The Best Ultrasone Headphones In 2017 – Top 10 List & Reviews
Ultrasone has captured the imagination of audiophiles in the last few years with their brilliant and quirky headphones. The debate is open on their famed S-Logic technology which was conceptualized by Florian Koenig, the founder of Ultrasone. They also use responsible headphone designs to minimize ear damage when continuously exposed to loud music. Ultrasone has created a detailed sound signature in all their headphones consistently, which is why audiophiles sat up and took notice. Here we cover the 10 best Ultrasone headphones available in the market currently. These include the budget-oriented headphones to Ultrasone’s high-end headphones.
What’s special about Ultrasone headphones?
Ultrasone headphones have a chip in the shoulder about their S-Logic technology. We examined what it’s all about. Florian Koenig, the founder of Ultrasone, lit the embers of S-Logic back when he was doing a PhD dissertation. Traditional headphones focus sound directly into the ear. By using decentralized transducers, S-Logic Ultrasone headphones shoot sound waves over the pinna of the ear and the head to create a frontal hearing effect. This creates the illusion of the sound being 3-dimensional i.e. Surround rather than just stereo.
The drivers are placed low in the Ultrasone headphones and angled effectively to bounce sound off the ears. The earpads and other aspects of S-Logic headphones change to accentuate this effect too. You have to experiment with the earcup positioning to get the Surround effect.
The result is a unique sound. Many listeners often describe the audio as metallic. The perception of audio also changes. This might strike you as strange the first time you wear them. You have to listen to Ultrasone headphones at some length to decide whether you like them or not. They evoke polar opposite reactions in most listeners who either love them or hate them. The tide of likers is what has kept the brand going.
Ultrasone AG also claims that they have been making headphones that reduce the risk of hearing damage. They say their transducers are more efficient and earcups are shielded which reduces Low/UltraLow Emissions of electromagnetic radiation. As per their claims, these magnetic radiations are cut off by 98% in their headphones.
Ultrasone has a full range of commercial, studio and DJ headphones.
The build of Ultrasone headphones also make them stand apart. Portability is a key advantage. Most of them fold flat and fold up. The large flat metal surfaces are again like their S-Logic technology. Some people absolutely love the metallic look while others find it plain absurd to wear in public.
We suggest you try out the Ultrasone headphones before buying them. Or buy from a reliable forum that allows returns. Check both the audio and the look of the headphone and see that they fit your needs.
Where are Ultrasone headphones made?
The manufacturing of Ultrasone headphones is split between Germany and Taiwan. Most of the headphones are produced in Taiwan. We hear that the Edition headphones are made exclusively in Germany.
Are Ultrasone headphones better than the other German brands Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic?
Ultrasone(1991) is newer to the audio market compared to Sennheiser which launched in 1945 and Beyerdynamic which debuted in 1924. While there’s no paralleling German engineering, here are a few points of difference between the three brands:
- Sennheiser caters to a wide variety of audience. They also manage a great many audio signatures in their line-up. Their experience in the audio equipment field reflects in all their headphones. Cans like Momentum, HD 598 have become classic. They are able to deliver popular but detailed and neutral sound at budget prices.
- Ultrasone headphones have a distinctive audio signature that takes some getting used to. The S-Logic headphones are hits-or-misses. We respect the technology and Ultrasones’ efforts to make Surround Sound commonplace without costly doodads. It has studio, DJ, audiophile and commercial headphones but the line-up is just not populated enough as Sennheisers yet.
- Although Ultrasone is inconsistent with this, some of their headphones have exceptional features for budget. Headphones with removable cables that fold flat and fold up are available sub-$200.
- Beyerdynamic also seems to have fewer headphones in the market than Sennheisers. But they stick to the popular neutral or warm audio that has impressed a suitable number of people, especially audiophiles.
- Price-wise Sennheiser has headphones in dirt cheap range to the extravagantly expensive range. Beyerdynamic headphones are mostly in the low-high price range. Ultrasone headphones all used to be in moderate to high price range. But they also have some cans in the sub-$299 price range now.
- The best Sennheiser headphones usually fare the best in comfort. Their experience in this field ensures that even their on-ear computer headsets feel great. The comfort level of Ultrasone and Beyerdynamic headphones is more subjective.
Which are the best Ultrasone headphones?
Ultrasone has a limited line to choose from. So we picked the best Ultrasone headphones which are in production as of now and ranked them based on:
Audio: Ultrasone has headphones with and without S-Logic. The audio signature of S-Logic headphones aims to simulate surround sound with stereo drivers. These tend towards a bright sound so see that you are partial to the bite in the highs if you want to buy Ultrasone headphones. We have covered the Ultrasone headphones with more conventional audio signatures too.
Comfort: People investing in Ultrasone headphones would definitely be big-time music lovers, because these are best known in the audiophile circles. So we anticipated continuous use over long durations. The best Ultrasone headphones selected here offer decent fitment and remain comfortable for critical listening.
Looks: When you are investing so much in headphones, better make sure they look good too. Like we mentioned before, the opinion on the overall looks of Ultrasone headphones is subjective. But we judged them on how they looked on our head.
Features: Features like the foldability, detachable cables, spare accessories, removable earpads etc. got extra brownie points while ranking.
Budget: We have selected the best Ultrasone headphones from a large price range. The low-to-high price range which has most takers has been covered. The uber-expensive headphones are yet to get public backing. They are ranked based on value for money.
TOP 10 BEST ULTRASONE HEADPHONES IN 2017 – COMPLETE CHART
Ultrasone Signature Pro S-Logic are one of their top-end headphones. Everything about them: the build, the audio, the features, oozes class. The architecture is finished with the most premium materials like Ethiopian sheep leather and tough safety glass. The audio signature has gracefully integrated their S-Logic effect. Given that they have a clear intricate audio response, the S-Logic only improves the listening experience. We had no trouble affording it the top spot on our best Ultrasone headphones list.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone Signature Pro headphones have a classy yet understated look. While the Sennheiser HD800 look retro-futuristic, the SigPro look much more traditional. They don’t look their price style-wise which is a good thing if you leave your headphones in public. They could easily be lifted, given their high cost. They feel sturdy with their bulbous joints and ample padding. The earcups are large racetrack oval. The cushions are padded in exotic Ethiopian sheepskin leather. The headband is moderately broad and similarly padded. The back of the earcups carry the branding done on toughened black safety glass. Ultrasone assures us that it will not break with drops from 10 feet height.
The earcups of these Ultrasone headphones fold flat and sit neatly in a zippered hard case. Once covered, this package is compact and very easy to carry. These headphones have detachable cables. There are two cables in the package: a 5feet one terminating in a 3.5mm plug and a 10 feet one terminating in 6.3mm plug for studio use. The cables attach to the left earcup with a locking mechanism which prevents them from getting yanked from the headphones. A cable with mic is also available in the market now.
As common with Ultrasone headphones, the SigPro packs an MU metal board that reduces 98% of the electromagnetic radiation reaching your ears. They have a significant warranty on these cans for which you need to register as the owner.
The Ultrasone Signature Pro headphones are impressive in their audio response. We were immediately taken by the bold neutral audio. Sometimes neutral audio ends up sounding clinically clean and very unenthusiastic. But SigPro differ in that their audio has this suppressed energy and agility while responding to complicated music. It only remains for you to play your music and equalize. SigPro’s audio response is like a blank canvas, the splash of your EQ will color it. But the underlying qualities of responsiveness and detail make the audio the best in the lot.
The bass in these Ultrasone headphones has excellent extension and blends beautifully with the sub-bass element. It was thrilling to see how heavy metal molded the audio into a raging energy and orchestral music was handled with melodious grace. The mids and highs have a glassy transparency through which the details shine through.
The soundstage on SigPro Ultrasone headphones is massive and open. They sound more open than the Beyerdynamic open-back headphones. This is surprising since the SigPro are closed-back themselves and it’s unusual for them to have the stereo image spread out so lavishly. Another great advantage of these headphones is that they don’t leak audio. So you can enjoy your music in private with the spaciousness of open-back headphones.
We used these Ultrasone headphones for a number of media. We especially liked the flair they brought to movies. With the right EQ, the action movies sounded surreal and mumbled dialogues were easily fathomable. These are highly responsive to amps. The sound gets even better when treated to a portable amp from Fiio. But at its 32Ohm impedance, there’s no trouble driving it from portable music players like smartphones either. Amps just push the audio full-throttle.
- Neutral sound with startling clarity
- Massive soundstage with open, airy sound
- Detachable cables
- Earcups fold flat
- Robust build and classy look
Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones are their most popular cans. Though, at their high price ‘cans’ is too casual a word for them. These are truly expensive headphones handmade to perfection in Germany. The build has the sleek glint of metal that attracts attention immediately. Their sublime audio is worthy of the price. The features are a hit/miss situation. The lack of detachable cables is what snatches away their first place. But nothing keeps them from being one of the best Ultrasone headphones.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone Edition 8 S-Logic headphones look and feel every bit like the premium headphones. There are no theatrics like the HD800 but these do look classy. The headband and the back of the earpieces is done in shiny metal. Based on the color you select, you get glossy or brushed metal. There are four models to choose from: Ruthenium, Palladium, Rome and Juliet. The back of the earcups is a fingerprint magnet but scratch-resistant. The earcups are racetrack oval. They sit on the edges of the ears. The headband may seem a tad too tight initially. But you can stretch it out on a pillow.
The cushions on the earcups are sheathed in genuine Ethiopian sheepskin leather. The ear pieces are mounted in a reliable way. Just by touch, you’ll know that the headphones will live out their price. These Ultrasone headphones use a mix of plastic, metal and metal alloys to create a robust but lightweight design. Unfortunately, it is marred by a double-sided non-detachable cable that goes to both earcups. It terminates in a 3.5mm plug. A 13 foot extension cable is also provided. These headphones being so expensive should have come with a detachable cable. Now if the cable goes bust, so will the headphones.
A goatskin pouch accompanies the Edition 8 headphones. A generous warranty covers these headphones too. Just as well, because we are not confident about the cables.
The Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones sound like true hi-fi audio should. We immediately plugged them into our iPod first. And with Edition 8 we can do this because it rates only 30Ohms in impedance. In stark contrast, the Sennheisers and Grados in this price range are rated 300Ohms. We liked how Edition 8 is more versatile with sources. The dynamic audio of these headphones pulsates with some power. The bass is beefy and substantial. It is balanced within a neutral audio response. It is held tightly with superlative control.
The midrange and treble are clear and open. But they have this extra sizzle that only some people appreciate. The audio sounds bright as a result. There’s no lack of detailing and clarity. The intricacies of even the worst recordings are decoded and projected by these Ultrasone headphones. The S-Logic technology ensures that these details come to you in a concert-hall like audio atmosphere. We tried the Edition 8 Ultrasone headphones with an amp. With decent amplification, the midrange and the treble found more depth and sounded great.
Another point worth noticing about Edition 8 is their seal around the ears. They provide outstanding passive noise cancellation even bordering on active noise cancellation. And no noise creeps out of these headphones either. So you can use them for late night movie-watching in bed without disturbing the other person. The audio detailing with surround sound makes the movie an engrossing experience.
- Stylish metallic sheen
- Highly detailed audio with beefy bass
- Excellent seal
- Low impedance allows use with iPod
- Cable is not detachable
- Mids and highs sound a little bright
Ultrasone HFI-580 S-Logic headphones are a pair of sought-after headphones because of affordability and a value-for-money design. The audio performance is one of those polarizing forces but most of the review has been positive. The S-Logic is added almost as an afterthought. The architecture of these headphones is highly portable and sturdy at the same time. If you are on a low budget, these are the best Ultrasone headphones to go with.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone HFI-580 headphones are chunky-looking beasts but they sit well on the head, they don’t jut out awkwardly. The earcups are oval and mounted with cushy padding. The broad headband has some cushioning only at the cranial arch. The earpads are replaceable. The entire structure is done in black. Only the back of the earcups have brushed metal platework. The ear pieces swivel forward and adapt to the position of the ears. The arms of the headband articulate allowing you to fold the headphones to half their size. The folding joints look solid. At 10 ounce, this headphone looks every bit of its heft. But it’s not uncomfortable to wear.
The cable of these Ultrasone headphones is permanently attached to the left earcup. We are thankful that it doesn’t connect to both sides like the Edition 8. The cord terminates in a 3.5mm plug. It is a 10 feet long cable which along with the chunky design makes 580 more of a stay-at-home design. Ultrasone touts the MU metal shielding here as well. They say that the electromagnetic radiation from the headphones is reduced by 98%.
A 6.3mm screw-on studio adapter and a carry bag are included in the pack.
As with most other Ultrasone headphones, the most prominent advantage of the HFI-580 headphones is the noise isolation. If you can tuck down the cord, this makes an excellent gear for the daily commute. It seals both the incoming and outgoing sounds. So your guilty pleasure playlist remains private and you don’t hear the chatter around you. The audio response of 580 is neutral with a tinge of brightness. Bass has a meaty presence. But more importantly it has great definition. The low-end detailing captures your attention instantly. It is tightly held with no bleed into the mids.
Given the brilliance of the bass, the mids sound a tad recessed. They are still great to listen to but just not as great as similarly-priced Grados. The treble has good quality and definition but it has potential to get sibilant. You will have to EQ out the shrillness in the bright tracks. The S-Logic brings a metallic quality to the sound which robs it of some richness. But 580 Ultrasone headphones still sound great for the price.
- Gorgeous well-defined bass
- Extra long cable
- Replaceable earpads
- Treble is sibilant
Ultrasone DJ1 Pro headphones are any basshead’s dream. These are one of Ultrasone’s cheaper headphones made for portability. They fold this way and that. And they deliver the meatiest most decadent bass in their price range. We fell in love with the sound. It is exactly the kind of kickbass experience we expect from a DJ set. The S-Logic has more takers with these headphones too. Barring the weight of these cans, they have everything to be on the best Ultrasone headphones list.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone DJ1 Pro headphones have a funky look to them, probably because of their DJ headphone status. The earcups are done in white and black while the rest of it is in black. The round ear pieces are amply padded and sheathed in pleather. The headband has cushioning only under the top arch. The ear pieces can swing forward and adapt to the position of your ears. This is vital for the S-Logic to work well. The headphones weigh 10.6 ounces with the cable. That’s hefty for a small head. So make the choice carefully. Looks-wise, we think the ATH-M50x does much better. The synthetic earpad covers on them look classier.
These Ultrasone headphones have been made with portability in mind. Its articulating arms allow you to fold it up and plunk it safely in a corner of your workspace. And the earcups also fold flat. They come with a zippered flat carry case with separate portion for wires and other accessories. The DJ1 Pro has two detachable cables. One is a 3.25-foot straight cord and another, a 3.25-feet coiled cord. The cords connect to the left earcup.
The DJ1 Pro Ultrasone headphones sound like true DJ headphones. They have loads of clean and meaty bass which makes all the dance music sound immersive. The S-Logic and the sound engineering of these cans create a large soundstage where your instruments are placed with ample separation. The success of the Surround effect is subjective to your tastes.
These Ultrasone headphones are forgiving of bad formats and imperfect recordings. So the sibilance of cracked parts of the songs are glazed over. If you are simply looking to enjoy music, such qualities are what you must seek.
- Funky looks
- Deep, meaty bass
- Vast soundstage
- Folds down and folds flat
- Heavy especially at the headband
The Ultrasone HFI-780 headphones are an enjoyable set with enthusiastic sound. The highs and lows jump out at you with their details. If you take your music bold, these are the headphones to have. They look classier than their cousin HFI-580. The portability options add to their allure. They are undoubtedly one of the best Ultrasone headphones in the market.
Design and Features
The HFI-780 Ultrasone headphones look every bit like an upgraded 580. The all-black construction is broken only by the metal glint on the back of the ear pieces. The earcups are oval and the headband is broad. The ear cushions are fluffed up to sustain the weight of the headphones on your head. They lean forward to cover the ears effectively. The earcups fold flat. The arms of the headband also fold and reduce the overall footprint by half.
Comfort requires a special mention here. The earcups are not heat sinks like many headphones. They were in fact relatively non-sweaty. These Ultrasone headphones look traditional. They don’t stick our dorkily on your head. They are built solid. The cable is non detachable. It extends 3 feet in length. These headphones also come with a 13 feet extension cable to connect to TV and other audiophile equipment.
The Ultrasone HFI-780 headphones get in your face with their bold sound. The lower and high frequencies require very little coaxing to rise with the music. The entire frequency response is quite detailed. Bass has a richness that adds flavor to all genres. It bleeds very little into the mids. The midrange has generous peppering of details which makes movie-watching an immersive experience with these. Treble can get a bit harsh in bright recordings. If you favor bass more, it’s best to EQ the sizzle of treble out.
The attack of the audio is fast but well-controlled. So, complicated music is easily handled by the 780s. The dynamic audio makes for a fun listen in most situations. The S-Logic can throw it off but very rarely.
- Detailed engaging sound
- Meaty bass and resolved midrange
- Folds up and folds flat
- Comfortable, doesn’t make ears hot
- Treble can be a bit too sharp
Ultrasone Pro 900 headphones are the Holy Grail for an EDM fan. These have the aggressive sound signature that makes EDM, Techno etc. feel otherworldly. The set of accessories is unbelievable at the current price, which is almost half as much of that at the debut. If you favor bass and great detailing, these are the best Ultrasone headphones you can get. Check some of the best bass headphones.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone Pro 900 headphones have gigantic earpads for our ears. But these look stylish. The round ear pieces are lavishly padded and sheathed in velour. And what’s more, extra earpads are provided in the pack. The headband also has cranial padding. The earcups fold flat and the arms of the headband fold up into a compact package. They come with a flat zippered case which is easy to pack. The build quality is fantastic. It generally outlasts the expectation from the price.
These Ultrasone headphones have detachable cables. Two cables accompany the headphones: a long coiled cable with 6.3mm plug and a 5 feet long straight cable with 3.5mm plug. These cans are comfortable to wear because of the velour pads and large ear pieces.
Bass is easily the prettiest side of the Pro 900 Ultrasone headphones. The bass has great definition and clarity throughout. It is bloated and squeezes the lower mids but there’s no denying the quality with quantity here. The detailing of bass and its power shows through in EDM. Treble is also similarly vigorous. The bright recordings can sound grating along with the S-Logic. Because of these two ends being so responsive, the midrange is sacrificed and sounds recessed.
The soundstage of these Ultrasone headphones is decent.
- High quality and quantity of bass
- Detachable cables
- Folds flat and folds up
- Replaceable velour earpads, Comes with extra pads
- Recessed mids
- Harsh treble
Ultrasone Pro 550 headphones are very reasonably priced for a natural-sounding set. These have the pleasant sound signature that goes with all types of popular music. They are highly portable. They are built robustly for everyday use. Replaceable earpads and detachable cables make them highly modular. They ride a short trip to the best Ultrasone headphones list.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone Pro 550 headphones are a comfortably built set. It has large round earcups. These are padded well ad sheathed in pleather. The broad headband also had padding in the cranial arch. Build is mostly sturdy plastic but the back plate of the earcups has some brushed aluminum. The ear pieces fold flat and the arms articulate to reduce the footprint of the headphones by half. The earpads are replaceable and a spare pair of pleather earpads is included.
These Ultrasone headphones come with detachable cables. One cable is straight while the other is coiled. A flat box is supplied. It is large but flat and easy to pack.
We tried the Ultrasone 550 headphones with music, movies and games. And we were left impressed. The S-Logic effect simulates the Surround effect well for movies and games. We found both these media totally immersive, so much so we ditched our usual gaming headphones for a bit. Music-wise, the audio sounds natural with a V-shape signature. The entire audio response is detailed beyond expectations from the price.
The bass in these Ultrasone headphones is weighty. The treble is just as vigorous. It gets a bit harsh in the bright tracks and creates ear fatigue with continuous listening. We had to iron that out with our equalizer. The mids are neutral and highly resolved.
- Folds flat and folds up
- Natural and highly detailed audio
- Quality bass
- Detachable cables and earpads
- Spare earpads included
- Harsh treble
The Ultrasone HFI-450 headphones are ridiculously nice-sounding entry level headphones, the cheapest on this list. These are wired but incredibly portable headphones. The audio is a fun and enjoyable listen with equal emphasis in all areas. These bang big for the bucks, hence their place in the best Ultrasone headphones list.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone HFI-450 headphones look comfortable almost like the Audio-Technica M40x. They are done in basic black. They have large racetrack oval earpads. The headband is broad and cushioned in the arch. The synthetic sheath looks comely compared to the DJ1 Pro’s pleather. The earcups fold flat and the arms fold up.
The cable of these Ultrasone headphones is permanently attached to the left earcup. The cable is long enough to reach the audiophile equipment like amps, DAC etc.. At this price, it only comes with a soft bag not a flat carry case.
The audio of the HFI-450 Ultrasone headphones is what ultimately won us over. The audio sounds natural and enjoyable. There’s plenty of punch in the tightly-held bass. The midrange and treble have clarity and better resolution that expected at this price. A touch of harshness in treble is present as usual. Overall, it has better detailing than most headphones in its price range.
- Natural, neutral audio
- Controlled but punchy bass
- Highly detailed sound
- Folds flat and up
- Treble is a tad harsh.
The Ultrasone DJ 1 headphones are predecessors to the DJ1 Pro but worth a mention on the best Ultrasone headphones list. These are excellent pick for the basshead in you. They look much the same as DJ1 Pro. There are design differences where DJ1 Pro obviously wins like removable earcups and detachable cables. But DJ1 is no slouch. For a smaller budget it’s an excellent option for those who like low frequencies.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone DJ 1 S-Logic headphones look attractive with black and light grey exteriors. These have a hardy build like most Ultrasone headphones. The earcups are oval and lean towards the ears. Both headband and earcups are padded and sheathed in synthetic fabric. The earcups fold flat and the arms fold inwards to make them more portable.
These Ultrasone headphones have a single-sided cable that remains fixed. They come with a useful carry case.
The DJ1 Ultrasone headphones shone in every genre we tried them with. This is natural-sounding audio with plenty of bass and details. It affords you one of those experiences where you want to go back and re-listen to your collection. It would be best done with high quality recordings. You will hear details you have never heard before. The midrange and treble also have excellent resolution. S-Logic rears its head occasionally. The soundstage sounds huge as a result.
- Excellent audio quality for the price
- Folds flat and up
- The headband needs to be stretched
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones reminded us pleasantly of the Sennheiser HD598s. They have the same relaxed look but the 880 is a closed-back can. These are the new entries in Ultrasone line and people haven’t had a lot of time to scope these out. They sit in the moderately high price range. The audio caters to the popular warm taste of general and audiophiliac public. Apart from the lack of detachable cable, we liked these for the best Ultrasone headphones list.
Design and Features
The Ultrasone Performance 880 look large but reassuring. They have those long oval earcups like the Sennheiser HD598. Only in this case, the earcups are closed-back. The earcups are large and completely encircle moderately-sized ears. The back side is done in black and a chunk of glossy metal. It is a fingerprint-magnet but remains scratch-free. The headband is wide and padded in the cranial arch. The earcups join the headband through metal angles. Ear pieces can swivel forward and sit properly on the ears with this angular arrangement. The headphones weigh 10 ounces in all. They are heavier than the likes of Bose QuietComfort but not too heavy.
The cable connects to only one earcups of these Ultrasone headphones. Somehow they are much smarter in design than the uber-expensive Edition 8. The single-sided cable provides you more moving-around room. These headphones come with a zippered soft carry bag.
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones operate in the 7-35,000 Hz frequency range. As with other headphones from Ultrasone, these have plentiful bass. The bass is well balanced with the rest of the spectrum. The detailing of the bass is even more noticeable because of the noise isolation. The size of the earcups effectively cuts out the ambient noise. It also keeps your music to your ears.
S-Logic works its cogs with these Ultrasone headphones. The mids and highs seem to have the bright quality that S-Logic brings with itself. We liked the natural audio response of the 880. In the bright parts we EQ’d out the sibilance. The dark songs sounded fine to us.
- Natural balanced audio response
- Single-sided cable
- Stylish looks
- Non-detachable cable