WeSC is a fashion brand. It makes headphones that will sell well in high street shops – even clothing stores. The WeSC Piston are on-ear headphones that will doubtless pull in a few punters out to look good about town. However, they’re a poor choice if you care remotely about sound quality.
The Wesc Piston are good-looking on-ear headphones that cost a little over £40 at most UK stores. They’re available in a wide array of finishes, from eye-catching animal print textures to the much simpler charcoal colour seen here.
A combo of persistent colour throughout the headphones (bar the black earpads), small earcups and a head-hugging headband ensure they look the part. They don’t stick out from your head much, and while some of the sets have an urban look, no-one need feel embarrassed wearing these headphones in their most demure shades. Not for their design, anyway.
They have a neat feature not usually seen in headphones too. On the bottom of the right cup is a 3.5mm jack socket that lets you plug in another pair of headphones in order to share your music with a friend.
Yes – while we didn’t feel out of place wearing these despite advancing years, they are out to grab an audience of young’uns. Sharing music evokes images of kids on the bus, not tired, middle-aged city workers listening to music on the trudge home.
The WeSC Piston’s construction is not impressive for a pair selling at £40-odd, though. They’re reasonably insubstantial headphones, and while the cups fold back into the headband in standard ‘streetwear’ style, the mechanism is not particularly strong or sure. These headphones are made to a budget, and it’s one that doesn’t entirely sit well with their price.
Comfort is ok, but little more. On-ear headphones are particularly susceptible to becoming uncomfortable, and the WeSC Piston get close to the line. They’re very light, but the headband tension is slightly too high and there’s not quite enough lateral give in the earcups for them to fit all heads perfectly.
This is partly mitigated by the fairly soft foam of the earpads. But the WeSC Piston give off the impression of a pair that could have been designed with a little more care to the basics, rather than relying on gimmicks like music sharing.
The braided cable has a single-button remote
The WeSC Piston have 40mm dynamic drivers, common to almost all headphones of this size and type. However, their sound quality is well below par.
The sound is downright muffled, to the extent that we thought the headphones might have been broken on first listen. Treble is given very little presence, and there’s huge roll-off at the top end.
The coarse mids are pushed far forward, leading to an increased loss of refinement. Even the bass doesn’t impress much. It’s not hugely boomy like some lower-end youth-oriented headphones, but it’s not rich, smooth or particularly deep. It just sits there like a cold jacket potato at the back of the fridge - unappetising.
We don’t relish being nasty about products, but the muggy sound of the WeSC Piston headphones doesn’t really excel with any particular genre.
The WeSC Piston are cleverly-made in some respects. They’re priced to be just-about cheap enough for an impulse purchase, but expensive enough to seem like they’ll sound reasonably good.
Sadly, they don’t. They sound awful. Moral of the story – think twice before buying headphones from shops that specialise in shoes and shirts rather than electronics – or at least entertainment.
If you have a £40 budget and want headphones, check out the excellent Sony MDR-V55 or Sennheiser PX200, which offer much better sound quality – if not necessarily better looks.
For more altenatives, read our best headphones 2013 round-up
For £40 you can get some seriously good-sounding headphones. The WeSC Piston headphones may look good, but sound good they do not. Poor definition, muffled treble and a coarseness to the sound as a whole makes this a set to avoid.