Best known as the producer of custom in-ear monitors for professional musicians and sound engineers, Ultimate Ears also makes a line of consumer headphones that employ much of the same technology with a much smaller price tag. The Super.Fi 5 is their latest addition and it continues UE's reputation for dynamic sound and sleek design.
The tiny earphones are decidedly low profile with attractive "liquid silver" housings. Subtle color-coding (the inside of the right phone has a ruby tint) enables the user to immediately distinguish the right from left without searching for miniscule lettering. To ensure a proper fit, the Super.Fi 5 comes with a wide range of ear tips. There are three different sizes of silicon pairs, as well as a couple pairs of foam ear tips designed by Comply, which greatly improve comfort (though likely decreasing longevity). They can be worn conventionally, with phones inserted in directly in the ear canal, or wrapped over the outer ear (as pictured below). The latter is helpful when jogging or performing other physical activities.
The sound is equally impressive. The snug-fitting eartips work like earplugs, allowing nothing but the music to get through. The first product on the market with a Top Fire armature speaker design, they deliver enhanced, detailed sound in one of the market's smallest housing. It has a particularly good bass response, too, which is a tall order for in-ear headphones. The low end is always pronounced, but never aggressive.
Released alongside the Super.fi 5 is the Amazon.
Also on CH: Ultimate Ears custom monitors.