Westone’s New W80 Flagship – RMAF 2016

img_5758

Westone really set the mood for solid tonal structure when it won Tyll’s (of Innerfidelity) massive custom IEM shootout a few years ago. The flagship at the time didn’t have the most drivers, it wasn’t even the priciest piece on the chopping block, but it did provide an interesting counterpoint to the driver cold wars that were raging at the time.

ah-620-x-120-rmaf16-69_edited-1

Now at this year’s RMAF, Westone has finally unveiled a new top dog that still manages to keep nearly the same form factor as the rest of the W line (for its universal fit version). The updated driver set includes a grouping of 8 per ear, which is still somewhat modest in terms of audiophile flagships. But more divers don’t necessarily equate to better sound. Several excellent entries from companies across the board have whittled the count down to a mere 3 per ear, pursuing alternate internal bracing, structure and sophisticated crossover networks instead to push superior sound quality forward.

rmaf-westone-4

The two designers for the W80 are Karl and Kris Cartwright and yes, they are twins, but no, they cannot feel each other’s pain – trust me, I asked. They do however share a very interesting chemistry and enthusiasm for the hobby which is almost infectious when talking to them about the company’s new products. They both wanted to up the game with the W80, in terms that included a consumers listening and buying experience. The packaging has been revamped and included accessories appear well-constructed and thought out to adhere to the needs of an audiophile on the move. In addition to the small form factor, color plates can be swapped out for a touch of personal flair and the cable is removable via the MMCX connection. This also allows for an easy connection to Weston’s bluetooth cable which we covered [at the Newport last year]. The new W80 does include a very nice upscale audiophile cable from ALO out of the box, as well as a full menu of tip options to get the fit right against any ear. The new 8 driver flagship carries a pricetag of $1,499.  You can check out even more details about the new IEM from the brothers Westone our video coverage below.

More info: https://www.westone.com/store/music/index.php/

W80 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M6W1XVL/