The UHP 336's are Altec Lansing's version of the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3. The Ear buds are angled to go inside the ear canal – but not nearly as deep as others (like the Shure e110's.) The cable then goes around the back of the ear (with a guided "memory" wire) and the Earphones protrude outwards from the ear canal. It takes a while to master putting these in and out. The build quality is fabulous – sturdy, lots of replaceable tips to the ear buds and a nicely constructed soft case is included. The housing seems sturdier than the Super.Fi 3 - a nice solid black plastic - with almost a rubberized feel. The cable on the UHP 336 seems much sturdier than the one on the Super.Fi 3 that I tested some time back. My tests showed that while the cable is not nearly as “tough” and thick as those on the Shures – it was plenty sturdy and more comfortable to wear.
Thankfully, there are so many possible tips to put on the end in various sizes, some with two flanges and even foam tips that can be compressed. I found the foam to be a little "hard" in my ear canal. The problem I had is that one of my ear canals is very small and it took a while to find the right tip that would stay in and not pop out. Once the right fit was found, these were perfectly comfortable and could be worn for extended periods of time with no fatigue or discomfort. The goal with IEM designs is to get a tight seal for ultimate bass response and sound stage. Most users should be able to accomplish that with the included tips.
I did try these out while exercising and found that they were a little more prone to falling out during strenuous exercise than some other IEM's on the market.
In the end, this is what really matters, isn't it? We are much more apt to put up with an earphone that may not be quite as comfortable if it sounds amazing. Well, these sounded amazing. The Bass was not as strong as with some more expensive in-ear phones – but when a good fit was achieved the bass was plenty strong. For bass nuts, you can always put your ipod on “Bass boost” – but I really don’t think it is necessary.
Vocals and instruments sounded as beautiful with these Earphones as with any tested regardless of price. The bass wasn't as strong – but the highs were clear (not tinny in the least) and the midrange was just amazing. I marveled how Ultimate Ears was able to achieve this kind of sound for under $130.00 - and now Altec Lansing improves on it even more. If you listen to Classic Rock, Instrumental music, Classical, jazz or Pop – look no further. There is no better way (that I have found) to upgrade your ipod for under $130.00 dollars than by purchasing the Altec Lansing UHP 336.
I think I said it all in my last sentence. Buy these Earphones. Go to a guitar shop that carries them, listen to a friend’s or take my advice (or that of many others who have reviewed these Earphones.) In the world of after-market Earphones, Ultimate Ears is truly at the top of the heap and Altec Lansing takes their great design and improves on the build quality, fit, finish and even the sound..
- Amazing sound quality
- great sound isolation, sturdy
- Slightly uncomfortable for those with small ears
- takes time to find the right fit
Next up, Altec Lansing UHP 306