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Westone UM1

Updated on July 23, 2010

Westone UM1 Review

Introduction to UM1
This earphone is basically a professional audio earpiece. It has a sensitivity of 11 decibels, and has a balanced armature. And it belongs to the line of Westone UM. If you should choose to buy it, the package comes with multiple replaceable Comply Foam tips, and a wax loop that is used for cleaning them, as well as a small but bulky padded pouch. The specifications are similar to most mid level high quality IEMs.

Looks and feel
The first time you lay your eyes on it, you will see that it is very noticeably different from any other pair of earphones you have ever seen before. For one, you'll see that the ear tips are huge and uniquely shaped, with a transparent casing in which you can see the parts, in case you have ever wondered what goes inside. Its novel look does not just stop there, it actually goes down even to the wires that it comes in, there are two wires twisted and braided and intertwined from the top down all the way. It supposedly improves the durability of the cord, which is plausible. Regardless, such a look is generally a hit or a miss, and depends on your personal preference.

Sound Range
Probably one of the best sounds you can get from a noise isolating earphone in this price range, which would be $150+. The sound quality sounds like a low end $200 earphone from other brands. It covers all the highs and treble well. The main problem is the lack of a bass, which can be solved by changing the tip, or toggling the equalizer settings on your iphone or itouch (although much less effective). This pair is probably the best for the person who enjoys listening mainly to songs with mids, as it comes out rich and pleasantly over the balanced armature.

Fit of the ear phone
Due to the weird or unconventional design, it actually turns out to be a rather good fit, coupled with the soft and mouldable earplug-ish ear tips as well as the technique by which you are supposed to place it into your ear. It takes quite a while to get it in as compared to other earphones, but once its in it stays there very nicely.

This pair is probably great for the health conscious. It comes with replacements for the eartips, which you can use to change out dirty tips as time passes, as well as a wax loop to clean out the ear wax from the IEM.

As mentioned earlier, even though it is only about a 150 USD, it holds its own very nicely against the other earphones, like the Klipsch Image S4 earbuds or the Etymotic. Its key feature is actually not say spectacular sound quality but its noise isolation power.

Noise Isolation/Noise reduction
Take note that this differs from noise canceling, which is more complicated.
Westone probably comes in as the most affordable earplugs which streams music, blocking up to 25 decibels of unwanted noise.

If after this review you feel like purchasing a westone, why not check out my hub on how to buy a cheap westone um1


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