IN-EAR
Premium

UE 5 PRO

ULTIMATE EARS

Rating

Price

8

450 €

Review published:

04/2020

Driver

2

per Side

0

Dynamic

2

Balanced

Impedance

21 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

0

Sound

8

Bass

7.5

Mids

8

Trebles

Sensitivity

119 dB

7.8

Handling

9.5

Haptic

D

Value

-

Daily Life

Frequency

5 - 22000 Hz

Intro

After the UE LIVE, it was pure relaxation in the beginning to deal with the Pro 5 a bit more forcefully and gave me some time to take a deep breath. But soon it became clear why the UE 5 Pro is the entry-level model of the company and cannot keep up with its big brothers or sisters. The keyword here is dynamics. Still a good entry into the custom world, but you still have to look relatively deep into your wallet. Considering the sound characteristics of the 5 Pro, you will surely find it cheaper. Of course, you shouldn't forget that this is still a custom and the manufacturing process takes more time and is more complex.
After the UE test series I also have to admit that I partly feel a bit more comfortable in the lower price ranges, as I can better argue the price/performance ratio here.

UE 5 Pro was provided by R+R SonicDesign AG.

Handling

>> Identical to all tested models of Ultimate Ears <<

The UE 5 Pro is basically a custom IEM, but can also be manufactured as a universal IEM. If you decide on the custom variant, you will receive an individually adapted in-ear based on a personal ear impression, which is also only "compatible" with your own ear canal.
With universal IEMs, there is no way around a silicone or foam attachment (which is of course included in the scope of delivery in this case), but this can influence the sound characteristics and the sound can be falsified both positively and negatively.
The scope of delivery consists of a cleaning tool for the sound tubes, a removable cable, which was especially developed for stage use and the IEM itself. All this is in a screwable, round and black metal case, or square folding case, where the respective name of the owner is engraved.

Ultimate Ears relies on a specially developed IPX connector in their products. This connector is not compatible with MMCX or other connectors. I personally find it better than the one I know so far. It's more compact, sits bombproof and is easier to detach than the MMCX. The tight closure of the two connections (male/female) prevents moisture or dust from entering the connection, which is very important for stage use.
The cable is available with or without ear-loop, clear or black, and with a length of 125 or 160cm. There is also a balanced version (4-pin 2.5mm mini-jack) and a Bluetooth cable incl. remote for telephoning and controlling the Smartphone / Player.

With a custom IEM you don't have to worry about the fit, comfort and isolation. No matter which acrobatic exercises you perform, the IEM will not move from the spot and will also isolate you almost completely from the outside world. If something does pinch, or an adjustment is necessary, you can have it done free of charge by the respective distributor, or directly by Ulitimate Ears.

The cleaning tool is not only practical, but also really necessary, because as with many universal IEMs by now, there is no protection (mostly by a metal grid) in the sound tube, so earwax and dirt can get into the in-ear more easily. For the careful user cleaning is certainly not a foreign word, but it should be mentioned nevertheless.

The design of the UE 5 Pro is individually left to each user. What remains the same is the transparent 3D-printed housing with a view of the inner workings, but with the faceplate you can let off steam to your heart's content and the ear side is individually made to ear impression anyway.

Sound

The UE 5 Pro is currently the entry-level model for Ultimate Ears and is intended for musicians and artists who like to perform with in-ear monitoring, but who are not yet at home on the world's big stages. The 5 Pro's sound is balanced with the warm and soft basic tone known from UE. However, an aha-experience is missing, which is mainly due to the reduced dynamics. Quasi the small 18+ Pro, but without the excellent technical characteristics and the unexcited but natural way, but more lifeless and even without the wonderful dynamics of the big one, especially in the midrange.

The BA bass plays in the usual very good UE quality. Dry, smooth with pleasant punch and texture. The sub-bass is not particularly pronounced, but sufficiently present. Slowly I'm longing for something a bit more tangible, because UE always uses this soft and warm presentation in the bass presentation, maybe with the slight exception of the 6 Pro, or LIVE, which is high quality and very pleasant, but doesn't really invite you to stomp along.

The mids are warm, with a pleasant lightness and good resolution. However, in the upper mids they give me some problems, because depending on the music selection it can be uncomfortable and the sibilants are not always relaxed. Here, too, the worse the recording, the less forgiving the Pro 5 is, otherwise I find the mids very natural and relaxed. Certainly not as analytical as those of the RR, but you can follow the music with them without getting agitated, even if you don't stay focused on it for long, because somehow the special is missing, which lets you stay on the ball.

The trebles have a good extension, but here and there a certain hardness creeps in, which I find unpleasant. They don't plough over the field as easily as with the RR, or 18+ Pro. Especially with a high cymbal content, for example with rock music, I inevitably have to reduce the volume. The same with very bright female voices. For me the worst and most tiring treble presentation within the UE test series, but still of good quality.

Separation and imaging are on a very good level, but have to admit defeat overall. Only the 11 Pro is a little more at a disadvantage in some cases, for example when it comes to a great variety of musical information. With quieter sounds it also easily outperforms the 5 Pro.

Outro

The 5 Pro is quite a good all-rounder with which I can listen to music for the most part without any problems, even if I also have some high-quality tracks available and take a small bow around rock music. It has the basic equipment of the higher class models and also the UE house signature.
I lack a bit of momentum and dynamics. Concerning the sound, not the best value for money, but you can't ignore the field of application and the custom manufacturing and service (24/7 tour service from UE). Nevertheless, I'm happy to spend a little more and grab the 6 Pro if I had to make a decision within UE.
The UE RR is a bit outside the competition, because I haven't been able to hear a cheaper reference sound in quality yet, so I can't really judge the price.

With the end of this review there is some melancholy coming up, as I had a really great time with the Ultimate Ears family, but it's also kind of a relief. There are so many wonderful IEMs out there, just waiting to be discovered, and I'm looking forward to this task with each review and experience (which of course includes the UE series) to be better and better prepared and to be able to distinguish more and more finely.

Once again, this experience teaches me one thing in particular. More expensive models usually have very good technical requirements and some great features, but if in the end it's only the sound that counts, no miracles can be expected from them.

Finally I would like to thank R+R SonicDesign AG, who made this test series possible. I would also like to emphasize that I have no personal relationship with this company or Ultimate Ears, and the reviews were never influenced in any way.

R+R SonicDesign AG is a full-range event company from St. Gallen, Switzerland, which includes the sale, installation and integration of components and systems for event and media technology, with a longtime background in the rental business, and which is also an official distributor of Ultimate Ears products in Switzerland since 2011.
Here you can get the complete UE service from one source and in addition you can make a personal appointment without obligation and free of charge. This includes consultation, test listening, and a digital ear scan.

!!! The pictures do not show the original product, but are specially made universal demo receivers from Ulimate Ears !!

https://www.sonicdesign.ch/ue/de/

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

Frequenzgang

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

1/3
UE 11 PRO

UE 11 PRO

UE 7 PRO

UE 7 PRO

UE 18+ PRO - 3rd GEN

UE 18+ PRO - 3rd GEN

UE LIVE

UE LIVE

UE 5 PRO

UE 5 PRO

UE RR

UE RR

UE 6 PRO

UE 6 PRO

...

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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