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Ultrasone Signature Pro

Posted

Pros: Excellent sound stage, glorious brass, easy to drive from a portable player, swapable cabling

Cons: isolation and leakage not to CIEM standard

I've found myself unable to use custom IEMs and needed to find some high quality portables for my three hours a day on public transport. After lots of research and some excellent help from assorted head-fiers, I settled on these.

 

My music tends to be expansive american 20th century (Copland, Ives, Gershwin), more minimal (Reich, Stockhausen, Ligeti), and female vocal (Dusty, Roberta Flack).

 

I've been listening to the Sig Pro non-stop since they arrived, and for my head they are as comfortable as any I've worn. My main home headphones are LCD-2 and I love their sound which seems to work very well for my preferred listening, I didn't expect the new ones to match the LCDs, and they don't, quite. But they are remarkably close. They have quite an open feel for a closed headphone and the Copland and Gershwin feel very spacious. I'm not a major bass head, but I dug out some meatloaf and felt really nice, absolutely bassy enough for me but still strong on the voice. Brass sounds really good, bold and bright - just the way I like it.

 

Next step, going portable. This was the main reason for buying them so I really needed them to behave nicely with my IBasso DX-100. And they really do. To my ears, they actually work better with the DX-100 than the LCD-2s. They more than match my ACS-T1 CIEMs for comfort and clearly exceed them for sound quality on everything I've listened to so far. They only fall short of my perfect portable headphones in two respects: sound isolation and noise leakage. They aren't bad at all but they don't compare to CIEMs (I guess nothing you stick on your head as opposed to in your ears is going to...).

 

The overall package you get for your money is nicely assembled. The case has a sturdy feel and enough space for my DX-100; the interchangeable cables are useful, as I prefer shorter for commuting and longer when I'm settled somewhere; and I hope to get hold of the cable with the inline microphone to try to use them as a phone headset. 

 

All in all I love them, and if I was only allowed one pear of headphones for all my needs (perish the thought), I'd pick these.

Posted

Pros: Balanced, neutral sounding, bigger ear-cups than Ed8, less flashy, feels durable

Cons: Leather on head-band not very inspiring

Just received these babies to replace my Ed8 for portable use. I must agree that they don't sound as "Wow" as the Ed8 on first listen. Although all the detail is there, the soundstage feels a tad more congested than the Ed8, the upper registers with female vocals have that metallic tinge to them. Thats kinda surprising since I've been listening to the EX1000 the past month or so extensively.

 

Anyhow, the Fostex HP-P1 can't seem to drive the SigPro as well as I had hoped. Adding on my trusty iQube helps a fair bit with the aforementioned soundstage and tinge. Gonna burn them in (and my ears as well) and see how they go~

Posted

Pros: Travel ready, will play through any source easily

Cons: Headband, lack of bass

Excellent set of closed cans and these would be my favorite if only they had a little more punch in the low end. Disappointing for me to hear mediocre bass. Especially in a set of closed cans.

Posted

Pros: Beautiful sound, well built, spartan design aesthetic

Cons: Headband padding bit too thin for my long wearing comfort

 

I just received my SigPros (bought from a fellow head-fi'er), and now have several hours with them.  They are great headphones.  Agree with most of what everyone's saying about them.  These are the best sounding headphones I have heard.

 

They don't have the look of the higher priced headphones.  In fact, they look like they'd cost $60-150... which is a selling point for me.  I listen exclusively at work and leave them at work, so having them look like everyone else's headphones should help keep them from getting stolen.  You don't get the "I just paid $1k" wow factor when you look at them, but depending on where you listen, that's for the best.  They are a wolf in sheeps clothing and you'd need to be a headphone-centric audiophile to have an idea what they are.

 

It's when you put them on that you realize where the money went.  Compared to my memory of the D7000's, they sound a bit crisper throughout the spectrum, but otherwise comparable sound signature.  Solid, thumping bass in songs that call for it, beautiful male and female voices, at times edging towards too much on the highs, but never crossing over to sibilant or screechy.  Wonderful but natural separation of instruments.  Great isolation in and out, so you can listen at ambitious volumes and not worry yourself over annoying your co-workers (or embarrassing yourself with your Lady Gaga and NSYNC anthologies).

 

My only very minor complaints so far, are comfort-related: I could do with the headband cushioning being a bit softer.  Most people probably won't have a problem with this, but my hair is thinning a bit on top, so my hair doesn't provide any built-in cushioning to speak of and the headband gets to feeling hard on top of my head after awhile.  Also, the earcup cushioning isn't deep enough.  My ears don't stick out particularly, but they still press lightly against the fabric-covered, metal inner wall, and this too begins to irritate over time.  I'll grow ear callouses if I need to.  Like these headphones enough.

 

They are nice and light, so their on-head weight is never an issue.  Clamping is firm but not uncomfortable even with prolonged listening.  The detachable, locking cable goes into the left earcup, which I greatly like as it doesn't end up constantly catching on the zipper of your hoodie/jacket/sweater/etc.  Ends up being more out of the way.  Materials aren't showy, but seem solid and capable.  Time will tell about durability and cosmetic longevity, but I have some confidence.  The leather on the earcups is gloriously smooth and supple.

 

Comes with a nice (but again, not flashy) leather-wrapped hard case, a large and a small terminated straight cable, and that's about it.  "Simple, high quality, and to the point" seems to be the motif for this headphone and package.

 

I'm looking forward to getting back to listening to my music again, and not continually analysing what's not quite up to par.  These fit perfectly into my lifestyle needs, and into my desired sound signature preferences.

 

They are listing at $1299.00 but can be had much cheaper by finding them used (like I did) here in the For Sale forum, or by calling RMC Audio (e.g., not by ordering over the internet with them).

 

Let me know if you have any questions.  I can only A/B them with my Westone 4 IEMs at the moment, but can give you general comparisons from memory of my previous cans.  Oh yeah, I listen to most everything that's not sung in German, although The Magic Flute is an exception there.  So: metal, rap, folk, top 40, classical, opera, country, indie, etc.  I keep my playlist on shuffle.

Posted

Pros: low-fatigue, Great Soundstage, Very Fast, Excellent Build Quality

Cons: Slightly recessed vocal range - may improve after break-in.

Running gear:

* JDSLabs built Objective2.
* HRT Music Streamer II.
* Lots of lossless audio and MP3-320.
* Also tested with Fiio E17

Other cans I own(ed) that I may be compairing these to:

* Grado GS-1000 (non-i)
* AKG K701
* Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
* Grado SR225i (Modified)
* Grado SR80i w/ L-Cush Pads


I'm loving having closed headphones at home, and the SigPros are very nice indeed.
At first I found them a bit bass heavy however, today is a new day and I'm not noticing it as much as yesterday,
This could be me getting used to them (Highly probable) but it could be them breaking in and allowing the mids to sound more freely.

As far as closed headphones go I think they are as fast as the HD 25-1 II's, with a much larger sound stage and less fatiguing.

Do I like them more than the GS-1000's?
I think so... mainly because I find them a bit 'faster' and they have a larger sound stage.

What did the GS-1000's do better?
Vocals, for example, listening to 'Cat Power - The Greatest' would really shine on the GS-1000's but Chans voice feels a little recessed on the SigPros.
Maybe this will improve over the break-in process.

So far, 5 hours in I would sum them up as follows:

  • No fatigue at all.
  • Excellent soundstage.
  • Very 'fast'.
  • The build quality cannot be faulted, they would probably last a lifetime.
  • They sound much better on my Objective2 than on my Fiio E17.
  • Slightly recessed vocals with Folk recordings, this may improve after break-in.
  • I would not say that they are NZ$1200 better than Sennheiser's HD 25-1 II's, however they are a good step up and I don't know what else you would go with for the money (As far as closed cans go).

Ultrasone Signature Pro
Description:

Hand-crafted in Germany. Equipped with comprehensive Ultrasone technology. The comfortable ear pads and the new headband make it possible to work and listen stress-free for long periods of time. It get's better... these new Signature PRO headphones may have a minimalist design, but can handle hard work and are a sheer pleasure to wear! The name plates made of finely polished toughened safety glass emphasise its professional focus. The dark-grey ear and headband pads are made from the tried-and-tested leather of the Ethiopian long-haired sheep, and sewn by hand. This exclusive leather provides long-lasting quality for the wearer, an incredibly snug fit and outstanding insulation. As a special feature, the Signature PRO meets the requests of many end users with its removable cables and B-Lock connection. These cables can be exchanged at any time, as required. A long and short cable, of 3m and 1.5m respectively, are included as standard. And to crown it all - the Signature PRO comes in a custom-made transport-friendly case.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandUltrasone
EAN4043941111004
FeatureSound pressure level 98 dB
Height9.06 inches
Length11.42 inches
Weight0.66 pounds
Width3.54 inches
LabelUltrasone
ManufacturerUltrasone
ModelUltrasone Signature Pro
MPNSignature PRO
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameCONSUMER_ELECTRONICS
PublisherUltrasone
StudioUltrasone
TitleUltrasone Signature Pro Headphones
SKUccB349296
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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