By Nicole Trein

Besides both having 3 drivers and being made from the same manufacturer, the W3 and UM3XRC are very unique earphones.

They both fit great although I found the UM3XRC to be a bit tighter so it stayed in place better. Each one has a distinct sound signature and although they both have great detail and quality overall their high points are stressed in different ways. Whereas the sound of the Westone W3 is thinner, the sound from the UM3X feels more expanded. It is all encompassing and the W3 is less so. Since the sound is thinner in the W3 it is a bit brighter than the UM3X.

The UM3X places more emphasis on the beat which is often carried out by bass drums or a repetitive bass guitar line so the bass is more accentuated and has more impact than on the W3. The W3 is very balanced between lows, mids, and highs and has great detail. You get this detail on the Westone UM3XRC but it is heavier.

They are both good for prolonged use because not only is the fit comfortable but the music doesn’t become overbearing.

The biggest difference that I realized between these two is that the W3 is precise, HQ, and clean cut whereas the UM3X is more natural and raw. Both share amazing quality so it really just depends on your style. I like the live stadium sound even if at times something sounds cloudy because that is how it sounds live.

Overall, considering my obsession with listening to covers, live and acoustic performances, I would choose the UM3X over the W3. Nonetheless, it is all a matter of personal music preference when it comes to these outstanding in-ear monitors.