Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220 / 220vi Review

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Reviewed Nov 2009

Details: Newer (2008) version of one of UE’s entry-level IEMs

Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP $79.99 for Metro.Fi 220; $89.99 for Metro.Fi 220vi)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18 Ω | Sens: 103 dB | Freq: 20-16k Hz | Cable: 3.8’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock Single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (3/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes) and a very convenient plastic carrying case
Build Quality (2.5/5) – Housings are completely plastic and feel somewhat cheap. Cable is sturdy but lacks strain reliefs on housing entry. Of note are the colored nozzles – red for right, gray for left
Isolation (3/5) – Ported and shallow-insertion might sound like a bad combination, but they isolate surprisingly well
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Not too bothersome even when worn straight down. A shirt clip would help.
Comfort (3.5/5) – Housing is too fat for deep insertion and the stems make it hard to wear them over-the-ear. Still very light & comfortable for me, but buyers with small ears beware

Sound (5.7/10) – Overall, the sound is smooth and slightly warm. The soundstage is wider than average, with decent separation and positioning. The mids and highs are present, although the top end is rolled off. The definite selling point of these is the bass – it is smooth, deep, and very powerful. It creeps in on the lower mid-range but I definitely wouldn’t call it bloated, just a bit muddy. There is a mid-bass hump typical of middle-of-the-road earphones. The bass sounds full without being overwhelming.. These are a good gateway drug for the budget-minded bass lover.

Value (5.5/10) – At the $80 MSRP I feel that Ultimate Ears overshot the actual value of these a bit. They’re a very fun, tap-your-toes type earphone, delivering a dynamic sound signature with an emphasized low end and are quite competent all-around; it’s just too bad that the lower-tier entries by the likes of Nuforce and Meelectronics can do the same at a much lower price.

Pros: Very solid bass, fun sound, nice carrying case, shiny
Cons: Can be uncomfortable for some, hard to wear over-the-ear, mediocre build


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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.

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