products I've had and using these earphones for continued period (several hours) is not an issue at all. Years ago (again Earphone Solutions advice) I adopted a cut-down version of the triple flange which allows a perfect, snug fit into my ear and have used the same approach with the UM50s. Works very well for me.
In terms of sound the UM50s offer the best quality I have heard from an in-ear, or over-ear product. Music that you've heard countless times previously takes on a new quality. Somehow the sound feel deeper, with more meaning and real resonance it forces you to listen in a more focused way.
I'm unable to articulate if this is because the bass is deeper, the treble greater or something at the top end. Who knows? I honestly have no idea!
All I know is that music is delivered into both ears in the most beautiful way imaginable. Because you listen to each song on a new way the experience is enriched and there is a real danger of 'just one more song' syndrome where time is easily lost as I've experienced more than once! I'm sure the UM50s deliver music as absolutely intended by the writer, musician, creator.
I like to crank the volume as much as the next guy but have found that I haven't pursued this so much with the UM50s. I did at first and they deliver brilliantly on that front with very little distortion even at full tilt, but I find myself bringing the level back down more frequently as I pursue listening in a more active and intense way driven by these earphones.
Would I recommend them? Hell yes! I'd wear 2 pairs at the same time if there was some way to do it. 5 stars from me.
Couple of final points: the advice from ES was precise, to the point, had clearly heard my requirements and really helpful to me. I'd recommend you take advantage of real knowledge delivered by people who care very much about their customer.
Finally - Ok these are not a cheap product. But surely anyone seriously thinking about spending this kind of money on earphones has made that mental leap already?. But they are great value - and having made that initial leap, I encourage anyone to make the 2nd leap too and buy the UM Pro50s. I'd be shocked if anyone was disappointed.
Thanks for the awesome review Chris!
Warm, thick, and romantic sounding earphone (with stock cable) with full bass (I am not a basshead). To me, an after market cable is a must if I want to keep them. They sound more like a LCD-2 version 1. Pros: They are very musical earphones, easy to listen to (never fatiguing), mid range is very forward and tonally correct, the boundary of soundstage is right at the edge of my ears, vocal is centered, there are nice bass attack and mid-bass, treble is there when the music is calling for it, very comfortable and light weight. Cons: Maybe sound too warm and thick for somebody, mid-bass hump with stock cable, may not be the last word of workmanship/quality.
I have been using the new UM PRO 50 for a week now and am coming from the closed supra-aural dynamic can , the Beyerdynamic DT-1350. Although I first thought that the bass would be a bit too much for my liking, I could easily forget this since I felt that despite the bassy tuning there were no details being smeared in comparison to the DT-1350, which pretty much only has less than half of the low-range attentuation the UM PRO 50 has, which is being directly followed by a ~450-500hz peak of ~5db which the UM PRO 50 in direct comparison lacks, thus rendering both female and male vocals extremely realistic. All in All I have been re-discovering most of my Music collection once again and although it is pretty attentuated in the low end, I willingly love to have a bit more well-textured bass on my recordings in trade fo earpiercing mid-to-treble peaks, which conventional dynamic drivers generally have more problems with, see DT-1350. Despite all the technological proficiency against HD-25 and so on... ------- If you disagree with my headline please compare the UM PRO 50 with the UE 11 Pro, which is also very attentuated on its low end, but does not extend as far as the UM PRO 50 by utilizing a deep insertion with the shortest / smallest eartips you can find. This is absolutely needed to reveal the top end of this pretty dark on-stage monitor, as it may sound dull because of it's laid back treble, which won't sound better if it extends like ~2k less high because you may be using the "wrong" tips (i.e. directly firing against the next wall and not into the direction of the second bend. Pros: Extremely non-fatiguing, solid "thick" sound without lost "details" Universal fit Cons: The deeper you put it, the better gets the sound, which is pretty much also a "pro", because most universal fit iems won't be inserted too deep into the canal, mostly because of lacking ergonomics and / or adequate tips.
Got my UM Pro 50 with just 10 hours run-in time. Hook them up straight out of my Macbook. I would like to say Westone got the tone right, the sound feels very natural and they are warm side of neutral that is for sure. The tonal balance dose remind me LCD-2 with custom reachable that is much better than Shure I had before which were very detailed by has "plastic" tone to vocal. The tonal character is more of LCD-2 than HD650 (I had them for 6 years). Overall as right now, even it is kind early to judge, they are keeper. They do lack the 3D feel, treble, and soundstage that LCD-2 offered (not at that level I mean), but not too far away behind that is understandable because they do not require expensive source, cables, and amp to feed them. I am pretty happy. By the way, I feel more bass than UM Pro 50 is excessive, they are on the boarder line for having too much bass (to me). I never heard the W40 BUT I can tell you UM Pro 50 are NOT for monitoring because it is colored (warm with body) rather than neutral. If someone describe Pro 50 is neutral, he must in love with HD650 or something very thick sounding. I feel the Pro 50 is not the last word of wide soundstage, clarity, speed, or instrument separation, it is a naturally warm sounding with hard kicking bass IEM. A quite enjoyable and easy listening experience. IMHO, any more bass or body than Pro 50 with stock cable would be overwhelming other frequencies and make is less enjoyable. Overall the Pro 50 sounds very direct without too much adorn. When I close my eye music a whole right out side of my head (entend right out side of my ears) but voice is forward and is still in side my head. Clarity (5%) and instrument separation (15%) is less than Meridian G08 + WA22 + LCD-2 + ALO custom cable. Not bad for IEM without amp and stright out of my MacBook Pro. Bass is about right. Pros: Very natural sounding for BA driver IEM Cons: May sound too thick or bassy for some people
Thanks for the great review Griffin!
First off thanks to Earphone Solutions for the ultra fast shipping and great communication. This is by far the most comfortable universal IEM i have ever owned / tried. Not only are they super light, but they fit my ear almost perfect. On top of that, there is literally no fatigue with these - I've had them in for several hours at a time at work and it's like i don't even notice them. The build quality may not be on target with Shure, but then again you deal with heavier / bulkier buds. I get an incredible seal with the black star foam tip, and the overall selection of tips they give you is definitely and upgrade from the W / UMX series. Below i will compare my thoughts to the previous entry in the series (um pro 30 / UM3X) which a lot of people have and i know question whether or not the upgrade is worth it. On to the sound - first thing i noticed is the sound stage was much wider than the 30's. I didn't have that enclosed feeling by any means, it definitely felt way more open. One thing these kept that i know a lot of people questioned was the bass impact. Still as good as the 30's in every aspect, but it doesn't drown anything out. What really stood out now is how much more defined the drums and guitar are. It was a bit subtle at first, but upon a good hour of listening and a/b'ing the 30's & 50's, it is definitely apparent. Drums are crystal clear, some tracks i almost have a sensation i'm sitting right in front of the drum set. Cymbals/crashes sound absolutely insane! Vocals are also pronounced more, even more so with female vocals. The only thing i can think of the 30's still have a slight edge (and i mean slight) is the instrument separation. Though the 50's still have very clear separation - they are just a bit more fluent in the 30's...but then again that's really what those have always been known for. Overall, i'm very pleased. I would say, at least for me, this was a justifiable upgrade over the 30's. All in all i'm a happy camper. The um pro 30's are still an amazing iem, but the 50's are just hit on everything i felt needed improved upon. At the moment, these are the best universal IEM's i have heard - great job Westone! Pros: - An improvement on everything weak in the UM 30's (mids / highs/ vocals) - Wide crystal clear sound stage - Excellent Bass - Great instrument separation - Ultra comfortable / low fatigue Cons: - Price (yikes!!)
Thanks for the detailed review Jason.