by Paul Mah

Early Hands-On with Logitech’s Pricey New UE 9000 Headphones

Opinion
Sep 11, 20123 mins
Computers and PeripheralsMobileSmall and Medium Business

Logitech $400 UE 9000 Bluetooth headphones are well-built and sturdy, and they deliver exceptional sound in a sleek, stylish package.

The Logitech UE 9000 is a set of around-the-ear Bluetooth-wireless headphones that’s part of the company’s Ultimate Ears (UE) line of audio products. (Logitech acquired the UE brand four years ago.) The headphones have active-noise-cancellation features, along with a number of additional valuable capabilities, that help provide high-quality audio.

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The Logitech UE 9000 Headphones

Not only do the UE 9000 headpones look fantastic, they also have hinges made of metal alloy that look like they will stand the test of time. The headphones fold flat into an included case. Basic media controls for adjusting the volume, playing and pausing music playback are conveniently located on the back of the right ear cup. The power on/off button is also used to initiate Bluetooth pairing, and the UE 9000 can remember up to eight devices.

The headphones also have a “Listen Through” button on their left ear cup that simultaneously mutes current music and pipes the amplified sounds of your surroundings into the headphones, so you don’t need to remove them if someone asks you a question, for example.

Unfortunatley, the plush memory-foam cushions on the headphones are not user-replaceable or removable for washing. This is somewhat disappointing because the UE 9000 is Logitech’s top-of-the-line set of headphones, but a company representative tells me the cushions should last a long time.

Logitech says the non-removable batteries in UE 9000 offer up to 10 hours of power, and it should take roughly three hours to fully recharge them. The headphones also come with a cable that has in-line controls for iPods so you don’t have to use Bluetooth.

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Media controls are located on the back of the right ear cup

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The UE 9000 hinges are made of metal alloy for strength and durability

UE 9000 Music Playback

The UE 9000’s sound reproduction is very good overall. The most notable audio component is the powerful bass, which brings low notes to life without affecting the clarity or the treble of music. Some users may even find the bass to be just a tad too strong.

Fortunately, you can turn bass down via a “Bass Reducer” feature in iPods or an equalizer in your Bluetooth music player of choice. Overall, the UE 9000 plays a variety of music types quite beautifully, including jazz, pop and rock. I didn’t thoroughly test the active noise-cancellation capabilities of the UE 9000, but I did notice an absence of the background “hiss” you frequently hear when using other noise-cancelling headphones.

The UE 9000 headphones played music from my iPhone 4S at a range of more than 10 meters in my apartment, through two walls that my Wi-Fi-based AirPlay speakers have problems with.

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The UE 9000 folds flat for stowing away inside the included travel case

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Zipped-up UE 9000 case

Conclusion: Logitech UE 9000

At $400, the UE 9000 is extremely pricey–even pricier than Bose’s premier noise-cancelling QuietComfort 15 headphones. But the UE 9000 can also be used to make phone calls, unlike the QuietComfort headphones.

The Logitech UE 9000 headphones should be released soon, and you can pre-order them from Logitech and the Apple Store.