The most versatile set of headphones has taken the throne.
The UE 9000 is the Swiss Army knife of headphones: it has got it all. Wireless by means of Bluetooth, built in active noise cancellation circuitry, microphone for communication, microphones for usage with the listen through function and a cord to allow them to be used as ordinary headphones. Most special headphones come with either noise cancellation, or Bluetooth functionality. And even when only shipping with one of these functions other key abilities might be missing such as not running without power, or not having the ability to plug in using a cord.
Just opening the box is the same kind of awe inducing experience that I get from Beats by Dr Dre, and Crossfade LP. Massive box with lots of stuff. The UE 9000 ships with a hard-shell cover that is perfect for protecting it while travelling, or like me riding my bike to work. Inside there is the flight adapter, the cord with microphone, and cables and adapter for charging. Using the standard micro USB it is easy to find someone with a charger for it if you ever forget about charging it, or have left the cord at home.
The headphones are massive in size, but there seems to be no excessive material. It all needs to be there for the functions to fit in. The design screams premium with shiny gloss surfaces, and brushed aluminium headbands. Considering how the new iPhone 5 is designed the UE 9000 goes perfectly with it. Despite being massive in size the weight is never an issue. This is due to the headphones being really comfortable. Large ear cups that goes around the ears, and decent padding inside the headband makes longer sessions a breeze.
The build quality is rugged, and durable. There is no tendency for the headphones to shake, or wobble like the Beats by Dr Dre Studio. Having the gloss surfaces of the ear cups becoming smeared with fingerprints, and grease is the only drawback to the design that I can see.
For noise isolation the UE 9000 offers good passive noise isolation against ambience such as fans, traffic and people talking. There is an active noise cancellation circuitry that you can use even with the headphones connected by means of cord. A great feature for those who don’t really want to use Bluetooth when hooking up to a laptop, or iPad. Once engaged the circuitry further helps removing unwanted noise.
Using the UE 9000 as wireless headphones through Bluetooth is truly a mixed experience. The pairing is quick, and once paired the headphones are snappy to respond to commands. Audio quality when a track, or movie is played is great and there is no telling that I am listening through Bluetooth as opposed to a cord. Between tracks there is a lot of skips, clicks and annoying noises that I have encountered. This is a real drawback, and I don’t know what the culprit is: the Bluetooth interface, the UE 9000 or the iPhone 5. When the
The sound of the UE 9000 is balanced with a smooth, and warm bass. Not overpowering in any regards, but just enough to enhance jazz, hip hop and rock. No matter what genre the music sounds great. There are slight differences in sound depending on Bluetooth, noise cancellation or just corded with all electronics turned off. The most solid sound is when using active noise cancellation, and the cord together. Second best is the Bluetooth that has the noise cancellation active, and the cord alone is a bit weaker in comparison.
The price is premium for a premium product, and this is perhaps the only drawback. Not that many customers are in the market for $400 headphones. If they were I really think the UE 9000 is the product giving the best amount of features, and level of quality of those features.
The UE 9000 is a versatile set of headphones that can be used in a number of ways. I have used them corded when writing this review. When zipping between computers at work I have used them by means of Bluetooth both to get rid of the cord, and to get noise cancellation removing the sounds of fans. The quality of the design is great, as is the sound produced. As a reviewer I have a limited time with each product, and I will really miss the time I have had with the UE 9000. It is like a summer love story that has to end when the holiday is over.