Ultimate Ears 100 Headphones Review – Design, Sharpness, and Comfort. Where’s the amazing sound quality?
Since I got my new iPod this September, I’ve had a brand new pair of pristine Apple headphones wrapped up sitting in the box: never used em’, haven’t planned on doing so. They’re not that bad, but seriously. Who wants to pay $30 for a semi-good pair of headphones when you can pay ten dollars less and get a much better pair from one of the best headphone providers?
I opened the Ultimate Ears 100 on Friday to find a perfect pair of sugar-to-the-eye earbuds wrapped up comfortably in a small and well packaged box. Oh the joy! The first thing that hit my eyes, was the bursting colors that the headphones were constituted of. The green design on the back just looks great. Not just the ones that were sent to me have this, but the 100s are also available in multiple other colors which you can see at the sidebar to the left of this link.
The first thing you notice about the headphones apart from the super cool, totally awesome colors is the nice packaging. It’s not thrown into a box simply wrapped together with a piece of tape like the Apple headphones. Nope. Whoever designed the box meant business and wanted the earbuds to have a strong first impression on the person that would be enjoying them. In this case, me. And trust me, the box had a great impression on me. The headphones along with the 6 included inter-changeable buds were all packaged to perfection and with style that made me start liking the earbuds right away.
Again, the design is just straightforward awesome. On the plastic part backing the two actual earbuds is a cool little abstract design that apparently represents cells. This design is green on left bud, while being white on the other thus giving the headphones a slight contrast making them look even better. The plastic sides are a slick/metallic black that reflect light and don’t look too rough. Instead they look smooth. The only downside here, is that you can see the edge between the main body of the plastic to the back which shows they were attached. Similarly, you can feel it and I’d rather have it all in one piece – it doesn’t take away much from the headphones though.
The actual headphones are extremely light to hold. They feel extremely light in your hands, aren’t too bulky, and can easily be wrapped up and stored in a pocket or handbag. However, if you want to keep your headphones extremely safe with a carrying case, you’ve got to buy a separate one as the headphone do not come included with one which isn’t too bad considering the significantly low price tag of $19.99. However, they do come along with 6 solid bright green earbuds on the side plus the two already attached which adds up to 4 different sizes so there’s no worry about whether the earbuds will fit or not, and if you are sharing one end with a friend you can adjust the bud to their likings. You simply pull one out to reveal the small, cylindrical speaker part and hook another one in the same place and you’re done.
Since there’s no carrying case that you’ll receive with the headphones, I do like the fact that the cable is pretty thick compared to other headphones. You can easily prevent the headphones from getting tangled when stowed away in your pocket, and the thick wire means it’s less vulnerable to snapping and tearing. The cable is also very long, and it has a built in microphone on it which works quite well.
When in your ears, the earbuds feel smooth against your ears with discomfort not being even a small issue. The cushion-like characteristic of the bud is very comfortable and I can keep the headphones in my ears for a long amount of time before feeling any pain at all. On top of that, the earphones block off much of the surrounding sound around you so listening to your music is soothing with no interruptions.
Now, down to the real core stuff. How good is the sound quality that the headphones produce? I’d expected a crystal-clear soundtrack that felt like the artist was standing right in front of me the first time I plugged in the headphones, as I also own the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 5vi (review here) which had pleased me tons. Though I had my fingers crossed my wishes weren’t fully satisfied. Though the headphones provide a great experience, the music is somewhat rough and didn’t make me want to jam out as did the SuperFi 5vis. The good part is that the roughness is just a slight little issue. The quality wasn’t completely awesome, but didn’t stray too far from it at all.
I’ve tried an appreciable amount of headphones, and have to say that for such a low price tag the Ultimate Ears 100s were the absolute best. The contrasting and very approachable color theme, the ample wire, and the sufficing sound quality was enough to make these headphones another favorite. Ultimate Ears have cranked out yet another great pair of headphones adding to their already awesome collection, and I have to say that they’re a prized addition to my collection. If the allure is too great for you, but you’re hesitant, don’t be. They’re only $19.99, so you’ve got really nothing to lose!
PROS: Sugar for the eyes design: Multiple earbuds included: Long, sturdy cable: Very comfortable when in ears: Noise cancellation works accurately and blocks out excessive noise: Extremely affordable and low price
CONS: Annoying crack on back of each plastic part of earbud: Not crystal-clear, “rich” sound quality though not horrible