Let me begin by saying that upon arrival to CES, I did not anticipate getting liquid silicone injected into my ear canal. But we’ll get to that. I actually stopped by to check out the new Westone W60, Westone’s new 6 driver balanced armature in-ear headphone. They come with two removable cords, one with Apple remote (an Android cord will also be available) and one standard braided. They’re expected to be available Feb 1st, and retail for about $999
. That puts it in the same price point as the Shure SE846, which is one of the best non-custom in-ears I’ve ever heard. I did get to listen to the Westone W60 while I was on the LVCC floor, and was really impressed. That said, anyone who ever has been to CES knows that the show floor is no place to do a listening test, so I’ll have to refrain from official judgement until I am somewhere not flooded with blasting music and the walla of thousands of people. I will say, however, that based on what I heard, I’m really excited to hear the final retail model. Also worth mentioning is that they’re universal fit and comply tipped, which is a big deal for Westone, who are known for their high-end custom in-ear monitors.
Which is how we get to me having silicone injected into my ears. Westone was doing free molds to demonstrate how their custom monitors are made, and I got a chance to experience the process. If I’m honest, I was really nervous, as my ears are a large part of my ability to make a living. Needless to say, someone with a syringe shooting pink gloop into my ear canal isn’t on my “top things to do” list. But the folks at Westone are pros, and it was a really easy experience (if just a bit bizarre.) In case you want to try it for yourself: they start by placing a small foam piece right against your eardrum in to protect it, and then the silicone is gently pushed into your ears. You then have to sit with a piece of styrofoam in your mouth between your teeth, to create the correct spacing in your ear canal. It takes about five minutes, and then boom! You’re done! The finished mold is gently slid out, and you’re on your way to a custom set of in-ear headphones. Rumor has it that this process may soon be replaced by something involving lasers, so if you want to feel like Slimer from Ghostbusters
is whispering sweet nothings to you, get your customs made in the next few years. Not your thing? No worries. Hold out for Feb 1st and check out the W60s instead.