Ultimate Ears knows high-end. The audio company practically made the market for custom-fit monitor earphones, commanding the rapt attention of audiophiles and musicians everywhere. Since their acquisition by Logitech in 2008, the Logitech UE line has sought to bridge the Ultimate Ears quality with Logitech's consumer appeal. Today marks a full makeover of Logitech UE into a line focused on mobile audio. The seven new products include a set of noise-isolating earphones, three headphones, two mobile boomboxes and a fully connective internet radio. We were able to take a hands-on test drive of the entire lot and reflect on what the overhaul means for music's mobile future. The verdict is that the line full of high-end features successfully makes its way into affordable pricing.
First up, the Logitech UE Smart Radio is a device that's humble-looking but full of of bells and whistles that exploit Wi-Fi to the fullest. Services like Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker and Pandora, an integrated mobile app as well as the ability to stream through your computer's Wi-Fi network edge the $179 radio into competition with costlier systems like Sonos. The radio also appears to be a more capable upgrade to Logitech's Squeezebox Wi-Fi player.
A pair of Bluetooth boomboxes also stepped into the limelight. The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox looks like a curvy cousin to the Jawbone Jambox, delivering capable sound at a $99 price point. Like Jambox, the mobile speaker also doubles as a speakerphone for conference calls. The full-sized UE Boombox is housed in a crisp die-cast aluminum casing with minimal controls and full sound on the low end thanks to two three-inch woofers. Lightweight and highly mobile, the $249 UE Boombox plays from 50 feet away on a six-hour rechargeable battery.
Logitech's three headphone offerings range from the affordable on-ear UE 4000 to the powerful and lust-worthy UE 9000 over-ear bluetooth headphones—the in-between model being the UE 6000, which lacks the 9000's bluetooth and noise-canceling chops but makes up for it with a $199 price tag. Finally, the UE 900 earphones provide a more affordable in-ear experience to Ultimate Ears' custom monitors with comparable sound quality, detachable cables and ear loops.
Peruse the full line over at Logitech UE.
Lead image by Josh Rubin