Ultimate Ears: A History of Legacy and Innovation

Ultimate Ears: A History of Legacy and Innovation

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From designing and manufacturing the first widely-available in-ear monitors to creating the first custom-fit true wireless earbuds, innovation is the Ultimate Ears legacy.

Since 1995, Ultimate Ears has made hundreds of thousands in-ear monitors, earbuds and Bluetooth speakers for musicians and music lovers alike. Our IEMs can be found on stages across the world, from the O2 arena in London to the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. Our Bluetooth speakers are mainstays of backyard BBQs and relaxed dinner parties around the world. And our innovative earbuds are making it possible for all music lovers to enjoy the all-day comfort and improved audio that comes with a custom fit.

Rock’n’Roll Problems & the Birth of Ultimate Ears

Like many great moments in music history, Ultimate Ears was born on a tour bus. Van Halen’s drummer Alex Van Halen had been having trouble hearing the other band members through traditional monitor wedges over the audience and asked his monitor engineer to find a solution. Turning up the monitors didn’t help—it just made things worse—and was a risk to Alex’s hearing over time.

Though traditional monitor wedges were and still are a go-to option for musicians and venues worldwide, they present a lot of problems for musicians on stage. With traditional monitor wedges, sound can fluctuate as you move around the stage and can be wildly inconsistent from night to night. Stage bleed and feedback are also major issues that are hard to avoid with wedges.

So how do you solve the problem of giving musicians consistently good mixes while eliminating stage bleed and protecting their hearing? By creating in-ear monitors.

Almost 30 years later, we now offer seven unique and powerful sound signatures, making it easy for musicians with different needs and budgets to up their personal monitoring game. From the balanced sound of our original UE 5 to our flagship UE LIVE, we have something for everyone.

Ultimate Ears professional in-ear monitors

Quality Audio For Everyone

Though our earliest products were designed with musicians in mind, we’ve always believed that music lovers deserved better quality audio.

In 2020, we introduced our proprietary LIGHTFORM technology with UE FITS, the first custom-fit true wireless earbuds on the market. FITS uses a proprietary process that creates custom-fitted earbuds in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. The result is a comfortable, immersive listening experience at a consumer-friendly price point.

Encouraged by the popularity of UE FITS, we released UE DROPS in 2022. UE DROPS lives at the intersection of FITS and our in-ear monitors. Like our in-ear monitors, DROPS are handcrafted for your ears only thanks to our FitKit, which changed the way musicians were fitted for IEMs in 2018.

Unlike our IEMs, DROPS are true wireless Bluetooth earbuds with customizable tap controls and the ability to switch between different sound signatures via a smartphone app, like FITS. That makes them perfect for taking to the gym, running errands and more. DROPS also offer a host of premium features, including dust and water resistance, transparency mode and Qi standard wireless charging.

Ultimate Ears Bluetooth speakers

Speakers that Bring the BOOM

In-ear monitors and earbuds are great ways to listen to music on your own, but they’re not the best medium to share it. And since we like to think we know a few things about delivering unbeatable audio, we decided to create a more communal music experience.

In 2013, Ultimate Ears released UE BOOM, a portable but powerful Bluetooth speaker with the distinction of being the first-ever mobile speaker with spatial 360-degree sound. Thanks to this groundbreaking approach to spatial sound, its size-defying audio performance and unmatched ruggedness, the BOOM quickly became a common sight at pool parties, game nights, bonfires and more.

The early success of that first BOOM Bluetooth speaker made us realize we were onto something. So, as we did with in-ear monitors and earbuds, we decided to see just how far we could advance the world of Bluetooth speakers with an expanded line of products.

Our line now includes the even more compact, affordable and eco-friendly WONDERBOOM™ 3 which is made with over 30% post-consumer recycled plastic, waterproof Bluetooth speakers like the customizable myBOOM 3 that allow you to enjoy music at the pool or beach and the phenomenally big sound and 24-hour battery life of the HYPERBOOM.

If you want to stay up-to-date on the future of Ultimate Ears, join our mailing list.

Hear and feel the difference

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