Get a closer look into the sound signature of UE 18+, and learn why musicians and audiophiles love its dynamic sound.
Every UE sound signature is tuned to fit different genres and listening scenarios, but you’re probably wondering which one is the perfect option for you. If you’re looking for high-fidelity audio with a lot of dynamic range, UE 18+ is worth considering. This sound signature is known for its crystal clear sound and incredible accuracy. In this article, we’ll give you a better understanding of what makes UE 18+ a great option and explain what goes into handcrafting the perfect fit.
The UE 18+ Story
For over 25 years, Ultimate Ears has been trusted on stages all over the globe. In 1995, we developed in-ear monitors for drummer Alex Van Halen to protect his hearing and improve his performance. Today, we handcraft our UE 18+ earphones and IEMs with the same innovative spirit and have delivered over 100,000 IEMs and earphones to date. The UE 18+ sound signature gives performers and audio engineers the clarity and detail they need to sound great. While it’s great for music professionals, UE 18+ is favored by audiophiles who want to hear every element of their favorite music.
Extra Headroom and Dynamic Range
UE 18+ Pro has six balanced armatures and four passive crossovers for reproducing the dynamic range of your mixes up to 40kHz. Hear all the details in your music, from the quietest verses to the loudest choruses. UE 18+ combines world-class clarity and detail with increased volume and headroom. “With the headroom you get [from UE 18], turning the volume up to forty percent is like screaming in your head—without distortion,” says Service Manager John Talley. When listening through UE 18+ everything is exceptionally balanced. But what gives UE 18+ this incredible sound? The dual low armatures are matched by dual high armatures, resulting in an even sound across all frequencies. UE 18+ reproduces music the way artists meant for it to be heard. For musicians, this perspective is valuable when mixing and producing music. If you’re a listener, you’ll appreciate the high level of detail you’ll hear in every genre from pop to classical.
Superior Acoustic Isolation
When you’re on stage or listening to music in a loud space, background noise can kill the vibe. All UE sound signatures provide up to -26dB of passive noise isolation. This means you can stay focused on your music and block out the world around you. The UE 18+ uses passive noise isolation to block noise rather than active noise cancellation, or ANC. But what’s the difference between passive noise isolation and ANC? To put it simply, passive noise isolation doesn’t cause ear-fatigue by distorting sound like ANC does. Instead, passive noise isolation blocks sound naturally using the form-fitting seal of your in-ears. But what happens when there is too much isolation? Vocalists typically prefer to hear the ambiance of the room to stay connected to the crowd, and if you’re out-and-about you might not want to be so cut-off from the outside world. With this in mind, we offer an ambient port option for the PRO version of UE 18+. The ambient port is a small hole in the faceplate of the earpiece that can be opened or closed. When left open, you’ll be able to hear a modest level of ambiance in addition to your in-ear mix. Closing the port provides the standard -26dB of noise isolation.
On-Stage or Off
A wired SuperBax cable is great for extra durability, while the Bluetooth cable offers convenience off the stage. The good news is that you aren’t restricted to either cable type. The UE 18+ can use the SuperBax cable or the Bluetooth cable. This gives you a versatile listening experience whether you’re on stage or at home. The SuperBax gives you the lowest latency and highest quality audio, while the Bluetooth gives you wireless freedom. The Bluetooth cable is meant for listening only and shouldn't be used for performing. Remember, you don’t need to be a musician to benefit from using the SuperBax cable!
Personalize Your Ears
No more limiting yourself to just one faceplate design—now you can have as many as you like and swap them out any time. Customize your design with a variety of colors, materials and decorative details, or even use your own custom artwork. A simple twist-lock mechanism makes swapping styles easy. The UE SWITCH option is available for all models, as well as any existing pair via mail-in upgrade.
Choose Your Fit
There are multiple way to get a custom fit. Your choice of fit depends on personal preference. Using an audiologist option for fit creates an in-ear monitor that reaches the second bend of the ear canal for the ultimate fit. We use the impressions taken from an audiologist to create an accurate fit shaped to your exact earprint. This fit is popular among performers and musicians who are constantly moving on stage.
The other fit option is the at-home FitKit option which creates an earphone that reaches the first bend of the ear canal. To create this fit, we ship to you our convenient at-home FitKit to make your ear impressions. We find that audiophiles and music lovers prefer the ease of the FitKit, but these high-quality earphones are great for critical listening in the studio and the stage, too. A universal fit option is also available.
Handcrafted for Your Ears Only
After we receive your ear impressions via FitKit or your audiologist, we handcraft your earphones or IEMs to perfection using over 100 touchpoints. Whatever fit option you choose, you’ll get a comfortable, secure fit that never falls out. Concerned about your fit? No worries at all. We offer industry-leading white glove customer service to ensure you get the fit you deserve. Our Perfect Fit Guarantee covers repairs and adjustments within the first 90 days after purchase. If any questions arise, just ask! We’ll guide you through the ordering process or clarify the difference between the sound signatures we have available.
Find Your Perfect Pair
UE 18+ is an excellent sound signature, but we totally understand if you want to explore other options first. If you’re still unsure which pair is best for you, take our quiz to get a recommendation. We’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions, contact us to get advice from our experts.
Phone: (800) 589-6531