For a limited time, Westone UM2/UM2 RC (removable cable) and Westone 2 / 3 IEMs will come packaged with a free Westone E6 by FiiO (similar specs to E5, but in a lighter, smaller package with options for gain control (through EQ)- low gain for IEMs and high gain for headphones with higher impedance) …will add my impression of the Westone E6 headphone amp in a couple of days.
This is a great chance to upgrade your earphones and get into portable headphone amps. Although majority of IEMs do not necessarily require a headphone amp, it will improve upon an IEMs’ sound level, bring out the details, gain body or punchier bass, and make the overall music sound smoother and less raw. And if you already own a pair of headphones with high impedance (the amp can handle headset impedance: 16Ω~300Ω), you can pair it with this amp for an ultra portable rig.
You can visit HEADFONEshop and test out the IEMs with Westone E6 headphone amp or purchase the below products online at www.headfoneshop.com/eshop.
- Westone IEMs with Westone E6 Headphone Amp by FiiO
Westone E6 Headphone Amp by FiiO mini Review:
IEMs used: Westone 2, 3, and UM2
Headphones used: Sennheiser HD 598 and AKG K272 HD
The Westone E6 has 4 different settings. Neutral (no light), Extra Bass (red, made the SQ sound artificial and muddy), and what seems like high gain (blue) and low gain (purple). Through out my testing I preferred the blue light setting. With this setting I was able to get a tighter, full bodied bass. With super low bass frequencies, distortions were less apparent. The mids sounded smoother and less raw and the songs gained a bit more detail in the highs. With the different IEMs used, the E6 accentuated the particular IEM’s pluses. For example, Westone 3’s bass (especially the low low bass) was even more prevalent with the amp. And the UM2’s overall balanced low/mid/highs were highlighted. With the Westone 2, the bass became tighter, and slightly more emphasized.
- Westone E6 Headphone Amp, Westoe 3, and Nano
Paired with headphones the E6 will gain you the extra oomph in power to drive them with at a higher volume level (higher the ohm level, the more useful E6 becomes). I noticed a more prominent bass response with the AKG K272 HD and a fuller tighter bass with Sennheiser HD 598.
With the E6 you’ll hear a slight hissing noise in the background if you have the amp plugged in, the volume high and no song playing. But you won’t notice any hissing when you’re listening to music or if you have the amp volume on 40–50% (about 10 clicks on the digital rocker) and control the mp3 player’s volume level.
- Westone E6 clipped front
Overall, the Westone E6 will improve your IEMs/headphones’ sound quality just enough for you to want to use the amp whenever you can. And with the diminutive size you can carry it with you wherever you go.
The Bad: Add another device that’s a finger print magnet as the lacquered black finish just loves finger oil.
Note: A fully charged battery should get you around 10 hours. I’ll add a definite battery usage after I test it out for a week. You can utilize the E6 with your laptop to improve it’s sound quality as well.
- Westone E6 clipped back
Update (Aug 31st): After having used the Westone E6 for the last week I can say that it’s definitely worth using this device for any IEM. I’ve been using the E6 with Ortofon e-Q5 and I’m really enjoying the e-Q5 for it’s great detail, accuracy, and clarity. While the E6 helps boost the e-Q5’s slightly lacking bass to a level that’s just enough (even at E6’s blue setting). I think the two are a great pairing. (battery avg. about 3 days of usage <8-10h>, powered off when not in use)
- ALO cable and Orotofon e-Q5 connected to nano
CAUTION: The 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable that came with the E6 is now non functioning. I’m losing sound in my right channel. When I first plugged in the jack I noticed that the jack was freely swinging around when the amp wasn’t clipped to my pocket (or the clip accidentally became lose as I was moving around). I also found the supplied cable length to be a bit awkward, not quite short or long enough. Either the cable is of very cheap construct or I wasn’t careful enough. I’m now using ALO’s 30pin to 3.5mm LOD cable and I have to say the Wesston E6 looks and sounds better (the cable is about 4 times the price of the amp). Plus you only have to worry about controlling the volume level on your amp.
Westone E6 Review:
(by Emerson) / IEMs use: UM3X RC
… once the amplifier is plugged in with my iphone and UM3X RC earphones the sound quality is enhanced slightly. Lows go lower and the highs seems crisper, mids are roughly the same. The overall sound signature seems to have better depth as well.
The battery life on the amplifier is pretty decent, can probably get through two days of normal usage (around 4–5 hours per day). The equalizer settings are rather vague (since I can’t find a menu/manual to tell me what each of the colours for the EQ settings mean) but in general the Red is a bass booster, Blue is probably a treble booster and purple is a combination of the two. There is also a setting where the EQ enhancements seems to be turned off (colourless) as well..
Besides that I think there is not much to say about the amplifier. It provides pretty decent enhancements to any headphone that I use. I also use it to enhance the sound output from my laptop to my 2.1 speaker set at home as well. It provided more substantial sound enhancements than when paired with the Westones… It is a nice little add on to the earphones!