Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Ultimate Ears Model UE-10 PRO
Headphone Type Canal Headband Type None
Weight (g) 0 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Other Isolation (dB) 20
Impedance (ohms) 13 Cable Length (cm) 117
Frequency Response (Hz) 20 - 16000  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$900
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 8.1 Bass Impact 8.1
Bass Quality 8.2 Mids Quality 9.0
Highs Quality 8.6 Soundstage 7.2
Detail 9.3 Portability 9.4
Isolation 8.7 Comfort 7.8
Durability 8.0 Improvement With Amplification 6.0
Value for Money 7.7    
Overall Score 8.7 Total Reviews 9

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Kobune on 27 Apr 10  10:19
Individual review
Bass Extension7
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality8
Detail9
Comfort5
Durability10
Value5

The Ultimate Ears UE-10Pro is my first pair of custom-fit earphones and I have to admit that my ear impressions might not be perfectly made, so I gave 7 for isolation and 5 for comfort. However, in comparison with my next two pairs of Sensaphonics 2X-Soft and Westone ES3, the full hard-shell UE-10Pro is not so satisfying in these two measures.

So let's go with the sound quality.

BASS - The bass extension of UE-10Pro is good per se as a pair of earphones, but definitely no match for bigger circumaural headphones like my Sony SA5000. After all, on a portable player with portable earphones, that may be almost the best bass extension you could ever get. The impact is really not what I would expect on such top-tier earphones. Yes the impact and quality of bass on UE-10Pro are still impossible to achieve on universal-fit cans, but both 2X-S and ES3 are superior in this manner, probably because these two are using softer material to construct the intra-canal part. Compared with them, UE-10Pro did not give me enough visceral impact of bass.

MIDS - The UE-10Pro is really NEUTRAL in this part, not cold nor warm, with very little coloration. That may be the most neutral earphones I have heard.

HIGHS - Unlike most universal-fit earphones (except Etymotic ER-4 series), UE-10Pro is pretty rich in highs but never is over bright. It's overall a well balanced pair of earphones although I would like it to have the bass of 2X-S or ES3:P

SOUNDSTAGE - It's both wide and deep in a 2D plane, and it even makes me feel a little bit of vertical space. It's really enjoyable and relaxed to listen to UE-10Pro because of the great soundstage it offers.

DETAIL - Extremely detailed. I have a hard time thinking of some earphones more detailed than this one. Every instrument and vocal are clearly distinguished and then put together in the music. It's just so easy to pick up any detail without disturbance from other sound. Frequently I got surprised by some nuance that I haven't noticed before.

ISOLATION - I guess this kind of full hard-shell earphones require the impressions to be 100% complement to the canals, otherwise there will be some mismatch, less isolation and, poor comfort.

COMFORT - Mine isn't 100% perfect, but it's definitely not a poor fit. I haven't experienced any discomfort during the use and my canals will adapt to it after a couple of minutes. It's just not as comfortable as other custom-fit earphones made of soft materials.

DURABILITY - It's quity sturdy, with thich replaceable cables tightly attached to the earphones. Mine has last about four years without any problem.

OVERALL - If the bass can be improved a little, this could be my no.1 recommendation at similar prices. But if comfort is also taken into account, I may want to turn to other manufacturers.

Review by Senior Member pila405 on 17 Jan 09  00:49
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality9
Detail10
Comfort10
Durability8
Value10

Pros: ? EXTREMELY ACCURATE SOUND
- Custom fit your ears
- 26dB of passive sound isolation
- Extremely comfortable fit even for long listening sessions
- Easy to clean and maintain
- detachable and replaceable cords
- Outstanding customer service

Cons: - $900 USD price tag
- $30 - $50 USD audiologist fee for ear impressions
- Difficult to audition and resell

Summary: THE SOUND:


BASS:
Bass extension is very low ? in fact, the lowest I have ever heard of any earphone including the ER-4P/S. Attack and slam of bass notes literally produce reverberations inside my brain tissue and throughout the bone of my skull! Sudden changes in beat or tempo from slow / steady to fast / furious happen at the speed of light. The timbre and texture of each bass note sounds warm in tone. Intense percussion jams sound fluid. Bottom line: each thwack, thump, and shimmer sounds like the real instrument played live.

MIDRANGE:
Everything sounds exceptionally clear, resolved, and accurate. In fact, every note lays itself bare in naked space and there are no colorations to the sound. Closing my eyes, I can reconstruct the layered depths of recorded music front to back / left to right and I can pinpoint the position of each musician on stage. Furthermore, I also hear whether musicians breathe through their nostrils or mouths during their performance.
The UE-10 PROtm reproduces vocals impeccably. Dion has a dynamic and sweet voice. Barber has a voice that is intoxicatingly sultry and throaty. Fleming has the beautiful voice of a seraph. Terfel can sing the phone book. Van Halen is sometimes edgy and peaky.

TREBLE:
I heard no brightness, sibilance, or shrillness. The top end sounds accurate, grain free, and natural. Treble extends upward smoothly without sounding peaky or rolled off. Treble energy is slightly forward, but not in your face. For example, high hat cymbals produce clashes and shimmers that sound convincingly natural during the attack, bloom, and decay. As another example, female voices sound liquid, organic, and smooth.

BALANCE & COHESION:
Both the midrange and treble sound true to the original recording. Notes flow freely with silky smoothness and music sounds natural and relaxed. However, the bass region is tonally overpowering and any excessive musical energy in that region upsets tonal balance. The bottom end sounds warm and full-bodied like the Grado RS-1 cans. ?Bassheads? should love the shock ?n awe assault on their eardrums!

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS:
The UE-10 PROTM tells the brutal, honest truth. It does not dictate its own interpretation of the music, but frees it to communicate itself naturally. They truly are the Ultimate Earphones for extracting oodles of details due to their killer pinpoint accuracy. For example, I can hear Dion?s French Canadian accent whenever she sings words ending in vowel ? consonant ? vowel clusters. As another example, I noticed Terfel?s tendency to belt out his lowest registers starting from deep down in his stomach as he lifts up the sound to the middle of his chest region where it blooms into grandeur. Barber?s style is to swallow from the back of her throat, lick her lips, and let out her hot, seductive voice into the microphone.

SOUNDSTAGE & IMAGING:
Combine balance, cohesion, and oodles of details and expand it 180 degrees throughout the frontal hemisphere of the brain and you got the UE-10 PROTM nailed on the head of a pin. It reproduces the layered depth but does not sacrifice the width of soundstage. The stunning pinpoint accuracy is a boon: each musician and instrument occupies an unmistakable place in the soundstage. If the level of musicianship and recording are up to par, then the seductive illusion of music playing naturally becomes convincingly real.

SOUND ISOLATION:
26dB of passive sound isolation is both a good and bad thing. It is a good thing because I no longer have to compete with external noises in my listening environment just so I can hear my music. As a result, I can listen to my music at lower listening volumes anywhere. It is also a bad thing because I can no longer hear critical spatial cues in my environment. For example, I cannot hear loud buses, trucks, or even people talking on the street. Consequently, use common sense: do not drive a vehicle or operate dangerous machines (i.e., power tools or firearms) with the UE-10 PROtm plugged in!

COMFORT:
The ear impressions fit my ears like a custom-made leather glove for my hand. In fact, I hardly notice that I am wearing earphones at all even after hours of continual use! The UE-10 PROTM earphones are a perfect fit?literally.

CONCLUSIONS:
If you can afford them, then I enthusiastically recommend the Ultimate EarsTM UE-10 PROTM earphones but with some reservations. Find the best audiologist who has work experience with UE and follow their specific instructions for getting proper ear impressions to the letter. While they will work with virtually any equipment, better equipment will reveal their true sonic capabilities. Use common sense when using them and keep the volume low to avoid hearing damage!

Review by Senior Member jinx20001 on 07 Nov 08  02:05
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality9
Highs Quality10
Detail10
Comfort8
Durability7
Value5

these are superb phones, the only thing overshadowing these is the se530 which i think is a little smoother and gives a nicer overall sound. at half the price (ouch).

dont get me wrong these phones are near as makes no difference perfect! but by beaing so nearly perfect they are a little boring sound wise and bass for example may let some people down.

so are these that good...yes, are they that much better than the shure se530 and UE triple fi 10 to warrant paying double...no, no really.

to be honest these are $500 phones but you pay double that because they are custom, thats the choice you need to make.

Review by Senior Member ashanin on 04 Sep 08  18:37
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality8
Detail10
Comfort10
Durability9
Value7

Ultimate Ears UE10PRO headphones is a very tempting product even if the price is really high. That last event can not play a leading role, when we are talking about that certain high class sound. Think about this, how much will cost a simple system with the same sound pressure. But there’s something else, very important to mention- Ultimate Ears headphones are really merciless with bad-quality recordings. Having these high quality headphones, the sure thing is that you’ll have to get rid of a considerable part of your CD-collection.But maybe this would be your reward for such a high goal .Anyway, for someone who can afford to invest in this amazing product so many dollars, I think it would be no problem to buy a few qualitative recordings.

Review by Senior Member DavidMahler on 11 Aug 07  05:24
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact10
Bass Quality10
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality10
Detail10
Comfort9
Durability9
Value10

The best headphones I own

Review by Senior Member chrisfromalbany on 25 Aug 05  07:32
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality9
Mids Quality9
Highs Quality10
Detail10
Comfort8
Durability9
Value10

I find these headphones to be some of the best headphones that are under 1,000 dollars. They have alittle less detail then the SA5000s but more then HD650s. I find there bass extention to be great. There highs are much better then Sens 2x's. I use these headphones more then any other headphone in my collection. Why because they are so easy. Don't really need amp. Use them in the car, for walk, at the gym, at the office, or at home.

They sound is great with any portable device but an amp doesn't change there sound quality much. They are a 13.3 impendence headphone, so amping isn't going to make much of a difference. That is to say there is a small increase in performance.

I agree they are a very neutral headphone and I use 320 AAC songs when using the UE-10s.

Review by Senior Member Welly Wu on 26 Dec 04  20:21
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality8
Detail10
Comfort9
Durability9
Value7

I have owned my Ultimate Ears Ue-10 PRO earphones for a solid nine months and I have had no need to purchase another pair of headphones or earphones in that period of time. I strongly believe that these custom IEMs are near perfect in every sense of the word: portability, durability, reliability, sound quality, and musical. Bass extension and attack are near perfect with stunning resolution and precision. Bass impact is very good, but bass quality is near perfect as well. The midrange is the heart of music and the Ue-10 PRO gets it so right to my ears. Combined with its exceptional detail and clarity, I can hear so deeply into the music that I am transported into my own private musical bliss. The depth and width of the soundstage extend well beyond the aura of my cranium because of the exceptional midrange and detail quality combined together. I am not talking about HI-FI descriptors, but I am talking in terms of musical concepts like perfect timing, momentum, melody, rythm, and harmony along with balance. My Ue-10 PROs get those things right all together. Portability is a plus and the -26dB of passive sound isolation is a boon especially given the noisy neighborhood in which I live. Of course, the custom audiologist fit is perfect but it does take experience and good old fashioned trial 'n error too. Durability is much improved with the hard acrylic option available for non-professional consumers. I strongly feel that using a dedicated headphone amplifier makes the Ue-10 PRO perform so much better than plugging it straight into a standard headphone jack. Experience has confirmed that this is the norm and not the exception. At $950 USD, I would say that they represent a good value for the money -- if you can afford them.

Review by Member londoner53 on 07 Oct 05  08:07
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality4
Detail5
Comfort5
Durability5
Value5

I am truly surprised at the warmth of the reviews that these devices are attracting here. Everyone has different tastes, of course, but my experience is that the UE10s are lifeless and boring. I bought them to replace bulky Sennheisser HD 25 but the UE10s are in a drawer and the Sennheissers continue to be used every day.

Review by Member anonymous on 16 Aug 05  17:23
Individual review
Bass Extension10
Bass Impact10
Bass Quality10
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality10
Detail10
Comfort6
Durability6
Value10

The most neutral and transparent listening device you will find in the world.

Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO
Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO
Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO
Ultimate Ears UE-10 PRO