Logitech International today announced that the company has agreed to acquire privately held Ultimate Ears, of Irvine, Calif., for $34 million in cash. The long-established leader in custom in-ear monitors for on-stage professional musicians and sound engineers, Ultimate Ears has over the last few years expanded its product line to include a range of acclaimed in-ear consumer earphones for portable music enthusiasts, including users of iPhone, iPod and other MP3 players. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in August.
The acquisition of Ultimate Ears allows Logitech to expand its portfolio of digital audio products, providing more options for portable music listening. The company already offers a line of digital music speaker systems for in the home and on the go. Logitech is also a leading worldwide provider of speakers and headphones for PCs. And the company recently introduced a portable wireless speaker product for listening to music stored on Bluetooth mobile phones.
“Ultimate Ears is a perfect fit for Logitech and our audio business,” said Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech president and chief executive officer. “Since its inception, Ultimate Ears has been driven by innovation, close ties to its customers, and the desire to enable an immersive audio experience. Logitech’s success has been built on using a deep understanding of our customers to create innovative products that let people immerse themselves in their pursuits – whether they are listening to music, gaming, watching a video or otherwise enjoying their digital lifestyle. We look forward to using our worldwide distribution network and operational efficiencies to help more people discover this superior listening experience.”
Ultimate Ears has a loyal following of touring musicians, sound engineers and mainstream music lovers, due to the sound quality and comfortable fit of the company’s earphones. The company was founded in 1995 to address the sound-monitoring needs of on-stage rock musicians, developing the first high-performance two-way, custom in-ear stage monitors. An estimated 75 percent of today’s top touring rock musicians now use the Ultimate Ears custom-fit in-ear monitor while performing. Since 2005, using patented, proprietary technology, Ultimate Ears has expanded its product line with universal-fit earphones for audiophiles as well as mainstream music enthusiasts. Pricing for the company’s consumer products begins at U.S. $40, while pricing for custom products can be as much as $1200. Ultimate Ears employs nearly 40 people.
“The iPod and iPhone have made it possible for each of us to have a portable and personal music-listening experience,” said Junien Labrousse, executive vice president of Logitech’s Products Group. “But for a truly immersive listening experience, you need an earphone with a comfortable fit that keeps out the background noise and lets you hear music as the artists intended, which is precisely what Ultimate Ears has mastered.”