ES50 Earphones

1

ES50 Earphones

78494

In stock

$999.99

The ES50’s five masterfully tuned balanced armature drivers deliver smooth, translucent and detailed sound.

$999.99
OR

Details


The Westone ES50, designed by musicians for musicians, is the premium in-ear monitor for live stage performances or for the serious audiophile. Five masterfully tuned balanced armature drivers deliver smooth, translucent and detailed sound.

  • Westone Custom-Fit Technology
    Fully custom earpieces are cast, sculpted, and polished by hand from actual impressions of your ears, resulting in the best fit and acoustic seal possible.

  • Balanced Armature
    Westone’s balanced armature driver is significantly more compact and efficient than a traditional dynamic driver. Westone monitors provide enhanced sonic detail and frequency range that extends well beyond typical in-ear solutions.

  • Flex Canal
    A body temperature-reactive, semisoft earpiece canal additive that stays firm at room temperature for ease of insertion and then softens at body temperature, allowing increased comfort and acoustic seal for incredible noise isolation.

  • Cold Pour Acrylic
    Earpiece housings are cold-poured in acrylic for a thicker, more resilient acoustic enclosure. Expect increased durability, a more controlled response, and a lustrous appearance from this Westone technology.

  • Dual Bore
    With Westone’s Dual Bore technology, high and low frequency sound components are channeled through separate passages in the sound port and sum within your ear canal instead of the earpiece. The result is audibly more natural and provides a more convincing transition between frequency ranges.

  • EPIC Replaceable Cable
    Westone’s robust EPIC cable is constructed of bifurcated, high-flex, ultra-low resistance tinsel wire, reinforced with a special aramid fiber, and braided for ultimate durability, acoustic transparency, and isolation from mechanical cable noise. The MMCX Audio™ connector makes this solution conveniently user replaceable.

  • Handcrafted in the USA
    Meticulously built by a staff of dedicated artisans and lab techs, Westone’s USA products exhibit a level of craftsmanship that truly embodies America’s rich history of handmade artistry.


Additional Information


Click on the “Customize” button above to create your ES Series monitor and find a preferred Westone audiologist who can take your impressions and complete your order.

 

Sensitivity: 120 dB SPL @ 1 mW

 

Frequency Response: 8 Hz - 20 kHz

 

Impedance: 20 ohms @ 1kHz

 

Driver:Five balanced armature drivers with passive three-way crossover

 

Cable: EPIC MMCX replaceable cable

 

In the Box: Monitor Vault II, cleaning tool, cable management ring, desiccant pod, cleaning cloth, Oto-Ease, users manual, and 2-year warranty

 

Warranty: 2-year warranty (Warranty Information).


Review and Rating


Bryan
10/8/2017

I've been part of the hi-fi headphone community now for about 8 years and have been a big proponent of over-ear headphones. I could never find an in-ear that was comfortable and stayed put for long periods of time. I got to try a lot of in-ears working at Peach Buds, a local headphone shop, but could never put in the time I really wanted with them. So I finally decided this year that a pair of custom IEMs may be the solution. The closest I'd ever come to finding an in-ear that worked for me was the Westone 2. So I started looking for a CIEM from them. My final use for these was going to be using my phone mainly as a source, an iPhone 7 plus, and Spotify premium streaming and downloaded at 320 kbps. I also found that I could get an aftermarket cable from ALO audio that would give me a 3 button remote and mic with a lightning connection, perfect for my use.

After deciding on a company for the CIEM and cable it was time to make the decision of model as well as some cosmetic decisions. I was looking between the ES10 and ES50 they seemed to be the best bang for your buck models to me. In the end, I knew I wanted the highest sound quality I could afford and went with the ES50 with its single low driver 2 mids and 2 highs. I had also read that the single low driver wasn't as punchy as a double low driver but extended lower. I went on to Westone's website and went through the customizer 5-6 times to see different options I liked the look of. I went with the translucent body so I could see the components, and the exotic faceplates just because I thought they were beautiful. One thing I know is available that I didn't see in the customizer is laser etching, I'll have to look into that further. After I settled on a final design I printed it off and made an appointment with a fairly local audiologist. I had to look closer to a city to find one that could do the impressions for me and had an account with Westone.

First and foremost with regards to the audiologist if you take nothing else away from this remember that they set the end price on the headphones, not Westone. With this in mind, you may be able to get a better price from a local audiologist. The way I designed my monitors with the exotic faceplates would have been $1,120 the audiologist worked with me and with the fee to make the molds we got it down to $830. Going to the audiologist was pretty straightforward I was in and out within an hour and that included a cleaning of one of my ears by an ENT.

Now comes the stressful part, waiting for the headphones to come from Westone. They told me it would be 10-14 days to build after they received the molds. They took a few days to get to Westone and then after the build time it was going to take a few days to ship them to me. Thankfully luck was on my side again and mine got done in 6 days and the whole process from order to door took about 2 weeks.

The headphones arrived in a plain box with Westone packing tape. Inside bubble wrapped was the Westone monitor vault. On the front etched were the words handcrafted for my name, serial number and the date of production. Inside were the monitors with cable, oto-ease and a cleaning tool. The headphones were finished very well with no sharp edges and very smooth. One thing I noticed though was that although I got translucent colored shells you really can't see the components in them. They are more opaque than anything. Other than that I was very happy with how they looked.

As far as fit is concerned at first I felt quite a bit of pressure when I put them in. After about an hour that pressure went away almost completely. Not like I wasn't wearing them I could still feel them but they were totally comfortable. Rotating them in they almost snap into place in the cartilage above the ear canal. I was able to open my mouth and even eat without breaking the seal. Overall very impressed with the fit.

At first, I was disappointed with the sound. Here was something I spent $1,000 and it sounded good. Just good. Where were the sparkling highs and the thunderous lows I had hoped for? Well if you're looking for either of these things you best look into over ear headphones or high end speaker systems. What you get is a very neutral unassuming headphone that sounds....good. However, in the week I spent listening to them (I mean full-time listening) they grew on me more and more. Why? Because they isolated excellently and all I was left with was really good sounding music that wasn't distracting in any way. By the 3rd day, I was listening at half volume on my phone, getting clear natural sound. I realized I had gotten my money's worth.

Changing the stock epic cable with the Litz from ALO Audio did make a notable improvement in sound quality. The bass seemed to come a bit more alive and be punchier while the highs also became more present. Besides that, the ergonomics of a 3 button remote and a lightning connector was perfect for my purpose. The one thing I would change on the cable would be to give some sort of tactile indication as to what button you are pressing. I would highly recommend this cable as an upgrade for any headphone that uses MMCX connectors, it's well worth it.

Now I'd like to go over how the headphone sounds to me using 6 different songs to hopefully explain the sound signature. The songs will be Major Tom - Shiny Toy Guns, 20 Years - The Civil Wars, Billie Jean - Michael Jackson, Paradise Circus - Massive Attack, A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong, and Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin. I've never used this method to try and describe a sound signature please bear with me. All songs were listened to using the Litz cable from ALO.

Major Tom by the Shiny Toy Guns is one of my favorite test tracks to use for audio. It has a great bass line electronic and acoustic elements as well as great female vocals. The opening baseline is well defined and tight. The vocals I would say are fairly forward and very clear. Listening for the kick drum it's tight and punchy. The baseline pretty well continues through the whole song. The guitar isn't a major player but it comes forward at times.

20 Years by The Civil Wars, I love this song for its acoustic elements and strong vocal presence. I'd say his especially comes to the forefront from time to time and has a lot of texture to the sound.There are bell elements that come in very clearly without being overpowering. Right at 2 min 33 sec into the song is the best representation of his voice have the texture I think and it still occasionally gives me chills especially with the very personal forward presentation of these headphones.

Billy Jean by Michael Jackson has so many elements going on at once it can get muddy fast with poorly made headphones. Here, in the beginning, you can sorta feel the kick drum it's punchy but not thumping. There is also a great rattle sound that comes in on one channel. The song does some channel hopping with sounds and the headphones pick it up really well with quick response. This song gives a good sense of the space the ES50 is capable of creating. It's not as open as an over-ear headphone but the presentation is more in your face and fun. Again biggest take away here is how the song creates a feeling of space and the vocals and instruments move around the space.

Paradise Circus by Massive Attack this is my bass heavy song it's got some reoccurring low moments and these won't rattle your head but it makes me realize how much we feel the bass and in this setup, you are limited to only hearing it. I'm sure there are in-ears that produce more low end but these do give you a satisfying amount after listening for a while. My expectations for bass in an in-ear were just wrong. Other than that this song shows a good use of space and separation as well as many elements will be going on at once but you are still clearly able to pick parts out.

A Kiss to Build a Dream On by Louis Armstrong one of my favorite songs of this era I first heard it in a commercial for the game Fallout 2. Here again is a great display of gravely texture in a male voice that really shines through. The trumpet is bright but not overpowering. This is a very vocal forward song other than the trumpet solo and the ES50 handles it beautifully.

Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin I wanted to go a little outside what I normally listen to with this one and pick something that surely everyone knows. The guitar starts out sounding distant and is only in one channel with a flute accompanying it on the other channel. Although they are distant sounding it's very clear When the guitar finally comes in both channels at 2 min 20 sec its full and rich sounding. The Vocals also sound farther away than in the other songs until the drums come in at 4 min 20 sec and then everything comes forward. Then after the guitar solo, the vocals are very in your face overall a very dynamic song.


So I started out as someone that has for years sworn off in ears due to fit and comfort. I went through the process of customizing and ordering my CIEMs. I had a great experience with my audiologist who actually got me my headphones at a discount. I was a little disappointed by "translucent" shells I chose were more opaque than anything. The fit and finish on the CIEMs were top notch, however. I grew to appreciate the sound of in-ears in general quite a bit more and learned to listen for bass rather than always feeling for it. I upgraded my headphones with a Litz cable from ALO Audio and it was a worthwhile improvement. Finally, we went through 6 songs and my impressions of how the ES50 sounded. I hope this was informative and helpful to those that may be considering their first set of CIEMs. I'm by no means a professional reviewer feel free to leave your comments below good or bad and I will read them and respond if appropriate. Thanks for reading.


dgaines88
3/16/2017

I would consider myself an active musician, I use the ES50 earpieces twice a week on a regular basis, but have stretches where I use them 8 - 10 times a week for performance. I play churches and musical theater settings primarily and would not consider myself hard on equipment.

However, I’ve had the ES50’s for about 8 months now and the R-earpice has already had issues. The little brass (maybe gold plated), stem that comes out of the plastic mold, retreated back into the mold I cannot get the cable to properly seat.

So, back to Westone it went. After a prolonged time of waiting for what should have been an easy repair, they came back and they were NOT repaired. On the first gig I used, after being “repaired”, the same issue occurred. So, they are going back again. They are still under warranty and in my opinion, for the price-point of these buds, this should not have happened this soon. Plus, so far, Westone’s “repair” process is subpar, at best, and I would even rate it poor.

Buy these earbuds for their sound quality, but at this point, I would not recommend Westone for their products construction quality. I can’t imagine a road musician, who is hard on these night after night, wanting to trust this model for dependability.


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