Everyone knows we love the Westone UM Pro 30 from the review we did, so it would make sense that we would like the Um Pro 50 even more, right? Well to be honest we weren't sure at first so we decided to give them some time and see what it was that didn't grab us initially.
Ultimately these earphones have a very neutral, balanced soundscape. We were thinking for the step up in the series we would get personal music listening utopia. Then we realised what we expected is more the domain of the W50 and W60 when it comes to listening to our iPhone. So let us explain what did make is fall in love with the UM Pro 50's, because we did fall in love with them.
1: UM Pro 50 Comfort
Like all IEM over the ear style in ear monitors it can take a little time to get used to how they sit best in your ear. Maybe this is just our issue as we review so many earphones from other companies like Shure etc. Once we found our best angle we forgot they were there. Using the default, short, medium foam tips we found the seal to be perfect and there was never slant pressure on the ear. They also have a comfortable semi firm mould on the over the ear part of the cable.
2: Sound Neutrality
We never got tired listening to the UM Pro 50s. They just served a full balance sound song after song, album after album. We never felt fatigued or irritated by the presentation of the sound. No frequency became jarring or made us wince. They were pleasant even after hours of listening.
Now to the normal review criteria.
Frequency: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Impedance: 45 ohms @ 1kHz
Drivers: 5 Balanced armature drivers with a 3 way crossover (passive)
Cable Length: 50”/128cm
2 Yr Warranty
The UM Pro 50s have a much bigger bass profile than the UM Pro 30s. We wouldn't say that necessarily means they go a lot deeper but there is more of it, it’s wider and more filled out. For live use as a musician these will make you feel a little more a part of emotional band experience as opposed to feeling stuck in a tin can mixed by a fold-back engineer while you're performing - that is if you use 2 IEM's in your ears at the same time on stage. For personal music listening these represented well. We played everything we could and some recordings felt well suited, although they didn't let us down on anything. The bass is not inflated, this is typical of the UM Pro range but that doesn't mean it's not there. Skrillex, Six 60, Kimbra, Avicii - Addicted to You (which has an opening kick drop that hits hard), it all sounds tight but doesn't have the nightclub fatness you might want and would be better getting from the W50 or W60 from Westone. This balanced firm bass makes the earphones enjoyable and natural. All the bass you need and nothing you don't. You never get tired of feel abused wearing these. If you’re on your own working you can get all the richness with mid volumes, if you are commuting you might find you give one more touch on the volume button to help overcome the background noise.
Fabulous - neutral and clear and a nice sound scape. Here again Ed Sheeran’s X album felt so live we were almost there. Acoustic loveliness and vocal wonder. We loved them and you will too. As regular readers will know we love mids that bring true Snare sounds through - these do that. We found most Snare and High Hat sounds to be true to life which we like a lot. They also don’t push the sharpness of the mids, e.g. a hard snare hit, too hard. This means long term listening is comfortable.
High Notes (Treble)
We have a real love of high, crisp treble and often can be seen tweaking the EQ, or Parametric EQ to get more sssss ‘sibilance’ in the sounds. The UM Pro 50 have lovely high end but it’s not super over the top. The frequencies are balanced with the overall sound. This is another reason these things are so easy to wear all day long.
PRAT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing)
The Pro 30’s are well balanced in-ear monitors. Sometimes that means you can lose some ‘life’ in the music, something Shure do well with. Overall though we would recommend these to anyone as they are anyones earphones. They have PRAT, it’s good but some music will make you feel it more than other music.
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
These will have you feeling the music. We haven't cried yet or punched our fist to the sky but you will feel it where it get's you and that little grin will creep across your face.
Get a good seal with right foam tips and you’ll have no complaints about noise-isolation here. On a flight from Toronto to Vancouver these were so comfortable we didn’t bother swathing to our regular Bose QC15’s. Didn’t feel the need and these were so easy to leave in after take-off.
Nice - solid housing, cable is great and it comes with the Westone mini-monitor vault which is a very good place to store your expensive in ear monitors
These come with a full range of foam tips. An EPIC cable with moulded over the ear bits (make them more comfortable)
Westone UM Pro 50 Review Conclusion
Over all everything we pushed through these things was great. If anything the quality of these was as dependant as the music we put through them as much as it was on whether the UM Pro 50 could handle it.
Jay Z sounded superb. Hard rock was good and heavier music equally fun. Simon and Garfunkel sounded fresh, yet classic. Ed Sheerans X was a great listen as there was a lot of upfront vocal and acoustic guitar. Skrillex sounded tight and deep - not like you were travelling in a VW GTi with the back seat dedicated to a subwoofer, it's was balanced. Radiohead - Feral makes the snare sound real and the bass blues along the bottom nicely.
We could go on and on. Value for money? Yes - really well priced.