We started this review of the Westone W40 on the SkyTrain here in Vancouver to put it through real-life testing. We’ve been using the Westone W60 for a few weeks to put it through it’s paces so we we’re excited to see what the W40 could deliver with 4 drivers as opposed to the W60’s 6 BA drivers. The W40 comes with 4 balanced armature drivers and a three-way crossover. The sound is natural, balanced and pleasing.
After putting them in and ensuring a good seal the sounds of the train melted away and were left with a quiet listening environment. We can’t say again how important it is that you get a good seal on any pair of IEM’s. Without it you’re wasting 90% of the money you spent on them. For our ears we used the Westone black ear foam inserts, we have relatively small ear canals. We continued to listen through the day - on the train, at the office, watching the apple launch event (iWatch) and then music in office again.
Early sum up: all first impressions were entirely favourable. The W40 sound fantastic. The bass is there and tight. The mids and highs are a strong point and stand out wonderfully. The sounds stage is deep, clear and wide. These are a very strong contenders for the ~$500 mark and won’t disappoint.
The bass in the W40 is good, and balanced. Nothing is inflated and it’s pretty true to what a balanced IEM will deliver. We are quite critical on bass in IEM’s but these delivered plenty for what we needed. It’s tight, quick and firm.
The mid notes is where a lot of the magic happens with the W40. The bass supports it nicely and leaves room for a spacious and deep soundstage. The placement of instruments, voices and stereo effects are so clear. Close your eyes and you’ll be in the studio or at the concert picking where in the room people are singing or playing from. We played The XX, Damien Rice, Live, Eminem, Angus & Julia Stone, Radiohead, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore, Oh Sleeper and more - these stood up well to it all. There are few IEM’s we’ve heard at this price that do deliver such a great sound separation.
Very sweet. Nice sibilance and real clear ability to hear the reverb from the final missing and mastering process.
On time, every time. These keep everything together nicely and you never feel out of time or sync.
EQ (Emotional Quotient)
We sometimes find it hard to get the Emotional Quotient from well balanced IEM’s but the W40 leave us with a different result. One of our other customers Alan once described his audio experience with the audio engine B2 that seems appropriate here. He put on music, intending to listen to one track and try other reference tracks. Instead he put on one track and kept listening and listening and listening until one, two, three albums had passed by. It was just so easy and so enjoyable. Low fatigue and lots of comfort.
Every Westone W series set of earphones comes with a full range of great accessories. You get your choice of 3 different faceplate colours. 2 cables, one has the 3 button iphone (other phones) controls on it which is perfect for the busy business person who wants great music but also has to speak on the phone a lot. You also get the Westone vault which is a bright, tough travel/storage case.
Westone W40 review conclusion
We love the W40. It’s not often we say that. It makes sense as we really like the W60 too - which is the top of the line for the W series with 6 drivers. If you can’t reach to ~$1,000 in the Westone line then these at ~$500 will be a great compliment to your musical audio arsenal. You get great accessories, a strong warranty proposition and a super sounding IEM.
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