The Superstar Earphone: Retail Versions of Musicians' In-Ear Monitors


June 13, 2005

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June 14, 2005 When we wrote up UltimateEars last October, we explained how the company specialises in making custom deluxe “ear gear’ for rock’s royalty and basically ooohed and aaahed at the price (US$900) and quality of the custom- moulded Ultimate Ears in-ear monitors that have been worn by just about all of rock’s superstars for the last decade so they can ensure the best possible sound on stage. Now consumers can get the same first-class audio with a new range of Ultimate Ears earphones -- premium universal-fit earbuds designed for use with personal devices. The 5EB (US$199.99) and 5Pro (US$249.99) incorporate the company's proprietary technology to make music from U2 to Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, Ray Charles and even Rachmaninoff sound crisper and fuller than ever before.'s professional-grade audio is produced by special engineering that places low- and high-frequency speakers in each ear for better fidelity, plus a unique earbud design that securely seals the ear against external noise. The earbuds' shape and snug fit -- based on Ultimate Ears' 10 years of experience in handcrafting earphones from silicone impressions of customers' ears -- yield maximum wearing comfort as well as maximum noise isolation essential for use in the gym and other noisy environments.

A five-piece fit kit and behind-the-ear cable design add to's comfort level. Four silicone tips and one foam interface are included in each box to adapt the earphones to different ear shapes and help users achieve the best seal against outside noise. A flexible ear loop anchors the earphone in place and guides the cable securely behind the ear for easy wear.

The lower-priced SF5EB (Extended Bass) features big bass sound particularly suited for hard rock, hip-hop and rap, with 16dB of noise isolation and a frequency response of 20-16,000 Hz. The higher-priced SF5Pro offers an audio signature that lends itself to all musical genres across the board, along with greater resistance to outside noise at 26dB of noise isolation, the same 20-16,000 Hz frequency response, and a smaller and sleeker exterior housing. Both models come in a choice of white or dark gray, and include leather and metal travel cases for carrying or storage.

Ultimate Ears' earphones can be used with MP3 and CD players, portable DVDs and TVs, game consoles, desktop and laptop PCs, home and professional audio, airplane audio, and home studio equipment. Devices can be attached via the standard 1/8 inch (3.5mm) connector or a 1/4-inch adapter that fits most audio component output ports.

Ultimate Ears' earphones are currently available at the company web site.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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