The Westone UM1 earbuds are the Westone UM2's smaller brother. The main differences include the fact The UM1 have one driver, while the UM2 have two drivers. And that the Westone UM1 is about twice cheaper than the UM2. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the earbud is of a lower quality. Coming from Westone, quality is a given.
The UM1 has the standard frequency response of 40 Hz - 16 kHz. You'll hear the meanest bass and the clearest mids and highs. Impendence is also standard -25 ohms. Unlike the other high end Westone products, the UM1 has one balanced full range armature. This means that one driver produces all the sound. Nevertheless they still sound great.
The UM1 comes with a 50 inch cord. You have to loop the UM1s behind your head and around your ear. While this may be uncomfortable at first, you will get used to it. Like the UM2s UM1 has a braided cord. This is a double edged sword. The braided cord is light and flexible, yet lacks aesthetic value. Style wise the UM1 is very simple, as it is completely clear, except for the colored earbuds and the cord.
Originally the Westone UM1 came with Comfly tips, but now they have been replaced with Triple Flange tips. This is a good replacement as Triple Flange tips are more comfortable then the Comfly tips. As with all earbuds make sure you can get a good fit before you buy. However these earbuds, unlike the UM2 should fit everybody. These earbuds do not have two drivers and so are small.
Well, that should outline most of the hardware specifications of the Westone UM1, I will now share some of my personal experience with this earbud. The first thing that comes to mind when wearing the Westone UM1 is comfort. Unlike other brands, the UM1 do not irritate the ears after prolong use. After initial use, you become so used to them that you forget that they are even there. The noise isolation is amazing. I usually listen to earbuds with my iPod volume on at 30%, with the Westone UM1s I can drop it to 15%.
When compared the UM1 to the UM2, the UM2 sounded better. But not good enough to justify their $200 price tag. In fact the UM1 sound very close to the Westone UM2. The main difference is that the UM2 has slightly better bass. This is because the UM2 has a driver dedicated just to bass. However this difference is slight and unless you heard other high end earbuds, is unnoticeable. The Westone UM1 earbuds sound very clear, and I believe their best aspect is their warm sounding midrange.
The Westone UM1 can be considered an entry level high end earbud. You get great quality sound for a decent price. The sound is not far from the UM2. And the price tag is acceptable to many. If you are looking to replace your default iPod earbuds and do not want to waste your time with other junk on the market, these are the earbuds to choose.