Why are Ultimate Ears More Expensive Than Other IEMs?

Dear In-Ear Guy

We want Ultimate Ears but other companies sell cheaper models. What’s really the difference?

Penny Wise

Ultimate Ears UE Capitol Records

Dear Penny,

In-Ear Monitors are a big-ticket purchase and we want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. After all, money doesn’t just grow on trees. So here is what it all boils down to: you get what you pay for and we only want you to pay for in-ears once.

I’m going to repeat that and I’m going to be very frank during this conversation. We only want you to pay for in-ears once. We’d rather save you all the hassle and costs associated with starting somewhere else only to change to us later on. It’s a waste of time, effort and money. Trust me. We deal with this problem everyday.

Here are some basic facts:

FACT #1: Not all in-ear monitors are created equally.

More significantly, not all in-ear companies are created equally. There are a few industry manufacturers that make outstanding products. However, there are also a few newer companies that don’t fully understand this industry. So, if you ever have doubts, talk to professional engineers. Here are some talking points:

  • Ask them who they are familiar with and what they think about each company.

  • Focus on the companies that have a long-standing reputation in the industry.

  • Look at a company’s artist roster.

  • Find out who your favorite band trusts with their mix.

Ask around. But whatever you do, don’t base your decision solely on price. That will cost you much more in the long run.

FACT #2: Sound is subjective.

When talking about the industry leaders in this field, it boils down to this: we all make products that top-tier touring musicians rely on. It just depends on what you want to hear and what you like. Again — the only way to figure this out is to ask around. If you don’t want to just go on popular opinion, get in touch with us, find your local dealer and schedule an in-person demo. We want you to know what you’ll be getting.

FACT #3: There is more to the equation than just cost.

You want service. You want support. You want a professional repairs department. You also want speed and efficiency. You need a company that understands touring. You definitely don’t want to purchase hassles and further problems. You should demand that a company has excellent customer service.

We take great pride in our reputation for service!

FACT #4: In-ears are an art and a science.

There is more to an in-ear monitor than the sum of its internal components. Sure, the drivers and the crossovers give the rough sound but the real sound signatures comes down to tuning. It’s the little stuff like Ultimate Ears’ patented dual-bore canal. That doesn’t seem like much but it actually keeps the high and low frequencies from interacting and phase-canceling before they meet your eardrum. We hand tune each monitor and we hold exact tolerances for our sound signatures. We only use the best components. We do not take cut corners. Our 3D printing and cutting edge manufacturing process is truly the intersection of technology and art. You get what you pay for.

We understand that this is a formidable decision. We know that in-ear monitors are expensive. And we want you to view this as a long-term investment. Spend a little more and get the quality and service that you deserve. Ask our competitors for specs. Ask detailed technical questions about sonic quality. Ask about service and speed.

Look, it may not seem like it, but this is a very small industry and we all know each other. We all respect each other's work and you will never hear us criticize or say anything negative about other in-ear manufacturers. But our first priority is to you and your needs. So if you have more detailed questions or want to know about specific products, feel free to contact us right away and let’s have a very open and honest discussion.   


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