For quite some time now I have been having terrible trouble finding an earplug that really fits my strangely small ear canals. In fact, I asked my colleagues for a solution to this problem just this week. So I admit that my ears went up when I got wind of an upcoming earplug from Ultimate Ears, which claims to “shape itself perfectly to the individual ears in less than a minute.”
I admit that the process by which the real wireless buds, appropriately named UE fits, in fact, this pulls sounds pretty wild. Using an accompanying app, the earplugs use gel-filled tips with embedded LED lights to map the contours of your ears before hardening to the perfect shape – all in less than a minute. Ultimate Ears claims that this fitting system creates a comfortable fit “free from pressure, pain or irritation, even after prolonged use.”
The outside of the earplug, meanwhile, is a pill-shaped capsule just over an inch in length that comes in a light gray, purple and a deep navy blue. Because of the way they look, Ultimate Ears says they are capable of blocking ambient noise. On their own, they provide up to eight hours of listening on a single charge, but they last up to 20 hours with extra juice from their USB-C charging case. And the company says they get a Bluetooth signal up to about 50 feet.
They are sweatyproof and water-repellent, which is nice if you’re the kind of person who wears earplugs while exercising (and their fit should in theory also be ideal for this). ONEs on-bid control allows you to start and stop music as well as answer calls from the earbuds yourself. But Ultimate Ears says its companion app allows customization of buttons for things like voice assistant support and skip tracks. UE Fits are currently available for preorder and ship later in the fall.
Unfortunately, these custom knobs do not come super cheap: they sell for $ 249, so they are on par with Apple’s AirPods Pro. But maybe – just maybe! – this will be the wireless solution for my long standing earphones. And hell, I’m trying something at this point.