Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3
Portable music players are becoming a lot more popular these days because of the recent technology advancements that are being applied including increased storage capacities for more music to be stored and better audio quality and support for more formats. However, a true sound experience won’t be enjoyed with a standard set of headphones. Even if the sound quality is acceptable, the listening experience can be hampered by comfort issues that may not at first be known until longer listening periods. Another concern is the fact that many headphones and earphones do not effectively cancel out outside noises. The ones that manage to do so may sacrifice some of the comfort in listening. The Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 aims to tackle all of these issues head on without taking a huge chuck out of the listener’s budget.
Design and Comfort
The Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 looks very different from the standard earphones found in stores. It also comes in white, black, and clear designs to match a variety of players and gadgets. The earpieces are a bit longer so they can fit comfortably inside the ear giving balanced sound while achieving decent noise isolation. As the most affordable earphones that represent the SuperFi series, the overall design looks rather similar to the professional TripleFi earphones in terms of shape.
Also included in the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 package is a compact 3 x 3 inch carrying case for safe travelling with the delicate earphones. The casing is made of metal and its design matches the color of the chosen headset. It is also crushproof so there isn’t to worry about regarding accidental damage of the earpieces. Regarding the durability, the earpieces can snap off easily, but there cable can be replaced and the earpieces themselves benefit from a two year warranty.
To cater to different listeners, an ear tip kit is added to the package. This kit contains 4 sets of soft silicone ear tips in small, medium, and large sizes. The 4th set is grey in color as opposed to the other ear tips because it is Comply-branded adding to the comfort and fitting. A slight downside of this pair is cable’s measurement measuring just 46 inches which may not be enough for taller listeners and can limit head movement depending on how the player is held. There is no extender cable included either although the TripleFi includes one. Still, the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3′s ultra lightweight housing makes it a stylish and comfortable pair of earphones.
“I am a hi-fi fan and enjoy listening to classical music through my Senn HD-600 headphones and Grado HP-1000 headphones and, in the day time, through my JBL 4311 studio monitor speakers which is backed up by my McIntosh stereo system. I own about a dozen other headphones which are considered by many to be among the best. I even own Ultimate Ears UE-10 custom in ear monitors (IEM’s). I recently heard the super.fi 3 Studio at a local hi-fi meet. Coming from rather high end sources I wasn’t expecting much from the super.fi 3 Studio since the source was only an iPod with lossless files. I doubted the super.fi 3 Studio could even come close to the Shure E3c. I couldn’t be any further from the truth. Not only did the super.fi 3 Studio blow away the more expensive Shure E3c, it blew away many other in ear monitors which I heard that day. What is even more impressive is that the price is extremely affordable. If that isn’t enough, this little IEM can handle sound like few others can. It sounds great with almost everything you can throw at it, classical, hip-hop, rock, pop, electronica, etc. The only area where I find this little IEM lacking is clarity and detail but that is only because I am used to the UE-10. However, keep in mind that the UE-10 is a $1,000.00 IEM. Given the price and considering the high quality sound output this thing has, it is a must have for anyone looking for a hi-fi alternative to their horrible sounding iBuds. Now add in the fantastic customer service that the folks over at Ultimate Ears are known for and you simply can’t lose with this purchase. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!” – L.Flores (CA,USA)
This budget model of the SuperFi series manages to incorporate the same studio quality that made the entire Ultimate Ears brand famous. Although all of the other SuperFi models surpass the SuperFi 3 in features and extras, the sound quality is decent for its price. The good sound quality is achieved by adding a precision-balanced speaker along with an audio filter to shape a better sound.
There are no other drivers implemented nor any extreme bass specifications present to produce an extra thump heard in many hip hop songs, the response is relatively flat which means that all the frequency ranges are balanced. The SuperFi 3 still outperforms the ordinary earphones by a fairly large margin especially when tracks that have a diverse mixture of vocals and subtle tones. Any fans of rock jazz, classic, and other music should get a better feel of the music with this pair of earphones.
What makes this really worth the higher price tag is how well the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 isolates the noise. All of the ear tips can effectively isolate 26dB with passive noise cancellation support.
The Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 successfully delivers improved sound quality and adds some nice extras in addition to the steel carrying case and 4-pair ear tip including a 1/4th adapter jack for usage with professional stereo equipment and a cleaning tool that is fairly easy to use. For an added cost, silicone ear-cushions can be ordered as well. Costing roughly $100, the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 3 is a great pair of earphones to own and is highly recommended for people with large playlist libraries or even professionals that need live studio quality to hear all of the subtle sounds in balance.
Actual User Reviews:
• “I love these earphones! It is a little difficult to find the first fit… I kept switching tips for the first couple of days, but now that I have the correct fit, these things are great. The sound is wonderful and they allow me to keep the volume down on my ipod. The earphones do provide some sound isolation; if you are looking for something that completely blocks out noise, these probably aren’t for you. However, I wanted something that could drown out most noise; now I can walk down the street and hear my music even if a bus or truck is rumbling by, and I can actually hear my music while on a bus. They also do a nice job of blocking out other people in the cubes–I can tell that people are talking but it’s completely in the background now.” – W.Rizzo (VA,USA)
• “As I am working in a big office, I was searching for earphones to block out outside noice. The UEs quickly got my attention, but I was not sure whether to buy the Studio.Fi 3 or 5. I finally decided to get the 3s. They arrived today and go together just perfect with my iAudio U3 mp3 player. As the U3 allows for an incredible bass boost, I don’t have any issues with the bass response. One point of critique that I could put forward is that the Ues are too loud – even on the lowest setting, I can hear the lyrics of even silent recordings. The sound quality certainly is very good, I could hardly expect more for 70 bucks. The fit is very well, although I am wearing glasses. I am a pretty experienced listener who invests some money into his stereo-equipment. I believe that this product (in combination with the U3) should satisfy about every customer who uses it properly. Hope this is helpful to you out there – I was not quite sure with all the negative reviews, but I feel that this product is certainly worth its price!” – U.Oberender (USA)
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