BY NICOLAS GRIZZLE
Ultimate Ears is introducing a new hi-fi audio cable and connection for all its in-ear monitors, as well as two new products, one of which was designed specifically with drummers in mind.
For the past 18 months, the company has been working with Danish medical device firm Estron to adapt the technology used in high-end hearing aid cables and connection sockets to its in-ear monitors. Now, Ultimate Ears will offer the cable standard on all models. “This is nothing short of a revolution for people who use these nightly,” says UE sales director Mike Dias.
The very low-impedance cable is lightweight, but durable enough to hold a 12-pound barbell, says Dias. Its rigorous testing process included 3,000 connect-disconnect cycles to ensure it could hold up for years of use. The new cable and connection socket are also waterproof. All orders placed with Ultimate Ears after April 10 will include the new cables, says Dias.
Dias says he hopes this new cable sets a standard for the industry, which was one of the reasons it is being offered standard on all models despite its higher price tag. Replacement cables will be available for $100.
The company also introduced two new models: the UE6 and UE Live. The UE6 ($699 MSRP) was designed specifically for drummers, with a hybrid architecture system combining dynamic speakers with balanced armature. It’s comprised of three speakers, including separate speakers for low and low-midrange frequencies with two 6mm neodymium dynamic speakers specifically voiced for drummers. “We wanted the drums to sound as natural and authentic for an acoustic kit as possible,” says Dias. The result is a balanced sound with clean top end, applicable for studio, live, and practice use.
The UE Live ($2,199 MSRP) is the company’s new flagship product. “With UE Live, you’re getting our best: pure, raw stage energy,” says Philippe Depallens, vice president and general manager of Ultimate Ears. “We also needed a sweat-proof and tour-proof cable system, so we co-developed a solution from the ground up with a company that specializes in hearing aid and medical-grade cables. The UE IPX Connection System was designed to handle everything a musician deals with nightly — sweat, makeup, hairspray, humidity, set up, breakdown, and travel.”
The UE Live in-ear monitors apply the same dynamic hybrid architecture as the UE6, and also include a whopping eight speakers in each little earpiece. Each speaker focuses on one aspect of the frequency response, which Dias notes, “in cohort, really sounds like a symphony.”
In a move to streamline its offerings, Ultimate Ears is also doing away with some lines, like the entry-level UE4. It is also adjusting the prices of other models, including dropping the price of the UE5 by $100 to $499.
Ultimate Ears SuperBax cable specs:
- Silver plated copper litz wires
- Quad twisted – 168 strands
- Weight: 8-9 grams / 0.28-0.32 oz.
- Impedance: 0.75 Ω
- Pull strength of cable: 120 N/26 lb.
- Microphonics: Low