Current testing methodology is v1.2
April 12, 2017
UM Pro 50
53 x 1 x 1 in
The UM Pro 50 brings a beautifully balanced and sound for Live or Audio Listening.
Everyone knows we love the Westone UM Pro 30 from the review we did, so it would make sense that we would like the Um Pro 50 even more, right? Well, to be honest, we weren’t sure at first so we decided to give them some time and see what it was that didn’t grab us initially. There are 2 versions of this unit. Westone UM Pro 50 version V1 and Westone UM Pro V2. The UM Pro V2 is the newest version.
It’s easy to say these IEMs are one of our favourites, and we have access to a lot of IEMs.
Just a wonderful full, honest and earthy sound. Almost a reference IEM for me.
Westone Audio’s proprietary balanced-armature drivers provide enhanced sonic detail and frequency range that extends well beyond other in-ear solutions.
- Frequency: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 45 ohms @ 1kHz
- Sensitivity: 115 dB @ 1mW sensitivity
- Drivers: 5 Balanced armature drivers with a 3-way crossover (passive)
- Cable Length: 50”/128cm
- Warranty: 2 Years
What’s in the Box?
- Cleaning Tool
- MMCX Twisted Cable
- 5 pairs fo Silicon eartips
- 5 pairs of foam eartips
- Hard Shell Case
Stuff I like
- Included items are great – mmcx cable, loads of tips and the case is excellent
- Lovely natural sound
- 5 x (tasty) BA Drivers
Stuff I like less
- Not cheap
Comparable products to consider
The Shure SE846 have only 4 x Shure Drivers but the sub bass is impressive. Personally while the Westone sound a little lighter and airy my ears enjoyed the lighter touch. The SE846 are a serious competitor and has a huge following. There is also a wireless version available.
Sennheiser were a little late to release a full consumer facing IEM range but the IE 900 is a solid release and worth considering. 5 stars on What HiFi and more
Ultimately these earphones have a very neutral, balanced soundscape. We were thinking for the step up in the series we would get personal music listening utopia. Then we realised what we expected is more the domain of the W50 and W60 when it comes to listening to our iPhone. So let us explain what did make us fall in love with the UM Pro 50, because we did fall in love with them.
1: UM Pro 50 Comfort
Like all IEM over the ear style in-ear monitors, it can take a little time to get used to how they sit best in your ear. Maybe this is just our issue as we review so many earphones from other companies like Shure etc. Once we found our best angle we forgot they were there.
Using the default, short, medium foam tips we found the seal to be perfect and there was never slant pressure on the ear. They also have a comfortable semi-firm mould on the over the ear part of the cable.
Westone UM Pro 50 Gallery
2: Sound Neutrality
We never got tired listening to the UM Pro 50s. They just served a full balanced sound song after song, album after album. We never felt fatigued or irritated by the presentation of the sound. No frequency became jarring or made us wince.
They were pleasant even after hours of listening.
Now to the normal review criteria. ….
The UM Pro 50 has a much bigger bass profile than the UM Pro 30. We wouldn’t say that necessarily means they go a lot deeper but there is more of it, it’s wider and more filled out.
For live use as a musician these will make you feel a little more a part of emotional band experience as opposed to feeling stuck in a tin can be mixed by a fold-back engineer while you’re performing – that is if you use 2 IEM’s in your ears at the same time on stage.
For personal music listening, these represented well. We played everything we could and some recordings felt well suited, although they didn’t let us down on anything. The bass is not inflated, this is typical of the whole UM Pro range but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Skrillex, Six 60, Kimbra, Avicii – Addicted to You (which has an opening kick drop that hits hard), it all sounds tight but doesn’t have the nightclub fatness you might want and would be better getting from the W50 or W60 from Westone.
This balanced firm bass makes the earphones enjoyable and natural. All the bass you need and nothing you don’t. You never get tired or feel abused wearing these. If you’re on your own working you can get all the richness with mid volumes, if you are commuting you might find you give one more touch on the volume button to help overcome the background noise.
Fabulous – neutral and clear, and a nice soundscape. Here again, Ed Sheeran’s X album felt so live we were almost there. Acoustic loveliness and vocal wonder. We loved them and you will too.
As regular readers will know we love mids that bring true Snare sounds through – these do that. We found most Snare and High Hat sounds to be true to life which we like a lot. They also don’t push the sharpness of the mids, e.g. a hard snare hit, too hard.
This means long term listening is comfortable.
High Notes (Treble)
We have a real love of high, crisp treble and often can be seen tweaking the EQ, or Parametric EQ to get more sssss ‘sibilance’ in the sounds.
The UM Pro 50 has a lovely high end but it’s not super over the top. The frequencies are balanced with the overall sound. This is another reason these things are so easy to wear all day long.
PRAT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing)
The Pro 30’s are well balanced in-ear monitors. Sometimes that means you can lose some ‘life’ in the music, something Shure do well with. Overall though we would recommend these to anyone as they are anyone’s earphones.
They have PRAT, it’s good and some music will make you feel it more than other music.
Emotional Quotient (EQ)
These will have you feeling the music. We haven’t cried yet or punched our fist to the sky but you will feel it where it gets you and that little grin will creep across your face.
Get a good seal with right foam tips and you’ll have no complaints about noise-isolation here. On a flight from Toronto to Vancouver these were so comfortable we didn’t bother swathing to our regular Bose QC15’s.
Didn’t feel the need and these were so easy to leave in after take-off.
Nice – solid housing, the cable is great and it comes with the Westone mini-monitor vault which is a very good place to store your expensive in-ear monitors
- These come with a full range of foam tips.
- An EPIC cable with moulded over the ear bits (make them more comfortable).
- Mini-monitor Vault.
- Cleaning Tool.
The cable is an MMCX Audio Cable so you can always swap this out for another cable if you prefer. See update below for Bluetooth cable options for these Westone Pro 50 and any other Westone or Shure units using MMCX connectors.
Westone UM Pro 50 Review Conclusion
Jay Z sounded superb. Hard rock was good and heavier music equally fun. Simon and Garfunkel sounded fresh, yet classic. Ed Sheeran’s X was a great listen as there was a lot of upfront vocal and acoustic guitar. Skrillex sounded tight and deep – not like you were travelling in a VW GTi with the back seat dedicated to a subwoofer, it’s was balanced. Radiohead – Feral makes the snare sound real and the bass blues along the bottom nicely.
We could go on and on.
Value for money? Yes – really well priced.
Also read: Best in-ear monitors Guide
Update – July 2019 – Bluetooth cable with MMCX connector
We’ve started to use these when running and have attached an affordable MMCX Bluetooth audio cable. There are a few options for this below that all have MMCX connectors so will fit the UM Pro 50 perfectly.
The benefit is great for connecting to our smartwatch when running so we don’t need to take our phone. They all have microphones and controls also.
- MEE Audio BTX2
- Shure RMCE-BT2 – this is the second generate cable for Shure. They have improved this from the first model which was fine, this is just better.
- Westone Bluetooth V2 Earphone & in-Ear Monitor Cable – like Shure, Westone launched a version one of this and improved it in version two. These are more expensive than the MEE BTX2 so sometimes the budget might dictate what you choose.
- BLON H2 – We tried the Blon H2 as an experiment and it’s still doing fine so we haven’t replaced it.
Westone UM Pro 50 FAQ
Westone Um Pro 50 vs Shure se846
In my opinion, I don’t think it’s correct to compare the Pro 50s to the SE846. The UM Pro 50 have 5 x BA drivers which is very different from the 4 dynamic drivers in the SE846. The SE846 have considerable sub-bass and in my experienced opinion suit music listening first, before live use. Don’t get me wrong – the SE846 are a seriously superb IEM, just different to the UM Pro 50. The SE846 are also considerably more expensive. (Side note – the addition of the Shure Bluetooth module is a good addition for the SE846 OR the UM Pro 50 as both have MMCX connectors).
The UM Pro 50 as we’ve noted, are lovely for music listening but are primarily focused on live use by musicians. There is enough bass to make you happy but when you are playing live you don’t want sub-smacking bass in your ears. For long sets, it starts to leave you feeling fatigued. The Westone W60 targets audiophile listeners more.
Interestingly I have noticed more people on live broadcasts using the Shure 846 on TV which they would also suit for good vocal representation.
In an ideal world – you’d own both.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2023-09-06 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.