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Is UE behind the curve regarding customs?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Aside from the UERMs it seems that their entire lineup isn't getting much love these days. As someone shopping for high end customs, I'm wondering if their upper models (again aside from UERM) simply can't compete with recent offerings from JH, Westone, UM, and the like. Or is this more of a 'what have you done lately' thing and they aren't being talked about simply because these models have been out for a while? Is it a service issue, or speed of delivery, or something else?

I've seen several comments that the 18pro model isn't worth the price (or even close to it), which led me to look for threads about their other models and not finding much of anything recent. Most of the 'what customs should I get' threads lately also are missing any UE recommendations.
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Aside from the UERMs it seems that their entire lineup isn't getting much love these days. As someone shopping for high end customs, I'm wondering if their upper models (again aside from UERM) simply can't compete with recent offerings from JH, Westone, UM, and the like. Or is this more of a 'what have you done lately' thing and they aren't being talked about simply because these models have been out for a while? Is it a service issue, or speed of delivery, or something else?

I've seen several comments that the 18pro model isn't worth the price (or even close to it), which led me to look for threads about their other models and not finding much of anything recent. Most of the 'what customs should I get' threads lately also are missing any UE recommendations.

It's because the UE18 Pro is $1,350. While it's contenders are from $900 - $1,150.
 

 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm not so sure that is the case. I think many people are like me in that I'm willing to pay whatever is needed to get the sound I want, since this will be my only custom. Although I'm looking for top of the line type sound, customs I'm looking at range from Merlins at $700 to JH3A system at $1800 and whatever sounds the best will win the sale. If the 18pro sounded good enough to warrant the price I don't see a reason why it wouldn't sell simply because it is more expensive.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I'm not so sure that is the case. I think many people are like me in that I'm willing to pay whatever is needed to get the sound I want, since this will be my only custom. Although I'm looking for top of the line type sound, customs I'm looking at range from Merlins at $700 to JH3A system at $1800 and whatever sounds the best will win the sale. If the 18pro sounded good enough to warrant the price I don't see a reason why it wouldn't sell simply because it is more expensive.


That's the thing, It doesn't.

 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
So what about the rest of the line? Try to be less cryptic, please. Your posted seemed to indicate it was a pricing only issue. If they don't perform well enough to compete with other brands I would guess my question would be answered in the positive, in that they are behind the curve.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

So what about the rest of the line? Try to be less cryptic, please. Your posted seemed to indicate it was a pricing only issue. If they don't perform well enough to compete with other brands I would guess my question would be answered in the positive, in that they are behind the curve.


The UERM can compete with or probably best the UE18 Pro sonically and costs only $999. If that's the case, why does the 18 Pro cost $350 more dollars?

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I see, so UE is gutting their own line up, interesting move... I would suppose that a 6 driver per side (and 4 per side 11pro) costs more than a 3 driver per side, though the performance doesn't seem to be there.
post #8 of 14

Old custom makers are getting a lot of competition these days, not just UE. For the last few years, I saw a steady decline of of Westone (and worst, Future Sonics) discussion as well. UE is just in a tougher place when people perceive that it is run by another big, non audio orientated company and the former boss / founder now run an competing show.

post #9 of 14

Did the UE 18 Pro came out after the JH-13? Or was it after the JH 16? I seem to recall sth like that happening, so it seemed like they were both a) matching JHA on the number of drivers, and b) trying to one-up JHA with model numbers.

Neither of those things helped their reputation.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

Did the UE 18 Pro came out after the JH-13? Or was it after the JH 16? I seem to recall sth like that happening, so it seemed like they were both a) matching JHA on the number of drivers, and b) trying to one-up JHA with model numbers.

Neither of those things helped their reputation.

JH13 is almost half a year before UE18, announced right before CanJam 2009 along with Jerry's big comeback. UE18 is officially announced around 14th Jan 2010, and JH16 two days later (both during NAMM show, I believe).
 

 


Edited by ClieOS - 7/21/11 at 8:05pm
post #11 of 14
I really like the Capitol Mastering IEM it does a great job with details and sense of space. It is not as engaging to listen to but that said if I had the cash I'd pick them up as an alternative the the JH13s.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Old custom makers are getting a lot of competition these days, not just UE. For the last few years, I saw a steady decline of of Westone (and worst, Future Sonics) discussion as well. UE is just in a tougher place when people perceive that it is run by another big, non audio orientated company and the former boss / founder now run an competing show.

I would say that something to keep in mind is that discussion on head-fi is not really representive of a large market for many of these companies. For example, Future Sonics is very busy with business as they almost solely geared to musicians. I imagine Sensaphonics is similar. UE and Westone have their large markets. Just to make a joke, I doubt that Skull Candy is suffering much from a lack of visibility on head-fi!!! Of course, other companies may be more orientated to an audiophile market.

 

It might be fair to say that the UE18 is a stage monitor, primarily. One could say that listening to it in quiet for hour at a time isn't really what it was made for.

 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunlun View Post

I would say that something to keep in mind is that discussion on head-fi is not really representive of a large market for many of these companies. For example, Future Sonics is very busy with business as they almost solely geared to musicians. I imagine Sensaphonics is similar. UE and Westone have their large markets. Just to make a joke, I doubt that Skull Candy is suffering much from a lack of visibility on head-fi!!! Of course, other companies may be more orientated to an audiophile market.

 

It might be fair to say that the UE18 is a stage monitor, primarily. One could say that listening to it in quiet for hour at a time isn't really what it was made for.

 

 

Of course. But like many of us here whom are neither musician nor make our living rely on IEM, I doubt most of the ghost readers on our forum (which are much more than the actual number of members) who come here to do their research on custom will care which musicians is endorsing which brands. Just like I have serious doubt that most people who buy SkullCandy are regular reader here. If a person is on the hunt for custom, I will say there is a very good chance (s)he will come across HF and likely going to read one of those big thread on custom IEM, then find one of the new brand with the better bang for the bucks. I am not saying older brands are losing their customer, but what they are losing is probably the market share, The cake (which is way smaller a few years ago) used to get sliced by just few companies, now the cake is a lot bigger than there used to be, yet more slices have to be made because more companies are getting into the action. Old brands like UE, Westone and FS are probably still growing on customer number, but losing out on some of their market share in percentage to the new comers. That is where FS is at their weakest - there are a new section of the market (*casual listener with money to spend) opening up and growing rapidly, yet their marketing is still that same, targeting at the slowest part of the market (the pro user). I am sure they have their reason for it, but to me that is too conservative. Just look at JH Audio, Jerry started the business in debt, yet a few months later he had millions worth of order. I don't believe those didn't eat into UE, Westone or FS customer base when we consider market as a whole.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

Of course. But like many of us here whom are neither musician nor make our living rely on IEM, I doubt most of the ghost readers on our forum (which are much more than the actual number of members) who come here to do their research on custom will care which musicians is endorsing which brands. Just like I have serious doubt that most people who buy SkullCandy are regular reader here. If a person is on the hunt for custom, I will say there is a very good chance (s)he will come across HF and likely going to read one of those big thread on custom IEM, then find one of the new brand with the better bang for the bucks. I am not saying older brands are losing their customer, but what they are losing is probably the market share, The cake (which is way smaller a few years ago) used to get sliced by just few companies, now the cake is a lot bigger than there used to be, yet more slices have to be made because more companies are getting into the action. Old brands like UE, Westone and FS are probably still growing on customer number, but losing out on some of their market share in percentage to the new comers. That is where FS is at their weakest - there are a new section of the market (*casual listener with money to spend) opening up and growing rapidly, yet their marketing is still that same, targeting at the slowest part of the market (the pro user). I am sure they have their reason for it, but to me that is too conservative. Just look at JH Audio, Jerry started the business in debt, yet a few months later he had millions worth of order. I don't believe those didn't eat into UE, Westone or FS customer base when we consider market as a whole.

These are good points. However, it can be as toxic to a business to grow too quickly as it can to not grow at all. JH is actually a good example of that. Marty Garcia was concerned about it and has been carefully planning to have the business infrastructure to maintain growth without losing quality service. I hope UM, Sensaphonics and others do the same. As for JH, one of Jerry's stated goals is to eat into UE's bottom line, there's some bad blood there. With Westone as well, if you recall the history.
 

 

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