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Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro Headphones

(with Brian Dixon)

Earphones are convenient and easy to carry, but you still give up a lot of performance compared to higher-quality headphones. Or maybe not ...

Ultimate Ears develops custom molded professional ear monitors for professional / touring musicians around the world -- claiming an over 80% share of the professional ear monitor market.

And the company has developed a range of products for the broader consumer enthusiast market, for users with a highly educated ear and discerning music taste.

We tried out the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro personal earphones and were really impressed -- which should be expected with $399 earphones.

These actually contain three individual speakers for each ear, with a crossover circuit that directs specific frequencies to dedicated speakers -- low-end for bass, mid-range for vocals, and high for treble.

The result is a wonderful clarity in the sound -- so we can dinstinguish the components of the music -- the kick drum in a rock song, the high strings in an orchestral piece, even the squeak of the guitar string was more distinct in a softer Folk song.

Even better, the clarity also seems to help separate the stereo field, so we really can hear a better stereo representation and interesting panning effects -- We can be convinced that we're inside the sound.

The earpieces also provide up to -26 dB passive noise isolation when properly inserted with the correct size ear tips. But Ultimate Ears carefully warns in the user guide that you should be careful to protect your hearing from loud volumes, and recommends not listening for more than an hour a day.

The result is earphones that provide a clear and intense listening experience that is closer to good headphones or even studio monitors. We were able to hear details like compression artifacts in aggressively encoded MP3 files, and subtleties in a mix that we did not necessarily notice on other specific monitors.

But who would use them ...

Clearly, the target market for the Triple.fi earphones is not casual background listening. We'd describe the target use as "short-term intense active listening" -- intense because of the clarity, active since the quality is so good you won't be in a lean-back passive listening mode, and short-term to be careful of your ears after this kind of dynamic experience. Our ears did seem a bit fatigued after an hour or so of this kind of intense listening experience.

They would be particularly great for a music enthusiast to listen intensely to a new recording, or to enjoy an old favorite. And we found them helpful for musicians as an alternate way to check out a mix (in addition to studio monitors). -- So enjoy!

See full article on the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro Personal Earphones

See my Portable Audio Accessories Gallery for details on headphones.

    Find the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi Headphones on Amazon.com

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