Ultimate Ears Metro.fi 2 headphones
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 Metro.fi, Super.fi, and Triple.fi lines range in affordability and scale nicely, from discerning listeners to audiophiles. Falling in at the bottom is the $79 Metro.fi 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 Metro.fi 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.
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 Metro.fi 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 Metro.fi 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 Metro.fi 2s for less than $65 online, though, we still think they're a great value for the average listener.