Home IEM Reviews Westone Pro X10 Review: How Do These Even Exist?

Westone Pro X10 Review: How Do These Even Exist?

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

  • Disclaimer: These are my opinions. They may differ from yours. Try not to freak out about it. Just kick back and have a laugh or two, would you? I had only a set amount of time I could talk about these earbuds before getting really mad, so just enjoy the ride.


Where do I even begin?

You know you’re getting old when literally nothing impresses you anymore.

Such is the case with audio gear, but I love music, and that will never change.

So here we are, reviewing more audio.

I need to provide some context, so bear with me. This is important.

Lately, well all my life really, I’ve been exposed to horrifically bad sound.

When I was younger, it didn’t matter much as it was all we had. Playing DMX’s “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood” in 1998 with a Discman and a $5 set of Sony headphones never felt so good. I also probably shouldn’t have been listening to it, but that’s neither here nor there. xD

But you know the headphones I’m talking about, don’t you, Brett?

They were the ones that came with those foam pads that ripped if you so much as farted in the wrong direction.

These weren’t the exact pair, but they’re my dads and reminded me of my old ones from back in the day.

The sound was equally as horrendous, and let’s be honest: not a lot has changed in consumer headphones even today as I write this.

Sure, there are exceptions and outliers, but by and large, most run-of-the-mill mass-produced products are abysmally tuned and have horrible resolution.

And until the narrative shifts and companies get the message, nothing is going to change and most people will still believe the cheap trash they buy online is as good as it gets.

Lately, I’ve been fighting back (as futile as it may be) against the status quo of “Well since they keep buying it, we’ll keep making it”. It seems like every headphone sent to me suffers from the same exact stupid issue that drives me up the wall.

Being a producer of hip-hop specifically, I understand how the low end (both bass and kicks) are supposed to be tuned, and time after time after time, companies completely f it up and then look the other way as if nothing happened. 

Westone Pro X10 Review

And don’t even argue with me on this; you know I’m right.

We’ve seen it countless times, from the Sony WH 1000 stupid mc dumbface series that just won’t die, to Meze’s 99 Neo bass cannons from hell, to OneOdio’s A10 which will destroy your ears eventually, to the HarmonicDyne Black Hole, [Of Never Ending Bass] (aptly named), should I go on? I’ve lost count of just how many headphones have horrible bass response. It’s almost every single one.

See, what basically happens is that when you’re listening to music, it feels like you’re drowning in a sea of chocolate pudding.


For whatever reason, companies LOOOOOOOOVE to boost that mid-bass up as high as Neptune, which, as it turns out, completely obliterates the rest of the sound signature into apocalyptic oblivion.

This grates my nerves to no end, but guess what? The Westone Pro X10?

These earbuds overcompensate for that issue by making it sound like you’re listening to music inside of a rusty tin can in the middle of the Capital Wasteland. Just add Abraxo cleaner.

In other words, music sounds like it’s coming from an FM radio in 1950; only worse.

I tried all genres just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, but let me assure you, it didn’t take long.

I’m a firm believer, and I’ve said this in many articles, that your first impression of a headphone or IEM is likely the correct one, so trust yourself and,


Now available worldwide.

Whoops wrong picture.

Westone Pro X10 Review

There. That’s a little edgier.

Here’s the best analogy I could come up with:

Have you ever heard the song “Have a Cigar” by Pink Floyd? Well, there’s a moment at the end where they apply this neat vacuum effect thingie ma bob and it sounds like everything is getting sucked into a vortex into what is perhaps an alternate dimension.

The resulting instrumentation now sounds distant, scooped out, dry, lifeless, almost completely void of, well, anything. It is the void, but it’s done purposefully for an interesting and engaging effect. 

Now just imagine the Pro X10 sounds like that ALL the time, and you’ll start to understand why I’m so angry.

I’m honestly petrified to search out reviews for these because if I see one person saying they sound good I’m libel to flip a table.

They most certainly do not sound good. This is not a matter of, “LoL sOuNd iZ sUbJeCtIvE.”

They objectively sound horrific. Narrow, claustrophobic, distant, scratchy, boxy, insert word salad here __________. I listened to them out of the FiiO K11, Zen DAC 3, Universal Audio Volt 2, and FiiO K7, but didn’t have to go much farther.

It’s one of those things where you keep pushing the plug into the DAC to make sure it’s all the way in even though it’s been all the way in the whole time and will continue to be all the way in because being all the way in is not the issue here, dude.

How on earth did these ever pass QC? In “Bonzai”, Action Bronson sounds like he’s rapping through a really weak megaphone.

Westone provides you with 12 count ’em 12 sets of tips (!), and they’re all dreadful. In addition to that, they don’t retain their shape very well.

Westone Pro X10 Review

They’re decently comfortable, and yes, I got the fit right and made sure they were in all the way. They wrap around your ears and rotate backward per the manual.

Trust me, I double-checked everything to make sure since I had a hard time believing something could sound so deplorable. Instead of having way too much bass (as in the case of the other stuff we talked about), there’s none. Zilch. Nada.

If all those other bass responses look like some variation of a giant ant hill on a frequency response graph, Westone simply decided that bass doesn’t actually exist; it’s just a figment of your imagination. So they tuned a headphone with only mid-range and treble.

I wish I were kidding. Yes, they’re really efficient, but even raising the volume a tiny bit results in pretty horrible resonance and a sound that will make you cringe.

In addition to that, the overall sound is papery, thin, and artificial, with horrible timbre and a fake, hollowed-out quality that’s hard to believe. They’re marketed towards musicians (and I presume producers such as myself), but there’s no way I’d ever in a million years use them for mixing.

This is not a matter of, yeah the mids so and so sound like this, rise here and then dip there, treble is blah blah blah. No.

This is a matter of, everything sounds like it’s coming out of some $5 speakers you’d find at a thrift store.

Imaging & Resolution

Westone Pro X10 Review

As much as I took a huge sloppy dump all over them just now, it’s not all bad.

They have pretty good imaging and separation, and interestingly enough, because the bass is out of the way, the resolution is a lot better than all that trash we talked about earlier.


Who would have thought getting the bass out of the way would help with resolution?

Let’s be clear: having no bass is an unforgivable sin, but I’m just illustrating a point.

Yes, the detail is there. That’s not the issue here dude.

The Chinaman is not the issue either.

This is about drawing a line in the sand, dude.

The resolution could be damn near incredible, but if all that’s being resolved is utter crap, well…

It still sounds like crap.

Westone Pro X10 Review

*Quote and Italicized = company speak

Balanced armature driver?

“Proprietary design produces the most accurate and detailed sound in the world.”


Not even close. This is IEM #2 I’ve tried (Hidizs MD4) with a balanced armature driver that sounds like crap.

Acoustic Symmetry?

“Left and right earpiece responses are matched to a +/- 3dB tolerance.”

Cool, the drivers match. This just means I get to hear this poopy sound in all its glory.

Ergonomic Technology?

“Low Profile and comfortable design allows all-day use with no ear fatigue.”

Yeah, comfort isn’t bad.

Estron T2 Connector?

“Elevates sound quality, minimizes interference, and reduces cable noise.”

OK, if you say so. I’m about done caring.

Final Verdict

Westone Pro X10 Review

Overall, the Westone X10 Pro is an earbud that suffers from everything we just discussed + there’s no life to them. Tinny, boxy, hollow, distant, soulless, and/or overly resonant, however, you want to describe it, it’s there.

Before I really get carried away and write a novel on how bad these are, I’ll just say this: if you’re looking for a good IEM at a good price, check out the Tin Audio T2. It sounds excellent and provides terrific overall price to performance.

Learn More:


If you want a headphone that’s actually neutral, the K702 is perhaps the best example of that in mid-fi, in my opinion.

Now listen to John Coltrane Equinox with them. That’s what the experience is supposed to feel like.

Remember: we want to hearrrrr the bass line; not have it punch our ears with cinderblocks – or in the case of the Westone Pro X10, be completely missing like Waldo.

In any event, stay away from these unless you want to develop a deep hatred for music.

For those still reading, here are my impressions of all the provided ear tips:

  • Stock tips: Awful.
  • Orange Flimsier Tips: A bit better, but still pretty bad.
  • Orange Thicc spongy tips: Bad, congested, muddy. Still thin in the mids/treble.
  • Blue Thicc longer spongy tips: decent but not saying much.
  • Neon Green small spongy tips: Awful.
  • Small Black spongy tips: Wow, I can actually hear a kick drum. Still not saying much. F-.
  • Red Flimsier Tips: Same as Orange Flimsy from above. The flimsier ones seem a tad better but it’s still horrible.
  • Neon Green small flimsy tips: LOL. 
  • Blue Flimsier tips: Meh.
  • Red Spongy Tips: Muddy and bad.

Tech Specs

  • Sensitivity: 114dB @ 1mW
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 16kHz
  • Impedance: 19 Ohms
  • Driver: Single Balanced Armature, Full Range

In The Box

Westone Pro X10 Review

Westone Pro X10 Review

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