A couple of months earlier, we reviewed the Logitech UE 6000 full-sized, noise-canceling headphones and today, we’ll be looking at its Bluetooth capable sibling, the Logitech UE 9000 ($399). Despite strong similarities with the UE 6000, especially in terms of its sound signature, the UE 9000 is substantially different form UE 6000, both design and feature wise. Full review continues after the jump.
Much like the UE 6000, these headphones also come packaged in a decent looking box. Opening it up reveals the UE 9000 headphones, a zippered travel case, a 3-button Apple-compatible remote cable, a Logitech USB charger with micro-USB to USB cable, a gold plated 3.5mm to 6.35mm headphone adaptor and a cleaning cloth. You don’t get a 2-person sharing headphone jack splitter with the UE 9000, which ships with the UE 6000. Also, the UE 6000 come with a smaller soft carrying case, while the UE 9000 come with a large, hard case that would take slightly more space to fit in your backpack.
One of the first major differences between the two UE models is the built-in rechargeable battery in the UE 9000. The UE 6000 on the other hand requires two AAA batteries to power its noise cancelling / amplifier circuit. You can easily charge the UE 9000 using the included USB wall charger and the micro-USB cable. What’s great about having a built-in rechargeable battery here is that if you carry a backup battery pack like the Just Mobile Gum Max Duo™ while you travel, you can always use it to charge your headphones on-the-go. Best thing is the UE 9000 is fully functional during charging so your wireless Bluetooth listening will continue uninterrupted. A small status LED on the UE 9000 glows green when batteries are charged, and red when batteries are low.
Another substantial difference between the two headphones is the headband design. While the UE 6000 allows the earpads to fold inward for a rather compact storage, the UE 9000 ear cups rotate flat for storage in the zippered hard case. The swivel of the UE 9000 headband is an all-metal construction, which also feels sturdier than the UE 6000. The ear padding on the the UE 9000 is a little sparse, though the headphones feel slightly heavier overall. The removable 3-button cable attaches to the right earpiece and has black accents on UE 9000, while it was all blue for UE 6000.
Now the thing that really sets the two models apart is the UE 9000’s Bluetooth 2.1+EDR protocol, something not available in the UE 6000. To operate, you simply slide the power switch on the right earpiece forward and hold until the blue LED blinks rapidly (pairing mode). Once the pairing is completed, volume and tracks can be controlled using buttons on the rear of the right earpiece. There is also a “talk through button” on the top of the left earpiece, that mutes the music and opens the mic to your surroundings.
Coming to the sound quality, the UE 9000 sound every bit as awesome as the UE 6000 in wired mode. The slightly bass-heavy tilt, neutral vocals and well-balanced mids are nearly identical in both headphones. When you switch on the on-board noise cancelling circuit, the results are once again extremely pleasing for bassheads. Where the UE 9000 really amazed me is in the Bluetooth wireless mode. The sound quality is almost exactly the same as in wired more with active noise cancelling, though wired passive mode sound quality is superior for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, the UE 9000 sound so much better, and surprisingly so, than any other Bluetooth headphones in non-audiophile grade headphones category.
As with the UE 6000, I have no problems giving the Logitech UE 9000 my highest recommendation, both for home and travel use. They are extremely comfortable, are very well built, reasonably portable, sound exceptionally good in wired passive mode and overly impressive in Bluetooth mode as well. You can check them out here from Amazon.com.