What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 29 Nov 2007, 4:00pm

Ultrasone HFI-2200ULE

Tested at £230
40100
2

Look appealing and different but deliver unyielding sound

Write your own review

For

  • Detailed, well-organised sound
  • looks (if you like Abigail’s Party)

Against

  • Skeletal, hard sound
  • leaky, even for an open-backed design

Ultrasone is either a long way ahead or a long way behind prevailing fashions. Its HFI-2200ULE headphones might be a product of supreme retro hipness, but the brown plastic and orange velour only remind us of the interior of an Austin Princess. Chic? Well…

Anyway, sound quality is a subject in which we're much more confident.

The Ultrasone's problem is there's no shortage of headphones at this price, so we find it impossible to recommend the HFI-2200ULEs.

There's nothing wrong with the way they're built, but they sound unconvincing. The overriding impression is thin and brittle. The top end is airy and insubstantial, bass is tentative, and voices don't assert themselves.

True, there's detail there, and an open and convincing soundstage, but the overall lack of authority, fizzy top end, and extraordinary capacity to leak sound ruin their chances.

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