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Review: Ultimate Ears In-ear Reference Monitors

Ultimate Ears In-ear Reference Monitors

Review: Ultimate Ears In-ear Reference Monitors

Every musician, engineer, producer and/or music aficionado says that quality is important when recording, listening, mixing and editing; we demand the most accurate audio possible. Whether you’re in the recording booth, your home studio, or on the road — you want to hear every nuance and detail of your mix. These studio reference monitors were developed in collaboration with the Capitol Studio recording engineers.

When I heard that Ultimate Ears had collaborated with the engineers at Capitol Records, I was interested in learning more. I was fortunate enough to have spent some time in Capitol’s recording studio A, which by the way was recently refurbished.

Ultimate Ears In-ear Reference Monitors-2

PROCESS

I had to get custom ear molds by an audiologist – with a modern twist! In a few words… my ears had been scanned by a precision 3D scanner to create a Computer Animated Design, to bring the model of my inner-ear into the digital realm. Then this digital “model” of my ear was sent to the 3D-printer, which printed my ear molds. The process was done in a few minutes!

PERFORMANCE

The UE Reference Monitors have a unique ability to be very sonically accurate. This may seem great, but most normal people may be disappointed in the lack of bass.  The reason is because most monitors are “colored.”  Most in-ears you buy today have bass boosted or are brighter than they should be. If you are serious regarding your craft you should not need these enhancements. We need to know what the music sounds therefore our final mix will be as accurate as possible.

I love movie scores therefore the first thing I tested the UERM was several soundtracks including Man of Steel (lots of percussion), Ben-Hur (Classic movie score with lots of thematic transformations), Godfather (dark, looming, and elegant soundtrack) among many others. I have not heard anything that can reproduce the finesse of hundreds of instruments playing at once with the impact and clarity of the Reference Monitors. The drivers are fast, efficient, and provide the ability to sound however you want them to.

After that I decided to test them with something extremely electronic with lots of Low end – hence Bass. I moved on to Infected Mushroom, Skrillex and Prodigy. All theme Electronic music artists produce music with a huge Digital sound, and can really put every monitor to a serious test.

Then, I switched to some more popular music starting with Michael Jackson and lastly I finished with some of my own movie scores. I was amazed that not only were the UERMs sonically perfect but also the fact that they are literally in your head makes you understand and get a better “feel” of the music.

PRESENTATION

I loved the look as well as the custom-made aluminum case with my name printed on it! Also, the braided cord running from the in ear monitors came with a plastic loop to guide them behind your ears. Inside the box was my earbuds, along with a ¼-inch adapter and a tool to clean the buds’ canals.

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VERDICT

They’re designed for audiophiles and musicians who listen to the highest fidelity recordings, and who demand (or require) the most accurate sound reproduction. Lastly, and most important is that every producer/engineer needs a consistent and accurate point of reference that they can trust wherever they are, therefore I highly recommend the Ultimate Ears in-ear reference monitors.

SPECIFICATIONS

Input sensitivity:

  • 112 dB @ 1 kHz, 1mW

Frequency response:

  • 5 Hz – 22 kHz

Noise Isolation:

  • -26 decibels of ambient stage noise.

Impedance:

Internal speaker configuration:

  • 3 proprietary balanced armatures with multiple passive crossover points and dual bore sound channels.

Input connector:

  • 1/8” headphone jack; compatible with all systems

Warranty:

  • 1-year

For more information please check:

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