Just got UE super.fi 3 Live
Nov 11, 2006 at 3:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1

donovansmith

Headphoneus Supremus
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Tonight I picked up a set of the Ultimate Ears super.fi 3 Live from RadioShack since I wanted an alternative to my too-dark (but otherwise good) sounding Shure E2c. My first impressions of these things when I got them to seal momentarily were that they generally sounded less dark and more detailed than the E2c, too bad the included earpieces were near worthless for keeping a seal. I fought with them on the way home trying the double-flange tips, the medium single-flange, and the foamies and none fit all that well. In fact, the glue came off one of the foamies and I had to peel its inner-plastic tube off of the stem of the earphone. I was considering returning these things already just because of seal and fit issues, but I got the crazy idea to try the soft-flex sleeves from my E2c when I got home.

The Shure E2c soft-flex sleeves fit quite well on the super.fi 3 and thankfully, they fit and seal well, too. Paired with my Creative Zen Vision:M, they sound quite good, even without being burned it at all (do moving armature cans really need burn-in?). Their overall sound character is closer to neutral than the E2c, with a less-full but more tightly controlled bass region, more forward vocals, and less of a high-end roll-off. They are more detailed sounding and have more accurate spacial placement, and a slightly wider soundstage. I think I'll go out on a limb and say they remind me of the overall character of the AKG K271 but with less soundstage and detail, and that makes me very happy given how much I love the K271. I won't call them a more-portable K271, but it's close enough for me.

I briefly hooked them up to my desktop computer's built-in sound and the results were expectedly dissapointing. The wimpy output just took out the bottom-end of these earphones and I could hear hiss in them. The relatively deaf Sony MDR-EX71LP will continue doing computer duty for now. The Vision:M's excellent (for a portable player) headphone output is far, far superior and it's output power definitely pairs well with these earphones. I can only imagine how things would sound with a dedicated amp, and if I had a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter handy I'd try them with my PPX3.

I'd have to say these are an improvement over the E2c already, and as an introduction to moving armature earphones they do well for me. The included fit kit is junk, plain and simple, and is probably the cause of a good number of returns of these earphones for poor sound. They nearly became so for me. The Shure E2c soft-flex sleeves pair very well with these, and thanks to them I am quite satisfied with my new purchase.
 

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