For some reason it’s hard to put two headphones up against each other when they come out of the same audio lab. It shouldn’t be because they made two models, priced them the same and it’s up to you to decide which one you like most. We’re here to help you make the right choice in this W30 vs UM Pro 30. First let’s clear the obvious comparisons between these two earphones, that is the things they have most in common.
Common Accessories: W30 vs UM Pro 30 in ear monitors
- Both come designed with Westone Tru-FIt Technology
- Both come with the mini monitor Vault hard shell case (we love the case)
- Both come with multiple foam tips for different sized ears
- Both boast triple Balance Armature drivers with Bass, Mid, Treble via a three way cross-over
And now let’s look at what they don’t have in common:
Differences between the Westone W30 and UM Pro 30
- The UM Pro 30 does not ship with different coloured faceplates - it ships in frosty clear or an opaque smokey grey. The W30 comes with three different coloured faceplates (Black, Red, Blue) you can swap out (as your outfit dictates?).
- The W30 comes with two cables - the braided EPIC cable and the MFI cable with 3 button controls and microphone (for iphones/android phones etc). The UM Pro 30 only comes with the EPIC cable
- The UM Pro 30 is tuned for live artists, home or studio recording. The W30 is tuned for personal audio devices e.g. iPhone, iPad, Android Phones etc
We’ve been picking our brains for a long time trying to figure out how to describe the sound for each of these earphones. In our UM Pro 30 review we clearly decided it was one of our favourite IEM earphones at this price point, and that was for personal device listening not live monitoring. So while it might be tuned for live and studio work, we love it for our iPhone listening. It could be because we are musicians but we don’t really think it’s just that.
The easiest way we can describe the different between the W30 and UM Pro 30 is this:
The UM Pro 30 makes you feel like you’re at a live concert.
The W30 makes you feel like you’re at the movies.
The UM Pro 30 creates clear distinction between the instruments - the sound stage feels more separated and wider. The acoustics, bass, and vocals sound more realistic and well balanced. They don’t push anything to unnatural levels and the balance really is quite fantastic. The depth the bass frequencies go feels tangible, palpable and most enjoyable. Rock music is tight and Jay Z is low and deep. Vocals are clear and bright. The only complaint for these would be a touch more treble, just a small touch. One of our ultimate tests of any earphone is how it can reproduce a snare drum, the UM Pro 30 wins that one.
The W30 give the overall lower mids and bass a warmer treatment. In our opinion the UM Pro 30 bass is punchier and the W30 blends the bass into the mix in a more produced manner. This will appeal to a lot of people. If you listen to a lot of FM radio, go to the movies and like how that sound makes you feel then the W30 are a good choice. If you like to hear your instruments as natural as possible then the UM Pro 30 are for you. We find the Pro 30’s do a great job on Rock, Metal right through to Dub Step admirably for a <$400 earphone. You won’t feel the kick drum artificially boosted, it’ll be more like you’re in the studio with it. For us the W30 make great listening for folks who like Pop music or Rock.
We know a lot of people own both sets of IEMs and swap them depending on what music they are listening to at the time.
Here is a wrap up:
|Westone UM Pro 30||Westone W30|
|Sounds Live||Sounds more produced|
|Strong clean bass||Strong produced bass but doesn’t hit as clean/tight, still big though.|
|Nice comfy fit with the over the ear moulded cable||Comes with two cables, one that can control your phone (optimized for iOS)|
|Designed for Studio and Live monitoring||Designed for Personal Music enjoyment|
|Sounds acoustic||Sounds warm|
|Comes in opaque smoke or opaque clear||Come in black base with 3 changeable faceplates|
A funny story is that we wrote up our UM Pro 30 review one night and took them for another commute the next day. For some reason we spent the morning and evening with them and couldn’t bring back the magic feeling we had felt the night before. It wasn’t till we got back to the office that we realized we had picked up the W30 and used them for the day and the UM Pro 30 were left sitting on the desk. It wasn't a bad experience at all, just lacked a little emotional pull. You might ask why we couldn’t tell from the cable type and design alone that we had the wrong earphones, but it had been a long week and were in the middle of many reviews at the time. You’ll understand.
These are both very good earphones and the W30 sound great - a big fat warm deep sound - really nice, but the UM Pro 30 in our opinion just sound a little more in our sound signature with their tight live bass and great vocal representation.
Buy the Westone W30 from Headphones Canada
Buy the Westone UM Pro 30 from Headphones Canada
Do you own the W30 or UM Pro 30? Or do you have questions we can answer?
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