Product Review (March 2009)
Ultimate Ears - 10 Pro Earphones

By Kevin Nakano

Ultimate Ears has release the new 10 Pro earphones for the high-end consumer market. The design uses three separate drivers for each earpiece, resulting in improved sound quality and a wide frequency response from 10Hz to 17kHz. The $400 Ultimate Ears 10 Pro earphones have a very similar sound to the $500 Shure E5c earphones and both are likely to compete with each another. The 10 Pro design features a stylish look and are only available in blue. Some may find them rather large, but once you experience the sound quality, you will soon forget about that. In-ear designs offer two distict advantages — Sound isolation and a sealed sonic experience. This is especially important to me when I travel on noisy airplanes.

The 10 Pro earphones come with serveral accessories to maximize the listening experience and includes a sturdy carrying case. Since everyone's ears are slightly different in shape, Ultimate Ears includes a variety of insert sizes for an optimal fit. A 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter allows the earphones to be used with standard audio components with a 1/4" headphone jack. There is also an in-line sound level attenuator when using the earphones in places such as airplanes or public areas where lower volume levels are desired. A set of foam ear inserts and an earphone cleaning tool is also provided. I actually prefer using the foam inserts instead of the silicone ear inserts because of the improved bass response.

Frequency Response
The frequency response of the 10 Pro earphones was measured using our Sencore SP295 Audio Analyzer. We started by sealing the earphone around the microphone to simulate how the earphone will be sealed in the ear canal. The results were very good with minimal deviation over the entire audible frequency range. Both ends of our audio spectrum produced excellent response and actually looked better than the frequency response charts we saw at the Ultimate Ears website.

The impedance of the earphones is an important characteristic of how the sound will be reproduced with various source electronics. These earphones have an impedance rating of 32 ohms and our measurements seem to confirm this with an average of just over 30 ohms However, we measured a peak of 64.5 ohms at 1 kHz and a minimum of 6.7 ohms at 10kHz. This can be pretty demanding on some music players with weaker output impedance. Our Zune didn't have any trouble driving the 10 Pro earphones and they in fact sounded great. In addition, the high efficiency of the drivers used in this design produce high volumes with little power, so users should be careful not to damage their hearing.

There are few in-ear monitors that I like as much as the Ultimate Ears 10 Pro earphones and even with their rather large design, they bring a lot of enjoyment when listening to music. If you are an audiophile, you owe it to yourself to take these out for a spin and experience the sonic nirvana these earphones are capable of delivering. There is no substitute for in-ear designs when it comes to portable audio devices. Ear buds just simply cannot compete with the sonic advantages these earphones offer. In addition, the high level of sound isolation makes for a wonderful experience.

For those who do not enjoy the "in-your-head imaging" experience sometimes associated with earphones and headphones, may want to give a company called HeadRoom a chance to change the sonic soundstage of their source material. If the price of the 10 Pro earphones doesn't agree with your budget, you might consider the more affordable ($249.99) 5 Pro earphones. These sound great and offer a nice compromise.

Ultimate Ears 10 Pro earphones offer amazing sound quality and are among the few high-end designs that are actually affordable ($400). If you are looking for the best sonic experience you should consider the 10 Pro as an option. We were very pleased with the sound quality of this model. Last year, Logitech acquired Ultimate Ears (located in Irvine, CA) to further expand their portable music product offerings. Ultimate Ears has a wide variety of earphones to choose from; ranging from entry level to the high-end.

- Kevin Nakano

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player

Review System

Music Player:
Microsoft Zune 30GB

Review - At a glance

Ultimate Ears - 10 Pro Earphones



  • Type: in-ear
  • Frequency response: 10Hz - 17kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms, 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 117 dB SPL/mW, 1kHz
  • Speaker type: 3 individual, proprietary, armature speakers
  • Noise Isolation: -26dB
  • Input connector: 1/8" (3.5mm) gold plated
  • Weight: 0.7 ounces (19.8 grams)
  • Color: Blue Metallic
  • Price: $399.99


  • Cable length: 46 inches (116.8 cm)
  • Input connector: 1/8 inch (3.5 mm), gold plated
User Guide

Company Information
Ultimate Ears -
5 Jenner Street, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92618

Customer Service
Phone: 866-837-7734
Fax: 949-502-8379
Toll Free: 800-544-4660


Source: Manufacturer Supplied
MSRP: $399.99

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