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Glad I stayed in the family

A Review On: Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors

Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors

Rated # 3 in Custom
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Isolation
Value
Purchased on:
deadie
Posted · 10194 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Simply stellar sweet sound

Cons: Hyper revealing to bad sources / tracks

Given the date of the OP's review, seems I'm a couple years late to the UERM party.  Well, let's keep it going then.  
 

My new ears have arrived, and they sound glorious.

 
A few months back I made the happy mistake (happy to ears, misery to wallet) of researching a replacement for my UE10s.  Back in the day, when I got 'em, I chose the 10's over the 11's specifically due to the former's neutrality.  
 
The UE11 to me, was excessively forward and boomy, and I figured they'd be fatiguing in long listening sessions.  I demo'd both models at the LA Airport CanJam, ordered on site, and have loved the UE10 ever since.
 
Technology has taken quite the jump since then.
 
Compared to the UE10s, the UERMs have more sparkle, more life, more vocal ring, more black background, more air between the notes, faster attack and decay.  
 
I've read the criticisms of the UERMs being "bass-lite", and don't entirely agree.  First, I'm powering them with Centrance's 1.5W M8, balanced dual 3-pin XLR.  The UERM craves power (as did its older sibling) and has fantastic synergy with the M8.
 
Given this power, the UERM has no problem reaching low.  But the lows hit hard and fast and withdraw equally fast.  It's more of a "thoom!" vs a "thoooom..."
 
Other reviewers have stated that the treble can be harsh.  This I will agree with, but the harshness to me seems to be very much linked to the quality of the track.  
 
Stellar recordings like "Best Audiophile Voices" or Sarah Darling's acoustic tracks on "Angels & Devils" sound just incredible.  Soaring highs, sweet sweet vocals, with no harsh edges.
 
Lots and lots of pop, and other poorly recorded tracks, however, sound just awful.  ugh.  The UERMs reward you with the good and punish you with the bad.
 
Many thanks and props to Mike Dias and Roy Cochran.  Mike was my very patient and cool dude UE contact who answered all my product questions and ultimately connected me with Roy, for my local demo in San Diego.  Mike's first description of the UERM was that "it's the 10, just better".  The UERM is exactly that, and embodies my preferred sound style.
 
The UERM's sound just sounds... right to me.  That "back of mind" sound critic, always listening for flaws, is quiet.  I love this sound and listen with deep content and satisfaction. 
 
My audiologist done good - the fit / seal is solid, a tiny bit tight, but it's a well distributed fit.  I don't feel any pokey parts.
 
It comes in a hefty, not small metal case, much better than the flimsy, soft aluminum-like holder that came with the UE10s, so I'm pleased about this.  The fit and finish, and "out of box" experience is exactly what I'd expect from a premium product.
 
All in all, this has been an ideal purchase experience from pre-sales questions to demos, ordering, customization, follow ups and obviously end product quality.  These guys are pros.   
 
Lastly, the custom balanced cable is from Headphone Lounge.  Ted does damn fine work. 
 

 

 

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