New Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro Review
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trose49

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New Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro Review
Just picked up the new UE super.fi 5 pro's. One Word!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!

I purchased them at my local Guitar Center which offers a special clear (transparent headphone) instead of the black or white available online. This week they are also on sale $229.00

That's just for starters. Let's begin with whats in the box.

First of all you get an awesome metal case that is a work of art. The case is rubber insulated to protect your new investment from moisture etc.. Also come with a nice leather pouch for the less bulky option to carry your new phones. Also 1/4 inch adapter for home stereos and a attenuator adapter which drops the signal level so if you plug in to an unknown source (airplane etc) you wont send a high volume blast to your new babies.

You get 3 pairs of Rubber tip Flanges small, medium, large a set of double flanged rubber tips and 1 set of foam tips (My personal favorite!)

After ripping open the box (literally) I tried several of the different size tips to see what fit best. I definatly got the best seal with the foam tips. This was the same for me with my Shure e3c's.

After fumbling with them a bit I got them in and they are very comfortable. In fact once they are in properly they give the apperance and feel of a custom moled earpiece and they dont stick out past my earlobe for which I was very pleased as this way my biggest concern (Looking like Frankenstein!)

Plugged into my ipod where most all my music is encoded in 192AAC I slowly increased the volume and then WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!! I already said that sorry. Here's the scoop. These are by far without a doubt the best sounding universal in ear monitor sold by any company at any price. I can't even imagine the UE'10 Customs. Although it does make me wanna try them even more now!.

With my iPod eq off the sound is very well balanced. The voices are extremly clear and accurate, the snare drums snap and wind instuments whirl and Guitars sing. For a minute I thought Stevie Ray came back to life.

I was also surprized at the level of bass that can be acheived with an in ear. After several different eq settings I decided on JAZZ for most of my music which ranges from Spyro Gyra to Evanecense. The Jazz setting slightly raises the high and the low freq just a bit. I am less of a mid range fan. I only like enough to fill the gap between the Bass and Treble. This setting does the trick but Im sure that it will up you own personal tastes.

All types of music sounded very well rounded and I dont think anyone except "P Diddy" might want more bass. Dont get me wrong I love bass but you have to have high's to go with it. My guess is that people thumping down the street with blown speakers and a huge subwoofer in there trunk might opt for the Extended bass model but dont be fooled the Pro model kicks!

The UE's have a beautiful detachable cord that is very light and can be custom ordered in different colors and lengths. The set that came with the Guitar Center version was also clear like the cans.

As for a comparison I have owned the Shure e3c in ears for almost a year. I absolutely loved these in ear's. In fact it scared me to sell them to my friend for $100.00 to put a dent in my new UE's. The Shure's are built very well and never gave me any problems. The Shures are still a very good value and now that you can get them from $149-169 on the web it still is a headphone to consider.

The UE Super.fi 5 pros simply out shine the Shures with higher highs and lower lows due to the two driver per headphone set-up. You definatly get a fuller warmer sound with the new UE's and they give you a depth that is hard to describe. Almost like sitting in a concert hall by yourself. The music now has a third dimension simply not heard in the Shures. If you like Hip Hop or Rap the Shures are not the headphones for you. They will handle just about anything else well but heavy bass is just lost.

With the UE's I had to turn down the volume a bit after listening for 15 mins or so because I thought my head might blow off! They just rumble your whole brain! (and thats a good thing!)

The other big difference is that the Shures like to be run on the iPod at 70%-80%- to sound real well. The UE's are much more efficent and start cranking at 45% or so. 70% volume on the UE's is loud. The Shures will eventually Max out but the UE's beg you to keep cranking ( BE CAREFUL!!!), the more you give them juice the more they give back. Be careful with your volume control before inserting you new UE's.

Well thats my attempt at a review. If you have other questions please post and I will respond. I will also add photos soon.
 
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phong

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Yes, another review! I am so torn up between the Shure E4 and the 5pro. How do you think of the highs on the UE's? I have heard many impressions here that they are rolled off. And how is the fit? Do they tend to stick out of the ear a lot? How is the soundstage, dynamics, etc? anything you can give me
I am so close to making a purchase but again its between those 2 IEMs.
 
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Jon L

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"I am less of a mid range fan. I only like enough to fill the gap between the Bass and Treble."

I am absolutely speechless and will have to take this review with a large grain of salt..
 
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philodox

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Most of the music is in the midrange man! This is heresy.
 
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trose49

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In all honesty i have not heard the e4c's yet. I can't imagine that they could compare with the dual driver headphone of the UE.

I can only tell you what I know in comparison the the e3c's.

As far as the highs go they are capable of going even higher than the e3's but with a flat eq they might be considered to be rolled off a bit but not much. The dynamics will honestly jiggle your brain. There is a lot of Punch to these phones. You will find that you cant top them out with the ipod the sound just gets deeper and more defined the louder you go. They still sound excellent turned down.

The worry for me with the e4c's is that is has a ported diaphram that would most likely lead to boomy and not accurate bass but again I have not heard them.

As to the fit. At first I fumbled with them. By day two (today) I have it down to a science and they go in very easy and are extremly comfortable. Once they are in they lay almost flush with your ear and dont stick out at all. From the side they almost look like a custom mold. Whoever designed these must be related to Michael Angelo because every contour has a purpose. Simply well engineered!

The UE's are so good I doubt that you would regret purchasing them.

Hope this helps!
 
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trose49

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For the people that commented on my midrange quote. Maybe I didnt make myself clear. I agree with you most of the music is in the midrange. The UE's have plenty of Mids.

What I should have said is that I dont Like just a Midrange Treble Mix. My e3's had very good Mid's and high's but the lows were almost electronic sounding and had no depth of sustain.

I prefer a very accurate well balanced sound. But I must admit if I set up and EQ it almost always looks like a "U" with a bit of boost at 64 and 125 and 4K and 8K If you map out an EQ it generally looks like this. 32/0 64/+2 125/+2.5 250/-.05 500/-.05 1K/0 2K/+1.5 4K/+2.5 8K/+2 16K 0.

I know it depends on the room etc.. But you get the idea of the sound I prefer.

Please consider this review I have been a professional DJ for 21 years and know good sound when I hear it.
 
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jagger333

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actually the e4c can very well compare to the superfis...since you haven't heard the e4cs you wouldn't kno...if i bought just the superfis....i would probably post a very similar post as you...

i think superfis concentrated too much on the mids and not enough highs...feels like superfis are using its mids to sing its highs....superfis feels like E4Cs shifted slightly lower

i had both of them and i returned my superfis after a week of comparing

it was a difficult decision but bascially it comes out to this:

if you like ety or if you like detailed highs and separation > E4C
if you don't mind slightly rolled off high and loves bass > superfis
 
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philodox

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Hmmm... being an AKG fan [liquid midrage], I might actually like the UE's better. Damnit, I was all set on the E4c's.
 
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trose49

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Maybe you had an early production pair or something. Im not knocking any Shure's I loved my e3c's a touch more bass and the e3c's would be perfect!

My UE'S have highs that sizzle. Cymbals etc.. are very pronounced and distinct. I listened to some Spyro gyra that was simple awesome as far as the high end was concerned.

Maybe we will just have to agree to disagree. Everyones ears are different in shape, sensitivity and so on. Thats why we have choices from two great compainies.
 
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HF00

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I tried the Super Fi PRo's and I didn't like them, the highs are rolled and
the midrange is Ok only, I think the e5c and UM2 are better balanced and fuller; IMO.
UE is obviously trying to capitalize on the iPod "halo effect" with the entry level SuperFi "Pros".



Quote:

Originally Posted by trose49
Maybe you had an early production pair or something. Im not knocking any Shure's I loved my e3c's a touch more bass and the e3c's would be perfect!

My UE'S have highs that sizzle. Cymbals etc.. are very pronounced and distinct. I listened to some Spyro gyra that was simple awesome as far as the high end was concerned.

Maybe we will just have to agree to disagree. Everyones ears are different in shape, sensitivity and so on. Thats why we have choices from two great compainies.



 
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JB.

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As an inveterate skeptic, I have to admit your review is a bit fishy. To come out with an enthusiastic endorsement of a headphone with your first post is very unusual. The adjectives and descriptions sound a lot like a “word from our sponsor.” I only say this to encourage people who may be reading this thread to proceed with caution: I don’t think an accurate set of opinions will be possible for at least a month or two, and would advise that anyone considering these for purchase refrain from judgment until then.

From experience, I find it is best to give new headphones a minimum of a few weeks to show what they’re really made of. The Super-Fi’s have been highly anticipated and are being met with equally high expectations. These expectations will undoubtedly affect all of our initial judgments- for better or worse.

The unusual fit of the Super-Fi’s is going to have to prove itself in time. It may be a trend-setting innovation, or it may be generally despised- only after a fair amount of Head-Fier’s putting these through hours of regular use will a consensus begin to emerge.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have identified someone on Head-Fi whose tastes are similar to your own and whose advice can be relied on 100%, you will certainly be a leg-up on the rest of us. For me, I know that I can’t trust even my own initial impressions, having too often failed in the past to give certain headphones a fair opportunity to show me what they have to offer.
 
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joelongwood

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I've had my Super.Fi Pros now for a little over a week, and I've probably logged about 20-25 hours on them, listened to a variety of musical genres and sources, so I feel pretty confident in posting a few impressions now.
First, to my ears, the frequency response of these is definitely skewed toward the bass end of the spectrum. The highs are there, but they sound a bit distant. To me, that's a roll-off in the higher frequencies. Cymbals, in particular, lack the "shimmer" that would indicate more high end energy.
These canal phones are all about the midrange, and it's there in bucketloads......but it's the lower mids, not the upper mid-treble region. I'm guessing this is what gives vocals, both male and female, such a wonderfully rich, full sound.
In comparison to the UE, my Etys (4 and 6i) and Shures (2c and 3) present vocals that have more detail, but they sound almost thin in comparison.
Complex musical passages on the UE, if there is a lot of low-end energy can get a bit jumbled and muddy at times, whereas the ETYs and Shures are able to present a very coherent sound, while still allowing the individual instruments to be easily recognized and placed in space.
Speaking of space, the UEs, for whatever reason, present a very large soundstage, closer in nature to full-sized cans. The UEs have a very "big" sound to them. The Etys and Shures, on the other hand, sound, well......small in comparison.
As has been stated before, the UEs have a lot of oomph to their sound. Powerful is how I would describe it.
Strange as it may seem, with all their shortcomings, I reach for the Super.Fi every time I want something portable. There is something about the sound that is addicting and intoxicating......I'm assuming it's the bass. Drums sound like drums, bass guitars sound like bass guitars, upright bass is stunning. They are really moving some air in my ear canals. Maybe the fact that they are sealed at the entrance to the canal, thus having more air between the drivers and my eardrum, has them pushing more air? I guess it's a possibility.
Comfort is superlative.....it's as if they are not there. As with sonic preferences, though, this is a personal thing.
To sum it all up, I don't think these are perfect........nothing is. Their frequency response curve, I'm assuming, is far from flat. They have a a lower midrange emphasis that gives the sound it's rich, warm quality. The bass is more visceral than I've ever heard from a canal phone.
Whether or not people find that their attributes outweigh their shortcomings can only be determined by auditioning. For whatever reason, I'm hooked.
Now if only they would ship those Shure E4s that I ordered.
 
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jagger333

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Quote:

Originally Posted by trose49
Maybe you had an early production pair or something. Im not knocking any Shure's I loved my e3c's a touch more bass and the e3c's would be perfect!

My UE'S have highs that sizzle. Cymbals etc.. are very pronounced and distinct. I listened to some Spyro gyra that was simple awesome as far as the high end was concerned.

Maybe we will just have to agree to disagree. Everyones ears are different in shape, sensitivity and so on. Thats why we have choices from two great compainies.



no..i have the same exact clear UE superfi pros bought at guitar center a lil more than a week ago...

i kno your very enthusiastic about your purchase and again i would say if i bought just the superfis themselves i'd be as happy as you...but if you compare the superfis and the E4Cs back to back...you'll find superfi's flaws..(which every headphone has, in superfi's case its the rolled off highs)...listen to the e4cs first....they are not at all similar to your E3s if that's what your thinkin...i think most people would agree that E4s would blow both E2s and E3s out of the water in terms of performance
 
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macman88

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could anyone with the clear ones post some pictures?
 
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