16 bitsy speak­ers for your ear­holes

Popular Science - - CONTENTS -

NOR­MAL EAR­BUDS HAVE JUST ONE, SOME­TIMES TWO speak­ers on each side. But those mi­cro­ma­chines must han­dle a wide range of sounds, from Mariah Carey’s high reg­is­ter to Barry White’s silky bass, so they strug­gle to faith­fully re­pro­duce all the right acous­tic de­tails. The $2,200 Ul­ti­mate Ears Live head­phones are dif­fer­ent. Each in-ear unit con­tains eight speak­ers, and each of those is tuned to a spe­cific part of the au­dio spec­trum. Built for pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians who play mas­sive stages, the buds pro­duce a rich, true de­pic­tion of the tunes. This is what makes them sing.

By Stan Ho­raczek / pho­to­graph by Ralph Smith

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