Just over a year ago, I reviewed the UE 18+ CSX earbuds from Ultimate Ears. These were easily the best earbuds I’ve ever had the opportunity to evaluate. Each bud was equipped with six drivers, they convert between wired and wireless operation, and the shells are customizable. They were also completely customized—as in custom-molded for an absolutely perfect fit, with no ear tips or wings needed. But they also cost $1,499… However, the company soon leveraged the custom-molding technology to release the UE FITS. These are customized wireless earbuds at a practical price.
Lightform Custom Fitting Process
The UE FITS are unusual-looking earbuds. No attempt to look like AirPods here and no attempt to disguise the fact you’re wearing earbuds. I actually like the approach, but that’s a personal approach. The outer shell is offered in Eclipse (midnight blue), Dawn (lilac), or Cloud (gray). My review units were Cloud.
They also arrived sealed air-tight. The reason is the malleable covers for the technical innards. You slip the covers onto each earbud, insert the works in your ear, and follow the instructions on the app which walks you through ensuring they are optimally positioned. LEDs integrated into each of the buds begin to warm up the material so it conforms to the shape of your inner ear. Within about 60 seconds, the fully customized earbuds are cured.
It’s a little strange, it gets noticeably warm (but not hot), but it’s not an unpleasant process.
You now have a pair of true wireless earbuds that fit perfectly. Not really well, after trying out different combos of ear tips and wings. Perfectly. If you have trouble getting that a good fit with earbuds—as I do—this is a game-changer. A fit like this doesn’t just mean comfort and less risk of an earbud popping out, it also means you get a proper seal. That’s critical to audio performance, especially having decent bass. And it helps to keep background noise out.
The molding process is permanent and pretty foolproof. However, if you run into a problem (including needing larger or smaller covers), Ultimate Ears will send them to you within 30 days of purchase.
The buds have an IPX3 water resistance rating. They should be fine with a sweaty workout, but I would avoid the rain.
You are not going to get the detail, separation, sound stage, and accuracy that the UE 18+ CSX earbuds with their six drivers offer. These have a more standard 10mm dynamic driver setup. They use Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity, with support for SBC, AAC, and APT-X.
I found that music sounded energetic, with a nice bit of low-end boost. Think UE Boom-series portable Bluetooth speakers and you’ll have an idea of what to expect. The company describes it as “UE Signature” sound. It makes for a pretty enjoyable listen but isn’t exactly a flat, studio experience. You can tweak the performance with the app, using pre-sets or an EQ.
They are equipped with touch controls for key functions (customizable using the app) and microphones for voice calls. I’ve used the UE FITS as the microphone on video calls, and I’m told my voice came through quite clearly.
Excellent Battery Life
The UE FITS do better than average for true wireless earbuds with 8-hour battery life. That’s one advantage of the larger form factor. The charging case holds an additional 12-hours of capacity and delivers one hour of listening time with 10 minutes of charging. The case does not support wireless charging but does at least use USB-C.
UE FITS Recommendation
Making the case for UE FITS earbuds even stronger is the discounted price. When I first mentioned them a year ago, they were priced at $249. I thought that was pretty reasonable, all things considered. That price dropped to $199, which made them even more appealing, although they could be hard to find. At the time of writing, Ultimate Ears has them discounted to $179 on its website. Given that they have been sold out at various times during the past year, they are excellent earbuds—and everything else is going up in price, not down—I’d make a move on these quickly if you’re interested.
Disclosure: Ultimate Ears provided UE FITS earbuds for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.
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