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Ultrasone's Ultra Sound

Ultrasone Proline 750 and 2500 headphones best sound ever heard By Charlie White

If youre looking for high quality headphones for mixing music, putting together audio tracks for video productions, or just for an enjoyable listening experience, get ready for a treat. Using technological tricks and outstanding design with comfort in mind, the Ultrasone Proline 750 and Proline 2500 headphones (both $399) give you clean and natural sound. The 2500s are of an open-air design, while the otherwise identical 750s have a closed back. The sound quality of the two models is nearly identical, but one things certain: listening to either one of them is a remarkable experience.

Ultrasone is a German company founded in the early 80s by inventor Florian Koenig. According to the company, Koenig searched the world for headphones that sounded natural to him, and to his chagrin he found none. So he decided to invent some himself. After doing a lot of research into human anatomy, he devised a way to design headphones that brought the sound out from the center of your head and put it in front and beside you. Sixty patents and 25 years later, Ultrasone brings the Proline headphones to professionals and audio enthusiasts the world over after considerable success in Germany. Available in the U.S. since 2001, Ultrasone headphones have been a big hit both in the pro mixing and consumer market space. Now the just-released Proline, of which the 750 and 2500 represent the top of the line, takes this concept a step further.

When I first opened the box of the Proline 750 headphones, I immediately realized that I had a special product in my hands. Even its packaging was innovative, opening up like a pair of French doors to reveal the headphones sitting in the middle of the case, where on either side there were extra ear pads and two connecting cables, one coiled and one straight. I selected the coiled cable and plugged it into the left ear cup, and after a few turns, it was securely fastened to the headphones. I plugged the phone plug into the official Midwest Test Facility stereo system, and popped in a Sting CD, and then selected the tune, ?A Thousand Years. If youre not familiar with this piece, it starts out with extremely low frequency sound effects, and the Proline 750s turned those ominous noises into a profound musical experience. I immediately called in my colleagues to experience this flat, round, powerful bass response roaring out of these headphones. We were all astonished. 

Then, as the tune unfolded, voices, percussion, ultra-highs, and midrange sounds all occupied a spatial soundstage that was unlike any Ive ever heard. Ultrasones S-Logic technology was responsible for this unusually realistic sound. Instead of driving sound directly into your ears, this S-Logic technology positions various drivers pointing at different parts of your ear, and then the sound reflects this way and that, finding its way into your ears as it would in the real world. While not exactly sounding like a surround sound, it eliminated that feeling of music playing inside my skull, and sure enough, just like Koenig intended, it felt like the music was right out there in front and also to the sides as well. If youre uncomfortable listening to headphones because the resulting sound seems to emanate from the middle of your head, then these are the headphones for you. Its a startling illusion.

These are the open-air Ultrasone Proline 2500s. Notice the vents on the outside of the earpieces, the only distinction between the 2500 and its nearly-identical cousin, the Ultrasone Proline 750.

According to Ultrasone, this technique will allow you to perceive a higher volume level at a lower sound pressure level (SPL) the company says its 40% lower. That will be an important characteristic particularly for sound mixing engineers who must listen to music, usually at extremely high volume levels, all day long. It was my experience that the sound coming out of these headphones was so clean and crystal-clear that I just wanted it to be louder and louder. The 40mm titanium-plated drivers are reportedly able to crank out frequencies between 8-35,000 Hz, and thats a manufacturers quote that you can take seriously. Im certain that the high frequencies coming out of these headphones were far beyond my ability to hear them. And from bottom to top, the sound was shimmering and smooth. Even when I turned the volume to a level where the drivers in the headphones couldnt handle it any more, I still felt like I could tolerate even louder sound coming of these glorious headphones.

Now that Ive established how beautiful and musical these headphones sound, I must mention that they are also quite comfortable. Although at a little more than 10 ounces they are slightly heavy for my taste, their plush velour ear muffs and head pad are as comfortable as a favorite old velour shirt. Both the coiled cable and the straight cable are long enough for you to sit back in your easy chair while the phones are plugged into your stereo more than 10 feet away. And, especially with that spectacular sound coming through, I just didnt want to take them off. 

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Related Keywords:headphones, mixing music, audio tracks, video productions, listening, outstanding design, comfort, Ultrasone Proline 750, Proline 2500, sound quality, review, Charlie White

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