Review: UE FITS Are Shaped for Your Ear. Literally.
These wireless ‘buds use light to mold your unique "earprint" in 60 seconds
Your earbuds are worthless if they keep falling out.
In my years of testing headphones and audio gear, I’ve never found a pair of earbuds that didn’t feel like they were going to slip out at an inconvenient moment, particularly when I’m exercising or running for a train/bus. Even ones that were designed for sports.
UE FITS promised that issue would end. Hailing from Ultimate Ears, UE FITS uses a patented lightform technology that promises to shape their earbuds to the natural contours of your ears — and do it within 60 seconds. And all of this was DIY — no audiologist needed.
I got a pair of UE FITS earlier this spring. I downloaded the UE FITS app, paired the earbuds, placed the earbuds in my ear canals, filled out a short quiz (“how’s the bass?”) on the app, then began the 60-second “molding process” to shape the gel-filled ‘buds (I was supposed to gently hold the earbuds in place during the process, but I somehow missed that direction — it turned out fine).
Spoiler alert: The fit was perfect. But earbuds also require great sound, intuitive controls, a useful app and charging power. For the most part, the UE Fits overcame some surprisingly modest user reviews (a 3.8/5 from Amazon customers) and exceeded expectations.
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Eight hours of listening time between charges and 20 hours with the case. A ten-minute charge offers an hour of listening.
- Comes with a USB-C charging case, ear trips, USB-C cable and a quick start guide
- Dual microphones
- Premium single dynamic 10mm drivers
- Thankfully, the fit. After the one-minute molding, I had earbuds that hit that sweet spot of comfort and snugness. Over two weeks of use at home, in the gym and commuting I never had to make a single adjustment or worry about them falling out.
- As well, I purposely didn’t plug in the case after the initial power-up, and my earbuds stayed at 100% for the two-week trial period.
- For someone who hates touch controls, I found the UE Fits responded exactly as they were supposed to and with minimal “accidental” pauses (perhaps because I rarely needed to touch the earbuds, given their perfect fit). You can also customize the touch controls in the app.
What kind of works:
- The case is light but also feels and looks like cheap plastic. That said, it survived an accidental drop on pavement without cracks.
- Given the snug positioning in your ear, the UE Fits probably don’t need active noise cancellation. This is why the ‘buds instead offer “passive noise isolation” — in quiet or modest everyday conditions, you’ll be able to hear the outside world just enough to, say, not get run over by a car. It can drown out most noise and conversation, but it did fail when it came to silencing an approaching subway.
- The UE FITS app has six audio presets. Surprisingly, their “UE Signature” felt rather quiet and distant. I found myself pretty much sticking with “Hi / Lo Boost” for music and “Spoken Word” for podcasts, at least when there was any surrounding noise (in quiet rooms, the other audio presets do offer a nice range of options; these aren’t the best sounding earbuds in the world but the sound is bright and clear). You can also create a custom sound profile, if desired.
- If for some reason your earbuds don’t fit right, you can get new tips sent to you for free if you request within a 30-day trial window.
What needs work:
- I have no idea how well these earbuds will hold up during exercise or in extreme weather — Amazon lists them as “water-resistant” but there’s no documentation on whether these are water- or sweat-proof. I used them during workouts with no problem; I hope that’s ok.
- The shape. This is a larger, almost T-shaped earbud that sticks pretty far out in your ear (even a bit outside of it). It may not bother you, but these are not aesthetically pleasing.
- Now that I’m used to wireless charging, it’s odd to go back to earbuds that don’t offer it. Ditto for noise cancellation.
Within two weeks the UE Fits had so comfortably, uh, fit into my life I forgot I was using these for a review. If these were the only earbuds I owned, I’d have few complaints, save for their lack of noise cancellation in the not-so-rare occasions when New York gets loud. The case and earbuds aren’t exactly pleasing to the eye, but the fit and sound are certainly a win for the user, particularly those people who have issues with getting their earbuds to stay in and stay comfortable.
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