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Ultrasone HFI-2200ULE review

Quirky looks and they sound unconvincing: there's plenty out there that deserves your money more than these. Tested at £230.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Look appealing and different but deliver unyielding sound

Pros

  • +

    Detailed, well-organised sound

  • +

    looks (if you like Abigail’s Party)

Cons

  • -

    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.

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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