Ultimate Ears’ latest earbuds fit like in-ear monitors

Ultimate Ears brought its expertise in in-ear monitors (IEMs) to true wireless earbuds in 2020 with the UE Fits, a line of headphones with fancy technology that adjusts the tips to your ears. Despite the interesting premise, the earbuds didn’t deliver many of the basics you’d expect from an audio accessory these days, namely subpar audio and limited features. The Logitech-owned brand is back with a new take on custom-fit buds, only this time the company is making the process more like you would order a set of IEMs with the UE Drops.

In fact, the main attraction of UE Drops is the custom fit, which is coordinated via the company’s FitKit. Once you place your order, Ultimate Ears will send you a FitKit, which the company says contains the “technology and information” to guide you through the process of taking your “ear impression.” More specifically, the kit shows you how to use an app to take impressions of your ears, just as you would if you ordered a set of the company’s CSX IEMs. A set of ear tips are molded to your ears using a heating process similar to the light and heat method for UE Fits, except this time they’re attached to a jig that you plug in. You then send back the impressions and your pair of UE Drops are built to those specifications. Expect to receive your pair approximately 2-4 weeks after the FitKit arrives at the factory.

Inside, 9.2mm drivers deliver sound that UE describes as “revered by music professionals and music lovers alike.” There’s no active noise-cancellation (ANC), but the custom-fitted tips should offer better passive noise isolation than most off-the-shelf earbuds. However, there is a transparency mode that allows you to adjust to your surroundings if necessary. Dual beamforming mics on the water- and sweat-resistant earbuds are there for calls, plus handy features like built-in controls, in-ear detection, and wireless charging.

Ultimate Ears says you can expect up to eight hours of battery life with an additional 14 hours in the case. A quick charge feature offers an hour of use in five minutes. You can check your battery status in the UE Drops app, where you can also choose between sound presets, manage connected devices, configure voice controls and more.

The UE Drops are available now in the US through the Ultimate Ears website for $449, meaning you’re paying a premium for that custom fit. The company states that the UE FitKit and UE Drops apps are available for both Android and iOS devices.

Gallery: UE Drops | 7 photos

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Russell Falcon

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