New Triple-Driver Earphones – that’s right, three speakers inside each ear
By Mike Hanlon
October 4, 2006
October 5, 2006 Given the rate at which digital audio and video players are being sold, it’s reasonable to expect that within a decade, personal entertainment devices will be ubiquitous, and they will all have a headphone jack and every human being above the poverty line will carry a set of headphones. Now a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and its also very true that many personal entertainment devices are being limited by the headphones. So headphones and earphones are likely to undergo some serious development in the coming years and Ultimate Ears new US$400 triple.fi 10 Pro universal fit earphones look to have raised the consumer bar to a new level - the tiny earphones incorporate three miniature speakers per ear to deliver blow-you-away fidelity and are modelled after the company's far more expensive custom-fit UE 10 Pros for professional musicians.
Two of the three speakers in each triple.fi 10 Pro earpiece are bass drivers designed to divide the acoustic workload and provide increased definition and clarity, producing deep clean bass that blends into the music rather than overwhelming it. The single high-frequency driver reproduces the top end from female vocals to violins with exceptional precision, while a specially engineered passive crossover ensures that the lows, mids and highs are balanced in perfect proportion.
The result is a full, clear audio signature with a frequency response of 10Hz to 17kHz, the widest of any non-custom earpiece on the market. A patent-pending dual bore design delivers the high and low frequencies through two separate canals, creating a broad sound stage that contributes to the richness of the listening experience.
The snug fit of the earphone provides 26dB of noise isolation to block auditory distractions like honking horns and whining treadmills. A flexible ear loop anchors the earphone in place and guides the cable discreetly behind the ear for easy wear.
The triple.fi 10 Pros can be used for personal listening over Apple iPods, portable DVDs and TVs, game consoles and PCs, as well as for stage monitoring and studio reference listening in the same manner as Ultimate Ears' professional products.
The first 1,000 Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro earphones can be pre-ordered immediately and will ship later this month. Each collectors pair will come in an engraved mini-travel case marked with the limited edition number and also ship with a larger engraved metal case -- previously available exclusively to purchasers of Ultimate Ears' custom-built professional products -- that is designed to hold an iPod as well as the earphones. Each of the first 1,000 units will also come with a certificate of authenticity and a limited-edition poster, with accessories including a five-piece fit kit to adapt the earphones to different ear shapes, 1/4-inch adapter jack, cleaning tool and attenuator.
The standard triple.fi 10 Pros will be available with the same accessories in a regular hard-cover storage case in December. Both the collectors and standard editions will retail for $399.
The triple.fi 10 Pro is the fourth member of Ultimate Ears' family of universal-fit super.fi earphones. The line also includes the $99 single-driver super.fi 3 studio model and two dual-driver options -- the $199.99 super.fi 5 EB (Extended Bass) and $249.99 super.fi 5 Pro.