Pros: A steal with its feature set; solid build; more comfortable than most; balanced sound in passive mode; ANC can also act as bass boost
Cons: lack of Warranty; no extra cable for home use, black color is fingerprint magnet, hoping for more forward mids
Originally published in my blog,tertulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia: https://randomnessdotco.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/logitechue6000review/
How the story goes:
I find this headphone, which were hyped up to be a Beats Studio 2.0 killer back in 2013, on a pretty sweet deal of $36, with all the feature set it has, ANC, folding design, removable 3.5mm cable, I figures, Why The Hell not? and click the buy button on reflex, Short 2 days later a courier arrive knocking at my front door at 18 p.m. "Now, how does this one fares" was what i think
Company Background, UE (Ultimate Ears) used to mainly do business in Professional lvl IEM, founded by Jerrry Harvey, they used to work together with various companies like Shures and Westone, with them they has their various up and downs until recently at 2008 they were acquired as a subsidiary of Logitech for a $46 million deal, after that they went silent for a bit, until at 2013 they release a slew of product line, ranging from Wireless Portable speakers, IEMs and a closed headphone, together with its brothers, UE4000 (on ear non ANC) and 9000 (ANC with Bluetooth APT-X connectivity) Since then there's no revision for the Logitech Closed headphone, with low sales seems to be the case, the chance for a successor in near future seems low, does the performance reflect it's sad track record though? I guess we can find out
Packaging and Accessories:
The UE6000 comes inside a box inside an outer cover that's printed with picture of the headphone and specs on the back side. First time handling it I feel that it's quite weighty for a small box, and voila, Logitech actually use quite a solid box to protect the UE6000 from any damage when transporting, very different than 2 of headphone box I've ever has the chance to open (AT M series, and Grado Prestige), It has magnet clasp design that opens up its upper flaps, so it might actually be good for a display case on top of a desk.
Inside we will find the UE6000 nestled inside its soft travel case, a short 1.2m cable with 3.5mm TRRS audio jack on both side, with the one angled at 90 degrees, equipped also with Apple Compatible volume control and play-pause + mic definitely designed for portable use, no second cable for home use and the lastly, an Audio Jack splitter that works alright. On the flap is all the warranty papers (expired of course), user manual and other formalities.
The cable, as you can see is blue, both for black and white version, it uses rubber jacket and doesn't retain memory, there's a black label attached to the cable to explain just how deep the cable must be plugged to ascertain stable connection, overall a good cable without much of a fuss
The travel case is made of soft fabric with little reinforcement, only foam here and there to relieve the headphone from minor damage like scratches, it also has small pocket to hold the cable when the headphone is stored inside, as it's small the headphone need to be folded in to fit, just the way it is when it came from the factory too. The zipper also has protection against forceful opening, and you can install small lock if you desire, won't prevent a thief from cutting his way in, but at least it'll be safe from the hands of chummy friend that like to borrow your stuff without your permission
Feeling impatient after checking other things one by one, we finally go to the star of the show, The UE6000, nestled inside the soft travel case it looks so premium, way above the price I pay for it, the construcition is solid,it uses metal on its headband adjustment and folding mechanism with satisfying "click" sound when adjusting, other parts is plastic, glossy on the earcup and doff on the headband side
I've seen few cases of the headband becoming spoiled after months of disuse, so better take care of it. The padding on the headband is plush and quite broad, ensuring comfort on every part of the crown of the head that get into contact with it, the pads themselves is also plush and generous, actually shaped like a human ear, mine easily fits inside without any part get pressed on. The build quality justify the price it used to sell at, $199, and for the price I paid for it, it's basically a steal.
Now to the nitty gritty of the headphones, the left cup houses the battery, 2 AAA battery, the way to open it is by pressing the button located on the underside of the cup, the enclosure is non removable so it ensure you won't lost or break it somehow. the battery has been advertised to last for 40+ hours of ANC mode, quite generous if I may say, will be long before i need to change it. On the right earcup is where the cable plugs in, quite unlike the norm, and on the top side is the on-off switch, with LED indicators that turn green when it's in use with good battery condition, the LED turns red when battery is low and need to be replaced/ recharged. The siwtch powers on the built in amp and ANC functionality that will affect the sound, on that topic, lets plug in the cable and hear how they sound
Sony Multiflip 13> Fiio Q1> UE6000 for amped desktop scenario
Fiio M3> UE6000 for un amped portable scenario
test also will be varied by ANC on-off
1) Unamped with ANC Off: Volume for enjoyable listening is at least 27/60, will reach 31/60 depending on environmental noise, It has warm sound with kicking bass, mids is a bit recessed, but not far behind, and treble that's a bit soft with roll off on the highest frequency. The most prominent really is its bass, very fun and exciting. I don't care about environment noise at all with its already great passive noise isolation
2) Unamped with ANC On: Both the bass and Treble got lifted up, with much more quantity in the bass it reaches deeper but also more bloated and less controlled, mids feels even more recessed as the bass is shoving it to the side, also on the treble there's more sparkle, overall the sound become more U shaped, on this mode, there's also a need to lessen the volume with all the help the built in amp gives
3) Amped with ANC Off: just like un amped, but with the treble lifted up for every volume increase, overall if properly amped it sound balanced, very fun and engaging, making the listener want to do some headbanging, toe tapping and even dancing! This is the best scenario at which I like to listen the UE6000 :)
4) Amped with ANC On: Even more forward bas and treble, honestly it can be a bit overwhelming, some basshead may like it, me? not really...
For some, ANC mode may give way too much bass, but on the other hand Basshead will love it, but that's just the versatiliy of the UE6000, it can give you a bass boost on just a flip of a switch , this function may not satisfy audiophile that want to enjoy quality music, but it can work beautifully when used for other scenario, gaming and movie watching for example, it just gives more of that Ooomph that's needed on explosions and gunshot blaring, overall more immersive. So I say don't just dismiss this as a gimmick, the switch also help to drive the headphone from non powerful sources, true that the sound change a little bit, but what's important is for you to get an enjoyable listening volume without introducing distortion by over pushing your source isnt it?
You can hear the hiss of the ANC working, it's unescapable when listening to it in quieter environment while listening to music with many silent passages like acoustic etc, but on music with richer tones and inside a crowd of cars and people talking you won't even hear it, In my opinion it's better to turn the ANC off on quiet room as it sounds better and save more battery life for crowded, more hectic activities later on.
The ANC, when compared to higher priced models like Plantronic Backbeat Pro, Sony MDR ZX770BN, and Beats Studio 2.0 that I've tested before, it certainly is lacking, the UE eliminates sound on low frequencies with much narrower window, you can feel it working only on constant sounding low frequencies, like humming of AC, hub bub of traffic, falling rainfalls, etc. it also as usual isn't good at taking care sudden unexpected noise like babies crying or falling object, etc, the great passive isolation, when combined with its enhanced bass section on ANC mode UE6000 will more than enough to prevent environment noise from disturb your music listening enjoyment when you're out and about.
Very short subjective comparison (can't do A-B ing, as I doesn't own them, only by memory)
Compared with Sony MDR ZX770BN, the Sony is more of a "sleeper" headphone that really trying hard not to be offensive for long duration of listening… some will love it, some don't for me it's unremarkable, the UE has it trumped in sheer enjoyment, tigher bass, better highs.
With Beats Studio 2.0: the Beats has the UE "beat", The studio has clearer Mids and treble, Bass is dramatic, quantatively and qualitatively (equal mid than sub bass) treble energy is quite nice, it’s a fun, exciting one.
So for me it goes Beats 2.0>UE6000>Sony MDR ZX 770BN, but that is only sound, the Sony has overall plasticky build, and actually sound worse when ANC is activated, it has bluetooth APTX though, so if that what you're looking for go get em, The Studio 2.0 has overall better sound, yes but it only works in ANC mode that can't be turned off, it has no passive mode and uses micro usb to charge its battery that only last for 20 hours, the gloss build on the standart version is also quite fingerprint prone, the UE beat them both is versatility, comfort is overall it manage to equal, rivaling, even beat some in sound. All of that, as you can see come with great difference in price
UE6000 is a headset for people who like their bass ot be deep, but also fast and controlled, not covering vocals and instruments, it won't make your ear feel fatigued even when your crank the voume up on noisy areas with its warm sound signature. UE 6000 is a perfect Fulsize closed over ear for you that demands comfort and isolation without sacrificing on sound quality and portability, that, together with ANC, music control+mic, and foldable design is a combo that's hard to get on such a low price, you better get one while it last!
N.B its bigger brother, UE9000 is a better build coupled with bluetooth connectivity it essentially has same sound. Everything I say here applies there, just differ in buil (those fold flat rather than in, and the connectivity, proven by InnerFidelity review as well, if you find one in under $150 it actually is a pretty sweet deal too