Ultrasone Performance 880 Professional Closed-Back Headphones$499.99
Want closed-back headphones with an open-back experience? Check out our Ultrasone Performance 880 review.
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones are a high-end pair of closed-back headphones that offer crisp, spacious sound, solid build quality, and excellent isolation. They are designed in Germany and use various premium materials, including a titanium-plated PET diaphragm and a thick metal headband. The Performance 880 headphones are designed for professional studio use but are also a great choice for audiophiles and music lovers.
Ultrasone Performance 880 Review: Features
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones come with a variety of features, including:
- 40mm titanium-coated transducer
- 32 ohms impedance
- 94 dB sensitivity
- frequency response of 7 to 35,000 Hz
- S-Logic Plus technology for natural spatial sound
- 2 Detachable cable
- 2 Sets of Pads (Velour and Protein)
Here are some additional details about the features of the Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones:
- S-Logic Plus technology: S-Logic Plus is a patented technology that redirects sound waves around the ear, creating a natural surround sound experience. This technology is designed to improve the soundstage and imaging of the headphones, making it feel like the music surrounds you.
- ULE shielding system: ULTRASONE has introduced Ultra Low Emission (ULE) technology that reduces low-frequency fields generated by headphones. The ULE technology involves using a MU metal shield, which reduces magnetic radiation at the ear by 98%, compared to regular headphones. This technology is said to be particularly beneficial for professional musicians who use headphones for several hours.
- Detachable cables: The Performance 880 headphones come with two detachable cables, one long, and one short, which makes them easy to transport and store. The plugs are also gold-plated, which helps to reduce signal loss. The shorter cable also has a mic and remote..
- Memory foam ear pads: The Performance 880 headphones come with two sets of memory foam ear pads, which provide a comfortable and secure fit. One set is velour-covered, which helps to reduce heat buildup.
What’s In Box
- Performance 880 Closed-Back Headphones
- 1/4″ (6.3 mm) Gold-Plated Screw-On Adapter
- Detachable 9.8′ (3.0 m) Cable with Bayonet Connector
- Detachable 3.9′ (1.2 m) Cable with Bayonet Connector
- 2x Velour Earpads
- Neoprene Storage and Transport Case
Ultrasone Performance 880 Review: Design and Build Quality
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones are elegant looking and very well-built. They are made with high-quality materials and are very durable as well. The ear cups are made of rigid plastic trimmed with gunmetal aluminum, and the headband is made of aluminum covered with hard plastic. There’s also leather-covered memory foam padding for the top of the head. Additionally, these headphones provide a good bit of passive isolation, which is suitable for those who plan to use them in noisy environments.
Long story short, the headphones are very sturdy and made to withstand a lot of wear and tear; even the detachable cables are supplied with bayonet mounts to keep them firmly in place. The only drawback to this is that you must use Ultrasone-supplied replacement cables.
Ultrasone Performance 880 Review: Comfort
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones are moderately comfortable to wear. The memory foam ear pads, as is the headband padding, are nice and soft. That said, I found the clamp to be a little tight, which isn’t out of the ordinary for studio headphones, but it may be not very pleasant for some folks.
That especially goes for people with larger heads like mine. On the positive side, the earcups are nice and spacious, which kept my huge ears from rubbing on the inside.
Another item worth mentioning is while these headphones come with two sets of earpads (one leather, one velour), they are not easy to swap out. That’s because they are held on with 3M adhesive, so you must peel one off very carefully, then stick the new one on carefully.
Ultrasone Performance 880 Review: Sound Quality
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones offer good sound quality. They have a wide frequency response and can produce a wide range of sounds, from deep bass to clear highs. The headphones also have a balanced sound signature, making them ideal for listening to various music genres. I found the midrange somewhat recessed, which reduced the clarity of vocals and specific instruments a bit, but overall, the 880 has a clean, no-nonsense sound with remarkable detail in the highs and the sub-bass.
In addition, the offset positioning of the drivers, which is part of the S-Logic Plus tech, provides a more open and immersive sound that you would expect from a closed-back headphone but not quite as open as you would get from a similarly priced open-back model. That said, the closed earcups give you freedom from outside distractions, and it also aids in some quality dynamics and punch, which help to get your head nodding.
My main gripe with the 880’s sound is in the midrange presentation. There seems to be a pronounced dip in the upper mids, which keeps the headphones from sounding harsh, but it also affects the airiness and realism of the music. The S-Logic Plus gives you an expansive sound, but the tuning somewhat counteracts that by reducing the depth of the sound. That makes some music sound a bit synthetic, especially vocal or acoustic-based music.
If you listen to pop, rock, or electronic music, the 880 will provide a spacious soundscape with plenty of rhythmic drive and engagement.
The Ultrasone Performance 880 headphones are a decent option for anyone looking for a high-quality pair of closed-back headphones. They offer good sound quality, especially if you’re partial to enhanced bass and treble detail (balanced V-shaped signature), along with first-rate build quality. Furthermore, the S-Logic Plus driver orientation provides a more open sound than you usually would expect from a closed-back headphone.
In addition, comfort from the earpads and the headband is good, but if you have a larger head, you may find the clamp to be a little too tight. Also, if you like a headphone with a lot of detail and emphasis in the midrange, you may find these headphones to be a little opaque.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.