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Ultimate Ears Super.fi 10 pro

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 10 pro

Giá:449$.There is an integrated voice functionality that is specifically designed for use with the iPhone and 3.5mm Blackberry. This allows for hands free phone calls.
Giá mới: 449 (USD)


Giới thiệu

This morning I received a knock at the door. It was the FedEx delivery person dropping of a box from Ultimate ears. Now, I’ve been waiting for this package for some time now, but its arrival this morning came as quite a surprise. I was waiting to hear from UE for the last week, checking my email diligently every few hours (at the most), and waiting for the next communiqué with a set of instructions to complete my candidacy for these little buds of anticipated audio delight. Instead, I get this package at my door nside which I find this box, and this case, wrapped in some nice bubble wrap.

Opening the case, I find a leather pouch holding all the accessories necessary to complete an IEM set and a metal case housing… the all new UE Triple.fi 10 pro “IEM”!

So, I’ve been listening to my new toys for about 12 or so hours now, passing my “audiophile” playlist through them out of my 5g iPod, alternating between straight out of the headphone jack and line out through my supermacro III (latest tweaks applied)/KICAS desktop amp.

What I originally wanted to do was take a good week to really get to know these monitors and then post my impressions. As luck would have it (bad luck that is), I’ve gotten dibs at writing the first head-fi review on these units, with others hot on my tail and pushing me to write so that they may have their say on these little blue beauties as well – this means that my review will come in two parts: 1) initial impressions; followed by 2) a post 100 hour ‘burn’ revisit to tell you all if/how the cans have settled into their own…so here goes:

Fit n’ finish: The first thing I noticed about the Triple.fi’s was their size. They are supposed to be bigger than the rest of the super.fi line-up – well, I’ve never seen the other super.fi’s, but I can tell you these things are huge as far as IEM’s are concerned. Here’s an idea of how big they are relative to my head, and how far they protrude from my head. I don’t know how anyone would ever be able to sleep with these guys on.

Quite honestly, these things are massive! They’re like the Dumbo of the IEM/earbud world! Having said that, I should also mention that these things are uncannily comfortable; it doesn’t seem to matter which tips I use, they all seem to sit in my ears comfortably, and stay that way for quite some time (no ½ hour to 1 hour sore canals that some of the other IEMs develop).

The finish is very nice, and every detail in the final product seems to have had some good thought put into it – an electric blue paint job that I assume was electroplated onto the bodies of the buds, translucent blue pig snouts (audio port chambers) leading into a black base which connects to the wires, also very well thought out and built. The wires are the standard UE fare - they are replaceable (the only replacements I see happening are people swapping out the stocks for some of the fancy coloured wires UE offers on their custom IEM’s, however) and include the memory wire. The tips are earbud standards – single flange, dual flange and foam inserts.

Everything in this build seems to be of good quality. Nothing feels flimsy or weak.

Some other points of interest/note:

I’d define these units more along the lines of hybrid earbuds than true IEM’s – they sit in the ear and feed the sound into the ear canals, however they don’t actually fit into the canals. Now this may not necessarily be news to some, but I’d like to point out that this has user benefits such as simpler and quicker ear entry/exit benefits, which is useful to those of us who are frequently interrupted in the course of a listening session by children, spouses or other well meaning (but nonetheless annoying) loved ones. I personally like the idea of getting a significant amount of isolation without having to go through a 10 step process of removal/reinstallation every time I want to listen to my IEM’s.

At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself “shut up and tell me how these things sound!”…Well, there’s no need to shout; all you have to do is ask.

Sound:

I evaluate sound on a number of different levels:

1. Tonal balance – how well are ‘all 3’ audio spectral ranges covered in a unit? How is each range presented relative one to the other? (e.g. is the sound bass heavy?)

2. frequency response – how well are the audio frequencies represented in the unit (i.e. bassy frequencies, mids and treble frequency representation) – this includes musical details as well

3. Timbre – does the unit represent instrumental ‘texture’ well?

4. Resolution – i.e. separation; how easy is it do discern between different musical portions when they play into your ear all at once? Can I easily dissect a complex passage and focus on one portion (e.g. a string or brass section in a symphonic orchestra) if I want to?

5. Dynamics – is the music sluggish and muddled together, or does it flow in high definition like a high speed film action sequence (remember the matrix?/how about some Jackie Chan fight scenes?) Does the music have a bite to it (attack), and how well do the notes fade away (decay)?

6. Sound-staging and imaging – how 3-D'ish does the music sound and how well is each instrument placed within that aural virtual reality?

So how do the Triple.fi’s match up? Well…

1. Tonal balance is spot on. No one frequency range gets priority over the other. Bass guitars groove while pianos and vocals sing, brasses bite and drums snap while cymbals shimmer. These buds are as balanced as a Neapolitan ice cream jug!

2. FR - These buds seem to have it all – melody is rich and full; there’s some serious toe-tapping ability in these cans;

Bass is full and warm, but lacks "lowness" and a bit of punch. There’s also a lot of detail here, as if someone zoomed into the bass region and placed it under a magnifying glass. Bass guitars seem to get the best representation so far, double bass is plucky and fairly deep, but can be a bit bloated at times; kick drum punches (but fades a little too quickly) and kettle drums thrum.

Mids – what can I say other than near perfection exists in this area! Female vocals really shine, male vocals are well represented and sound as good as I’ve heard in any other can I’ve ever owned; pianos, brass and guitars all sing wail and whine exceptionally. In this area in particular it is clear that no detail in the music is omitted. Every nuance in the music is retained in its entirety and is promptly brought front and centre to give its performance before fading off into the background once again.

Highs – cymbals shimmer, pianos strain and electric guitars squeal and scream with delight as those upper registers/bars climb and climb…all the time sitting up in front row, layered perfectly with the basses and mids.

Timbre/texture – this is another area in which the Triple.fi’s excel. So far in the music that I’ve heard, pianos, bass guitars, brass sections and electrical guitars come out feeling as good as they sound – in many cases, I can feel the piano hammers striking the strings, the pluck of the guitar strings, the cacophony of the horns as they blare out their notes (although they could use a little more oomph/punch in the attack). Kettle drum skins seem to bounce in front of my closed eyes. It’s almost as if I can see their vibrations emanating into the air – these buds feel and sound good.

Resolution – suffice it to say that these buds can be best described as the audio analog to the dobosh torte – multiple alternating layers of sound superimposed one upon the other, yet all retaining their own distinctive stratified soundscape, easily blending with each other and/or separating for individual listening if and when desired.

Dynamics – in this realm the Triple.fi performs outstandingly as well. Fast and complex passages of music are handled with grace and dexterity; each note is presented distinctly from the other without over analyzing it – these buds perform the quintessential staccato; at the same time, the music retains its flow and structure at all times – the perfect legato. I guess the overall experience can be best described as being immersed in a sea of music while still being able to see both the forest and the trees at the same time (welcome to the omendelovitz Cliché festival…) Attack tends to be fast and sharp, with a decay that is best described as realistic – the decay could go on for longer ideally, but at least goes on long enough to feel organic and not processed (just listen to any mp3 at low bitrates and you'll see what I mean exactly).

Soundstaging and imaging – This is one of the most important criteria for me as nothing can compensate for poor staging/imaging. At first, I was disappointed with the Triple.fi’s as they sounded flat, and I mean flat. We’re talking canvas flat. This dulled much of the sound and made imaging essentially non-existent. Listening now, through an amp and after all these hours, I am happy to report that the soundstage has developed and deepened significantly but unfortunately remains uniaxial; this means that the imaging remains weak (then again I consider the K701/HD 650 imaging to be weak as well). Music tracks from L to R, but still sound like 3 blobs in the head – location on the single axis is not easy to define – I can generally place sounds coming from the background to the foreground on one side, I’ll notice a small pause (where the soundspace of my head lies) before resuming in the other bud and fading away – I can follow these transients, but not track them.

In conclusion...

Overall, I’d say that these buds excel at what they do and are a decent value for what they offer. Are there improvements to make? Hell yes! For one, the foam tips could be a lot better. They can be uncomfortable (these are the same type of foam tips used in the Shure E2’s, E5’s and quiet spot series) and are a tad bit flimsy in their construction. I had to dab a spot of super glue on my pair to get the foam to sit more securely on the plastic sleeve. Otherwise, there seems a lot more improvement room possible in the soundstaging and imaging areas. I also feel that isolation could be a little better (yes, I used the bi-flanges and foamies) – on the other hand, considering the ease of removal and installation of these buds relative to regular IEM’s, I’d say the trade off is worth the lost silence.

Having said all that I have, I can say with certainty that these are the best earbuds I’ve heard to date (caveat: I’ve never heard customs nor the Shure E500’s)… Maybe one day I’ll get a pair of E500’s and have a little IEM showdown (Hear that Shure? Sugarfried? HINT, HINT). Overall, it seems that the gap between high end ‘phones and buds is gradually closing, and that can only be good news for audiophiles.

Thông số kỹ thuật

Specifications

Input Sensitivity: 117dB/mW

Frequency: Response 10 to 17,000 Hz

Impedance: 32 Ohms, 1kHz

Internal Speaker Configuration: Three individual precision balanced armatures

Noise Isolation: -26dB

Input connector: 1/8" (3.5mm) gold plated

Weight With cable assembly: 00.5 Ounces (14 Grams)

Microphone Sensitivity -40dBV / Pa at 1kHz


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