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Westone UM1 review (redux)

Westone is finally getting serious!

Not that they weren’t serious before, fact is, Westone is one of the companies that audiophiles look up to when it comes to high-end personal audio gear. Westone has made a name for themselves with the hardcore audio crowd, but not so much with the mass market, and that was the problem. With the relaunch of their UM1 in-ear headphones, Westone is looking to go into the mainstream by introducing a snazzy looking headphone that carries the signature armature driven sound the company is known for, but with a price tag that won’t break the bank.

Let’s get this out of the way, the Westone UM1 is probably the best sounding in-ear headphone in its price category. At Php 3,950, it’s far from what some people might consider as “affordable”, but surprising as it may seem, the UM1 is currently the most affordable in Westone’s extensive portfolio of personal audio gear. The UM1 is named appropriately as it is equipped with a single (i.e., 1) armature driver that delivers sound that’s clear, balanced and loud. I’ve reviewed the UM1 a year ago, but the newly repackaged version of Westone’s entry-level headphone has a few more things going for it and it’s worth bringing up again.

First: The UM1 now comes in a variety of colors. To make the UM1 have a bit more mass-market appeal, Westone has decided to ake the UM1 colorful and preppy. The new color schemes are pretty darn nice and quite attractive. I personally have a hard time choosing between the green and red colored variants.

The newly repackaged UM1 also comes with a bunch of perks. Aside from the bundled hard case, the UM1 comes with numerous sizes of three different ear plug variants. Compared to the old packaging of the UM1, there are more tips included this time around. I’m a fan of the foamy True-fit tips and the ones included inside the package of the UM1 do not disappoint.

When the UM1 was first made available locally, it was priced at Php 4,790. A bit expensive but it was a price I was willing to pay. The sound quality and fit of the UM1 is just amazing. The price has now been adjusted to a more affordable Php 3,950, an almost 1K difference. It’s still the same great sound headphones but this time around, it comes in other colors other than just plain transparent and has more ear tips bundled.

Bottomline:

I heartily gave my recommendation of the Westone UM1 a year ago, and flash forward to today, I still think it’s one of the best music headphones in my collection. The new color variants and cheaper price serves to make the UM1 even more attractive to music aficionados. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a pair, this one’s definitely a keeper.

Price:

Php 3,950

Availability:

All Digital Hub, Digital Walker, Beyond the Box and QuickSound outlets

Howard

Howard

Gadgets and video games are what Howard loves and he was fortunate enough to have dabbled in both worlds professionally. A former Editor-in-Chief of a local gaming magazine, Howard is currently busy jumping from one industry to another, analyzing and writing about all of the electronic toys he loves. His favorite noodles: Pork Leg Bihon.

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