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Ultimate Ears announces new wallet-friendly earphones, iPhone-compatible models

Ultimate Ears to release new, affordable MetroFi line-up, including the MetroFi 170 and MetroFi 220. Also, a smartphone-friendly version of the 10 is available now.

The $59.99 UE MetroFi 170vi are smartphone compatible. Ultimate Ears

In what can only be considered a wise move in the current economic climate, Ultimate Ears is expanding its line of noise-isolating earphones to include a $49.99 pair, the MetroFi 170, and a $79.99 pair, the MetroFi 220. The new earbuds will replace the MetroFi 2, which were previously UE's cheapest set at $80. The company is also offering smartphone-compatible models with microphones built into the cables. These versions, the MetroFi 170vi and the MetroFi220vi, will sell for $59.99 and $89.99, respectively. I'd say that 10-buck increase for call-answering capability is as easy to swallow as the new, more-affordable entry price point.

The new MetroFi earphones come with a variety of silicone ear tips that reportedly offer 16 decibels of noise isolation. The earbud enclosures offer a metallic sheen, with the right ear piece featuring a slight red tone to distinguish it from the left. Inside each piece is a titanium-coated speaker driver tuned to deliver a crisp sound signature. Ultimate Ears also includes a hard plastic case--much like the one packaged with the Loud Enough earphones. All models are expected to be available in February.

The company also announced an iPhone-compatible version of its 10 earphones, the 10vi. All major details are the same, except that the new model includes an inline mic. It retails for $419.99 and is available now.