Ultimate Ears has been a familiar name to musicians and other audio professionals for a decade, but the company has gained quite a following with its consumer line as well. Earphones in its Metro.fi, Super.fi, and Triple.fi lines range in affordability and scale nicely from discerning listeners to audiophiles. Falling in toward the middle of the bottom is the $129 Super.fi 4, a stylish, low-profile set that comes with a reasonable array of accessories. The earphones offer some of the clearest audio we've come across, but getting a secure and comfortable fit is a challenge for some users.
Upon first laying eyes on the Super.fi 4 earphones, we were immediately smitten with the sleek and compact design. The earpieces are admirably small and are encased out in a blue-tinged metallic housing. However, the apertures are relatively large and cause some discomfort for the small-eared among us. Ultimate Ears includes a variety of silicone ear tips, but achieving a proper seal with the ear can be a challenge--we would welcome a foam option. It would also be nice if the earpieces were detachable from the cord, as with other Super.fi models. The cable measures about 46-inches long and is all black. A slider where the Y meets helps to prevent tangles when the headphones aren't in use.
The Ultimate Ears Super.fi 4 earphones are capable of delivering excellent audio quality--if you can get a proper fit. If not, music has a distinctly anemic quality. However, anyone who can get a seal with the ear will be rewarded with impressively clear and even sound. Bass is understated, but still present and tight, and mids are warm and encompassing. High-end response is particularly good, with shimmery acoustics and sparkling details. Even given the potential fit and comfort issues, the Super.fi 4 earphones live up to the company's reputation of providing high-quality products. These 'buds are a worthwhile consideration in the $125 range.