The Westone 2, though just as refined as the Trio, has a different character than the Trio. The Westone 2 sounds like a Westone 3 with reduced treble and bass levels. A baby Westone 3 fits the description pretty well. It seems that the Westone engineers tried to fix the complaints that people had over the Westone 3: treble that’s may sound bright and sibilant on some songs, and the midbass hump. What’s left is a very midrange oriented frequency balance that sounds very relaxed and unoffensive. In a way, I do think that the correction takes the soul out of the Westone 2. It’s more neutral and has less fault than the Westone 3, but it takes the liveliness out of the music.
The Westone 2 is the warmest sounding IEM in the group, and it has the sweetest and smoothest midrange in the group. That sounds like a good recipe for vocal lovers, but in my opinion, it’s a bit too polarized to the warm and midrange orientation, and it’s missing the treble presence that I hear on the other dual drivers, as well as on the Westone 3. Too much attenuation on the treble perhaps? I personally don’t think that the treble on the Westone 3 is problematic, and so the decision to tune down the treble may be a conscious decision to avoid a bright sound (although the Westone 3 is definitely not bright). The treble is still there on the Westone 2, but just less pronounced.
On recordings that tend to sound bright, like the Oasis, the Westone 2 does sound less offensive in the treble compared to the Westone 3. However, the energy and the liveliness doesn’t come out, and the Westone 3 still comes out as the better performer. The other dual drivers like the UE700, SuperFi 5 Pro, and the a-Jays is able to pull this off much better than the Westone 2. They can maintain a safe treble levels while still translating the PRaT and energy of the music very well.
On the bass area, the Westone 2 is pretty solid. It has a full low end body that continues to the midrange. Bass punch is fairly deep and punchy, and among the best in the dual drivers, just lower than the SuperFi 5 Pro and the JH5Pro.
When talking about the upper midrange, where the vocals are, the Westone 2 has a good presence and it’s quite forward in that area, without sounding hot (Remember, this is the upper midrange, no the treble). Compared to the q-Jays and the DBA-02, the Westone 2 is more forward and vocals will sound more intimate in the Westone 2. However, when you start to feed faster and more complex music, the forward upper midrange gets in the way of the other instruments, and as a result the articulation is not very good for complex music. This again limits the application of the Westone 2 to slower paced and less complex music.
The Westone 2 actually sounds a lot more similar to the Westone UM3X than it does the Westone 3. The Westone UM3X, has the common technical advantage of being a triple driver, in detail level, transients, and frequency range. Other than that, the Westone UM3X has slightly more treble presence and bass punch than the Westone 2, and combined with a superior articulation, the UM3X sounds livelier and more energetic than the Westone 2.