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Westone Pro X30 and X50 IEMs subjective impressions and comparison

Bouly

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Oct 22, 2021
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A few years ago, I had a Westone UM Pro 50, and I really liked the sound it was giving. I used it mostly to play CD quality FLAC files from the FLAC Player app on an iPhone 6S. When it broke after 3 years of intense use, I wanted to buy it again, which is the first time this has happened to me in 10 years of using and breaking different earphones. It was the ultimate IEM to me.

Unfortunately, the UM Pro 50 is discontinued. Its’ official replacement in Westone’s lineup is the Pro X50. I hesitated to buy it since there’s not a lot of reviews of it online, and it’s quite costly, and does not seem to be sold in Europe anymore so there are import duties on top.

I ended up ordering the Pro X50 anyway, but Amazon sent me by mistake the Pro X30 instead, so I had the opportunity to test both IEMs and compare them, and decided to post here in case others are wondering about the sound.

Testing:
I tested the IEMs mostly with the Sony ZX 507 DAP, and also on the ADI 2 DAC FS’s IEM output.
Both earphones come with Linum T2 Bax unbalanced cables. I also ordered separately from Linum their T2 Superbax balanced cable, which allowed me to also plug the earphones into the ZX 507’s balanced 4.4mm output. I did hear a notable difference when switching from the unbalanced T2 Bax to the balanced SuperBax, but that is probably mostly due to the fact that the ZX 507's balanced and unbalanced outputs have a different amplifying path. The balanced output of the ZX 507 is giving out a more mellow, less harsh sound to the ear, than its unbalanced output. However the best sounding was the ADI-2 DAC FS's IEM output, which is 3.5mm unbalanced, especially with electronic music, where the ADI 2 DAC gives a feeling of strength and seriousness to the music, with better depth, whereas the ZX 507 feels boomy and flatter in comparison. This highlighted to me that both these IEMs are high-quality enough to be under-utilized by the ZX 507, and would benefit from a higher quality source.

Comfort:
The foam tips provided haven’t changed since the UM Pro 50, so I already knew which size would fit me best. The Linum T2 Bax unbalanced cable is very light, but it’s also very thin like some kind of metal dental floss. It’s comfortable to wear, but I have this irrational fear, that if I somehow suddenly pulled on it too strong it could slice my ears off, because it is so thin and strong.The Superbax balanced cable on the other hand is twice as thick, but also heavier. Overall both IEMs are quite comfortable and the multiple foam / silicone tips allow to find one that suits your ear.

Impressions:
Both give a clear and detailed sound.
- Pro X30 seems to focus on the vocals, bass and sub-bass is a bit muted. I enjoyed it the most with classical, jazz, and some rock music. I would not use it for any music that has an unnatural amount of bass, like some genres of electronic music, and in general would not use it for music where bass is not just something in the background, but at the forefront.
- Pro X50 on the other hand has impressive bass and sub-bass for an earphone. Good also for electronic music like drum and bass or dubstep, with these IEMs I can feel the rumble of the bass going straight into my brain.

In the end, I'm quite happy with the purchase, and being able to try the Pro X30 confirmed that for my needs the Pro X50 is required. My biggest issue now is with the ZX 507, I'm not convinced the sound is that much better on it than on the iPhone 6S, and I feel like I paid a big price for, mostly, an SD card reader and a miniJack output.
 

maverickronin

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Unfortunately, the UM Pro 50 is discontinued. Its’ official replacement in Westone’s lineup is the Pro X50. I hesitated to buy it since there’s not a lot of reviews of it online, and it’s quite costly, and does not seem to be sold in Europe anymore so there are import duties on top.

I talked to Westone reps at AXPONA earlier this year and they told me that besides the new T2 connector Pro X series is the same as the UM Pro series.
 
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