Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro | iLounge

Reviews

21

After reading numerous reviews and loosing many days of sleep, I finally picked one up yesterday. I got tired of my nano lanyard. It sounded ok, but the seal and fit for was annoying.

Amazing sound! You'll hear clear, balance and full range sound. Bass is perfect for my liking. Bass 305 sounded as good or even betty than my home stereo. As with any good earpiece, you'll hear every detail, good or bad. If you get the clear model, you'll notice the resemblance to Radio Shack speaker cable wires.

Posted by ikorb on June 5, 2006 at 7:56 PM (PDT)

22

Excellent stuff! I'd like more bass but this is not the headphone's fault, which is very well balanced in low, mid and high frequencies. The mids and highs are fine for me, although just little bit more treble would probably make me a little happier too. The actual problem here is the iPod's preset EQ options. I use "rock" but I'd prefer to be able to change each EQ band myself. One of the most important features all iPods lack, IMHO, still is the absence of a manual EQ function. I put off buying myself an iPod for the longest time because of this reason. iTunes has it and it should be possible to synch that up as well. I think this should be fixed as a patch or an "iPod updater". I'd love to be able to configure my own EQ presets (at least one manual...)

Posted by mau_santos on July 16, 2006 at 4:39 PM (PDT)

23

Hi,
I am new to Mp3 & everything related to it? icluding headphones...But i have tried to read up as much as i can..and i am very impressed by the Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro
or at least all the feedback & reviews...

My question is, and please forgive me it it all sounds a bit stupid? but can these excellent in ear phones be improved by say an portable DAC/headamp? I was on another site..and was reading amazing things about the ultimate listening expereince with Mp3 portables..do not pretend to understand it much..but just thought i would ask

all the very best
Steve

Posted by norskman1 on August 15, 2006 at 2:05 AM (PDT)

24

I've had the Super.Fi 5's for about 6 months. Was involved in the long ago and far away with a project to beat mp3 to the punch and you know who won. But as a result, I did a lot of critical listening with speakers and headphones. I too did a lot of looking for headphones to go with my new G5 iPod and called UE. Got the UE10 product manager on the line and had quite a nice chat.

The UE10s are meant as studio monitors, they reveal every flaw in the music so technicians and performers can make changes. A huge number of professionals use these in ear monitors, which shows how well they work. The Super.Fi 5s are a different animal. These are for the listening public. They are deliberately 'curved' to make everyone's music sound as good as possible. It is not in the best interest of all music to be too accurate or well defined. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The simple message was buy the Super.Fi5's if you have an iPod and the UE10's if you make a living running a sound board.

These are wonderful monitors. I've had to use the foam inserts to make them fit my ears, but my audiologist had no luck making her equipment fit either. Yes, the sound is warm and perhaps lacks the absolute detail in the highs, but it is magnificant. Track after track the music appears in your head as you have never heard it before. You will not regret an hour spent with these headphones.

Also, I believe that if you create a custom EQ on iTunes and assign it to every song, then choose no EQ on the iPod, it will default to the custom EQ you created as default on iTunes.

Chao

Posted by CoastalQ on August 19, 2006 at 9:16 PM (PDT)

25

I bought mine last November and tried to use them for the first time in months. They were cracked wide open!

Looked around iLounge forums and Headfi and found it's a defect and UE has been replacing them.

Well I've emailed and phoned them (left a message) and they are not responding.

Maybe there should at least be an update to the iLounge review that these first designs were defective?

And get a clarification from UE whether they're going to honor warranties and exchange them?

Where would we go for exchanges (which email, phone number)?

Posted by wco81 in West Coast on August 20, 2006 at 11:47 AM (PDT)

26

I picked up a pair In March and Guitar Center, i had read about concerns on the build quality of these things, well i guess I can see why people are concerned now, i just noticed one of my ear pieces split open where the seams are, looks like it cracked in a spot. I am definitely asking for a new pair, you spend that much on earphones they better last, think the glue inside it just gave way.

Posted by pearljammer on August 22, 2006 at 10:49 AM (PDT)

27

I just received my new pair of pros today.

These are by far the best earphones I have ever worn! I only have my Griffin earjams to compare them to though.

The soundstage is excellent and the bass is clean and deep and when I put my 30GB video ipod on treble boost, I can get all of the highs that I have heard about these phones rolling off.

However, I keep my settings on hip hop as I like the extra bass. Even on this setting, it does not appear to be punchy or overwhelming to me.

The lows and mids are very clear and clean. Just like I have read, the music comes to life with these phones.

I almost bought the Etys ER6is and I am glad I didn't. I would imagine that the bass is very pitiful on those. These provide accurate enough sound as I have been hearing details that I never knew existed. I am not mixing music for a band or anything, I am just listening and enjoying the music. I think a lot of people are pointing out the lack of the very high details. I do not hear anything missing from it but I am sure it could be more detailed. I would not want that really unless I am listening to my classical music tracks.

Just so you know, Hip hop music is off the chain with these and my rock tracks are also excellent. I can definitely pick out the lower sampled tracks with these on! Now I have to resample them from the CDs so I can get all the detail.

Buy these and you will not be dissappointed, trust me.

Another note is that when I received these, there was no cable mgmt system in the hard case. I thought I got a used version some how so I called UE. They said that they switched to a thicker cable and the cable mgmt system will no longer be included, as they damage the cords. However, some of the new models went out without the new manual so the manual says that the cable mgmt system is included. It's good to know that I got a newer revision and didn't even expect it. The cable is clear and the phones are black. Very sharp!

Posted by raybreak on August 30, 2006 at 10:51 AM (PDT)

28

I just bought these Super fi 5 pros from a Comp Usa that was closing down for $125.00.

Let me tell you, these are amazing! To let you know, I was already happy with the stock ipod headphones, but this is like being live at a concert at front row. It is clear and the base gives a warm feeling to the music. I listen to a little bit of everything from Pop to Jazz to Hip-hop. Michael Buble songs have many new unheard instruments that I have never noticed before.

Only thing that I can say is that since these are in-ear phones, all activity such as walking and any big movements will be heard from the wire moving against your body. But its not a big deal, if you listen to it at work or in transit.

Isolation is excellent with the regular flanges, but even better with the foam inserts. The key is finding the right size for your ear.

All in all, Good Job UE!

Posted by Skywong on September 14, 2006 at 4:41 PM (PDT)

29

By now you may have noticed that a lot of i-Pod users are using different earphones. I went through the decision process a while back and decided on an ‘in the ear’ design. There are a number of advantages to this style and of course a few negatives. Some of the pluses include a reduction of outside noise, vastly improved listening quality, and comfort. The largest negative is probably the same as one of the positives, the reduction of outside noise.
If you are familiar with UltimateEars you already know that these folks are no newcomers to the earphone game, only to ones that you and I can easily obtain. They have been making custom molded earpieces for musicians for years. So if you have read my review on the UltimateEars Super.fi 3’s you are aware of my praises of the sound quality there. Well, let me tell you here that the Dual Driver Super.fi 5 Pro’s are AMAZING in comparison. I recommend either of the two depending on your budget, but if you can skip lunch a few times and forego the occasional night out, it is far and away worth purchasing the 5’s, the sound quality is amazing. No brightness here, right out of the box the basses are thumping, the mids are tight and the highs kick. Whether your listening preferences are heavy hard driving rock, a la Metallica, & Godsmack, or Jay-z and 50 cent are your speed, you will immediately notice the difference here and be glad you took the plunge.
As with the rest of the Super.fi line all of the thoughtful design elements still exist, the plenty long 46”cords; the slide to tuck up under your chin or behind your head to take the weight off of the earpieces themselves, and replaceable cords. The addition the 5’s come with an awesome ‘bulletproof’ case that holds not only your headphones but the ¼ and ½ inch adapters and the cleaning wand. Thanks again to UE for the ingenuity.
In conclusion, these earphones will blow your mind and are well worth every dime spent on them. You can read more about UltimateEars and their products at http://www.ultimateears.com

Posted by MJBolduc on October 18, 2006 at 8:12 AM (PDT)

30

I have bought these earphones and returned them back to Headroom for a refund.

First i need to tell that I wanted to replace my Sony MDR-70 for better earphones. After reading reviews I end up with these.

The sound is awesome and clear, not too much high and a good tight bass (not too boomy). I Always use no EQ on my 80G video (5.5 generation). I listen to alot of different music from: Classics to trance and even hard rock !

The only drawback I got from these earphones is hissing noise (white noise in the background) when listen to smooth music. This is not my MP3 because if I press pause I still can hear it !

If I was putting the volume off I was hearing a clipping and after no hiss. As soon I increase the volume I was starting to hear the hiss at the same loudness level until I reach about 3/4 of volume. From the 3/4 of the volume to max the hiss noise increase (this was done with the pause).

So when I was listening to smooth music (Mannheim Steamroller 8) I was hearing the hiss (white noise) like i'm listening to a 4 track tape deck. I made all my MP3 with Lame and using VBR at high quality so again this is not my mp3 making this noise.

I know the ipod is not very quiet for noise and don't know what is the S/N ration in db. One thing I know is these earphone are very sensitive and picking up the noise generated by the ipod output.

I have found out that the output impedance of the new Ipod 80G video is 32 ohms and these earphones are 21 ohms and maybe puts too much load on the Ipod output and this is why I probably having this hiss noise.

I have tried the earphones on 2 80 gig I pod video with the same results and the hissing noise.

Well now i'm back with my Sony MDR-70 (which I don't like anymore). The Superfi. 5 Pro was great for sound but the hiss problem I have was to annoying for me to keep them !

Now what I should buy ?

Posted by Sylvain on December 25, 2006 at 4:34 AM (PDT)

31

Just got my Super Fi 5 Pro's and I like them. I have owned Shure's E3C and Etymotic Er4-P. My girlfriend needed new phones, so I gave my Shure E3Cs and bought the Etymotic. I recently left them inside a rental car (big bummer) so I needed a new pair and decided to see what else was out there. The Etys had amzing clairty in the high end and nice mids. They fit beautifully and were very easy to put in with the triple flanged sleeves. The only complaint I had was that the bass, while you could "experience" it aurally, you never really "felt" it. I like my bass. So from what I read online, the Super Fi's would be a good alternative and a bit cheaper than replacing the Etys. After listening to jazz, classical, some Snoop, and Stone Temple Pilots, the bass is indeed impressive. The mids are nice and, using an iPOd, you can customize the sound using the iPod EQ. I am not as impressed with the highs (not nearly as defined and crisp as the Etys) but the highs ARE still there. I am willing to compromise a bit of the high end to get more bass. The fit is relatively straightforward and the stock medium rubber sleeves work fine, though the double flange sleeves work, too. I did like how easy the Etys were to put in (the UEs require that you do a bit more adjusting as you put them in and wrap the wire around the top of your ear like most musicians) but I'm sure it will become second nature. Overall, from someone who has owned high end earphones and got a degree in Music, I think the Super Fi's are a good value. To get the same bass and even better treble, I think you'd need to spend about twice as much and for playing compressed music on an iPod, I just don't think it's worth it. These phones are a nice compromise.

Posted by phototravel on April 24, 2007 at 10:12 AM (PDT)

32

I need help deciding on what would be the best canalphones to get for my listening tastes. I am thinking about getting these ones but want to know if the bass is 'punchy'. I listen to alot of real heavy music (black metal, technical death metal etc.) and want to be able to feel my bass but i don't want it to overwhelm. I have recently gone through the shure E2c the bose triports, and sony ex91. al (excluding the sonys) sounded really good but, you could here the bass but not FEEL the base. I am currently using the sennheiser CX300 which i like because the detail is good (not the best) and i can feel the bass. anyway, what I want to know, is what would be the best headphones to give me the detail and clarity I want but enough bass to hit but not overwhelm. I want to be able to feel my music as well as being able to hear the deatail.
Maybe I am asking to much. Hopefully someone here could give me some advice on what would be the better choice.

Posted by Frostychrist on April 29, 2007 at 5:44 PM (PDT)

33

I am looking for a new pair of headphones and i am trying to decide between the super.fi's or the shure e4c. i have owned a pair of ety 6is and loved them. I also have owned a pair of B&O A8s that i hated. i just dont want to get either of them and have them turn out sounding like the b&os;. if anyone has some advice i would love to hear it!

Posted by danielson820 on June 4, 2007 at 5:15 PM (PDT)

34

The UE Super fi 5's are terrific, Compared to many other earphone manufacturer's these cans are the best sounding in ears that money can buy including those who are on a budget. I believe the shure's cost slightly more (e4c) with single armature drivers per can, and tuned port technology that gives you a little hint of bass but not quite feel. This is evident in etymotics and any other single armature drivers.
I've used these earphones for about 800 - 900 hrs (1 year approx of continuous use) and find the sound quality is as good as day 1, there are two ways to wear these earphones and I'm wearing these using the Front Side Mod which is basically swapping the earphones round. This method increases the sound isolation aswell as perfect fit for long durations.
However the replacement cable that you can buy is a bit pricey but the longevity of them are about 1 year with about 25 - 30 ear adjustment (remember the more you sculpt the memory wire the more you'll age the metallic wire). The other is that the cable will oxidise like other copper products and turn into a green colour, this does not affect operation however the wire that has oxidised will be fractionally harder.
Take care whilst removing and inserting the cable and not to pull the cord by the eartips as this will force the ports to come out. I would recommend to place a finger nail and pull from the port (with your nail) and cable (with your nail) connection to reduce pressure on the earphone port. Many users have damaged these earphones within 6 months (constant use) whereas I have treated it carefully (applied common sense) and made these last for about 1 year. All in all the sound quality is much better than what you pay for, I have read somewhere online that the triple fi's isn't significantly better even with 3 armatures, and the hefty price tag.

Highly recommended in ears, the Price is around top mid range, however the sound quality produced is already at the top.


Dr.

Posted by drlau9 on August 12, 2007 at 4:26 AM (PDT)

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