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In-ear monitors are a vital part of the modern musician’s toolkit. Whether you’re a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, or one-person band, you need to be able to hear yourself live—and while stage monitors can act as a temporary substitute, they’re finicky and unreliable at best.
Today, I’ll be doing a comprehensive review of Westone Audio’s AM Pro X20 in-ear monitors. As part of Westone Audio’s AM Pro X Series, these IEMs boast several impressive performance features that give them a unique sound and user experience compared to other options on the market.
For transparency, I’ve used a smattering of different in-ear monitors for performances, and it goes without saying—not all IEMs are created equal. From my experience with Shure 2E15s, Mackie MP-240s, BLON BL-01s, and more, many in-ears compromise on sound, comfort, quality, or a combination of all three.
With that said, Westone Audio did a great job with the AM Pro X20. Featuring dual balanced armature drivers, these in-ears produce a clear, nuanced tone with articulate highs and tight, robust lows. Plus, they’re by far the most comfortable IEMs I’ve ever used.
However, some musicians may be thrown off by the AM Pro X20’s Ambient Passive Technology, which filters a small amount of external noise into the monitor mix. The intention is to help performers feel engaged and connected with their surroundings. Personally, it’s my favorite thing about these in-ears, but it takes some time to get used to.
Let’s discuss the packaging, comfort, design, and sound of Westone Audio’s AM Pro X20!
- The AM Pro X20 is a mid-level IEM with two balanced armature drivers per side, priced at $399.
- The AM Pro X20 is incredibly comfortable, courtesy of its small, rounded profile, thin cable, and wide selection of foam and silicone tips.
- The AM Pro X20 features Ambient Patented Technology that integrates ambient sound with the monitor mix—if you don’t like feeling closed off from the audience during shows, you’ll love this.
- These in-ears have a full sound with punchy lows, neutral mids, and bright, sparkling trebles.
Westone Audio knocked it out of the park with the packaging for the AM Pro X20. The box it ships in is nice and sturdy with a clean, visually pleasing aesthetic, and the interior foam support holds everything neatly in place. From this alone, you can tell Westone Audio takes pride in its product—and it’s a great indicator of what’s to come.
Here’s what’s included in the box
- AM Pro X20 monitors
- Bax T2 audio cable
- Five foam tips, five silicon tips (pairs)
- Heavy-duty monitor case
- Westone Audio cloth pouch
- Cleaning tool
- Cable band
With ten pairs of tips included, you won’t have to worry about the AM Pro X20 monitors not fitting your ears. Also, with the option to choose between foam and silicon tips, you can experiment with different levels of noise isolation.
Aside from the monitors and tips, the included Bax T2 audio cable is thin and light. While this does decrease the cable’s durability, it significantly increases comfort—you can hardly feel the cable around your ears.
If you play aggressively or headbang often, you may have to replace the cable more frequently. For what it’s worth, I’ve used them for several rehearsals and live performances without issue, and I’m pretty rough with my equipment.
The case the AM Pro X20 comes with is undoubtedly the best accessory—this thing is a TANK. It’s strong, rugged, and has a thin layer of foam on the interior that keeps your monitors safe and secure. Simply put, this case can withstand the rigors of touring, performing, and rehearsing.
If there’s one thing the AM Pro X20 nails, it’s comfort. Its monitors have a round shape and a compact profile, allowing them to sit naturally in the ear. Compared to Shure’s 2E15s, these are a significant upgrade.
The AM Pro X20’s monitors are also lightweight, which is fantastic—as previously mentioned, I’ve used BLON BL-01s in the past, and those were so heavy they’d fall right out of my ears during shows. In contrast, these in-ears fit nice and snug.
While the Bax T2 cable’s thin, light design makes it more fragile, it’s great for comfort. Also, the cable zipper comes in handy—once you’ve got the monitors in your ears, slide the zipper to the base of your skull. The cable will sit securely, preventing it from moving and getting snagged.
Tech and Design
The AM Pro X20 features a pair of balanced armature drivers. We’ll do a quick and simple explanation for those unfamiliar with different IEM driver types.
In-ears with balanced armature drivers generally offer more clarity, detail, and accuracy, while IEMs with dynamic drivers produce a more natural sound with better bass response. If you want precision and ‘sparkliness’ in your mix, you’ll likely prefer in-ears with balanced armature drivers, like the AM Pro X20.
With that said, these in-ears have a very full, warm, and punchy-sounding low-end. Plus, the clear and articulate nature of the AM Pro X20’s balanced armature drivers brings out a more nuanced and defined character from the bass frequencies.
Now for the best part about these in-ears: their Ambient Patented Technology. Each monitor has a filtered design that lets some external noise into the monitor mix. This feature helps musicians feel more connected with their surroundings while performing.
The Ambient Patented Technology is easily my favorite feature of the AM Pro X20. When using standard IEMs, it’s easy to feel separated from what’s happening around you, and that can lead to dull and boring performances—trust me, I’ve experienced it first-hand.
The AM Pro X20’s filtered monitors ensure that you feel engaged and excited while being able to hear your in-ear mix perfectly. And they don’t let in excessive noise—it’s just the right amount so that you don’t lose touch with your bandmates and the crowd while performing.
This might be a deal-breaker for musicians who need total noise cancellation to get in the zone. But for players who don’t like feeling closed off and isolated during shows, the AM Pro X20 is an excellent option.
- Sensitivity: 119 dB @ 1mW
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 18kHz
- Impedance: 27 ohms
- Driver: Dual Balanced Armature, with passive crossover
If I could only use one word to describe the Westone Audio AM Pro X20’s sound, it’d be clarity. The highs are crisp and defined without being harsh. The lows have plenty of body, fullness, and ‘oomph,’ but you can still clearly hear what’s going on—there’s no issue with muddiness.
As for the midrange, it has a very natural, neutral sound. The mids have enough presence and punch to cut through but don’t dominate the mix.
- Highs: Bright and clear with great articulation
- Mids: Natural, more tamed sound than the bass and treble frequencies
- Low-end: Robust and punchy with lots of power
To test these in-ears appropriately, I’ve used them as my primary headphones over the last several weeks. That means they’ve heard everything from jazz to nu-metal, from alt-rock to indie-folk—I wanted to make sure they sounded great with various instrumentation and denser mixes.
Across the board, these in-ears translate audio with excellent definition. Every instrument comes through remarkably well without any single frequency dominating. Additionally, there’s no issue with boominess, even when listening to high-gain mixes with drop-tuned guitars, extended-range basses, and deep sub-bass.
Overall, the AM Pro X20s have a great sound that prioritizes accuracy, articulation, and fullness.
Westone Audio’s AM Pro X20 in-ear monitors are an excellent option for musicians seeking definition and clarity. Their bright yet balanced sound allows players to pick out everything in the mix. And with their warm, powerful low-end, they have enough body to satisfy bassists and performers who want more depth.
Aside from sound, the AM Pro X20 offers an incredibly comfortable feel thanks to the monitor’s rounded shape and compact profile. The Bax T2 cable is nice and light—it doesn’t dig into your ears.
Musicians will also love the rugged case these in-ears come with—it’s a nice accessory that could realistically last a lifetime of gigging, rehearsing, and performing.
Who are these best suited for? Their dominant low-end and exceptional articulation are great for musicians seeking more bass and clarity in their mix.
Who should avoid these in-ears? Players who want complete noise cancellation likely won’t enjoy the AM Pro X20’s filtered design. While you could replace the monitor’s silicon tips with foam tips for superior noise reduction, these in-ears are specially designed to blend ambient noise into the monitor mix.
Interested in learning about other in-ear monitor options? Check out our article “7 Best In-Ear Monitors: IEMs for Live and Studio (2023)”