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Westone Adventure Series ADV Alpha In-Ear Headphone Preview

Westone Adventure Series ADV Alpha In-Ear Headphone

Westone Adventure Series ADV Alpha In-Ear Headphone


  • Product Name: ADV ALPHA
  • Manufacturer: Westone
  • Review Date: June 06, 2013 09:00
  • MSRP: $199.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

ADV Alpha In-Ear Headphones Specifications

  • ACTIVE FIT SYSTEM - Up & OverTM cable routing and patented Star TipTM ensure superior fit, comfort, and retention
  • AUDIOPHILE FIDELITY - Proprietary Extended Range 6.5mm Micro Driver with PSTTM (Precision Surface Tuning). Delivers sonic accuracy with extended bass
  • IPX-3 WEATHER RESISTANT - Protection against spraying water and adverse conditions. Perfect for every- day use, rain or shine
  • MAGNESIUM UNIBODY - Low-profile lightweight magnesium unibody and aluminum faceplate for strength, durability and style.
  • AWACS REFLECTIVE - Adventure Warning and Control System: better visibility in low-light and adverse conditions with a reflective, replaceable cable featuring 3-button control system

westone_detachedWe weren't familiar with the Westone brand when we received information about their new Adventure Series ALPHA in-ear headphones. But a quick search opened our eyes. Founded in 1959, Westone has been making high performance earphones for musicians, and others, for over 50 years. They produce in-ear hearing protection for the military, assistive listening devices for the hard of hearing, and lots more. For the public, they've put out a line of in-ear monitors that starts at $129 and tops out with a four driver (we don't even know how you do that with an in-ear monitor) pair for just under $500.

Yes, they are serious about headphones.

Their newest offering is the Adventure Series ADV ALPHA. Their other line of headphones are numbered (the Westone 1's have a single driver, the top-of-the-line 4's have four drivers) so we expect to see a "BETA" and more to follow soon. First, a bit about the Adventure Series. Like everyone else, Westone has discovered that people like to use their headphones when they exercise. What they don't like, especially if they dropped a stack of cash on a set of headphones, is to worry if a little sweat will render them useless. The Adventure Series is designed to not only meet the sonic needs of Westone's consumers, but to be used in "all environments".

"All" is a pretty bold statement.

The Adventure Series headphones sport IPX-3 water resistance. This protects from "Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical at 10 liters/min at a pressure of 80-100kN/m2 for 5 min" (source). This is quite a few ratings away from an IPX-7 Water resistance rating of "Protected against water immersion." It will be more than enough to protect from sweat and likely rain. Just don't swim with them. The Adventure Series also have a magnesium uni-body construction, which should make them very light. There is an aluminum faceplate for increased strength and durability. Together, we are looking at a series of headphones that truly should be usable in most activities.


The first in the Adventure Series line is the ADV Alphas. They have an active fit system, which incorporates an over-the-ear hook to keep the headphones in place. One unique feature of the Alphas is that the cord is removable from each in-ear monitor. We'd have thought that the connection point would make for too much additional weight for the convenience, but with the magnesium body and the ear hook, perhaps it is a non-issue.

For those with iDevices, the Alphas sport in-line controls and mic for controlling your music and answering calls. The three-button control unit features Westone's "Adventure Warning and Control System". The control system isn't anything special, but the "Adventure Warning" equates to a reflective cable. This is actually a really good idea for those runners and cyclists that tend to start early or end late. The Alphas also have a proprietary 6.5mm driver with PST (Precision Surface Tuning) for an extended frequency response. Westone promises extended bass with the proprietary drivers, hopefully they just don't go as far as a pair of Beats headphones. Included in the box is their STAR silicone tips, True-Fit foam tips, a wax removal tool, and a special weather resistant rigid travel case.



Focusing on how people actually use their headphones, Westone's Alphas look to be a very good offering. Building on over 50 years of earphone history, Westone has tailored the Alphas for the active user. Featuring a light, magnesium body, over-ear hook design,  in-line controls and mic, and a reflective cable, these are headphones that will not only sound good, but stay in place and keep you safe. With IPX-3 water resistance, you don't have to worry about your daily exercise damaging them. Add in a rigid travel case, tons of different tips, and a removable cord, and you've got something that is sure to have users interested. At $200, these aren't cheap headphones, but with the included technology, they shouldn't be.

For more information, please visit www.westone.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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