Ultimate Ears worth the money? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2008, 1:15 pm Thread Starter
 
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Ultimate Ears worth the money?

I can afford what I want but I HATE to waste money either on over-hyped products
or junk I end up replacing. The Ultimate Ears model 11's received outstanding reviews in Sound and Vision magazine, but were not specifically tested on a bike inside a helmet at speed. At over $1000 a set they would have to perform pretty darned well.
Any experiences with this model, or other UE models? Also, do UE 11's isolate appropriately for a bike (significant ambient noise attenuation without over-isolation)?
Suggested alternatives of similar fidelity and build quality?




Much obliged
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2008, 4:07 pm
 
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I got a nice pair of earbuds for $40 and I thought that was a bit spendy. I gotta know - how much hi-fi you need on the road anyway? An in-ear earbud will provide some hearing protection and get the tunes from your Zumo to your brain, am I missing something?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2008, 5:21 pm
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I'd say 99% of how good they are is related to how well they fit. Too loose or no seal and you'll lose all the base and they'll sound cheap and tinny. Too tight and you'll suffer from pain.

I've got a $800 pair of dual-driver Sensaphonic's and I don't wear them as their sound sucks over my $300 pair of Westones. If I mash the Sens in so they seal out the air they sound great. They made another pair after I got another set of impressions made elsewhere, and still they don't seal and they suck too. You only get one second attempt so they're gathering dust. I wear the cheaper Westones (they have some pricey tripe driver things too) as they sound far better as they seal better and cut down tremendously on wind noise.


Mack
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2008, 9:47 am
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The best thing is if you can try them. I was looking a while back and got to try two different Sure models one was 99 bucks and the other was 250 bucks. I actually preferred the 99 dollar ones. The salesman told me that most people have that preference when they tried them. I ended up with a 40 dollar Sony pair that have been one of my favorite. When I started my search I was ready and willing to spend several hundred dollars.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2008, 10:26 am
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Er6i

I have been using etymotic earphones for 7 years in a high niose invironment (I am a machinest in aerospace) and I am very pleased.
I use the ER4 at work with my IPod. The claimed noise reduction is 25-30 DB and they deliver great sound quality.
I find that the ER6i are more comfortable under a helmet so that is what I would suggest.
Check them out at

www.etymotic.com

Dave
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2008, 8:05 pm
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X2 on the etymotic er6i. for a thousand bucks you can get around ten pairs of these for gods sake. I've been at over 120 mph with the er6's with a two brothers pipe and the sound was just great for the 100 bucks I spent. Only problem I could see with the er6's is that they have a filter in them...I've been using mine for over 2 years now and haven't had to replace them. I can only assume you'd only have issues with this if you don't clean your ears regularly. Mine have been great.

"flying through hyper-space ain't like dustin' crops boy"
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2008, 3:59 pm
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Smile Ultimate ears

I have the Etymotic research ER-4P. I still had wind noise with both the three flange and foam plugs. I got some Mack's silicone pillow soft earplugs at Rite-Aid rolled the silicone into ropes and placed under the flanges of the three flange plugs and got total sound isolation from wind noise. You will need to experiment with how much silicone wax to use I've found that more is better, within reason. The plugs must seat into the ear canal completely and you must lubricate the silicone with saliva while inserting. When you first add the silicone it will take a few minutes and repeated seating to mould the silicone to your ear canal also repeated lubrication with saliva. The warmth of your body also helps to soften the silicone. Once the plugs have adapted to your particular ear canal shape they will seal perfectly and you will hear no wind noise, just the XM radio,Ipod,Garmin, pillon pasenger or other rider via the Autocom or radar detector. I didn't realize that I have so many audio sources to enjoy while riding until now. I particularly enjoy books on the Ipod on long trips getting to the good sport bike roads, like from Michigan to West Virginia.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2008, 7:02 pm
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I haven't had to replace the filters but I do wear my er4s 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week.
The owners manual says that if you have low volume, you should change the filters.
I have broken the tip off once and the wires went bad after about 3 years, Etymotic fixed both problems free of charge and had them back to me in less than a week.
These people are GREAT!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2008, 9:54 pm
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One more in the ER6i camp!!

I've also had good customer service when I needed.

Nana Korobi Ya Oki
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old May 4th, 2009, 1:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edelfaule
I can afford what I want but I HATE to waste money either on over-hyped products
or junk I end up replacing. The Ultimate Ears model 11's received outstanding reviews in Sound and Vision magazine, but were not specifically tested on a bike inside a helmet at speed. At over $1000 a set they would have to perform pretty darned well.
Any experiences with this model, or other UE models? Also, do UE 11's isolate appropriately for a bike (significant ambient noise attenuation without over-isolation)?
Suggested alternatives of similar fidelity and build quality?




Much obliged
Revisiting this topic....(5-4-2009)

I sprung for a pair and all I can say is why didn't I do this sooner? I got my UE-11's info off the head-fi guy's forum after some 100 pages of bragging and lying propaganda about them. Sort of pricey at $1230 though (tax & shipping).

They work great on my bike under a helmet and mine fit so well I can wear them all day (I do put one drop of some MiraCell lube stuff from the hearing aid shop onto my fingers and then rub them on the earpieces). I ran a male-to-female shielded audio lead up from the Autocom beneath the passenger seat (held in with Velcro) up to the handlebar where I mounted the female end with one of those nylon J-straps.

This is the audiophile's choice for anything on a motorcycle bar none! Probably the best $1200 I've spent this year on stuff - no fooling! After hearing music through these things, anything else is low end sound, especially speakers. I'd say the overall ambient helmet noise is dropped by maybe 32db. I could tell immediately the song that was playing was through the XM Radio was far lower in quality than mine own ripped MP3 recording.

Sound isolation may be too much for some, but I can still hear sirens, just not much of the bike nor the guy idling next to you. If someone is yelling at you 25 feet away it's best off to forget about it.

Beware, the things will spoil you!


Mack
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