The MetroFi 220 Noise Isolating Earphones are a step up from the bottom of the line in the Ultimate Ears family and come in two versions: a standard MP3 player model for $79.99 and the iPhone-friendly 220vi, which includes an in-line mic and sells for $20 more.
Either set is a good buy for picky listeners who have a moderate amount of cash to spend on replacement headphones for their MP3 players, but buyers should be aware of potential fit and durability issues.
The earpieces of the MetroFi earphones are the first cause for concern, though they do have a hint of style with their opaque, blood red enclosures (which looks cool when the light shines through). Although the 'buds are quite small on the whole, we found the squat, completely round design did not let us get a secure or comfortable fit.
Descending from each earpiece is a thin, black cable that joins into a slightly thicker cord about a foot down; a slider here on the basic version (without mic) can help prevent some tangles when the earphones are not in use, though we still had some issues with that. Also, it's worth noting that the 220vi does not have this feature because of the mic midway up the right side (a call answer button is further down on the cord).
From the Y-junction, you get an additional 33 inches of cable that terminates in a gold-plated straight plug, which is thin enough to fit into recessed headphone jacks (such as that found on iPhone number one). However, both the straight plug and the thin, stiff, plastic-covered cable raise some concerns for durability.
It's a good idea to store the MetroFi 220 in the hard case provided in the package. Ultimate Ears also provides a variety of rubber eartips, which may or may not provide you with a good fit and proper seal.
The great thing about the MetroFi 220 earphones is that, if you can get a good fit, they provide great sound quality and solid noise isolation. Once you get a good seal, you'll be rewarded with nice, tight bass response that is enveloping without being overwhelming, warm mids, and a high-end response that is clear and detailed.


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