Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro Earphones - Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro Earphones

Summary

Our Score:

9

Switching over to a bit of Green Day, we fired up Wake Me Up When September Ends. The triple.fi 10 Pros recreated the acoustic guitar intro with expert precession, allowing the vocals to flow over the top without overpowering it. When the electric guitars come in, the sound is full, loud and heavy, but still the vocals are crystal clear. And the louder you pump this track, the better these earphones sound – although you may want to be careful not to damage your hearing in the process.

Next we let Huey and the boys loose on the triple.fi 10 Pros. Loco is the definitive Fun Lovin’ Criminals album (in our opinion), with the title track being the stand out number. Loco epitomises the FLC’s desire to dabble in pretty much any genre, with strong Latino influences, a thumping bass line and a blatant Santana-like guitar riff – not to mention an awesome video, check it out if you get a chance. The triple.fi 10 Pros really excelled themselves with this track – the bass line just punched through my head like a hammer, while Huey’s vocals were smooth as silk. But it’s the guitar riff that steals the show, even though it’s quite far back in the mix, behind both the lead and backing vocals – these earphones just pick out the guitar and relay it straight to your brain, without losing any of the impact of the other instruments or vocals.

So, are the triple.fi 10 Pros the best earphones that money can buy? Well, from a pure sound quality point of view, the answer is no. Fantastic as the triple.fi 10 Pros are, the Shure E500PTHs are still without equal in my opinion. However, when you throw price into the equation, things look a bit different. With the triple.fi 10 Pros costing only £229, they’re actually going head to head with Shure’s dual driver SE420 earphones, rather than the triple drive model. Now, the SE420s are a superb set of headphones, but the triple.fi 10 Pros definitely represent a step up when it comes to sound quality.

When we reviewed the SE420s I recommended them, because they offered much of the quality of Shure’s triple driver models, but at a significantly lower price. But now Ultimate Ears has come in with a triple driver product in the same price bracket, making the triple.fi 10 Pros look very compelling indeed. And even though £230 is an undeniably significant amount of money for a set of earphones, what you’re getting for that sum is equally significant, making the triple.fi 10 Pros surprisingly good value for money.

Verdict

The Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pros are superb earphones in every respect. The triple driver design produces staggering sound across a wide range of music genres. The improved build quality over the super.fi 5 Pros is also a very welcome addition. But it’s the pricing that comes as the real shock here, with Ultimate Ears undercutting Shure’s triple driver SE530s by £100, and going head to head with the dual driver SE420s. If you’re seriously thinking of spending a couple of hundred pounds on earphones, we strongly suggest that you put these at the top of your list.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 9

XiaXueYi

December 13, 2008, 9:08 pm

First off, the neutrality of the review. It'll be best not to make comments like "...and the big question is whether Ultimate Ears can steal the crown back from Shure in the high-end earphone arena..." because there are lots of brands out there like Sennheiser, Etymotic Research, AKG, beyerdynamic, Grado and Audio Technica, all who have a slice of hi-fi action, just to name a few.





Back to the TF10s, they are well-known for delivering great music, but their build quality is questionable. Make a random Google search and you will find that, on the first two pages, there are plenty of complains on UE In-Ear Monitors(IEMs) breaking, or having one or both sides of the IEMs falling off. I also have a friend who lost one side of his TF10, and seeing as it costs quite a lot to us teenagers (he bought a second-hand one at SGD380), it was quite a terrible loss for him.





Summarised note - use your UE IEMs with care, they are notorious for falling off, and breaking somewhat more easily than most. But otherwise, they are great IEMs for their price, if you can afford them that is.

NealWM

February 3, 2009, 11:56 am

I own the UE Super.Fi 3 earphones and have had no problems to note of other than the thin connecting cord losing connection on the left side. But, after contacting UE a new cord was sent free of charge. I now am waiting for a Triple.fi Pro 10 to be delivered. I got a price that was half of the suggested retail price so I could not say no. I will let you know what the verdict is when they arrive...if they are as good as the single driver it will be very positive indeed.


(of note: Amazon has the Shure 500 triple driver on special for $280.00...saw it after I purchased the UE)

Tom Hespos

March 19, 2009, 9:38 pm

I own these earbuds. The sound is unparalleled. Unfortunately, the insulator on my cable cracked and UltimateEars' customer service has been shoddy. They indicated they would ship me a replacement cable, never did and then informed me that replacement cables are out of stock and they didn't know when new ones would be available. So I have a pair of $349 earbuds that are useless until UltimateEars gets its act together.

Pipps

December 26, 2009, 4:27 pm

Anyone who has owned a pair of Ultimate Ears earphones, and actually used them for more than a three-hour review period, will know that less than twelve months of obsessively careful use is still not enough to prevent the wholly inadequate cables from breaking.





The reason for the cable breakages is nothing to do with careless owners. A closer review of the reported facts, and my own personal testimony, is that the cable breaks at the key point behind the ear, where the curvature of the cable is at its tightest. This cannot be avoided. This is precisely how the UE instruction manual prescribes that users wear the device.





For this fundamental reason, Ultimate Ears earphones should be avoided at all costs. Which is a big shame, because they otherwise sound very good.

Andy

November 29, 2013, 11:10 am

I know what you mean, but i've found the customer service excellent. When they break, which they will do after about 9 months of almost daily use, simply give them a call, they will send out a pre-paid envelope and you get a no-nonsense replacement. i've done this 3 times now

Sweet Dee

June 6, 2015, 11:37 am

dont they have changeable cables?

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