Again, this is owned by an Austrian Head-Fi user, James444. Much appreciated for your contribution, James!
Last time I encountered Westone products was when I attended the Canjam 2009, held in Los Angeles, California. I had a nice little chat with the representative, and auditioned Westone 3 along with UM3X. He even gave me brand-new sleeves for better fitting! IMO UM3X sounded little more neutral, but I did not find either of them to my liking. And in 2011, Westone introduced a new model with quad-driver configuration, Westone 4.
PRO: The overall distortion is below the threshold of 1%.
CON: Polarity inverted. A brick-wall high cut at ~12 kHz.
ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: In terms of tonality, Westone tuned this IEM to be electrically linear within the ear canal, as JH Audio and Ultimate Ears do all the time with their products. Still, Westone 4 still keeps somewhat neutral tonality due to its slow mid range, which would have been unseen without my newly established waterfall & ETC & GD plots. It basically prevents the sound to be overly emphasized in the low and high frequency range. Moreover, the subbass delay gives nice natural "thumping" sensation- I just wish it was less boosted and had more response over 12 kHz.
ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: The high frequency peak at 10 kHz won't go away, whether the insertion depth is deep or shallow.
ON SECOND THOUGHT #3: What a pleasant surprise with Westone 4's impedance characteristic. Adding a 100 Ω resistor will turn the tonality quite linear, while suppressing the peak at 10 kHz & pumping up the response above 10 kHz. This modification is highly recommended. The IEM shall be fully underdamped with a 250 Ω resistor, with about +6 dB @ 2.5 kHz.
ON SECOND THOUGHT #4: How does the acoustic damper affect the sound of Westone 4? As acoustic impedance of the damper increases, the high frequency drops down. Unless more bass is desired, this modification should be avoided.
ON SECOND THOUGHT #5: The sleeve analysis with Westone 4 will be discussed on a separate blog entry. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, here's my 2 cents for Westone 4 users: Add a 100 Ω resistor, equip a pair of Phonak's stock sleeves, and insert the IEM shallow, but with a tight fit; a great neutrality & high-frequency extension achieved.
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