Headphone companies put a lot of effort into developing forms of headphones that provide most users with the most comfortable fit. Everyone’s ears are unique, so even the best efforts do not provide optimal wear for everyone. Nevertheless, companies continue to extract data in search of perfection. Jabra, for example, has a lot of information thanks to the parent company GN and its experience with hearing aids. Ultimate Ears is another company with heaps of research on ear shapes thanks to its years of experience in manufacturing custom in-ear monitors (IEMs) professional musicians. The company has put this knowledge into a pair of true wireless headphones that use Lightform Tech to heat and shape the earplugs on your ears. As the name suggests, the perfect shape is the main goal that corresponds to US.
The Technology that integrates Ultimate Ears into The EU to quickly shape it for you is the main attraction here, so I’m going right there. The company has developed a Lightform system that uses LEDs to heat flexible earplugs during the initial installation process. A companion app will guide you through the process, including when you gently press the buds in your ears as you warm up. The whole thing lasts about a minute, during which you feel a little heat stroke, but nothing that I would describe as “hot”.”The outside is still soft, but the inside is noticeably firmer.
After the gel-filled tips are formed, they are fixed forever. You can’t repeat the process if you think you messed up. The app provides a Fit test to make sure you’ve got it right, but it’s only after you’ve trained them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t verify my work as this function is still being created. But because of the shape of the tips, you really have to try to spoil this. The only problem I could see is if you haven’t fully inserted them into your ear before you start. Nevertheless, it would be great if Ultimate Ears gave you a software-based adjustment guide before you got past the Point of no Return. The company plans to offer additional earplugs as a separate purchase, but there is no word on how much they will cost. If you are not satisfied with the fit of the first pair, you will receive a replacement kit.
The UE adjustments are very comfortable. Because of the design of the headphones, you never feel like you have something in your ear canals – even if you do it for sure. The fit is safe, but it’s not tight, so I had no problem wearing it for hours. The normal discomfort I feel after 30-45 minutes is not a thing here, so Ultimate Ears succeeded at least with the Custom Fit part of the program.
Ultimate Ears is not the first company to adopt special-shaped headphones. Revols has developed a heating process to adapt the flexible gel tips to the shape of your ears. The main difference was that they were not really wireless, but the connected wireless style. Ultimate Ears parent company Logitech acquired Revols in 2018 and a joint effort led to the development of EU fit Tech. There are also easier plugs on Custom Fit. Decibullz, for example, sells wired and true wireless buds with headphones that you heat in water before putting them in your ear. The traditional ear tip is still used here, but there is an external stabilization component that fits your ear for a better fit.
To make room for light-based technology, Ultimate Ears had to develop a different shape of earphone for UE adjustments. Most buds have a nozzle that enters your ear canal. Silicone or foam tips slide over it to provide the best sealing possible. Since the Gel on the ear needs space to move, these headphones do not have this nozzle. There is a small bend of components that point to your channel, but all The electronics are just outside. This includes LED lights that power the adaptation process.
The earplugs for UE fits are larger than normal and offer both a custom fit and sufficient protection for the inner parts. Outside, a pill-shaped panel houses touch controls, microphones, and powered ports. This design element also helps you maintain The UE fit without sinking it painfully into your ears. Most headphones are just flat or oval circles on the outside, which makes them quite unique. And most importantly, form follows function.
Touch controls are limited to one double tap on each side or two options in total. By default, you are set to Play / Pause for both headphones, but you can adjust these actions for other things. Choices are limited to next track, previous track, volume, volume, and voice assistant. Yes, the track and volume controls are separate, so if you want both of one of them, you just use the two available slots. Also, there is no Automatic Pause when you remove one of the buds from your ears, so you will probably want this Option on one side. Although these onboard options are very limited, at least Ultimate Ears gives you the ability to assign them as you wish.
UE-Fits headphones are larger than many current True Wireless models. They stick out of their ears a little, and their design is more antennas-like the Bluetooth headset Bose and Sony have disappeared. Ultimate Ears also doesn’t offer much moisture protection. The EU connectors are IPX3 certified, which The company says makes the headphones sweat-resistant, but no matter what, they miss the more rugged IPX6 or IPX7 ratings that withstand high-pressure jets or total immersion.
Fortunately, the extra mass did not give rise to a larger load cover. Ultimate Ears kept it compact enough to fit easily in a small pocket. Both the cover and the headphones have their own battery and powered indicator, so you don’t have to wonder what information you get at any given time. There’s also a dedicated pairing button in the matter and a USB-C port on the back when it’s time to plug in.