There doesn’t seem to be much discussion of Ultrasone or their S Logic concept in the headphones section. Ultrasone seem to be a real marmite headphone company (Marmite is a British expression for something you either love or hate), their fans seem to be pretty dedicated whilst thoe who aren’t fans seem to be equally negative towards them. I think it’s fair to say they’re a minority interest out of the mainstream.
My own experience with them isn’t actually an Ultrasone headphone, but the Adam SP-5 which is made for Adam by Ultrasone and is basically a derivative of the Ultrasone Signature family. For the price they feel low rent and much nearer to a $50 headphone than a $500 headphone (terrific case though). That said, despite being plastic (and much of it not especially premium plastic) the actual build quality is excellent and they seem to be a very dependable and durable design. Sound is divisive, and it is clear that Ultrasone have decided to plough their own furrow and do things differently. S Logic technology again seems to either work or not work, some swear by it whereas others either see no change from a regular arrangement or dislike it. I don’t know whether or not it is the S Logic technology but I find the SP-5 does have a good soundstage and sense of space for a closed back design. The sound is bright but despite that it is accurate and very revealing, it may not be the most musical sound signature but it is very revealing and very well suited for monitoring.
I know Z hated these, and I can see why they might be a bit marmite but I actually have a high opinion of them and like them a lot. In a way these are almost like an anti-Nighthawk, very, very different yet I love both these and my Nighthawk Carbon. And as with the Nighthawk I like the fact that Ultrasone have done it their own way and dared to be different.
Ultrasone in my limited experience is another Behringer: Not the greatest, but for the price allright.
If I could find more in-depth reviews on the Pro-580i, I might just buy them.
Some of the Ultrasone models are dreadfully expensive, particularly the Edition series. And although the Signature series appears to be very robustly built and durable they do feel like headphones selling for 10% of their SRP.
However something I like is they are almost all lightweight, more headphones seem to be very heavy and bulky.
As I say my personal experience is limited to the model they make for Adam but I like it.
I wasn’t a fan of the higher end ultrasone headphones, but I haven’t tried the Adam pair yet
If people can get to somewhere where they can try the Adam SP-5 it is worth having a try. They are bright, for sure, but overall the tonal balance is very good and bass is very well defined. They’re accurate and revealing.
What is weird is to go between these and my Nighthawk Carbon as they’re both quite distinctive and different, but at opposite ends of a certain spectrum which means switching between them can be very jarring.
I just can’t get over the s logic stuff, not really good imo, also the pricing is a bit high for what they actually offer imo (regarding ultrasone). I can see the appeal of the different approach ultrasone takes but personally they don’t really have a place for me tbh
It is amazing how little info on their headphones there is on the internet. I started looking into them because a store near me put all their stock on sale, trying to liquidate them all. Some of the flagship prices (2000-30000 usd) have been slashed in half or more, so I thought I would try them out. So. weird. The few reviews I could find for the Edition Ex closed back (2200USD), for example, said they were bright and harsh, like many reviews of Ultrasones. But…the demo unit in the store is warm and bassy, like you were listening through some heavy tubes. It makes no sense, unless burn in really is a thing (some reviews say as much) or the pads being so worn in have altered the signature. Anyway, they made my Meze headphones sound analytical by comparison, but I wonder what a less used/brand new one would sound like, as they often go on sale for about 500USD.
I had a pair of Ultrasone Edition 9s that I got as part of a trade and they were alright. I think their performance was definitely average at best for the price though. The bass was a bit rumbly and slow and not very well articulated or detailed. However, I actually found the mids to be quite natural sounding and remember really enjoying cellos in particular on the Edition 9s. The treble was interesting. On some songs it sounded restrained and distant while on others it sounded sharp and grainy. That generally means there was some significant unevenness going on in the treble. Overall, not a bad pair of headphones, but you could definitely do better for the money.
This was quite a while back at this point so I have no idea if they’ve gotten better with their more recent models or not. It seemed like I heard about them quite a bit for about a year in the early 2010s and then they mostly disappeared.
Well this is part of the mystery, who is buying them? They are not only still around but go for crazy prices still. I live in Asia and even here someone is buying them up, even on the used market. It may be that whoever is buying them is part of the silent population of audiophiles [non English speaking?] or those not engaging online, which likely means a very niche audience or older demographic. A store owner told me that they are popular with DJs, and it explains why some look so flashy (like the Edition 8 EX) and have overblown bass perhaps. I agree, the mids on the Edition 8 EX were very interesting though, like the Edition 9s, I wouldn’t mind getting a pair for that alone.
It feels similar to when I was trying to track down the Austrian Audio headphones; all the audiophile stores and online retailers didn’t carry them, or even know what they were, at least in Asia. I had to find a music studio in the city that told me they could order me one–basically those detail oriented headphones were popular with audio engineers and amateurs into mixing and mastering, a very different crowd.
Based on some posts I have seen on Head-Fi it seems like they have their fans. A small group compared to some more well known companies, but they’re out there. I know that someone I know has one of their newer flagship models, but I can’t think of who off the top of my head.
Yea, that is part of the problem, I’d like to nerd out on reading reviews on those newer models but it is so hard to find anything on specific models.
With the help of my fiancee I remembered who has the Ultrasone headphones and which model (Edition 15). I sent him a message asking if he’d be down to send me his thoughts/impressions so I could post them here or to join here himself and post them. I’ll definitely let you know if that’s gonna happen. I sent him the message like an hour ago and he’s more of a friend of a friend so I’m not sure how long he normally takes to get back to people.
Edit/Update: Dude says he’s on his way home from a business trip in the Bay Area so he’ll write up something for me at some point tomorrow (that’s Wednesday on the West Coast). I’ll post what he sends me and then you’ll have impressions on one of Ultrasone’s higher end models, the Edition 15s, at least.
Wow, thanks ! I am really interested in what he has to say. I did some digging and found out the Edition 15 is still being sold in the area where I live in Korea, but at crazy prices, around 3000 USD still. I am going to a hifi store tomorrow in the area, I might demo them as well. They apparently have some new line out as well, the Signature Master, will have to try em.
If you do try any of the Ultrasones out, please come back and post any thoughts or impressions, however brief they are. I, for one, would be interested to see what you think of them.
IIRC, I believe the guy I know with the Edition 15s got them on a closeout sale for half off the MSRP. I’ll make sure when he sends me whatever he writes up.
Apparently this particular unit is on a heavy sale in their auction, so I will try it out as well. I read a few reviews online but again opinions are very divided, which is always interesting. Yea, these types of sales for Ultrasone are typical it seems, I wonder if it is now factored into their marketing strategy. Will report back later~
So I had about an hour to try out their demo units with my DAP. Some impressions with Daft Punk and my flamenco and jazz music.
Signature Pulse: intense bass and pushed forward vocals, I think these are for DJs. Might be fun for some genres~
Signature Master: intense clamp force almost like the pulse, but the closest to a neutral tuning with a bump to mid bass but less sub bass.
Edition 15 : still present bass but more even distribution , touch more clarity. Comfort could be considered an issue at such a high price point.
Edition 11: almost an exaggerated soundstage, almost 3D like but I’d need more time to say for sure. Instruments were pushed to the sides so far it was disorienting when compared to the others. But interesting, maybe someday I’ll demo the 800s beside it but didn’t have time. Still a lot of bass in the mix. They were sold out, so I suspect they are popular.
Edition 8 EX: insane bass for both mid bass and sub bass, like a wall of sound coming at you drowning out everything else. I thought for a second that my DAPs eq was on but it wasn’t! I be tried to eq it away with some success. I’ll try with a different DAP or an actual amp there next time.
Nice! Thanks for the breakdown.
I pulled the trigger on the Ultrasone Edition 11 and the signature X from Drop , so will post some impressions later.
I would definitely be interested in seeing what you think.