Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
This buds for you
on August 7, 2013
I've done live sound mixing and professional audio for over 20 years so I have had the chance to try, and of course own, dozens of headphones and ear buds. I've previously owned a $150 pair of Shure in ear buds and $90 pair of Etymotic Research in ear buds. The sure's were tinny and uncomfortable and the Ety's were quite good and I loved them but I lost them.
So why didn't I buy the Ety's again? Well, now I ride a motorcycle and wanted to be able to have as much noise isolation as possible from the engine of my bike. My regular ear buds and the stock earPods make listening to music on my motorcycle miserable and spoken word like news or podcasts impossible.
In the Box: A nice semi-hard zippered case with a mesh pocket in the lid. 5 pairs in 5 different sizes of rubber rounded tips, 4 pairs in 4 different sizes, and on pair of the rubber tapered tip. It also comes with a an earwax reamer for the tips (not your ear :-) and of course the earphones.
Construction: Top grade manufacturing. Though they are obviously plastic and rubber, everything form the case to the design of the anti-tangle wires is high quality. The angled jack is also a great design choice because it means longer life on the chord and less chance of loose connections from bending. I just rotate it under my iPhone and it doesn't stick out and cause stress on the wire or the phone jack.
Comfort: No skimping here. It comes with 10 different tips to use in your ears. I chose the foam ones and even those had different sizes. You should have no issue finding a perfect fit and comfort between the 3 styles and multiple sizes. If you can't find a fit you are probably Dumbo or Obama, uh, but I repeat myself. The foam tips are not washable so I just bought a couple replacements to have on hand. Because of the way you need to insert them to get the proper sound (see below) you can pretty much guarantee they won't fall out. So jog, sprint, use a jack hammer, or any kind of
Volume: When properly inserted the drivers in these things are unreal. I almost blow my eardrums when I forget to turn down the volume on my phone from the stock Apple EarPods. The volume levels can be at least 30% less with these.
Noise Isolation: I bought them primarily for this feature and I was not disappointed. On my motorcycle I can even listen to classical or podcasts and barely hear the whine of my motor and the noise of the road. Unbelievable. The experience on a bicycle or motorcycle is almost surreal. Throw on some Rush or Coltrane or ___________ and hit the open road with these babies and get ready for amazing. I also find them useful for working in a cafe as they completely knock out the external noise.
Sound: Always very subjective and it depends on what kind of music you listen to because matching the music to the earphones is not a bad idea. To me the goal of an engineer/design of earphones should be to make them as transparent as possible and to not color the music one way or the other. That is why I can't stand Dr. Dre cans and some other bass heavy products. The Westones won't do that. They are amazingly transparent and clean in the sound. The mid-range is incredibly crisp and so music or spoken word never sounds muddled. The bass response is excellent but not superior. And the highs are perfect. These are honestly the best set of earphones I have every heard. The sound is incredible.
WARNING: Many reviews dis these earphones for not having a good bass. The issue is not the earphones but how you are inserting them. I can easily be lazy and just push them into my ears with no technique and get a really crappy sound with anemic bass and no highs. It will sound like a phone call. This is what happened to me when I first bought them and I was ready to send them back. Then I read the effing manual. Turns out you must properly compress the foam tips (if using them) by rolling them in your fingers, position the buds in a special way with the wire facing away from you, and literally rotate them into you ear canal while pulling on your ear lobe (top or bottom). This ensures you seat the earphones properly. For extra measure I hold it for a few seconds while the foam expands. Once I did this I was blown away.
Now the caveat of course is that you might not want to wear these at work or where people are always interrupting you because it is a big deal to take them in and out. They literally create almost a suction in your ear canal and so do you have to remove them slowly. This is the only drawback I can say about these earphones, but the quality more than makes up for it to me.
Hope this helps and looking at the price now I see they are less than the $122 I paid for them in 2012. At that price they were totally worth it so at the current $95 I highly recommend them.