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Heads-up: two versions of the UE700

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks to a fellow head-fier I recently got a 3-week audition of a new UE700 from Logitech. Having owned an original Ultimate Ears 700 for a while in the past, I was surprised to find several changes to the design that I've not seen documented anywhere. They are best seen on photos:

 

Ultimate Ears 700 Old 400x300.jpg

UE700, old version

 

Ultimate Ears 700 New 400x300.jpg

UE700, new version

 

Aside from the obvious differences in photo quality, stock eartip shape, and 3.5mm plug type, the nozzles of the two sets are very different. Whereas the old ones have short, smooth nozzles starting right past the housing, the news ones have a 'stepped' nozzle design and an additional notch further down preventing the tips from being placed all the way back on the nozzle (shown). Overall the new nozzles are about 2mm longer. The filter is still placed forward in the nozzles, which means that the distance between the drivers and filter has most likely increased by ~2mm. Realistically, this should result in some sonic differences.

 

While I no longer have my original UE700s to compare to the new one, I was one of several people not particularly impressed with their performance in comparison to other TWFK-based sets. For those who don't keep track, other earphones that use Knowles TWFK dual armature system with no additional drivers include the JAYS q-JAYS, Phiaton PS200, Fischer Audio DBA-02 / mkII (aka Brainwavz M2), Audio-Technica CK10, NOCS NS800, and more recently the VSonic GR01. The old UE700 fell particularly short for me when compared to the DBA-02 and CK10. Most annoying was the treble peakiness, which was lower down in the UE700 compared to other TWFK-based sets except maybe for the PS200. This resulted in occasional ear-ripping sibilance and a generally greater tilt towards brightness compared to the DBA-02, q-JAYS, and even the CK10. 

 

Here's an excerpt from the notes I took comparing the original UE700 to my CK10:

 

Quote:
  • More recessed bass than CK10s, softer impact, bit of a sub-bass roll-off in comparison
  • More forward midrange but lacks the microdetail and texture, note articulation, ultimate crispness, and a tiny bit of clarity
  • Brighter, sharper than CK10 / treble peakiness further down, does not add as much air/clarity, only acts to accentuate harshness/sibilance
  • Wider soundstage but not as enveloping, imaging not as vivid and realistic as CK10

 

The new ones, however, seem to be more leveled-out and are only mildly sibilant. They are more balanced with the same tracks compared to the CK10 and don't lag far behind the CK10s in natural clarity, crispness, and texture, though they still sound a bit shimmery and glassy in comparison. All this could be because the longer nozzles encourage a deeper fit but I found the same to be true of the old ones and certainly followed my own advice of using them at lower volumes and with the deepest possible seal for the best SQ. 

 

I know UE is now owned by a large corporation so hoping for an explanation of the differences is pointless but I wish they'd have changed the name of the unit to indicate that changes had been made. Furthermore, based on recent posts and impressions, I am not sure that the current UE600 is identical to the old SuperFi5, either. 


Edited by ljokerl - 3/3/12 at 10:20pm
post #2 of 18
Very interesting. I know that in Japan they refer to the newer version as the UE700R. But the "R" is nowhere to be found on the packaging, and there's no mention of the revision on the Logicool (Logitech Japan) website either, which still shows images of the previous version.
post #3 of 18

Strange. I love my UE 700s (both old and new version), but could not stand my CK10's harsh treble. They seriously gave me headaches. 

 

Nice write up though! I am still a bit skeptical regarding the durability of the new L-plug. There is absolutely no strain relief... 

post #4 of 18

I think there was a revision a while back to the L plug that made it much more durable. Not sure when and not exactly how since I don't have a set on my hands but there's a thread around here somewhere regarding it. Though frankly put, the old eartips look much better and more comfortable.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post


While I no longer have my original UE700s to compare to the new one, I was one of several people not particularly impressed with their performance in comparison to other TWFK-based sets. ....

The new ones, however, seem to be more leveled-out and are only mildly sibilant. They are more balanced with the same tracks compared to the CK10 and don't lag far behind the CK10s in natural clarity, crispness, and texture, though they still sound a bit shimmery and glassy in comparison. All this could be because the longer nozzles encourage a deeper fit but I found the same to be true of the old ones and certainly followed my own advice of using them at lower volumes and with the deepest possible seal for the best SQ. 

Have the new version with me for a few weeks now, can't say I am particularly impressed as well, but I got it for cheap (< US$120) so at least I don't feel sorry for my wallet. Still, it is a long way off from TF10 in comparison. There is also report of TF15 (seem to be the Chinese version of TF10) sounding much warmer and muddier than TF10 as well - make me wonder WTF Logitech is doing with UE.

Oh, I push the eartips all the way down (over the retention rib) myself. It is how it comes in the package and listed on the manual. In that configuration, the nozzle is almost leveling with the eartips' opening (which is a rather stupid design that might cause clogging in the long run for many).
post #6 of 18
post #7 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

I know UE is now owned by a large corporation so hoping for an explanation of the differences is pointless but I wish they'd have changed the name of the unit to indicate that changes had been made. Furthermore, based on recent posts and impressions, I am not sure that the current UE600 is identical to the old SuperFi5, either. 



I think your right about the EU600 sounding different from the older SuperFi 5 even though they look the same.  I read somewhere from a person who had both and said the newer 600 had a better over all sound and was cleaner.  I'd like to hear how the stack up against the HF5 or the PFE 112 and some other $100 single BA's.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


Have the new version with me for a few weeks now, can't say I am particularly impressed as well, but I got it for cheap (< US$120) so at least I don't feel sorry for my wallet. Still, it is a long way off from TF10 in comparison. There is also report of TF15 (seem to be the Chinese version of TF10) sounding much warmer and muddier than TF10 as well - make me wonder WTF Logitech is doing with UE.

 

That's too bad about the TF15, hopefully it won't be a global replacement for the TF10s.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter Charm View Post

Wait, is this why there are two listings on amazon? 

 

$199 MSRP (probably the older ones?)

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Ears-Noise-Isolating-Earphones/dp/B001NTFAOS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331240791&sr=8-2

 

$149 MSRP (newer ones?)

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultimate-Ears-Noise-Isolating-Earphones/dp/B003YKG2YQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331240791&sr=8-1

 


Yep, those seem to be the two different versions looking at the plugs and carrying cases. They didn't change the pic of the housing to the new ones - can tell because the old tips are shown on both.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post


 



I think your right about the EU600 sounding different from the older SuperFi 5 even though they look the same.  I read somewhere from a person who had both and said the newer 600 had a better over all sound and was cleaner.  I'd like to hear how the stack up against the HF5 or the PFE 112 and some other $100 single BA's.

 

When I had the SF5 I thought it was very mid-centric. Good mids and presentation but disappointing elsewhere with really average treble extension and a dull sound to it. No idea how the UE600 compares.
 

 

post #9 of 18

That strain relief (or lack thereof) on the new version's plug is certainly a cause for concern. The new version's packaging, it's the one that has the Logitech branding right?

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

The new one uses the same small cardboard box as the rest of the current UE range except the TF10. The old one used the same box as the old TF10 (except in green I think). It was rather large and had a window in the center showing the earphones.

post #11 of 18

Ahhh, gotcha. The UE IEM's I see in most stores locally in my country now stock the newer ones in the Logitech packaging, small boxes. Strangely enough I still saw some UE700's and TF10's in the bigger old packaging, but with extremely high prices (e.g. TF10 for $500+, WTF). The "new" UE700 retails for a reasonable $138 though.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

Fischer Audio DBA-02 / mkII (aka Brainwavz M2)

 

Did you mean Brainwavz B2?

post #13 of 18

 

Thanks for the info.

 

The (new version) UE700 is great for $99 incl. shipping, a "musical pill" and excellent rival to the HF5.

 

A new contender for cheap TWFK is Rockit R-50 at $119 (for Americans) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005XSBNG4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=A1YAVAT8DSIXYB

 

 

post #14 of 18

i owned the ue 700 and loved it because it was very comfortable due to its small size. 

 

however, it has weak bass that will get boomy easily

post #15 of 18

I've replace the old one with the new version: IMO there is an evident change.
There is a bit more bass and are overall much more balanced.
Certainly a good upgrade!


Edited by 7per3 - 1/2/13 at 9:44am
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