Image: Hugh Threlfall
November 12 2009
The nicest off-the-peg MP3 player earphones I’ve discovered this year are the super-comfortable, £150, Ultimate Ears 700, which not only sound meltingly beautiful but also fit my ears, cut out much outside noise and stay in said ears in practically all circumstances. So when I heard that Ultimate Ears is now doing a monitor-style, custom-moulded rock musician’s earphone with what, in this category, is a consumer-friendly £400 price tag, I couldn’t wait to have my ears filled with weird measuring gunk by one of Handheld Audio’s audiologists.
The UE 4 model is aimed at emerging bands – when you’re a big star, you start spending thousands on these kind of babies – but for audiophiles, they’re likely to be all you ever need. Custom monitors are so noise-isolating that you can have your music turned down to half the level you otherwise would, which you truly feel is better for your ears than blasting them with music to overcome ambient racket.
The UE 4s sound great and, although still a presence in your ears, are more comfortable than some products I’ve tried. This is down to the acrylic material UE is using, which seems extra friendly. The UE 4s also come in this cool personalised box, which, impressionable soul that I am, I fell for completely.