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Thinking of trying out Ultrasones... bad idea?


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Hey guys, I'm new here... and I know you guys dont typically like Ultrasones so please dont shoot me :P

So I've been thinking about getting a full sized pair of headphones for use at home again, and have been tempted by the Ultrasone Pro 900. For some reason, people seem to like em over at HF, but I wanted a second (more trustworthy) opinion.

I've read these have a lot of bass, and U-shaped FR. This seems like a good thing to me because I tend to listen a very, very low volumes, and I am somewhat of a basshead. The price for these arent that bad either since they can easily be found new at $200 less than MRSP, and used at around 300 or so.

But I'm still unsure with all this deal about Ultrasones having plasticy highs, no midrange at all etc.

I'm not really looking for an "accurate" headphone, but am looking to spend $200-$300 dollars (probably going to buy used), so if you have better recommedations, let me know. I'll be using them most at home out of Laptop -> RSA Predator (yeah yeah, I originally wanted a PICO but came across the Predator at a decent price). Isolation is not really needed.

To give you an idea of what phones I like/dislike...

  • I've been spending a lot of time with a borrowed SR325is and really like them (and the Grado sound in general), but I want something better, that isnt so heavy. I was set on getting a pair of RS1's for the longest time, but they are still pretty expensive used.
  • I really enjoy the Yuin PK1's I have
  • I dont really like the Westone UM3X I have
  • I like the Senn IE8's I used to have
  • Ive owned a pair of Senn HD555 before and hated them because they sounded like mud

So what should I do?

Sorry if reading that was a complete waste of time for you, heres something else for your entertainment...

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The Ultrasone sound is not for everyone, some love it but most do not care for it. I am one of the few ones who has enjoyed their sound and I have owned the PROline 2500 and the HFI-780. I hope one day to listen to the Ed8 to see if they would be for me, or not.

However, you mention you like the Grado sound. That being the case you could look for an used RS-2, which for certain music is IMO better than the RS-1. Another option would be an used SR225 which can be found for around $150 used. Personally I prefer the Grados out of a tube amp like the Mapletree or in some cases a hybrid unit like the old Musical Fidelity X-Can V2.

As I recall the Predator is on the warm sound and should help tame the Grado highly energetic top end. Good luck.

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So from what I can gather, they have overwhelming bass, and piercing highs... it sounds like they are a German version of Skullcandy or Dre Beats. Maybe I should get a pair of those instead >:D

What I really dont get is if they are THAT bad, why do so many people on HF love them? Are they just a bunch of sheep that dont know better?

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The Ultrasones are fun cans but not something I want to listen to day in and day out. The Proline 2500 were probably the more balanced ones out of those I've heard, but they sound a bit recessed in the mids and also needed a fairly warm colored amp to bring out their best (TTVJ portable Millett Hybrid was a great match). The HFI-780 were fairtly bass heavy and somewhat sibilant. The only ones I have now are the HFI-700DVD that are closer to the Pro 2500 than the 780's.

If you like the 325i and want lighter, then I would consider the HF-1, RS-2 or RS-1. I have to warn you the stock cable sucks and I found that those are less congested sounding with an APS V3 cable (I put one on all three of those). I also feel that my HF-2 are not as heavy my old SR-325i even though they have metal cups (although I have not directly compared them and could be wrong), so you might consider those which I do like more than the HF-1 or RS-2. My APS V3 cabled RS-1 are a little better, but more expensive.

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I don't know what the Ultrasone hype is all about. One explanation I've read is that because of the driver positioning, people can actually hear them differently - I don't know how much credence to give that or whether it's just marketing bs. But I am struck by how terrible the Ed. 8 sounded to my ears relative to the praise that gets heaped on them by some.

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The only Ultrasone I've spent any time with is the HFI 2200. I don't think they were outright bad, but the sound was very insipid. They were okay for some casual listening and didn't have any really grating flaws that would make me want to throw them off my head in disgust, but I don't think they're worth the asking price in any sense.

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i've only heard one pair of Ultrasones (one of the newer editions, i can't remember which), and i thought they were truly bad. not bad for the money, just bad in general. i don't know if the other models sound the same.

Just FYI, you listened to the ED9 at Canjam. Afterwards, you turned to me, and said they sounded like they were broken. :)

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I spent a fair slice of time with the Ed9 and two other Ultrasones at the UK meet a few weeks back. It flabbergasted me that they cost the same as a used O2. Preferred the D7000, until you turned up the volume. But then my favourite of the meet (which wasn't mine) was the iGrado.

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I had a Proline 2500 for a while. It didn't kill me to listen to it but for the price it just had too many flaws. The tone sucked, plasticky and artificial, the highs were steely and the bass was boomy. It was reasonably detailed and pretty dynamic but then again the SR-003 is worlds better for less, and so is the HD600 for that matter. If you don't care about tone and want an artificial "hi-fi-ish" sound then go for it, but otherwise there are just too many better options for the same price.

I think a lot of the Ultrasone hate comes not from the headphones themselves but from idiots like Sovshiller and Peter fucking Pinna shilling them all day. If you look at the headphones themselves, there's nothing to get emotional over, one way or another.

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I had the Proline 2500 and they were close to being good headphones. I couldn't handle the metallic treble, which I was told over and over would go away with burn-in, but it didn't. I understand why some folks like the Edition 9s, but they were way too bass heavy for me. The HFI-780s were some of the worst headphones I've heard, and I truly don't get why anyone would listen to music with them.

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I had the Proline 2500 and they were close to being good headphones. I couldn't handle the metallic treble, which I was told over and over would go away with burn-in, but it didn't.

My 2500 had three previous owners and all of them tried to make the steely treble go away with burn-in. The poor thing was downright crispy by the time I got it but the steely highs remained.

Not enough burn-in hours, I think. Maybe 2500 is a reference to how many hours it really needs? And maybe try blue noise if white and pink noise didn't work? What about burn-in blocks? I know we have cable elevating blocks made from a wood with special properties just for the occasion, but did anyone ever try to make headphone elevating blocks for burn-in?

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