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Polk UltraFit 3000 in-ear headphones review review: Polk's sporty UltraFit 3000 headphones have lots of pluses and a few minuses

MSRP: $99.95
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The Good The Polk UltraFit 3000 is a sports in-ear-canal model (with an around-the-ear bendable hook) that offers a sweatproof design, decent sound, and comes with a plethora of accessories, including multiple eartips and two swappable cords, including one that has an Apple-friendly remote with built-in microphone.

The Bad Not everybody will get a secure fit -- if you don't, bass response will be reduced and the earphones will sound thin.

The Bottom Line Since they won't fit everyone equally well, the Polk UltraFit 3000 headphones will seem great to some users and not so great to others.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7

Review Sections

Last year Polk Audio, which made a name for itself in the speaker world, announced a new line of UltraFit sports headphones. The line includes a mix of in-ear, on-ear, and in-ear-canal models that come in a variety of colors and range in price from $49.95 to $99.95.

While I'm a little tardy reviewing the higher-end UltraFit 3000 in-ear model, which is available in three colors (black/red, white/gray, and white/orange), the good news is the price on it has dropped to $79.99, making it a more attractive buy.

Design
When you open the packaging for the UltraFit 3000, the first thing you'll notice is that it comes with a plethora of accessories. You get a zippered, vented protective case, a 41-inch cable with an in-line, Apple-friendly remote (with built-in microphone), a 14-inch cable for those who run with a device in an armband, three pairs of StayFit silicone tips, two pairs of StayFit 3-flange silicone tips, three pairs of memory foam tips, and a 3.5mm-to-2.5mm adapter. Both the swappable cables are the flat, linguine-style cable that's designed to be tangle resistant (it does help).

The UltraFit 3000 comes in three colors. Sarah Tew/CNET

It's worth pointing out that since these are "made for iPhone" earphones, the remote features (and even the microphone in some cases) won't work with many Android models (and other smartphones). Like other such three-button remotes, you tap the pause/play button two times quickly to advance a track forward and three quick taps will skip a track back.

The UltraFit 3000s have a bendable "hook" integrated into their design that wraps around your ear, helping you get a pretty secure fit. Though I personally prefer sports earphones with hooks or wings that fit into the inside of your ear, I think Polk's exterior hook design -- Polk calls it SecureFit Support -- is pretty decent (yes, the UltraFit 3000s are sweatproof). That said, I do have a few caveats to report.

The earphones ship with lots of accessories. Sarah Tew/CNET

While the earphones themselves are lightweight, the connector piece that allows you to swap in (read: detach) the longer and shorter cords is a tad weighty and will flop around a little (at chest level). There's a clip included for securing the cord to a piece of clothing, but beware of losing it. Also, the top of the earphone's cord -- where it attaches to the loop -- can end up flopping around a bit against your ear as you run. Other small gripe: I thought the shorter cable for armband use could be an inch or two longer.

I also had a little trouble getting a really tight seal. I tried about every tip type included and got a fairly tight seal (I ended up using the medium silicon tips instead of the the foam ones that I usually prefer because the foam ones just didn't sit in my ear as well). For many people, especially for those who want to be able to let in a little bit of the outside world as they exercise, that won't be a deal breaker, but you will lose some bass if you don't get a really tight seal.

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