Watching people sitting on a bus, as we often do, there are two main types of headphone wearers: people who have the default white headphones, and people who opt for something that asserts a bit of their personality but also provides better sound — usually over-ear cans from the likes of Skullcandy or Sennheiser. If you believe you belong to a third group that values sound quality over anything else then prick your ears.
Ultimate Ears was created by drummer Alex Van Halen who needed a pair of custom in-ear monitors. After crafting professional gear for several years, the company began making consumer headphones in 2002, and was then snapped up by Logitech in 2008.
The headphones sit somewhere near the top of the consumer headphones, which culminate in the Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 at AU$529. The headphones feature two custom-tuned speakers per ear and yet are quite small and light at only 11.6 grams per earphone. The finish is metallic, though unlike theit's plastic and not actual metal, but they feel hard-wearing. Be aware the metallic paint will peel off with use, so keeping them in the supplied case is recommended. The headphones ship with four different-sized ear tips including (our favourite) the expanding Comply Foam.
The 700s have a frequency response of 10Hz – 16.5kHz which doesn't sound all that impressive when CD goes all the way up to 20kHz. But if this matters to you be comforted by the fact that most modern music arguably cuts off about 12kHz anyway. Plus, we don’t think many of the headphones that claim to go 20-20,000 are quite telling the truth anyway.