PART II (because Lounge's forums dont like big posts...)

During my phone conversation it was explained to me the C model does in fact use a harder material for the earpiece. I was assured that this did not affect comfort in anyway and that it was done for durability reasons. All Pro models UE sells feature a softer material.

The 5C model does have less output then the 5P model. Pro’s need more output to overcome ambient stage sounds (backing musicians, crowd roar) more then your average consumer. Though the 5C models output is still well suited for usage with an iPod.

UE offers a few models above & beyond the UE-5C. Those being the UE-5P (mentioned above), UE-7P and UE-10. The 7 and 10 models actually offer a triple driver design versus the double driver the 5’s have. The 7’s triple driver design was originally designed with drummers in mind who required more bass.

Other information
* Nearly all components are replaceable except in situations of extreme damage. Average repair charges seemed quite reasonable, replacement cables and even drivers being made available.
* UE also keeps your molds so that new one’s can be made if that is ever necessary.
* Your ear canal can change overtime (gaining or loosing alot of weight) BUT the average person would probably not encounter a need for remolding over time.
*UE allows for all sort of custom color combinations on their Pro models. You can even mail them a color sample and they will do their best to match it. Only draw back to custom colors being that if replacement is needed on only one ear piece it maybe difficult to perfectly match your ‘old’ color with the new one.

The UE’s are obviously a high-end product and the price reflects that. The UE5C seems like a great idea from a company that has been putting out pro level stuff for many years now. While the cost is high one must remember that they will not be replacing these earphones anytime soon if ever. People scoff at the cost of my Ety’s but when I remind them how MANY hours a week I use them and how long I have had them it puts it into perspective.

Posted by Noel on November 11, 2003 at 3:05 PM (PDT) Comment 21

"As for the guy above complaining about contact info you must not have tried very hard."

Oh, I tried hard. But I thought ENTER was the entry to Stevie's site, which I didn't want to go to. So it makes me stupid for not clicking on it.

But the good thing is that Ultimate Ears is two miles from me so I'm in the nabes.

Posted by mashamax on November 11, 2003 at 4:39 PM (PDT) Comment 22

It would be cool if these earphones had lifetime warranties to match their price and quality.
Or if they sold them at Best Buy I could get the extended warranty and have them "break" before it was over :D (j/k)

Posted by Lyman Tsang on November 21, 2003 at 1:39 AM (PDT) Comment 23

I recently purchased a pair of Shure ES2's. While not the same sound quality compared to ES5 or UE5C, they do offer a relatively good sound and value for <$90. Proper ear seal is a MUST with these though. Try the foam pads if the silicon pads don't work....the payoff will bring the low end into balance and isolation to ambient noise(yes even during a 737 landing).

Posted by Rick on December 2, 2003 at 10:25 PM (PDT) Comment 24

Lone voice for Sony's in-ear rubber earphones? I think they are great for the price.

Posted by Easy on December 12, 2003 at 1:44 AM (PDT) Comment 25

"The UE5C is a passive two-way design. It has two drivers and a passive crossover in each earpiece. One driver reproduces the low frequency, and another driver reproduces the high frequency. Frequency response is from 20hz to 16kz. Earpiece also offers -26db of isolation from loud noise. Input sensitivity is 118db @1mw. Drivers are a balanced armature design. "

it's a dumb product for dumb rih people.
my sony headphones cost a LOT LESS! and
frequency response: 6 to 23 khz... you loose 16-20 khz (humans DO HEAR THEM: treble!) with those expensive phones...
the input however is good...but losing so much acute frequencies makes them play as a tape recorder...weak quality..very weak!

Posted by 5th Raider on December 30, 2003 at 8:00 AM (PDT) Comment 26

I beg to differ 5th Raider. I ordered the UE5Cs and received them. They are not the top of their line, but I am not Mick Jagger or Sarah Brightman or Sting. I have no need for the best they offer; I am not a performer.

But i have to tell you, these are the best earphones I have ever ever used. My ears can't hold earbuds, so I was always buying a pair of $14.95 earphones here, another pair of $59.95 earphones there, or a $200 pair of Sony earphones. Over the past three years, I've purchased probably $1500 worth of useless earphones for my ipods (3) and digital hand-held recorders (8).

The UE5Cs are unreal. They turned my whole head into a speaker with one-third the volume I usually use. Unbelievable! And they protect my hearing to boot.

I can't speak to the electrical or technical wizardry, but I can tell you the sound quality is mind-blowing. The best. And I am probably going to go back to have them build them up to fit the way the musicians do; that's when the sound quality is the best. Musicians and sound engineers have them fit so tight that it takes about 30 seconds to get them in, and another 30 seconds to take them out.

When I was in their lab here in Vegas, I saw names on the custom metal boxes they come in ready to go out. Their customers are the top names in rock, opera, and performance businesses worldwide. I mean the top names in the field. They dont service "rich people." They service sound-industry professionals. They have only lately branched out to non-musicians because the owner/engineer loves ipods.

I will never have to buy another set of earphones again. These are the best I have ever used, and I have professional over-the-head earphones (different style) for my TASCAM DAT machine and radio broadcast equipment to compare them with.

The owner is a peach of a man, and really helpful. He is in that lab all day long with the audio engineers who make the earphones. He was more than willing to do anything to make sure that I was happy with them....and I was just buying the cheapest set they make.

Posted by mashmax on December 30, 2003 at 9:48 AM (PDT) Comment 27

ipodlounger - the photos of the headphones have DL written on them does this stand for dennis lloyd? if so this would be very cool (that they can put your name on the phones - not just the box) also, the photo makes it look like the writing is in 2 seperate colors - is this true and if so, is it so you can tell the r + l headphones apart. you have also rated other headphones and said in the bose noisecancellers that you don't like 'buds as much as out-of ears - did these change your mind?

Posted by timmy on January 11, 2004 at 12:56 AM (PDT) Comment 28

timmy L
DL is for Dennis Loyd, they put YOUR initials on the buds.

You can tell them apart easily, they are custom molds so the left & right wont fit in the wrong ear... Mainly though the cable has a tiny bit if wire that allows you to bend it one way or another (around your ear). You can tell easily by which way this wire bends what is what. But shape is enough.

5th raider
it doesnt really take 30 seconds, but a tad longer then normal phones...

Posted by Noel on January 11, 2004 at 5:51 AM (PDT) Comment 29

I am a new Ultimate Ears owner. Just before Christmas I took delivery of the UE-10PRO. If you thought the UE5's were good just wait till you hear these beauties. The UE 10's are truly, and without any doubt the best sounding things I've ever heard. They are also the most comfortable bits of technology I've ever had the pleasure of inserting into my ear canals.
Of course they are expensive, but I use them for my film and TV production work. When not working they provide the best audio attachment to any ipod. I took the white ipod ear buds and fed them to the dog! After hearing the UE10’s you’ll do the same.
The flight case with your name on is just one the best "must haves". Your initials on each 'ear' just reminds you of the well made and wonderfully presented bits of Audio equipment there is.
When wearing for pleasure you are constantly reminded of what a noisy world we all live in. the UE10’s make an astonishing sound barrier leaving just you favourite track to be heard.
Get them. Forget the kid’s school fees this term!

I would love to know just how they make them - without giving away too many secrets.

Posted by ultimate user on January 11, 2004 at 12:24 PM (PDT) Comment 30

ultimate user

did you ever own any other in-ear phones that you would compare the quality with? how long did UE take once you gave them the impressions? thanks

Posted by timmy on January 16, 2004 at 10:58 PM (PDT) Comment 31


I have a pair of Etymotics ER-4s and a pair of Sure E5 (dual driver) ear monitors. Both of these are non-custom made.
I have just taken delivery of the UE-10pros – these are custom made for my ear.

For my work with the BBC, I often have to use ear monitors provided for me. These are often poor quality and obviously non-custom fit.

Now in my humble and very non-technical opinion the new UE10’s are just amazing. The sound quality really stands out from the rest of the crowd.
Now as I said this is my opinion, but I do know what sounds good and what sounds awesome. For me the whole Ultimate Ear experience is just how I think music should be heard – it is somthing special.

The UE-10’s have two low-end drivers and one high-end driver buried inside them. This provides well-rounded sound with bass just as the musician intended… rich and distortion free.
Hand on heart I just can’t believe how music tracks I have listened to over the years suddenly have something new to offer when listened through the UE-10’s.

I had the impressions of my ears done here in the UK by an Audiologist. He charged me £40. This was a simple and pain free process. One thing that the people at UE stress is to have the impressions done with your mouth open. This opens up the ear canal even more.

I then, via Fed Ex, sent them to Las Vegas. The finished product was sent back to me just under three weeks later.

The UE-10’s are slightly soft and after a couple of mins in your ears they soften up a little more. This means they sit really tightly and comfortably in the ear and I have to say you wouldn’t know they are there. Yesterday on a job I wore them all day with no soreness or any discomfort at all.

Once inserted in your ear the bit the public see can be of a colour of your choice. I had flesh pink. This has proved to be very interesting. When wearing them around town and for pleasure people think you’ve got hearing aids. Last week the bank teller took great pity on me, thinking I had a hearing disability. She was really over emphasising
her mouth movements as she spoke to me – I smiled and nodded back. A quick thumbs up and we were on our way.. little did she know!

The clientele list on the UE website is long and well known. Testimony I think to the sort of quality we are talking about here.
To me they are something very special – a recently discovered gem.

Posted by Ultimate User on January 17, 2004 at 11:25 AM (PDT) Comment 32

About the color for the UEs: You can get clear and show all the wires, or 'colored clear' and still have all the wires show, or have a solid color and that's all you see.

As for the solid color: they can mix just about any color you want. I know they only show certain colors on their websiite, but I can tell you as someone who went into their lab in Las Vegas to have the impressions made that they can do anything. Moreover, they are happy to.

The people at Ultimate Ears are extremely pleasant to deal with.

Posted by mashamax on January 20, 2004 at 4:36 AM (PDT) Comment 33

Ultimate User,

could you kindly provide a rough idea on the price for UE-10's? Much appreciated! It really sounds like you're owning the very best there is - and I am really intrigued, believe me. I might actually go insane and get them for myself.

Posted by Ultimate Aspirant on March 13, 2004 at 9:48 AM (PDT) Comment 34

I already have custom-made earplugs, and I think (although am not 100% sure) that they were made by Etymotic. To my best judgement, they use the Etymotic 15 dB filters, which makes me believe that they are in fact made by Ety. The filters can be removed for cleaning, which brings me to my post.

I'm wanting a pair of earbuds that can accept my existing impressions* and convert back into earplugs. I want this dual option because all earbuds make my ears hurt after 10 minutes of wearing them, and the foam earplugs are itchy after an hours' use. My impressions are exremely comfortable (as they should be), and I want that comfort while listening to portable music. That is my main reason for wanting the earphones.

Now, my question is which earphones will allow me to use my existing impressions* in this way: Etymotic ER-6 or Shure E3c? Or, is there another company that offers what I'm looking for? I know that both of those models can accept impressions. The question lies in which allows me to convert to/from earbud/earplug.

I've read almost every pro/con about both the Ety's and Shure's, so don't try to convince me one way or the other for each product based on how they sound, fit, feel, etc. I'm looking for the one that gives me that versatility, because sound is roughly the same among those. I know that this sparks controversy, but I'm not as interested in sound as much as comfort. As a musician, I know how much speakers/headphones/etc. can differ in sound, but then again, I'm going for comfort and versatility.

*impression is the term used for my existing, filterless earplugs .

Please send me an email-NO SPAM!-on advise. Thanks.

Posted by promark420 on April 20, 2004 at 8:23 PM (PDT) Comment 35

Right, so my email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Sorry for being stupid.

Posted by promark420 on April 20, 2004 at 8:37 PM (PDT) Comment 36

Who would pany to for $550 for earphones they probaly do fit and sound great but are they worth $550 bucks

Posted by ipodman on August 13, 2004 at 7:29 AM (PDT) Comment 37


Posted by ipodman on August 13, 2004 at 7:30 AM (PDT) Comment 38

TO Ultimate User...
Where in London did you get your ear impressions made? When I tried to locate an audiologist the couple I talked to out here in East Anglia refused to take an impression for what they called any “unknown manufacturer.� Can you give me a name in London?

Posted by the green ray on November 26, 2004 at 11:57 AM (PDT) Comment 39

TO Ultimate User...
Where in London did you get your ear impressions made? When I tried to locate an audiologist the couple I talked to out here in East Anglia refused to take an impression for what they called any “unknown manufacturer.� Can you give me a name in London?

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by the green ray on November 26, 2004 at 11:58 AM (PDT) Comment 40
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