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Ultimate Ears UE500

Discontinued
MSRP $69.99
This product is no longer available for purchase.

Ultimate Ears UE500 in-ear headphones deliver that classically smooth UE tone full of musical details and nuances your previous under-$75 earphones may have missed. UE's proprietary full-range single driver array presents tremendous instrumental and vocal definition at a price unrivaled by most other high-end brands. The anti-tangle flat cord design is a huge plus to avoid futzing with a rat's nest of cords every time you use your in-ears. 6 sets of provided eartips ensure a perfect personalized fit.


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Product Features:

  • Single-driver design with great bass response
  • Sleek micro design with cool aluminum-on-black cosmetiocs
  • Sweet flat cable resists tangles and cord kinking
  • 2-year UE/Logitech manufacturer's warranty

What's In The Box:

  • 5 pr - silicone eartips in varying sizes
  • 1 pr - Comply foam eartips
  • Hard-sided protective travel/storage case
  • UE owner's manual

The Ultimate Ears UE500 represents yet another pinnacle of achievement in the 'starter' in-ear category by this long-time manufacturer. Offering tighter, more refined bass control versus the entry-level UE350 model, the UE500 brings good clarity and 'up-front' definition of musical details to your portable music experience. Although perhaps slightly rollled-off in the uppermost highs for demanding audiophile listeners employing uncompressed or lossless music, the UE500 silky top-end  presence also ensures no jarring harshness in the upper treble for a smooth, sonically pleasing overall tonality. The burnished mids/highs and evenly balanced tone is great-sounding with any musical genre or recording type and dovetails effortlessly with iPod, iPad, computer notebooks or MP3 players with no amplifier needed. At this price, we feel UE may have a contender for one fo the top candidates in the popular under-$75 price strata.

The Ultimate Ears UE500 headphone comes from a long line of high-quality in-ear designs dating back to the pioneering UE 'Super.Fi' models back in the early 2000s. Now completely updated by Logitech with all the latest technological in-ear monitor advancements like weightless rapid-response neodymium driver arrays and extra-tough Kevlar cord reinforcement, the build construction of the UE 500 appears solidly bomb-proof to withstand exercise use and non-stop portable listening while out & about. The slightly-rounded, small flat-back earpiece on the UE500 makes it useable for under-helmet wear while also ideal for sleeping or laying out without protuding earpieces ruining the experience. The UE500 package includes six pairs of proprietary eartip sets in silicone and foam materials, amongst the best selection of 'universal fit' ear sleeves offered by any in-ear manufacturer. The 2-year free manufacturer's 'repair or replace' service warranty remains in place only with your HeadRoom authorized Logitech/UE dealer purchase receipt.

Specifications:

  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 Years
  • Headphone Type: In-Ear
  • Isolation: -12dB ~ 22dB
  • Detachable Cable: No
  • Impedance @ 1kHz: 16 Ohms
  • Cord Length: 46 inches
  • Cord Type: Straight Y
  • Coupler Size: Small
  • Ear Coupler Type: IEM
  • Sensitivity: 105dB

Reviews At A Glance
2 Reviews
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Average Rating 
(Showing 3 of 4 reviews)



I'm really not sure why these receive such good reviews
Posted by Miles from San Francisco on 2013-03-15

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Deep bass extension, nice packaging
Cons: Complete lack of high frequency response, poor value

I bought these headphones based on consistent good reviews. I'm an audiophile and a musician. I have about $20k worth of gear at home, and perform every week. My current reference headphones are the Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250 Ohm, though I've had some very nice Stax and Grado headphones in the past.

First, the good: These headphones have amazing bass response. It's deep, and big. Also, the foam cushions are both comfortable, and better-sounding than the silicone ones. Finally, the packaging is just lovely. Much nicer than the packaging for either my Beyerdynamic DT-770s, or my Grado SR-60s. It's much nicer than the packaging for the Shure SE115s that someone gave me once.

Now, the bad: There's absolutely no high frequency response. This goes past just treble attenuation, because a lot of textural detail relies on high frequencies. To my ears, it sounds like it's rolling off dramatically around 6 kHz. That deep, big bass response doesn't sound real - it sounds muddy and smeared, except for on some electronic music. Real basses don't sound like real basses. Percussion? Forget about it. The dynamics are reasonably good, but these headphones don't resolve at all. It's as if someone smeared vaseline on the drivers. I've had $25 Skull Candy in-ears with more detail, and a more realistic tonal balance. Also, the XXS sized cushions were missing from my package, so there may be quality control issues.

Build quality: These are all-plastic headphones with chrome-finish on parts. They don't seem like they would stand up to much abuse.

Overall, I would not recommend these headphones, and they seem like a poor value. There's fierce competition in this price range in terms of in-ear monitors, and if you're looking for a headphone of any size (not just IEMs) in this price range, the Grado SR-60 is a MUCH better-sounding piece of gear, and no harder to drive.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

1 out of 1 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?


Hard to beat at this price
Posted by Clearmind from American in Taiwan on 2012-12-20

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Excellent overall presentation
Cons: Not really

These are excellent headphones. Compared to the UE350, they are a step up in terms of overall clarity. While the 350 has a sound signature that is perhaps a little more naturally balanced and easy on the ear, it also has higher distortion, which means that in the end it still becomes fatiguing more quickly. The UE500 compares very favorably with the much more expensive Sennheiser IE80 (which also uses a single dynamic driver). The IE80's slight overemphasis on the mid and upper bass sometimes results in thumping, boomy bass, a problem that doesn't occur with the UE500, which always remains clear and weighty. The Sennheiser IE80 does have a tiny edge in terms of detail, texture, and a layered soundstage, but it also has highs that are a bit harsh and splashy. Cymbals on the Sennheisers sound like white noise, but on the UE500s they sound like they should--like metallic cymbals. The only minor flaw of the UE500s is a slight forwardness in the upper midrange or lower treble, so that some notes in the piano's upper register, for example, will sound a little more "in your face" than others, which doesn't happen with the Sennheisers. This is a very minor flaw, however, and the UE500s nevertheless win in terms of overall musicality because of their smoother highs and a generally sweet-toned sound signature.

The 500s (labeled the 400s in Asia) have enough clarity and refinement to handle classical music, and even at this price they come close to "audiophile" grade performance. They sound great straight out of an iPod, but sound even better with a higher quality source such as the Fostex HP-P1 DAC. I add a Fiio E17 amp to the Fostex HP-P1 DAC. I'm not certain whether the E17 is the most powerful portable amp available, but it lets you adjust bass and treble to find the ideal balance for whatever IEM you might be using. It's a very satisfying combination.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?


Great Earphones
Posted by transmaster from Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA on 2012-01-29

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Great Sound, comfortable, love the ribbon cable
Cons: lossing the earpieces, the cables become very stiff, and irriitating.

Rating the music reproduction of the earphone is a very subjective thing and I will not get into description of how they sound only how they reproduce music. I have been a musician for 50 years, playing jazz, big band,ancient music consorts with period brass, and woodwinds. My music collection is over 3 terabytes I have every sort of music you can think of. To test the UE500's I listened to several Big bands, John Philip Sousa marches, Jazz of numerous types, orchestral heavy metal, Orchestrated music, the ancient stuff, world music, and pipe organs both church and Wurlitzer, and New Age. Pipe organs are very hard for any audio transducer to reproduce The UE500's do a great job of it. The other musical genera sounded as it should having personally played a lot of this music I know what it is supposed to sound like. The real suprise was Mars Lasar his works sound fantastic on the UE500. An example of this is The track from "when World Collide" titled "Children of The New Age" was astonishing it has a children chorus singing, on my other earphones the vocal track is very muddy and hard to understand on the UE500 it is crystal clear. Pipe organ music is reproduced with very little low end distortions which can be removed using the graphic equalizer. The only complaint I have, and it is a very minor one is with the foam ear pieces they slide off of the earphones, hopefully they stay in your ears, but they can come off elsewhere when removed and would be lost. These foam earpieces are very comfortable they are made with the expandable foam. Mush them down, fit them in your ear, lightly hold the ear piece with a finger and the foam will expand to fill the space in your ear sealing out a great deal of external noise.

I can honestly recommend the UE500 for listening to any sort of music you like it will do a great job. I have purchased earphones that cost much more then the UE500's that didn't sound half as good. This one is a no brainer. 8^)


****************************************************************************************************

This is an update to my earlier review: (3/21/2012)
There are problems. First the earpieces both the silicone and the foam come loose, hopefully in your ear. I have already lost 3 sets. The second is the insulation on the ribbon cables have become very stiff, so stiff as to make it very hard to keep the earphones from falling out, or keeping them in the proper position for the best sound. This is very irritating. These are still fantastic sounding but the lost earpieces and the stiff cabling has caused me to add yet another set of such phones to the earbud drawer to join the 20 or so that have already been discarded there. I have to change my recommendation to a purchase something else. 8^(


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

18 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?


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