Westone B-series, B30 and B50

Westone B30.

($449.99, Westone, Amazon)

  • 3 Balanced Armature drivers, 3-way passive crossover
  • Frequency range 15Hz – 18kHz
  • Sensitivity 117dB
  • Impedance 110 ohms @ 1kHz
  • Noise isolation 25dB

Included: B30 universal IEMs, Silver Plated MMCX cable, Westone BT v1 cable, 5 pair Star silicone and 5 pair True-Fit foam tips, 2pairs of exchangeable metal faceplates, premium carrying case, 2 year warranty.

 

Sound Impressions:

I found B30 to have a wide soundstage expansion, being oval shaped where you have more width than depth. It has a warm natural tonality with Westone’s signature laidback lush sound.  Also, mildly v-shaped sound signature, closer to balanced, with some extra emphasis on bass.

B30 tuning is suited better for musicians (and consumers, of course!) who want more emphasis on low end, though without overwhelming the sound, and still want to maintain the clarity in vocals and treble.  Picky basshead audiophiles might not be as satisfied here since you are not gonna find layering or separation of sounds with that extra air between the layers.  But the sound is not congested or muddy, and B30 sounds more like a coherently tuned single dynamic driver IEM with a smooth natural non-fatigue tonality.

While enhanced, bass is not necessary overwhelming, and it has a little slower attack and shorter decay, more typical of a dynamic driver rather than BA.  Lower mids have a little thicker body, and upper mids/vocals are clear, smooth, natural.  Treble is also smooth, non-fatigue, just enough emphasis to give the sound a good definition, but don’t expect airy crisp details.

Comparison:

B30 vs W30 – B has a noticeably wider soundstage expansion, while both have the same soundstage depth.  As expected, B has a more elevated sub-bass and mid-bass, a very similar quality of laid-back slower attack/decay bass with a boosted quantity.  Mids are very similar, both have a smooth natural quality and relative similar quantity, but because B’s bass is elevated, the perception of mids/vocals in W is a little more forward.  With treble, I hear B to have a little smoother, more attenuated peaks in lower and upper treble, while W has a little boost in lower treble (resulting in some extra emphasis on “s”) and a little more airiness in mid/upper treble.  In summary, B has more emphasis on bass, similar musical mids with natural vocals, and smoother tamer treble when compared to W.

B30 vs UMPro30 – B has just a touch wider soundstage expansion, while both have the same soundstage depth.  UMPro bass is very similar, nearly identical in quality and quantity to W30.  Thus in comparison to UMPro, B will have its sub-bass and mid-bass elevated in quantity, while the quality is very similar (slower attack, more laid back presentation).  With mids, besides UMPro having a more forward mids due to bass being more attenuated next to B (similar to W), UMPro mids also get a little boost around 2kHz, giving them more crunch, making them a little brighter, while B is smoother and more organic in comparison.  And similarly to W, UMPro also has a little boost in lower treble, giving it more crunch and clarity, and also boost in mid/upper treble, giving the sound more sparkle and airiness. In comparison, B30 treble is smoother and more attenuated down; it’s not rolled of, I can still hear it being extended, but the quantity is lower in comparison to UMPro.  With W30 being discontinued, those who want its sound should look now into UMPro30.

 

Westone B50.

($699.99, Westone, Amazon)

  • 5 Balanced Armature drivers, 3-way passive crossover
  • Frequency range 10Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity 118dB
  • Impedance 35ohms @ 1kHz
  • Noise isolation 25dB

Included: B50 universal IEMs, Silver Plated MMCX cable, Westone BT v1 cable, 5 pair Star silicone and 5 pair True-Fit foam tips, 2pairs of exchangeable metal faceplates, premium carrying case, 2 year warranty.

 

Sound Impressions:

I found B50 soundstage expansion to be a little different from B30.  Here you have a narrower width (still above the average) with a similar to B30 soundstage depth (not too far out), all of which results in B50 having a more intimate soundstage expansion.

Its tonality is warm and natural, with Westone’s signature laidback lush sound.  The signature is more L-shaped, with more emphasis on sub-bass and mid-bass.  No second guessing here, this is a basshead IEM.

B50 tuning is suited more for performing musicians than demanding audiophiles, and it will also appeal to consumers who are less picky about sound details and don’t care too much about layering and separation of the sounds.  B50 takes B30 tuning to the next level, by boosting the bass higher and attenuating the treble lower.  That results in a sound with fuller body and less revealing details, but I still don’t find it congested or muddy.  You just need realistic expectations and understanding that if you want more details, you should look into the new W-series or UMPro series.

In my opinion the bass in B50 is not overwhelming either, but it certainly does hit harder than in B30, and you should also expect a little slower attack and shorter decay, more typical of a dynamic bass driver rather than BA performance.  Lower mids have a little thicker body, and upper mids are clear, smooth, warm, natural.  Treble is smooth, non-fatigue, and also with just enough emphasis to give the sound good definition, but it’s even more attenuated than in B30, which results in more focus on low end while its lush mids/vocals are pushed more back.

Comparison:

B50 vs W50 – The soundstage width of B is a little more expanded in comparison to W, while depth is the same.  The quantity and quality of bass is very similar, elevated, laid back, slower in speed, but B50 has more control and better separation from lower mids while W50 bleeds a little more into lower mids.  Both have thicker fuller body lower mids, one of the main things that sets them apart from W60 where lower mids are more neutral, giving vocals more clarity.  Both B50 and W50 have vocals pushed more back, and vocals itself being thicker and warmer.  In lower treble, B50 is a little more attenuated than W50, while mid/upper treble are very similar.  Overall, B50 signature is more L-shaped, while W50 signature is on a borderline of L-shaped and V-shaped.  If you want more bass and don’t care as much about clarity and sparkle in vocals and treble, B50 will fit the bill.

B50 vs UMPro50 – Unlike other UMPro models, UMPro50v2 always surprised me with its wider soundstage expansion which is actually on par with B50, and staging depth is similar as well.  As expected, B50 bass is more elevated, in both sub-bass and mid-bass.  The bass in B is also a little slower and more laidback, while UMPro bass has a faster attack, shorter decay, and more overall control.  Lower mids are thicker and have more body in B, while UMPro is more neutral, giving upper mids better separation from the bass.  The mids/vocals itself are a lot smoother and warmer in B while UMPro is brighter, more revealing, and with more forward presentation.  Treble is another extreme in comparison, with UMPro being higher in quantity, brighter, crisper, airier, while B is more attenuated, smoother, warmer, more rolled off in comparison.  These two IEMs are quite different in tonality and signature, with B being more L-shaped, and UMPro being more W-shaped.

 

Page 3 – B30, B50 source pair up and Conclusion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s