Does Ultimate Ears have the next big earphone?

Secrets—especially when they involve breakthrough iPod products—are hard to keep. We really want to tell you guys and girls everything we hear about, and if we’re enjoying something, we want you to have a chance at enjoying it too.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been testing something new from Ultimate Ears. It’s early in development – first phase – but it’s seriously impressive. Enough so that I’m willing to go to the edge of the limited amount that I can say about it, to prepare those who might be looking for the next big thing in high-end audio.

I’ve been generally quite impressed by UE’s products in the past, but this one has the potential to be important on the scale of its best-known designs, for a number of reasons that I mostly can’t get into yet, since it’s not due out for a while. You may know from my earphone reviews that I’m not a classic bass-head – muddy thump doesn’t do it for me, so I’d take detailed, controlled low end over wider but flatter bass any day. The ideal would be if we didn’t have to compromise, and the highs and mids weren’t given short shrift in the process. That’s what UE appears set to deliver.

I always hold off on final earphone opinions until I know several things: the guaranteed final sound signature, price, and package details. Given the vague information I have at the moment, it’s too early to make any near-final judgments. But if it’s on time, at the right price, and both looks and sounds at least as good as what I’ve been playing with, this could be the big one for UE—a true killer product. I’ll share more, including pictures, as soon as I can.