Westone Audio have updated their ever-popular UM Pro series earphones, now renamed Pro X, these are still some of the best pro-audio earphones out there with different sound signatures to choose from and superb ergonomics.
Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories
Westone have long had some of the best pro-audio earphones on the market. The packaging has been updated for the new models, a white card box with a picture of the earphones and model stated on the front, along with how many drivers are in the unit and also the cable model included. On the back of the box, you have clear specs and info about the model – it’s interesting to note that both earpieces are now matched to within +/-3dB, this is very good for pro-audio earphones. The new branding and box look great, and fit well with the professional market these are aimed at.
The build quality is similar to that of the previous UM Pro series, with plastic shells that feel extremely lightweight, but this time they have moved to IPX connectors with a Linum Bax T2 cable. The Linum cables are quite well known and are incredibly thin and lightweight, they may seem fragile but they are in fact quite robust and coil back on themselves making them relatively tangle free. The T2/IPX connectors are a big step forward, they feel much better than MMCX connectors with a more secure fit and reportedly much better longevity.
Accessory wise you get the same excellent set as always, with a huge number of tips (which are excellent quality) along with the small monitor vault that is perfect for keeping your earphones safe when not in use. Everything is included to use these straight out of the box, spend some time finding the right tips and that’s it really.
Comfort and Fit
The Westone UM Pro series were always regarded as some of the most comfortable earphones out there, luckily the Pro X series are much the same in terms of shape. These fit like a glove, once you settle on the right eartips they really do disappear in your ears. The new lightweight cables makes the comfort even better, they honestly couldn’t be any better in my opinion.
The fit is superb, the housings are small, lightweight and smooth which means you get a secure fit that is flush in your concha too. The cable is so lightweight you forget about it, and these honestly are, to me, the best fitting universal earphones out there – there are slight differences in size between the Pro X10 and Pro X50 for example, but they all fit really well.
The Pro X10 is the entry level, single driver model aiming for a neutral and balanced sound signature for general monitoring purposes. It has impressive extension from top to bottom for a single driver unit, with a reasonable amount of body too. It does lack in dynamics a little, and comes across a little flat at times, but there is a surprising amount of detail on offer for the price.
This model is also the smallest in the lineup, it is tiny and featherlight, yet packing some seriously good sound quality from such a small unit. The overall signature hasn’t changed a lot from the UM Pro10 – however they do seem to have a tiny bit more detail and also low end grunt over the previous version.
These seem to excel when listening to more midrange focussed music such as acoustic and folk, the vocal clarity and presentation is really impressive for the price.
These improve upon the 10 by adding an extra driver, this improves dynamics and there is a little more sparkle up top and body down low. These sound a bit livelier than the Pro X10, there is definitely some extra bass emphasis going on making these more suited to those who like a little added warmth to their sound.
The midrange is less intimate, and this model would be more suited to bassists and drummer who need a little more punch and dynamics. These also make pop and rock sound quite exciting, but I do feel if you listen to acoustic the Pro X10 is actually better due to their vocal presentation.
The is more detail and sparkle in the treble on the Pro X20, this does help them have a slightly more open and airy sound, and they are quite a fun sounding earphone.
An update to Westone Audio’s bestselling pro model, the Pro X30 retains that ever-loved sound of the UM Pro30 but increases the sound staging, along with ever so slightly better definition and clarity across the board. The Pro X30 uses three drivers, this helps increase the headroom before distortion sets in, along with a single driver dedicated to each part of the frequency range. You get articulate and full lows, a nuanced and detailed midrange and clean highs that extend smoothly.
The Pro X30 are a very complete sounding earphone, with a slight bump in the low end to bring out some body. These aren’t overly coloured but they are not a reference monitor, they do have a fuller sound signature that works well in a live music setting, perfect for pretty much anyone on stage and they are easily tuneable with EQ.
Personally, I have always enjoyed the laid-back yet detailed sound of the UM Pro30 – and it’s great to know that the Pro X30 retains that popular sound – they may be lacking a tiny bit of detail for the price but the comfort and overall enjoyable sound more than makes up for it.
Here we have the flagship model in Westone Audio’s Pro range, packing 5 drivers into a small and comfortable housing with a focus on bringing out more clarity without sacrificing refinement and smoothness. This model shares a similar core signature with the Pro X30, with a little more body in the bass along with better extension in to the sub-bass. There is a definite boost down low that is tight and controlled yet makes these a warm sounding earphone overall.
The Pro X50 has great separation overall, there is impressive clarity throughout that isn’t immediately noticeable due to their thicker/warmer sound signature. They pull off something quite impressive, they are warm, smooth and fatigue free without sacrificing overall detail. They are not as open and airy as some more neutral tuned earphones in this range, but there is good presence in the treble region.
The Pro X50 have a full and enjoyable sound signature that makes them an easy listening, everyday earphone – with a bit of EQ tinkering you can easily tailor the sound to your personal preference whilst retaining excellent comfort and a really good technicalities.
Westone Audio have a very comprehensive range of pro-audio earphones with models to suit all needs, starting with the more linear Pro X10, v-shaped Pro X20, smooth and balanced Pro X30 and warm and full Pro X50. All of these earphones are extremely comfortable to wear along with being tuneable via EQ to suit your personal preference. They come with an excellent set of accessories and all models are suited to on-stage and regular day-to-day usage, whilst Westone Audio may not be innovating at a fast pace, however these are safe models to update and refine with much loved sound signatures.