How often does your technology teach you something new about your body? I don’t usually find out something new, especially when it has to do with my ears and testing the best wireless headphones on the market, which is how I make most of my money these days. But today wasn’t like any other day.
The illuminating product, both in a literal and figurative sense, is UE’s Fits earbuds, which have been on the market in the US for a while but have only just arrived in the UK.
Ultimate Ears, which goes by the name UE, is a friendly Californian audio company that makes some of the best Bluetooth speakers we’ve ever tried.
The important thing to know about these earbuds is that they have to be custom-fitted, but they do all the fitting while you wait. You don’t need an audiologist, a two-part silicon kit, or to send off impressions.
You also can get your earpieces quickly. Remember how Avery’s custom ear tips were supposed to make your AirPods fit better? This is not like that at all.
Download the UE Fit app, take the earbuds out of their sterile-feeling packaging, put them in the case, and follow the on-screen instructions. It takes about three minutes to do the whole thing. And the results really surprised me.
It didn’t start out well. When I put the earbuds in my ears, the straightforward tips covering the whole driver’s housing were way too big for my ears. But the app told me I could hold them in place while the fitting magic happened.
This is the most interesting part. Even though the app tells you it’s about to happen, I bet you’ve never seen anything like it. You only get one chance at this, and the parts of the earpiece that rest in your ear warm up as you wear them. I could feel the thermoplastic moving, shrinking, caressing, and melding with the folds of my ears almost right away.
In the end, UE asks if you’d like to take a selfie. At that point, you notice that the lights are purple. Even though I usually wouldn’t say I liked the idea, I did it this time.
A lesson in physics: find the best fit and enjoy the benefits
It almost makes me sad to think that this heat-up dance will only be needed once in the lifetime of a pair of UE Fits.
It seems like a waste when you think about how much work must have gone into hiding those powerful heat elements inside the driver housings. As I decide if I want to buy them to retake the test for fun, I should mention that they’re sensitive to light, so UE says to keep them in their pill packet until you’re ready to use them. For $30, I’m likely to order more tips, which is possible and offered in case I did something wrong the first time.
I have yet to see this feature on anything I’ve tried before, not even the best truly wireless earbuds. I’m surprised that more hasn’t been saying about it.
If you let them, any audiophile will tell you that earbuds or in-ear monitors can only sound their best when a good seal is made between the ear tip and the ear canal. And this is exactly what happens.
Fontaines DC’s Bloomsday sounds especially angry, sad, brooding, and even dissonant and jagged. It’s a lesson in physics: if you get the fit right, you’ll get the benefits.
This isn’t a full review of the UE Fits (that will take time), but it’s worth mentioning that each earpiece has a single dynamic 10mm driver, that you can listen to music for up to eight hours straight on a single charge, and that you can play music for “over 20 hours” with extra power from the case which is enough time to listen the playlist with 21 Best Songs About Fake People.
You can play/pause music and answer calls directly from the earbuds, and you can use the UE FITS app to customize the earbud control buttons to use your voice assistant, skip tracks, or change the volume.
UE says that the earphones’ dual microphones are placed in a way that reduces wind noise and improves call clarity in any situation.
So far, I know that they fit so well that I never have to adjust them while I’m using them, which is unusual. OK, I’ll say it: I’m surprised at how strangely small and squashed my right custom tip looks compared to the nice oval one on the left.
This is not a complaint; I love how well they fit. I just… I had no idea that my right ear looks that bad on the inside. Anyway, no one can see it once it’s in my ear, right? Then it’s best to put them back.