Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5vi
Audiophile quality sound for your mobile phone.
- In-line microphone and call-handling button, cord length, stylish design, range of rubber and foam tips included, excellent sound quality
- In-line microphone and call-handling button separated, call-handling button too low on cord, bass isn't outstanding
For the average consumer, spending this much on a set of headphones will probably seem ridiculous. For the price, though, these IEMs will completely rejuvenate your music listening experience.
Price$ 379.95 (AUD)
Recently acquired by Logitech, Ultimate Ears has a long history of producing in-ear monitors (IEMs). It has now brought tailored Super.Fi 5 IEMs to market, providing a viable solution for mobile phones such as the iPhone. The Super.Fi 5vi boasts an in-line microphone and answer call button, allowing it to handle phone calls in addition to music.
These IEMs are quite stylish. The left earpiece (black) is a different colour to the right one (red), eliminating the need to squint at the tiny L and R markings. The outer side of each earpiece is described by Ultimate Ears as "liquid silver" — glossy, mirror-style plastic. Those with the original iPhone are in luck — the Super.Fi 5vi's 3.5mm connector fits into the iPhone's recessed headphone jack, and the cable is long enough to be comfortable but not so long as to leave you in a tangled mess.
As they are noise-isolating headphones, Ultimate Ears includes a number of different sized rubber and form fittings to create the best possible seal and ensure maximum comfort. Small, medium and large rubber tips are packaged, and there are two sets of foam tips. The foam tips provide the best noise cancellation but aren't as aesthetically pleasing or comfortable as their rubber counterparts. Also included are a cleaning tool and a small plastic carrying case, but the headphones don't have removable filters like many other IEMs on the market.
The headphones are quite comfortable once you get the required fit. Keep in mind that these types of headphones sit deep in your ear canal and can be uncomfortable if you aren't used to them. Despite long periods of listening during testing we have no complaints about the comfort.
Sound quality is, as expected, excellent. Mid-range does sound a little overenthusiastic and the bass isn't as strong as some other IEMs we’ve reviewed but the sound is extremely detailed overall. As is always the case with IEMs, an adequate seal should bring out the best possible bass. Highs are smooth and the elements of sound are relatively neutral. Higher-pitched instruments are crisp and clear, and soundstage, while not comparable to a good quality pair of over-the-head headphones, is excellent for IEMs.
To handle voice calls when connected to a mobile phone there is an in-line microphone and a call-handling button that allows you to answer and reject incoming calls. Oddly, these are separated and the call-handling button is a little low on the cord for our liking. When a call comes in, the music dims and your ring tone plays through the headphones. A simple press of the button answers the call. The button can also be used to control music playback — simply press the button once to play or pause the current track, twice to skip to the next track and use a triple click to return to the previous track. The quality of calls through the microphone is excellent, and the call-handling button is comfortable and easy to press.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
- Parrot's Zik 2.0 headphones include an accelerometer and plenty of noise cancelling
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTGateway ManagerACT
- CCService Desk ConsultantTAS
- CCDevOps/Automation EngineerNSW
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- CCDemand ManagerNSW
- FTDigital Optimisation and Analytics SpecialistNSW
- CCContract Computer Operator (UNIX/Windows-based) 161014/CO/vmtAsia
- CCAgile Business AnalystVIC
- CCInformation Security Consultant - RSA ArcherNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (PC LAN Support) 161017/ITA/742Asia
- CCICT Project Reporting Planning CoordinatorNSW
- CCApplication Support DeveloperVIC
- CCSystem & Network EngineerVIC
- CCPerformance AnalystNSW
- CCIT Data AnalystACT
- FTSenior UX DesignerAsia
- CCIT Manager - ANZNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC
- CCServiceNow ConsultantNSW
- CCOracle SOA DeveloperNSW
- CCNetwork Designer/ConsultantVIC
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCEnterprise ArchitectNSW