It's been a while guys… sorry about the lack of news and reviews lately but I'm trying to work on more stories in the near future.
As for some news, Ultimate Ears was acquired by Logitech so now add UE buds to the Logitech family of products when you're thinking about who to buy new earbuds from. They're still made the same way though, so no worries. They were kind enough to send me a pair of MetroFi 220's to take a look at.
At around $70 MSRP, these are the cheapest earbuds I have reviewed on this site. The question that remains is: Do these cheaper buds compare with Ultimate Ears' higher end single driver and multidriver earbuds? To answer that question I turned to my test tracks. These earbuds changed considerably between my first listen and around 20 hours after first listening. The first listen brought out low bass and a boring soundstage. In fact, they sounded worse than a set of Sony Fontopia MDX-ER51LP earbuds I got years ago. Luckily, after around 15-20 hours passed, the soundstage was widened and the bass response was tight and punchy. It might have been a little overwhelming eventually, so I equalized the bass down to what I felt were normal levels. The clarity of the buds is good. Not great, like with a multidriver unit, but still good for a single driver.
Was it as good as the UE StudioFi 4's or 5's? No, but the fit was more comfortable than the SF 4's, and the price was much less than the SF 5's. Overall, it's a reasonably priced for a good set of earbuds. You shouldn't be disappointed for the cost, but a better option might be the Etymotic ER-6i's which have a wider soundstage (but less comfortable fit), and the street price is about the same as for these. Still, if you can pick the MetroFi 220's up for under $60, they are probably the earbuds I would buy. I wish I could compare them to the Metro.fi 170's but I have no experience for them.
Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220 – 7.5/10
[Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220] – $79.99