The Hall of Fame: UE’s Triple.Fi 10

Welcome to the Hall of Fame series. I’ve observed that some products never seem to get old even after all these years. People keep on going back to it. I think these products deserve a special mention, and the first one I’m going to write about is the 10.

The amount of new products in the market today doesn’t seem to be able to take down this old school IEM from Ultimate Ears. There’s something magical about the sound. What we do at the store is we help people discover the right IEM for them (or for their music, another way to put it). When someone comes, we ask them what they’re looking for and what music they listen to. Then we start taking out the popular choices, and we keep on showing them different headphones/IEMs until they find something that they like. Sometimes, they found something they really like and that’s great. What happens from time to time is that we get people who can’t seem to get the right IEM for them, then we take out the store’s demo Triple.Fi 10 for them to listen to. Then they say: this is the one I want.

 

The Hall of Fame

I’m starting a list of a Headfonia Hall of Fame and the Triple.Fi 10 is the first one I’m writing about. Personally, it’s not my kind of an IEM. I like dark, mellow, weighty lows, and the TF10 is nothing like it. But play some fast Rock on it and I truly think that there are no other IEMs out there that tops the 10. Recently I wrote about the newly released UE900. It is a good IEM and I wrote a good review of it. However, the more refined tuning, the fuller mids and bass, for some reason simply doesn’t satisfy like the TF10. The UE900, after a few months, are starting to lose its luster. It doesn’t have the snap, speed, and attack of the 10. People are starting to come back to the 10.

I’ve seen countless of other IEMs got swept by the new generation of cheaper and better IEMs. The Shure SE530, Senn’s IE8, Westone’s W3, Westone’s UM3X, Earsonic’s SM3, Shure’s 535, Westone’s W4, and so and so. Unlike them, the Triple.Fi 10 is still here. Despite the stiff cable and the worst-in-the-industry fit, the dry midrange and the harsh treble, people keep on coming back to the 10.

Some say it’s the price. Some say it’s the cheapest way to get yourself a triple driver custom IEM ($99 during Amazon’s sale + UM’s re-shelling fee). I’ve seen people with custom IEMs come back to the universal fit TF10, so I don’t think it’s about price, or the customs factor. It’s definitely something that you can’t measure with instruments or numbers or ratings or stars. Legendary stuff has elements that we simply can’t describe that makes them legendary.

Today we were just listening to the TF10 at the store. All these headphone veterans, hanging out, listening to the TF10. A friend just made a DIY cable for it using some Oyaide wire. We also happen to have an Oyaide factory-built cable for the TF10, and ALO’s cable for the JH (which we also modify to fit the TF10). So people were just hanging out and checking out these different cables, and talking about the TF10. Not everyone in the group uses the TF10 as their main IEM (me included), but everyone agrees that nothing else does rock like the TF10. Even after all these years, nothing seems to overcome it.

 

Why We Can’t Sell Triple.Fi 10s

The problem with the Triple.Fi 10 is that US prices (or Amazon) is selling them for some sub $200 (and less during their black friday sale), while local distributors are selling them for more than double the Amazon price. It’s just one of those things that we simply can’t sell on the store because people would discover the Amazon price and/or you have people hand-carrying them from the US and selling brand new units locally on internet forums for far less than what the local distributor is selling them for. So we simply can’t sell them since we’ll be selling them close or at around the $400 mark.

So why do we keep a Triple.Fi 10 demo at the store? To be frank, I have no idea. We just happen to have one around, and when people gets frustrated because they can’t get their music right, we pull out the Triple.Fi 10. And when we see their expression upon hearing the Triple.Fi 10, it makes us happy.

But what happens next? They tell us that they want the TF10, and we tell them that “no we don’t sell them because of the Amazon price vs the local distributor price bla bla bla”. I’m not trying to attack the local Ultimate Ears distributor here, far from it. It’s just one of those things that are like currency exchange, we just have to live with. The Sennheiser HD25-1 sells for U$199 in the US while local distributors want U$360-U$370 for it. What the ?? I know. So what happens next is that we try to find a used TF10 in the local market. And if the customer is lucky, we find one for them. If there aren’t any, then, tough luck.

 

End Words

All the other IEMs that belonged to the TF10’s generation, or even a few after it, are now mostly obsolete. Not the 10. I can’t guarantee you’ll like it at first listen, and if you don’t, give it time. I’ve seen people sold their TF10 only to buy another one a few months later.  If you haven’t tried the TF10, then it really is one of the must try. Amazon’s price is pretty okay at the moment at $233. I think they can be lower sometimes, and especially during their sale specials.

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

41 Comments

  • Reply April 30, 2013

    Rodrigo Pita

    Mike, JH5…JH11…JH13…UM Merlin……. And I still love my Triple.fi 10 PRO, it just makes me relax and enjoy what I’m listening. My dream?? A Triple.fi with Westone 4 body =)

    • Reply April 30, 2013

      Mike

      Right on. I totally agree on the body too!

  • Reply April 30, 2013

    John123John

    So does this mean we can expect 9 more completely-unreviewed-by- headfonia products or would you be revisiting products like the HD6XX?

    • Reply April 30, 2013

      Mike

      Well I’m still brainstorming at the moment

      • Reply April 30, 2013

        L.

        Portapro 😀

        • Reply April 30, 2013

          Mike

          I don’t know about that.. it was big a few years ago, but who still swears by the Portapro these days?

          The only one I know is Charles Altmann. 😉

      • Reply May 2, 2013

        John123John

        jecklin float!

  • Reply May 1, 2013

    Yong Xi

    Etymotic ER-4. That’s another evergreen that came to mind immediately.

    • Reply May 1, 2013

      Mike

      Yes I have plans for the Ety.

  • Reply May 1, 2013

    brcmrgn

    Still have the TF10 and a reshelled pair by InEarz (Fisher), both from Amazon $99 deals. Never had great luck with tips until I just now tried some Sony Hybrid size LL (ExtraLarge from EX1000). Wow, they still sound great, with the right music.

    • Reply May 1, 2013

      Mike

      So you have two? One custom?

      • Reply May 1, 2013

        brcmrgn

        Yes. My first experiment with reshelling was a Klipsch Custom 3 (the worst fit and cable ever designed by man, but great sound). That worked so well that I decided to reshell my TF10 also. The results are mixed for the TF10 reshell – great comfort and much better cable, but the sound has lost a little it’s slam and sizzle. So when Amazon has a Black Friday sale on the TF10 again, I bought another TF10. Who can resist at $99?

        • Reply May 1, 2013

          Mike

          Haha good to hear your impression on the reshell though. Thanks!

  • Reply May 1, 2013

    thethirty3rd

    Thanks for this Mike. The TF10 was my first introduction into the audiophile world and was my to-go IEM for years until my cable pins broke off inside them.

    • Reply May 1, 2013

      Mike

      Then you should get another one;)

      • Reply May 1, 2013

        thethirty3rd

        Am waiting for one to pop up for a good price 🙂

  • Reply May 1, 2013

    Anthony

    Hi mike, its amazing to see one of the iem i owned get this kind of article on headfonia, thanks mike

    Anthony

    • Reply May 1, 2013

      Mike

      You’re welcome, Anthony

  • Reply May 3, 2013

    Fabio_Rocks

    That’s a very nice IEM that deserve the legendary status. Mike I WANT a Shure 215 review:)

    • Reply May 3, 2013

      Mike

      Awww… the 215 is extremely nice but I still won’t give it the Hall of Fame status. It needs to be around and proven for 5 years or more.
      The only other I can think of at the moment is the Ety ER4.

      • Reply May 11, 2013

        John123John

        mike is so strict :p

        Fostex T50RP, maybe HD 800. Come on mike, either the HD 6xx have to be on the list ^^

        oo how about sony mdr v6 or grados?

        • Reply May 11, 2013

          Dave Ulrich

          That’s a good idea! Someone should do a HD6xx review!

          • Reply May 13, 2013

            Mike

            We have three HD650 reviews already… Lol

            • Reply May 13, 2013

              Mike

              And Senn still won’t buy a banner!

        • Reply May 13, 2013

          Mike

          HD800 not yet, we’ll see in 3 years time.

          Fostex 50rp, good suggestion, but very niche.

          Grados haven’t gotten much love lately.

          V6 is just average tbh. Maybe the m50 is more deserving.

          • Reply May 13, 2013

            Dave Ulrich

            I finally got a chance to listen to the SR80. Can’t say I was a fan.

    • Reply May 11, 2013

      John123John

      I also would like a se215 review 🙂
      doesnt have to be wall of fame. just in general~

      • Reply May 13, 2013

        Mike

        215 review would be a good one to do. It’s proven by time for at least one year jow. Means it’s no fotm.

  • Reply May 3, 2013

    Albert Harris

    Awesome review mike! i’m not a big fans of TF10, but i must admit it as the best IEM in current market for rocks genre..

    cant wait for the next hall of fame!

    • Reply May 13, 2013

      Mike

      Yes, the TF10 isn’t my main iem too, but it’s definitely hall of fame material.

  • Reply May 10, 2013

    Amit

    What about ortofon eq7? Do they deserve Hall of fame??

    • Reply May 10, 2013

      Mike

      Nice iem but no hall of fame material, sorry

  • Reply May 31, 2013

    Hendy

    The TF10 is one of my most favorite IEM (before owning the UE900) but the awful fitting leaves my ears hurt after listening for more than 1 hour… and it looks horrible.. The UE900 on the other hand has probably the best fitting ever although its kind of weird that the remote cable doesn’t work at all with my Z10… have to change to the black cable for it to work.

  • Reply June 22, 2013

    Bill_Henderson

    Mike,

    My Hall of Fame would include the Klipsch x10. I have many earphones and headphones, but I still consistently listen with the x10s. They are almost perfect for me.

  • Reply August 30, 2013

    Ste Mach

    This should be the hall of SHAME.
    Just over 1 year old (just over the warranty period, GO FIGURE!) My $400 Triple Fi 10 broke where the cable attaches to the actual speaker. I was trying to replace the SHI* cable that these come with because of a short in the wire and when I tried to remove the old cable it pulled the posts out and the wires attached on the inside came with it.
    I WILL NEVER WASTE MY MONEY ON LOGITECH PRODUCTS AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE!

    ONLY BUY THESE ON SALE BECAUSE LOGITECH WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT!

    • Reply August 30, 2013

      Mike

      Sorry to hear that. Pretty bad experience there. A friend of mine also broke his TF10 in the most unexpected way. They do have lemon units once in a while.

      • Reply August 31, 2013

        Ste Mach

        I do love the sound so much that I am going to have these “re-shelled” to a custom fit (looks like a hearing aid) IEM which will hopefully improve the sound if thats even possible… I found a company in Florida that will re-shell for $100 and even change the 2 pin connector (weak design) to the UE900 coaxial style plug and a new wire for an additional $35! Offers all kinds of colors; glitter (if thats your thing), even carbon fiber!

        https://www.facebook.com/InEarCustom

        • Reply August 31, 2013

          Mike

          The sound would change a bit when you reshell it since the acoustics of the housing are different than a stock Triple.Fi. This has been confirmed by people who’s refitted their TF10.

  • Reply March 29, 2014

    AD

    They sound really good in my opinion, but one of the little flex wires near the earpiece has broken. It still works and stays put on my ear, but I fear that eventually the broken wire inside will chafe the signal wire(s) and ground out the sound. Looking at replacing the cable with a Lune MkIII but it’s insanely expensive. Probably won’t splurge on a cable until the stock cable fails.

    But then again, I have subjected these IEMs to rough use. Daily wearing while doing construction work, daily wearing while doing lawn care work… random wearing while doing other things… they have not had an easy life yet sound as good as ever and a broken flex wire is all the trouble I’ve had out of ’em. Can’t complain too much.

  • Reply March 6, 2016

    givemeyourshoes

    I have had my TF 10 for years now, and every time I use them, I love the sound. But every time I use them, I hate the fit and I HATE the cable. Well, I finally decided to do something about it, and I have an appointment at the audiologist this week to get molds. I am finally spending the money and having them reshelled by InEarz. Lets hope that keeps the sound the same and increases the comfort.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.