Review Guide to 2nd gen Westone W-series, W10, W20, W40, W60, and W80

Westone BT v2 cable.

You can consider this as a mini-review inside of new W-series write up where I wanted to go over the spec and the differences between these Bluetooth wireless cables. Please keep in mind, the v1 cable is included with W10, W20, W40, and W60, and v2 cable is included with W80. In my testing and comparison of Westone BT cables, I was using W80 and SP1000 SS.

BT Cable v1 ($99.99, Westone, Amazon)

  • BT 4.0, CSR8645 chipset, aptX, 8hr battery life, IPX4 rated, includes charging cable, 1yr warranty.

BT Cable v2 ($149.99, Westone, Amazon)

  • BT 5.0, CSR8675 chipset, aptX HD, 8hr battery (up to 12hrs w/charging dock), IPX5 rated, includes charging cable and charging battery pack, 1yr warranty.

westone_bt_cable_v2-01

BT Cable v2 Impressions:

In v2 of BT Cable you will find a new voice prompt indicating power on/off, connection status, and pairing mode; all much clearer in comparison to simplified beep tones in v1. There is an audible beep with every volume click which provides a useful feedback when you push the button to change volume (vs long press to change the track), but the beep could also be a bit annoying while you are listening to music. Cable has a pre-shaped earhook at the connector, making it a lot more secure and comfortable to wear. To shield and protect mmcx connector from moisture and dust, connector housing has a slightly extended lip, making this cable compatible only with Westone IEMs (v1 connector housing is shorter and can be used universally with most of mmcx IEMs).

v2 charging case extends battery life and could be attached while wearing the cable. There is no longer a charging port with a rubber cover on the module, but at the same time you have to deal with a proprietary charging solution. Westone offers a separate charging kit which is a good idea to have when traveling or as a spare.

BT v2 vs v1 Sound Comparison:

The new v2 cable has a noticeably less background hissing noise when compared to v1. It’s not dead quiet and even with v1 it’s not as noticeable when music is playing, but when idling with no music you can hear the difference. The new v2 with aptX HD support has a fuller body sound with a more natural warmer tonality, while the original v1 with aptX sounds a little brighter and thinner in comparison. Either one is a very convenient option to cut the wires, so you can use Westone IEMs wireless.

westone_bt_cable_v2-12

When comparing wired vs wireless performance, I’m hearing aptX HD encoding to be closer to wired performance, especially since aptX has a lower sampling rate and higher compression (352kbps, 16bit/44.1kHz encoding) vs aptX HD (576kbps, 24bit/48kHz encoding). The only comment here, CSR8675 is capable of LDAC encoding, so I hope Westone will be able to figure out how to step up to LDAC in fw upgrade, if it’s feasible.

westone_bt_cable_v2-13

Page 3 – W10, W20, and W40.

Page 4 – W60, W80, and Conclusion.

13 thoughts on “Review Guide to 2nd gen Westone W-series, W10, W20, W40, W60, and W80

  1. I’m currently testing the W60 generation 2 and am wondering if I’m hearing them right?

    With all tips except the black silicon tips, bass guitars are very forward in the mix no matter what genre of music. It’s as if the bass guitar is the main focus for any recording I listened to.

    The spacing between all the instruments and vocal seemed very narrow when listening to stereo recordings from the 90’s to recent. Everything sounds so boxed in, like I’m hearing a performance done from an elevator rather then on a small stage. The clarity and separation between each instrument and vocal are all there but just so close together.

    Am I hearing these right or is there a defect in the ones I’m auditioning.

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      1. Sources used were the headphone out’s of a Macbook pro, smartphone, Yamaha receiver, Yamaha live reinforcement board, and 900nxs2 mixer. All sources except for the Yamaha receiver have low impedance headhpone outputs. I only tried the receiver in hopes that it would increase the width of the imaging, unfortunately it did not. Are the foam true-fit tips suppose to cut high frequencies in vocals? With them on, vocals sounded slightly dull and a bit more recessed.

        I am looking to find a substitute for my AKG K271 MKII and Audio Technica ATH-E50 for monitoring, mixing, and live performance. Both produce discomfort in fit during long sessions. When contacting Westone they suggested a W30 to W60 for my intended purposes instead of the UM series.

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      2. tbh, when I switch between many of the DAPs I have access to and my smartphone and laptop, the soundstage is always inferior with smartphone/laptop vs dedicated DAPs with their higher end DACs and finetuned amps section. Westone designs W-series for audiophiles, while UMPro is for musicians, but UMPro50 could really surprise you. Also, yes, foam tips suck a life out of higher frequencies, attenuating the airiness of the treble which brings more attention to lows, and could also affect soundstage width expansion. But, at the end of the day, we have different sources, different ears, listen to different music, thus what you are hearing has to make sense to your ears with your sources and your music.

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  2. Thanks for the assistance, I guess I was expecting too much from these IEM’s. I can accept the slightly forward sounding bass guitars but the narrow width I’m experiencing with these IEM’s I can’t overlook.

    For reference I listened to CD’s and original vinyl pressings ranging from Miles Davis, The Crusaders, Herbie Hancock, Smokey Robinson, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Toto, The Eagles, and Mariah Carey.

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    1. If you like more BASS, you definitely should go for B50, a more pounding slam. I listen to a lot of EDM, but I personally prefer a more balanced sound with not too much bass in your face, so I can hear vocals with better clarity, thus personally prefer W40 gen 2.

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    1. Sorry, while I have all the westone iems I reviewed, I don’t have Tansio iems. And Animagus, our contributor who reviewed many Tansio iems, doesn’t have access to Westone.

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