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.
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.