Review: Logitech UE 9000, 6000, and 900 Headphones

When Logitech acquired the Ultimate Ears headphone brand in 2008, longtime fans had their doubts about what the consumer electronics megacompany would do with the high-end in-ear specialists.

Well, this past year they surprised us all by rolling out not just an ultra-deluxe custom lineup, a revamped flagship universal-fit in-ear (along with some cool Bluetooth speakers and the first product in a revised line picking up on the Squeezebox concept), but, lo and behold, a complete line of full-sized and portable headphones. We checked out the flagship UE 9000 full-size Bluetooth noise canceler, the UE 900 multi-driver universal fit in-ear, and the portable UE 6000 noise-canceler.

As we told you a few months back, there are three traditional headphones in the new lineup. The flagship, the Logitech UE 9000, is a wireless (apt-X Bluetooth) noise-canceler with luxurious appointments and biz-travel style. Coming in the middle is the 6000, a compact-folding wired noise-canceling over-the-ear; the entry level model is the 4000, a lightweight, bass-forward portable on-ear. The 6000 and 4000, in a nod to the way lots of people actually use headphones these days, include a passive splitter so you can share your music with a friend (provide, of course, that they have their own headphones with them.

The new in-ear model, the Logitech UE 900, is a feature- and accessory-packed quad-driver (balanced armature, naturally) universal fit, updating the venerable Triple.Fi 10 concept for today's far more crowded headphone audiophile marketplace.

The Ultimate Ears name, by the way, has been retained for the custom in-ear line, including the ultra-high-end Personal Reference Monitor we looked at a while back. The more approachable products all get the new Logitech UE designation.

But that kind of thing is mainly interesting for the branding guys. Let's talk headphones.