Westone 2 True-Fit Earphones – Review

Westone 2 True-Fit Earphones
Company: Westone
Price: $249
http://www.westone.com


Carrying case, inline volume control, 1/4″ plug adapter, and ten different speaker tips are included, plus a wax removal tool.

Westone 2 Specifications

Sensitivity: 117 dB SPL @1kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz -18 kHz
Impedance: 33 ohms @1kHz
Driver: Dual balanced armatures; 1 low & 1 high frequency

Westone 2 in-ear premium dual driver headphones (abbreviated here as W2) are the best buds we have heard in this price range. They are not as robust in the lower frequencies as Westone’s super-premium model 3 audiophile $400 earphones, reviewed in 2008. W2’s sound spectrum is more substantial than the company’s entry level (but still expensive) Westone 1, reviewed in 2009. Which bud’s for you?

When cost is not your primary consideration, you may still hesitate to purchase earphones with behind-ear cables. Don’t. By day two, you’ll be comfortable with the cable ear placement.

MyMac continues to urge this company to design the L and R for left and right ears to be easier to see. Is anyone listening at Westone?

Once you determine which earpiece goes into which ear, and begin listening to W2, you are immediately impressed by their comfortable fit and outstanding sound. Instruments and vocals are crisp and well-defined. Every genre of music performs beautifully. No substantial equalizer adjustments are necessary, aside from the ones typically used. I prefer Acoustic, because it sounds best in my car and with these headphones.

You will experience new and vibrant aspects of your favorite music, which is always a treat. The W2 sound is not neutral, so certain segments of the sonic range are slightly more evident than others, always to the advantage of the recording. Separation is splendid, with no frequencies overlapping or crowding others out. Passive ambient noise isolation is among the best we’ve heard (or not heard).

I’m plowing through a 347-track playlist used to evaluate audio equipment, as I write this review. Bach rocks, and Aretha’s shrieks have me at the edge of my mousepad. Marimabas feel like they are residing in my skull, and the first movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony goes from quiet to loud without me having to adjust my iPod’s volume. Beyonce’s rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” from the movie Cadillac Records stops me in my typing tracks, and Carlos Nakai’s heady wooden flute echoes throughout my brainwaves on “Cleft in the Sky.”

W2 buds are very forgiving, which is rare for high-end headphones. Neither thundering bass nor top-tier treble sends me to the equalizer or volume controls. Midrange fits seamlessly where it belongs, without any shoulder regions that collide with low or high zones.

If expensive headphones can be fun, Westone 2 True-Fit are fun. And they are efficient, so keep your iPod’s volume control below halfway or you’ll damage your precious ears.

“Te Abrazar√©” by Erre XI, a free iTunes cancion de la semana, tests the extremes of treble and bass, and W2 contains them. “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Gene Vincent is concentrated in the middle registers, with pleasant fall off to the thin outer frequencies that are typical of early rock ‘n’ roll. Contemporary recordings really shine with W2, such as Glenn Hansard’s “All the Way Down,” from the inspiring movie Once. I am not a Leonard Cohen fan, but his geezer basso and the accompaniment on “Go No More A-Roving” are jaw-dropping. Lynn Anderson’s vocals on “Blue Bayou” are so sharp they could cut through the crusty loaf of bread I just took out of the oven.

Before W2 became available, several threads on audiophile web sites queried how the $150 price differential from Westone 3 to W2 would equate to inferior sound. For $400, high rollers might be better off with a $249 set of W2 for serious listening, plus $150 spent on one or two sets of earphones for everyday use. Either way you can’t go wrong. I’m going to take very good care of Westone 2, so I can continue to enjoy listening with them for many years.

MyMac Review Rating: 9 out of 10

LINK: Westone 3 review

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