Ultimate Ears is best known for its popular line of portable Bluetooth speakers, but it just got into the true wireless earbuds game with the UE Fits ($249) and they're special. That's because the earbuds can be custom molded to your ears and yes, you do it this molding all yourself at home. There's no worrying about the selecting the right ear tip and then still maybe not getting that perfect seal. There's no trip to the audiologist required. And after wearing them for the last few weeks, I can honestly say that UE Fits feel like nothing I've ever used before. They're incredible.
The secret to the UE Fits is the what Ultimate Ears calls its Lightform technology. Essentially, each earbud has built-in LED lights and a big gel-filled eartip. You place the earbuds in your ears, connect them to your smartphone just like any other Bluetooth earbuds, and then you trigger this molding process via a companion app. The LED lights heat up the gel and, after 60 seconds, the earbuds are perfectly molded to fit in your ears and cannot be un-molded.
The molding process isn't complicated by any means, but it did feel a little bit strange. When I triggered the molding process in the app, the LEDs lit started to glow purple and the earbuds got progressively warmer. I held them in place just as the app instructed, pressuring them to stay just a little in my ears, and then it was over. The app literally walked me though the entire thing. Easy breezy.
Obviously, the biggest fear with this do-it-yourself molding process is that you do it incorrectly and then you're stuck with expensive wireless earbuds that you can't use. But Ultimate Ears promises that if you screw up — which honestly seems pretty hard to do — you can return them free of charge and Ultimate Ears will send you a new pair. So there's really very little to worry about other than some inconvenience.
There are other custom mold wireless earbuds that you can buy besides the UE Fits, and I've tested a few of them. Decibullz, for example, goes about the molding process differently. Instead of using fancy LED technology like the UE Fits, Decibullz has you create a custom molds using hot water, just like a custom mouthguard. It's effective, but it also still relies on a silicone or foam eartip that to hold the earbud in place — which creates a pressure point and could cause discomfort during long listening sessions.
The idea with the UE Fits's custom mold is that there's no eartip and no pressure point, and therefore more comfortable — and yes, they are really comfortable. I've ran with them a dozen times and worn them on numerous indoor cycling workouts, had no issues with them being uncomfortable or even falling out of my ears. They're great.
In addition to being comfortable and genuinely one of the most interesting wireless earbuds I've tested, the UE Fits also sound pretty excellent. Ultimate Ears is a big player in the high-end IEM market, and it's clearly used integrated some of that acoustic expertise in the UE Fits. Each earbud is decked out with a 10mm dynamic driver that can deliver a frequency range between 20Hz and 20kH, and they support high resolution Bluetooth codecs (including AAC, AptX and SBC). There's also an adjustable equalizer integrated into the app in case you want to tweak sound settings.
I've been listening to some of the tracks on London Grammar's new album California Soil, and the UE Fits definitely highlight lead singer's Hannah Reid's super vocal range. The bass is decent, too, although I didn't get the same level of punch as with my normal Sony WF-1000XM3 or AirPods Pro. I do wish that they'd get a little louder, which is a complaint I have for a lot of wireless earbuds, because I love blasting music during my runs and workouts. Machine Gun Kelly
The fit, comfort and sound quality are the standout features of the UE Fits. But the UE Fits might not be for everybody. At around $250, they're definitely on the high-end of the market and are in direct competition with Apple's AirPods, Sony WF-1000XM3 and even the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. And unlike those other earbuds, the UE Fits lack a lot of premium features that you'd expect with high-end wireless earbuds.
The UE Fits don't have active noise-canceling or ambient sound modes — or any modes, to be fair. The charging case is nice, small and charges via USB-C, but it doesn't support wireless charging. And the earbuds don't have optical sensors that automatically play/pause music when you take them out of your ears, like AirPods. It's the little things, but they definitely add up.
I've been using the UE Fits for the last few weeks, and I love them because they fit in my ears so well. I truly cannot stress how wonderfully they fit. But with the premium price that brings none of the advanced tech features other bud's will get you, it is certainly a tradeoff.
If you can't find wireless earbuds that stay in your ears, which is most people's biggest issue in wireless earbuds, then the UE Fits are amazing — life-changing! But if already have wireless earbuds that fit great in your ears, the UE Fits could be hard sell.
The UE Fits are available now and they come in three different colors: black, grey and lilac. I tested them in black.