Quite a few years ago now I bought a pair of headphones that that I could plug into the sound system on the TV so I could watch DVDs without disturbing the rest of the household. My budget wasn’t large, and I simply took the advice of the guy in the audio store who sold them to me.
They’ve served me fairly well, but over the years the padding on the headband has become a little ‘old’. Then some time ago the dog managed to bite at the pads on the earpieces and all the filmy covering has come away.
I don’t use headphones very often these days, but have sometimes wondered about getting a new pair. So when Logitech offered me a pair of their UE 6000 headphones to review, I said yes.
I’m no audiophile — headphones to me are more about convenience and either blocking out sounds from another room, or enjoying movies or music on my computer without disturbing others.
So I spent a while listening to music or watching videos of all kinds — on YouTube, bought on the iTunes Store, or ripped from DVD — with both the Logitech headphones and my old pair for comparison. I also listened to some live Radio New Zealand via their app on my iPad.
This review isn’t intended to compare the 2 sets of headphones, so I’m deliberately not revealing the brand and model of the old ones.
What I quickly noticed was that before long my ears grew uncomfortable with the old headphones, while the UE 6000 set were light and comfortable on my head.
The Logitech set has deep padding, and a covering over the speakers in the ear well, which also seems reasonably deep. I think I could happily wear them through several movies in a row.
The cable’s on the right
The first thing I noticed in use was that the cable’s attached to the right earpiece. I’m right-handed and the headphones port on my MacBook Pro with Retina display is on the left. The cable is also not specially long — maybe 1.5 metres.
All that meant that the cable draped across my keyboard and seemed to be constantly in the way. I eventually tried running it behind my neck and under my left arm. That helped, but it’s slightly less convenient than simply having it on the left.
Left-handed people may welcome that, of course.
High on the cable is a controller for changing the volume, pausing and a microphone for use with an iPhone or iPad. The microphone means the control needs to be reasonably close to the mouth, but I would have preferred it all a little further down the cable. I found it easier to work the controls with my left hand than my right.
The controls worked nicely to pause and play the videos I watched and to change the volume. I tested the microphone with Siri on my iPad 4, taking care to cover the built-in microphone with my hand. Siri understood me perfectly.
The sound level seemed louder and more powerful on the UE 6000 than on my old headphones. I presume that’s a result of what the product specs are referring to with
on-board amp for an immersive, and powerful, listening experience.
Active noise cancelling
There’s a switch on the right earpiece to turn the active noise cancellation on and off. The two AAA batteries are in the left earpiece.
I was alarmed to the point of checking and re-checking when turning on the active noise cancellation switch appeared to mute the volume on the video I was watching at the time.
After some experimentation though I found the problem: if you turn noise cancellation off the sound continues uninterrupted. When you turn it on though there’s a pause of a couple of seconds before the sound comes through again. I just hadn’t waited long enough.
To my ears, and in my quiet environment, the effect of turning on noise cancellation was to change the sound so it seemed more as though the source were in a large hall than in a normal room. It was an airier impression.
The product specs say:
these headphones work even without battery power, you’ll never get cut off mid-playlist.
The headphones came in impressive packaging: a black cardboard box with a tab to lift the flap, revealing the headphones nested inside. The small paper manual was tucked into a pocket inside the lid of the box.
A soft zippered case is included. Fold the headphones to fit them neatly inside. There’s a small pocket inside on the bottom for the detachable cable or a small item such as a credit card or your keys. At the end of the zip is a small fingerloop so you can easily carry the case.
A shareable splitter rounds out the accessories.
What’s missing is an adaptor for plugging in on a plane.
If I really needed new headphones I’d be happy to buy the Logitech UE 6000 model. They’re comfortable and sound great. The soft carry case means they’d be easy to take anywhere.
Logitech UE 6000 headphones. NZ$349.90.
- Headphone type: Around-the-ear
- Driver diameter: 40mm
- Impedance: 50 Ohms DCR Powered Off, 1K Ohms Powered On
- Sensitivity: 97 dB SPL/mW Powered Off, 99 dB SPL/mW Powered On, 1KHz
- Frequency response: 20 Hz — 20 kHz
- Connection: 3.5 mm (1/8 inch)
- Noise isolation: 10 dB
- Battery type: 2 AAA batteries
- Battery life: Over 40 hours of listening on average