Ultimate Ears a must for Andre Siebrits

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Andre Siebrits


Playing a dual role as a lighting designer and programmer for shows such as Idols, The Voice, RMB Starlight Classics and countless others, South African Andre Siebrits recently acquired an Ultimate Ears UE Comm, specifically the Ultimate Ears 11 Pro model, from DWR Distribution. The decision has been pivotal for him, particularly considering his concern for the long-term health of his ears.

Andre first became curious about Ultimate Ears Comm in 2017, starting the conversation with many people including Jaco Beukes from DWR. UE Comm is the result of a collaboration between UE and In-House Sound with features like noise-isolating in-ear monitors with a purpose-built microphone, guaranteeing crystal-clear communication in any production environment.

“Ultimate Ears are reputed for their outstanding sound quality, at least that’s what I’d heard, even though I’d never tried a pair due to the units being custom in-ear moulds,” Andrew Siebrits describes. “My main goal was to use them to enhance my programming experience, allowing me to focus on my work rather than being bombarded by loud music in the venue, often with the same song on constant repeat as I tried to take notes. Cheaper headphones tend to underperform, and wireless ones come with higher latency issues. Additionally, the matter of hearing protection was a significant concern. When you work on concerts or live shows, you are in an environment designed for the audience to withstand loud volumes for a maximum of two hours a day. However, we frequently have multiple rehearsals and are often exposed to loud music throughout the entire day.”

The UE 11 Pro model, when unplugged, offers a controlled  12DB of Stage Bleed. When plugged in, users will receive full isolation of up to 26DB. “It just gives you that acceptable range where you can listen to music for an extended amount of time and, it has a bigger noise cancelling when you put in the ear plugs,” says Andre. “It’s really great that I can now have good music at the right level and still hear all the details.”

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The UE 11 Pro features a 4-speaker, three-way system, configured with a dual low-frequency driver, 1 mid and 1 high proprietary balanced armatures, allowing you to not only hear but feel the music. The three-way crossover ensures clarity and intricate detail, while the dual low-frequency drivers deliver a powerful bass experience. UE 11 Pro excels in acoustic isolation effectively blocking out unwanted noise in any setting.

This professional audio device also boasts a custom, personalized fit that ensures security and comfort during use. Its waterproof connection system and SuperBax cable further enhance its longevity and durability, making it a reliable choice for musicians and audiophiles alike.

On the conceptual side of things, Andre says there’s always the hassle of handling headphone comms supplied on an event, wondering who used them before and if the previous user perspired as much as you do!  Now he simply snaps on the microphone, plugs everything in, and says it’s all incredibly convenient.

Lightweight in design, The UE COMM includes a custom-designed electret microphone specifically tuned for clear communication. A highly focused pickup pattern helps reduce unwanted background noise and improves intelligibility. An innovative magnetic base lets you attach the mic to either the left or right earpiece for flexibility and comfort in any situation. A rugged gooseneck makes sure the mic stays right where you want it, ensuring proper placement at all times.

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The procedure to obtain a new pair of UE in-ears was simple. Andre made an appointment with an audiologist at The Ear Institute of Pretoria for a custom ear mould. “Jaco from DWR gave me a guideline of everything Ultimate Ears wanted. They took impressions and two days later, all the specifications needed were emailed to me. That was all I had to do and Jaco did the rest.”

The process was easy and took around a month, Andre adds. “It was a huge investment but when you are working in the entertainment environment, you want to protect your ears for the later years.” His units are also insured, and for just over R100 per month, he has peace of mind should something unforeseen happen.

When asked whether he would purchase the units again if he was able to turn back the clock he replied, “Yes! Yes! I would hundred percent buy this again! It’s now part of my arsenal and I will not live without it.”