W50 vs W60

By Victor Teixeira

When I listened to the W60 for the first time, I was blown away by how good it was. The fact that it actually challenged my Shure SE846 favoritism is no small accomplishment. But now we have the W60’s little brother, the W50. And by little, I mean it lacks one driver (five as opposed to six). So when I tried the W50, I was equally blown away by its sound. I thought “How was the W60 I listened to a while back that much better than this?” Well, after I listened to the W60 again, I thought “Well this is clearly better… in some ways.” Let me clarify.

(Please note that the W60 and W50 both come with the "W" straight cables. On this pic I took I replaced the cable on the W60 with the "UM" cable version (it has that arch that rests behind the ear) but this cable in particular is not included. All "W" series earphones come with 2 cables included: the "W" Twisted cable shown here on the W50 (charcoal faceplates) and the MFI iPhone Mic cable (not shown) with music control.)

When the W60 and W50 are being faced with music with many intricate noises, sounds, and instruments like classical or orchestrated pieces, the W60 takes the cake. It does a better job at defining individual instruments than the W50. It also, in general, has a tendency to handle songs with warmer sound profiles, like soft rock and R&B more enjoyably. However, the same cannot be said for electronic music. In which case, I couldn’t hear a distinct difference between the two. At least, not in the music itself. If you’re talking about vocals, the W60 is still sharper and more crisp regardless of genre. One genre that did stick out as definitively better in the W60 is rock. The guitars and vocals were way cleaner and sounded like they were of much higher quality.

So is the price difference really justifiable? It completely depends on your music taste. If you mainly listen to electronic, EDM or music with heavy uses of synthesized sounds and instruments, I’d just stick to the W50. But if you’re a bigger fan of rock, soft rock, R&B and classical music, the W60 will be the much better choice.