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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio Earphones Review

"It's like hearing your music for the first time." That's the hook that the folks over at Ultimate Ears want you to bite. That's what they want you to believe, and in reality, it may be true for you. But for a person whose had these $129.99 in-ear studio monitors for just a few hours, I can safely say that if this is how music sounded the first time I heard it, I'm not sure I would've ever become a fan of it.

That's not to say that the Super.fi 3 is a bad set of earphones. They aren't. Not really. These small little earphones pack a powerful punch, and exhibit such clarity that you may think for a second that you really are hearing all your music for the first time. But give it about 15-20 seconds, just enough time for that tight in-ear fit to come loose, and you'll find yourself listening to your music through what sounds like the earphones of that annoying person sitting next to you on an airplane. The sound is tinny, undramatic, and just flat-out bad.

Of course, this may just be for me. Each package of Super.fi 3 Earphones comes complete with 5 distinct sets of tips so that getting the right fit may just be a matter of switching tips. For me though, I've found that the only tip that I have any luck with is the large tip. Of course, like I said, this only lasts for a few seconds at most. I've gone to the Ultimate Ears website where they have a video detailing how to properly insert the earphones, simply insert and twist (or "Rock and Roll"). You know you have the right fit when you feel a slight bit of suction, as this is how the earphones stay in place. For a few fleeting moments, the sound quality you get is great and rivals that of over-the-ear studio monitors. Then the seal breaks, and your quality is lost. The user manual recommends wetting the tip of the earphones before insertion, but there is still no difference in performance.

Many people may find the Super.fi 3s to be to their liking. After all, it's really just a matter of finding the right fit, and if you do, you'll be in for a real treat. But for those of us whose ears are just unfit for this product, the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio Earphones are just a waste of a significant amount of money (for earphones, at least). At their current price, the Super.fi 3s are just too much of a gamble for people who may fall into the same category as I do. For studio purposes, I find that my competitively-priced over-the-ear monitors work much better and offer a significantly richer sound. It's almost like hearing my music for the first time, but not really. That's all marketing nonsense.

4 out of 10 Stars

13 comments:

dsi r4 said...

Flat Response gives you accurate musical response, nice design, shipped with nice items

r4 said...

I love my sure SE210, would love to see a comparison between these and them.

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