Sound quality is one of the primary factors buyers consider before purchasing earphones. With excellent sound quality, it’s a given that overall the product can offer you the music experience you want.
You have surely bought earphones that did not offer even a bit of quality audio experience, and it can be frustrating. In this review, we compare Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846, two earphone models which offer superior sound quality.
Furthermore, we will help you with your buying decision by discussing specification details you have to familiarize yourself with.
Learn the features of each model and pick the one that is a perfect match for your audio device.
Choosing the Right Earphones for a Greater Music Experience
Before looking into the specifications that’ll match your taste, it is important that you have decided on the type of earphone you prefer. In-ear earphones are the ones that you place into your ear canal, sealing your ears.
On-ear earphones either enclose your ears or are pressed on your ears. Both types of earphones come with wireless options.
After which, it is best to be familiar with the specifications that you need to consider buying a pair.
Here are the things you need to pay close attention to when choosing the right earphones:
- Acoustic system. This is the earphone design. An open acoustic system allows people around you to also hear what you are listening to. A closed one constricts the sound only to your ears.
- Noise cancellation. Earphones with noise cancellation capabilities do not block outside noise but cancel noise it picks up from outside while the sound is playing.
- Impedance. This is the circuit resistance of the earphones to an electric signal. The lesser the impedance (25 ohms and below), the more electric signals can get through and more sound level delivered.
- Sensitivity. This refers to the amount of sound in decibels (dB) produced by the earphone for every milliwatt of electrical sound. You will get a higher sound with a high sensitivity range of between 80 and 110 dB.
- Frequency response. This is the frequency range covered by the earphone. An earphone with a frequency of 4–24,000 Hz has a larger frequency range than one with 15–24,000 Hz.
- Voice coil. This wire is located inside the earphones and is often made from copper. Copper wires clad in aluminum can be used for long hours and deliver sound with high sensitivity.
- Diaphragm. This is found inside the earphones and is responsible for producing sound. Diaphragms can be in cone, horn, or dome shapes.
- Drivers. The sound quality delivered by balanced armature drivers depends on the frequency range of the earphones. Crossovers divide sound signals into frequency bands so they can send multiple frequency bands to every driver. Most earphones come with four or five drivers.
- Wireless technology. While wired earphones are still very much around, the various wireless technologies found in earphones are preferred by many audiophiles and musical artists.
These wireless technologies include Bluetooth® and Near-Field Communication (NFC) to pair with similarly enabled devices, Radio Frequency (RF) which works with a larger distance than Bluetooth®, and Infrared which is also an option but is only for earphones used in home theaters.
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Westone UM PRO 5
Superior sound quality is exactly what you will get from the Westone UM Pro 50. This pair of earphones features a distinct sound and enhanced frequency range. It is equipped with a combination of a three-way crossover and five balanced armature drivers.
- Five balanced armature drivers with three-way crossover for better bass and better signal control to ensure a smooth and clear sound without any distortion
- Deep and refined low end combined with precise mids and smooth high end to meet the demands of professional musicians and audiophiles
- MMCX audio cable made from highly durable and resistant tensile wire in a twisted design for minimal cable noise, comfort, and flexibility
- True-Fit™ technology which keeps the in-ear application lightweight for maximum comfort even with extended use
- Memory foam and silicone ear tips for enhanced IEM performance for perfect fit and excellent noise isolation
- Deep and refined bass
- Tangle-free twisted cable design
- Includes five memory foam tips and five silicone dome tips
- Transparent earbud bodies
- Comes with a durable plastic monitor vault
- Does not include an adapter
- No volume control
If you are a hardcore audiophile for acoustic and classical music, the Westone UM PRO 5 is an ideal match.
This pair of earphones could also be a good option if, other than acoustic and classical music, you occasionally listen to pop, jazz, rock, hip-hop, and rock music.
The Westone UM PRO 5 is equipped with most of the best features of all Westone earphones to come up with a superior sound performance for professional or personal use.
The Shure SE846 comes in an oval-shaped bubble-like housing. It is equipped with three pairs of superb-sounding filters each contributing to the difference in overall sound. This allows you to customize sound based on your preference.
This earphone is a universal IEM with one of the best fits making it extremely comfortable even for long hours of use.
- Four high-definition balanced armature drivers with a subwoofer to deliver unmatched low-end sound rendering and high-end clear sound quality all blending well with each other
- Clear acrylic housing to expose electronic details
- Low-pass filter for superior bass performance
- Silver-plated Kevlar copper cables (45 inches and 60 inches)
- Crisp and clean white filter allowing the treble to deliver good vocals and cymbals as well as numerous textures and cues
- Three-way system layout for exclusive high-, mid-, and low-frequency distribution
- Clean and excellent soundstage offering a superior distinction between instruments
- Set of three including a pair of earphones, adapter cable for phone, and remote mic
- With volume control
- Superior sound with a great fit
- Excellent bass levels
- Includes three pairs of alternative filters
- Overpriced as per buyer reviews
The Shure SE846 is an excellent universal IEM.
Many users say no other earphones or even headphones can come close to offering a surefire life-like performance the way the Shure SE846 does. The credit should go to its superb bass.
Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846: Direct Comparison
Before comparing Westone UM Pro 50 with Shure SE846, you first have to know that the UM PRO 50 was designed for stage and studio monitoring, while the SHURE SE846 was designed for performance monitoring and personal listening.
Here is a direct comparison of Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846 earphones:
- Balanced Armature Drivers: The Westone UM Pro 50 features five balanced armature drivers delivering clear and crisp sound performance within a wide range of frequency.The Shure SE846 features four HD balanced armature drivers for accurate and spacious sound complimented by a deep bass.
- Bass and Vocals: The Westone UM Pro 50 has a good bass level, but the Shure SE846 has better and is considered by many as the leader of the bass. Though the Westone UM Pro 50 is inferior to the Shure SE846 when it comes to bass, it compensates by offering the best vocals.Generally, the sound profile of the Westone UM Pro 50 is much better, excelling in every frequency and with nothing coming close to its vocals. The lows and mids however of the Shure SE846 are stronger.
- Sound Quality: Both sounds of Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846 are delivered differently. Listening through the Westone UM Pro 50 is like listening to music in a concert hall where the sound is coming from all directions of the earphones. With the Shure SE846, the sound is more compact or enclosed providing a studio-recorded feel.This makes the sound more refined and crispier.If sound quality is your main basis in choosing between Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846, consider these: If you are more inclined to acoustic, warm, and orchestra music, the Westone UM Pro 50 is the right fit. If you are after a good overall bass and crispier sound, you will be fine with the Shure SE846.
- Build and Comfort: Comparing Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846 in terms of build and comfort, the Westone UM Pro 50 is easier to handle and settles on your ear faster.
It is more comfortable even if both come with silicone and foam tips. The Shure SE846 is also comfortable but takes a little more time to fit in your ears.
While both the Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846 feature see-through top-quality plastic casings to show the beautiful and detailed components inside, the Shure SE846 comes with a more appealing look.
The plastic casing of the Westone Um Pro 50 does not look that durable and is not exactly see-through.
The Shure SE846 is heavier (1.3 ounces) than the Westone Um Pro 50 (0.445 ounces) even if the Um Pro 50 comes with more drivers. Both the Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846 though come with removable cables.
Though the Shure SE846 is sturdier, the Weston UM Pro 50 provides better sound quality. Additionally, the Weston UM Pro 50 provides better separation and detail. Overall, the Weston UM Pro 50 provides a more enjoyable sound.
A Must Read’ Related Product Review: Westone UM Pro 10 vs. Shure SE215: 2018 Buyer’s Guide and Facts
The Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846 are both superb earphones. The choice between which earphones to purchase depends on the type of music you prefer.
While Westone UM Pro 50 is recommended for its better sound quality, it does not make Shure SE846 inferior because they each feature distinct sound profiles.
For Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846 earphones, you need to know exactly what you need so you can choose the one that suits your liking.
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Westone UM Pro 50 vs. Shure SE846: Which Provides Better Sound?
To decide on which between Westone UM Pro 50 and Shure SE846 produces the best sound, look into and analyze the components of each.