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Westone W40 4-Driver Gen 2 with Bluetooth Cable V1
The much anticipated release of the W40 is here! Audiophiles across the globe have been waiting not-so-patiently to discover the promise of the Westone W40; a big sound, incredibly clear mids and highs, and a deep rich bass perfect for all types of listening.
Westone has outdone themselves with this release and the sound quality is matched only by the technical specifications of these earphones. Listeners won’t be disappointed in the W40, its sound quality, or the construction that sets Westone apart from its competitors.
The W40 offers its users:
Four Balanced Drivers The W40 earphones offer users incredible in-ear audio technology thanks to the balanced armature drivers and the three way crossover network. Users will appreciate the increased acoustic clarity and frequency range found in the balanced driver design.
True-Fit Technology Each pair of W40 earphones comes with five pairs of True-Fit foam tips and five sets of STAR silicone sleeves to ensure a customized fit. These customizable tips ensure a lightweight, low profile, and personalized earpiece that is incredibly comfortable and allows for long periods of use.
Interchangeable Cables W40 purchases include both a round EPIC G2 cable and a MFI cable with a three button Apple control system. The Epic G2 cable is braided for durability and acoustic clarity and is made of a highly flexible tensile wire. The Apple MFi cable allows users to control the volume, play, pause, and take phone calls without touching the phone.
Exchangeable Faceplates The W40 comes with three different faceplates that make customization and personalization simple. Users can choose between red, blue, and black faceplates.
Essential Accessories Included in the W40 purchase are several accessories that make the earphones even more safe and secure. An orange Westone Monitor Vault and earpiece cleaning tool help maintain your investment over time.
Two Year Warranty: Earphone Solutions ensures Westone honors the two year manufacturer’s warranty designed to protect a customer’s investment in the W40 earphones.
Westone W40 4-Driver Gen 2 with Bluetooth Cable V1 Review by Earphone Solutions
Do you know the old saying, “Go big or go home?” This couldn’t be any truer than when talking about the sound of the new W40 earphones from Westone. I was thrilled to have a chance to review them and even more excited the first time I put them in. The sound was big, clear, and possessed amazing detail. I was hooked from the first note.
I’m a commercial airline pilot... read my Review of the Westone W40 Earphones
A side-by-side comparison of the predecessor W4R vs SE846.
We transferred all customer product reviews from the predecessor W4R over to the page of the new W40 due to the similar configuration (3-way crossover, quad drivers). The new W40 now includes 2 cables: MFI Music Control for iPhone and a new improved braided cable for audio only. During A/B tests between the W4R and the W40, we can assure you there is a big upgrade in sound quality thanks in part to newly-updated drivers, different 3-way crossover tuning, drivers placement (which can impact sound) and new shell acoustics. All customer reviews dated before October 18, 2013 are for the predecessor W4R model. All customer reviews posted after October 18, 2013 are for the new W40.
Summary of Customer Ratings & Reviews
I have now owned the Alpha's, and W20's, so the natural progression is the W40's. Building Quality and Design: As in the W20's, the build quality and design is very sleek. Over the ear design is exceptional. There is no fabric cable as the Alpha's but the plastic is soft and flexible. The plastic cable tangles a little more than the fabric but not too bad and no cable noise. 90 degree plug which is a must for me now. I am currently trying them with the Bluetooth Cable. The rating is 8.5/10. Comfort/Fit: With the supplied 10 tips you are guaranteed a perfect fit and seal. And so comfortable, you can wear them for hours. The rating is 9/10. Isolation and Microphonics: The fit is so good the isolation is fantastic. Microphone works well and good voice quality. The rating is 8/10 for the isolation and 8/10 for the microphonics. Sound Quality: I bought these hoping to get a tad more treble and a tad less mids than the W20's and that is exactly what I got. These headphones are more alive, but there is a bit less bass. Great depth and sound so full, but so natural in every way. The rating is 8.5/10. Accessories: Comes with 10 tips, variety of options for a great fit. Extra EPIC braided removable cable. Exchangeable faceplates.Tip cleaner. The rating is 8/10. Bass: Rich and true. Mids: Right where I like it. Treble: Detailed and alive without being harsh even at high volumes. Conclusion: These are my new gold standard in headphones. Westone really seems to know how to push the limits, but leaving the sound natural and pure. The Westone comfort factor will keep me a user for life. The final score is 8.5/10. Pros: great sound quality and thoughtful design build. More sonic power. Cons: I would love them to have the fabric cable of the Alpha's.
I use to have the um3x's until they got destroyed by my rolly chair. Ordered these to replace them and haven't looked back since. The um3x was my first pair of quality earphones and I liked them a lot, apart from the minor fatiguing and the very narrow soundstage. To my ears, the w40 is warmer and less fatiguing. The bass is also more full. All in all, a solid purchase. Make sure you guys take advantage of the trade in program here at earphone solutions though. $100 off! Happy listening
I have worn these a month now almost non stop. I am retired so I have lots of time to listen to music and I use it. I listen to Rock, Jazz, Country and Classical. At 1st the W40's were muddy as some of the reviewers noted and I did call and talk to tech support. It takes about 40 hrs for these to burn in. I have Sure 425's. Westone W20 and now W40's. The 1st thing I noted was the improved sound stage. The spreading out of the sound and the inclusion of items in the songs I have not noticed before except when listing to my ribbon speakers. After about 40+ hrs the muddy sound went away and they improved a lot. Remember too they also depend on the quality of the recording so a poor MP3 is will sound bad vs a HQ cd. I have updated my music library and the sound had improved greatly with this small change. Things like this were not noticeable in my older headphones. Overall I am very pleased
I tend to give more weight to reviews from someone who's lived with and used a product for awhile over someone who has just opened the box. So I've had my W40s for six months now, I use them almost daily and I can say I enjoy them quite a lot. That wasn't at all how I felt when I first bought them though. Flavio may remember a long phone conversation we had in the first week after I received them in which I thought I'd made a terrible selection. He offered a few different exchange options to me but, not being sure I'd like another model or brand any better, I decided to wait since I still had a couple weeks to decide to exchange them or not. And I'm glad now that I waited. I had already done the recommended 20-hour burn-in but I was still unhappy with the sound I was getting. The best way I can describe my early impressions is that the sound lacked luster. I listen mostly to classical and a fair amount of jazz but I also run my earphones through their paces with occasional moods of new wave, punk, techno or chillout. And I tend to prefer music to be crisp with a lot of punch. The W40s sounded dull to me. What I discovered is that the W40s took far longer than 20 hours to completely burn in. One of the other problems I was having with them is that one day they'd sound okay and another day I'd think they were terrible. But after far more hours of use - probably at least double that 20 hours and maybe even 60 hours - they have "aged" very well and now produce consistent, clear and very pleasing sound. I'm hardly an audiophile so I'm probably not very good at quantifying the sound produced by the W40s but I can describe my experience: I never pop them in my ears and go, "Wow!" I've experienced earphones that did that and maybe that's what I was missing initially and what I thought I'd get from spending $500 on a pair of earphones. What does happen though is that I'll be casually listening to music and I'll just become aware of how very pleasing it sounds. The W40s give me very good high quality sound that isn't biased particularly in one way or another. It's like the very full, well-rounded, true sound produced by my old-school Polk Monitor 7 speakers, which I bought 25 years ago and wouldn't part with for anything. So now after six months I can say I enjoy listening to my W40s just as much and wouldn't part with them either. They are no longer dull sounding but neither are they overly bright. They produce what I find to be pleasantly crisp highs, well-balanced mids and very good lows that don't take over and drown out everything else. Definitely more of an "ahhhhh" rather than a "wow!" and that's just what I like about them.
I've owned both the UM3X and W4R and often interchanged between them depending on mood or music preference at the time. That is until the UM3X were lost (stolen) and a short time later the W4Rs failed out of warranty. I sent the W4Rs back to Westone for repair but to my fortune they were no longer servicing them. Instead they offered an upgrade to the W40s at a significant discount (probably more than repairing the W4Rs would have cost). They said I could also opt for the less expensive UM30PRO. I asked if I could go for the UM50PRO instead, hey what the heck, they said no so decided on the W40s. And boy am I glad I did. These seem to offer a mix of what I liked most in each of the earlier generation products. I find them to be detailed and more forward like the UM3X but with the wider sound stage and dynamics of the W4Rs. I also found the W4Rs to a little "digital" lacking the warmth of the UM3X, which is no longer the case with the W40s. In addition these added the true fit and star buds which were not available previously. Both offer deeper bass than I remember, more so for the true fits but I find the stars much more comfortable so prefer them. My only complaint is the silly interchangeable face plates. Yeah they may offer some convenience to tell right from left but given the option I would have preferred a smaller shell then the bulk the face plate may add. That said they do seem to fit as well or better than the W4Rs but not as nicely as the UM3X.
Love the sound highs,lows and mids .ive had these for 3 months now ( bought them direct from earphone solutions whilst on holiday thanks for that epsolutions !) They sound better everyday and walk all over shure 535's The noise isolation with the true fit buds are also superb Best inears I've ever bought or heard Love them
good is not enough bass high very good and detail is good but lacks the depth of the bass
For a while, I used the included Apple earphones and I needed to step up my music listening game. I'm a perfectionist and I believe in getting the very best-go big or go home- sort of mentality. I did tons of research and stumbled on the Westone brand and noted their raving reviews and expertise, having been in the industry for so long. I wasn't looking for colored sound or IEMs that have to compensate for something that they lack, I wanted an honest and balanced representation of the media I enjoy. I wanted to hear exactly what the artist wanted me to hear. At the time, the W4R was the cream-of-the-crop as far as Universal IEMs go at Westone. So I purchased those and had them for about two years. Let me tell you, they were one of the very very few things that just got better with age. It may be my imagination, but It seemed as though the sound just became more and more refined the more I used them and the older they got. Unfortunately, my W4R's were stolen and, honestly, it was like losing a part of me. All other earphones I had were a gigantic step down and it just made me upset. I then had to save up money to get another pair. Found out Westone re-introduced the line and are called the W40s now. I purchased them and the second i hit play, I was home. That wonderful, clear, smooth sound brought my music to life again. For me there is no difference, apart from aesthetics and cable connection from the W4R to the W40, which is FINE BY ME, don't try and re-invent the wheel or fix what isn't broke. i realize there are the W50s and W60s now. i will step up to the W60s in time, but I just didn't have the money and I dodn't care, to be honest, because the sound of the W4Rs was phenomenal. I didn't know a better sound. Overall, the W40s are beyond good enough, whether you are an audiophile or the casual listener. You will not be disappointed! One small thing, was the lack of ear guides for the cables, but I hate memory wire(God did I hate it) maybe some silicone ones would have sufficed. Regardless, I want to say a big thank you to the Earphone Solutions team for providing one heck of a shopping experience, once again. This is where I purchased my original W4Rs and it will be my one stop for all my future earphone needs. What I love is that they almost always have an unbelievable promotion going on, they don't make you dig for coupon codes and they are prompt and precise in all aspects of their business. Thank you for being the very best!
Having flown jet aircraft for the past 30+ years my hearing has been damaged in a very specific frequency range (very high). Therefore, I do not feel as I am the most qualified to evaluate the W40 based on frequency response. However, I can still hear and I know what I like. Having said that, expectations are everything. When you spend a considerable amount of money on a set of IEM's you expect to be WOW'd. After a short conversation with Flavio at Earphone Solutions I had a good understanding of the W40 driver design and was able to adjust my expectations and fully appreciate the sound quality they offer. First and foremost, fit is CRITICAL! I used the B&W P5 and Phiaton 210BTNC as my frame of reference for quality earphones. The W40 driver design does not move air like my reference headphones. Without the proper fit you will be sorely disappointed. With the proper fit you will be impressed. I used foam tips with my Phiaton and was thrilled with the fit, feeling and sound so I set up the W40's with foam first. After burning them in for the weekend with the Jlabs burn in player I squeezed the foam, pushed them in, hit play on my Bass test track and was very disappointed! Then, as I contemplated the return process I figured I'd try out some of the silicone tips Westone likes to brag on. I was still not impressed until I tried a couple of different sizes. Even with the correct size the sound did not impress until the fit was right. Out of frustration with having spent so much money and being so disappointed I pushed the monitor in my ear canal as far as I could. There was a slight increase in pressure as the silicone sealed off the canal and compressed the air between tip and eardrum. Then came the sigh of relief as the sound I had been expecting arrived. Great Bass, clear, precise highs and mids. Great definition and detail. I have always gauged a quality set of headphones by how they expand the music I listen to. When you find yourself listening to music you would not normally listen to for the simple joy of the sound, you have found a quality earphone. Well done Westone! With everything there is point of diminishing returns. When you go from a $10 headset to a $100 headset the improvement is very noticeable. From $100 to $500 the differences are less noticeable and the value becomes an individual decision. I can wear these all day long without discomfort and never have to push them back in. I wear them while at the gym and have not had an issue with them coming out. I will never go back to my previous reference headphones. Westone if you are reading; make a bluetooth controller for the IEM's. The technology may not be perfect but the trade off for the cord to MP3 player is a sacrifice people are making every day.
Purchased Westone 1 from Earphone Solutions last year, decided to upgrade to the W40 and I must say, I'm not disappointed at all. Solid, but not overwhelming, bass. Rich and warm sound, without compromising on detail and clarity. And of course, comfort and fit, an area in which Westone has consistently exceeded expectations. Great pricing and in my opinion, I got more than what I paid for in the excellent service and speedy delivery from Earphone Solutions.
Very good IEMs. Rich sound, good ergonomics. More comfortable and easier to insert and remove than Etymotic E4 series headphones, though less neutral in presentation. The W40s sound good directly from Apple iDevices, but rather less so from a MacBook's headphone jack: the W40s are so sensitive that they have a rather high noise floor and they go too loud even on the lowest software volume settings. I recommend using some kind of external DAC-amplifier combination to keep things sane. Great service and quick shipment from Earphone Solutions.
As much as someone may want to doubt or have disbelief or be frustrated that they just bought the W4R, or that Westone has NOT "publicly" talked about sound changes......the W40 DOES sound undeniably different than W4R. Almost enough, to me, that I would almost consider it would have been worth calling it another IEM model # (well, I guess they did but didn't acknowledge sound changes). Earphone Solutions, Westone rep Cody and 4-5 Head-Fiers that have picked up W40 all acknowledge definitive differences between W4R and W40. Cutting to the chase there is definitely more bass and I find the presentation a little more closer and intimate. That's it. Some of the others have reported better clarity and wider soundstage but my memory has those traits equally good with the former W4R and without having side by side I just can't say. The added bass could be something as simple as adding 3-6dB to one of the bass drivers as a "boost" and, of course, the housing and cable are completely different which could also add to SQ changes. IEM's that have amazing detail speed and transparency tend to be cold, analytical and lean on bass. That's the trade off. The other side of the spectrum has big full sounding and warm IEM's that lack speed precision and detail. W40 really nails it right in the middle. Much moreso than UM3X/Pro30, W3, SE535. The overall signature is warm and lush and very non-fatiguing. The clarity and treble is among best in class at that pricepoint while the bass is more than adequate except for extreme bassheads. Nothing sounds out of place, no spikes, no boosts, etc. Imagine a very well balanced and neutral IEM with a large soundstage....now give it a very subtle and mild subwoofer effect to fill the sound out and you have W40. Unless you are a treble head and Ety fanatic, the W40 should please virtually everyone. It basically fixed the only real issue I had with W4R which was a bass effect that was a little on the lean side. With W4R the bass was okay and would not distort but it seemed I was squeezing every ounce of bass out of the earpiece. With W40, the bass comes across much more effortlessly. Until I can plunk down $1000 for an IE800 or SE846 (the two I would have in mind) I am set with W40 and done! It's awesome and I have no faults to point out with it...it doesn't do anything wrong and doesn't really lack anything.I'm also done with customs as the risk is too high that they don't fit right. There are no guarantees and high end universals are just getting too close in SQ to customs. Over the past 10 years in my audio hobby I have made many many transactions with Earphone Solutions (perhaps 20 or more). I can confidently say I have NEVER been dissapointed or had a bad experience. They are all about "the customer" which is sometimes rare these days. I find their focus on "customer service" to be among the best I have ever dealt with in any product category I have purchased either online or in person. Truly outstanding in every regard.
After doing a lot of internet research and reading reviews on Head-Fi.org, I decided to purchase these W4Rs even though they are discontinued. I was happy to see that earphonesolutions.com still had this model in stock and was offering a discount on them. Shipping was fast and the product arrived in perfect condition new in box. These headphones sound amazing. I've used lower end "earbud" type 'phones for years along with a 6+ y/o set of Shure dynamic speaker in ear earphones and this was my first foray into the high end UIEM market. The sound quality is amazing, especially considering what I've been using in the past. I would highly recommend earphonesolutions.com for your purchases and Westone for your Univeversal In Ear Montiors needs. Gave 4 stars strictly because of issues listed in "Cons" section. Pros: Awesome sound! Lightweight Long foam tips are super comfortable and isolating Cons: Hard to remove tips - need to twist and pull/pry carefully since sound tube is plastic and I worry about breaking them. Hard to remove cable - shouldn't need to do this very often, so may not be an important issue, but removing the cable plug from the IEM bodies is tough!
Over the years I've been working my way up the Shure side of ear buds. My last pair was SE315's, so it was either SE535's or the Westone 4R's. I bought the 4R's and am happy with them. It is hard to pick words to describe the sound quality of the 4R's, but they do everything very well. The lows are good when the bud is properly inserted, but not extended in an unnatural state. The highs are great without tinny brightness. The mids properly represented as well. I will be curious to see how they sound in my helmet, with the wind noise, when motorcycle weather returns to the north. The one thing that is a little different for a Shure user is the cables. They remind me of very long bread ties, and seem extremely thin. The contour wire is much shorter than Shure's as well but long enough to get over the top of my ear just barely. I've had no problems with the cables yet. They are just different. At this price point you expect top notch sound and the 4R's give you that. I wish I could afford the SE535's to compare them head to head, but that won't be happening. Pros: Nice flush buds. Great all around sound. I got mine on sale, so thanks earphone solutions! Cons:
So after listening to these for around 2 or 3 weeks I have decided that they truly are wonderful, amazingly clear mids, deep yet not overpowering bass, and excellently clear highs. As I listen to everything from electronic music to classical I needed a set that would keep up perfectly well, and these fit the bill, the soundstage is especially expansive and level as well, I prefer these over my shures due to the slightly softened middle, I mainly use these on the go and have yet to have a single issue because of the behind the ear cord design. Pros: clear soundstage fast comfortable (using um56s) Cons: a little bit expensive for universals the included earbuds suck
I have purchased the new W40 last week on Monday evening and was amazed how quickly i received the parcel in England....the Fedex courier rang at my door on Thursday morning at 9AM. Also amazing was the customer service provided by Earphone Solutions as they kept me informed with progress of the order (thanks Adriana for your help). As recommended by many , after a quick listen I plugged the headphones on my laptop to burn them for a few hours using the http://www.jlabaudio.com/burn.php then stopped for a bit and continued the burning overnight. The following morning I had a walk in the park and i was stunned by the sound clarity and by the extra details i heard in known songs which i had never noticed before. For example Fragile by Sting had so many layers of sounds i never noticed before, i felt overwhelmed as i was walking. Then I listened to the whole Dark Side of The Moon and wow, i was astonished! The sound was spatial, I felt i had an helicopter hovering over me during 'on the run'. I never spent so much on headphones (i am no audiophile and used to have Klipsch X10i and then Atomic Floyd Super Darts) but i am so glad i decided to invest in these cause their sound is superlative and they're going to be a great companion for my long commute to work. I can't even dare to compare to my old headphones because it's like trying to compare a Fiat 500 to a Ferrari Testarossa. I am also happy with the accessories, so many tips and also the mini vault with its bright orange colour makes it hard to forget them during my commute on the train. Also i am relieved that the bass is punchy as i was scared it wouldn't be. Finally i also like the changeable colour plates because I use 2 different colours for left and right so i'm quick in inserting them on the correct ear :) Overall I couldn't recommend these more! They're awesome and couldn't recommend more Earphone solutions for their friendly customer service and super fast delivery! Pros: sound clarity punchy bass accessories super fast delivery friendly customer service Cons: nothing to dislike
Thank you for the kind words and for the great review!
After the initial packaging and listening experience, I was a very skeptical. With a little configuring of tips and a new iPhone equalizer app I began to see get an amazing audiophile sound. Definitely recommend. Pros: Cons:
Initially, you put on the earphones and say, ok this is pretty solid sound but there is nothing that jumps out at you; admittedly, there is some disappointment when you put on the headphones and nothing quite screams "I'm awesome". Then you proceed to throw every different genre/frequency test/song/etc you can find at the earphones and somehow they never seem to disappoint. It is at this point, you finally realize that not only are you in love your earphones, but they have already become a huge part of your life. There might not be anything that thrills and excites in the sound of these headphones when you first put them in, but that is precisely why these headphones are so good; there is no overextended bass, no phony warmth, and no discoloration of the sound, only pure sound as the music was intended. The earphones are comfortable to wear for hours of listening (although they did take some time to find the correct tips to fit appropriately). I find that the sound isolation is amazing when using the foam tips, but even with the silicon tips, the sound stage is even more stunning and the isolation is more than satisfactory. Since purchasing these earphones, I have made a point not to leave home without them. Pros: tonal clarity, sound quality Cons: Can you really fault them for the cost? I mean, they are expensive, but we are talking premium level sound quality that I would easily value at much more.
I'll keep it short and sweet. These Earphones are amazing pure and simple. Has a really good bass but not for bass heads A few things for future buyers so you know what to expect. 1. When I first put these in I was slightly disappointed as they didn't WOW me. It takes a little bit to get used to them and then BAM!!!! SO AMAZING!!!! 2. I like to listen to my music loud and these work just fine out of an Ipod Nano. you don't need to invest in better equipment. 3. Fits amazing and I have cauliflower ear from Jiu-Jitsu. Fit all of my friends ears too and some of them have bad cauliflower ear. They did have a little trouble fitting small ears Sounds awesome with every genre. Pros: EXTREME noise cancelling. Sound Fit Cable Style Case for earbuds Bass Cons: NOTHING!!!
I read the reviews of the Westone 4R and was impressed but skeptical. To my pleasant surprise the 4Rs live up to the hype. As importantly, they are comfortable. I decided to try them out on a trip from NYC to SF. I usually use my Bose noise reduction headphones and decided to leave them home and rely upon the 4Rs - a revelation. The sound was clear and kept out most airplane noise but not as much as the Bose. But given the weight and and size of the 4Rs it was a fair trade off. Pros: Fit and sound Cons: There is no cable that allows use with my iPhone which is inexcusable. Also the add-on cable for volume works intermittently. There is no clear identification of the R earphone.
I read other reveiws about a break-in period of about a week for these earphones so I was prepared when I heard them sound a little "muddy" at first. I used them for three straight days and played various types of music, from pop to rock and country. It was amazing the more I used them the clearer they became. I am truly impressed by the quality and extreme fidelity of the sound not just when listening to music but watching movies as well. Remember, in order to get a good and comfortable fit from the ear monitor eartips you have to try them all or at least all that are in your ear size. These Westone W4R Ear Monitors meet and exceed every expectation I had or anticipated. Pros: Comfortable Light Weight Amazing Clarity High Fidelity Cons: N/A
I upgraded a rather larger step, from the Klipsch S4i's to these Westone 4R's. I won't be making a comparison as the two products are in very different leagues. The Westone 4R's are my first high end IEMs and I will be using them for both personal listening as well as monitoring on stage. First off: The clarity is astounding! I thought I knew my favorite tracks rather well, but I was wrong. The Westone 4R's reveal a great level of detail and presence. I keep discovering new little details on tracks that I didn't hear before. Also an impressive soundstage, stereo pans are reproduced very convincing and with a wide range. The highs on vocals, guitars, cymbals etc. are super crisp, and the mids are defined, but non-invasive in a good way. Some seem to think that the W4's are lacking in the bass area. I reckon the bass is just perfect. Very detailed, fast and tight due to the dual low frequency drivers. Rock and pop bass-lines spring to life and are clear and well defined in the mix, as it was intended. Add a headphone amplifier, and it will be even better. These IEMs can be a bit fiddly to insert into your ears, but after a couple of times, it'll be second nature. Do be aware that the isolation, fit and sound varies quite a lot based on your choice of tips. However, lots of tips included. Silicone and foam. I would advice to experiment with different ones until you find the ones that will create that great seal and comfort for your ears. A very neutral and above all, fantastic sounding IEM that will change how you listen to your favorite recordings. Highly recommended! Pros: - Amazing sound quality - Sound stage - Neutral and defined - Incredibly well balanced - Clarity - High quality EPIC detachable cables. - Almost tangle-free - Selection of included tips - Overall Build quality Cons: - It can be difficult to achieve the right fit and isolation - Not the most comfortable IEMs to wear
Full bass, other sounds are very clear,soft and separated just like we are sitting in the middle of the orchestra every instrument is positioned.Very good for pop and even for classical music. Pros: the sound and bass Cons: the cables are a little too long.If the set can come with a hard case molded exactly as the mold in the box,it would be safer and more convenient.
I love the sound of these when seated properly. I am back and forth as to whether the silicone flange or the foam is a better feel. I think the Silicone flanges are more comfortable over time, but I thing the whole sound scape and response is better with the foam ones tightly in the canal. Pros: Sound and feel by my ear. Cons: Still makes the inside of my ear a little sensitive when worn for long periods of time.
Please note that I have never made a purchase of a headphone that would cost me over USD100, so when I made a decision to buy these headphones worth almost USD500, it was certainly not an impulsive decision. I wanted to buy these headphones because I usually like to listen to the music through my headphone when I go to work, so I want something reliable and fit inside my somewhat weird earlope. Little did I know, I would not need to buy something this expensive to entertain me with this need. This is because a lot of outside noise still sneak inside my ear. Even though the sound that these headphone deliver was superb, when used outside my house, it does not sound that much different than my USD89 Sony headphone. Pros: - This headphone is for you if you are a professional musician and needs to hear specific sound to fulfill your needs. - It is made of high quality material. - It comes with two year warranty! Cons: - This headphone is not for you if you intend to use it outdoor which a lot of unwanted noise surrounded you.
I had been in the market for a quality in ear monitor for some time. After finding an incredible sale price on the 4R's last month I decided to buy. I'm very pleased with the 4R's sound quality and in ear comfort. This is the first set of in-ear monitors I've owned and it's changed the way I play dramatically. Now I can make the refined types of adjustments I need to the other players sound levels and my own enabling me to perform at a higher level. Pros: Great sound and comfort. Cons:
Item came from Earphone Solutions very quickly and perfectly packaged; nothing damaged or out of place. The quality of the Earphones is stunning to my Too-Many-Rock-Concert-Ears even, and I can hear things in the same music I listen to that was not ever apparent with the very nice Westone 1 set I have had for years... Im using the Foam earbuds for now and so far, they are great at isolation, comfort, and fit. I have gotten to the point that I almost want to listen to the Westone4's more than my very nice Home Audio system - yes they are that good ! Love them! Thanks Earphone Solutions !!! Dan F Pros: Cons:
Thank you, Dan!
the clarity is stunning, the sound out of this world, I hear so much that i was missing it sounds like the bands are in my head playing live, the lack of sound between tracks has me looking to see if the player is still on and then the music starts Pros: The fit and sound, I use these with the Comply inserts and the fit is snug but painless they are in for hours at a time on the train and they are fantasic Cons: Like a little more bass
I upgraded from my Westone UM1 headphones which I have had for several years. The 4Rs do have more neutrality and clarity. Not more bass. I would say they are a very good product, but not proportionately better that the UM1s when you look at the price difference. Pros: fit sound quality performance Cons: Price is too high. There are comparable units for less.
Coming from UM2' s which I loved, I figured I would upgrade. The sound is richer and more defined. So much of the quality of sound though is finding the right fit from the ear pieces. Try them all out and find the one that is perfect for you and you will not be disappointed. Pros: Cons:
Good sit in ear great also replaceable Cables Pros: sounds closes reference monitors as you can Get Cons: Regular price a little high
Having tried these and the Shure SE525 the Westone 4R shows much superior sound quality and overall performance when testing with my iPhone. I have not compared these against Shure $999 quad drivers yet. Pros: Sound, hight performance. Cons: NONE.
I have used Westone UM2's for years, with complete satisfaction. They are great earphones. But it was time to consider an upgrade. I never really considered anything other than another Westone. I had a difficult time deciding whether to order the UM3X and the W4R, even knowing the written descriptions of the differences. The solution: I ordered both. After opening the boxes and giving them both a workout of about two hours each with a variety of music types, the choice became crystal clear: the W4R wins, but not necessarily hands down. Nothing about that decision should be interpreted as a criticism of the UM3X; it is a beautiful piece of equipment, and if I had not compared the two side-by-side, I probably would have written a glowing report of the UM3X. Here are the main differences, at least to my ears. The W4R is warm, mellow, but crystal clean. The UM3X is cool and bright, but with the same clean characteristics. Both have unbelievable soundstages. I could close my eyes and find EXACTLY where every instrument was: the piano was parallel to my right side, about 6 feet away. The violins were to my left-center at about the same distance. The cellos were right-center, 10 feet away. The percussionist was dead center, 18 feet away. The brass all were right and left center, 15 feet away. When all were equal in volume and playing as a complete orchestral ensemble, the sound was piped directly into my brain, and I was hearing it from the inside top of my head. When one section took the lead, it was clear exactly where the sound was coming from. When a soloist took charge, he/she literally was outside my head, to the left about 10 feet. That's an amazing sonic experience: the entire orchestra inside your head except for the soloist, who is standing outside your head facing you! It can't get any better! Enough about them both. More about the differences. The sound of the UM3X is a bit harsher (brighter?) than the W4R, but not to the point of being displeasing; it's just different. The W4R requires a bit more power to get up to speed; it seems a little less efficient. But it is plenty powerful enough to rock your drums. I found the main difference to be the the warmth of the W4R's compared with the crispy brightness of the UM3X. Some people will hear the same thing I did and select the UM3X due to personal preference. I don't like any of the stock eartips, except for the large foam comply tips. They work beautifully for me, providing a tight seal. Others that work equally well for me are Shure rubber tips (not included in the package), which work well on all the Westones. Either way you go between these two sterling choices, you will not make a bad decision. Westone remains, in many popular circles, an unknown gem, for reasons I fail to understand. This company continues to set the standard for IED performance. Those of us who have made the discovery are the lucky ones. Pros: Everything Cons: Nothing
I have Westone 3 monitors and thought they were great. I decided to try the Westone 4R monitors to see if they were really better. They are! I didn't think that the sound quality of the W3s could be improved but the W4Rs are cleaner and crisper. The bass is full but not booming. My taste in music is pretty wide. I listen to Cajun, Acadian, Pop, Country, Musicals, World Music, etc. I even have Yanni at the Acropolis, which is a pretty good test for the W4Rs because of the dynamic range of the London Philharmonic Orchestra on that recording. All is great! Pros: Clear, clean sound Comfortable ... I can sleep with them on. Cons: Expensive
The W4R's are a fantastic upgrade from the W2's. I've noticed the memory wire on the cables are very short compared to most other manufacturers. It took time to get used to the way stopped near the top of my ear and almost made me exchange them for the W3's just to get away from the memory wire. I stuck it out because the sound quality of these IEMs are excellent but would swap out the cables in a heartbeat if westone made the memory wire extend further down the cable (maybe like the new ADV series). I've looked at 3rd party cables, but they all seem too stiff to use on the go (yes, I'm that guy with $500 earbuds at the gym). I've dealt with it and would still recommend these monitors to anyone who wants excellent sound quality without having to go custom. Pros: Sound quality Design Star tips are a great upgrade to the normal single flange tips. Cons: Memory wire (length too short)
For starters, I love this Web site and the great amount of thought that goes into the reviews and advertising of the various brands and models of earphones. I have purchased five sets (2 Shure, 3 Westone) over the last few years, and the shipping and customer service have been top notch. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the Westone company itself, which refused to work with me unless I had proof of purchase, regardless of the fact that I was deployed to Afghanistan. My first Westones, a pair of 2s, lasted about eight months before the right earphone died. I had been hard on them, so I thought I should take my lumps and get a new pair. My second pair, 4s, died after about 6 months of gentle use (riding the metro, walking around town), but as I was in training, I elected to buy another pair to have in time for deployment. I bought 4Rs, and as of now, I have around 50% volume in the right ear at full volume overall. Was the sound quality good? You bet. Better than the Shures, in my opinion, particularly mid-range, where my rock music tends to focus. Unfortunately, Westone is pretty pathetic in helping me, someone who has spent more than $1,200 on their products, resolve what seems to be a pretty hefty quality control issue. Because of this, I would recommend any other company on this site before Westone. I hope this review is helpful before someone else drops five bills on six or eight months of use. Mark St.Clair Pros: Sound quality (when they work) Cons: Poor company customer service. Continually failing products after less than a year of use.
Dear Mark, We are very sorry for the bad experience you had with the manufacturer. The manufacturers are more and more making sure their products were purchased from an authorized dealer before providing warranty so indeed they really need the proof of purchase to show that you bought it from us. Please let us know if you still need a copy of your invoice and we will be glad to email that to you. Again please accept our apologies and thank you so much for the repeat business.
Very good, I need a better MP3 though. Pros: Clear, HIFI. Cons: A little hard to switch earbud
Westone's quality is very poor. I bought the 4's in mid-2012 but they failed after about 9 months -- one channel barely audible. Westone replaced the unit. The second pair failed after a month -- one channel died. Westone provided a third pair, which was DOA -- one channel barely audible again. Westone now doesn't respond to my customer service requests because I demanded a partial refund based on the company's apparent inability to achieve quality control. Pros: Sound is awesome. Cons: Quality is terrible.
Hey Patrick, We apologize for the inconvenience. Please give us a call at 407-730-8661 so we can arrange an exchange for you. Once again, please accept our apologies for all the trouble.
I was a previous owner of Shure E3Cs and was so happy with the sound that I was worried about moving to a different brand. After 5 years the wire developed a internal fray which means I had to throw away perfectly good earphones because of the cable. This time I wanted to make sure the cables were replacable. The new Shure models have that but after reading many reviews about quality issues I decided to move on. Many sites and forums loved the Westones so I took a chance. I couldn't be more satisfied. They're warmer than my Shures but that's a good thing. The sound is great but what is event more impressive is how comfortable these things are. I didn't realize how much better earbuds could feel and that is a high bar. I barely realize that these things are on, can wear them for hours and never fall out even during excercise. Very happy!!! Pros: Great rich sound Extremely comfortable Replaceable cables Price Memory wire Lightweight cable Cons:
This is our second purchase of the the W4s. I liked mine so much that my husband tried them out. Now he has them. This is high praise from us. I use Beyer T1s and he uses Grado PS1000s for our main in house headphones. The Ws do not have the sound stage of either the Beyers or the Grados, and the Ws lack the utter "solidity" of the Beyers (as well as the utter "warmth" of the Grados) but the the sound is clean, solid and excellent. Also, for those wondering, I have small ear canals and the comply smalls (trimmed) are perfect. No issues with ear size for either of us. Pros: Excellent clean sound, high to low. Cons: Nothing except price. Wait for a good sale.
Get this shipped within one day and received it the next day. Sound is clear and good. Satisfied with the product and also the transaction. Pros: Cons:
I received my W4R's today and am totally impressed. I got the SE535's 3 months ago to replace my W2's. The SE535 has a crisper upper end and the W4R's a better lower end. The difference for me is comfort...I use the flange insert (cut down to just the middle size trimmed to fit perfectly in my ears). The SE535's are much stiffer around the ear and harder to adjust to fit, especially for casual listening (like on an airplane where cable loops around the ear and runs in front of me vs. behind me when on stage). The W4R's fit perfectly after the first adjustment. The 535 cables are sturdier but heavy compared to the W4R. Glad I could compare both, but wish I had that $500+ back on the SE535's! Still a big Westone fan! Pros: Easy over ear fit and lightweight cable. Great low end and overall sound. Cons:
I was a very happy owner of a pair of Earsonics SM3 for over a year while i was deployed to Iraq. When i returned to home station I noticed the housing of the left ear fell apart on me so i came to EarphoneSolutions to find a pair to replace them so i gave the Westone 4 a try. WOW what a difference from three armatures to four it is a very balanced IEM and with the light housing is comfortable oh and have to mention the EPIC cable is a fantastic cable love the piece. Pros: -Sound quality is great. -Light and small house westone all the way. -Durable so as you can work out in them. Cons: -Really should come with the Monitor Vault.
I previously listened to Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro IEMs ($250) on a daily basis so I'll compare the W4R's with them. When I first put in the W4Rs I was surprised by their almost flush fit in and against my ear. They're a bit tricky to insert, and more-so to remove, because of this design. However,the benefit seems to be that they form a tighter seal than the UE IEMs. After a week of daily listening of 5+ hours here are my thoughts compared to the Superfi 5 Pros: - Very spacious sound - Much more nuanced and detailed - Much more comfortable - The seal is almost too good. Coworkers to wave their arms in the air to get my attention now. All office noise is gone in our quiet office and the noise floor is low enough to not be noticeable at any volume. - Bass response is accurate but not loud - Bass doesn't seem to hit the lower subwoofer-level notes loud enough for my tastes (which is very good system + subwoofer but not Beats by Dre colored) Conclusion These headphones are great and they continue to surprise me. Buena Vista Social Club sounds almost unbelievably good. In fact, I'm not sure that hearing the music live would sound better. However, the W4R's are very expensive and, objectively, are not twice as good as my previous headphones. They do however provide me 5-10x the pleasure of the Ultimate Ears IEMs and worth the price for me. Also, I've used the W4R's with stock cables with a Windows laptop and an iPhone 5. They do not need an external amp to sound great. Pros: - Sound quality is unparalleled among IEMs - Surprise and delight! I'm often taken aback with how amazing they make certain recordings sound - Comfortable and strong seal Cons: - Very steep price - The case makes no sense -- it is huge but doesn't fit the IEMs well (cord gets caught on the edges) and doesn't fit the tools and spare tips with the headphones
Enjoying the music from this solid built headphone! Great Customer Service from ES! Pros: Cons: None
I don't want to add another review to the Westone 4R that i got recently from Earphone Solutions. Bottomline is that based on the reviews here, it is a superlative earpiece. On top of enjoying the product, what I truly enjoyed is ES great customer service. This is my second purchase from them and the experience on both has been great. Flavio and his staff is superb. Thank you ES. Pros: Cons:
Thank you, Rene! :)
Great headphones! Build quality is great. Fit well Pros: Fit well Good Noise Isolation Cons: Needs more sleeves Prefer the older sleeves of Westone 4 Expensive
I received this earphone on last September , 'earphonesolutions' really shipped it fast and their CS also responded to my query very quick. All I can say , this earphone is really amazing. I own an IE80, but this W4R performed way much better than it. I can hear more instruments with this W4R which I unable to notice it in almost all of my previous earphones. The sounds pumped out by it is crystal clear. I'm a very proud owner of this stuff, and the sounds produced by W4R really satisfy my audiophile soul. Pros: Great fit , with a lot of ear pad provided Sounds superb , can hear all instruments in crystal clear. Crush and weather resistant protective box Cons:
I have only used lower priced -200$ sets before, thinking that was about it for performance. When I got these I immediately tested them out with some digitally remastered Ultravox ( Astradyne, Western Promise, Hymn..... Btw If you think 80's pop music was the Go, Go's and Billy Idol check these songs out you'll find you were wrong) known for producing emotionally powerful music. I was blown away. Pros: Very comfortable Sound performance incredible Cons: nothing
Build I last used Westone 2's for about a year until the cord developed a wire separation somewhere along it (I punish my headphones severely between work and life, so much so that any of the pedestrian products that come with the device or off the shelf, disintegrate in a month or three). Previously, I used several Ultimate Ears Triple Fi series and although they look to have substantial construction and the sound production is great. They don't stand up physically. I also have used Sure systems which broke apart. In short Westone products have survived long after the rest and have gained my confidence. Preformance The Westone 4's performance (after 7 days thus far) is beyond all others I have used. The superior sound capability is immediately obvious. For the first time I can maximize the preamp setting and raise all equalizer settings (max flat) with no distortion what so ever. Including at max volume. Very impressive for this small package. Comfort I chose the 4's over the 4R's for the 4's flexible cord at the ear end. In the past I have used several earphones with ridged over the ear cords and became impatient with how long it took to place and adjust them in my ears and get on with my day only to constantly re adjust them in time because my ears are flexible yet the cord is not. The design of the 4's as well as the 2's, 3's lay flush in the ear-well and are far above all others I'v used in comfort. I use earphones for hours at a time. Fault 4 of five stars for the simply remedied fault yet impossible to see (and I'm near sighted) "R and L"; impressions on each unit. Having on the fly to suddenly stop in my tracks to peer at each unit for the appropriate location on my head is sometimes momentarily frustrating. Pros: Performance from the start makes you ask yourself "why didn't I do this earlier?" Build is sturdier than other brands. Most comfortable "flush in the ear-well" design I have used. Believe it or not: very much worth the price. Cons: Nearly impossible to quickly discern "L and R"; imprints on ear pieces to quickly pop them in. You have to suddenly stop dead in your tracks and stand to get the light right for reflection or fumble around at the ears to see if you got the 50/50 chance right. This could have been fixed years ago. Don't know why such a small yet important facet of design was overlooked.
I have used these now for about 20 hours, mostly on airplanes. They are upstaging a pair of Westone 2's that are still in great shape after 6 years of almost daily use. The source is a 160 GB iPod Gen5 running exclusively Apple Lossless. No EQ. No MP3's here. When I'm at home, a McIntosh C500 preamp does the deed. I listen to a variety of classical, jazz, and rock. On first listen, there was a bit of shrillness in the upper midrange. This totally smoothed out after about 5 hours of use. Now, the sound is well balanced with simply outstanding midrange and no fatique. The mid-bass is articulate and detailed - no false bloom or boom here. These go deep, too. The highs are natural and extended, and depend quite a bit on the tips you use. That's no different than any IEM. The comfort is exceptional - better than the Westone 2's, which were already excellent. I can keep these in on long flights with no issues. I can sleep with these in, and frequently do, no problem or discomfort. I''m still experimenting with tips and fit, and the fit-kit that comes with these provides plenty of options to optimize your experience. Pros: Comfortable on long flights Great sound: Dynamic, Well balanced Detailed bass - no bloom or bloat here. Liquid midrange - this is the most important of all Extended treble - not hyped or tizzy, it's just there. Cons: Markings for L and R are molded into the plastic and hard to see in dim cabins.
Perfect performance , comfortable , noise never sounds better !!! The mail experiece was excellent. Trustworthy. Pros: Cons:
One of the best IEM that I ever use, once you pop this into your ears, beware ! you may want to listen all of your music collections :-) you can hear every little details from the crowd cheering, the musician breathing and very subtle noise that I've never hear before with my Logitech UE700 (dual Balance Armature). I strongly suggest you all to listen Live and acoustic music recordings with Lossless format such as FLAC or 320 kbps MP3 with decent amp to fully enjoy the listening pleasure with this IEMs. In conclusion, Westone W4 definitely has spoiled my ears and want to make you go further with custom moulded IEMs $$$$ and yes, Earphone Solution does deliver using FEDEX for very fast delivery, even during the weekend. Pros: The details and clarity is beyond everything else that I could ever imagine. Cons: PRICE is way to high :-|
I have recently bought Westone 4R and use them every day while commuting and sometimes running on the treadmill. i also have got Westone 3 bought from Earphone Solutions two-three years ago, but the cable got torn and I had to replace them with equal, came to site and saw that Westone introduced 4R. Frankly I find little difference between 3 and 4R, they both sound excellent. I am not a sound junkie, just needed Pros: Excellent sound, removable cables Cons: nothing, except their price.
The earphones sound excellent, broad soundstage with great clarity, you will notice details you were not able to hear before. I mainly use them to listen to classical, at the beginning you have to get used to the new sound (you'll probably push volume higher than usual first times you use them), but the more you listen to it, the more you will discover new bites and enjoy music fully. Very confortable to wear. I have to mention the unmatched quality of customer service by Earphone Solutions. I had a problem with shipping and despite I am an international customer, staff members were exceptional, they solved the issue and provided that support and communication you expect from a top quality vendor. Flawless. Pros: Crystal clear sound Confortable to wear Allows you to discover new details of your favourite music Cons: Build quality and materials could be better At the beginning you'll feel the need to push volume higher than usual
Thank you for the kind words, Diego!
I have owned these for a couple of months now, and am very happy with them. There are severe differences depending on ear tips, and I have recently found out that the Shure Olives are by far the best choice for these. Comply tips are my second choice. I wish I had a better amp, am using the Fiio e11 with my Ipod, and it has too much background hiss for my taste, good sound overall though - also some balance problems, especially at lower volumes. Am looking at upgrading all my wires to Moon Audio cables. Pros: Cons:
My best universal IEMs so far. Westone has achieved a new milestone/ breakthrough in audio equipment :) Pros: Amazing soundstage and separation Good fit Very thoughtful bundle of accessories Exchangeable cables Cons: Memory wire Expensive
Can't ask for a better earphone. My only question is what is the next level up? Pros: Best Earphone ever Cons:
Mate these with the Shure"olive" ear tips (Shure PA910S, Shure PA910M Shure PA910L -- small, medium, large respectively). It's a match made in heaven. No attenuation of the higs and good seal so the low end is properly loaded. Better than the Comfy or silicone tips. They're a tight fit on the westones so take your time when installing and especially when removing--it's worth the effort. Pros: Very balanced and detailed frequency response. non-fatiguing Cons: nozzles are a bit brittle. use grear care installing or removing ear tips.
I have both the Westone 4R and Shure SE535. I prefer the sound, comfort, and thinner cables of the Westone 4R over the Shure SE535. However, one earpiece keeps going bad (no sound). I had the earphones replaced once and 2 months later one of the earpieces has gone bad again. I think its sensitive to sweat. I've never had this problem with any of the Shure earphones (have had several). Its a pain to get the earphones replaced - contact customer service, pay for shipping, get it shipped, etc. Pros: Sound over Shure SE535 Comfort over Shure SE535 Cables are more manageable than the thick Shure SE535 cables. Cons: One earpiece keeps going bad - no sound
Dear Ken, we apologize for the bad experience you had with the connectors however we can guarantee you this was an isolated problem. Please contact us so we can expedite a free replacement for you. Thank you for the feedback and please accept our apologies for the inconvenience once again.
What I hear now through these earphones is very fluid and well balanced, very musical. The bass does not thump away as some might want, but it is solid and rich and well balanced with the rest of the music. There are no weird peaks or harshnesses in the sound, and the soundstage is satisfyingly wide with instruments clearly positioned. The mids are warm enough without being over-egged, and the treble is refined and clear with no harshness. I have been listening to mostly jazz and electronic music and both sound good through them. I like a lot of isolation in my earphones and the isolation in these is not quite as good as with some. At first I tried the longer, triple flange tips to get a good isolation, but it ruined the sound (no treble, boomy bass) and made my ears uncomfortable. That was a mistake; once I went to the large single-flange white tips instead the sound was transformed although I can hear more of the noise around me. The isolation isn't terrible though. The cable is good and flexible and doesn't send rubbing noises into your ears. I don't have a problem with the stiff bit that helps to guide the cable around the ears. And it's nice to know the cable can be replaced if it breaks. Overall I'd recommend the W4Rs - they are really very musical, comfortable and enjoyable even for extended listening sessions, and the isolation is perfectly good for most situations. Pros: Musical and satisfying sound. Replaceable cables. Comfortable fit. Reasonable isolation. Cons: Expensive. Isolation is not perfect.
i live in Australia and to by these IEM's locally would have cost $700 or more! so i placed my order through earphone solutions. postage was free, which was nice! and they didn't just use the cheapest slowest postage either, they put it through international express! these little things make me want to shop from here again in the future. as for the product, Awesome! they sound beautiful, i'm no audiophile so i dont know how to acuratly judge things like lows, mids and highs very well, but all the music i have played through them so far has sounded terrific! i dont like listing to music on anything else now. as for noise isolation, exceptional! maybe even too good. with my player on only half volume i struggle to hear anything, i was waiting for a bus the other day, my IEM's in looking at my phone screen, all of a sudden i feel a gust of wind on my face, i look up and there is my bus passing not 20cm from my face and i didn't hear it. and just yesterday i was wearing them while driving my car, i almost started red-lining my engine because i could not hear that i needed to change gears! build quality is great too, even though they are only made out of plastic, it is good plastic and they feel really robust and sturdy. the cable feels nice and supple, and so far i have been unable to tangle it. where the cable joins on to the IEM looks good too, it is a really tight fit, no wobbling lose or falling out issues in my mind. you also get a waterproof protective box, a ton of tips and a few other bits and pieces with it too. Pros: Sound Quality Noise Isolation Removable Cable Comfortable Fit Protective Case Cons: A Bit Pricy (worth it though IMO)
I'm something of a newbie to fine audio. Thus far, my purchases have included: Bose MIE2i PowerBeats Sport Bang and Olufsen Earset 3i Bowers and Wilkins P5 Bowers and Wilkins C5 Shure SE215 Westone UM3X Westone 4R Basically a long and expensive path from popular audio to true bliss, with bliss occurring at the last two waypoints. Yes, both of them. The UM3X and 4R are both amazing headphones, with the kind of sound I had only dreamed of years before. Never before had I heard music so clearly, so detailed, except in a live venue. But enough of the unicorns and rainbows. Let's talk details. COMFORT Personally I find the 4R slightly more comfortable than the UM3X. Both of them are light, fit well in and on the ear, and sit flush against the ear for comfortable wearing in any position. The UM3X is slightly more edgy, which makes the need for precise positioning on the ear a little more noticeable. The 4R, with its single piece smooth curves, can really sit well at any angle. While this makes for a more comfortable fit, it also does mean you could have problems with your seal. Because the 4R is smoother and less bulky, it slips around a little easier and you won't notice it until you start losing SQ. The other comfort factor is in the nozzle, though this is very user dependent. The Westone 4R has much shorter nozzles than the UM3X. For someone with shallow ears like me, it's a dream come true. I can truly pop these in my ears, get a good seal, and rock out. However, the longer nozzle of the UM3X would allow more diversity in its userbase, as it will work with more types of ears. However, don't let that discourage you; with the right tips even the short nozzles can work for you, and you'll get a benefit from the beautiful soundstage of the W4R (more to come on that). TIPS The UM3X and 4R come with a ton of different tips for your listening pleasure, including Comply foam, mushroom silicone, triple-flange, and a few others. The most popular fitting tips which work on both of these are: Comply T-100, TX-100 (wax guard), TS-100 (spherical and big), P-Series (long) Shure Olives (olive shaped dense foam) Shure PA758 (mushroom silicone) Personally, the Comply foam tips weren't my favorite on either of the two IEMs. They had the effect of smothering the treble (more on treble differences to come) and muddying the bass. While they were definitely comfortable, they were also a bit more of a pain to put in with the squeezing and holding. Many people won't find this an issue, but as my main listening is a train commute I frequently have to pop them off and on. YMMV I personally preferred the Shure PA758s on the UM3X, as the longer nozzle allowed better insertion which gave me a cool, crisp sound. On the Westone 4, the shorter nozzle means less insertion, and while I still get a good seal the silicone irritates my outer ear quite a bit. I've had to give them up for the Shure Olives on the Westone 4. At the same time, I don't see that as a problem. The Olives on the Westone 4 are beautiful; they still allow all the stunning bass details through without muddying, and the treble doesn't seem to be affected at all. They also have the convenience factor of being able to squish them in fairly easily compared to Comply. BUILD QUALITY The Westone 4R seems to be of a higher build quality than the UM3X. However, that's a fairly limited view because I'm only seeing it from the outside. Anything wrapped in shiny black single-piece plastic is going to look better than a handmade body with a glued on nozzle. I personally had no build issues with the UM3X; they seemed sturdy enough. Then again, you'll find plenty of people saying their nozzles broke off suddenly, so my opinion is not an authority on that subject. The short and sweet is that both of them have great build quality, but you can also count on my using a three fingered rollup and being very careful with both of them. One more thing...the cable. It's a thing of beauty. Compared to the thick rubbery Shure cables or thin B&W cables, the braided cables of Westone are soft, bendable, largely tangle free, and produce no cable noise. The memory tubing near the earpiece is very comfortable but can be removed if that's your thing. The only negative thing I can see is that the L connector on the UM3X is thick and won't fit with many iPhone cases out there. The L connector on the W4R is slimmer and doesn't have much of a problem. Luckily, I use my iPhone au naturale. SOUND QUALITY This is, of course, the big one and what most people want to know about. Both headphones have a very impressive sound filled with amazing detail. Instrument separation is incredible on both, but perhaps more noticeable on the high end with the UM3X. That is because the UM3X is more treble and upper-mid forward than the W4R. This suits the UM3X better for rock music with a male lead; you'll get details that may seem veiled on the W4R. Rock with female vocals (Within Temptation, Evanescence, Xandria), on the other hand, can sound almost shrill on the UM3X (particularly with silicone tips) yet sound amazing on the W4R. Listening for long times on the UM3X can become somewhat tiring. Perhaps it's the sterile sound, or maybe the smaller soundstage, but things start to get a bit nasal after a while. Highs aren't necessarily muffled; they just seem compressed, like you're listening to someone with a little bit of bubble stuck in their throat. While the UM3X is extremely detailed it possesses a very flat sound whereas the W4R has a greater musical quality to it. The W4R is much warmer with a full bodied sound that is detailed with follow-through. When you listen to a violin string on the UM3X, you can hear the bow slide across the string. When it's done you say, "yep, that's definitely a violin, and a good one too." With the W4R, you hear the bow slide across the string, hear the lingering sound of the vibration, and see the performer lower the bow as he begins to weep. A lot of people have said the W4 sounds veiled. I don't personally hear it; while the highs aren't nearly as forward as the UM3X or other headphones, it's still very detailed. When I listen to rock with a male lead I'll admit the voice can get mixed in with the rhythm guitar which is smooth but less refined musically. I find EQing a treble boost and turning it up a bit make all the difference in the world. The W4 is very responsive to EQ; overall the default is very balanced, and I find that any changes in the EQ make prominent differences in any way I require. On soundstage, the W4 wins hands down. The soundstage on the UM3X is very small and well suited for someone on-stage who wants a proper representation of their sound from the stage. The W4 sounds like you're somewhere around the 5th row in a well built auditorium. The instrument separation which is phenomenal on both IEMs feels more full on the W4. The UM3X to me is like standing in front of a singer, a lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer who are clumped up. I can pick out all the details, but it's all coming from the same place. On the Westone 4 it's like they're spread out over the stage, I'm a few rows back, and the acoustics of the venue are bringing every individual sound to my ears. There's even times where the sounds surprise me; I'm on a crowded train listening to my music, and suddenly I hear a sound which feels like it came from the end of the train car. Now, on to bass. This is one area where I disagree with many posters regarding the W4R who say that it is lacking in bass. I'm not sure if some people are getting a bad seal, or maybe expect a thump every time a rhythm guitarist hits the low E. To me, it has a far greater bass capability than the UM3X. The UM3X has delightfully punchy bass with good tone, but it's hardly detailed and rarely layered on deeper bass. On the Westone 4, you get tight, crisp, layered bass. You'll hear bass you never knew existed layered under the bass you know is there. Listening to hip hop like Jay-Z, Biggie, LMFAO, Far East Movement, etc truly comes to life with warm full mids and highs and incredibly detailed bass which doesn't overpower the song yet makes itself felt on several levels. With rock, you hear the bassist as it is meant to be, underlying the rhythm guitar with deep descriptive sounds. The bass on the UM3X is punchy and good; the bass on the Westone 4 is the best I've ever heard. Lastly, I want to make a note on the one place I feel the W4 is truly lacking: listening at low volumes. With its punch and forward upper mids, the UM3X is very easy to listen to at low volumes and still packs good detail into what you're hearing. My W4R needs about 20% more volume to get the same effect. They're good at low volumes, but not great at all. The W4R really shines when you can crank it up a little. CONCLUSION My original plan was to buy the W4R and sell the UM3X. I'm having serious second thoughts about selling it. The Westone 4R will easily be my go-to headphone for my 2.5 hour a day train commutes. But when I'm sitting in my favorite chair discovering new stuff on MOG, it's still a serious pleasure to try it out on both the UM3X and W4R. I learn new things about the music I'm listening to from each of them. And, at the very least, the UM3X will be a great backup set if I ever blow a driver or something. Pros: Beautiful sound quality Expansive sound stage Sturdy comfortable cable Tight crisp bass Very comfortable Cons: Shorter nozzles may be a problem for some ears Delivers detailed and correct bass, some people like exaggerated bass
I have had a number of Iem's in the past few years..but the Westone 3 and now the Westone 4r are at the top of my list. I love the bass of the W3 but the now the artticuate bass plus the sweet mids and treble of the W4r are the best of the best in my opinion. I am thrilled with every aspect of the W4r. Earphonesolutions.com are top notch as well... kudos to you earphonesolutions..!!! Pros: Cons:
really amazing earphones with good price! Pros: Cons:
Fantastic. Plenty of in-ear comfort options (triple flange all the way). You can hear all th lows and all the highs. mid range is full. Messing with EQ's actually achives the purpose now instead of levelling out the sound. The only 'issue' is that you really feel like using the EQ; most high CBR MP3 files sound extra flat because of the clarity. Makes me want to try out the other high end in ears though. Pros: Comfort, fit, high end, low end, response to tuning. Clarity. Everything. Cons:
Balanced sounding and allows you to hear the various instruments in a song without accentuating any particular range. Potential to portray separation of instruments is good (depends on how good is the recording and your source). You hear the songs the way they are recorded. It is important to have a good seal to hear the best of any song and thanks to the wide range of eartips that comes with the earphones, it is hard not to find one that fits you. The westone 4Rs are still very comfortable despite having the extra plastic guard at the portion of cable that loops the ears. Pros: Sound quality Isolation Solid cables that are replaceable Cons: Pricey
Personally, it was a toss up between these earphones and the Shure SE535 (I can't be the only one in this camp) and I finally decided upon these for the simple fact of better portability. I find that the thinner cords on the Westone 4Rs, in my opinion, are quite durable and easier to manage than the Shure SE535s thicker cabling. I don't have any issues wrapping them up and taking them with me on the go, which was exactly what I was looking for since I planned on moving around with them quite a bit. The earphones and cabling are quite comfortable and I barely notice either of them when I put them on. And just like the Shure's, this version comes with removable cables in case you need to replace them in the future. On the other hand, if I were looking for earphones that I was going to use exclusively at home, I would have a much more difficult time deciding. I really love the Shure SE535s and will probably end up purchasing a pair in the near future but at the time I was looking for more subtle headphones and the superb sound of quad drivers were a welcome feature :) I am currently pairing these up with my COWON S9 + iBasso T3, Sansa Clip Zip, and occasionally at work on my iMac when absolute isolation is needed. I also use Shure's Black Olives instead of the Complys since I had some extras lying around and I prefer them over the latter. Thank you Earphone Solutions for the excellent shopping experience and amazingly fast delivery time. Pros: Replaceable cabling Sound quality Durability Comfort/Size Solid case a nice extra Cons: Pricey Takes me a little while to get the perfect fit but quickly getting used to it
Justin, We are glad to hear you are enjoying the W4R. Thank you for the kind words!
Excellent sound quality Pros: Great sound Comfortable even on a long haul flight Great design Cons: Better method of storing the earphones in the travel box supplied. For $500 should come with a purpose built box that has a suitable insert to protect them.
I was a little concerned about my purchase based on some of the reviews I read. Needless worry as these IEMs are the stuff! I grew up with JBL studio monitors then stepped up to FOCAL Electra series speakers when the budget allowed. I have been a sound engineer for regional bands for over 35 years. I know what quality sound entails. I enjoy bass but don't like a flabby, ill-defined (rap/hip-hop) bass sound. I want a fast tight bass that hits like a sledgehammer. I also want velvety/lush mids and airy transparent highs. I doubted ANY IEM could deliver what I was used to and had accepted that I would have to lower my expectations. NOT SO! These IEM's deliver in spades. Right out of the box the bass is full yet defined on funk/soul music, and slams with authority on hard rock/metal tunes. On acoustic folk and small jazz trios, theyre as transparent as any electrostatic speaker I've heard. The separation and staging of complex orchestral passages is first rate. Never a hint of congestion or smear. Detail freaks will LOVE these. Dont worry about them sounding to sterile or clinical. They have just a hint of coloration in the mids that makes them a joy to experience. Like a hint of tube warmth. In short LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my 4Rs! Pros: full-bodied yet fast/articulate bass full mids with just a "hint" of coloration (very musical and engaging AKA Conrad Johnson) Clear airy highs that dissipate into the stratosphere Cons: The orange logo is a bit tacky.
Thank you for the detailed review!
Being one that appreciate both engineering and high-fidelity audio, these are the best. Yes, they are pricey, but the rewards is clarity and balanced punch for just about any source audio. Pros: Audio quality. Comfort. Durability. Quality case. Cons: No in-line microphone, could be an asset for travel.
Awesome sound. I fly internationally, spending a lot of time in airports and airplanes. Besides the joy and convenience of listening to my favorite music wherever I am (mostly the good classic Rock & Roll), these Westone 4 Earphones are always great for blocking out the Asian slurping sounds of eating noodles, the Chinese noisy sipping of anything liquid, the snoring of nearby passengers when I'm trying to sleep on overnight flights between India and other parts of Asia. Truly a lifesaver! Pros: 1) Sound Quality 2) Convenience 3) Comfort 4) Blocking out of external noise Cons: 1) sometimes the cords get easily twisted 2) on long flights, they do sometimes get uncomfortable when in the ear for long periods of time 3) cost is high, but worth the investment
I have owned and enjoyed the Westone 3 for the past 2 years and was excited to hear that a new model of the IEM was coming out! The Westone 4R is clearly one of the best products out in the market and is definitely worth the investment. Pros: Clarity Balanced Tone Replaceable wires Cons: The plastic that curves around your ear isn't long enough for my fit.
I purchased a pair of Westone UM1's almost three years ago, and they're still going strong and in excellent condition. I have been considering purchasing an upgrade for some time, when just before Christmas of 2011 I won my pair of Westone 4R's on a Facebook drawing from Earphone Solutions. I am totally impressed with the sound of these phones. I can hear notes, and background sounds in recordings that I never knew where there. Can actually hear the singers taking a breath on many of the vocals. Bass is head and shoulders better than any in ear phones I've tried. Mid/range is exceptional, and highs are clear and audible...probably the weakest point sound wise. The fit did take me awhile to adjust to as these phones are somewhat larger than the UM1's and it took awhile to get used to the larger body. Basically these phones have spoiled me for any of the lesser phones I own, or have tried. Iphone buds make my ears bleed.... UM1's are flat and unimpressive :-( To address the comments about the wear with braided wire, my UM1's are as solid as they were on day 1, so I have no reason to believe the 4R's will be any different. Pros: Sound quality Isolation Fit and finish Cons: Isolation (yes it's a two edged sword when you have people around) The provided case clasp broke after less than 2 months of use, I'm using the zipper case from my UM1's. I'd say price, but hey....I got them for free ;-)
From the moment I put on the Westone 4 (W4), I was in love. I've previously owned the Westone UM1 and UM3X, both of which are amazing, but unfortunately one was stolen and the other was permanently misplaced. After being spoiled by the UM3X, I couldn't bring myself to go back down, and it wasn't from lack of trying. I tried a couple of $50-100 earphones, and they all disappointed me. So, after going six months without "proper" earphones (it was torture), I finally got these. Unlike the UM3X, the W4 was smooth right from the start. The sound is so smooth, in fact, I'm actually loss for words to describe it. Not only it is smooth, but it is also crisp to the point I had to wonder if I'm simply experiencing some form of placebo effect. To my ears, and to my soul, the sound is perfection. I've played music with the W4 in my ears all day without rest and I've never once experienced ear-fatigue with it. With every other earphones I've tried, including the UM3X, I had to rest every few hours. I've always loved accuracy over "colour" in all my earphones, and I'm happy to say that the W4 definitely meets by expectations, despite the fact that the Westone Wx series is meant to be more colourful than the UMx series. I believe that these earphones have the perfect balance between accuracy and personality. Pros: Sound is smooth, crisp and accurate No ear-fatigue from extended usage! Unsurpassed comfort Legendary durable and tangle-free cords Cons: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I love these ear buds, The style comfort and sound quality. They fit very well for a universal fit earbud. I use these earbuds with my portable set up and they sound very clean and tight. I listen to pretty much every type of music, and I must say everything sounds great threw them. here's my portable set up : 160g Ipod Classic :AlgoRhythm Solo :ALO Audio MK2 Pros: Comfort and Style, Sound Quality. Cons: A little Pricy.
Ok, this is my first multi-driver earphone. I use Cowon D2 and X5 with music recorded at 240-320kbps OGG/MP3 or WAV. Was using V-Moda Vibe before this but the 4R's are at a whole different level. Other than the V-Moda, I also have a Bose IE2, which I use for working out and even the V-Moda's beat those in terms of bass response so I won't even bother comparing them to the Westone's. Using them with mid-sized grey tips, I find I'm pretty much isolated from the outside world - I have to remove them if I want to hear anything outside. Bendy extension takes some getting used to but it all pays off if you set it right - very comfy, all-day wearability. Sound is exceptionally even. If there's one rule I have for choosing earphones, it's that they shouldn't add or subtract anything from the sound source. How it was recorded is how it should sound and the 4R's are the closest to that ideal. Bass is perfect. No matter what the volume, bass response is exact and super-quick with absolutely no effect on the mids and treble (thank the separate drivers for that). Instrument separation is exact. Treble and mids are very neutral, again, what's recorded is what you hear. With this, I'm even hearing new things from old songs that I've missed before with other setups. One thing I want to note here is soundstage. I listen to mostly rock music, instrumentals, metal, guitarists and with these on, it's as if the band was setup right in front of me. I also listen to a lot of electronica like Moby, Chicane, Junkie XL, Crystal Method etc...and it's as if my head was filled with music (that's how it is with most electronic music, soundstage is almost 360 degrees). Again, you get what's recorded. To sum up, if you have a good sound source, this should be nearly as good as being there. Only thing better would probably be full sized headphones, but I'll choose the portability and convenience of these any day. Pros: Neutral, warm sound Excellent instrument separation Excellent bass response and level Good Clarity Replaceable Cable Needs EQ the least Cons: Small container Needs setting up to fit right Sound source should be excellent
I have never write review on anything before due to my lack of proper English and lazy, but for this one with total positive experience I have decided to write this review. I first bought the W4 from amazon.com because price was cheaper and because I know nothing about Westone will not warranty if not from authorized dealer. I was not really please with the sound quality of the set, nothing special and rather pricy. Second weeks of use, the left ear bud went off and on so I decided to return and get my money back. I dont know why I decided to give it a second change ( glad I did) this time I bought it from Earphone Solutions so I got full 2 year warranty. My order was at time is in back order, I was told it wont be available for another week and offer to send to me the W4R for the same price!! I chose to wait because I was scare of the RC connection would give problem later. A day later I got email notified thats my W4 was shipped to me next day FedEx no extra cost!! Now that I call world class service Earphone Solutions you have got me for life and yes I did came back and order a Red UM1 for my son. Now lets get back to the review of the W4. As I unpack it I notice that there was more accessories, thing like the ear wax remover and more of the replace tips then when I plug it in my Cowon J3 and turn on the music is like WOW .such a clarity, the sound of hi hat open and close is real and true just like I was standing there. The bass is punchy tight but not thumping. The vocal is incredible!! Just feel like Im a few feet away from the singer, I can even hear her breath intake!! Which I have not heard before with Apple In ear!!! Instruments separation is excellent. Im not an audiophile so I dont really know how to descript it correctly sorry for that. My review is mainly for folks like me, not knowing much on technical level but can differentiate the good sound quality form bad, I say go for it, get the W4, it will be your last stop on your quest for best IEM, well . Until you go custom which I dont see I would need to go to that level. Oh forget to mention that I have trade my W4 to Shure 535 form my friend just to listen on couple of song like Hotel California Acoustic version, although the Shure 535 got little more brighter then my W4 but I still like my W4 overall sound , its more true sound to me!!! Now looking back I wonder what was going on with that set that I bought from Amazon!!? Compare to this one is like night and day!!! Is that a B stock that I have heard about?? Or is it a Chinese knockoff version. Any way to me if you need a best IEM get the W4 or Shure 535 if you like a little brighter sound, I like W4 more for it true sound reproduction and get them from Earphone Solutions for the best service. Pros: Light weight Comfortable Look very cool Sound qualitly is awsome Cons: None so far
i bought the westone 4R with removable cables from Earphone solutions. The package came promptly in spite of it being an international order. The package was standard fare but the case in which the buds and others were stored were changed to a hard black plastic and an orange handle as compared to the Westone 4's. It certainly went in line with the earphones itself as the labels on each side clearly read 4R in bright orange surrounded by its black frame. Soundstage is superb and bass is deep enough for you to get enough enjoyment. One thing i really enjoyed listening to was music which had symphonic accompaniment. The details on these things are really huge. Pairing it with a DAC or a really decent mp3 player with quality music files really helps examplify the crystal clarity in these set of jewels. The wires are solidly constructed and doesn't look like it will snap anytime soon, not that it really matters now that it is also removable. It also comes with an attenuator which helps to tune the volume on the go. For a costly product, it certain lives up to being one with great sound and quality. Some have complained the mids are lacking , my suggestion is to using it on a device which allows you to differentiate the sound with an equalizer. The sound differentiation using an equalizer on these jewels are really varied and shows off its flexibility in different genres of music. One person's treasure might not be another's though and there might be some who prefer the shure's 535 to this because of its easier musical adaptability on ears. Bassheads might also stay away as it does not pound the ears like the atrio's or the UE 5pro super bass. Pros: Great sound stage Solid construction Removable cables Deep enough bass comfortable fit great variety of buds on offer Cons: Not the most musically pleasing set of earphones bassheads stay away cable too short (without attenuator)
I have owned the Westone 1,2, and 3's as well several Sure models and I must say that The Westone 4's are the best earphones that I have ever used. They have hit the "sweet spot " for me in the bass, mids and trebbles. I listen mainly to classical, opera and some New Age music, so I'm not over concerned with the ultra deep bass appreciated by the Heavy Metal and the 'boom box " crowd. I'm not denigrating their tastes in music - its just not me. These earphones have great clarity, and sound separation which are important for the music that I enjoy. They are comfortable when worn for long periods, and are great for listeniing to music at night while reading in bed. Earlier in the year I took an mp3 player and the earbuds that came with it on a fishing trip where I was wading most of the day. ( I didn't want to take a chance on dunking an expensive pair of earphones in icy cold water) When I stopped for lunch and sat back against a tree to listen to some music I could only stand the sound for about two minutes before giving up on them. The sound just wasn't the same. We sure get spoiled fasr! Now I stick my Cowon and my Westone 2's in a ziplock back and enjoy. These can't compare with full size open air headphones such as my Grado GS 1000s, but for the purpose they are intended Westone has done a fantastic job. F De Vore New Zealand Pros: Clarity, sound separation, comfort Cons:
Any earphones at this price should have removable cables. I previously owned 2 pair of Westone 3s that both dryrotted from sweat accumulated where the cables sit on the ear so in addition to the removable cable the added plastic along with a firm wire that allows the cable to form to the contour of the ears was the icing on the cake for me. Sound......well, my ears aren't trained enough to know the benefits of having 4 drivers over the 3 I was used to but I can say the sound is brilliant as expected. Advice to those thinking about purchasing high-end earphones for the first time... treat them with extreme care. If sweat/water gets in your ear remove the buds, they will short out very easily. Also, I suggest using the little hard case for carrying around... remember, you paid half a grand for them! It's easy to forget and to start treating them like any ol' $15/$20 pair of headphones. Lastly, I was worried about the wire-to-earbud connection not being strong enough but that wasn't the case... nice and firm making the Westone 4R a complete success in my book! Pros: Added plastic/wire on cable for around ear Firm wire-to-earbud connection Cons: As usual, the price!
I have previously owned the Shure E3 and Westone UM2, and when my UM2's had a tragic accident, I decided to give the W4 a try after reading all the reviews and my previous experience with Westone. To say I was blown away by the sound is an understatement. The soundstage opened up like never before: front/back, left/right: there was just so much more depth particularly with live recordings. These IEM's reproduce the sound just as it was recorded. It does not add any color of its own. The one caveat I would have is that it is critical that you use the correct tips with these. Previously, I had been using Comply, but found the bass was lacking and the over all sound was more restricted. Thankfully, Earphone Solutions include a whole set of tips so I was able to experiment via trial and error to finally arrive at the perfect fit. In this case it was the Shure Olives. Pros: Quality Gorgeous soundstage Cons: Price, but was able to get these during the Black Friday sale.
This is my first earphone that I spent more than $200, and I am not pleased with this item. Although it feels very comfortable when listening music, my ear and neck starts to feel hurting after using more than an hour. I am think of exchanging this item to either pfe112 or er4 or shure535. Pros: comfortable awesome base ok mid (little more vocal would be nice) Cons: low high unless EQ bad ear guide (too hard) ear and neck hurts after using more than an hour
Amazing sound delivered directly to the cerebelum. no disapointment! Pros: sound quality fit Cons:
I have spend countless amount of hours trying to find the best universal IEM and I believe these are it! Pros: Comfort Sound Quality Cable Hardware Quality 2-Year Warrently Cons: Price
Re-posted from Head-fi My daily drivers for IEMs have been the MTPC/HF2. I wanted something with the isolation of an Ety, but with a sound that improved on the weak points of these IEMs. Enter the W4R. So.. I've been listening to these for 4-5 hours. Yep, they're giving me the impression that they're better than any other universal IEM I've tried. Though part of me wants a bit more highs, the rational part is saying "you won't get that treble headache/nausea after extended-listening". The bass depth/impact/extension is superb. For my preferences all I would want is even more resolution (guess I'd need to go up the ladder). Still, I can more or less hear every note the bass player is fingering in rock songs, which is the way I like my bass -- heard more than felt. Mids are as good or better than the Coppers (which was the reason I liked them), with nice timbre and not too forward for my tastes... the singer is smack in the middle of the mix. Highs are nice and extended, but again, less aggressive than I'm used to. I'm going to need a bit of psychological burn in here to get used to this smoother signature. I need to curb my addiction to sparkle. So taken as a whole, the W4 have as much detail/separation across the range as my Etys (or possibly more) with "perfect" bass and clearly improved soundstage/transparency. Pros: +plenty of detail at low listening volumes (unlike copper), not fatiguing. +isolation, with the triple flanges is excellent, near ETY level. +light weight, very comfortable in ears, can be worn while sleeping on side. +cable is replaceable, can be upgraded to EPIC mic cable +carrying case is nice extra Cons: -The w4 is less forgiving of bad recordings and poorly encoded/low bit rate files than the copper was with it's "blended" sound. -The braided cable will probably separate over time, memory wire is annoying but useful to cut down on microphonics when worn over-ear -Expensive. And to think... the ES5 costs twice as much o_0
I absolutely love these earphones. I have most of all of the top of the line universal fit earphones by Ultimate Ear, Shure, Grado, Sennheiser, Etymotic, Klipsch and others. I love these Westone earphones. I have the Westone 3 and 3R. I have to say that these phone might be my favorite. The richness of sound is overwhelming. I purchased them from Earphone Solutions on sale so the price was excellent. At this point, I have only used these earphones for classical music, so I cannot compare them to heavy bass earphones that someone would want for heavy duty rock and roll, but for classical music, they might be the most exciting universal tip earphones that I have heard to date. Pros: Pros are quality of sound and construction. The price was right. The variety of tips was very helpful. Usually I have to use the Shure black olive tips or Shures larges black rubber tips because I have large ear canals. I have a collection of the Shure tips to put on so many earphones produced by other manufacturers. However, the variety of tips included worked just fine for me. Cons: I wish that the cable was detachable. I understand that the new Westone 4r has detachable cables.
This is a tough review. I posted it over on the UM3X as well. I'll start off by saying that either one of these - the UM3X, or the W4 - can qualify as being the best IEM I have personally used. I have Etymotic ER6i, Shure e3c, and UE something or other as well. The trouble is picking the favorite of the two Westones. There are differences to be sure, but they are in nuance rather than bombast. I would guess because they are both superior monitors, their differences are diminished somewhat. Both have tremendous depth and soundstage. The W4 may have a better bottom end, not that the UM3x is light. Both present vocals with glorious clarity, and treble is detailed without being tinny, shrill, or hollow. I have a small earphone amp that I prefer to use with my iPad, iPhone, and iPod, and find it does make a real difference. I don't think the head amps of these devices do justice to either of the Westones. Do yourself a favor. If you are going to purchase either of these - or another high end IEM - get a reasonable external amp to drive them. And be prepared to reconsider reimporting a lot of your music. These will reveal a LOT of the bad in lossy codecs.... Go lossless if you can. Then you will know what you were missing! I really do have a hard time choosing between these two. My listening is everything except Rap. Dang, I just can't choose - I'm glad I got both! Pros: Everything Cons: nothing ....but find the best earbuds, Shure Olives, or Comply Foam for me.
Extremely detailed sounding earphones ... while I would have liked a little more bass it probably (I'm not an expert though) would have drowned out the detail of the mid's and high's that are the best I've ever heard. I definitely love these earphones and highly recommend them. Pros: -Detailed Mid's and High's Cons: -Bass is a little weak
Great sound quality, its delivery very detail sound Pros: Sound quality Cons: none
These headphones seem to shine in acoustic sets for me. The bass is good at times but appears to be distorted in other songs. Overall like the headphones though. Pros: Cons:
More comfortable than my UE 10's and the sound quality and range is outstanding. A snug fit is the key to getting all of the base offered ( I did end up using Shure Olive). I love the light weight and lack of cord noise factors as I use these for working out. Over the past decade, I have used various in ear headphones - WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT! Pros: Sound Quality, Fit, Flex of cable, Packaging, Easy and quick ordering/shipping. Cons: Ear tip (bud) options - My opinion would be to eliminate the hard silicone buds and include the Shure Olive buds instead.
I travel globally and have owned every top non-custom IEM (including SH ie8, Shure 535, UE 10vi, Klipsch x10) and while the Shures are by far the best of that group, the W4s are at another level. I am a amateur classical musician and for classical music I cannot imagine using anything else. The soundstage is wide, the instrumentation precise, the tone pure, and the range simply amazing. These are truly the first IEM's that I think are worthy of the "monitor" tag. You have the sense that nothing but the music is being sent to your ears. And that classical music purity does not come at any expense in other genres: bass is strong and tight on dance tracks, guitars scream on heavy metal, and the clear sound of brushed cymbals on a jazz track are enough to leave you wondering what the custom ones must sound like! Overall, just the best. Next step up is 2X in price and that will be really hard to justify when the W4s are this good. Tip: I use them with the Shure triple-flange tips which are the best -- no outside noise. Period. Pros: 1) Sound which is amazing at all time. It will leave even the most jaded listener speechless. 2) Super-comfortable, even for hours and hours of continuous listening. 3) Great cable and perfect cable length for travelers (but should be detachable). Cons: 1) Price (but at least they perform ad advertised, which is more than I can say for other brands). 2) Should come with detachable cable like 535s, just in case. 3) in line mike would be good since the triple-flange tips eliminate pretty much any sound. (Would be good to hear what flight attendant is saying without having to take out tips!)
I have to admit that I'm hearing details that I didn't know were missing. At first I thought I had lost sound but then over time have realized the really true resolution brings out almost the 'raw' recording experience. Others have commented that there isn't the augmented bass, etc., which now I'm finding a whole new experience... Pros: fidelity I didn't know existed Cons: cost, cost, cost
I've upgraded from the Etymotic Research ER-4S, and while I recognize that I've traded in some isolation, I've gained layers of music I've never heard before with the Westone 4. It's simply amazing, comfortable, and all I can ask for in an IEM. Westone has got it right with a neutral sound that is rich and enveloping. Sound stage and instrument separation is phenomenal. The bass is simple okay, but I am not a bass head, so this is not a point I will quibble about. Simply put, the Westone 4 puts out a great sound that everyone can enjoy and has no real weaknesses, unlike the Shure SE535, which have a particular sound signatures that either people love or hate (guess which group I fell into). The Westone 4 was just right for me and I used Comply P series foam tips in a size large to get great isolation and amazing comfort with these IEMs. Pros: Supremely balanced sound Cons: The Westone 4 caused my expectations in IEMs to rise, and set the bar up so high, that I'm afraid my next upgrade will have to be customs unless Westone comes out with a UMX4 or a Westone 5.
Clarity, definition and highs are great . Bass not as deep as you would expect. Not as detailed and defined asmy Denon over the ear pair. Definitely happy with them but are they worth the difference in price? Not sure. Cable is thin and flexible and they are lightweight. Pros: Cons:
I purchased the Westone 4 earphones as I listen to music for more than 2 hours a day so I thought it would be a worthwhile investment... and it was! The sound quality that emits from these earphones is brilliant regardless of the music genre. Instruments and vocals are separated and presented in crystal clear quality. I am thoroughly happy with my purchase and I recommend them to other music enthusiasts. Pros: High build quality. Excellent sound quality for all music types. Cons: Takes slightly longer to seat them in your ears properly.
I like this ear phone really much. The quality of the music from this ear phone is nice. Even though it is not really cheap but I guess it is worth it. Pros: Cons:
Fit is good with variable gel heads , and design fits neatly and stays in . Sound wonderful even before burn in , warm up , everyone talks about. I have eustashion tube dysfunction in my ears , and i wanted to hear what high quality sounded like so i tried these , and glad i did . only set me back a month of disabilty pay . Lucky I live with Mom, God Bless her . And while i'm at it , God Bless Westone and God Bless you too . Thanks for reading my humble opinion. Not overwhelming bass, with a considerate modest Sound adjustment on my Mini Disc , to Sound 2 , with a bass on 3 and a treble on 2 , I believe . Just sounds terrific. I got a pair of Westone 1's for out of the house listening. my Westone 4's stay in the house ! Pros: Everything Cons: neck "V" too short. I know , supposed to go over the ear and behind the neck, but it pulls that way too, .
Sound is a passion. I've been in pro audio, touring concert sound & studio recording for 30+ years. I had a set of Shure SE530's that were stolen out of my car. After reading reviews at ES about the Westone W4's I decided to replace with them. I found the W4's to be well made, well packaged, with a nice case and various tips. Upon initial listening I was disappointed in the W4's sound reproduction versus my prior SE530's. The W4's are definitely superior for comfort and easy to get a good seal. The W4's have a punchier bottom, but not necessarily as natural or as musical on the low end. I found the W4 mids not as smooth, not as detailed or as transparent as the SE530's. And the W4's highs are not as silky, don't have the 'air' that the SE530's did. The biggest issue to me however is the W4's are 4-5 dB less efficient than the SE530's. Not just that I have to turn my iPod's gain up more to achieve the same playback volume, but with my iPod touch the loss of headroom due to the iPod's modest power output is audibly apparent on loud passages. I would recommend the W4's to a friend if they understand the strengths & weaknesses. But after having the W4's for a month now I am about to replace them with the new Shure SE535. So far every review on the SE535's say it's a big improvement over the SE530. Standby, SE535 review to follow. Pros: Well made. Comfortable. Good Seal. Prevalent, thumpy Bass. Cons: Less sensitive than my previous Shure SE530. Mid & High Frequencies not as smooth, not as silky.
Over the years, I have purchased over-ear and in-ear headphones including the Shure SE535, Shure SE530, Shure E5c, Westone UM2, Westone UM3X, Sennheiser HD-600, and Sony BT-50. The Westone 4 Earphones are extremely comfortable to wear for prolonged periods, conveniently portable, and provide an optimal acoustic experience for all music types. Pros: Cons:
used this to go jogging/walking. Pros: good fit and comfortable. Mids and highs sound very detailed,. Cons: Not enough bass impact.
Hi Di, Make sure you're getting a good seal so you get plenty of bass :) Thanks for the review!
These earphones were my first experience with Westone; had always used Shure with one exception of Ultimate Ears. The first thing I noticed was the light weight in comparison to my high-end Shures (500, 530, 535s). As far as sound goes, I should say that I'm no expert and spent a good deal of time finding the best eartips that would give me a good fit and sound (base, etc). I think the Weston 4s are great for rock and pop tunes. Very good base and range. The mids aren't quite as sharp as my Shures, but I really like using them as I seem to feel the music more as other reviewers have mentioned on the Westones. The cable system is noteworthy as they provide no resistance to fitting over the ear and that's a good thing. I'm very happy with them and glad I have added them to my collection. I would also like to mention that the information resources provided by Earphone Solutions has helped me get more enjoyment from all my earphones. Pros: Light weight cables feel the music earphone solutions Cons: mids aren't as sharp
I don't know all the fancy terms, but I have a discerning ear. I have Westone 3's which I thought were pretty terrific. These '4's are so much better. There is separation of the mids and much more clarity. Bass is still there like I loved with the '3's. Overall, glad I spend the bucks! Pros: More clarity and separation throughout voices. Cons: Not much
I am upgrading from a set of Ultimate Ears Triple Fi, after they broke for the SECOND TIME and basically started to crumble. Having had enough with UE's bad quality, I decided to investigate a new brand. I have been hearing a lot about Westone's "3" model for a few years now, and began to look into it, and what do you know? The "3" was no longer the top model and had been superseded by the "4". After reading reviews for a few hours and determining that these should sound superior to my old earphones, I decided to buy them, assuring myself that the high cost is worth it considering I am a bit of a music head and listen to it for an average of 5 hours a day, not to mention all the TV shows I watch and video games I play with them on. 1 week later they arrived and I began the testing, hoping that my $450 would not be in vane. The first song I chose was "Into Orbit", one of my favorite high powered dance songs. The sounds that came through the line were almost like nothing I had ever heard before. Compared to the UE's, the sound stage was massive, almost larger than I thought earphones could have. I could clearly hear the bass from the woofer, the vocals from the mids, and the high hat from the tweeter. These were indeed 3-way earphones; none of the sounds that typically interfered with each other on my UE's did so anymore. Each sound and instrument sounded as if it were being separately played, in complete ignorance of the others. The bass was tight and deep, but not overwhelming. The mids possessed a sort of nimbleness and finesse one would find in the movements of a ninja. The highs were sparkling and pronounced, fading out at precisely the correct rate, but not overwhelming the music or suppressing the others channels. By the end of the song I was astounded; these earphones managed to far surpass the sluggish dullness of the UE's and defined a class of their own. I had made a good buy indeed. I spent the next 3 hours with the triple flanged tips in, experimenting with my new sonic reproduction device. The Westone 4's are such a leap above the old UE's, that sometimes I get the impression that the UE's were not even stereo in the first place, but this is likely because of the excellent fit created by the triple flanged tips. Unlike other earphones that fit differently in each of my uniquely shaped ears, the Westones managed to align themselves almost perfectly. With these, it is almost as if I am listening to stereo earphones for the first time in my life. In fact, the only sound system that has sounded quite like these was an $80,000 McIntosh setup that I heard at my local audiophile store. These Westone's, in the space of only a cubic centimeter, manage to approach the sound created by a 50+ speaker per channel 3000 watt behemoth, and at a price 160 times lower. These earphones are a masterpiece. Every time I put them on, it is as if a sonic star gate to the 7th dimension is opened up. With their sound stage, lack of cross frequency interference, balanced color, tightness, high precision, and dynamic range, every time I put these on I am astounded. Besides the sound quality, they also feel and look sturdy, have a braided wire which helps decrease inductance and capacitance, a gold plated 1/8 jack, a decent storage case, and a plethora of ear tip options. As for the ear tips, the triple flanged come in only one size, but manage to perfectly conform to my rather strangely shaped ear canals. They provide the 2nd best fit among the tips, equal bass to the best fitting ones, however slightly reduced treble compared to the mid size black tips that I also use. Depending on the music you listen to however, you may enjoy the more controlled treble of the triple flanged tips, though I recommend the black tips for vocals and 'natural' music in order to fully enjoy the nuances of the instruments. Taking the prize in fit, comfort, noise isolation, and bass are the mid-size foam tips. You have to tightly roll them up first, and then quickly get them into an ideal position deep in your ear before they expand, and then wait 30 seconds for them to conform to your ear...but they beat the other tips in every way, except for a slight deficiency in treble reproduction when compared to the black tips. I attempted to try the white tips, however all of the sizes hurt my ear so much because of their hardness, that I never got a chance to listen to anything on them. The foam and triple flanged both fit well enough to support the entire weight of the earphones and wire easily, however the ear placement method is so well designed that 1/2 the weight is supported by your ear anyway. I currently switch off between the mid-blacks, triple flanged, and mid-foam ear tips depending on the environment, music selection, and how long I plan on listening to music for (the triple flanged and then the foam are best for long term listening). In the end, it was well worth the heavy price tag. Music has a tendency to take me to another place in space and time...separate from all the worries in my life. It allows me to experience the sound escapes of music, and dream escapes of video games and movies. The realism created by these takes me beyond the 3rd dimension, and deep into a 7th dimension, a place full of dazzling sound, where the only limit is my imagination. Pros: Looks, ear tip options, redundant wire strain relief, noise isolation, sound quality. Cons: Could use a sturdier storage case for their price (perhaps made of a titanium slug?), wire will likely not survive a high tension impact strain (so you have to be gentle), wire is not removable from earphones, foam tips get dirty fast and are nearly impossible to clean, price (meh, right?), and they demand a high quality headphone amp to get the best out of.
Thanks for the great detailed review Robert!
I recently had the opportunity to test the Westones 3 and 4, the Shure SE530, and the Westone UM3X. At least for my tasted, I found the Westone 4 and the Westone UM3X far superior to the others. The UM3X is my favorite to listen to rock music and any kind of music involving singing. Westone 4 is best for instrumental music of all kinds, and for watching movies. The reason for this is that the Westone 4 absolutely great in giving you a "surround" feeling, but the singer's voice feels too distant or low in comparison with the rest. As a result, you have to turn up the volume higher than you may wish. The UM3X is far better on this point, and it also does a wonderful job in allowing you to hear the sound of each instrument and the voice powerfully and very, very clearly. Of all the headphones that I tested, the UM3X impressed me the most when listening to music. I was in musical heaven and it was difficult to take them out of my ears. The Westone 4's shined most when I connected them to my Galaxy Tab to watch a movie, but they also have a wonderful sound signature that makes them superb for music as well, specially instrumental, or any music at medium to high volumes. In comparison to them, the Westone 3 and the Shure SE530 felt too loud (as lacking a harmonious combination of sounds) and less sophisticated. If I had to choose between the UM3X and the Westone 4, I would keep the UM3X. I ended up keeping both. Pros: *Terrific orchestra and "surround" sound Cons: *The voice is not as loud as it should be.
Excellent bass performance, well-balanced as well as present the mids with a good yield of the voice and the absence of harshness and hissing in the medium-high frequencies. Even the high frequencies have made it soft and free of rips, but not very transparent and vivid. Excellent soundstage both in amplitude (panorama audio) so in depth. However, the general tone, though pleasant and relaxing to listen for long periods seems to show a slight veiling and a slight lack in clarity of sounds and harmonics , especially when compared with the performances presented in this area from other headsets at the same level as Grado gr 10 and Monster Turbine PRO Copper in respect of which the Westone 4 is still above both in terms of sound stage for the articulation and detail of the sounds, and dynamics and articulation of bass. Pros: Soundstage,bass detail and sound articulation. Cons: General tone relaxing but slight veiled with a slight lack in clarity of sounds in terms of harmonics
Excellent item!!! You have to buy it. Pros: Cons:
I've had various earphones over the years ranging from the hundred dollar mark, mid level and now up to W4's, without any doubt, from any sound I've heard these rank up at the top. Personally I listen to everything but country and I often class a speaker/earphone on it's ability to play classical due to it's dynamic range. I have KEF speakers, enjoy car stereos (I know there's no sound-stage as such even with time delays etc, but to be surrounded by bass while driving is beautiful I don't care what you say :p ) and more so than being an equipment freak, I love music straight out. Concerts, operas, clubs, live singing give me any of it, guitars, hip-hop, acoustic, I'll take it. Now the earphones, clear sounding and precise is the first thing that comes to mind. Next is separation of instruments and sounds while keeping their fullness. I've read how the bass isn't as deep as it can be, but I've heard some bass notes I've never heard from tracks I've often listened to, so for me the bass is beautiful. I like replications of the music as it should be heard, without added sound signatures and the W4's provide that completely in my opinion. Not cold, not harsh in the highs, but neutral with a lovely sound if that makes sense. If you have the money and don't want cans, then get these. If you don't have the money and want IEMs save for these as all I can do is recommend them to anyone who cares and can understand cost value. I also have a corda portable headphone amp which these IEMs don't necessarily need, but wow they do allow a push in overall power they provide to your ears. They look low key-ish, cords hang over the ears and have excellent sound suppression, on a plane I can drift away completely into the music and not be bothered by engines or other noises. I wish I had the funds to compare to Shures, and other IEMs, but honestly I don't care, I feel I have one of, if not the best IEMs out right now and all I do is listen to music now and enjoy. Pros: everything Cons: ppl who don't understand that spending $450 is priceless for the sounds you get out of them, so I write this review for those who care :)
Not a huge fan of in ear headphones but for running outside on noisy streets, they are great. These in particular are super lightweight and the sounds is amazing. So much that I find myself being able to run longer with them. I am really picky and sensitive when it comes to earphones. That being said, as with Shures, which I have owned a few pairs, the way the cord goes around the ear is never ideal for me. These are a little big in size but being so light, you don't notice that part once they are securely in your ear. One way they could be improved is to update their volume controller (which you can attach). It's too clunky. Instead they should streamline it and include a track changing button. For now, I have to manually change songs on my ipod when I run. They could also include (as Sennheiser does) a little plastic clip thingy (really important for managing flinging wires). Great carrying case included, however. I would give it 5 stars for sound and being exceptionally lightweight. But overall 4 because there is room for improvement with the design. Pros: Lightweight Excellent sound Stays put during high impact exercise (i.e., running) Nice carrying case included Comfortable fit Love the black cord, thin and the right length Cons: Horrible volume controller (clunky and should be a button not a roller) No track change feature on said horrible volume controller No clip included to secure loose cords Size of buds a bit too big for my taste but...
I bought these as an upgrade from the W3, which while extremely fun, I soon became disappointed in, due to mid bass bleed into the midrange. This caused vocals to become too chesty and distortion rock guitar notes too rounded instead of hard edged. Enter the W4. Fit and Isolation: Westone 4 is extremely comfortable. I love their size and weight. They only fill up a small portion of the ear. On the downside the nozzle is very short, making them very tip dependent to achieve their great sound. Isolation is slightly above average with the right tip. Shure black olives work very well for best comfort but best sound is found in the old Shure e2c tips. They must be modded by using an olive core and provide the best bass response, without obscuring treble detail due to their larger sound hole opening. Build Quality: Build quality is great. Westone has one of the best cables on the market. It is very flexible and light weight. It doesnt tangle and is great for looping over the ear. The right angle connector fits most, if not all, iPhone cases including the bumper. Accessories: Westone cases are one of the best on the market. The shape is small rectangle and perfect for fitting the phones and an iPod shuffle. Westone also provides a plethora of tips, none of which I like! Shure olives or modded Shure e2c soft flex tips are a must. Sound: The W4s are supremely balanced and neutral. No one frequency intrudes on another. Detail retrieval is unparalleled. They are very smooth and coherent. The funny thing is you may not like them when you first put them in because there is no WOW factor. Once you get over that initial disappointment, they seemingly get better and better. The best compliment is to say they do nothing wrong. Bass: Bass is well textured, detailed and controlled but could use a bit more sub bass presence and a tad more punch, mainly due to my preference for sleaze rock music. Don't mistake this for bass light; it is not. Mids: Mids are perfect for me; just a tad forward and liquid. Vocals are placed perfectly. Treble: Treble is amazingly extended without a hint of fatigue. Somehow Westone has developed an outstandingly detailed treble and at the same time velvety smooth. Its very difficult to describe but very well done. Soundstage: Soundstage is above average. The UE Triple.Fi 10 is the only IEM I own with a larger soundstage. However the TF10 makes you feel about 15 rows deep at a concert and the W4 seems to bring you closer, maybe to within 5 rows. Overall the new W4s find themselves at the top of BA universal heap. The only criticism I can find is to say the timbre doesnt match up to top dynamic drivers; however drums sound absolutely amazing on the W4. If you are looking for superb balance and refined detail retrieval, give the Westone 4 a try! Pros: Detail Retrieval, Balance and Clarity Cons: Price
Bottom Line: The Westone 4 is a truly incredible product that exceeded my every expectation. My experience with IEMs is limited to the Shure E2C and Westone 2. After reading the reviews of the Westone 3 and the pre-reviews of the Westone 4 (W4), I was eager to try out this product. I've now had the W4 since 14 February and am comfortable enough to write the review. My sources include an iPad, iPhone4, iPod 5.5G, iPod 6G with everything from 128k MP3s to ALAC. I typically listen to alternative, rock, pop, metal, country, and classical. I've used the W4s with an without an ALO Rx MkII portable amp. I use the Shure olives to get the right fit and isolation with the W4s. My experience with these high-end IEMs has been truly incredible. The sound across the spectrum is simply amazing, the soundstage exceeded my expectations, and depth of experience is something that simply must be experienced. This is the first set of IEMs where I catch myself turning away from work or casual reading to immerse myself (or perhaps lose myself) in the music of the moment. Be warned, you will know which are your best and worst recordings after listening with the W4s. I also need to point out the lightweight, tangle-free EPIC cable from Westone. It's not marketing, this cable is excellent and creates no microphonics. I will point out that this type of sound truly requires the right fit and right isolation. I simply couldn't get the right isolation with the Complys, the soft grey tips, or the hard white silicone tips. I can get very good sound very quickly with the triple flanges, but they are uncomfortable. Once I put the large Shures on these nozzles, I found simply found the sound I was looking for. You might have to work to get it, but it's worth the effort to get this kind of sound. I can honestly say these IEMs are worth the price. Pros: Exceptional sound Great isolation Comfortable wear Cons: Had to buy Shure olives to get the right fit
i've the We3 and now the We4. when i listen my music on this We4 , it gives to me the same effect of the first time with the We3, a wow effect i can not imagine how can be possible to create this new in ear , the sound is incredibly better more pure more bass more definition. The only thing disappoint me , no more image projection when you listen the music :-( Pros: so pure and close to the perfection Cons: no more projection of image like the westone 3
From the moment the photo was leaked, I knew I'd own the Westone 4 (W4). As a current owner of the Westone 3 (W3) and a former owner of the Westone 2 (W2) I had great faith in Westone. The W4 delivered all the refinement and improvements that I hoped for over the W3. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I love(d) the W3. They were my go to pair of In Ear Monitors (IEM's) when it was time to get lost in the music or put the daily stress behind me. The W3's are big, bad and bold. I don't consider that a knock against them, in fact that's what I loved about the Westone 3. The W3's bring all the flavor out of your music, and then some. They aren't big in size, but the soundstage is wide and deep. The bass is big and bold, but never overpowering to my ears. The W3's aren't for those looking for the most accurate IEM. Don't get me wrong, they are quite revealing as far as details are concerned, but you may find yourself too caught up in your music to notice them. The highs are very well done, the mids slightly behind the bass and treble, but I wouldn't call them recessed. The treble is bright and sparkly and with the wrong tip, they can be sibiliant. I found the perfect tip for my ears in the Shure Olives (foams). The Olives tame the highs just enough and seem to bring out the best in the W3 for me. Given all of that, it should be no surprise that the first change I made out of the box was to put the Olive tips on the W4. I wanted an even playing field to compare the W4 to the W3. On first listen the W4's blew me away. I had to swap to the W3 mid song to see if what I was hearing was in fact the W4 or just some new detail I missed. Well, I didn't miss the detail, it just wasn't there with the W3. The instrument separation is outstanding with the W4. You can see (hear) where every instrument is in the soundstage. There's very little overlapping/congestion of instruments. The W4 can handle the most complex piece of music you can throw at it. Whether it's a classical piece or Dream Theater, you'll hear all the details/layering you could ever ask for from a universal fit IEM. I'm not sure if there's a "best way" to describe the W4. How about: They do everything well and do nothing wrong. How's that? The highs are more detailed than the W3's and show no signs of sibilance. The mids have been brought forward, yet I wouldn't call the W4 mid-centric like the Shure 535's. Let's move on to the bass, oh the wonderful bass. The W3 has the most amazing bass I've ever heard in a balanced armature IEM. They are almost as punchy as a dynamic speaker, but they don't move air like a true dynamic. The one fault that other listeners have always pointed out with the W3's bass, the Mid-Bass hump, was never offending to me. At least it wasn't as intrusive as the Sennheiser IE8 for me. The W4 shows no sign of a mid-bass hump. The results? The bass of the W4 is even more detailed than the W3. The bass is almost perfect. I've even stopped using my full size headphones (HD600) for critical listening (learning a new bass line). For the first time with an IEM, I can pull the whole bass line out of the mix without fiddling with EQ. I can hear it as it was recorded. The W3 was very good at bringing back the magic of the few studio recordings I've sat in on, but the W4 takes it to a whole new place. They W4's reveal more of the (many) flaws in my playing LOL. Oh well, I've never thought about quitting my day job :) To wrap things up, I listen to every genre of music, with the exception of rap, on a regular basis. The W4's have not disappointed me with any genre. When called on the bass is powerful but not overpowering (electronica, pop). The mids reveal all the intimate details with the human voice (fantastic for female Jazz, ie. Melody Gardot, Diana Krall). The highs are fantastic, cymbal's sound realistic. The Westone 4's are simply the most balanced, revealing, engaging IEM I've ever heard. IEM's I own or have owned: Westone 4, W3, W2, Shure 535, Sennheiser IE8, IE7, Triple-fi 10, Monster Coppers, Etymotic ER4P, Klipsch Custom 3, S4, Panasonic HJE900 Pros: Everything! They are the most balanced, revealing and engaging IEM I've ever heard. Cons: Nothing yet.
Thanks for the great review!
As a former owner of 3 pair of Westone IEMs (W2, W3, UM3X), I have to honestly say I was not in the market for another one. A recent purchase of a pair of JH5 customs had me putting the brakes on buying any more expensive IEMs. But a couple of people I respect told me they were worth a try. I already had a pair of Westone UM56 custom sleeves hereabouts (got them for the UM3X/W2, but they never really worked for me). So I took one more chance on Westone, and now I can say they have finally won me over. For whatever reason, I just wasn't happy with previous Westone phones, either too hard to fit and sometimes harsh (W3), or, in my view, sort of boring (W2 and UM3X). That's one reason I finally decided to move to a custom, albeit an entry level one. No universals quite hit the mark. So I added an expensive silver cable to the JH5s and they have made me very very happy for the past few months. Now, with the W4s, I have two spectacular IEMs, for the price of one expensive custom. And the UM56 sleeves match up perfectly with the W4s, so it's like having two customs. Apart from fit this time, Westone has, for me, nailed what a great universal should sound like. Plenty of solid, extended bass, but no bass cannon. Mids and highs, close to perfection for the price. I lean towards that end of the frequency spectrum personally, and the W4s are just right. Never harsh, a little warm (but never mushy or veiled like some other expensive universals I have owned in the past. No reason to mention any names). Over the past 5-6 years I have owned 4-5 dozen IEMs, including expensive ones like Earsonics SM3, Ety ER4P/S, hf5, hf2 (still own them), MC3/5, Monster Gold/Copper, CK10, TF10, and dozens of other too numerous to mention. IMHO, none of them really can compete with the W4s for all-genre listening. To me, and I know others may not agree, when I hook the W4s up to my inexpensive amp (FiiO E7) and the iPod Class LOD, they sound even better. No amp needed, mind you, but they do scale up very nicely. So okay Westone, you finally have won me over. The cymbals shimmer, the drums are true and vocals really are brought to life, whether its western swing or world beat, fusion or folk. In some ways I am really surprised by this turn of events. I had given up on Westone. After all, I spent hundreds of dollars on their IEMs and was never satisfied. How do the W4s compare the JH5s? Not really fair, since they are like comparing Wilt to Kareem (at least in my humble audio world) - two greats who played the same position. The W4s are warner, more laid back but in a perfectly good way. The JH5s may be a little more edgy, treble/mid focused, but never harsh either. Both have outstanding soundstage and bass, and no need for EQ (but if you do use it, it won't crush their already great sound). Wrapping it up, I bow to Westone because they got it right this time. In all honesty, would someone who had bought and sold three of their other phones be a likely candidate for a rave review? Not likely. And I am not trashing the other Westone phones, either. They just didn't work for me. The W4s definitely do. Pros: Most everything. Would like a removable cable, but I can live with stock. Cons: So far, nothing comes to mind. Yes, they are expensive. But i spend money foolishly on plenty of stuff that can't deliver what the W4s can deliver.
I've been using the Westone 4's for a couple of weeks now. I have owned a number of IEM's including UM 2, Westone 3, Westone um3x and shure se535, and find the westone 4 to be significantly superior to them all. I love how balanced they are and how much 'tighter' the bass is compared to the westone 3 and um3x. The soundstage is also wider than any other earphone I've tried before. While I like the sound signature of the shure se535, I much prefer the fit of the Westone 4 as I personally found the thicker cable on the se535 to be more of a hindrance than help in achieving a reliable fit. The Westone 4, I feel, trumps the Se535 in terms of fit and fidelity. I now feel that I have an IEM (the westone 4!!) where i can loose myself in the music rather than pick out any shortcomings/dislikes in sound signature and fit. Quest for best IEM is over.... for now!! Pros: Overall balanced sound signature Tight and well controlled bass Excellent highs Exceptional fit Wide and immersive soundstage Thin and comfortable EPIC cable Cons: Expensive (but worth it and cheaper than Shure SE535)
I recently purchased a pair of these intriguing new earphones having bought a pair of the Westone UM3X and enjoyed them tremendously especially in comparison with the pair of Shure SE530s I was using for quite a long time prior. When the parcel arrived I quickly unpacked it and noticed that the earphones had Made in China on the box which wasn't the case with the UM3X that are made in the USA however that didn't spoil the moment as I was way more concerned with what was inside the box and how it sounded. The earphones come in a black glossy finish and are a nice size they fitted nicely and sat flush with my ears. I think the comfort and fit of the earphones are better for me than the UM3X. What did they sound like.. hmm...Well I had high expectations probably due to the prior reading I did about them... They sounded good ..I mean really nice but I wasn't sure exactly how so to begin with but it became more obvious as I listened to various musical pieces. They are Very Detailed more so than the UM3X more so than any earphone or headphone I have listened to..I heard things I never heard before in familiar songs...They have a really nice balance to the overall sound... Very low noise output.....More bass then the UM3X and its quite noticeable...You can definitely notice the added head room....... As for the price I would buy them... Well I did didn't I ....But I think they are worth the money $449 they cost if you appreciate the finer sounding things in life as I do. Pros: Comfort Fit Sound Detail Appearance Cons: Made in China Same travel case as UM3X The $449 price tag but only because Im not Bill Gates
As a current owner of Westone 3's, UM 2's, Future Sonics M5's, Etymotic HF2, ER-4P, and cans like Bowers-Wilkins P5's, I must say that I am truly amazed at the sound signature of the 4's- tight/ controlled lows while the mids and highs are still prominent! As usual, the construction and sturdiness is exceptional and the cables are more tightly wound than the W-3's. In my view, they definitely improve on the w-3's on the sound range - they sound more fuller and you know you can drive them to their limits using a portable amp/DAC. Worth every penny- as usually, Westone has proven that it NEVER fails to impress. Kudos on a winner, Westone!!!! Ok,now I have to put some Of the other IEMS on the selling block- for my other IEM's- they are good in their own way,but I have found the best :-)! Pros: - the sound signature- tight/controlled bass with distinct mids and highs - -you get enveloped in whatever music you are listening to - Westone's exceptionally sturdy construction Cons: - the 4's have made my other IEMS feel obsolete!!! :-(
My Westone 4 earphones only arrived yesterday and since they have not had the proper amount of time to break in, it is way to early to give a review. After listening for a few hours though, I can give an impression and that is WOW! The Westone 3 (which I lost with my iPod on a JetBlue flight), was incredible in all aspects. Could the Westone 4 be better? The soundstage is wider (I think that the sound has gone outside my ears and around my head). The clarity of sound is magnificent on both live recordings and those made in a studio. The front-to-back and side-to-side imaging places every instrument where it was when the recording was made. Highs, lows and in-betweens are extended and clear. They scream audiophile quality and they whisper it as well. Is it worth the money? Without a doubt. Buy these from Earphone Solutions immediately if you want the best that is possible. No, that isn't fair to say since I haven't tried other earphones. All that I can really compare them to in this class are the Westone 3 and they are at least 50% better. My only negative reaction is that they are made in China. Why can't Westone find a way to hire American workers in an American facility who can make these as well? Sure, it might cost more, but from my first impression of the Westone 4 they would be worth it. Pros: Soundstage, imaging, bass, mid-range and high-end are exactly where they should be. Audiophile quality of the sound that comes out of these earphones is amazing. Cons: Make them in America instead of China. We need the jobs and the income. Of course they are expensive and a lower price would be nice.
Thanks Howard from Manhattan, a small island on the Hudson River :)
I own lots of high end in-ears including the Shure SE530, Sennheiser IE8, Westone UM3X, and Westone 3. None was perfect in every respect. It all depended on the genre I was listening to. The IE8 and Westone 3 better for dance and hip hop, the UM3X better for jazz, the SE530 better for classical. The Westone 4 beats them all regardless of genre. I'm thinking of selling all the others on Ebay and buying a couple more Westone 4s just in case. I love them so much, I don't want to risk being without them for even one day. Pros: Tight and well behaved bass. Incredible soundstage and detail. Highly accurate sound reproduction. Cons: They are very accurate to the source material, so some may need to add EQ to gain their preferred sound color.
I've only listened for one hour via an 80 gig iPod. These are simply non-pareil. They are GORGEOUS. You hear it differences right away...BAM. Soundstaging...tight, yet unobtrusive bass apparently seamlessly integrated. Warm mids, and smooth, open highs. I'll be back after more extensive listening, but the difference between the 4s and everything else in an ECH that I've heard (and that's a lot!) is phenomenal. They're definitely set apart. Pros: Outstanding soundstaging. Tightly integrated bass. Warm, expansive mid-range. Smooth, continuously open highs. Cons: Nothing.
Thank you for Giovanna. Looking forward to your extended version :)
Just got my new Westone 4 today, so these are initial reactions. I've never posted a review before, but felt compelled to do so. I have had them in my ears for the past two hours, having owned the UM2 for a couple of years. I am simply stunned, as these new W4 earphones are beyond belief. The first thing I noticed was that the mid range is more forward, a huge improvement. But the biggest change after listening more, is that there just seems to be more balance and clarity across the whole spectrum. The bass is actually less pronounced than the UM2, but just sounds better and more balanced. Its "there" in the right way and better way. The highs are clean. You hear little things more. In general, the sound is just stunning. They are extremely comfortable. If you are wondering whether the added or new cost of replacing what you have is worth it, Westone or otherwise, there is no doubt. I simply can not imagine anything better. I may just leave them in all week long...... Pros: Simply clean and perfect balance across the sound spectrum Comfort Cons:
Have used Shure SE 530 & Weston 3 ear phones for some years BUT quite stunned and surprised by the clarity with improved balance across the whole frequency range with the new Weston 4s; I am mainly interested in Classical music; but since retiring recently, enjoy exploring new areas! They now out perform my AKG K1000s; and they still add new quality to DAC supported Apple plus as well as my ipods with recordings at both the highest and low settings. I am now worried that my music will become even more addictive! Pros: the new clarity and quality they give recordings from all sources Compact and portable - useful case - so there for those 'odd moments' Discreet in public & still able to be used in (very) noisy environments. Cables resists tangling Brilliant service from Earphone Solutions; arrived when they said it would (but didn't get the free shipping to UK now on offer!) Cons: price!
Question & Answers
Questions on Westone W40 4-Driver Gen 2 with Bluetooth Cable V1
What is the difference between the new w40 and the w4/w4r?
- Tech Support answered:
- According to Westone the drivers are very similar (same hardware) but they were tweaked and positioned differently creating a slight different sound signature - it is smooth and warm.
I have an older pair of Shure SE530s and I'm looking to replace them with something that has an in-line mic/volume control for my iPhone. I have a pair of Klipsch x10i that are great. My question is how do the new Westone W40s compare to the Shure SE 535s?
- Tech Support answered:
- They will be brighter and crisper; you will get more detail on the highs with the W40; the SE535 is definitely warmer and more balanced plus the mids are sweet.
I have a pair of shures that are over 10 yrs old that I love but there's a short somewhere. Have been researching for an upgrade. I am interested in trying these. Can a portable MP3 player power these at high volume levels? I listen to acoustic , vocal and orchestral music. Any other recommendations to consider as well? Many thanks!
- Tech Support answered:
- These can be easily powered by an MP3 player, iPod, iPad, iPhone,smart phones and so on. They have a very low impedance and are very efficient. This is true for all the in-ear earphones we sell. The W40 will match the music style you listen to very well.
Is there going to be a option to purchase one of these without the Apple cable. I don't use Apple products.
- Tech Support answered:
- We will offer an Android cable that will be sold separately, as an accessory, as soon as it is available from Westone.
I do not own an Apple product, I use an Andriod device. Would you be able to swap out the 3-button Control System + Mic for one that is usable for a non-Apple device?
I love my UM3X. Unless I feel its time to try something else.
- Tech Support answered:
- Dear Ron,
The W40 comes with 2 sets of cables; one with the mic and controls for the iPhone and the other for audio only.
Alternatively, the cables with controls compatible with Android devices will be available to be purchased separately, as an accessory.
Are the cables replaceable? What does "Epic" cable mean?
- Tech Support answered:
- Yes, the cables are replaceable. The W40 comes with 2 sets of cables. One for audio only and the other with mic and controls for the iPhone.
EPIC stands for Earphone Precision Interconnect Cable.
How does this W40 compare to um pro 30?
- Tech Support answered:
- The W40 has one more driver in each earpiece; this driver is dedicated to the high frequency range making the W40 a high-extended - it offers more detail and presence on the highs.