[Editors’ Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews – only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we’ve seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
Westone’s UM2 is the high-end offering in its Universal Series in-canal earphone line, featuring twin audio drivers inside transparent housings similar to the lower-end UM1s. As with the UM1s, black cables run to an oversized headphone plug that connects to any iPod; a zippered carrying case and four total pairs of neutral gray ear foams are included across several different sizes. Westone also sells UM56 Custom-Fit Earmolds designed to provide superior isolation and comfort.
Simply put, as of the date of review, the UM2s are amongst the strongest double-driver earphones we’ve heard – a sonic rival to Ultimate Ears’ super.fi 5 Pros, but with a slightly different sound signature that’s a little warmer at the expense of treble detail, a balance many people will like. The bigger difference is their fit: the UM2s are decidedly more comfortable thanks to an ear-hugging shape, braided cabling, and smooth, rather than rough-edged roam inserts. But they’re also more expensive, and currently not discounted, the biggest offsets to an otherwise ear-pleasing design.
Company and Price