We were quite surprised when we first started our website to know that no one here in the region supplies Westone earphones. Westone are one of the keystones in the earphone and IEM (professional in ear monitors) industry in the world, they’ve been their since 1950’s and they have produced a number of the best earphones in the world.
You can easily check the list of musicians that use Westone products on their web site. The Adv Alpha is the first of its kind by Westone, not only it’s their first outdoor activity earphone but also it’s their first time to use a dynamic driver in an earphone.
Type: In ear (ear canal headphones)
- Drivers size: 6.5 mm
- Drivers Type: Dynamic driver
- Frequency Response: 20-18,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 97dB @ 1Khz 1mW
- Impedance: 21Ω
- Microphone sensitivity: NA
- Maximum Input: NA
- Weight: NA
- Connectors: 3.5mm gold plated 90 degree jack
- MSRP: 249$
Out of the box
I don’t think anyone can deny the joy in opening a nicely packed pair of earphones even though what matters most is the sound and functionality of your headphones. With that said the package is pretty impressive. When you first open the package you found the earphones in a separate transparent box.
After removing the earphone show box you find a black carry case that looks like a bullet proof case, I actually loved the case, it is very rigid and preserves the earphones safe and clean in your bag or pocket to carry around with you everywhere.
Inside the carry case you’ll find a 2 sets of ear tips, the first are made from silicon and the second are made from gel foam which is more comfortable and provide a better seal from exterior noise, each of the set includes five pairs of different sizes of tips in order to find your perfect fit and each is color coded.
Coming back to the earphones they come with bradded cellar reinforced cables, the cables have a 3 button remote control with a built in mic.
The Adv cables are made for outdoor use that’s why they have reflectors inside the fabric bradding that makes it visible in low light environment so you won’t get hit by a car while jogging. Also the cables are detachable which is a great feature that you hardly find with earphone so you can replace the cables if they damaged without the need to buy a new pair of earphones.
The Adv Alpha looks cool, the gray magnesium body coated with soft rubber at the bottom and the silver aluminum side plates are a very nice combination and make pretty cool looking earphone if you ask me, plus it serves the purpose of the outdoor looks. These earphones come in only one color option so far.
The bradded cables on the other hand are marvelous, and this is not my personal opinion only, cause I’ve noticed while using the Adv Alpha in public the cables draws the attention of a lot of people, many of my friends complemented on their looks when they first saw them.
with the ADV ALPHA sturdy design and build there is no doubt at all that these are one of the strongest earphones I’ve seen and magnesium unibody and the Kevlar reinforced cables are extremely light weight and rigid.
The IPX-3 water resistant rating is a great plus so you don’t have to worry about sweat and splashes of water ruining your earphones, but this does not mean the you can put them directly under water.
My only concern about them is; the coating on the ear pieces can get scratched a little bit during outdoor use. The water proof extremely strong carry case that comes with the ADV ALPHA is impressive, it feels like a it’s bullet proof.
I can’t complain at all about the fit of the Westone, since I always adored this shape of earphones and their fit, they have a similar fit to the Shure earphones, you can easily forget that you have the earphones in your ears.
I strongly believe that this design is the best fit for in ear headphones They stay fixed in your ears even while running and exercising with any movement, plus the magnesium body gives them a very light wight.
- Carry case
- 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
- 5 pairs of silicon ear tips
- 5 pairs of foam ear tips
- Wax cleaning tool
- User manual
These are noise isolation earphone and they do a really great job in that specially if your using the foam ear tips, so if you use them in a noisy environment and you wanna isolate your self, you’ll be impressed by the performance.
To be honest when I first had my hands on the Adv Alpha, I had very high expectation for the sound quality and clarity giving Westones reputation, history and my personal experience with their other earphones such as the W4r and the UM3.
I really expected more than what I got, don’t get me wrong the Adv Alpha sound great but I set the bar so high some times. Since this is Westone’s first time going in to this category of headphones, and also their first time using a Dynamic Driver (which is basically a miniature normal speaker driver) I believe they were able to deliver a brilliant product.
The sound is balanced, the bass is slightly overpowering but not in a disturbing way, and they do really improve drastically after a around 2 to 3 weeks of listening, normally you see that with full size headphones and not earphones but I think this is due to the Dynamic driver it need some breaking in.
I also noticed that they are slightly more power demanding than other pairs of earphones, that’s why you’d find a great improvement when pairing them with an amp, I normally listen to them paired with my Fiio E06.
Try listening to Mark knopfler’s: boom like that and enjoy the I was also impressed by Norah Jones : Don’t know why they really bring out her voice. He won’t go by Adele has very nice bass and Mids One of my favorite track while trying the Westones was My parties by Dire Straits, the sound stage and instrument separation were great.
They were also a joy while watching movies, I enjoyed every bit of the Great Gatsby sound tracks and the driving scenes.
So to sum up as mentioned above, I liked the sound of the Adv Alpha even though for my own taste I would’ve preferred if the sound had a little more definition, my problem is I’m comparing them to much higher grades of earphones such as the Shure se535 and Westones W4r, but that’s not fair for Adv Alpha.
Bass : The bass is their alright, you can feel the bass in them but my only take on it is: I expected it to be a little more precise, they a fair amount of bass but I prefer more detailed bass.
Mid-range : Vocals and Mids sound really good with the Westone, they are clear, warm and detailed. They do bring out the best of the Mids.
Treble: It’s a little overpowered by the bass and midrange but it’s still good and crisp, plus it’s soft on the ear incase you like to crank up the volume while listening (which I wouldn’t recommend with any headphone cause you’ll end up damaging your hearing)
Sound stage and instrument separation : They produce a very nice and wide soundstage if you choose the right ear tips for your ears, you’ll forget that you have the earphones on and feel like the music is coming from all around the room.
They have a fairly good instrument separation but as i mentioned earlier I would have preferred a more defined sound.
Pros & Cons
- Extremely strong magnesium body
- Nice clear vocals and Mids
- Detachable replaceable cables
- Great solid base
- Weather proof build
- Impact & waterproof carry case
- Sound quality could have been a little more defined
- The coating on the magnesium body isn’t scratch proof
If you consider your self and active & outdoor person and want a pair of earphones that can give you a great sound and withstand extensive use in hard conditions such as Gym or Beach, don’t hesitate while choosing the Westone Adv Alpha, I know they are a little pricey but I believe you will be getting your money’s worth.