Westone B-series, B30 and B50

Source Pair up.

Since these new B30 and B50 are not exactly your audiophile quality revealing IEMs, you don’t really need top hi-res sources to bring the best in them.  I wasn’t even planning to have Source Pair-up section in my review, until I noticed that signature does change a bit with different sources.  Here are my observations.

iBasso DX220

  • B30 – wide soundstage, w-shaped sig with emphasis on all frequencies, bass is a little tighter and faster and with a little more sparkle in treble, the sound performance is still smooth and laidback.
  • B50 – a little wider soundstage, L-shaped signature with a harder hitting more rounded bass, mids/vocals are smooth and warm and still have a decent definition, treble is more rolled off here.

A&K SP1000 SS

  • B30 – wide soundstage, more v-shaped sig, bass hits harder in here, and extra treble sparkle gives vocals better definition, giving the overall performance a little more energy.
  • B50 – a little wider soundstage, L-shaped signature with a harder hitting more rounded bass, mids/vocals pushed more back, have fuller thicker body and a little less definition, treble is more rolled off here.

Sony WM1Z

  • B30 – wide soundstage, v-shaped sig, more sub-bass rumble, thicker warmer vocals, well controlled treble, smooth laidback performance.
  • B50 – an average soundstage width with more depth, L-shaped signature with warmer rounded bass, thicker body smooth laidback vocals.

Cowon Plenue L

  • B30 – wide soundstage, more v-shaped sig, mids/vocals have plenty of clarity, smooth laidback performance.
  • B50 – an average soundstage width with more depth, L-shaped sig, mids/vocals are smooth and laidback, treble a little rolled off.

westone_b-series-32

Cayin N5iiS

  • B30 – wide soundstage, w-shaped sig with emphasis on all frequencies, bass is tighter and faster, mids/vocals are more revealing, more detailed, treble sparkle gives the sound better definition.  This is probably my favorite pair up with B30.
  • B50 – a little wider soundstage here, the signature is more w-shaped but leaning more toward L-shaped due to strong bass emphasis, mids/vocals are more transparent with better clarity and definition, and I ever hear a touch more sparkle in treble.  Also, my favorite pair up with B50.

Shanling M5s

  • B30 – wide soundstage, more v-shaped sig, a little more emphasis on bass, smooth laidback performance.
  • B50 – above average soundstage, L-shaped sig, harder hitting bass, vocals smooth and laidback, a little thicker with a fuller body, but not muddy or congested.

Lotoo PAW Gold Touch (LPGT)

  • B30 – wide soundstage, v-shaped sig, mids/vocals less revealing and a little congested, smooth laidback performance.  I expected better, but wasn’t too happy with this pair up.
  • B50 – a little wider soundstage, L-shaped signature, deeper sub-bass rumble with a harder hitting mid-bass impact, smooth laidback vocals, more sparkle in treble.

Samsung Galaxy S9

  • B30 – above average soundstage, v-shaped sig, a little more emphasis on bass, vocals have a nice clarity, smooth laidback performance.
  • B50 – above average soundstage, L-shaped sig, harder hitting bass, vocals smooth and laidback, yet still clear enough, not muddy or congested.

westone_b-series-33

Conclusion.

Of course, I was kind of joking referring to W50 as the black sheep of Westone family, but there is some truth to it as well.  It stood out with a tuning that didn’t exactly fit the rest of the W-series audiophile line up.  W30 was also on the borderline, appealing to both audio enthusiasts who wanted more balanced tuning and consumers who preferred some extra bass impact.  But I think W50 stood out the most, thus creating basshead flavored B-series was a clever way to give B30 and B50 their own space without people comparing them to W40 or W60.

And, this wasn’t just a debut of a new series, but also a continuation of W-series v2 “better value” direction by including premium cable, metal faceplates, and Bluetooth wireless cable.  Also, as you can see from my sound analysis, B-series is not exactly tuned for demanding audiophiles.  I would say B30 is suited better for musicians who want more emphasis on low end while still enjoying the clarity of mids/vocals and treble.  B50 is probably more consumer oriented because it’s tuned for those who are craving L-shaped sound signature and more emphasis on warm analog bass.

But the most important thing here, something I already mentioned in my W-series v2 review and want to repeat again.  Maybe Westone is 60-year old company, but the changes I have seen in the last few years are definitely in the right direction to stay relevant in this very competitive market.

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2 thoughts on “Westone B-series, B30 and B50

  1. Hi Alex,
    Great review again,thanks! Unfortunately, I’ve never had the chance to listen to Westone products, but they seems to share about the same smoot and organic tonality…

    A quick and (maybe not so) simple question for you: From all your listenings to date, which IEM gave you the most natural/realistic sounding experience? I’m looking for goosebumps there 😉 Money is no object…

    Like

    1. If we are talking about Westone line up, W80 does it for me. But one thing that impresses me about it as much as the sound is the fit. 8BA drivers in a tiny shell that nearly disappears in your ears, and you can put your head down on a pillow with these in. The smallest universal shell housing 8 drivers.

      Like

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