Logitech are not a company you would associate with cool-as-fuck headphones. They haven’t got that all-important gangsta rap endorsement or the outrageous decals to tempt DJs and music lovers to jump onto the brand. What they have got, unbeknownst to some, is pro music industry heritage. The makers of some of the world's most handy and convenient laptop and computer accessories have come a long way from their humble desktop speaker systems, and in one fell swoop jumped into the busy and competitive market of top-end headphones.
A few years ago, Logitech partnered up with a well-established in-ear monitoring company, Ultimate Ears. UE was borne out of the need for professional musicians to have a monitoring system that could be worn onstage, and deliver the quality and precision needed for stadium performances. The first custom pair were made for rock band Van Halen, with other superstar rock bands soon to follow.
Nearly every major rock artist will be using UE’s in-ear monitors, so with this background, it was a top move for Logitech to get into bed with UE and to produce a new range of headphones to cover a wide spread of uses, predominantly with the music lover/user in mind.
The technology that goes into the new headphones is filtered down from the high-end, custom-built ‘In Ear’ systems that UE make, which can cost up to £3000 a pair. The new range consists of three models: the Logitech UE 4000, 6000 and 9000, all three coming in at different prices.
Kicking off the bunch are the Logitech UE 4000s, on ear headphones for general usage. The basic styling is a rather cool signature black and blue, that Logitech UE has adopted for all three of its models. This is the best look and gives the phones an air of seriousness and cool that is subtle and says quality. The 4000s have various other colour options to appeal to a more fashion-conscious crowd. They have a great sound base and frequency response, while the music is detailed and punchy, and works equally well plugged into a mixer or iPhone-style music device. The build is sturdy and the materials used give the phones a good feel of quality.
Next up are the Logitech UE 6000s. These are the next grade up, for the clubbing DJ or the serious music listener. The 6000s have an active noise-cancelling function that blocks out all unwanted background noise to deliver a truer music listening experience. The technology used to achieve the noise-cancelling is active and is powered by two batteries. When engaged, a built-in amp kicks in to supplement the sound coming through the headphones. And unlike other models, if the batteries run out mid-set, the headphones resort back to normal mode so DJs won’t have to worry about missing the beats.
In use there is a noticeable difference when the noise-cancelling is turned on. Everything sounds a lot more detailed and precise, there is a great bass response and the top-end is crisp. The 6000s have been designed for life in a gig bag. They fold up neatly with durable hinges — an area that lets other headphones down — a handy carry bag, replaceable cord and a two-person splitter for sharing the sounds.
Heading up the range are the Logitech UE 9000s. These are the premium design and come with a lot of innovative features for DJs/producers and music listeners alike. The main feature of the 9000s is their Bluetooth technology, meaning that they can be used wirelessly. This has always been an area of interest for headphones manufacturers, as doing away with the cable brings a freedom that is most desired.
The only problem being, that in a lot of cases, the implementation of this is badly executed. Logitech being masters of Bluetooth computer accessories, have used all their knowhow to deliver a system that works, and works well enough to be used in a pro environment. And just in case there are any hiccups, the 9000s can be used in the traditional sense and a cable can be plugged in. Built to a high standard with rotating cup joints and metal alloy hinges, the Logitech UE 9000s are cool to look at and great to use.
UE 4000 £79
UE 6000 £169
UE 9000 £299
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Logitech and UE have combined forces to deliver a great range of headphones to cover various uses.
With so many established brands in the market place will they cut the mustard with the in-crowd?
For a company that is new to the commercial headphones market, Logitech/UE have delivered a slick-looking selection of headphones that rival some of the big boys for quality and could easily find themselves adorning DJs and producers necks up and down the country.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.