updated 02:10 pm EDT, Wed October 4, 2006
Ultimate Ears triple.fi
Although most portable music listeners are content to rely on the default earbuds that shipped with their players or else a slightly upgraded pair of their own, a small but vocal class of audiophile insists on earbuds that mirror the original recording quality as faithfully as possible. This group should be satisfied with the triple.fi 10 Pro, says earphone maker Ultimate Ears. The new in-canal earbuds are based on the company's far costlier, custom-fit UE 10 design used for concert and studio reference listening and share the same triple-driver output that separates high and low frequencies from each other. Two of these drivers are dedicated to bass reproduction -- important for the low amplification inherent to iPods and other portable players -- while treble is handled by the remaining driver and merged into the final output by a passive crossover. The triple.fi is expected to ship in late October for $399, but only the first 1,000 units will come with two special metallic travel cases; models sold after that will have only a single hard cover case.