by Kevin O’Brien
Sound isolating headphones are becoming very popular these days, with inner ear headphones or active noise canceling headphones being the most popular choices. These types of headphones help to reduce as much outside noise as possible, while giving the audio enthusiast very good sound reproduction. With so many models on the market, listeners have a wide range of options or styles to choose from to best match their personality or body. This review covers the Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro earphones, so stick around and see if this model fits your needs.
- Input Sensitivity: 119dB/mW
- Frequency Response: 20 to 16,000 Hz
- Impedance: 21 ohms
- Internal Speaker Configuration: Two precision balanced armatures
- Noise Isolation: -26dB
- Input connector: 1/8" (3.5mm) gold plated
- Weight With cable assembly: 0.6 oz
- Retail Price: $249.99
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Build Quality and Design
The Super.Fi 5 Pro earphones are offered in multiple colors, including clear, white, and black. The design is very nice and slim, but long enough to stick out of your ears further than other models. For listener comfort and fit, Ultimate Ears includes a nice assortment of sleeves in multiple sizes and styles.
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I felt the build quality of the earphones was top notch, while still being incredibly lightweight. With durability being a factor with something of this size, one attribute I really liked was the user replaceable cables. If the wire is damaged or accidentally cut, it is very simple to unplug each side and replace with a new cable. With many models costing considerably more than $100, letting the user replace a $20 cable for a simple mistake is better than having to purchase an entirely new set of earphones.
User Comfort and Fit
I should probably start off by saying that my ears are quite picky, and some headphones have fitment issues. With the Super.Fi 5 Pros, this problem cropped up, but was resolved using aftermarket ear canal sleeves. None of the stock sleeves seemed to fit correctly inside my ears, causing an improper seal and that side wanting to pop out of my ear.
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To help with comfort the cables have moldable wire lengths near the earpiece, to create a loop to hold onto your earlobe. At first I didn’t enjoy the stiff section of cable on my ear, but once I had it shaped perfectly to keep the main lengths of wire off my neck, my view was swayed.
Sound quality was excellent no matter if I was watching a movie or listening to my favorite music. The Super.Fi 5 Pro’s were equipped with two drivers, one for high frequency and another for low frequency. Compared to other single driver earphones, you could clearly tell the difference with better bass and high notes. Cymbals came through with a delicate crash, and drums with an appropriate thump.
- High Frequency Driver
- Low Frequency Driver
- Sound shaping filters
- Passive crossovers
Performance at both high and low volume levels were excellent. At higher volume levels the sound would stay clear even cranked to the point of creating physical pain in my ears. This type of performance should please both easy listeners and those who want to deafen themselves in short order.
To get such impressive audio performance from a device that weighs less than a handful of change is incredible. While the price can be a bit much to swallow, I find it fully worth it considering how great these things sound. The Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro’s are a great investment if you have demanding tastes in audio for your ears. The only downside is you might get stuck in a path to eventually purchase the fully custom Ultimate Ears 11 Pro models one day.
- Great audio performance, both low and high
- Replaceable cables
- Multiple color options
- High price tag
- May have to turn to custom sleeves if you have mutant ears like me