UE Drops Custom Fit Wireless Earphones: Review


Ultimate Ears have been within the customized IEM house for a few years, and one measure of their success and experience are the handfuls of artists who fill stadiums and arenas across the globe who use their merchandise. Their common and customized wired IEMs begin at $550 for the UE 5 Pro and prime out at $2,300 for the UE Live; which makes their merchandise a high-end and costly possibility for most individuals.

On the buyer aspect, they haven’t had a robust lineup within the wi-fi class — till now. The UE Fit have been launched a couple of years in the past as a “custom” mannequin the place customers may type the polymer TWS earbud to their ears post-purchase. It was akin to going to the the Audiologist and having them squirt the fabric into your ear and ready quarter-hour for the compound to harden. You walked out the door listening to your TWS IEMs.

The UE Fit retailed for $340 USD and achieved a modest stage of success out there; the knock towards them was that their sonic efficiency was solely marginally higher than quite a few different common IEMs out there on the similar worth.

The UE Drops TWS IEMs are a really completely different sort of product and in contrast to something within the class thus far.

As we have been establishing the eCoustics sales space at T.H.E. Show in June, the parents from Ultimate Ears have been constructing out their present house within the adjoining sales space and we walked over to have a look. UE had introduced their moveable infrared laser unit with them which they use to create a mannequin of your inside ear which may be saved as a file for later use.

After listening to quite a few UE fashions this 12 months, I made a decision to take the bait on the present and had my ear scanned. Three weeks later, a pair of UE Live IEMs arrived they usually have confirmed to be price each cent. They weren’t a cheap funding however IEMs are my main manner of listening to music and I carry a DAP or smartphone with Dongle DAC with me all over the place once I journey.

What does this should do with the UE Drops? While ready for my pair of UE Live to be manufactured and shipped, the corporate reached out to see if we wished to overview the UE Drop; provide chain and manufacturing points have left these in scant provide and it took nearly 6 weeks for the Sapphire gems to reach.

How EU Drops Work

The UE Drops retail for $449 in a really aggressive class with some very spectacular merchandise from Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, and Master & Dynamic. Being good or providing a customized match shouldn’t be almost sufficient as factors of differentiation.

UE didn’t incorporate ANC expertise into the earpieces themselves and listeners should depend on the app for that. The customized match supplies glorious passive isolation however that doesn’t inform the whole story.

UE Drops Custom Fit Wireless Earphones in Charging Case Rose Quartz


Connection kind Wireless
Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
Battery Life 8 hours stream time (6 hours in transparency mode) +14 hours cradle = 22 hours complete – 4h HFP (voice name) time
Quick Charge 5 minutes of cost = 1 hour play time
Supported Codec SBC
Max Sound Pressure 110db at 500 Hz
Wireless Charge Wireless charging case – Qi commonplace
Tips Custom handcrafted ideas made with FitPackage specs
Cable USB-C charging case
UE Drops IEM Colors

The Skinny

The industrial design is barely understated with the outer shell that includes 3 end choices; Rose Quarts, Onyx, and Sapphire Blue. The inside shell is obvious giving customers a somewhat good take a look at the inner elements. I selected the Rose Quartz which gives a slight trace of purple and doesn’t look garish in any respect. More than a couple of individuals have requested me the place I bought the UE Drops so it could seem that they made the proper coloration choices out there.

There are separate microphones on the highest and backside of every earbud which carried out very nicely with telephone calls. The inside elements are housed in a glass-like shell which homes the one 9.2mm dynamic driver.

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UE Drops Custom Fit Wireless IEM

All of the electronics aside from the sound tube are mass produced; which is how UE are capable of supply a “custom” shell for every proprietor and maintain the price at $449 USD.

The rationale for this was to maintain the value of the UE Drops on the similar stage as most mid-tier premium IEMs; you may definitely spend much more on customized single dynamic driver IEMs in 2022 and we predict that makes the UE Drops a somewhat reasonably priced possibility throughout the class.

The IPX4 ranking permits utilizing the UE Drops on the health club or when exercising outside; however they won’t survive publicity to an intense downpour or the washer check.

One extra good thing about the customized match is that they don’t require adjustment as soon as inserted and I seen on my walks in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula which might expertise some lower than preferrred climate, the seal created by the customized match earpieces did maintain moisture out.

The charging case is on the bigger aspect and delivers two full expenses to the earbuds for a complete of just about 24 hours of playback time at reasonable listening ranges. Over the previous few weeks, I’ve put greater than 100 hours of listening time on the UE Drops and the battery efficiency has remained constant.

The measurement of the case could be a difficulty for individuals who get pleasure from sporting skinny pants however it was effective in a pair of cargo shorts or jacket pocket. The UE Drops are definitely bigger than the standard TWS earbuds which is why the case has barely extra girth.

UE embrace the earbuds, charging case, USB Type-C to USB Type-C charging cable, and a cleansing material and tip cleaner within the package deal.

The management app lets you customise the entire operational faucets, use the pre-set EQ settings, monitor the battery ranges for each earpieces and the charging case, and switch the “Transparency” mode on/off.

Transparency mode isn’t marketed as an precise ANC setting, however it does can help you hear exterior noise like vehicles and conversations somewhat clearly.

Not having energetic noise cancelling may appear to be an enormous detrimental, however the passive noise isolation is somewhat efficient and I managed to make use of the Drops on flights and never really feel that I used to be actually listening to that a lot exterior noise whereas listening to music.

Call Quality

Apple has completed a remarkably good job with the decision high quality of the AirPods and it’s definitely a benchmark that each different producer wishes to hit. The UE Drops proved to be one of many higher TWS earbuds that I’ve tried thus far with regards to name intelligibility and stability. The imaging is lifeless middle and voice readability was fairly respectable in some somewhat distant areas. We even used the UE Drops throughout a latest eCoustics podcast and had no points with sign energy or sound high quality.

UE Drops Custom Fit Wireless Earphones Rose Quartz Pair


My first inclination was to match the UE Drops to the UE Live IEMs, however the worth distinction between the 2 makes the comparability somewhat foolish; customers searching for $400 TWS earbuds are usually not the identical kind of buyer shopping for a pair of $2,300 IEMs.

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That being stated, the UE Drops do supply a style of the UE Live’s reference high quality readability and presentation; the dearer UE Live ship a extra linear sounding tonal steadiness with higher element retrieval and prime finish extension.

The bass efficiency of the UE Live can be somewhat completely different; leaner, quicker, and definitely higher outlined. The affect is there however it doesn’t lengthen as far down as I’d have most popular and it lacks a few of the richness that the UE Drops definitely ship.

The UE Drops have a thicker presentation within the bass vary however it by no means feels too unfastened or wooly; listening to some my favourite Big Head Todd & The Monsters tracks revealed that the Drops strike the proper steadiness between affect, texture, and readability within the vary.

With a single dynamic driver, the tuning must be very balanced or one a part of the vary can overwhelm the remainder of the music — UE have completed a outstanding job in that regard as a result of the Drops actually retain that readability and affect from the sub bass up into the higher bass.

The midrange is splendidly clear sounding however there’s a slight dip that got here throughout as sounding considerably hole with some recordings. Some might confuse that as being ethereal in its presentation, however we actually assume the midrange dip is stripping away some texture and physique that can rob vocals of a level of heat that some may actually need to hear. That received’t be the case with each recording however it was definitely noticeable to us.

UE has a “house” sound and most of its IEMs supply glorious element retrieval and readability; some may name that “accuracy” however I’d demur considerably with that characterization. The UE Drops are usually not fully linear with their tonal steadiness and presentation; the low finish has some added richness and the highest finish has some extra vitality and airiness that makes them simply energetic sufficient to maintain your consideration.

The treble strikes the proper steadiness and that further diploma of presence helps create a extra spacious sounding soundstage. Stereo separation is great and the imaging was surprisingly correct permitting one to put every performer on the stage within the right place.

UE Drops Custom Fit Wireless IEM Rose Quartz


$450 is some huge cash for a pair of TWS earbuds that don’t really supply ANC expertise. From that perspective, they don’t seem to be an important deal in comparison with the Sony WF-1000XM4 TWS earphones that supply state-of-the-art noise cancelling and above common sound high quality.

The app doesn’t actually supply a variety of options and the case is somewhat massive making it one thing you aren’t going to hold in your shirt pocket or a decent pair of pants.

Where the UE Drops actually shine is the mixture of the very best match and seal and excellent sound high quality.

The battery efficiency is greater than acceptable and the power to cost these wirelessly is a further bonus.

If you might be prepared to depend on the customized match which creates glorious passive isolation, the UE Drops are the most effective “noise cancelling” wi-fi earbuds we’ve tried in 2022.

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Where to purchase: $449 at custom.ultimateears.com (out there in 3 colours)

Related Reading:

Best True Wireless Earphones of 2022

Best Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-ear Headphones of 2022

UE 5 Pro Review: Affordable Custom Fit Wired IEMs


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