1. It's well documented that users experienced failures with UE900's due to earpiece construction. Rory Dooley mentioned in the Head Fi thread that since launch the UE900 saw changes to the connector and faceplate. Can you comment on those issues, and how did you address those issues?
We took a close look at where the problems were coming from and addressed them by improving our design and updating our manufacturing techniques.
2. If you are happy with the reliability of these fixes, why did you continue making changes to the manufacturing techniques as seen in the blue connector versions of the UE900s in Japanese media?
We are always looking to improve our designs and manufacturing processes, which is a common practice used across most companies that manufacture products. We continuously update our processes to address customer feedback or to take advantage of new techniques and materials to improve manufacturability.
3. Specifically, Japanese media reports that the UE900s now has a one piece earpiece construction using sonic welding. Why was this change made?
The change to the one-piece assembly improves our manufacturing process, removing a step where errors could be made.
4. Japanese media reports that the UE900s drivers are now held in place using a plastic assembly rather than glue. Why was this change made?
This is also a function of improving our manufacturing process. Using a plastic assembly is easier to use and manufacture.
5. Why was the warranty reduced from 2 years to 1 year in a number of markets with the introduction of the UE900s?
The company has introduced a new warranty policy since we introduced the UE 900 earphones in 2012, which is meant to standardize warranty periods across all product categories. Warranties vary by country and by specific legal requirements in those countries.
6. Given that your marketing material and packaging depict the UE900s with the blue connector and apparently the same changes as those reported in Japanese media, do you think that customers would expect to have received something different when they ordered the UE900s?
The introduction of the UE 900s earphones was driven by improving the out-of-the-box experience, with a better mechanism for finding the right eartip and an included maintenance kit for keeping the connectors in tiptop shape. Because the black and blue connectors meet the exact same technical specification (as listed on the box) and the shift from one to the other was related to improving our manufacturing processes, we did not expect this reaction.
7. For customers who have already received the UE900s with black connectors, would you allow them to exchange their units for units with blue connectors?
Because the earphones with blue connectors are sonically identical to the earphones with black connectors, every consumer who purchases UE 900s earphones has the same high-quality sound experience. Thus, we are not offering an exchange program.
8. You state that you will now remove the S from the packaging of black connector UE900s units until you sell through these units. How do you explain this decision?
Because customers expressed strong interest in knowing whether they are buying the black connector or the blue connector, we removed the “s” from the packaging in China, Hong Kong and Korea (where the product is most widely distributed) to help customers better understand what they are receiving. As communicated on Head-Fi last week, we will notify this community when the blue connector is available in the U.S. and Europe.
9. Given the confusion caused by this issue, how do you think you could have launched this product differently?
We clearly regret the confusion, and should have paid more attention to the outer packaging.
10. One interpretation of this issue is that Logitech was attempting to sell old parts in a new box, with pricing higher than current street prices for the UE900. How do you respond to this claim?
This is not the case. The introduction of the UE 900s earphones was driven by the goal to improve the out-of-the-box experience. Again, our products are constantly evolving as we’re updating our manufacturing techniques and processes, and the confusion here is a result of that and a poor packaging decision.
11. A common narrative on Head Fi is that since acquisition by Logitech, quality control for UE's product line has suffered. Why do you think some people have this view and how would you respond to it?
Change always happens after an acquisition. In the beginning, in terms of earphones, we maintained a focus on high-quality and experimented and took the brand into new price points. Now, we are focused back on the sweet spot of UE earphones, high-quality universal and custom fit earphones. We are committed to creating a high quality audio experience for our customers and will continue to push ourselves.
12. Logitech has discontinued many products from the UE product line. What is the expectation for the UE consumer brand going forward?
UE will continue to focus on creating experiences that provide exceptional sound and immersive experiences. Going forward, expect the UE consumer brand to be about a few really amazing experiences.