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  1. #1

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    Oct 2009
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    Default Review: Polk Audio UltraFit 500 Sports Headphone

    Summary of review:
    * Retail price: $39.99
    * Overall sound clarity: excellent
    * Fit: average at best

    More details:
    I purchased a set of Polk Audio UltraFit 500 Sport Headphones just a few days ago. The retail price was $39.99 at a Fry's Electronics store. Although the box had a flap that opened to see the headphones, it did not--to the best of my knowledge--include any specifications regarding impedance or frequency response.

    The sound source I used was MP3, 128 kbps. While not the highest quality, it was still a test for the headphones. Overall clarity of the sound was excellent--though the bass was not pronounced (when compared with something like a Sony MDR-J10 or MDR-J11 or a Koss The Plug type of earbud headphone), the bass was not overexaggerated, the midrange was clear, and the highs were not attenutated or too much. For more bass, just select a bass EQ setting--I found that the clarity will still be there for the mids and highs. Still, I was expecting just a bit more bass output than what I got from the headphones just out of the box--especially, techno style bass pitch bends downward seemed to attenuate the bass sooner than expected for a headphone in that price range.

    Regardless of the lack of specifications, I think these are very good headphones for playing loud, without any distortion. At the same time, they can be played softly as well, with no significant loss of clarity. But I think Polk does need to provide specifications, especially since others such as JVC, Sony, Philips, and others do provides specifications including impedance and frequency response.

    Fit-wise, I am still trying to get it exactly right. It's not the silicone earpads that seem to be the problem, for me, it is the earclips. That said, I also do like the longer cables provided with the headphones, that connect right into the shorter cable built into the headphones.

    In conclusion, I would recommend these headphones with but there are two issues I encountered: the earclips may not fit without some readjusting (for me, anyway) and that the bass is not as pronounced with compressed audio formats such as MP3 with no EQ set on an MP3 player.
    Main room speakers setup, 5.1 surround sound setup: Pioneer VSX-517K AV receiver, Polk Audio Monitor 40 Front speakers, Polk Audio CSM Center speaker, Polk Audio M10 Surround speakers, Polk Audio PSW110 Subwoofer.

    Secondary room, 2 channel stereo setup:
    Technics SA-GX170, KLH TW-09B.

    Computer, 2 channel stereo setup: Nata SL-200 Integrated Amplifier and Speaker System connected to a Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio Soundcard.

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

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    Oct 2001
    Location
    FL, Space Coast
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    Default

    Thanks for the review.

    I have been using Polk UltraFit 500's pretty much since they first came out for exercise. They stay in/on your ears and take sweat in stride, and have some very nice adaptable cables. I typically listen to NPR or other radio stations with them, and they meet my every requirement in that department.

    They are not my earphones of choice for serious (320 kbps, flac) quiet listening in private. Compared to Sennheiser, Creative, & Philips at the same price point the 500's lack bass response IMHO.

    I have some Shure E500pth IEMs (current model SE535) for plane rides which I use with the "black olives" memory foam that are my absolute favorites....totally shut out surrounding noise and produce amazing sound.....but then they are a factor of 10 x more expensive, and I would never consider them for exercise.

    Current Shure line of IEMs:
    http://www.shure.com/americas/produc...s/se-earphones
    SDA SRS 1.2
    Adcom GFA-5802
    Adcom GFP-750
    Sony DVP-NS999ES

  3. #3

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    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    FL, Space Coast
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    217

    Default

    Newegg has a great sale right now on the Polk Audio UltraFit 3000 In-Ear Sports Headphones w/ Mic for a low $29.95 Free Shipping after Coupon Code: "AFNJ2778" (Exp 10/27) if anyone needs some great exercise earphones.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826290011
    SDA SRS 1.2
    Adcom GFA-5802
    Adcom GFP-750
    Sony DVP-NS999ES

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