There is not an easy time to get wireless earbuds to fit everyone comfortably. It seems that tech companies all shape their silicone ear tips differently, and foam tips, as good as they can be, do not always solve the problem. So there was a lot of excitement earlier this month when Ultras Ears announced the $ 250 UE Fits, a pair of earbuds that can mold to the shape of your ear for unmatched comfort.
Earbuds use a 60-second molding process that does not require going to your local audiologist or taking each ear at home with a kit that needs to be matched. This approach is an evolution of technology which is the parent company. Logitech raised through the acquisition of Revols. Last ear don’t quite match best, Unique-to-you results that you get with expensive custom ear tips that professional musicians use. But the UE fits have come close enough that it is more comfortable than any regular earbud tip I have ever tried. The molding process is somewhat specialized, but the earbuds find themselves similarly priced competitors in some disappointing ways.
But first, let’s cover that fitting process. Ui come with fits vast Ear tips – if you can still call these – with an outer layer of soft silicone. Beneath the silicon, there is a gel in which light reacts. When you unbox the fits, there is a warning that they are sensitive to light, and you are encouraged to download the mobile app and get ready before taking them out of the packaging. (Don’t sweat it too much. Sensitivity isn’t so extreme that you’ll mess them up if they sit for a while.)
Each earbud has bright purple LEDs that fix the gel during a minute-long molding session and harden it to the size of your ear. The UE Fits app tells you the whole thing. It instructs you to apply earbuds as long as they are comfortable and the bass from the sound test is to your liking.
After that, you are asked to keep each earbud firmly in place – you must put your phone down – and the process will begin. During molding, the tips heat up, which is an unusual sensation for something in your ears. It is never inconvenient (Ultimate Ears compares it to hot bath temperatures), but it will definitely get your attention. So the app reminds you to keep calm and avoid keeping your jaw fit.
My first molding attempt according to the app actually “failed”; After about 40 seconds I saw an error message that the process was interrupted. (This wasn’t really true. The app only asks for the LEDs to be turned on, and the rest is science, so there’s not a lot that could go wrong.)
Later, I could definitely tell a difference between the finished mold and how the fits felt out of the box. The end result does not actually have the same clear contours as the custom earbud tip and is not as deep in your ear canal. With this approach, size adjustment and bumps are more subtle. But I found that the finished fit was able to penetrate my ear with great comfort and remain confident once again. Even after the process is complete, the tips remain tactile and flexible.
The first set I tried were the default tips that say the last ear should work for 95 percent of customers. But since I have almost always paid attention to sizable suggestions, the company also gave me a large pair. Sure enough, I found that they worked even better when it came to noise isolation. (Fits lack active noise cancellation, so this is important.) Both sizes provided a stable fit and the kind of comfort where I could wear them for hours without thinking about it. Ultimate Ears says the fits are a satisfaction guarantee of how they fit, and the company will send customers a second set of tips if they botch the first one or require a different starting size.
Yui Fits definitely nails the “fit” part of his name. And now that I’ve got them, I find myself wishing that I could use these tips on other earbuds – such as shifting them to workouts on my PowerBeats Pro. I think this personal fit concept gives a lot of runway to Altar Years where it can take future products.
Thankfully, your $ 250 just isn’t going towards that fit: these earbuds also look quite nice. Each bud has a single driver (unlike professional IEMs that often have two or more), but it is still adequate for respectable bass response and excellent, detailed musical reproduction. The UE Fits app lets you apply custom EQ settings and save your favorites, but I stuck with the “signature” profile because it looked the best. Listening through the new tom thong Wildflower and all the rest The compilation, Fits Remasters, was able to span in-home demo sessions and live recordings and dazzled them all with depth and excellent instrument separation. These earbuds can sound big when songs like Haim’s “Don’t Wanna” warrant it, but also handle Ruston Kelly’s more raw, acoustic track Shape and Destroy. Fits supports AptX, AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs.
Ultimate Ears says that the fits can last up to eight consecutive hours, which is the upper level for battery life on true wireless earbuds. The compact, pebble-shaped carrying case, which lacks wireless charging, but thankfully uses USB-C, packs another 12 hours. While testing the earbuds, I encountered some bugs while they were sitting on the case. The UE logo on the earbuds would vibrate slowly to indicate charging (as expected), but the other earbuds would flash quickly and look like it was in coupling mode. The company tells me that it is aware of this bug, and it will be fixed in a firmware update. As a side effect of this issue, I occasionally heard the sonar ping sound effect in the left earbuds – when it was added and the music was playing. Frites frustratingly uses blap and bloop sounds for audio feedback, and I prefer the straightforward sound for a clear idea of what is happening.
When it comes to onboard controls, UE fits also stumble. You can double tap the stem of the earbuds and choose what you want to do (play / pause, skip tracks, volume, voice assistant, etc.), but double-tap is the only gesture that supports fits. This is limited compared to most other earbuds and means that you will eject your phone regularly. Nevertheless, I am a fan of the overall form factor; The length of the pill makes it unmistakable that you are wearing earbuds, but also allows for easier handling.
Water resistance is another negative aspect. The fits are rated IPX3, making them semi-sweatproof. But I’m a heavy sweater, and since the fitness-focused buds of these lack an IPX6 or IPX7 rating, I’m a little worried about using them when working out. Ultimate Year has also dropped features that are becoming status-like auto-pause when an earbud is removed. And Fits does not offer any transparency mode, which some may consider a deal-breaker. When the music stops, you can still feel what’s happening around you, but a listening feature would have been good for this price.
As you can see, you are trading some notable things for the unmatched comfort that the fit offers through its molding process. But I can at least say that they have stabilized when it comes to audio playback, with no attention to cutouts or Bluetooth interference. The microphones perform well, as they are fitted with dual microphones on each earbud to prevent wind noise. Some callers said that my voice is a bit thin, but everyone can understand me well.
I think I would recommend UE Fits to people who are not completely satisfied with how the world’s AirPods or Galaxy Buds feel in their ears. $ 250 is expensive; It is right there with AirPods Pro and not far from Bose’s new QuietComfort Earbuds. And you’re missing some of those products – those that cancel noise. If you are perfectly fine with regular ear tips, I cannot say the sound quality of the fights is dramatically better than other premium earbuds at their price range (or slightly below). But UE Fits is positive in that it performs a 60-second full concept and works exceptionally well. They are an attractive middle ground between everyday ear tips and cost-prohibitive, professional IEMs. I am excited to see where the last ears go from here.
Photography by Chris Welch / The Verge