Very good sound ; Comfortable; Comes with good cables; Can listen to music without batteries
Somewhat heavy; Noise cancellation a bit subtle; Some sound leakage
The Logitech UE 6000 is a very satisfying-sounding set of headphones, with lively audio and adequate noise cancellation for an affordable price.
Logitech's Ultimate Ears-branded products carry UE's legacy of lively sound with strong bass and modern design. The $199 UE 6000 is no exception, and it represents a solid first effort at full-size noise canceling headphones under the Ultimate Ears brand.
The outer shell of the left ear cup comes off to reveal a battery compartment; unlike Bose's QuietComfort 15, which uses one AAA battery, the UE 6000s require two AAA batteries, making the cans a bit heavier--9.7 ounces, as opposed to 6.8 ounces for the QC15. A switch on the top of the right ear cup activates the noise cancellation. The package includes a handy headphone splitter that lets you share your music with a friend, as well as a pair of AAA batteries.
We tested the UE 6000 headphones using a variety of Apple Lossless files on an iPhone 4S, and overall the sound was very satisfying with noise cancellation activated. The sound signature is along the lines of a "smile" curve in terms of overall tonal balance, with boosted lows and highs and a recessed midrange. Bass on rock and pop tracks such as Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and Tower of Power's "You're Still A Young Man" is powerful with lots of thump, but it's just short of overwhelming and doesn't distort at high volume.
Detail is very good on such complex tracks as The Beatles' "Penny Lane," with the horns and vocals falling in a sweet spot in the mix, and cymbals and percussion have plenty of sparkle. On acoustic tracks like Dave Holland's "Conference of the Birds" and Yo-Yo Ma's unaccompanied Bach cello suites, the instruments all sounded exciting with lots of detail, though the sound may come across as too colored for audiophiles.
The UE 6000's active noise cancellation is significantly more subtle than that of the Bose cans, and there's a slight hiss that's easily washed out by music. The circuitry blocks the low-frequency din of air conditioners, engines and the general din of voices, but it does little to block out higher-frequency parts of voices and PA announcements--which can be a good thing if you're not into total isolation.
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When the batteries run low, the little light next to the switch turns red and the audio skips. Logitech estimates average battery life of around 40 hours (only 5 more than Bose's estimate despite the extra battery). Unlike the QC15s, though, you can still listen to music on the UE 6000s if the batteries die.
For $199, the Logitech UE 6000 headphones represent a very good value with solid features and extras. If you've got modern tastes when it comes to audio, you'll love the sound. Denon's AH-NC800 provide more accurate sound, and Bose's QC15 reign supreme when it comes to noise cancellation, but those headphones are $50 and $100 more, respectively. For the price, the UE 6000 offer a strong combination of noise cancellation and audio performance.