Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro
The latest wave of technology in the earphones market are the noise reduction style earphones, and the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro is one example on offer from the lovely people at Logitech, who have a whole range of Ultimate Ears products on offer. The crunch with these earphones is the price. The range starts below $100 but it goes right up and the set we have on trial today hits the shelves at a whopping $250, and this is where the division starts. Two distinct camps of people are forming: those who think that earphones are not something that you can spend that much money on, and those who will stop at nothing to get the perfect audio experience no matter what the financial cost. If you are in the market for the perfect earphones, then have a read and see what we thought when we tested the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro earphones, and hopefully we can help you decide if this is the set for you.
The Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro are available in three colors, although not all colors are available from all manufacturers, so you may have to look around to find the ones you want. They are available in black, white and clear, with white being the most popular choice as it fits well with the leading MP3 player, the Apple iPod range. At first glance the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro earphones look rather square and one may wonder at the comfort; however, these have been ergonomically designed and actually fit better than you might think. They have a set of silicone ear buds, and there are three sizes in the box so you can get the set that fits best – the choices being small, medium and large – and just incase you should lose one, there are replacement sets on offer at most Logitech retailers, as these silicone ear buds are consistent across their whole range. Also included in the more expensive models is a set of four foam ear tips that add to the ultimate comfort quest – and again replacements can be sourced easily.
Also included in the package price is a small metal carrying case which does give an added touch of luxury, but we wonder whether a cheaper case and a lower overall retail price would have been the better way to go. However, it does mean that you won’t get the earphone wires tangled in everything, and it is small enough to slip into a pocket or bag without adding bulk. Finally a cleaning tool and a Sound Level Attenuator complete the contents of the box. The latter is said by the technical people at Logitech to ‘Lower the overall volume levels for noisy sound sources.’
“After using similarly-priced Shure earphones for the past two months, with only moderate success in getting them to fit and function properly, I got frustrated and bought these Ultimate Ears based on the previous recommendations shown here. It was a very good decision. These earphones offer noticibly better audio performance than the Shure’s, with deeper lows, clearer midrange and ultra-crisp highs. They are also more comfortable and don’t require as deep placement in the ear as do the Shure’s. Finally, these phones provide incredible noise isolation (far superior to the hiss of noise-canceling phones). VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” – M.Morgan (USA)
The first test was the fitness test, which means we give the office boy the earphones and send him off around the office at a brisk jog to see whether the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro are any good for joggers, and the answer is no. These earphones would be ok for sitting on the train traveling, but you may find that walking briskly through the streets will see you having to reach up and secure them at regular intervals which may get a little annoying
In terms of performance these really are cracking, top of the range earphones that really do the business. The fit of the ear buds seals out the external noises and sends the desired output straight into the ear canal, which may take a bit of getting used to but is certainly something that you will probably grow to love. Audio performances are true and clear to life, with no distortion on the base, and when used to view movies we were impressed with the depth of sound and the feeling of layers and surround even though there are only the two ear buds performing here.
The Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro earphones really are the best on offer at the moment in terms of canal phones. However, they are also easily the most expensive, and we are slightly concerned that the build quality is not as good as it could be. Sure, the technology that pumps out the sound is more than in tact – in fact it is brilliant, but the thin wire and plastic casing of the ear buds worry us, and only time will tell. This really is going to come down to money. If you can afford the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5 Pro earphones you are not going to be disappointed and are sure to love them.
Actual User Reviews:
• “I am a professional, classically trained musician and I have had these earphones for two weeks. I listen to mainly classical music. These earphones are wonderful. I did extensive research and returned several pairs of earphones (including Shure) before deciding on these. These are canal phones, so you MUST have a good seal or you will not get proper sound. This means you have to choose the right fitting rubber inserts before they will work properly. These phones have dual drivers for highs and lows. The high-end is clear and defined. The strong low end, which is superb, may give many a skewed reference since most canal phones do not have good low ends, but the bass does not overpower the upper registers. These phones are perfect for classical or for any type of music. The other advantage to these phones is that you can change the wire and plugs yourself if they break or if you want a different cord of a different color. The earphones come with two nice cases, one all metal and the other in leather and the accessories all fit neatly together in the metal case. Another nice feature is that there is little to no sound leakage. This means if you sleep with a significant-other, you won’t disturb him or her at all. You should be careful when using them, because you won’t hear much of anything other than the music. The only downside is that these earphones will show you just how bad MP3 compression is on your player. I did a comparison with my CD player and discovered that even at 320 kbps, some of my MP3 files sound “distorted” compared to the CD. I did not notice this with my previous earphones. If you’re looking for great canal phones at a great price, then look no farther. You can’t go wrong with UE’s proprietary monitor technology.” – J.Hall (CA,USA)
• “The UE Super fi 5 Pros have been designed to provide clear, balanced sound in a highly portable and comfortable product. As of this moment I think they represent a kind of “best buy” for iPod owners seeking to upgrade from the stock white earbuds supplied with their music players. A key to optimal enjoyment of these IEM’s is selection of the appropriate ear tips. Once a proper in-ear seal is achieved, the resultant sound quality is excellent. The balanced two-driver design produces good musical detail, decent but not spectacular treble, and excellent bass reproduction. Those seeking the very best in musical detail, however, should consider instead the Etymotic ER-4 in-ear models. On the other hand, the bass response of the UE’s is far fuller than that of the Ety’s. For any kind of music in which bass slam is essential, the UE’s are an excellent choice. The use of an auxiliary headphone amp tightens up the sound quality a bit, but these IEM’s are so easy to drive that an amp is not necessary. This model, in fact, seems well-suited to produce high-volume output with any portable. With the Super fi Pro’s, however, the music from my iPod is reproduced fully and richly, with plenty of bass. There is excellent synergy here. Overall, these earphones produce clear, detailed sound in a tiny, highly portable package. The sound is not as “big” or full as can be achieved with top-quality full-sized headphones, but for on-the-go use, the Super fi 5 Pros will not disappoint. For one-fifth the price of custom-fit in-ear monitors, the Super fi 5 Pro model delivers amazingly good sound.” – D.A.Greenberg (CA,USA)
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