Ultimate Ears underwent some serious changes recently. Co-founder Jerry Harvey left the company to start his own, JH Audio, which initially specialized in aviation audio equipment, Logitech purchased purchased Ultimate Ears for a sweet $34 million, and several new products were launched. The new products were designed without the help of Jerry, and today I will share with you my thoughts on their latest universal IEM, the Ultimate Ears UE700 earbuds.
While not nearly as bass-heavy as the UE Triple.Fi 10's, the UE 700 seem to have taken the extremely clear and spacious sounding Super.fi 5 buds and added slightly better trouble and bass response. To be completely honest, the Triple.fi earbuds were exceptional earbuds, but they were too cumbersome and uncomfortable for daily use. I preferred the Super.fi 5's to them, and now with the UE 700's I have a new daily favorite. The bass and treble accuracy of the UE 700's are impeccable. The midrange is not quite as vibrant, but that's expected with a dual-driver system like the one found in the 700's. The sound stage is miraculous, mirroring that of the Super.fi buds. Possibly the best part about the UE 700's is the size! They are TINY!
Listening back to back with the Triple.fi 10's and UE 700's, it is apparent that they are not quite as good, but they are so close that it hardly matters. The trade off is even better considering the improved comfort and price. UE has done a great job and these earbuds are truly a great value. With their Facebook giveaway, it would behoove you to "Like" them so you can get a free or very discounted pair. As with almost every other earbud I have tested, the best tips are the Comply foam tips. I experimented with Etymotic's new glider tips (review coming soon) and they are perhaps the best tradeoff. The Complys are expensive and don't last very long while the gliders are simple and have good acoustics, but more on that another day.
The UE 700's are very efficient drivers that have no need for amplification. The build quality is good and an in-depth listening to several genres showed fairly flat reproduction with a slight boost in the low frequency range.
You will not be disappointed if you get some of these. Sound is never muddy and after a few hours of burn in it will be hard to find a better set of buds for $199.
Starting from this review, I will not be posting a rating as I decided that audio equipment reviews are too subjective and the best fit really depends on the application. I will say however that I am very impressed and these are very good earbuds.