Rating: ★★★★½

This is my third, and for now final review on a set of Ultimate Ears ear buds (at least until they send me more lol).  Today I’ll be talking about the Ultimate Ears 700 model, which is the most expensive model I’ve reviewed yet for them.  So does the extra cost mean stay away (as I’ve been notoriously picky when it comes to high cost ear buds), or do these actually make enough of a difference to justify the price hike?

When most people think about ear buds, they think that all that will fit in them before they start to look like some crazy Frankenstein creation is a single speaker.  Anything else would make them too bulky in your ears – but this isn’t the case at all.  Many companies out there offer ear buds with two mini speakers in them (Ultimate Ears also offers a model with three speakers in each), but I’ve yet to come across a pair that’s smaller than the Ultimate Ears 700.  These things literally rely on the tip you put on them to stay in place – there’s not enough there to give it any assistance (so make sure you use the right size).

One of the two speakers in each ear bud produces nothing but bass – and the bass has quite a punch.  The other speaker in each ear bud works on the highs and the mids, and the sound is really dynamic and exciting.  I tried a huge range of music on these, and all of them sounded equally as good (where as before on the 350s, hip hop or techno was the best, and on the 500vi’s classic rock was king).  It didn’t matter if I was listening to the latest episode of “My Brother, My Brother, and Me”, some Dethklok, an old Dead concert, or Dre (I did test country too – I just don’t like country much) it didn’t matter, they all sounded amazing.

The Ultimate Ears 700 model comes with the same silicone tips that the other models do, but they also come with two pairs of the Comply foam tips that I love so much.  Just like I said before, the Comply tips are the only tips I use anymore – having something that fits in your ear canal perfectly is great for walking, jogging, or any other kind of exercise that you’re doing.  Besides the comfort, the extra noise canceling that they offer is really nice as well.

Like the Ultimate ears 350 and 500vi models, the included case is a big negative here – while it’s bigger than the cases of the other two models, it is still quite bulky, ugly, and cheap looking.  The worst part is that even though it’s bulky, there’s still no place to easily store the extra tips.  I still think this could be remedied with a simple cloth bag – maybe made even fancier with the inclusion of the Ultimate Ears logo either stitched to it, or as a plastic piece attached to it.  They’ve taken so many pains to make sure the ear buds themselves are sleek and fashionable, I don’t understand why the came care wasn’t taken with the case.

Another complaint I have is the same I had for the 500vi’s as well – the right angle end on the plug is a good idea, but the implementation is just wrong.  When looking at the sleek form factor of the ear buds themselves, it’s silly to have the plug protrude a half an inch before the right angle; why not make it flush so it sits in your pocket easier?

At any rate, the Ultimate Ears 700 model is really nice for someone wanting a truly immersive sound experience without breaking the bank.  You might not get the full sound stage effect unless you use them with an amplified device, but the still sound quite nice on an iPhone or iPod.  I give the Ultimate Ears 700 a final score of four and a half stars out of five – if they want the max though, something NEEDS to be done about that case.

Pros:

  • Dual speaker ear buds for under $200
  • Sound is very good, better than some more expensive headsets.  Ultimate Ears does it again
  • The Comply foam tips are some of the best tips for ear buds

Cons:

  • Case is extremely cheap, doesn’t fit with the rest of the product
  • The right angle plug sits up too high and gets caught in pockets
  • For a full sound board experience, they need to be on an amplified device

You can pick up your own pair of the Ultimate Ears 700s from Amazon for $149.99



Staff