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Old 09-26-2010, 01:55 PM
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Big Bear Big Bear is offline
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Page UE Metro-fi 170 amateur review

Hello from Canada,

I recently lost my pair of Sony MDR-EX36 in-ear buds, so I thought I'd take the occasion to buy myself new ones.
I technically have loads of stock earbuds but
-they don't sound nice at all,
-you lose a lot of base and details to the fact that they leak a ton of sound outside. I dislike people who listen to their ipod with the stock buds so loud that you can hear the music perfectly, so I don't want to do that to others myself.
-They don't isolate all the noise that comes from the bus.
-They hurt my ears. Ouch :-(
I also have a big big pair of AKG K-55. They are the best headphones that I own, simply because I can't afford to go higher grade. I do not want to go carrying those because
-They are HUGE!
-They don't isolate noise much.
-The cord is really long, too long for portable use. They're obviously meant for studio usage.

So I got to Futureshop to go find myself a pair of decent phones. I searched for the pair that would sound great (No Skullcandy), be durable (no flimsy cables) and have a decent price (no Bose). I decided to get the Ultimate Ears Metro-fi 170: the brand name got me thinking they could sound good, they looked durable, and they were on sale for 30$ (they still will be until 01/10/2010 (in Canada)). I got a good listen and this is my very first own review:



In the box:
In the shiny red and silver box is the in-ears, 3 sizes of tips (small, medium, big), a rigid pouch, a user manual and warranty information. I'm more likely to lose the buds than to destroy them, so I don't read the warranties too much. As for the user guide, it shows you that you can loop the buds over your ears. How useful!

Design:
The name here delivers as a high quality producer: the cable is thick, and is somewhat rigid, which means they won't get entangled too much. Yay!
Its short enough, 125cm long, obviously meant for portable use. The body feels really solid, no cracking plastic. Its only made from 2 pieces of plastic, so there is nothing that can really move or crack.

Some good thinking went into those buds: there is one earbud that is part red to show that it is the right bud, making it easy to identify which is which (The left bud is black). The R and L markings are also there for those who wouldn't see the red (which you don't if its dark).
The tips insert quite snugly in the ears, which leads to better isolation.

The other end of the cable is less thought-of. The plug is straight and there is only some poor strain release. Nothing like other earbuds do, anyway.

Isolation:
They have good-enough isolation, I thought it was really good (testing was done while vacuuming the house), but I can't compare it to anything else I own, since I lost the Sony's.

Sound Quality:
Now when I thought I would do a review of those buds, I never thought I could seriously talk about highs, mids and lows since I dont know anything about it and only have the AKGs for comparison and I don't really know if the AKGs are that good.

But then I put them on and started to listen to them. The first song was Here I am, Bryan Adams. Intro: Sounding good... then the bass starts playing: Wow, so much BASS! Punching BASS everywhere in my head!

Well, next was Supertramp's From now on. That one passed without me knowing, I love Supertramp! Anyway, next was (Everything I Do) I Do it For You from Bryan Adams (Again? You're making me look like I have 2cds, Zune 120!).

Now I found the highs a bit lacking and the mids just so-so. But then came the Bass again. The little bit of highs were now completely muffled behind it.

I then thought that they needed to burn-in. I made them play for a couple hours. Putting them on now gave better mids but as lacking highs.
The best example of this was when I listened to Run, Snow Patrol. With the AKGs, Gary's voice was clear (well, as clear as his voice goes), the crash cymbal was present and alive. With the UEs, the crash cymbals were almost inexistant and I even found Gary's voice bassy.

I thought an EQ would help, but my Zune has none, so that's not a solution for me. I checked if it would help anyway with my Clip+ for the sake of this review. Even with the EQ at full treble, the Bass still sounded like stock earbuds Bass. So if you like Bass, those are your babies. But be ready to sacrifice highs.

Conclusion:
Pros:
Solid Construction
Good Mids
A LOT of Bass, could be a con if you don't like Bass
Nice Isolation

Cons:
The plug is not so well built
Highs are lacking, muffled, dead, sacrificed to make place for more Bass


Well, there you go, it was more like a story than a review, but I hope you liked it. Please note that even if I like to think I know music, I don't and this review has to be taken with a grain of salt, I am no audiophile. I'm not kidding, though, those are earbuds for Bassheads.
Please feel free to pinpoint anything in my review that you don't like, grammar errors, or if something is confusing. Comment away!

I am returning those, I don't like the lack of highs, so I'm going to need a new pair... anyone has a suggestion?
They have to isolate, be cheap (40$ big max), sound good, and have to be found in a store in Ottawa. Specific enough?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Product.jpg (45.4 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Contents.jpg (43.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Plug comparison with the AKGs.jpg (42.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Box.jpg (23.8 KB, 14 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2010, 02:16 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Hey man, welcome to ABi...great work on the review and excellent, you included pics.

Nice to hear you enjoy the UE 170s and that the bass is quite good. But if you ever want to experience mind-numbing bass in an IEM [that still sounds great across the frequency spectrum] look into the Hippo VBs.

They are life changing if you are a basshead....seriously

cheers man,
-lestatar
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:29 PM
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Big Bear Big Bear is offline
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Hey, I'm not new, see, 25 posts, 26 posts now... no, I was just inactive for a looong time.

I can't imagine headphones with more Bass than those, the Hippos must really be something! Have any idea where I can find them not online? I might be able to buy online sometime soon, but not for the moment and I prefer not having to deal with shipping back if I don't like them. (Yes I am very picky on everything I buy)

Glad you liked the review, thank you!
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:52 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Hey Big Bear, sorry about that - where ya been? lol Anyway, nice to see ya here...

Sorry, VBs are not available in stores, not unless you live in Singapore or parts nearby. Catch up on dfkt's review of them here on the ABi Editiors Choice front page.

They are really great - no offense, I just mention the VBs as a suggestion for you down the road.

Enjoy!
-lestatar
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:07 PM
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Big Bear Big Bear is offline
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No offense taken, far from that, thanks for trying to help! While I do like Bass, I don't like lacking highs... I shall search the editors choice pages and headphones forums intensely until I find the perfect pair, or shall order online if nothing comes up for me, and shall certainly look into hippos if that occasion comes up.

Thanks again, forgot how friendly the people were in this forum!
I'm gonna try and review the next pair I get.

Until then,
Listen on!

Big Bear

EDIT: Well here's an update, I decided to buy cheap and good for now and spare some money for better later. Got myself a pair of JVC Flats, and they are quite good. I dunno if I should do a review for them though, it would only be more of the same since it has been done multiple times here and elsewhere. I might do it anyway, though.

Oh, a pair of SHURE SE115 for 80$ at Futureshop! On to Forum searching to see if they are worthwhile!
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Last edited by Big Bear; 10-02-2010 at 07:46 AM.
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