Today, we review the $499 USD Westone Mach 30 In-Ear Monitors.
Disclaimer: KS Distribution sent us the Westone Mach 30 IEM for this review, free of charge. As always, I am here to share my real experience with the product.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 15 years, there’s no way you’re an audiophile who hasn’t heard of Westone. Westone Laboratories Inc. was founded in 1959 by Ron Morgan, Sr., in Colorado, USA. The company’s earpieces are used for hearing healthcare, recreation, industrial and military applications. Its core business is specialty earpieces for hearing healthcare (i.e., used in combination with hearing aids), but it also serves the professional musician and audiophile market. You can reach Westone Audio’s webpage via this link.
Shortly after I became interested in this hobby, I was introduced to Westone products. I had the opportunity to use IEMs like the UM30, W40, and W60, which were way ahead of their time. At that time, options were limited, the industry was not nearly as big as it is today, so there were not many options other than some monitors from big companies like Shure and Phonak.
We recently covered Westone Audio’s co-flagships, the Mach 70 and Mach 80. Today, we’ll take a look at the more affordable Mach 30, featuring three balanced armature drivers per side. Having used earphones like the UM30 and Westone W30 before, I’m excited about the Mach 30, so let’s see what Westone has improved.
Westone Mach 30
Westone Audio’s product range consists of 2 series. The Pro X series and the Mach series. The Pro X series is marketed as artist-oriented stage monitors, while the Mach series was developed with sound engineers and audiophiles in mind. As you may have noticed, the older UM and W series had more or less the same distinction. Speaking of the series, let’s share the meaning of the word “Mach.” A Mach number is the ratio of an object’s speed in a given medium to the speed of sound in that medium. It is often used with a numeral (such as Mach 1, Mach 2, etc.) to indicate the speed of sound, twice the speed of sound, etc. Westone’s Mach series includes eight different products in total, and the product names are in direct proportion to the number of drivers.
The Mach 30 features three balanced armature drivers on each side, housed in a very compact shell. 30’s configuration is as follows; single low, single mid, single high, and a passive, 3-way crossover. The retail price of Mach 30 is 499 USD/EUR/GBP.
Configuration: 3 BA + 3-Way Passive Crossover
Impedance: 91Ω @1kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz-18kHz
Sensitivity: 110dB @ 1kHz
Cable: Linum BaX Cable – T2 Connector – TRS L Plug (2-braid)
Packaging & Accessories
The Westone Mach 30 comes in a medium-sized, well-designed cardboard box. On the box, we see that the model name, Mach 30 is written in a sleek font and the box design is dominated by the color green. The back of the packaging is quite informative. We see a list of included accessories and product specs, in detail. On the front, we see a portrait of a vocalist and artwork of the earphones.
The accessories are more or less identical to the Westone Mach 70 and 80. It is appreciable that the same quality accessories are offered across the entire range, regardless of price. Westone has been using the same design of ear tips for more than 10 years. We get five pairs of foam tips and five pairs of silicone tips with similar shapes in 5 different sizes. I like this set of tips because they work quite well with a wide range of ear shapes. They are durable, comfortable and they insulate very well. You know the drill, if something is already great, don’t try to improve/change/fix it! I still have my W30’s silicone tips and after 9 years, they’re still in mint condition. Time-tested alright!
Apart from the tips, we get an impact-resistant Westone Mini-Monitor Vault hard case and the extremely light Linum BaX upgrade cable with T2 connectors. Additionally, an elegant 2-color carrying pouch, a microfiber cleaning cloth, a QR card, a Westone branded cleaning tool, and a cable tie are included within the packaging.
Let me include this paragraph from the 80’s review since they feature the same cable brand:
First of all, if you are not familiar with Estron-Linum, let me bring you up to date. Linum is a sub-brand of Estron company. Estron Linum cables are built and designed based on Estron’s more than 25 years of working with litz wires, connectors, and cable solutions for the Hearing Aid industry. The Linum brand has been designing cables for in-ear monitors since the year 2014. I first met Linum cables around 2015 and had the opportunity to try and experience Linum’s first cables, such as Linum Music and Linum BaX. I vividly remember the first time I picked up a Linum cable. Litz cables were much less common than today, at least in the audiophile industry. The upgrade cables in those years consisted of thick, multi-braid wires. Linum’s Music cable was one of the thinnest cables I’ve ever seen. I was fascinated by its form; it was more of a fishing string rather than an earphone cable. It was very thin, light, and elegant. Then, I immediately bought the BaX and SuperBaX cables and used them for many years. It is a pleasure to see their upgraded versions now available as default accessories.
Linum BaX is Estron’s best-selling cable and outperforms everything else on the market in terms of thinness, lightness, and durability.
The Bax is strong enough to withstand pull forces up to 60 N / 13lbs, so there is no possible way you can damage this cable by pulling. In addition, the cable is built to be extremely lightweight using specially selected materials. The total weight of the cable is around 5 grams, and it has a length of 127 cm. It features 90 degrees angled, gold-plated 3.5mm connector and gold-plated T2 connectors. The double-twisted cable consists of 84 strands of SPC litz wire.
The T2 connector is a waterproof (IP-67) and durable alternative to MMCX and 2-Pin connectors that is now considered the industry standard for stage monitors. As someone who has been using IEMs with MMCX and 2-Pin connectors for over ten years, I can say that both connectors have significant problems, and the T2 is a promising solution. Time will tell! You can read more about the Linum BaX through this link.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.
Page 1: Westone, Mach 30, Packaging & Accessories, Linum BaX
Page 2: Design, Build & Fit, Sound, Low, Mid, High, Technical Capability, Comparison, Last Words