headphones
  • Editors' Choice
Expert Score
8.8

Westone Adventure Series Alpha Review

Take these outside, and get messy.

July 25, 2013
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Critical Hit

It's all fine and well that the Westone Adventure Series Alpha can take whatever you dish out, but what about your media player? Sure, it maxes out its power stat in the parlance of the avid RPGer, but what about skill? These should do the trick for most, but they won't satisfy audiophiles looking for a flat response.

Frequency Response

Good for bassy music, less so for classics

Well, that's certainly a dynamic response. The Adventure Series Alpha emphasizes bass quite a bit in comparison to the rest of the notes. For many modern music lovers, that's pretty great, but classical and classic rock listeners may not care for it so much.

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That dip after 2kHz is fairly normal for most consumer headphones, but it will reduce the first and second harmonics of the highest notes on a piano, and have a somewhat strange effect on vocal harmonics. Most people will never hear this, but to a hobbyist, these may not be the headphones for you. I will point out though, that hobbyists could have luck using an equalizer app, so this may be less of a concern for the demographic that would take extreme fault with this type of response.

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Distortion

Holy— (Editor's note: expletive deleted.)

While it may not remain true for long, this is the lowest amount of distortion I've ever recorded on a set of headphones at the time of publish. Not only is this completely inaudible at any frequency, but this measure barely even registers.

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I mean look at it: It's so little I had to crunch the scale of the graph and it still hugs the X axis like a frightened child would his parent's leg at a supermarket— even in the sub-bass range, where high distortion is not only less audible, but very common. This is so far below the threshold of human hearing that it would actually be completely useless to look at something like Perceptual Harmonic Distortion, so I won't.

If you like to listen loud, it takes a lot of volume to make the distortion hit audible levels, and in our tests the Adventure Series Alpha needed more than 120dB(SPL) to hit it. Still, don't listen to your music that loudly: You'll damage your hearing permanently.

Isolation

Hope you don't already have tinnitus

Without repeating my earlier expletive, the Adventure Series Alpha has crazy-good isolation as well. As I mentioned on the first page, you can expect low notes like car noise to be reduced to about 1/4th as loud as it would be without your in-ears, and higher pitched notes and harmonics are reduced to 1/32nd as loud. Needless to say, this is fantastic—though to get this performance, you'll need the foam tips.

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The silicone sleeves are also fairly good at noise attenuation, but their average is slightly lower. Either way, you will be dead to the world, so try to stay away from dangerous, trafficked areas.

To top it all off, these in-ears don't leak sound, so blast any embarrassing songs you have—nobody around you will hear it!

Other Tests

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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