First impression of Ultrasone Pro900
Nov 13, 2008 at 11:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

PaulK

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I read many posts on the Pro900, but few real experiences. So here is my first impression after 1 week listening experience.

I did a listening session on Ultrasone pro750, Pro900 and Edition 9.
My references are TripleFi's, Shure 530 and full-size open Philips HP1000.

The Pro 750 sound good, but not surprisingly great and different. Deep bass and very prominent highs. Sounds very much up-front. Voices are really 'there'. I liked it, but not like a big step compared to what I'm used to. And btw. I regard the TripleFi's as my reference for transparency, clarity and clean bass. Definately better than the Shures in this regard.

Then the Edition 9. This is another league! Very smooth and clean sound. Great bass and articulated highs but more layed back than the 750. It's difficult to describe in words but the smoothness is what striked me most. It's like looking a good normal TV and then watch a HDTV Bluray: you first think you see a very good quality image, nothing to complain about (750), then seeing all the details in the HDTV signal you can't believe was possible (Edition). OK, I exaggerate a bit to illustrate what I mean by the smoothness.

Finally, the Pro900. It does not have that smoothness as the Edition to my ears, but it was still in the same league! Great deep detailed bass, and nice highs, prominent, but not as up-front as the 750.

For me the SQ difference did not justify the price difference. Though I was not really looking for new cans, I ended up bying the Pro900.

After a week at home note the following. The bass can be overwhelming if either your amplification or sources are not good. Bad recordings / masterings are immediately heard on this one. In my combi iPod out / iQube it shines.
 
Dec 22, 2008 at 4:08 PM Post #2 of 19

vvanrij

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Hi,

Its been a while for me since I'v been on this forum. The reason actually being that I'm very satisfied with my current gear, and spend my time listening instead of reading. But for my work I am away from home atleast 1/2 of the time. So I was looking for a sturdy, easy stowable and closed headphone but one that is close to the sound I have at home. At home I listen now mostly to my

-Stax SR-X MKIII amazing sound still impresses me alot, so clear and natural.

-Grado SR-325i woodyfied I took abit of a gamble on this one as I was one of the first (or the first?) to change the aluminium casing to wood (slightly larger than RS-1's) and the result still blows me off my chair. Not as natural as the stax, but it leaves you with a wow impression after each song.

-AKG K701 for orchestral work
-AKG sextett MP random
-Denon 775 or something can't remember, don't use these anymore because I can't stand inner-ear headphones.

So about 2-3 weeks ago I bought the Ultrasone Pro 900 from that cheesy looking ebay ad out of Taiwan. Service was excellent, within a week shipped to the Netherlands, perfect condition and nice price! So I would recommend that one.

I don't understand that there isn't more fuss about this headphone tbh. The sound is extremely good. Just a lil mini review here too:

Excellent case, comes with 2 unscrewable cables, cd, extra earpads, just excellent! Every high-end headphones should be delivered like this imo. The thing is easily stowable and built like a tank, so finally a good headphone to travel with. Swivelling cups so nice to put them flat in the included case. You can also 'fold' the headphone, though someone really has to explain to me what the point is of this. When I do it, I first have to extend the headphone, then fold them up 1 at a time, and then they don't meet in the middle, so it seems pointless to me, I just travel with it flat in the case.

The sound, a bit of megaboost in the beginning, but nothing a little burn-in didn't settle. I didn't expect anything from the s-logic plus because it seemed like some marketing crap, but it actually seems to work on me. Offcourse its not like listening to speakers, or surround or anything like that, but it does indeed give you a better presentation, and not one thats directly inside your head, but just slightly out of it. This makes it easier to listen to it for longer times. Though its closed and keeps the sound of the headphone inside the cups, don't expect it too much to block noise from the outside. It fits very comfortable, and is also easy to wear for longer times. Its not heavy to me at all (sissy's...).

The sound gives a hint of the speed of my stax, but definetly more low end than the sr-x. The detail seems excellent, as well as the instrument seperation and placement, almost as good as the stax. The nice thing is that it has that 'alive' feeling sound to it, like my sr-325i, which I miss on my K701. It sounds good directly out of my Archos 605, but offcourse a bit better out of my amp, but not a huge difference.

My future plans will be to sell my sextett mp, k701 and denon in-earphones, and keep the stax, 325i and the ultrasone Pro 900. Maybe save up for a headphone amp and stax 3050. Anyone any recommendations for a good portable headphone amp (~300dollars) for the Pro 900?

Greetings,

Victor van Rij
 
Dec 22, 2008 at 5:30 PM Post #3 of 19

SierraHotel01

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vvanrif,

Nice Pro 900 write up - thanks.
Had been considering an upgrade from my beloved SR325i's.
ED9's were just too much money for something I hadn't heard.
RS1...figured I'd miss the razor sharp attack & detail of the "day-glow" SR325i sound.
You've given me hope: Pro900's for SR325i lovers.
As soon as my wallet recovers from the Mustang / Westone 3 excursion it took this month, it may be time to grab some 900's.
Very encouraging impressions - thanks again.

If you could only take one pair with you to a desert island - would it be the 900's, or the 325i's?
 
Dec 22, 2008 at 7:21 PM Post #4 of 19

vvanrij

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Well that would be easily the 900, but that is because my ears start hurting after listening 2 hours to the 325i, and I think the pro 900 might be more resistant to all the sand on the island. For SQ, the 325i (woodied I stress, because it made a huge difference) can sound like the best thing I have ever heard on some cd's, for instance with the Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler I have never heard anything sound better than the 325i. For me the 325i can be a hit and miss headphone, because if you listen to some classical the grado can be really dissapointing, where's the pro 900 will sound very good with almost everything.
 
Dec 22, 2008 at 10:36 PM Post #5 of 19

hawat

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I think that our initial pre burn-in impressions hurt their reputation quite a bit here.
But after a long burn in and time to get used to their sound, they are indeed nice cans and managed to kick my old pro2500 out of the house
biggrin.gif
.
 
Dec 22, 2008 at 10:57 PM Post #7 of 19

vvanrij

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Its something different, because you can hear all details and nuances and placement, but without getting too airy, I'm currently in my fourth hour of continiously listening tonight (from the beach boys to limp bizkit) and I have no intention whatsoever to stop listening, its that easy to listen to, my first headphone I have had on my head this long!

ps Damn I miss San Francisoco, any head-fi'er living there? I could ask for a flight there, we stay at the Marriot Courtyard hotel (2 blocks from the Metreon).
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 4:28 AM Post #8 of 19

Greeni

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I too like my Pro 900 a lot. Recently had a chance to compare against K601, K701, DT990, and end up preferring the Pro 900 as the most transparent, detailed and nimble of the bunch. Music start and stop with no overhang with these cans. I also feel the 900 to be more coherent. Whether due to its titanium drivers, the Pro 900 do lack some warmth and tonality which some may like.

My only problem with the 900 is that they are too heavy (~300g) for me and aggrevate some health issues of mine. May eventually let it go but solely because of this reason. I have been recommended the Grado RS-1 as light weight replacement, but I am not sure if the Grado could actually keep up with the Pro 900. In some areas may be, but probably not an all round advancement.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 6:06 AM Post #9 of 19

hawat

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Have you tried setting the headband bigger than necessary and using the straight cable instead of the coiled one(it can put some additional weight if extended)? I doubt that you will see much difference between 255 g and 295 g and this can help reduce the pressure points.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 6:40 AM Post #10 of 19

Greeni

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Hawat,

Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't pull the trigger on the RS-1 exactly for the reason you mentioned. I am looking into the ESW10JPN and Sony MDR F1, both are light weighted but I seriously doubt they could measure up to the Pro 900...
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 7:00 AM Post #11 of 19

Shahrose

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thanks for the comparison, i've been waiting for one for a while. interesting impressions.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 7:01 AM Post #12 of 19

Gu Sensei

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@greeni

Have you thought about GS1000s? Very very lightweight and fantastic sound. But, for many they are too bright. I still love them though. The new AT's are also extremely light (a1000x and a2000x) but you would have to order from Japan I believe. I am pretty sure that is one of the marketing points. I have only sampled them briefly and they were a bit bass-shy for my tastes. The AD2000s are popular as well and very lightweight. All the ones I mentioned are fairly transparent and detailed.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 7:35 AM Post #14 of 19

Greeni

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Gu Sensei,

Yes I have considered the GS1000, but I read from headphone.com that these weight 11 ounce, which is heavier than the RS-1:

Grado GS-1000 @ HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears

Grado don't seem to have a weight specification in its own website, the other quotations may well be inaccurate. I also take into consideration that some seem to prefer the RS-1 over the GS1000 as having greater tonality, but the headstage of the GS1000 suit classical and jazz better while the RS-1 excel with rock. As it is a $1K headphone, I may like to explore more options....
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 7:50 AM Post #15 of 19

Gu Sensei

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Yeah, I have tried the Ed 9s and am very interested to bring them home. The last time I was in a place to try the 750s, 780s, 900s, and Ed9s, I decided on the 780s as a good way to sample the Ultrasone house sound before committing to the very expensive Ed 9s. I do like the 780s a lot and will likely try to procure some 9s before too long.

Whoops. Perhaps it is not too surprising the GS1000s are heavier now that I think about it, maybe it is just that considering how large they are that the weight is a pleasant surprise. I just checked on the A2000x and it is 298g. I guess both are light for full size phones.

I do think the GS1000s work just fine as all-rounders. They are not as speedy as the Ultrasones and RS1s but I love the deep bass and huge headstage and live with a little less speed to get that. I really like the RS1s but prefered the GS1000s and so decided to only keep those.
 

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