Pros Unbeatable efficiency, dynamics, neutrality and detail
Cons Flat frequency response is against popular tastes, minor ergonomic issues
Summary Ultimate Ears
Triple.fi 10 Pro in-ear headphones
My overall impressions of the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi Pro headphones are of a superior set of headphones in an incredibly small package. The headphones have some practical and ergonomic limitations, but are probably unequalled in the clarity and power of their sound at this price point. Sonically they excel in the mid-range, bringing a hallucinatory precision to spoken and sung vocals.
The UE manual gives explicit warnings about listening to their phones at high volumes for long periods, and with reason. They are highly efficient - as any driver sitting right next to your eardrum should be - and as accurate as studio monitors worth thousands. My pair of UE phones pump out a lot of subjective volume relative to the volume setting of the amplifier (a Presonus Inspire D/A converter) and they reveal detail that was below my threshold of awareness when listening to the same music over both JBL studio monitors and Sennheiser PXC250 noise-reducing phones. Some of this very sharp 'analytical' detail, such as the small amount of EM interference or self-noise I discovered to be affecting my Presonus box, may be unwanted by casual listeners.
The frequency response graph provided by Ultimate Ears on their Web site is the oddest I have seen, with apparently huge peaks and valleys across the audible spectrum, but in actual use the Triple.fi Pro's input is conveyed without noticeable colouration at either extreme. I particularly enjoy the clarity of mid-range frequencies in these phones, as a lot of my listening is to spoken-word recordings. Bass is full, immediate and yet dry, entirely without the headachey, indistinct boom that is the first sign that you are listening to bad equipment. The casual listener might at first miss the flabby, boomy bass that dominates the output of cheaper phones and speakers. The Triple.fi Pro's flat response also means that your mileage will be strongly influenced by the source pushing the signal. An old Pioneer A-103 amplifier imparted a very warm sonority to my test music which I found sweet but over-coloured; the headphone jack of my mid-range CD deck pumped out a characteristically loud, hard-edged, cold but accurate version of the same music, creating an entirely different listening experience. These phones stand aside and let the music through in whatever form has been imparted to it.
As other listeners report, Ultimate Ears equipment easily reveals how well or poorly your MP3 music files were compressed. The more nuanced the recording, the more rewarding will be the listening experience with these phones. For example, Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_, as dramatised and recorded by the BBC, includes some very subtle environmental sound effects behind the characters' dialogue which are inaudible through lesser equipment. Jazz recordings, which tend to be wide in dynamic range, with a well-defined soundstage and dry ambience, really sparkle. The processed vocals, gated drums and hard synth bass in Madonna's 'American Life', though not to my taste, have the satisfying punch and grit that only total clarity in a 'dead' listening environment (ie, your head) can generate. Pop rythym guitars have enough stereo width to curl around and hit you in the eye. Detail in this genre can also surprise. The otherwise silent drum kit's sympathetic snare vibrations with overdriven amplified guitars in Polvo's 'Monoloth' were never a feature of the piece until I heard it through the Triple.fi Pros. Kleiber's recording of Beethoven's 5th presents as a wide, detailed panorama of strings, brass and woodwind. The Vienna Philharmonic's instrumental sections speak from their places on the soundstage as if marked on a map. The deeper strengths of the Triple.fi Pros are revealed in vocals-only recordings, such as the work of The Fairfield Four in 'Lonesome Valley', an a-capella spiritual on the soundtrack album _O Brother, Where Art thou?_. These four male voices on close mikes are projected into your head with hair-raising emotional and sonic presence.
In-ear phones are not suitable for all applications. Good luck monitoring your own singing or other vocal work on a digital audio workstation with these - you will only hear a thunderous buzzing transmitted directly from your skullbones, much as you would if trying to sing with your fingers stuck in your ears. Closed-design, traditional headphones are still the best choice for this kind of work. Microphone effect from the UE cabling was not noticeable to me, but the amplified creaking, rumbling and roaring of my own body were sometimes distracting in quiet listening sessions.
I suggest using these phones for mastering on a DAW or home studio, and for quiet, attentive leisure listening through an i-Pod or your hi-fi system. Your surroundings need not be quiet as you do this, however, because the in-ear design produces strong passive attenuation of outside noise, akin to that of foam earplugs. A choice of different-sized in-ear mounts is provided, and stiff wire inserts allow the user to hang the cables weightlessly on the ears.
The Triple.fi Pros offer audiophile-quality listening in a neat metal case the size of a matchbox. It is at first unpleasant to part with so much money for something so small, but I could not imagine a more strategic way to spend $400 on high-fidelity equipment. The Triple.fi's combined efficiency, dynamics, neutrality and razor-sharp detail massively outweigh their minor ergonomic irritations. For someone who needs to hear exactly what is in their music, whether this is a home recording project or Miles Davis at the top of his game in the late 50s, The Triple.fi Pros are the only affordable tool up to the task.
"Excellent IEM"on by oak3x
Pros Amazing Detailed, Balanced Presentation
Cons Sound Isolation
Summary I have owned these Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10s, as well as a number of other IEMS. If you appreciate music, do not hesitate to spend the money on this quality product.
These Triple.Fi's are excellent IEMS... They provide an amazing detailed / articulate sound with a balanced presentation of Low, Mid and Upper Frequencies... Where many other brands of earphones / headphones are colored in one frequency spectrum or another, the Triple.Fi's present music in the way the artist intended it to be heard. Personally speaking, this is the way I prefer to listen to recordings.
In my opinion, the Triple.Fi's sound signature is similar to that of full sized headphones Beyerdynamic DT880
The only area of improvement to this product is in the sound isolation. While they are good, they don't totally block outside noise (say as well as say Shure). Depending on the way you plan to use IEM's, this may be an considering factor. Overall, this is only a small issue.
Overall...the Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10's are an excellent product.
Similar IEM - Shure se310. The Shures also present a balanced presentation, with a tad bit more warmth. The Triple.Fi's are more detailed, with a better representation of the high frequencies.
Hope this brief write-up helps
Pros Everything...but most importantly a balanced tonal quality.
Bass: Thumping and deep. (Excellent)
Mids: Very detailed (Very Very Good)
Highs: Best out there (Excellent)
Cons Its was not a problem for me but they protrude a bit out of the ear (albeit stylishly).
The foam tips provided are of bad construction, wished UE didnt cut corners with foam tips and provided quaity tips like Shure.
Summary Where do I begin...I have been using tonnes of headphones Grado RS1 and 2, Ultrasone HFI700, Senn HD280, Ety ER6i and most relevant to this review the Shure SE530 PTH.
Let me categorically state the after my Grado RS2 I love UE Triple.fi the best. I dont understand why would any reviewer who claim to be audiopihle would rate SE530 above triple.fi
Basically a transducer should replicate the sound as close as possible to the input. Shure basically amplifies the lower-mids and reduces the highs. The mids have more punch but the lack of highs is a very glaring negative in my book. It takes all the fun out of the music.
UE TF10, offers perfect balance of lows and highs. Highs are not harsh, they are just right and presented in awesome detail.
Bass: Punchy, strong and goes low but doesnot have the same detailed as you would get from a top of the line Grado or Senn. Dont get me wrong, its excellent but if you compare it to top of the line open cans you can make out some difference. It is almost as good as Shure SE530, with Shure being just a tad more detailed and goes a little more low.
Mid: Perfect. Mids are done as they should be. Vocals are clear and female vocals come out really strong. Listening to Amy Winehouse in Rehab makes you feel that you are sitting right next to her. All the organs and strings are very present and feel part of a coherent whole. Take note...UE are not your "analytical" IEMs. They are "music should be fun" IEM. So if you want to look for whether there is perfect instrument separation probably they are not the best bet (which is not to say that instrument separation is bad...no far from it..its just not as good as top of the line cans)
Highs: Oh what can I say about the highs..they are orgasmic...and especially if you compare them to shure SE530 which are rolled off and sound tepid. For me most of the details in percussion and guitars lie in mids and highs. The interplay of rimshots with high hats, the gasp for breath after a full bodied rendition of Kobain;s lyrics...it is here that highs are important...and it is here that TF10 is a million times better than SE530. For some reason Shure designers thought that highs are not important and rolled them off..which I think is going against everything that a music lover and audiophile wants in their transducer.
Comfort: I use the foam tips and find them to be very comfortable. Some say that the size is very large, for me that is not a problem, and the supplied universal fit kit offers solution for practically every ear size. I wear them at work for hours at stretch without any discomfort. They donot dislodge when moving. Before TF10 I used to wear SE530 which were a tad more discreet but there is no difference as far as comfort is concerned.
Style: The gun metal blue is soo cool that even if they protrude a bit from the ears they do so stylishly.
Construction: Solid...and like a true professional grade can, the cords are detachable. Only bad part was the suplied foam tips which are sub-standard. I had to glue the foam to the plastic.
Accessories: Good set of accessories. The default jack, fits an iPhone 1 gen, so its an added benefit as I can use it on the go with my iPhone. There is a plug that converts from 1/4 to 1/8 so that you can plug it in to the favorite headphone amp or dac (Benchmark DAC1 in my case)
Recommendation: Buy this over Shure SE530 PTH anyday and you wont regret the decision. Trust me..reading all the rave reviews about the Shure you would thing that they are the way to go..but if you want complete tonal clarity, Shure are the worst thing you can do to your music (considering you would spend 400 bucks on shures).
I have tried and own both and right now I am looking for buyers for my Shure...so there you have it...dont give in to uninformed reviews which give UE TF10s a lower rating because "they stick out of the ear" as if that had anything to do with the sound quality
"SAVE YOUR $$$$'s"on by cyguy30
Pros Pros: Great sound, ok I will have to say the sound is unreal. Best I have EVER HEARD out of any stereo or earphones or earbuds
Cons Cons: ONLY great if you hold the dam things in with one hand on each ear. No matter what type of insert I used I never got a good fit, even a simple Yawn would loosen them.
Summary Bottom line on this is that I personally wasted 360bucks on these things and I will probably give them to my daughter for her iPOD (just dont think a 13 year old would appreciate these as much) because it really does not work for me. Again its not the spectular sound, but the horrible fit. And yes, my Ears are not Dumbo or Elf ears, just normal ears lol. Buy at your own risk.
Pros crisp highs, detailed mids, punchy bass, and a great soundstage
Cons fit can be an issue for some, cables not the greatest
Summary I've had my TF10's since November 11 when I got them for $99 on Amazon which is an absolute steal for the SQ you get from these. I have quite a few good IEM's like the GR07, e-Q7, Atrio MG7, SE425, R-50 and a few others and the TF10 is still one of the best I have or have heard.
Now if you have these and your not getting a good fit theres an easy solution called the flip flop mod. You just take the housing of and flip it 180 and reattach it and then they fit so much better, I can now workout and run without having to adjust them every 5mins.
For $165 your not going to find a pair of IEM's that sound better than the TF10 so if your looking for a great set under $200 you can't do much better though the Rockit Sounds R-50 for $120 is close (they use a TWFK dual BA like whats in the UE700).