For the past couple of months I’ve been using tracks from an album by Alexis Harte titled Spoons of Honey [CDBY] as a reference. It’s beautifully produced with scads of low-level detail and an exceedingly natural harmonic palette. Through the UE200s I could hear nearly as much inner detail as with their big brothers, the UE In-Ear Reference Monitors. The UE200’s articulate midrange illuminates Harte’s deft acoustic guitar work. Regardless of how many other instruments or vocal tracks were layered on top of each other, the underlying pulse from his fingerstyle acoustic remained. While it may be odd to talk about soundstage or imaging within the context of headphone listening, the UE200s do an exemplary job of placing each track in space with no smearing or homogenization. Even on dense tracks such as “Hadn’t Met You Yet” the various wind instruments and keening synthesizers retained their own locations in the soundstage.
On my own recordings, such as my recently made high-rez recording of The Deadly Gentlemen playing at the Salina Schoolhouse, the UE200s performance closely approached what I heard from the UE In-Ear Reference Monitor (IERM) custom-fit monitors when I made the recordings. Since I was in the same room as the performers, monitor speakers were verboten, so I used the IERMs to fine-tune my microphone placement and for monitoring throughout the session. Like the UE In-Ear Reference Monitors, it was easy to hear deep into the mix through the UE200s. And also like the Reference Monitors, each player had their own distinct spot in the soundstage with no confusion of muddiness. Amazingly, the UE200s are good enough that I could have used them to monitor the original recording session.