CES 2012: Polk Audio

Polk has recently produced a line of sports headphone with the moniker Ultrafit. My measurements of the in-ear models indicated poor performance. Polk expressed concern, so I have since re-measured the headphones with very close to the same results. I talked with one of the product development staff at the booth, who thanked me for remeasuring, but expressed that their measurements produced better response plots for the product. Fair enough, I do need to freely admit that headphone measurement is a complex craft, and I consider myself merely at technician level. One thing we did agree on was that the behind-the-neck headband, on-ear, acoustically open Ultrafit 2000 was the strong product in the line. The sound was above average for this type of on-the-ear earpiece, but the ergonomics seemed very good, maybe the best I've seen for a runner's headphone.

The thing I wasn't expecting to see at Polk's booth was a high-end, full-size, noise canceling headphone: the Ultrafocus 8000. Noise-canceling headphone design is a tricky thing, and I've seen a whole slew of them lately, most of which were pretty bad. But the new Polk noise-canceler seemed to buck the tide. This is one type of headphone that's reasonable to evaluate on the show floor, and I enjoyed my listening session with these cans. I'll let Mike Bobalick tell you about the Ultrafocus 8000.

dirkdroid's picture

Just a question sir. Which of the two would you recommend? I think I like the SQ of the Ultrafit 2000 over the PX100-ii. The PX 100-ii for me is a bit dark. But how about the overall quality and performance? Ultrafit 2000 or PX100-ii? TIA! :)

mikemercer's picture


Based on your observations here, as I trust you more than most (hell, you started this personal audio craze and I will NEVER forget that) - I got a pair for review.

We tested them in the streets of LA:

Smooth textural midrange, controlled bass, and the treble might be rolled off a bit - but I LOVE it!

I'm looking forward to writing about them.

Thank you sir!!


Michael Mercer