UBSOUND Fighter Review

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UBSOUND Fighter

Fighter In-Ear Earphone from Italy-based UBSOUND

MSRP: $49.00 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $49 from Amazon.com$68 from ebay.com; UK: £53 from Amazon UK; Italy: EUR 63 from Amazon.it; Germany: EUR 57 from Amazon.de
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 92 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ I-plug w/mic & 1-button remote
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down (preferred) or over-the-ear

Accessories (2/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and drawstring carrying pouch
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The Fighter is a lightweight, aluminum IEM with a flat cable. There is a mic and 1-button remote on the cable, and the earpieces and I-plug are properly relieved. The raised L/R markings on the strain reliefs are difficult to see in low light
Isolation (3/5) – Average for an earphone of this type
Microphonics (3/5) – Bothersome when worn cable-down; good over-the-ear
Comfort (4/5) – The housings are longer than we’ve seen with other earphones that share this sort of flared shape, such as the RHA MA350 and Dunu Trident, but are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. In smaller ears the outer diameter may be tricky to fit properly, but for most these should be just as comfortable as any other lightweight, straight-barrel IEM. Over-the-ear wear can be tricky because the flat cable lacks a cinch

Sound (7.6/10) – The UBSOUND Fighter is a bass-heavy in-ear earphone with a warm and smooth sound signature. The low end is well-extended, with a nice balance of sub-bass and mid-bass – exactly the kind of thing I like to hear from basshead IEMs. Control is also pretty good considering the bass quantity and mid-level price tag.

The midrange sounds somewhat recessed, as expected with this level of bass, and has only average clarity. A contributing factor on top of the dominant bass and midrange recession is an upper midrange dip. A dip like this is not uncommon among higher-end Balanced Armature-based earphones, as those often have detail and clarity to spare and just need to sound a little smoother, but it is not something often seen with bass-heavy dynamic-driver sets.

As a result, the Fighter has lower vocal intelligibility than similarly bass-heavy sets with a more v-shaped response – for instance the Brainwavz S1 – though there are many lower-end earphones that sound still muddier and more veiled through the midrange. The dip in the upper mid region has another effect – the Fighter sounds very smooth, which is most noticeable when comparing it to earphones that aren’t normally considered harsh, such as the Nuforce NE-700X. At higher volumes, its inherent smoothness can make the Fighter sound more natural despite sacrificing some clarity.

In fact, that’s the real asset of the Fighter – it is smooth and non-fatiguing even at high volumes, yet carries decent overall treble energy. The Fighter is far from the crispest, clearest-sounding IEM in its price range, but there are earphones with even warmer sound that – at reasonable listening volumes – tend to sound downright treble-deficient compared to the Fighter. The presentation of the Fighter, likewise, doesn’t have the greatest depth or air but is not small or overly congested.

Narmoo S1 ($45)

Compared to the NarMoo S1, an enhanced-bass earphone currently included in our Earphone Buyer’s Guide, the Fighter is similar only in the general sense of being quite bass-heavy. The S1 follows a more v-shaped sound signature with even punchier bass and brighter – but also harsher – treble. It is clearer and has a wider soundstage while the Fighter is smoother, which at times makes it sound more natural. The Fighter has more recessed mids, especially upper mids, and vocals sound less clear and intelligible as a result. However, it is much more forgiving of sibilance and maintains composure better at louder volumes.

Tekfusion Twinwoofers ($50)

The Twinwoofers from India-based Tekfusion are a better sound signature match for the Fighter than the NarMoo S1 but are not able to keep up with the UBSOUND in performance. The Twinwoofers have more bass, but also more bloat, sounding boomier as a result. The Fighter, while less bassy, is still quite impactful and has a similarly warm tone. Its mids are a little recessed compared to those of the Twinwoofers, but overall the Fighter is clearer, smoother, and more refined, making the Twinwoofers sound a little harsh in comparison. Overall, the Fighter is quite a bit better.

Beats by Dre Tour 2.0 ($150)

The second-generation Beats by Dre Tour is a respectable bass-heavy IEM, but does not have much of a performance advantage over the less expensive Fighter. The Tour is a little warmer overall thanks to a slightly larger mid-bass hump, whereas the Fighter is a little more balanced and neutral. The Fighter has better treble energy, yet is even less harsh and more forgiving than the Beats thanks to its upper midrange dip. The tuning is a two-sided sword, however, as the Fighter is also less clear as a result of that same dip. Overall, I ended up preferring the Beats at low-to-medium volumes but at highest volumes the smoother nature of the Fighter was a strong asset, allowing it to remain more natural-sounding.

Value (8/10) – The UBSOUND Fighter is a unique-looking, lightweight, surprisingly comfortable earphone with the caveat of a slightly microphonic flat cable. The performance of the earphones hinges on plentiful bass – not unusual in this price range – but sets itself apart with a smooth (perhaps even smoothed-over) sound courtesy of a recessed upper midrange. It is not a hallmark of balance and accuracy, but it was nearly impossible to extract any sort of harshness from the earphones, and just for that it’s likely to be a great match for many bass-loving listeners.

Pros: Bass-heavy and extremely smooth sound; lightweight and comfortable
Cons: Upper midrange dip leads to mediocre clarity; can be microphonic when worn cable-down; packaging and accessories pretty basic for the price


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

26 Comments

  1. Frank Verry on

    Hi there.
    I read the rewiew and love it, congrats Joker.
    I’ve got these IEMs since 2 months ago and I use a Sansa Clip+ while playback. I compared your deep review with my personal feeling about these Fighter. Let’s say I almost agree with your feeling, a part the acoustic signature which is, at least from my device and with my dance music, more v-shaped I think than bass-heavy as you wrote. Yep, warm and v-shaped after a running period of 40 hours roughly. Do you think this could be tied with my diffetent device used for the test, or with different music? For example, I found the Beats IEMs and the Vsonic GR07 both really more bass-heavy at all than the Fighter signature indeed. Go well bye

  2. James D on

    Dear THL, praise for the outstanding review!
    I bought the aluminum IEMs Ubsound Fighter 3 weeks ago. Just finished the running period of 15 hours.
    Very happy about their perfect soundstage: a bit v-shaped, great, rounded and full bass freq, warm and rich in details mids freq even though a bit behind, clean and balanced highs freq. Quite surprise for these performance compared to their price of 64$. Also the building quality is high, good materials, aluminum, double painting body, comfortable soft flat tangle-free wire, 3,5mm gold plated connector.
    I use the iBasso dx50 dap for the playback and I’ve done a brief comparison with the IEM Ostry KC06A whilst listening electronic & dance music: no way guys, the Fighter are defintelly better than KC06A… the Figher have a better frontstage, great bass and I would say, in other words, that the Fighter are really “omnivorous” in terms of adaptability to any kind of music, with an honest sound scene.
    A bit stingy regarding the accessories as Joker said, with just a velvet bag and 3 pairs of tips (s,m,l size) included in the packaging… however I think this lack are compensated with their great acoustic performance anyway. Congrats being an Italian new brand.
    Go well guys
    James

  3. The one and only PaBob on

    I’ve had many different earphones in the past but Fighter Earphones are clearly the best. The sound quality is brilliant and they are also very attractive. My compliments to the company!

  4. JamesTikal on

    Hello THL staff and happy new year. Nice review!
    Just few words to say I bought these aluminum iems Fighter by Ubsound (66$ from an Ebay offer) and very happy about their sound performances, with advanced and detailed highs, really warm mids and deeply full bass. Yep, quite vshaped indeed but with clear mids frequences at the same time. I’m satisfied about their acoustic scene, using them with Fiio X5 and still under running period (the user guide says 15 hours and I’ve already done around 5hs of playback). I’ve also just bought online the new iPhone 6+ (which should be delivered next week) then still have to test them with it.. Well, I read on many technical articles and reviews that it seems these iems work perfecltly with iPhone 6+. Did anyone try the Fighter with the 6+? Any feedback please? Obviously the sound scene won’t be the same as the X5, but I was thinking about remote control topics, etc. I’ll keep you posted.
    Thanks, bye.

    • William on

      Hi James, yes they do. At least I tried the Fighter with the iphone 6 and everything is fine, then I presume those iems work with the 6 plus series as well. Cheers W
      PS. Hi Joker, did you try the iems Fighter with the iPhone 6 plus too whilst your review?

      • ljokerl on

        The iPhone 6 doesn’t sound any different from the 5 to me and functionally it should work fine with the Fighter. The Fighter is not revealing or resolving enough to really benefit from a better audio player anyway.

        • William on

          cheers
          W

  5. Syara on

    Finally a decent in-depth review in English! I work in Italy and have heard a lot about these earphones, but, I’m not too good with written (and technical) Italian terms yet and there are many reviews, all in Italian 🙂

    I think I’m gonna go for them, I really like the colours, especially the light blue. I’m more interested in how they sound rather than what’s in the box and judging by your review they’ll suite my style perfectly.

    Seeya!

  6. Casi on

    I bought the FIGHTER earphones and i loved them right away, the sound is fantastic and the design is young and classy. Excellent earphones, i’ll buy the SMARTER earphones too very soon.

  7. Alexia on

    The sound is awesome, i really love them! 🙂 they look great with anything. I use them a lot and thet work really well 🙂 really easy to purchase too!

  8. DMS on

    I bought the UBSOUND fighter earphones and love them. Excellent sound and extremely comfortable. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  9. William on

    Dear TheHeadphoneList team, a fast question:
    are you going to review the new IEM Ubsound Smarter too? I’ve seen that the IEMs Smarter have an MSRP of 39$, instead of the Fighter series at 69$ (eventhough you can find them already at 57$ on Ebay).
    This is the IEM unboxing video received by a Ubsound newsletter: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KoN79Ep4jfo
    Also, in this case, may you please compare the new Ubsound Smarter with Xiaomi Pistons? I’d like to know an authoritative feedback from your team about their respective sound signature & build quality before to buy them. Thanks as always for your kind efforts. Cheers W.

    • ljokerl on

      I’m not familiar with that earphone. If I do end up reviewing it, it won’t be in the near future.

      • William on

        ok, thanks anyway.
        Cheers W.

    • LupinTech on

      Hello, I bought the IEM Smarter series as well 3 weeks ago.
      I’m happy about their sound signature, which is a bit less v-shaped compared to the Fighter series imho. The Smarter are very very light.. although they have a 10mm dynamic driver. The asymetric flat tangle-free wire is robust and really comfortable, as you can put it behind the neck whilst working or doing sport. The current price is around 38$ on ebay. bye

  10. Juanjo Ventures on

    Hello Mr. Joker, first of all congrats for the amazing review!
    Since the very beginning I was a bit affraid as I didn’t know about this new unknown Italian brand, ’til one month ago when a friend suggested to try these earphones Fighter aluminum as he knows I like a v-shaped acoustic signature.. therefore I bought them on amazon Spain at 56€ during a black friday (aluminum blue color). Well, I’ve just finished the burn-in phase of 30 hours (although the manufacturer’s user guide reccomends just 15 hours of running period): I can say that I’m 100% satisfied of this iem. I think the Fighter is a bit v-shaped, with detailed and clear Highs frequences, robust and deep Bass frequences and warm Mids frequences which are, indeed, a little bit behind. I use them with the new iPhone 6 and with iBasso dx-50. The Fighter sounds good with both devices honestly, which means (imho) this iem doesn’t necessary need to be amplified.. like for example other similar iems of my private collection Ostry Kc06a, Zero Audio Carbo Tenore, Philips Fidelio S2, Vsonic GR07, etc.. Since the first instant the Fighter gave me a great soundstage, warm and honest in details.. then ok, obviously with the iBasso dap the sound is better in terms of volume, details and bass, but as I said, even with a smartphone it works well enough.
    My personal score (compared to its price) is almost near to Joker, well, maybe more generous on a sound perspective.. So:
    Sound scene: 9/10
    Materials & build quality: 8/10
    Isolation & soundproofing (even in the subway): 9/10
    Design & style: 10/10
    Comfort & details like the Flat Wire & 3,5mm goldplated jack: 9/10
    Specific bass frequences playback: 10/10
    Packaging & accessories: 3/10
    Total value in average: 8,3/10
    However, Joker has an undisputed huge and deeper experience compared to me.. this is just my personal feeling.
    Cheers and thanks for all the reviews you kindly share on your great webzine.

    • BestDj81 on

      These same things can be read on Italian forums: nice to see that the same kind of people are also in Spain.

      • Giorgio09 on

        Bestdj.. and all around the world hopefully 🙂
        Hey cobber, you’ve been already banned from all the Italian forums, blogs and webzines, so please don’t start with trolling & flaming even on this amazing serious forum which is TheHeadphoneList…
        Honestly we’re done with these mess in Italy…
        Take care and have a very merry Christmas.

    • LupinTech on

      Yep… great IEMs these Ubsound Fighter indeed. I like them too. Eventhough I paid them more 5 months ago, they are now available on ebay at 58$…
      Congrats for the review ljokerl
      bye

  11. getclikinagas on

    Nice review ljokerl.

    Their price is above the “don’t need to think twice” margin. But, it does have that treble that can set it apart.
    How do these compare to the similarly priced vPulse?

    PS: Psst.. don’t these look incredibly similar to Maxell’s hybrid IEM DBA-700?

    • ljokerl on

      Interesting, looks like the same housings as the Maxell. No hybrid driver setup here, though, as far as I know.

      The low end of the vPulse is a little more biased toward sub-bass and overall it has a more conventional sound sig with the “slight v-shape” sound that’s common with bass-heavy IEMs. As with the Twinwoofer, it’s going to be easier to get harsh sound out of the vPulse than the Fighter, especially at higher volumes. And yeah, they can definitely be considered competitors – bass-heavy sound, flat cables, colorful design, inline remotes, etc.

    • William on

      Hi getclikinagas, thanks for your precious feed.
      Concerning the sound: I checked them for around 3 months with several devices like smartphones and the Fiio X5. I really love their acoustic signature, which is imho, very v-shaped, with full, deep and textured bass, clear and detailed highs, and warm mids a bit behind, which give you an exelent 3d effect and a great soundstage. The bass frequency doesn’t cover the other frequences. I think that, compared to their price of around 69$, it is a nice IEM.
      Concerning your “psst” dor the design: I heard & read altrady about other similar iems, and I think that basically the design intended as the inside acoustic engeneering & indipendent driver is 100% Italian, but then they used a pubblic free mould (chassis) which is a cone/bell, like the dunu dn-12 for instance as their engeneers needed a larger virtual external room in order to generate a deeper bass and a great sound performance. This is what I understood at least. Even though, deeply looking the pictures online and the real product I’ve in my hands, there are many differences, like a double layer of painting and the external iron circle is completelly different, more rounded compared to other similar iems.. and also the size, where the Fighter are letteraly bigger than the others.
      Thanks anyway for your kind reply.. and thanks to Joker again for this review. Cheers mate

      • getclikinagas on

        Hi William, Thanks for sharing your impressions. I hope Ubsound will keep creating great products.
        I’m glad you love them. Happy listening!

  12. William on

    Dear Theheadphonelist team, a great review… very detailed as Always.
    I have these IEMs and I love them, so I’m in line with your positive opinion.
    Cheers

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