We’ve been excited about doing a Westone W60 review for a long time. Boasting 6 BA drivers each side we had high hopes of a wide soundscape showing off high highs and deep deeps. We weren’t disappointed at all but we did have to adjust one expectation and that was around the bass level - instead of smacking us in the face like an Ampeg stack we realized it wasn’t about the level of bass but the quality of the bass that Westone were going for here - and quality we got. Don’t get us wrong - you won’t be disappointed, in fact we’re smiling a little bit now just listening to a Jay-Z Bass line (insert adolescent smiley emoticon here[sic]).
General notes about these IEM’s is their form factor. We expected with the additional drivers that these would be bulkier in size, they’re not. This is a pleasant surprise as it makes them perfect as a take anywhere unit.
The Westone W60 are part of the Signature Series, putting them in a class above the rest of the W series.
If you want the punchline early - these are the IEM for everyman. They took everything we threw at them with dignity and were comfy to wear for long periods of time. The soundscape and instrumental separation was great and we loved them.
Let’s get into the finer points here.
As many of you will already know we are fans of the UM Pro series. We like the unprocessed bass the Um Pro 50’s give us, however there are times certain mastering on different albums can result in the bass not standing out as much, it sits a little further back. The W60 made sure every track we hit sounded present and in attendance. It wasn’t over-bearing and never went too far away from the mix. If you want an Ampeg experience these won’t disappoint but maybe check out the SE846 too. Overall - very happy with the Bass on these - well balanced. It’s hard to find the words but again, it’s not about the level of bass but the quality here - the acoustic elements and true audio replication is obvious, tight and true. Cheaper units have bass levels the same, but there are times it all sounds the same - with these it’s all the way it was meant to be, as it was recorded and mastered. Try the XX Swept away if you want a good demo of Bass guitar and Bass drum playing together yet separated.
There is nothing worse that snare drums and high-hats that sound like they are 10 meters closer to your ears than the rest of the music. Another compliment to the W60’s is their ability to bring hoe the meat in the music sandwich. We find the over missing of mids is one of the big causes of audio fatigue when listening for long periods of time. There was never a time we cringed and found we could turn these up a little higher without the mids overreaching themselves. So all good here. We managed to find notes and musical events in the music that we had never heard before, and to be honest that’s a big feat considering the sheer number IEM’s we get to play with.
High Notes (Treble)
We love treble - more than most. We always tweak the treble in the car stereo, the home stereo and more. It’s probably an indication of damaged hearing from too many years playing in front of a Mesa-Boogie or Vox AC30 amp turned up to 11. So, we always compensate for treble reviews based on this. Anyway, enough about our hearing issues, how do the W60’s do? All good. The guitar and vocals from Dave Matthews (live with Tim Reynolds at Radio City) and Damien Rice all come through sweet and sparkly. Some might want a teensy teensy bit more sibilance but I can’t lie - there were times I felt like Damien Rice was in my head. Partly because he likes to sing right on the mike for quiet parts and the W60’s let me know it.
Yes. No more comments for this bit, just yes.
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
Yes - and if you’re not sure then put on an old album or track you love and sit back. We venture you’ll hear and feel things you haven’t heard before. These are balanced so you might not get the raw energy you get from other IEM’s but you won’t lament too much.. AEQ (Audio Emotional Quotient) is important to us.
Great. The cables always feel light but we’ve never had one die on us in all our time using Westone IEM’s. These are a nice sized, well made in-ear monitor
Find the right foams and these are as good as any. We can’t give the NRR figure but we’re writing this on a plane and we almost forgot we were on a plane.
Westone W60 Review Conclusion
We really said it at the beginning, these are great for everyman and every music. Westone have done an amazing job at producing an in-ear headphone that performs with everything you put through it. While the bass isn’t head shaking it is deep, honest and well balanced. If you have the money there is no reason to play with cheaper models - reach for the W60 and you’ll be able to step out the door to a plane, train, office, bus with an iPhone/iPod/insertyourplayerhere with confidence that what ever you have loaded will sound great.
Caveat: If you have high end audio accessories, a quality DAC, lossless audio etc then you will get even better results with the W60. We like to review based on typical usage - that is a portable audio device with 256kbps-44Hz/512kbps level music quality. What we didn’t do that we think would be awesome is to run some tracks using a DAC and we expect they would perform even better. We did try some tracks with Tidal at around 1400kbps quality and wowee e.g London Grammar sounded insane.
Buy the Westone W60 in Canada