Polk Audio UltraFocus 6000 review: Polk Audio UltraFocus 6000

Still, UltraFocus 6000 owners would be wise to always keep a spare AAA battery on hand, because once the battery is drained, you'll lose the noise-canceling feature and worse, the headphones won't play music. I can't judge the UltraFocus 6000 too harshly for that misstep, as Bose's most expensive noise-canceling models also share the same design failure.

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Accessories include a semihard, zippered travel case, airline adapter, cable shirt clip, and a short female-to-male 3.5mm cable.

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The UltraFocus 6000 comes with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty, and you'll an invoice or proof of purchase to initiate a warranty claim.

Performance
The UltraFocus 6000 is a big-sounding in-ear set of headphones. The rich tonal balance is the prime reason for that, and it sounds best when played fairly loud. It's also comfortable to wear for hours at a time, and I used an iPod Classic for all of my listening tests.

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As I mentioned, the UltraFocus 6000's noise-canceling prowess was about average for an in-ear noise-canceling design when I tested it on the NYC subway -- it performed slightly better at blocking noise than my Shure SE315 in-ear headphones. The Shure isn't a noise-canceling model; it just depends on a tight ear seal to passively block external noise.

The SE315 is a more accurate-sounding headphone set, but it has less bass, and a clearer, more transparent sound balance with a noticeably present treble "sparkle." The UltraFocus 6000 sounds "heavier" because the deep bass frequencies are boosted higher than they are on most in-ear headphones. Most people enjoy a rich sound balance, and the UltraFocus 6000's bass pitch definition is good, but not great.

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The warm balance extends up to midrange frequencies, so vocals like Thom Yorke's on his album "The Eraser" tend to exhibit more body than they do on most in-ear headphones. Stereo imaging also has a pleasant, wide-open quality, but treble detail is subdued.

The overly full bass balance seems a little out of place for classical and jazz, so I wouldn't recommend the UltraFocus 6000 to folks who listen to a lot of acoustic music.

Conclusion
While the Polk UltraFocus 6000's noise-canceling abilities aren't great, they do exceed noise-isolating (battery-free) in-ear headphones. Buyers seeking the best possible noise-canceling should seriously consider purchasing full-size, over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones; the UltraFocus 6000 will appeal more to buyers craving lots of bass in a smaller, more travel-friendly design.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Polk Audio UltraFocus 6000

Part Number: AM6100-A
Low Price: $89.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features moisture resistant
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Form Factor in-ear
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm