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Westone W80 Eight-Driver System with Dual Bass, Dual Mid, and Quad High (78508)
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- Eight-driver system with dual bass, dual mid and quad high
- Comes with Eight braided silver-plated copper and OCC copper wires deliver intense musical resolution and fine inner detail.
- Equipped with Westone’s MMCX Audio TM Connector, the only connector designed specifically for earphones, ensuring a reliable connection every time.
- Sensitivity: 111dB SPL @ 1mW Frequency Response: 5 Hz - 22 kHz Impedance: 5 ohms @ 1 kHz Passive Noise Attenuation: 25dB
- Box also includes ALO Audio Reference 8 Cable, MFI MMCX 3-Button Cable, 5 Pair Each Foam & Silicone Tips, 4 Metallic Exchangeable Faceplates, Two Premium Cases, Cleaning Tool, and Cleaning Cloth.
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The W80 features eight proprietary drivers impeccably tuned with a passive 3-way crossover to create an unbelievably immersive listening experience. Masterfully engineered, the W80 makes no compromises delivering reference level audio by integrating full size dual bass drivers with dual mid and quad high drivers. The result is the most comfortable, ergonomically designed earphone on the market, delivering expansive harmonic content with tremendous accuracy and an extensive soundstage
Top customer reviews
The W60's are a fun set of 'phones. The sound is unequivocally crisp with a midrange that could never offend. If these were the only pair of earphones I could ever listen to again, I wouldn't be disappointed. If budget allowed, I'd keep them and switch between the 846's and W60's, but $1k is a lot, and I went with the SE846's, which were too bassy, not enough midrange and too expensive so I went with the Etymotic ER4SR
A terrific soundstage, fast, lots of clarity, out of site for female vocals, great for acoustiic/orchestral, which I think is the hardest thing for any audiophile product to deal with, and the lower and mid bass are very, very accurate and sweet. The fit like a glove and are IEMs you can listen to without fatique for hours.
They're really swell.
I have to admit, the amount and the quality of included custom accessories is very impressive for the first time Westone customer, but it could leave you a bit disappointed if you are upgrading to W60 from any of their lower model, even as basic as a single driver W10, since there is no premium accessory distinction. Seems that with accessories Westone made a conscious decision where every W-series customer can feel special, either if you spent $200 for their single driver or $1k for their 6-driver pair of headphones, with nearly an identical package including their 5 patented pairs of Star silicone eartips, 5 pairs of True-Fit foam eartips, 3 sets of interchangeable color faceplates (in case of W60 they have standout color/finish), mini monitor-vault case, and 2 sets of Epic audio and MFI G2 smartphone cables with mmcx connectors.
I already mentioned in my previous reviews that I believe Westone has a definite advantage over other IEM manufacturers because they have been in audio business for over 55 years and have a full catalog of not only professional audio but also hearing protection products. As a result, don’t expect to find a typical generic S/M/L eartips or a pair of Comply tips in a plastic bag. With a color coded marked stems, Star silicone tips are designed with multiple flex-zones and have 5 pairs in different length, shape, and size. The same with True-Fit foam tips, you get 5 pairs with color coded stems and shapes similar to Star tips. Their foam density has a medium recovery property - not too soft or too firm. You also get a cleaning tool with a small metal loop to clean inside of a narrow nozzle or eartip stems, and a pelican style small “vault” storage case. This case is OK to use with included thin flexible cable, but if you decide to go with a thicker aftermarket cable – you will need to step up to a bigger case.
As part of their W-series “consumer” appeal, Westone also adds an option of customizable interchangeable faceplates. With W60 they made faceplate colors different from other lower models, giving them a more premium look with included red/silver/copper metallic finish plates. Plates are actually plastic but have a metal color finish which still keeps it lightweight and durable without adding extra weight to the shell. Also, with an included small screwdriver tool they are very easy to take off and secure back on, and you don’t have to worry about losing a screw which stays with a faceplate.
Included removable cables give you an option of either audio only Epic twisted cable or MFI G2 cable with in-line remote for smartphones. Epic cable is thin, lightweight, and flexible, with ultra low resistance tensile wire design reinforced with aramid fiber. For a stock cable it actually has a decent audio performance. G2 cable has a more robust rounded shielding, still soft and flexible, and comes with in-line remote/mic. Though multi-function button is OS independent and can be used for Play/Pause/Call, the volume up/down buttons are for iOS only operation. Westone offers a similar cable (Android version) with universal remote where volume buttons are removed to eliminate the confusion. In my opinion, the remote could have been smaller and I would keep it universal with a single multi-function button covering both Android and iOS smartphones. Personally, I’m a big fan of aftermarket audio cables, such as pure silver or pure copper, but they do come at a premium price and heavier weight. Either way, removable cable option is a big plus and gives you flexibility of future upgrades.
One thing you do have to keep in mind, something a lot of people don’t realize, is about the size of Westone mmcx connectors. It is true that Westone uses common mmcx type, but these are short profile connectors, not a standard size. As a result, you can use any mmcx based universal cable with Westone (new W-series or UM-series) IEMs, but you will not be able to use their Epic or G2 cable with other mmcx connector based IEMs, such as those from UE, JVC, Fidue, and others. For that reason, when you are looking into replacement custom cables, I would recommend to specify universal mmcx connector rather than W60 specific connector.
When it comes to a design, Westone bean-shaped shells are among the most comfortable universal fit IEMs I have tested. I think it’s another example of how they have an advantage over competition while drawing from a pool of their knowledge and experience of designing ergonomic hearing protection products. These headphone shells have a very stick and lightweight rounded design, and the most important – they stay the same size regardless of driver config. Westone model index is based on a number of drivers, where W10 or UM Pro 10 correspond to a single BA driver, while 20/30/40/50/60 represent up to 6 BA drivers per shell. It's quite possible they take advantage of combined BA driver modules to reduce number of components, and I can confirm there is no difference in size or shape going from 4-driver W40 to 6-driver W60.
Unlike UM Pro series offered in clear and smoke translucent shells, W-series is non-transparent, made out of black lightweight durable plastic, and customizable with interchangeable faceplates that come handy when you mix the colors to distinguish L/R sides, perhaps using Red plate on a right side. That’s how I have it on W40, but I really enjoyed the copper color of W60 plates which adds a premium look to these IEMs. Another point to make, something that already came up in questions after my W40 review, the shell joint around mmcx connector housing is not cracked! Some people freak out and go into panic mode thinking they applied too much force when disconnecting the cable, causing it to crack, while in reality it’s just a joint gap intended by a design.
The shape and fitment of Westone IEMs is not symmetrical, so there is no confusion which piece goes into which ear, and for further guidance faceplates also have a large L/R letter for a better id. The wire fitment is always over the ear, it’s very comfortable and produces no microphonics even when cable is rubbing against your cloth. There is no visible pinhole port to let the air in/out of the shell, while sound still remains very spacious. Nozzle is very narrow, corresponding to T100 Comply size, and I never experienced a problem of leaving an eartip behind when earpieces removed from my ears, though I do have to admit I typically use the largest size tips.
And speaking of eartips, don’t ever settle on the first pair you reach out for or whatever comes installed by default. Especially with Westone IEMs, selection of the correct eartip size is very crucial in sound shaping. Ensuring a proper seal of your ear canal opening will guarantee the best low end and top end sound balance. Furthermore, Westone offers a unique opportunity of turning your ear impressions, typically reserved for Custom IEMs, into a custom eartips (UM56) to be used with any W-series or UM-series headphones. Custom eartip design will reassure like-a-glove fitment with the most natural seal which yields the best sound performance, but you do have to keep in mind that custom eartip fitment is more time consuming in comparison to universal.
Now we come to the most important part of the review – sound analysis! No matter how great IEM looks or how comfortable it fits or how many accessories they include in the package, it will be useless if it doesn’t sound up to par, especially at a premium price. And speaking of price, moving up in a number of drivers always has a diminishing return side effect, so don’t expect doubling in price to yield a twice as good sound improvement. The rule here is more refinement, better separation, more details, etc.
After multiple days and many listening sessions, I found Westone W60 to have a warm, smooth, detailed, and balanced sound with a great low end extension. Soundstage was spacious with a great level of width and depth. Overall sound was very organic, a bit on a thicker side, not as layered or airy but rather more laidback and lush which can get a bit congested in some complicated music passages.
Starting with a low end, W60 has a powerful bass with a deep articulate sub-bass in a nice balance with a slower mid-bass punch which is a bit laid back in nature. Mids are warm and detailed with a thicker lower mids and a smooth detailed upper mids. W60 has a very organic presentation of sounds, especially when it comes to vocals, either male or female. The sound is not bright or analytical, rather lush and smooth, and at the same time reaches a very impressive level of detail retrieval. I know, some of you might get confused since I talking about warm thick sound which can even get a bit congested, and I am also bringing up high level of details typical of bright and analytical sound. Gotta be honest, I have never experienced such combination, so it was the first one for me. Treble has a good extension, still smooth, detailed, not crisp or bright or sibilant - perfect for non-fatigue extended listening.
W60 was easy to drive from any source and responded OK to EQing. At first I was tempted to brighten up the sound, but I kept coming back to its original warm, lush, detailed signature which brings up the best in either acoustic or electronic instruments as well as vocals. It was quite addictive, especially when I used it with UM56 custom eartips. But due to my constant testing and comparison with other IEMs, I went back to universal silicone tips since they are easier to manage in’n’out of the ear.
And speaking of comparison, here is what I found while testing W60 against W40, UM Pro 50, and also SE846.
W60 vs UM Pro 50: Very similar soundstage width, but W has more depth while UM depth is more intimate and up close. W sound is more lush and laid back, while UM is more aggressive, faster. They have a similar sub-bass extension, but UM mid-bass has a stronger and faster punch, and overall bass is tighter and more articulate. W lower mids are thicker, while upper mids are very similar. UM treble has a little better extension and treble itself is a little crispier. UM sound is a bit less congested in comparison, a little more airy and brighter.
W60 vs W40: W40 sub-bass and mid-bass are scaled down in quantity and quality, mid-bass has a similar slower attack and a bit more laid back. Lower mids are a little thinner, upper mids are a bit more upfront, and treble is a little brighter. Soundstage has a similar width and depth. Overall sound has a very similar warm, smooth, lush characteristics, but it's a little brighter with mids a bit more forward and at the same time a little less detailed in comparison.
W60 vs SE846: I found 846 fitment to be bulkier and heavier to the point where I wasn't able to use them for extended period of time without taking short breaks. At the same time, 846 build quality is more heavy duty. 846 bass is stronger, tighter, and with more aggressive faster punch. 846 mids are a bit thinner and brighter and more in your face, which in my opinion makes them sound less natural and more artificial, especially when it comes to vocals. In comparison, warmer W60 makes vocals sound more organic. I found treble to be relatively similar. Also, due to a combination of high sensitivity and low impedance, 846 has a strong background hissing level with most of my potable DAPs and amps, to the point where it raises a level of noise floor. Soundstage width is similar but W60 has more depth while SE846 is more intimate, more in your face. Overall W60 sound is more detailed, warmer, and smoother, while SE846 is brighter, more aggressive, and more mid-forward. I tried all 3 included Shure filters, and my impression was consistent.
If anything, SE846 is probably more appropriate for comparison with UM Pro 50 since the later our has a more aggressive low end and a more forward and brighter mids. In my opinion Pro 50 has an advantage over SE846 with a deeper sub-bass and a similar mid-bass punch, with a more natural mids where you have a fuller body lower mids and less aggressive upper mids, and also a better treble extension. Soundstage was very similar. In terms of build quality, Pro 50 is smaller and lighter with a typical Westone ergonomics. Accessories feel premium in both cases, and I also favor Epic cable over a stiffer Shure cable. Plus, Pro 50 has 5xBA drivers and it costs $350 less.
After having the opportunity to test and to review W60 with a comparison to W40, UM Pro 50, and SE846, I thought I will be able to come up with a clear winner, regardless of a number of drivers or a price tag - purely on a sound quality and build quality. One thing I can say for "sure", I fulfilled my curiosity about SE846 and no longer have to lust about them. Doesn't mean they are "bad" IEMs, just that I found their sound signature to be not my cup of tea and fitment a bit too uncomfortable for my ear anatomy. Also, I found a difference between W40 and W60 to be not exactly night'n'day, and I wouldn't say W60 sounds twice as good taking price intro consideration. But they are technically better in every aspect and you will definitely hear and appreciate the difference of 2 additional drivers which take W60 to a whole new level and justifies their TOTL status. At the end, it all came down to W60 vs UM Pro 50, and I can tell you with 100% certainty - I ENJOYED THEM BOTH!!! Even so the intent of UM Pro line is for performing musicians, Pro 50 crossed a threshold of UM Pro (professional) and W (consumer) series, representing the best of both worlds. It still keeps the same warm, lush, detailed sound, but refines it with an improved faster low end performance and brighter upper mids/treble. But when you are in a mood to relax and to enjoy the music without getting your blood pumping, I can't think of a better way than to do it with W60 warm, smooth, laid back sound which still offers a high level of detail retrieval. If I'm forced to select just one, for my own personal preference it's probably going to be UM Pro 50, but in my heart both Pro 50 and W60 compliment each other very nicely and can make a worthy addition to any audiophile collection!!!
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( i use them with the twisted cable, and blue silicon tips, no equalizer.Read more