Logitech's in-ear monitor maker, Ultimate Ears, has announced the forthcoming release of a new member of its professional audio family - the UE 18 Pro six high fidelity speakers per bud, noise canceling monitors. Aimed at professional musicians or dedicated quality-at-any-cost music lovers, the earphones on steroids are claimed to give the user crystal clear sounds across the whole frequency range.

The two dedicated woofers, two speakers for the mids and two speakers for the highs in each handcrafted earphone of the Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom Monitors are promised to "consistently and predictably reproduce more detail and clarity to the bass, mids, and highs". Built for the serious audiophile or professional musician, the monitors have a frequency response of 20 Hz to 18 kHz, input sensitivity of 110.6 decibels at 1 kHz and an impedance of 21 ohms.

Background noise shouldn't be a problem either thanks to the "-26 dB of isolation and passive noise cancellation", although there is an optional ambient feature (for an additional US$50) which will allow in sounds from the stage while still controlling the isolation effect.

Sound clarity is helped further by the operation of three acoustically-tuned sound channels and multiple passive crossover points to help separate audio frequencies to "keep frequencies separate and balanced until they blend naturally in your ear" resulting in "clear vocals and instruments in the mid range, defined high notes along with a powerful, visceral low end."

"The new Ultimate Ears UE 18 Pro custom monitors are simply the best I’ve used on stage - a new bench mark has been set. The low end and levels that can be achieved are outstanding. It’s like wearing a pair of reference studio headphones on stage," Jon Lewis, professional sound engineer for AC/DC, has said of the units.

Compatible with wireless transmission systems as well as portable media devices, the monitors also come with a distortion-reducing, durable cable and gold plated input connector and like all Ultimate Ears professional in-ear monitors, the UE 18 Pro's can be ordered in a variety of colors or customized with individual artwork.

Reassuringly expensive, at US$1350, and coming with a range of accessories including a compact metallic carrying case and a cleaning tool, the units will start to be shipped at the beginning of February. But before you jump in and order a pair, you'll need to see a professional audiologist to create an impression of each of your ears to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

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