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Ultimate Ears 2 headphones review: Ultimate Ears 2 headphones

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MSRP: $79.99

The Good The Ultimate Ears 2 earphones offer nice, balanced audio quality for a reasonable price. Includes a decent case and a two-year warranty.

The Bad The 2 earphones suffer from a ho-hum design and may not fit all users correctly, causing sound and comfort issues.

The Bottom Line The Ultimate Ears 2 earphones are a great value for the average listener who desires good sound quality with a balanced audio response, but the drab design and questionable fit could be an issue for some.

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7.5 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 9

Ultimate Ears has been a familiar name to musicians and other audio professionals for a decade, but the company has gained quite a following with its consumer line as well. Earphones in its,, and lines range in affordability and scale nicely, from discerning listeners to audiophiles. Falling in at the bottom is the $79 2, a rather standard-looking set that offers nicely balanced audio to go with its affordable price tag. Unfortunately, getting a secure and comfortable fit may be a challenge for some users.

There's nothing exciting about the look of the 2 earphones. Each earpiece is encased in hard, black plastic with some minor silver accenting. The cable, which starts in a Y that unites into a single cord about a foot down, measures about 45 inches from the 'buds to the straight, gold plug. It's long enough for most portable applications. A slider at the Y helps to prevent tangles during storage, for which Ultimate Ears includes a nice leatherette pouch with a Velcro flap. The package also contains four sets of silicone ear tips: small, medium, large, and double flange.

Ultimate Ears includes some basic accessories.

Despite the array of sleeves, we had some difficulty getting a secure and comfortable fit because of the large size of the earpiece apertures. It took some finagling to get a seal with the ear, which is necessary to enjoy the 2's sound-isolation capability. Even then, we found the noise-blocking ability to be inferior to that offered by the Shure SE line. Users with smaller ears may not be able to achieve a proper fit at all, so these earphones are best suited for those with average-size ears.

Once the fit issue is worked out, the Ultimate Ears 2 earphones offer solid audio quality. In general, music sounds even and balanced across ranges, making the 'buds a good choice for people who like to listen to a variety of genres. Bass is tight and present without muddying up the overall sound. Mids are warm and encompassing, and clarity is good. However, high-end detail doesn't quite shine, so if you're after shimmery acoustics and twinkly triangles, these won't cut the mustard. Given that you can find the 2s for less than $65 online, though, we still think they're a great value for the average listener.

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