The Ultimate Ears FITS moulding ear-tips are a genuinely innovative piece of tech for those after a fit that’s tailored to their ears, but while they sound clear and detailed, they’re not the most dynamic and energetic of listens.
- Secure fit
- Clear, detailed audio
- Simple to use
- Lacks dynamism and excitement
- Somewhat expensive given the feature set
- Lightform technology Heats up gel-filled ear-tips to mould fit to your ears
- Bluetooth SBC, AAC and aptX audio
- UE Fits app Customise sound, controls and track battery life in app
For true wireless earphones, how an earbud fits has always been a prickly issue. With their first wireless earbuds, Ultimate Ears has come up with a novel way of resolving that issue once and for all.
These are buds that mould to your inner ear as a result of Ultimate Ears’ Lightform technology. It’s clever and innovative but actually not so new – the buds originally launched in the US in 2020, taking nearly two years for the Ultimate Ears Fits to reach people’s heads outside the US.
Has the wait been worth it? Here are my thoughts.
- Secure fit
- Gel ear-tips mould to your ear
The Ultimate Ears FITS feature gel ear-tips made from photopolymer and inside are embedded LEDs that heat and harden the gel to mould the ear-tips to your inner ear. The aim is to achieve a fit unique to you and block outside noises.
The sensation of the ear-tips getting warmer is like a bonfire about to start in your ears, but the process is safe and only takes sixty seconds. It’s an innovative piece of technology that does away with the concept of swapping between various ear-tips. After all, it should just fit.
There’s a worry you could hold the earphone at the wrong angle, and the noise isolating properties might not be as strong. If you find that is the case, there’s a 30-day money guarantee to fall back on.
I think it’d be helpful if there was an ear fit test in the app before beginning the ‘moulding’ process. Currently the app only gives you a bass sample, and while that’s the most obvious part of the frequency range affected by an unsecure fit, I reckon a more encompassing fit test might be better.
Regardless, the Ultimate Ears FITS fit like a glove. Discomfort isn’t a particular issue (though I must admit I can feel their presence whenever I wear them) and they give no impression they’d fall out; though I’ve found there’s a little bit of wiggle room in adjusting the fit, probably because I’ve forgotten the exact angle I put the earphones in at.
Its passive noise-isolating skills are solid, reducing the amount of ambient noise that gets through but not eliminating them altogether. There is still a fair amount of ambient sound, which the buds require a few jumps on the volume to get rid. Wearing them around the London Bridge area and they reduce most sounds, but heavy-duty noises (trucks going past) were still noticeable.
The default touch controls are on the part of the earbud that’s shaped like a pill, and they are simple to learn with a single tap for volume and play/pause a double tap. The controls can be a tad sensitive, brushing my finger past the earphones would sometimes unintentionally raise the volume.
That’s all you get for controls with the option to customise in the app – track skipping, and voice support are the other options to choose from, though Google Assistant is not natively supported but called upon through your phone. Water resistance is IPX3, enough to protect the buds from water sprayed at it from any direction.
Colours stretch from Eclipse (Midnight Blue), Cloud (Grey) and Dawn (Lilac), which are gentler options in person and a far cry from the two-tone colours of Ultimate Ears’ speaker range. The matching charging case is clamshell-shaped, the earbuds magnetically attaching to the cradle with a Bluetooth pairing button located inside and a USB-C port on the rear. Its smooth finish speaks to its overall quality, and the size and depth of the case makes it easily slip into a pocket.
- No noise-cancellation modes
- Battery life less than expected
- Decent enough call quality
There’s no ANC , nor a transparency mode, both of which are common features around the Ultimate Ears FITS asking price. That’s not to say that they should include ANC, but the convenience offered by similarly priced rivals, such as the Beats Fit Pro , Jabra Elite 7 Pro and LG UT90Q , might sway some away from the UE.
In fact, on the feature front the UE FITS is rather light. There’s an app, which guides the wearer through the moulding process, and within it is the ability to track battery life, customise the sound (through several presets and a five-band EQ), controls (which can be turned off), and of course start firmware updates.
There’s also the means to check your fit but it functions more as a questionnaire than a hearing test. If you find yourself unhappy with the fit, you can enlist the help of UE’s experts to judge whether you need a different size.
Bluetooth connectivity is version 5.0 , with support for SBC, AAC and aptX . I’ve found the wireless connection to be fine in most places, but it does come unstuck and wades into choppy waters whenever I venture into busy signal areas such as Waterloo station.
Battery life is rated at 8 hours with another 20 in the charging case (making for an uneven 28, or three-and-a-half charges). Having streamed an hour of a Spotify playlist to the Ultimate Ears FITS at around mid-volume, battery drain was 18%, and if it continued at that rate, that would put battery life at 5.5 hours, short of what Ultimate Ears claims. Fast charging brings an hour of listening from a 10-minute charge.
There’s voice support in that the Ultimate Ears FITS are compatible with Google Assistant and Siri, and there’s call quality performance to consider as well. The FITS are above average, good at picking up my voice clearly and silencing noise, but they struggle with lots of noise. The levels of suppression to counter-balance louder sounds suppress my voice too; the person on the other end said they couldn’t hear what I was saying at these moments.
There’s another version of the FITS in the Logitech G Fits , which have the same design and moulding ear-tip technology. But its primary audience is gamers, able to be connected to a range of gaming consoles, PC and Mac.
- Lacks dynamism
- Clear and spacious performance
- Not the most energetic bass performance
The Ultimate Ears FITS approach to the frequency is one that’s smooth, clear and – for the most part – solidly balanced. I don’t find bass to have quite as much punch or extension, but it’s not as if the low frequencies are ignored – they’re tastefully described.
The top end of the frequency is relayed with brightness, the midrange clearly communicated, though I hear traces of sibilance from time to time; perhaps a symptom of a slightly loose fit, but as it’s not always there I’ve come to suspect that certain genres (rap, hip-hop) and songs seem a little more sensitive, especially when listened outside.
I’d call the Ultimate Ears FITS consistent in their delivery; the sound acts like a blanket that covers all musical genres and describes them in similar terms. They’re not particularly dynamic, especially with the UE Signature preset, whether on broad scale or at a more minute level there’s not much of a progression up or down in chords or vocals that makes a notable impression.
Norah Jones’ voice during I Don’t Know Why hits a consistent level when really each verse should swing upwards in tone. There’s nevertheless a nice brightness to the piano in the track, a crisp sense of detail and clarity, but the lack of dynamism also means a lack of excitement. The song plays in front of you, but doesn’t necessarily engage or grip.
The Loudness EQ setting grabs hold of songs and makes its sense of dynamism more pronounced, widening the soundstage by a few notches. With Erick Sermon’s Music (feat. Marvin Gaye), the soundstage is broad, bass is decent if not the most thumpingly described and Sermon’s lyrics are perfectly clear. But while everything feels fine and neatly described, its steady and stately pace doesn’t draw out the energy from the bass to excite.
It’s a similar case with Simple Minds Don’t You (Forget About Me). Crisply detailed, sharp, and punchy percussive hits, and an agreeable sense of detail and clarity; but the earphones fashion a steady, rather workmanlike performance. More energy and drive would help lift the song from the well-meaning but safe area the Ultimate Ears FITS position themselves in.
Should you buy it?
For a fit tailored to your ears:
If you struggle with getting true wireless earbuds to fit, then the UE FITS novel approach might mean you’ll never need to buy another true wireless.
You want an exciting sound:
These are clear, spacious, and detailed sounding earbuds, but some more energy and dynamism would give them more personality.
The moulding ear-tips are the most distinctive attribute about the Ultimate Ears FITS, and they genuinely bring innovation to the true wireless market. But that’s about the only way they distinguish themselves from the true wireless bunch around £200 price point. Though they are a clear and detailed performer, there are other true wireless of similar and better quality at this price that are more of an exciting listen too.
The Ultimate Ears FITS are a solid true wireless pair, especially notable for its approach to fit and comfort, but some more excitement to its audio would have benefited it.
How we test
We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested over several weeks
Tested with real world use
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No, once they’ve been moulded the ear-tips can’t be remoulded after the fact. If there is a problem (as in the initial set-up was messed up), a new pair can be sent.
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