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Ultrasone IQ

Rating:
4.125/5,
Tags:
  1. iems0nly
    Ultrasone Flagship IQ - Perfection
    Written by iems0nly
    Published Oct 22, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - TOTL details, soundstage, presentation.
    Cons - None. (Price is also justified)
    Simple Man’s review – Ultrasone IQ (~650 USD)
    This is called simple man’s review because they are based on the sound of these earphones directly from my mobile phone (HTC 10), using 320 Kbps mp3 tracks. No expensive gears nor lossless tracks,no EQ, and all that hi-fi stuff.

    IMAG2929.jpg

    Product Specs :
    Driver: 2-way Hybrid - One 8mm Dynamic driver + One Balanced Armature driver
    Impedance: 20 Ohms; Sensitivity: 104dB/mW
    Weight: 10g
    Cable: MMCX detachable cables. One with mic+remote, another without
    Shell: Hard die-cast metal housings
    Nozzle: 3mm (like Etys)
    Release year: 2012

    Build – 5/5
    Same as Ultrasone IQ Pro with a flashy colour theme that adds some bling. (Skip directly to Sound if you already checked out the IQ Pro review). The housings are super hard metal compressed under high pressure, robust and yet, super light. They housings seat very comfortably in the ear. These are one of the best designs I’ve come across in term of comfort. No part of the ear feels any unnecessary pressure. Excellent design. The nozzles however could have been a couple of couple of millimeters longer for a little more penetration. Nevertheless, we are loaded with a plethora of tips to ensure no trouble on this front. The wires are very comfortable and light and appear strong as well. The memory ear guides are thick as well, and I don’t see them breaking for any reason. The detachable part swivels around smoothly which could be slightly annoying during wear. The L-shaped connector is same one used by the entire family, and they are super sturdy as well with a safe strain relief.

    IMAG2933.jpg

    Accessories – 5/5

    Inside the box we get,
    An excellent tall hard leather case which flaps shut on top, without a zipper. Perfectly size and can hold the earphones without suffocating them
    Tips. We get a lot of tips. Same set as provided with all Tio or IQ Pro. We get two sizes of Comply Tx-tips (with ear-wax guard this time), two sizes of conical tips, and 3 sizes of redular-styled tips. You can use these tips with you Etymotic earphones as well, if you are going for a shallow fit there.
    We also get one Flight adapter and one OMTP adapter

    IMAG2935.jpg

    Isolation & Sound leakage – 4/5
    Ias i touched upon earlier, a the nozzles could have been 2 cms longer, which would have improved isolation greatly. But as it is it’s still very good, and leakage is NIL for all practical purposes.

    Fit – 5/5
    Personally, for me, fit is easy and very straight-forward. I faced no problems whatsoever. I use the silicon tips, both the conical ones and the cylindrical ones work good for me. I’ve read some earlier reviews where they whine about getting a good seal, but for my ears, it’s good and easy enough, and the comfort is amazing as well. With a shallow fit they sound great. I find no reason to dig in for a deeper fit.

    Microphonics – 5/5
    Microphonics are minimal, close to non-existant. The thick cables stay put and around the wear wear style nearly eliminates any concern of this. If you get a tight fit where the housings don’t move, you won’t hear the wires no matter what.

    Drivability – Being a little low on Sensitivity, they aren’t super easy to drive. But with my HTC10 60% is sufficiently loud for me. I don’t see any issues driving these with any smartphone. Maybe you will push the volume a little further than usual.

    Before we get to the sound:
    You must know that i don’t listen to trance, EDM, or bassy stuff, no metal stuff, so, take my opinion about the extremes of the sound spectrum, and speed,etc., with a grain of salt, as they are just based on the kind of music I listen to- namely Jazz, blues, some progressive rock from the 70s/80s. However, to give a fair review, i include some of my favourite Daft Punk, Tool, NIN, and some Pop songs among my test tracks.

    Eartips: I’m using the stock silicon eartips with the IQs, as they penetrate well and i also get a good seal. On some days conical tips work better than the other ones. I think it depends on the amount of wax in my outer ear.

    IMAG2930.jpg

    Sound Signature–
    The overall signature is balanced, with some extended treble presence. The general grequency curve sounds very much like their younger dynamic driver Pyco, very balanced and tight in presentation. Only, the IQ has a roomier soundstage and delivers details in spades. The presentation is more intimate than monitoresque.

    Soundstage:
    The soundstage is very wide and deep. The depth is very evident with all the micro details popping up at different distances into the soundstage. And all the notes have a lot of breathing space for themselves. Being slightly intimate, the soundstage also displays good height, but not overly so. The players play at a distance that is neither far nor too up front. They are close enough to keep your toe tapping, and also give you some privacy, a little distance, to look up and appreciate the beauty of music. Perfectly positioned.

    Bass:
    The bass is tight and punchy. Very snappy, but at the same time they carry enough meat and land with an authoritative impact. It is very BA-like like in terms of speed, but dynamic-like in the thud it delivers. The sub-bass stands alongside the mid-bass, equal in quantity, and does not leave the user missing any of the rumble, definition or impact from the bass regions. They sit on a nice middle point between quantity and quality. Good definition and micro details are perceivable as well. Electronic music sounds great with the snappy and well defined punchy delivery of bass lines. Natural instruments also land in the right timbre. Overall, it’s all very nicely done. It’s monitoresque brother, IQ Pro, has slightly better definition in bass sacrificing the punchy impact that IQ delivers successfully.

    Mids:
    Mids are very detailed and play on the level. They are very slightly brought forward in the mix, just enough to hold your attention. Very perfectly positioned, and does not fall back in presence even in bass or treble heavy music. But one will not call these mid-centric. They are very much in line and balanced, somewhat like Sony EX800. Voices are crisp and clear and have nice warmth to them. The instruments present all the micro-details in the deep stage, and the guitar plucks ends in a satisfying echo displaying superb transient harmonics. We see no colouration in the mids except for the added warmth from the impactful bass regions. Definition and instrument positioning are stellar and flagship level.

    Treble:
    This is where the sound signature departs considerably from Pyco. The upper-treble, for me that is around 10Khz+, has more presence in the IQ, and presents greater shimmer and micro-details up-front. The clarity, if you aren’t used to high-end earphones, will initially shock you with the details it presents in its deep soundstage. Although up-front, for my ears, these are not piercing in nature, although they do take you dangerously close to sibilance to deliver all the micro-details as possible without coming across as harsh or over-emphasised. They avoid this by not introducing any annoying peaks to the signature, but rather bringing the whole neighbouring band a little to the front of the mix. Complys do help a little to tame this, just a little, without sacrificing any details. From what i read about the EX1000, if you are used to them the IQ should be no different or harder to handle, even with silicon. I wouldn’t call the IQs treble tilted, like FLAT4 earphones, for instance. These are much more balanced and use the treble to the maximum extent to present musical information without making them dominant.

    Comparisons
    IMAG2941.jpg
    For an internal comparison within the family, please refer to my IQ Pro review comparisons. In this review i’m simply comparing the Ultrasone IQ with the other most expensive earphones in my inventory to see how similar or different they stack up.

    Round 1 – Ultrasone IQ vs Audio Technica CKR 100iS (~400 USD)
    OK, first let’s see how different they are from my top favourite dual-dynamic earphones CKR100iS. The original CKR100s would run you up to 400 USD (Don’t buy the cheap Chinese counterfeits. It’s simple, fakes will never sound like the original)

    OK. Switching from IQ to CKR100, I could immediately say that the CKR100s are more mid-centric and have a lush quality to them. Voices carry more warmth and soul. The soundstage of the CKR100 is more rounded and intimate, compared to the slightly more distanced and wide presentation of the IQs.

    Switching back to IQ from CKR100s, i could perceive that the IQ unit has more clarity and sounded significantly cleaner than the push-pull drivers of CKR100. This could be due to the more balanced tuning of the IQs that they are able to present all the details in superior clarity, sacrificing the intimacy and lushness. The bass of IQ also seems a little more elevated, but at the same time it’s much quicker than the CKR100 in attack. IQ is more punchier and also has slightly more quatity to its mid-bass. The snappier attack also adds to the perceived clarity of the bassline with the IQ. This added definition seems a little lacking in the CKR100. The soundstage of IQ is much more roomier, and instrument separation is significantly greater. There is also more depth to the IQ’s soundstage. Localisation as well goes in favour of the more expensive IQ. The treble is slightly laidback in the CKR100, which makes for an easier listen, versus the IQ, which demands a somewhat stronger ear in terms of treble toleration. But one is rewarded with a bounty of details in exchange.

    Ultrasone IQ clearly the more superior phone technically. Snappier bass attack, definition, micro-details, separation and localisation all go to Ultrasone flagship IEM IQ.

    Where the CKR100 reigns supreme is with its lusher mids, vocals, and a more intimate and thicker presentation, and slightly better natural timbre.

    Round 2 – Ultrasone IQ vs Audio Technica E70 (350-400 USD)
    This round, IQ is up against the Audio technica flagship of the monitoring E series, E70. These are armed with 3 BA drivers, and are notorious for their detail retrieval ability while sounding thick and dark. Let’s get to it!

    Switching back and forth, we can notice that the E70 is much darker and thicker sounding, giving gobs of detail within it’s dark soundstage. Straight away, we also notice the big E70 treble peak flexing its enhanced treble presenting chimes in a flashy manner. There is also greater mid bass volume with the E70, and the male vocals are much thicker and up-front in comparison to IQs.

    The IQs on the other hand, sound really balanced, and have none of that dark and fluid feeling to the music. Instrument separation is significantly better and there is so much space around each sound in the IQ, compared to which the E70s come across as cluttered. The male vocals in IQ are not so up-front but play at a slight distance compared to E70. IQ sounds cleaner, and its airier soundstage present the entire music in a much more satisfying manner than the E70. IQs come across as slightly thinner, it sounds better for this reason.

    Easy win in my opinion for the more expensive IQs. If you like darker and thicker sound, then the E70s would suit you better.

    Round 3 – Ultrasone IQ vs Ocharaku Donguri Keyaki Ti Plus (~500 USD)
    The Donguri Keyaki Ti plus is the most expensive earphones that i own, after the IQs. The single dynamic wonder is an absolute bliss to listen to if you’re like me, who likes a little upper-mid tilt. I love the Keyaki Ti Plus so much that i keep it locked up in a special place and refrain from using it too much.

    Comparing the two, i found that both of these earphones were similar in certain aspects. Both had similar amounts of information, detail and micro-detail. Both had similar quantities of bass. Both can generally be placed in the balanced signature bucket. Of course, there are a number of differences which keep them apart.

    The soundstage of two are very different and the overall presentation differs. The Donguri has this vertical soundstage, with certain elements of the song filling out the sides of the soundstage giving a little width. The vertical layering is very unique to the Donguri Keyaki and it is more about height than width. The IQ has a wide soundstage and has better lateral positioning of instruments, which presents information is a roomy manner. The Donguri has a nice emphasis on the upper-mid and it contains that ringing bell-like clarity so unique to the Donguri sound. This can be a little polarising and one might love it or hate it. IQ is more correct sounding with no excessive peaks. It has a little forward upper treble, then again it’s not overly enhanced. Vocals are very mesmerising in the Donguri Keyaki Ti Plus. IQ play vocals at a decent distance and doesn’t have this magical quality. Male vocals have more weight with the IQ, whereas the Donguri prefers female singers. Micro-details retrieval is almost the same, maybe, just maybe, it will go to IQs using their vast soundstage for easier picking of the details.

    Really can’t call a winner here. But a single dynamic standing its ground against the 700 dollar IQ speaks volumes about the Ocharaku driver capability. That said, IQ has better space and localisation. Keyaki Ti Plus will win with timbre and musicality. I’m proud of my Donguri Ti Plus.

    I thought i’ll only do these three comparisons, but after the Ocharaku Keyaki comparison, i’m in the mood for a little comparison with FLAT4 NAMI that i own.

    Bonus Round – Ultrasone IQ vs Ocharaku FLAT4 NAMI (~300 USD discontinued)
    IMAG2944.jpg

    Flat4 NAMI is a dual dynamic unit which flaunts great soundstage width and is biased towards the treble. Let’s see how it stands alongside the IQ

    Just as i suspected, the Nami has significantly wide soundstage than the IQ. It is so wide it feels unreal. Sounds appearing from far right and far left, it’s like American politics. Anyway, the treble tilt also is immediately noticeable with the Flat4 unit where you have exaggerated highs. It’s still fun to hear and is exciting without sounding sibilant. Being dynamic drivers the definition somewhat suffers slightly in comparison to the BA driver used in the IQ. The dynamic timbre again sounds great for the instruments in the mids and lows. The IQ soundstage has more depth which can be easily perceived. The IQ generally feels more tighter all around with stronger positioning and sounds quite matured in direct comparison. IQ is the more balanced sounding IEM between the two.

    The wide soundstage experience has it going for the NAMI, with its ringing highs and greatly separated presentation. Otherwise, IQ is the technically superior phone with better instrument definition, micro-details and positioning.

    Bonus Round II – Ultrasone IQ vs Sony MDR-EX800ST (~250 USD discontinued)
    IMAG2949.jpg
    Alright, i just had to do this. Just to see how to old EX800 stands up against the old IQ.

    Switching back and forth...
    Sony sounds warmer and fuller, and is a little more upfront. Timbre is top notch with the dynamic driver. The bass is very tasty in the Sonys and has a certain reverb that has a magical quality to it. The EX800 also sounds very cohesive in the sense that there is less air between instruments, they all seem to be working closer to each other in comparison. This is surprising because the EX800 has one of the widest soundstage for an IEM, slightly less than the FLAT4 NAMI, and has decent height as well, a little more than NAMI. The EX800 sounds more exciting as well, and has sharper highs which pop-up when in the right frequency.

    The Ultrasone IQ has the same soundstage width and height. There was no difference in the size when is switched back and forth. But, the IQ (and IQ Pro as well) had much greater separation and stronger positioning. The bass is tighter with the IQs and quicker as well, much snappier decay which aids in greater definition. Micro-details are considerable greater in the IQs with their BA taking them ahead. IQs also have deeper stage depth, where the EX800 has very minimum depth to the stage. The IQ seems like they can hold limitless amount of instruments in their vast stage with their strong localisation and use of depth.

    IQ (and also the IQ Pro to the same extent) trumps the EX800 easily in terms of technicality. Sony has a more dynamic and fun sound in comparison providing a juicier bass reverb and a closer presentation.

    The IQs are definitely more expensive, but i really didn’t expect them to walk all over my favourite earphones the way they did. Only my Donguri Ti Plus which is 500 bucks was able to hold its ground with a completely different presentation.

    Overall Sound rating of Ultrasone IQ: 9.4/10
    Vocals 4.5/5
    Soundstage 5/5
    Instrument Separation 5/5
    Details 5/5
    Timbre 4.5/5

    IMAG2931.jpg

    Conclusion –
    The Ultrasone IQ is simply amazing, and sounds like a high-end flagship IEM. Technically you can’t really fault them in any area of sound reproduction. They will simply blow your mind if you haven’t listened to any IEMs greater than 500, sure blew mine. The 2-way hybrid drivers play very synchronously and present music with great micro-details and separation like no other i’ve heard. I compared them to all the great earphones i have, and being the most expensive this also is technically most sound in my collection. The only competition is their own IQ Pro which has monitoresque bass. Ultrasone IQ, thank you!
  2. darkinners
    Extreme tuning, some will love it most people won't
    Written by darkinners
    Published Nov 23, 2013
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Tasty low end, aggressive, clinical, focus sound, great isolation when proper sealed, great leather pouch.
    Cons - Pushy high-mid, quite expensive for what it is, uncomfortable to wear, stock cable not so good, lack of air and for this price no cleaning tool?
    I went to shop for upgrade from my beloved Westone 4.


     


    Didn't bother to get custom. Aiming around $500-1000 options


     


    Audition candidates 


    1. Ultrasone IQ  $730


    2. AKG K3003  $1,140


    3. Sennheiser IE800 $ 660


    4. Aurisonics ASG-2  $653


    5. Heir Audio IEM 5.0+ $ 690


     


     


    Here are the mini review of IQ and versus of the other candidates.


     


     


    Sub low to Low End


    IQ: has great sub low to low, thanks to the hybrid drivers design, I like it rumbles and has great impact low and moderate decay time. not too tight not too loose, just right.


    great low end texture and very controlled and tasty. Still a little bit bloated and affecting mid range but VERY  slightly. Only purist will find it annoying.


     


    VS K3003 : K3003 tighter, mrore controlled, very close to neutral response (still a bit boosted though)


    VS IE800: IE800's low end few lazy and slow, decay time too long


    VS ASG-2 : BLOATED, Basshead will love it.


    VS IEM 5.0: Bloated and hollow


     


     


    Low Mid to Mid


    IQ: Very very noticeable low mid dip around 200-400Hz range. result lacking body and richness despite it has great sub low and low.


    Smooth mid but due to great low end power, Vocal sound a bit laid back but very smooth, 


     


    VS K3003: very enjoyable lush mid range presentation, vocal also a bit laid back but a bit more forward than IQ.


    VS IE800: similar approach to K3003 but better sibilant control


    VS ASG-2: clouded mid range, probably because of bloated bass.


    VS IEM 5.0: right amount of low mid, sounding rich. Out of phase sound mid, I ssuspect faulty unit or design flaw


     


    High Mid


    IQ: VERY VERY pushy, VERY VERY Hot!!!!! 


    high mid spike all over the place, especially 5.5k - 8kHz range.


    result very clinical and overall forward sound, This is where IQ's uniqueness, I imagine not every people love this approach.


    Because in other word : Ear Fatigue.


    Kick drum click sound prominent, Snare snap sound somtimes too much, Vocal sibilant prominent, crash cymbals sound a bit harsh and upfront, distortion guitar sound bigger, better detail revealing ability.


     


    VS K3003: more controlled high mid, long time listening friendly


    VS IE800: smoother approach, a bit dip in high mid region, sound lazy and not enough presence.


    VS ASG-2: High mid?What high-mid?


    VS IEM 5.0: pushy High mid but not as much as IQ


     


     


    High End


    IQ: The high end are there(12kHz and upwards), but noticeable roll off start around 12-13kHz ish.


    But due to prominent high mid, the air are less noticeable , result a bit narrower sound stage(still pretty wide for IEM though)


     


    VS K3003: SUPER wide sound stage, very airy but personally think it's too wide result the sound lacking focus.


    VS IE800: wide sound stage but in a better sense than K3003


    Vs ASG-2: High End? What High End?


    VS IEM 5.0: airy, a bit too hot.


     


     


     


     


    Accessories and Comfort and others


    1. At this price point and doesn't come with ear wax cleaning tool is ridiculous.


    2. The leather pouch is nicely done, very classy but the size a bit too big


    3. come with 2 cable, one with mic and control for your smart phone and one J-cord (J cord? seriously?) and I personally found memory wire quite irritating, replaced cable immediately 


    4. some selection of tips, been tip rolling and settle with medium Shure olive with wax filter. Triple flange can rectify and pushy high-mid but in trade of bass quality.


    5. come with flight adapter and OMTP adapter.


     


     


     


     


    Conclusion:


     


    IQ has quite unique sound tuning, I don't imagine many people will love it but I do.


    Not neutral sounding IEM, rather a fun sounding IEM with slight V-shape EQ and with great resolution and detail revealing ability.


    Best suit for Rock, Metal, EDM.


    A bit overpriced for what it is.


    painfully uncomfortable to wear for long session.


    Proper seal not easy to achieve. 


    Stock cable sound too bright, easy to tangle. 


     


     


    In 4 candidates, K3003 sound technically superior to the rest. I didn't choose it because of it's SUPER WIDE sound stage, lack of focus tuning and flimsy looking non-detachable cable, other than that. K3003 is every bit superior to the rest.


    ASG-2 sound vastly inferior, one can get similar quality and tuning IEM for much less money.


    IE800 are great IEM but just not suit my preference.


    IEM 5.0: Very weird tuning(if not faulty unit)VERY hollow sounding, Low end are there but sound muddy and no attack at all. I don't imagine ANY person would love it and QC issue, the unit I audition left ear piece SIGNIFICANTLY louder than right ear piece.





    ×××××××××××UPDATE****************** 2013-11-28


    Been tip rolling and switching cables again
    Finally settle with
    Cable: Labkable Supernova 7N
    Tip: Westone original triple flange with stem and first flange cut off.

    Supernova 7N reduced reasonable amount of low end quantity and added a bit of air , made IQ sound wider and bass quantity became just right for my taste
    Westone Triple flange with stem and first flange cut off, isolation lessen but tamed all high-mid spike and retain the low end texture.

    I am really happy with IQ now, the SQ so much closer to K3003 without overly airy and lack of focus like K3003.


    On a side note, IQ really need an amp. Don't let 20 Ohms fool you.
    I had westone 4 and they doesn't sound much different on different source and amp.

    But IQ sound massively different on different amplifier
    and I was able to listen W4 on my cell phone(HTC one), the SQ is almost as great as output from delicated headphones amp.

    I can't do it with IQ. IQ sound incredibly weak, trebly, no body on cell phone. IQ needs an amp.
  3. Vespertine
    PRECISE - Detail Orientated
    Written by Vespertine
    Published Apr 16, 2013
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Everything about them aside from the Cons, Sound Stage excellent, Detail Amazing.
    Cons - Getting the right seal, if it isn't there, or you can't achieve it, then they sound awful. Very recessed lower fequencies
    THIS IS MY FIRST EVER HEADPHONE REVIEW. EDITED SLIGHTLY, PLEASE SEE FURTHER COMMENTS -->
     
    I recently bought a pair of these, and this is the story as far as I am concerned. Experience base goes from Etymotic's, through the Shure 535's and IE8's (Although I suspect my IE8's are knock off).
     
    I went to a high end store where they would let me listen as they had spare tips etc etc, and paid £595. They are the IQ9 model. I saw them and thought that an Ultrasone IEM might be interesting so I had a predisposition to wanting to like them. I listened to some Ultrasone over ears in the same store a few weeks before, and wasn't impressed by the sound, but was by the build quality, I can't remember what they were, magnetic planar things that came in special editions with fancy titanium swirls and stuff, came in a wooden box about as big as a tea chest. So even though I had a poor experience with the brand, for some reason, and reading some reviews on here an IEM offering from them peaked my interest.
     
    I brought my C4 to the shop with me so I could hear them through what would be my main source. I plugged them in at the shop and after about 30 seconds took them out and told they guy that there was no bass whatsoever and I really wasn't interested, as much as I wanted to like them, my ears told me no. I have pretty big ear canals it seems. He suggested that the lack of Bass was that I didn't have a perfect seal and scurried off to find some fatter tips which he did. As soon as I got the correct seal I handed him my plastic. There was a lot of Bass there, but totally non existent without the seal, and I have noticed that even the slightest hint of a gap and the amazing bass vanishes.
     
    Then I got them home and spent some more time with them. I considered taking them back but circumstance would dictate that I had to travel so I just took them with me and hoped that playing around with different tips and positions to get a seal would improve what was a bit of an unsettled sound really. It was almost as if they simply couldn't process quickly enough, they seemed not to be keeping up with the music although there was suggestion that these things could be something special at times. It was quite confusing, but I persevered.
     
    Then they just got better and better and better and better. At first the bass was just plain lazy and sloppy, but certain tracks would sound good, they were really inconsistent for at least 100 hours I would say. The details were there but not separating enough, the sound stage was there, and sometimes it was massive for IEM's and sometimes it tightened up so much that it made me think that these were a waste of time and a waste of money.
     
    Now they seem to have settled into what I consider to be the best IEM that I have ever heard, I haven't heard that many though so please bear that in mind.
     
    I find the detail to be amazing, and the sound stage even better, this was really brought home more when I used them with my Mac Air only for watching a TV Series (House of Cards)...all of a sudden, as it was not swamped by music, the sound stage became clearly apparent with sounds coming from where they were laid down in the track, really impressive stuff straight out of a Mac.
     
    They do have an amazing sound stage for music also in my opinion, although it did take some time for this to fully settle. Now the instrument separation and the details are simply incredible to my ears, and the bass is lovely.
     
    I would describe them as Ultra refined. Amazing to hear how they completely change when I change the EQ on my Colorfly, really responding to the different demands.
     
    I don't get a massive feeling of a warm sound, they seem more technical than that, they seem to achieve many things, but tiring they are not, there is still a certain amount of reservation if you like, they don't punch any one frequency above others in my opinion, they are so very very balanced.
     
    Incredible to listen to stringed instruments, and as mentioned they almost take away from the visuals when using them for audio from a video, they are that impressive. To be honest I kind of have an admission and a comparison. This is my second go round with House of Cards, first time I watched it on my top shelf surround sound kit at home, to be totally honest the sound coming straight out of my mac into these was much more detailed, you could really hear the separation more, exactly what the recording engineer was up to, it was interesting and ridiculously detailed.
     
    Maybe people will say that of course this is the case with all IEM's, I don't know, but they are very different to my Shure 535's, another league I would say.
     
    Kind of glad I had to travel now and didn't take them back.
     
    Maybe it just my Dumbo ears, but the fit really really works for me. 
     
    They are beautifully built, there is no questioning that, the build quality is the best I have seen or felt for IEM's, like little tanks.
     
    I find the cable and the way they have coated the bit to bend around your ear to be ultra comfortable, after a while it just sits in the perfect shape, they hook on and press in very quickly and with minimum fuss.
     
    I am not very experienced with IEMS's, but I really really like these and genuinely think that they are worth the money. In my opinion the sound quality is beautiful, I have them in right now, and they still blow me away. Very happy with them, although the relationship got off to a rocky start. 
    1. warrenpchi
      Thanks for the review! There aren't too many reviews about the IQ floating around, so I'm sure it'll be helpful. BTW, I think the fancily swirled model you're talking about is the Edition 10, though I'm not sure it's planar magnetic, could be wrong though.
      warrenpchi, Apr 22, 2013
    2. Vespertine
      You are right there Sir, it was exactly the Edition 10, I tried them and was not very impressed or I would have bought them.
      Vespertine, May 10, 2013
    3. Vespertine
      OK, I really want to add to my review here, to be honest I think I got a little over excited by the detail, which remains superb, but I really have to say that the lower frequencies are either totally missing or very recessed. A user called tinyman said on a thread that these are "Detail Orientated" and he was very very right. I do enjoy listening to them, I do not regret buying them as hearing the detail is exciting, but they are not really, to my ears, a complete headphone, or certainly not one for a bit of a bass lover like I am. I really don't know what they got wrong as it even says on the packaging that they have an amazing bass response, they don't. Sometimes the very low frequencies can be impressive, but only on tracks that are fairly slow. This is also generally true of all of the frequencies, they perform better with slower music. On tracks that I know well I can totally hear the recession of the lower mids and the sub bass, in fact sometimes the lower mids are so recessed that I laugh a bit, not because I think they are stupid but because it is just so obvious. I realize that this edition of my review contradicts some of the things that I was saying previously, sorry about that, please bear with me, I am new to this and learning by reading, writing and listening. I can get a great seal all of the time, but sorry Ultrasone, these things do not come up to scratch on the bass by a long chalk. Apologies to all Head Fi'ers for writing a review a little bit too soon, it was really only when I started listening to tracks that I know inside out that it became just too obvious for me to simply leave the review as it stood. I will not edit anything aside from the star rating, as they are not five stars, no chance. I do maintain that for detail and sound stage I have never heard anything better as an IEM, and I still enjoy them, I am just truly disappointed that I didn't really clock the fact that there was something missing until I started to make notes. Lesson learned, don't get over excited and write a review, bit irresponsible I know, I am just learning though.
      Vespertine, May 10, 2013
  4. forceofnature
    Ultrasone IQ my final destination for IEM
    Written by forceofnature
    Published Feb 26, 2013
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Bass Quality, mid and high range extension
    Cons - Getting the right seal
    At the end of 2012 I started looking for my Shure SE530 replacement for IEMs and for me the Ultrasone IQ was really a gamble that paid off.  
     
    The sound signature for these IEM's is what I prefer.  Very clear precise bass response, excellent separation in all ranges.  I really love the mid tone clarity and extension in high range. 
     
    With that excellent mid and high range you really need to ensure a good seal otherwise it is not a good listening experience.  The silicone tips sent with did not seal at all for me.  The compy Tx tips and triple flange worked well.