Logitech UE 6000 and 9000 active noise-canceling headphones will rock your world (review)

Logitech UE 6000 and 9000 active noise-canceling headphones will rock your world (review)

Summary: Logitech Ultimate Ears launched some new audio products and these are two of the best ANC headphones you will find today. At $200 and $400, they are price competitive as well.

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Logitech UE 6000 and 9000 active noise-canceling headphones will rock your world (review)

A couple of months ago I checked out the Logitech UE 900 earphones and found them to be the best earphones I ever tested. Logitech UE also has a couple of pairs of new active noise-canceling (ANC) headphones, the Ultimate Ears 6000 and 9000, and I had the chance to try them both out for the last couple of weeks. If you are looking for high quality ANC headphones this holiday season, these two models should be on your list for consideration.

Check out my image gallery of the Logitech UE 6000 and 900 ANC headphones.

Logitech UE Ultimate Ears 6000

In the box

Like all the new Logitech UE gear today, it comes in a black box with blue highlights. The Ultimate Ears 6000 headphones are shown in a glossy image on the front with other data on the headphones in English and French around the other sides of the retail package. Inside you will find the following:

  • UE 6000 headphones
  • Soft-sided zippered travel case
  • Blue cable with on-cord mic and media controls
  • 2 person sharing splitter
  • 2 AAA batteries
  • User documentation

It is a nice touch to see the splitter that allows you to share your audio with someone while you use the US 6000 headphones. The soft zippered traveling case is well designed and holds your headphones and cable with more than enough room for extra AAA batteries. There is even a pocket in the case to keep the cable and batteries secure. The nice thing about a soft case like this is that it folds up flat and hides away easily while you are using the headphones.

Specifications

Ultimate Ears is known for making high quality audio products and these UE 6000 headphones include the following specs:

  • 40 mm driver diameter
  • 50 Ohms impedance with power off and 1,000 Ohms with power on
  • 97 dB SPL/mW powered off and 99 db SPL/mW powered on
  • 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
  • 10 dB noise isolation
  • 40 hours of battery life with 2 AAA batteries

Fit, function, and experiences

The headphones fold flat with the earpieces resting on top of each other as both arms fold in 90 degrees. I can easily hold the folded headphones in one hand when they are folded up. You then fold out the arms and they click lock into place. You can then fold each side down just over an inch to get them to fit your head. The earpieces rotate back and forth just about 10 degrees to fit your head shape. A red R is on the right side and white L on the left side. There is an very nice soft padded piece at the top of the headphones. The top side of the headphones are covered in black, matte soft touch material.

Each earpiece has soft thick padding (made of memory foam with a leather exterior feel) with blue material covering the speakers. There is a glossy blue band around the earpiece with matte and glossy black around the earpiece. On the left earpiece there is a button at the bottom that you press in to release the battery cover. The cover doesn't come all the way off, just enough to allow you to access the batteries and replace them. On the right earpiece you will find the 3.5mm headset jack at the bottom with a button and indicator light on the top. The button is used to turn the active noise-canceling on and off. The indicator light turns green when ANC is on.

The blue cable is about four feet in length with the controller just about six inches below the headphone connector. There is a microphone on the back side of the controller and three buttons on the front. The top and bottom buttons are used for volume up and down control. The center media button has several functions, as follows:

  • Singe click: Play/pause audio or answer/hang up a call
  • Double click: Next track
  • Triple click: Previous track
  • One click, then click and hold: Fast forward
  • Two clicks, then click and hold: Rewind
  • Click and hold: Toggle voice dial or Siri (depends on smartphone)

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to music and podcasts with the Logitech UE 6000 headphones and found them to be extremely comfortable for extended play. I watched movies on my iPad, used them for calls, and streamed music from my devices to the headphones. Just like the Logitech UE earphones I tried earlier, these sounded fantastic and I think they should be at the top of your list for ANC headphones. They are $100 less than the most common ANC headphones I see while traveling, the Bose QuietComfort, and I hope to see more people trying them out. The headphones are fairly light and also very well made. I can't judge their long term quality or reliability without further testing.

Pricing and closing thoughts

You can purchase the Logitech UE 6000 headphones for $199.99 directly from Logitech with free shipping included. The headphones are also available at retailers like Best Buy and the Apple Store.

I recently tried out the Beats Executive headphones and it is nice to see a pair of Beats targeted beyond the youth market. However, they have a limitation that concerns me and that is they do not work at all without batteries. The Logitech UE 6000 headphones are $100 less and they work WITHOUT batteries just fine. Of course, the sound is better with ANC activated, but if your batteries die you can still use the headphones and enjoy your audio.

Logitech UE Ultimate Ears 9000

In the box

The Logitech UE 9000 comes in a retail package much like the 6000 model, but about two inches deeper. Inside you will find the following:

  • UE 9000 headphones
  • Hard shell, molded zippered travel case
  • Blue cable with on-cord mic and media controls. Same as the US 6000, but with a black controller. (Optional)
  • 1/4 inch adapter jack
  • USB charging cable
  • USB AC adapter
  • Microfiber polishing cloth
  • User documentation

I knew the UE 9000 headphones were wireless with a rechargeable battery, but was concerned about them being Bluetooth only since you cannot use Bluetooth on an airplane. It turns out the headphones do come with and support a cabled connection, the same as the one found in the UE 6000 detailed above. The molded case has a couple pockets on the left side to store the charger and the cable. On the right side there are two raised pieces where you place the earpieces to hold them in the case.

Specifications

The UE 9000 headphones are more advanced than the UE 6000 model and include the following specs:

  • 40 mm driver diameter
  • 55 Ohms impedance with power off and 2,000 Ohms powered on
  • 96 dB SPL/mW powered off and 102 dB SPL/mW powered on, 1 kHz
  • 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
  • 14 dB noise isolation
  • Mic sensitivity of -58 dBv/Pa
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with 50 feet range (apt-X and AAC
  • 20 hours of battery life with cable connection and 10 hours via wireless, with power on

Fit, function, and experiences

The UE 9000 headphones look like the UE 6000 with the glossy black outside and blue highlights on the earpieces. The UE 9000 arms extend down over an inch on each side to fit your head, just like the UE 6000. However, the arms do not fold over on the UE 9000 and instead the earpieces rotate 90 degrees so that the headphones lie flat in the molded case. The also move about 10 degrees back and forth to fit your head too.

Each earpiece has the same soft thick padding (made of memory foam with a leather exterior feel) with blue material covering the speakers. On the left earpiece there is a button at the top that you can press and hold to mute audio (Logitech UE labels it the Listen Through Button) and this appears to be handy for ordering food and drinks on the plane when you need to focus on the flight attendant. On the right earpiece you will find the 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port (for charging) at the bottom. There is a power button and indicator lights (green for battery and blue for Bluetooth status) on the top. The button is used to turn the active noise-canceling on and off and also to initiate Bluetooth connections. Along the back side middle of the right earpiece you will find three buttons that function the same as the controller on the cable. The blue cable is the same as the one for the UE 6000, except that the controller is black instead of blue. All the functions are the same.

The UE 9000 headphones sounded fantastic, of course, and I felt like I was in the music I was listening to. The ANC blocked out all sound around me and let me focus on the audio. It was enjoyable experiencing this sound without wires, but for my personal needs I do not find wireless to be a necessity. The headphones are extremely comfortable and unlike other around the ear headphones that hurt my ears over time while wearing glasses these ones never bothered me.

Pricing and closing thoughts

You can purchase the Logitech UE 9000 headphones for $399.99 directly from Logitech with free shipping included. The headphones are also available at retailers like the Apple Store.

Similar to the way the UE 6000 headphones work, you can use the UE 9000 model when the batteries die so that makes them more useful than other ANC audio devices, in my opinion. You do need to have the power on for Bluetooth usage so with Bluetooth you always get an active noise-canceling experience while you can turn it on or off with the optional cable connection. The Logitech Ultimate Ears 9000 is truly the ultimate in audio.

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7 comments
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  • How does it compare with Bose?

    The market for noise cancelling earphones is greatly driven by airline flyers. You can't find a flight that doesn't have at least two or three users. The best I have experienced are those made by Bose, although I had a Brookstone store brand version that was close. Bose is expensive, but worth it.
    Mike Marquis
    • Worth it?

      I enjoyed my Bose Quietcomfort 2 headphones when I first bought them, but the cheap plastic started to disintegrate within three years. At first I just taped them up with Velcro strips, but the plastic strips in the headband finally started crumbling and they were unwearable. They are not repairable. Bose would replace them for $150, but I decided I don't need to spend $75 / year for headphones ($75 / year * 6 years?). I have several pairs of older Sony and Panasonic cans that I've used for years, and they haven't fallen apart on me.

      If you are looking for noise cancellation, consider getting a good pair of over ear hearing protectors and wear them over a good pair of earbuds. You can get about 12dB less outside noise than you will from the best ANC phones and it will run less than $100.
      Randy Winchester
  • What nobody mentions about earphones

    Is about the sound that escapes them. Noise Cancellation is a nice feature that makes you don't hear the sound from around you, but what about the sound that your surrounding hear from your headphones?

    I usually listen to music while I work but to this day I didn't find earphones that I could use at good volume without disturbing my co-workers...

    Do you have good recommendation for such earphones?
    lepoete73
  • ETYMOTIC!

    For those worried about external sound bleed to your neighbors I suggest in-ear passive canceling earbuds. I have used Etymotic's products for years -- even for my work -- and I love them! As a professional composer I can say confidently that their products reproduce sound extremely accurately. Now, while their small size belies their ability to reproduce low-end frequencies (I just rechecked the battle scene with those giant elephants in LOR The Return of The King -- you hear the low frequencies when they mixed them in), these earbuds do not "colour" the low-end like BOSE or similar over-the-ear headphones do. They also need to be inserted properly (deeply) into your ears -- which results in a >20dB cut in ambient noise. But hey, if you're an audiophile, wouldn't you WANT TO hear the music as the producer, musicians and engineer intended?

    http://www.etymotic.com/Default.aspx
    dropzone@...
  • Huh?

    $200-$400 is price competitive? Really, I just bought some really good headphones for about $25 (normally around $80 on Amazon) and they do a great job and noise cancellation and sound quality.

    I honestly cringe at even paying the $25 though.
    cmwade1977
  • Microphone quality sucks

    The sound I hear is everything I expected it to be. But the reason I spent so much money was to have one headset that I could use to listen to music *and* participate in conference calls. The microphone quality sucks badly - people on conference calls with me when I use my UE9000 say that I sound as if I am speaking through a blanket. I wish I had purchased something half the price (like a UE6000, or something from Bose or Sennheiser) to listen to music, and something else for conference calls.
    ksbhaskar
  • Spoken from a true music fanatic

    Over the years I've went through hundreds of pairs of headphones, some more expensive than others of course. My question is: Is it really worth the 200 - 400 bucks for something to be comfortable? All headphones work generally the same way. Some are obviously notably poor quality but once you start buying headphones that are anywhere from 40-100 bucks those alone should be excellent quality. What makes these 400 dollar headphones really that worth it? Is there a large-scaled differences between 100 dollar headphones and these commercial expensive brands? Please tell me. Personally, I like sony.
    monacrimosa