General

Colorado is always sunny: Westone Headset W Series Review

Many major American IT giants werebased almost from scratch: the founders of Apple assembled the first computers in the garage, and Jeff Bezos from Amazon was selling books, sometimes working as a courier (now, for a second, he is the richest person in the world). In a similar scenario, the story of Westone headphone maker from Colorado Springs began: a small family business turned into a big company that could compete with eminent brands in the sound market. During its history, which has been around for several decades, Westone has realized the classic “American dream”, making a name for itself on rebar headphones.

Interesting fact: Westone tried itself not only in the music industry, but also in medicine, military industry and sports. As a result, the company is familiar to everyone precisely through headphones - now many world musicians use its equipment.

In general, we are not here in a history class.so immediately to the point. Those who are in the subject already know, but just in case, we recall: for several years now, Westone has been releasing the main line of headphones with the code designation “W”. Simple, but tasteful, and quite easy to remember. The series includes as many as five models of headphones: w10, w20, w40, w60 and w80.

Yes, under the index of each model is hiddenthe number of rebar emitters used. So, the W10 has one driver, the W20 has two with a two-way crossover. Further, the models are growing only the number of drivers, the crossover remains three-lane. You understood correctly, the W80 version already has 8 emitters, four of which are responsible only for high frequencies! The price of headphones also increases with the number of emitters: if the youngest W10 costs about 15 thousand rubles, then the W80 will cost more than 120 thousand rubles! However, Westone never let out cheap “gags” to just take the subway, these guys care more about quality than about the budget. Yes, and for real audiophiles, the price has long ceased to be an obstacle (the Astell & Kern players buy and feel great).

By the way, Westone has become known for the fact thatmade custom-fit headphones: for this, the specialists first poured a special molding foam into the client's ear canal, which hardened in the ear and made it possible to make the shape of a future earphone in its likeness. Then a casting mold was created from the cast, and the “stuffing” of the device was born. You can make casts of your ears today, including in Russia. Headphones do not cost much more, but get a custom model!

Important innovation - all headphones supportlistening without wires (a Bluetooth cable is included in the package), but the ability to listen to music “over the wire”, of course, has not gone away. No matter how hard they tried to convince us otherwise, the quality of playback via Bluetooth over the years has advanced far ahead (thanks to aptX and his “friends”).

Equipment

All models differ in more "color" design.boxes, but starting with the W40, the packaging becomes a bit more stylish, stricter and more minimal (like that of the W80). The older model belongs to the special series, which even has a premium name - Signature Series.

Inside, everything is neatly laid out in compartments, indense material - it is difficult to imagine that during transportation something, in principle, may be damaged. W80 - so it is generally like a safe, although the younger w10 with packaging is fine.

A common moment distinguishing Westone products isequipment. Yes, the company's products are not cheap, but many more expensive products of famous brands do not have such a number of pleasant trifles and bonuses. This and a huge number of different attachments - both silicone and foam. And not only in the W60, for example, but also in the W10!

For storage of rather expensive intra channelThe proposals from Westone offer a small shockproof, sealed black case, covered from the inside with a thin layer of the same foam - like a trademark, it turns out (in the case of the W40 and W60 it is quite massive). And there is also a nice addition in the form of a device for cleaning ear tips from ear tips. Well, that we are all people, this can not be avoided, and even though the headphones are clean and tidy. The W80 also has a cleaning cloth plus a small carrying case.

In all cases two cables are put in the kit.(one for playback via Bluetooth), only in the younger models a regular headset is attached to it (it works with both the iPhone and Android), and starting with the W40 - already Hi-Def Silver MMCX. The manufacturer seems to be hinting that it would be time to spend money on a good player, and not to listen to such cool headphones with an iPhone.

An exception to all rules is the W80 model. Here they put in the kit an ALO cable, designed specifically for Westone, as well as a wire with Qualcomm aptX HD support.

Appearance

The design of all models of the series is similar, this is a classicform for in-ear headphones in universal cases. There is almost everywhere black plastic, high-quality swivel MMCX connector with gold-plated contacts, compact form. In fact, all the headphones look cool, and even the youngest W10. Additional drivers in older ones have a little impact on the size and weight of the headphones, but no more. To diversify the design of headphones, the manufacturer has provided additional sets of colored overlays.

Separate attention deserves the convenience of wearing. Westone does not change itself, therefore, the updated W series consists of in-ear headphones with a earbud wearing method. This method is not close to someone, but you appreciate all the advantages of this approach when you feel how reliably the headphones are fixed in the ear canal and the lack of a microphone effect. But for musicians who often give their concerts at the same level as athletes in weightlifting, this is a necessary characteristic, because there is nothing worse than a suddenly dropped earphone during a performance.

It is enough to choose the right nozzle (meI liked the medium size foam ear cushions the most), and the fit would be very reliable. All options, even the top with a large number of drivers, very light and compact, fit in any auricle.

Removable cable allows a little customization, because you can connect another wire if something happens to the package.

In general, all headphones look cool, and even if you pay attention to the W10, you still get a quality product with a stylish design. Not to mention the appearance of the W80.

Sound

Talking about sound is better to start with the technical characteristics - here they are just very different.

All headphones are equipped with reinforcing radiators(the difference is only in quantity), while having a different frequency range, sensitivity and resistance. Hence, a completely different sound presentation: all the headphones have pronounced frequencies and no “porridge” can be collected. But the W10, for example, in the upper range of familiar songs, the familiar brightness disappeared, but then there were details that it was rather problematic to note earlier. The w20 excelled better, but the bass turned out to be a bit deaf.

In terms of sound, there was no W40 and w60no flaws from my point of view. B w40 bass is pronounced much more clearly, and in the upper frequencies the musical pattern acquired the same brightness. With the details, everything remained at the same level and I do not cease to find more and more new moments in familiar tracks.

w80 surprised very much. 8 (8, Carl!) Reinforcing radiators! The main purpose of this solution is not only to listen to music from full-fledged compact audio playback devices with a variety of pocket amplifiers in the appendage. The filling of the eight-driver ligament and the passive three-lane crossover work out their price in full. True, I still have not understood how a body weighing a little more than 10 g and in dimensions with a bean grain fits so many high technologies.

For comparison, listened to the previous "wired"W80 generation - with Bluetooth, of course, the headphones are more versatile. The rest of the characteristics and equipment are no different. Noise isolation is at the highest level, although there are areas on the same plane that can break through this sound blockade. But in 90% of cases, no extra sound of the outside world will reach your auditory receptors, if you choose the nozzle correctly. The benefit of many of them, and they fit almost any user.

There are no sense to bring the frequency response graphs here (yes, they are behind each box), but here's an example for measuring the younger model (W10):

Return to the usual earplugs verycomplicated. And even during testing with the iPhone, the sensations turned out to be completely different. You shouldn’t talk about Astell & Kern AK380 - this player and the Westone W60 / W80 are made for each other.

Colorado is always sunny

These headphones are very cool. And everything would be okay, but the price of these solutions is far from the middle segment in the current understanding of the model range. But those who really like these works of engineering will be happy to get acquainted with the solutions from Westone, both for musical pleasure and for work. The main thing is to choose the right source of sound in order to give them their full potential.