Ultimate Ears Pro redesigns flagship custom IEMs
Ultimate Ears Pro has announced the UE 18+ Pro, its second-generation flagship custom in-ear monitor. UE Pro has provided musicians and audio professionals with custom in-ear monitors for over 20 years. The company cites the UE 18+ Pro as the benefactor of those two decades of experience, incorporating all its scientists have learned along the way, including recently developed technologies found only in the UE 18+ Pro.
The UE 18+ Pro deploys UE Pro’s proprietary True Tone Drivers in a redesigned acoustic system. The balanced armature True Tone drivers, introduced last year with the release of the UE Pro Reference Remastered IEM, are spec’d by UE as extending the HF response by 3 kHz. Each UE 18+ Pro earpiece houses six drivers, two LF, two midrange and two HF. A four-way crossover splits the input signal into LF, lower MF, upper MF and HF bands. Triple bores channel the audio output to the end of the IEM within the ear canal. One bore is used for the HF and a dual concentric port routes the LF on the inner bore and the MF via the outer bore. Compared to the original UE 18 Pro and to competing IEMs, per UE Pro, the combination of increased precision in construction, bores and driver mounting, refinements in the crossover and the True Tone drivers in the UE 18+ Pro offers improvements in detail, separation, presence and coherence. The UE 18+ Pro is voiced with an adjusted midrange gain said to improve presence. By way of example, UE Pro says that ‘by pulling the mids slightly forward, vocalists will hear a warmer sound, guitarists can expect a more natural, less crispy sound, and drummers can hear more body from their snare drum.’
‘At Ultimate Ears Pro, the guiding motto among our team is that getting better has no finish line,’ said Philippe Depallens, vice president and general manager of Ultimate Ears Pro. ‘Our flagship model is a true testament to this principle. We’ve made incredible technological headways in the last few years, as the first to pioneer 3D printing and technology for custom in-ear monitors. Because of this innovation, we’re able to control the variability of the internal architecture for even greater sound control. No matter if you’re an audiophile in Japan, a DJ in New York City or a session guitarist in Nashville, you’re getting our very best with the UE 18+ Pro.’
As suggested by Mr Depallens, all UE custom earpieces are now 3D printed. Further, the company also pioneered direct digital scanning of a customer’s inner ear. The UE process for creating custom earpieces is unique amongst IEM manufacturers. The steps are a ten-minute, ‘goop-free’ digital ear scan, followed by 3D CAD preparation of the scanned image, then by 3D printing of the earpiece shell, followed by assembly and testing. Customers’ digital ear ‘impressions’ remain on file for repeat orders or upgrades. The UE 18+ Pro, can be directly plugged into any headphone driver with a ⅛-inch (3.5mm) headphone jack, and a ¼-inch adaptor is provided with the IEMs, along with a cleaning tool and case. Recognising that some headphone drivers are ill-equipped to accommodate the impedance variations inherent in crossover and driver design, UE Pro also offers the companion Line Drive, a battery powered, inline buffer amp that mitigates amplifier impedance issues with a goal of flat acoustic frequency response and consistent IEM performance regardless of the driver amplifier topology.