Here they are, Logitech's mid-entry pair of over-ear headphones with active noise-canceling and pretty much everything else you could ever ask for. The UE 6000 are exactly the type of headphones you get when Logitech and Ultimate Ears bring together loads of experience and understanding in sound, technology and product design. These are Logitech's reasonably priced mid-level cans which sit right in-between the affordably priced on-ear UE 4000, and the more premium priced wireless Bluetooth over-ear UE 9000. With so many features and a wicked awesome design at a $200 price range, the UE 6000 might be our most favorite over-ear headphones of 2012. Lots more in the full review down below!
Hands-down, the best looking over-ear headphones of 2012.
At a first glance, the UE 6000 look as though they were designed by Audi and made to resemble the curves and lines of the white R8 supercar. Case in point. Nothing better than a visually inspiring example to catch our drifting drift. They share the same design concept as the smaller on-ear UE 4000 we reviewed not long ago, only their over-ear shaped cups aren't as boxy. Although the UE 6000 will set you back $200 compared to the $100 priced UE 4000, the extra Benjamin buys you a whole lot more. The difference is night and day, as you would probably expect.
First on the list of tuned upgrades is the design. The UE 6000 are ultra-sleek, uniquely styled, and feature multiple textures of materials and finishes that not only look great, but also contribute in giving the UE 6000 their premium feeling and wow factor. Like the UE 4000, the UE 6000 are available in two different color combinations, black and white. The white model we have here is absolutely gorgeous. One would even go so far as to say that the UE 6000 are genuinely a work of art. You'll notice a modern motif of really awesome color combinations throughout the UE 6000 of vibrant blues, glossy whites and matte textured blacks. There's even a gray colored brushed aluminum inlay where the headband meets the white plastic driver enclosures, which adds that little touch of detail that displays the attention to detail and quality offered by the UE 6000.
Logitech's product packaging will get you hyped up from the moment you flip open the magnetic flap of the large box that houses the UE 6000. Right off the bat, you'll be presented with a travel case made from a really nice neoprene material that'll insure that your $200 pair of headphones will survive your gear bag filled with unknown hazards. This is actually one of the nicest travel cases we've ever seen included with headphones in this price range.
The travel case boasts an original stylish theme that complements the UE 6000 with a black and blue color tone and an angled zipper compartment. Further more, the neoprene is amply padded to provide additional protection compared to the thinner fabric pouch that comes with the UE 4000. You'll also find a dual 3.5mm stereo audio splitter for sharing your source music with a friend, two AAA Duracell batteries, and of course the detachable blue audio cable with gold plated 3.5mm connectors at either end. Logitech did not disappoint and hasn't skimped on quality as you will notice further into the review.
When you pick up the UE 6000 for the first time, you'll immediately be put under the impression that Logitech went thru what seems like years of strenuous efforts in designing these headphones to be just right in every way. The materials all feel sensational to the touch. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Logitech knows how to construct things out of plastic and give them a very durable, non-plasticky feeling which goes a long way when headphones are concerned. From the UE 6000's rubbery smooth textured headband, seamless joints, and sumptuously fluffy leatherette over-ear cushions to the rigidly built ear cup enclosures; these are one unadulterated pair of passionately devised headphones.
You'll find the same outstanding, detachable and anti-tangle audio cable that we've seen on the UE 4000. It has just the right length and gauge to it that makes it seem very durable. At the end is the same slim L shaped 3.5mm gold plated plug that does a good job fitting into very tight spaces, like protective iPhone cases, where many fail.
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but you can instantly tell these headphones are super comfortable by just looking at them. And so they are. Over-ear headphones are designed to provide you with the best possible wearability and immersive sound experience, which the UE 6000 manage to fulfill these requirements and then some. The fluffy ear cushions are so full of memory foam goodness, they actually make up half of the UE6000's rather large and profound construction. The rest is all what Logitech UE calls computer-optimized acoustic chambers where the custom built, and laser-tuned 40mm drivers reside. But we will get into that later.
We know we tend to think of every well padded ear cushions to be made out of memory foam, but that isn't always accurate. In this case, the UE 6000's plush cushions are actually the real deal and made from real memory foam you can notice. The cushions are designed to engulf your ears with voluptuous hugging love, while the gentle clamping headband ensures they seal in sound. I could literally wear these all day long and not feel any discomfort or pressure put against my ears. When you start paying upwards of $200 for a pair of headphones, you expect to get something special. And the UE 6000 certainly deliver on the front. You feel like you're inside a luxurious private theater with sound proofing and all when you put these on you head.
Can you say features galore? The UE 6000 are packed to the brim with premium features. More striking is the fact that you can take these with you more easily thanks to foldable design that enables the UE 6000 to collapse into a smaller and more compact package which fits into the neoprene travel case for portable carry. Now I wouldn't say this feature makes the UE 6000 an ideal traveling companion like the more compact UE 4000 are, but if you feel like having the opportunity to travel more easily with such a big pair of headphones, you certainly can.
In addition to the detachable and anti-tangle free properties of the audio cable, there's also an in-line 3-button remote and mic, which is compatible with iOS devices such as the iPhone 5 to name the most relevant Apple gadget you'd be using. This is the same type of remote and mic Logitech embedded in the UE 4000, which means it's just as awesome to use and performs above expectations. Buttons are positioned in a sensible fashion with tactile feedback, and allow you to control music playback like adjusting volume, skip tracks, play and pause. You can also answer incoming calls, bring up and interact with Siri - all thru the while you have an incredibly clear and quality mic to work with.
What isn't so impressive is the purported active noise-canceling feature which is said to be powered by the batteries. But first some good news. You will be able to use the UE 6000 without powering on the noise-canceling feature or completely without any batteries installed. That said, the difference between switching the NC feature on and off does completely nothing to the amount of background noise being canceled out. I've sat around for a while, trying to figure our whether or not I could distinguish a difference between switching the UE 6000's active noise-canceling on, and listening to music whilst it's turned off. And in return, all these batteries are really designed for is to provide that extra bit of amping power that gives life to the audio coming from the source.
All you're going to notice is a difference in audio power, which when you switch the not-so-active noise-canceling feature on, the audio becomes more loud and full-sounding compared to the flat sound quality you would otherwise get when your batteries die out. So now you know.
Then again, what's really helping to block background noise are those giant over-ear cushions and closed-back driver housings. Although we think the active noise-canceling feature is a big gimmick and secrete built-in amp feature designed to enhance the audio quality, the UE 6000 do block a handsome amount of ambient noise around you. Alas, here's the kicker. The UE 4000 actually block more outside noise than these do. That's exactly right.
Battery performance will vary depending on you usage, but I found that the included Duracell triple A batteries will last for a couple of hours of use each day for a full month. Not too bad considering you can use your own rechargeable batteries to save money. The battery compartment is discreetly hidden underneath the left faceplate which is released by pressing the button latch underneath the headphones.
We all expect $200 headphones to sound good if not great. And I'm pleased to say the UE 6000 satisfy that exact sweet tooth with great sound quality. As expected, the UE 6000 sound clearer and more detailed than the $100 UE 4000. The midrange also sounds better and more pronounced even though the drivers are essentially the same size at 40mm, albeit those found in the UE 6000 are apparently custom-built and tuned using lasers. Logitech claims the UE 6000 have a wide-open soundstage which isn't all too accurate when put up against the slightly superior sounding $250 TMA-1 Studio by AIAIAI. That said however, the UE 6000 do have a really clean and clear sound signature that's rich but not overly intense. These definitely have the right sound signature that'll suit just about everyone's music taste.
The UE 6000 produce bassier lows than the UE 4000 that sound fat and wide, with a more balanced and brighter sound signature. Every genre of music I threw at the UE 6000 sounded absolutely amazing, while vocals and acoustic focused tracks really stood out thanks to the depth of created by those amazingly roomy driver enclosures, which deliver spacious sounding audio. The weird part is that the UE 6000 offer considerably less sound isolation than the UE 4000 do.
On that note, Logitech's UE 6000 are a splendid, beautifully designed and well put together pair of over-ear headphones. And while they don't actually perform well at all as active noise-canceling headphones, there are still plenty of positives to enjoy that outweigh the drawbacks. If you're looking for true active noise-canceling headphones, you better look elsewhere unfortunately. But if you couldn't care less, the UE 6000 offer up a powerful dose of clear sound with plenty of features to love at a well priced, and ultra-modern ensemble. We seriously think they're worth investing in if you're looking for extremely comfortable over-ear headphones that that are capable of squeezing every drop out of the audio, in which you could comfortably wear indoors or on the go.