Westone AM Pro 30

Sound analysis.

Before starting with a sound analysis, I put these through my usual burn in routine to exercise the cable and the solder joints of the 3way passive crossover for 60+ hrs. Based on the spec of 124dB sensitivity and 56 ohm impedance, I wasn’t 100% sure how it will pair up with my different sources and if higher sensitivity will result in hissing noise. To my surprise I didn’t hear any hissing even with high power source such as Lotoo PAW Gold which I used for sound testing. Furthermore, my other DAPs and even Galaxy Note 4 phone didn’t require me to lower a volume setting to compensate for higher sensitivity.

I hear AM Pro 30 sound signature to be slightly v-shaped, with a smooth neutral tonality, maybe leaning a little more toward the warmer side, with plenty of clarity and details. AM Pro 30 goes beyond a typical Westone lushness with a little brighter and a more detailed tuning in comparison to their other models, and also with one interesting trick up its sleeve – ambient filter which expands the sound like a pair of semi-open headphones with relatively small sound leakage and without compromising too much of the low end performance.

Starting with a low end, you get a decent sub-bass extension with a nice warm rumble and a moderate quantity that doesn’t overpower the mid-bass. Mid-bass has a nice slam but not too much in your face, with moderate speed and longer decay which gives the bass a dynamic driver sound characteristics. Bass is well controlled, hardly any spillage into lower mids. Lower mids are a bit on a warmer thicker side which gives sound a nice body and at the same time absolutely no muddiness. Upper mids are clear and detailed, smooth and organic, absolutely no harshness or sibilance. Treble is clear and well defined, not too bright or too crisp; there is presence of airiness but in moderate amount.

I also found them to have a nice 3D soundstage with way above the average expansion in all 3 directions of width/depth/height – something I would expect from open-back like headphones. AM Pro has an excellent imaging and relatively accurate placement of instruments and vocals, which goes along with a 3D soundstage expansion. Layering and separation are just ok, I don’t exactly hear the distinct layering effect between instruments and vocals, but at the same time the sound never gets congested or muddy.

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Comparison.

AMPro30 vs UMPro30 – UM has similar sub-bass and a faster mid-bass with a little more slam, mids are more forward but do have the same tonality, treble is not as well extended and slightly rolled off in comparison to AM. The soundstage expansion difference is rather noticeable where UM is narrow and more intimate, while AM is expanded and 3D holographic. Also you get more isolation with UM.

AMPro30 vs UMPro50 – UM has similar sub-bass with a lot bigger mid-bass slam, similar lower mids, while UM upper mids a little warmer and more organic yet have a little better retrieval of details. AM treble has a better definition, brighter, and with more airiness. Also, UM soundstage is narrower and has less depth in comparison to AM. And as previously stated, you get more isolation with UM.

AMPro30 vs Savant – Savant has a little less sub-bass and softer/slower mid-bass, very similar lower mids, and more upfront upper mids which are as clear and detailed but a little drier. Savant treble is a little brighter and crispier, with more airiness and slightly better extension. Soundstage width definitely goes to AM while depth and height are very similar.

AMPro30 vs U6 w/B1 – U6 has deeper sub-bass extension, faster mid-bass punch, and overall more articulate bass, a little leaner lower mids, and more balanced upper mids with better retrieval of details, though both have an equal level of clarity. Treble extension is very similar, while U6 is a little brighter and crispier, and both have the same level of airiness. Also, both have a very similar soundstage depth/height, while AM has a slight advantage in width. Overall, U6 is a little more transparent while AM is a little smoother and organic.  ADEL filter is in a totally different category and with a different functionality in comparison to SLED.

AM Pro 30 next to UM Pro 50.

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Conclusion.

Despite AM Pro 30 product description as designed for stage musicians, I approached this review with an open mind to test their performance on a “stage” of the everyday life. By design, they are not suppose to give you the best isolation if you want to tune out the outside world. They also might not be the best pair to wear in the library or in bed next to your significant other who is already asleep (it didn’t quite pass the “wife” test sitting close on the couch). But there are so many other daily activities where AM Pro reduced isolation is a godsend. Any time in a situation where I need to be aware of my surrounding environment while working out, or riding a bike, or outdoors in our backyard, or watching the kids – AM Pro comes in very handy. In those situations where you don’t want a dead silent isolation and prefer to be aware of your surrounding, and still want to enjoy a rather high quality, very detailed, clear smooth tonality and a decent bass performance surrounded by expanded soundstage – AM Pro 30 is hard to beat.

 

6 thoughts on “Westone AM Pro 30

  1. Thanks for the excellent and clear review.
    You say: ADEL filter is in a totally different category and with a different functionality in comparison to SLED. Could you
    explain in detail the difference between the two concepts
    and their effect on “ear pressure” ?

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    1. adel/apex is like a one way valve to relieve the pressure buildup in your ear canal. Sled is a filter system to mix in outside ambient noise/sound with a music, so a musician will know what’s going on stage, meaning less isolation. Or, you can listen to music while still hearing your kids/wife talking to you. Whats cool about sled, they able to tune it without bass attenuation.

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      1. I never felt such pressure when wearing AM Pro 30. Companies are usually careful about what their claim because you have to back it up with studies, can’t just make a statement… I can only speak from a personal experience – never had an issue with in ear pressure build up wearing AM Pro 30, and still amazed how, considering lower level of isolation, they have a decent amount of bass slam.

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  2. I HAVEN’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING ABOUT THE ambient SLED technology. iS THIS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS TO THE INEAR IT SELF AS A DESIGN? OR IS SOMETHING IN THE REPRODUCTION OF THE THREE WAY SPEAKERS? I MEAN IF THIS AFFECT THE FREQUENCIES OR ITS JUST A SLIGHT NATURAL SOUND OF OUR ENVIROMENT THAT COMES IN THE EAR? (MY QUESTION IS IF THE ambient SLED technology ARE FREQUENCIES REPRODUCED BY THE SPEAKERS OR THEY ARE JUST ALLOWING THE ENVIROMENT FREQUENCIES TO REACH YOUR EARS?

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    1. It’s the latter one. The whole idea behind this tech is that IEM (in-ear monitors) seal your ear and you get the sound from the drivers to your eardrums without any lose (leakage). Isolation is good, but it cuts down on your surrounding awareness. For musicians on the stage wearing their in-ear monitors, they can only hear their track, but not the other instruments or the crowd around them. If you open the “seal” to let outside sound in, it will leak out the sound and you are not going to hear music correctly. This SLED tech is a filter which allows a balance of the sound coming from your monitors and the ambient sound of what’s going on the stage. The same as you can use them when walking on the street, crossing the road – the music quality will not be degraded and your awareness of surround noises is still up (so you hear the cars or someone screaming at you ;)).

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