CanJam at RMAF 2012 Show Highlight: Customize the Sound with Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitor
Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitor ($2000)
Steve Guttenberg's recent Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitor review got me thinking. I'm a big believer in neutral and technical competence, but I also believe there's plenty of wiggle room within those bounds for satisfying your personal preferences. The thing is, you've typically got to do a lot of hunting around listening to lots of headphones to find it. Well, no more. It'll cost you some big bucks, but now you can custom tailor the sonic characteristics of a custom IEM with Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitor.
As I considered this opportunity, I was most concerned with actually getting the sonic profile right in a single listening session. So, I spent some time at RMAF with UE's external cross-over box adjusting the sound of the drivers and getting used to the interface. I think it's critically important that you use very familiar audio tracks when performing these adjustments, and I did have with me my test tracks. What I found was that it was surprisingly easy to dial in the sound signature I preferred, and the sound I preferred wasn't flat. I liked the highs rolled-off a bit, and the lows emphasized a bit.
Bottom line: if you're a well-healed audiophile that can afford the finer things of audiophiledom, I think the Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitor is a legitimate avenue to your very own slice of headphone Nirvana.