Review : Ultimate Ears (UE) 4 and 4vi (iPhone version 4 vi)

Review : Ultimate Ears (UE) 4 and 4vi (iPhone version 4 vi)

Compared To…

I did some back to back testing with the Shure SE210, and Ultimate Ears own Metro.Fi. The SE210 and Super.Fi 4 are similar in price, but I included the Metro.Fi which is nearly half the price as I suspect it uses similar technology as the 4 & 4vi.  UE Super.Fi 4vi - Side by Side Shure SE210 Metro.Fi

UE Metro.Fi are…

Similar levels of detail. First listen they are not as bright as the 4vi, overall sound is much smoother. The High’s are cleaner in that they do not suffer from being harsh or sharp. The sound has better balance with no range dominating.

I would say they are musically better as they just come across warmer and cleaner.

Shure SE210 are….

Low end is not as smooth as on the 4vi, also they do not have the same warmth in the crucial mid bass section. The Mid and Highs are much better, and the sound has much better balance from when you climb out of the mid bass area.

Control is better over the whole frequency range, and I would say more detail is extracted by these than the 4vi. The highs do not suffer from any harshness, or distracting artifacts.

Overall, the SE210 have a cleaner and more detailed sound, with better mid and highs – the 4vi have a warmer and smoother bass end with a better roll off.


11 thoughts on “Review : Ultimate Ears (UE) 4 and 4vi (iPhone version 4 vi)

  1. Jay


    Hope you changed your mind, I like you am partial to bass. I listen to allot of Reggae, and hip hop. That said I was disappointed with the 4’s I gave them a day trial, but I’m going to try and return them. Believe it or not my last pair of earphones (Ear candy – Smoking buds) were about quarter the price and sounded twice as good. They weren’t equipped with the microphone and I needed an adapter, but they sounded Waaaaaay better.

  2. Tarkan Post author

    If you like the 5EB bass and that is something you look for – 4 will come across too cold for you. I suggest looking at either the Metro.Fi or Futuresonics Atrio M5, both of which have better bottom end response compared to the 4’s.

  3. matt

    I love loads of bass, but i hated the 5EB’s midrange….far too unpredictable. with that in mind, would you recommend the 4’s to me?

  4. Tarkan Post author

    Kind of – but the difference is that 5EB midrange suffers from the over loose booming bottom end.

    I would say with the 5EB you do have the scope to push up the mid and highs obviously you cannot do much to the flappy bass response.

    Horses for courses – I personally do not like the 5EB but I have met a few people who love them – partly because of personal taste but also due to the types of music they listen to, and the experience they want.

  5. Matt

    From your review, they seem to lean towards the ‘unpredictable’ midrange that the 5EB’s suffer from! Although, i’m still thinking of getting a pair.

  6. Tarkan Post author

    That is why in my reviews I try and stick to the facts without adding my own preferences – some people love a crisp high end and some don’t!

    I tend to via for a good balance between detail and sharpness. I personally found the 4 to swing closer to the sharpness end of the scale.

  7. wh!telight

    Mine arrived via Parcelforce from the US this morning, these earphones really are superb for the price, and their aluminium casing makes them look even more stylish. When I get the chance, I’d love to compare these to the V-MODA earphones as these are both aimed at the ‘fashionable consumer’ with similar pricing..

    I have KRK RP6 studio monitors for reference, obviously the Super.Fi 4’s aren’t *quite* in the same league but they deliver exceptionally clean sound with a crisp high end, if you own Klipsch speakers or speakers with high end tweeters, this sound will be familiar to you.

    It’s personal preference, I love the high end on these.

    Anyone in the UK who wants to buy them, I recommend who are one of the few who will ship the UK..

    Great review!

  8. Pingback: IPhone » Review : Ultimate Ears (UE) 4 & 4vi (iPhone version)

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