Name: Logitech UE Ultimate Ears 4000 headphones
Type: On-ear headphones
Specs: Click here for full specs
Price as reviewed: £79.99
Following their purchase of headphone specialists Ultimate Ears, Logitech are now putting that expertise into products. The Logitech Ultimate Ears 4000 are among the first to feature the co-branding, and we've got our hands on a pair to give them a whirl. Read on for our verdict!
Headphones aren't just merely here to deliver tunes to our ears anymore. Oh no siree; they're a fashion statement too. You only have to take a passing glance at the popular Beats line or the mad Monster Diesel VEKTR headphones to see this.
Logitech and Ultimate Ears clearly realise this too, and it shows in the Ultimate Ears 4000, which manage to look stylish without being obnoxious. Available in all-black, black-and-magenta and black-and-white styles, we're particularly taken with the latter. With the on-ear cans white with a glossy black band, there are blue highlights across the speakers themselves, and small chrome-effect UE logos over each earpiece. Quite compact with a reasonably thin headband, they look like the sort of headphones a Star Wars Stormtrooper would wear, which is obviously great.
On the whole, they're a comfortable set of headphones. Lightweight and with just the right amount of squeeze, they'll sit on your head without any issues. Memory foam padding on the ear cups also helps the cans sit on (rather than over) your ears without too much discomfort, and without getting too hot, too. There isn't much headband padding, but the Ultimate Ears 4000 headphones are neither heavy enough nor uncomfortably tight enough for that to be a problem. What may be more of a concern is that the band isn't collapsable for folding when travelling; it's a sturdy band, but you'll have to package them carefully to totally ensure they won't snap when in transit.
There's also a headphone splitter thrown in the box too, and it also is nicely designed, with an angular design made of hardened black plastic, as well as a sizeable carry bag with the same blue/black/white colour scheme that zips up. It's a nice package, and one that feels worth more than the £79.99 asking price.
Adding a splash of colour is a neon blue cable, roughly 1.5 meters long that connects to the left can with a straight 3.5mm jack, and ends in a 90-degree 3.5mm jack. As it's detachable from the headphones, it may save some damage to the headphones should you manage to accidentally yank it or trip over it. The cable has a finish that will prevent it from tangling too much, and features a 3-button remote and mic a few inches down the cable, sitting at just below the neck for most people. It's a good size, with embossed buttons that are easy to find without looking. They'll work best when paired with Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPod products, and while the volume, playback and track-skipping controls won't work with all MP3 player or smartphone brands, the audio always will. The mic works as you'd expect, delivering clear audio, though the audio returned to our ears from a caller was a little more muffled than with other headphones we've tried.
Sonically, the Ultimate Ears 4000 headphones impress. Boasting 40mm driver units with a fairly standard frequency range of 20 Hz - 20 kHz, they offer a warm, rounded sound that seems tuned fairly neutrally. If there's a slight bias, we'd say it's towards mids and low frequencies, which will perhaps upset those looking for shimmering highs.
Bass-heavy dance tracks see the headphones performing at their best, with the sub-bass sounds present across Crystal Castles' second self-titled album particularly impressing. Dexy's Midnight Runners' Searching For The Young Soul Rebels album was delivered with warmth, with the brass and bass tones landing without any harshness, though again there's a lack of treble and space that you'd find with more expensive headphones. A bit of Bowie's Rebel Rebel saw the classic high-pitched riff cut through a little cleaner though, but things still feel a little enclosed, and the same can be said of Guns 'N' Roses classic Sweet Child O' Mine.
All in, across all genres, the Ultimate Ears 4000 sound great, especially for the price. They won't bother audiophile grade headphones, but they also land at a fraction of the cost. Throw in the nifty looks and accessories, and they're looking a real bargain.
The Logitech Ultimate Ears 4000 headphones look superb, like some sort of sci-fi movie prop, without ever verging into outlandish territory. They also sound great considering their price and are comfortable to wear over long periods. While we'd have liked audio to sound a little more expansive (and with clearer highs), even the most aurally picky could do far, far worse than these. They definitely come recommended by Tech Digest.