If you're here you should roughly know what um1 westones are, they are a pair of in-ear ear-bud headphones which are known for their noise reducing properties. Noise reduction is distinguishable from noise cancelling, both in effect and in technicality. Noise cancelling creates an anti sound wave, which cancels outside sound. Noise reduction merely works like an extra pair of earplugs on your earphones. Westone has a reduction effect of 25 decibels.
The noise isolation, another name for noise reduction, was the main reason I chose it over other earphones. No other earphones in this price range could really match it in terms of isolation capability. It allows me to focus over the sounds of trains and traffic, as well as tuning out irritations like construction work or the drone of people's voices. This makes it easier for me to work on my blog as well as continue working on the rest of my infobarrels.
While the um1 pumps are good fr their price range, and my main goal for purchasing them was due to the rising necessity of equipping a decent noise isolation phone, it was slightly disappointing to compare the sound of um1 against my previous headset as well as pricier models. While I wouldn't say that the improvement of sound quality in multiple driver earphones are worth the dollars one would have to shell out, the difference is definitely discernible. You would likely have to fork out an extra 100 dollars or so to hit the next range. It would then depend on how much of an audiophile you are to justify that next price leap.
The most lacking attribute of the um1 sound quality is however the absence of bass. Part of it is due to the ear buds that are attached, which either muffle or otherwise is unable to bring out the throbbing bass any reasonable person would expect. Thankfully I'm personally not too particular about bass, as I listen mostly to mid range treble. If you were to replace the ear buds however in order to get bass, you might then sacrifice the noise isolation power, which is usually why you purchased this warder on the first place.
Another troubling detail about the build quality, also once again dealing with the earbuds. One of my earbuds quickly disintegrated in a few weeks after I took it out of the box. Thankfully they came with some replacement spares and I didn't have to go out of my way to find them. I suspect I might have to expect the daily wear and tear to make me consider "investing" in a few extra buds to keep in the meantime.
In all however, I am rather pleased with the quality to cost, and thus price value sweet spot of my purchase. It is an excellent pair of earplugs. It also has good resale value, and would probably be easily resold when I need an upgrade, like perhaps to a westone um 2.