Welcome back fam (and welcome if it’s your first time)! We’ve got something interesting for today’s review as we check out the UFOEar 112 hybrid in-ear monitor. The 112 contains 1 dynamic bass driver and 2 balanced armature drivers and takes on a fun and interesting approach its accessory bundle.
UFOEar is a Chinese hi-end earphone brand which was founded in 2018 and is a subsidiary of Dongguan City Huaxian Industry Co., Ltd. Their IEMs are created using integral moulding along with the latest 3-D printing technology and their products are inspired by sci-fi elements, hence the name.
Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
End to end extension
Comfortable 3-D printed shells
Unique, high-quality accessories
Linear and detailed
Smooth and resolving
Vocals and midrange positioning could be more upfront
Package and Accessories
The 112 unboxing experience begins with a black box that has the brand name printed in silver surrounded by some matching silver-coloured concentric circles depicting a UFO. Inside the box is a neat looking UFO, which is made from surprisingly high-quality metal and seated in soft, protective foam.
The UFO comes in 2 parts, the first is the outer section which holds the eartips and the other is the central section that is actually a sturdy metal carrying case. Inside the carrying case is a foam insert holding the earphones with the cable neatly wrapped around it. Let’s take a look at what you get in the package:
UFOear 112 earphones
Detachable 2-pin, 3.5mm cable
Metal storage case for eartips
Metal storage case for earphones
2 pairs of foam eartips
3 pairs of rounded silicone eartips
4 pairs of straight-edged silicone eartips
This is a thoughtful and bundle with high-quality components. It’s always refreshing to see a good selection of eartips provided and these ones are some really good ones. The metal carrying case for the earphones is a little too big to fit comfortably in a pocket but it is very well made and feels premium. Overall, this is not only a refreshingly fun and original bundle but it’s also practical and I really get a kick out of it.
Build Quality and Design
The UFOear 112 earpieces are made from a 3-D printed acrylic and are disc-shaped. On the faceplates is the same branding and pattern that are on the top of the box and make the shells look like little UFOs. Here you’ll also find 2 small vents as well.
Just below the 2-pin sockets are a blue L and red R denoting the left and right sides respectively. The dual-bore nozzles are slightly flared and hold the eartips firmly in place. Thanks to the 3-D printing process, the shells are made from a single piece of acrylic and although the design might look simple, it’s actually quite a complex process and the end result looks and feels really good.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
I find the 112 to have above average comfort and can wear them easily for hours without any discomfort. The shells are very light and the nozzle angle is just right, at least for my ears. On top of that, the provided XL straight-edged eartips are my personal favourites; they give me a rock-solid seal and are also really soft in the ears.
Noise isolation is good for me too, slightly above average for this type of housing. I don’t hear people talking to me, even with the volume turned down low. Noise leak is minimal despite the 2 vents on the faceplates. Unless you’re damaging your own ears witch excessively loud music, I don’t think others will hear what you’re listening to.
The cable I received with my unit looks different than the one I saw from some earlier reviews. This one is styled and branded in the UFOear theme, unlike the early one which looked like a generic off the shelf one. It’s a reasonably thick, braided cable, similar to others we’ve been seeing recently in this price range. However, unlike most others, this one is a glossy black colour.
It feels good in the hand and handles well. There is virtually no microphonics and it’s resistant to tangling. At the top are some space-grey 2-pin connector housings with L and R markings and just below these are pre-formed ear guides. There’s a metal Y-split with matching metal chin slider and finally, the cable terminates in a straight, metal 3.5mm plug.
Gear used for testing includes the Shanling M5s and Soundaware M2Pro performing as portable sources. On the desktop, I plugged the earphones into the FiiO K3. Although it has a low impedance and reasonably high sensitivity, I found it needed a little extra bump in volume compared to similarly specced earphones and it really shines when you give it more power.
The UFO-112 has an extremely linear signature, from the sub-bass all the way to the small peak in the upper midrange. It has a deep-reaching but very mature bass, neutral midrange and smooth, crisp treble. Resolution is very good and detail retrieval is about average for a mid-tier IEM.
The bass has fantastic extension and it has no trouble at all reaching down low and grabbing you by the nether regions with a deep, controlled rumble. The sub-bass feels powerful and bottomless but, just like the mid-bass, it has a conservative level, in terms of quantity.
Mid-bass notes have a nice texture and a natural decay that gives them natural weight without any sluggishness. Kick drums are punchy and authoritative without getting in your face or compromising the tonal balance. In Solar Field’s “Black Arrow” the driving bass has got loads of punch and a strong impact but the midrange remains unsullied by its force. The UFO-112 seems to deliver just the ‘Goldilocks’ level of bass appropriate for the music and is dynamic in its presentation.
The 112’s midrange is fairly neutral with good clarity, articulation and instrument separation. They are positioned back slightly, making them a little distant at times. A bump in the upper midrange adds presence and keeps percussion instruments nice and snappy but not too sharp.
Detail retrieval is good and the 112’s mids have good resolution and let you hear the subtle nuances in the music. However, I consider the 112 to be more musical than analytical as the overall presentation remains smooth and doesn’t demand too much of the listener. In Riverside’s “We Got Used To Us” the vocals, piano and guitars sound sublime as they all ride just above the rhythmic bassline.
Treble on the UFO-112 is clean, airy and detailed. It sits just behind the upper midrange and is neither harsh or sibilant. Treble extension is excellent and gives a nice lift to the 112’s tonality and adds a good amount of clarity while keeping any brightness in check.
Cymbals and high-hats have a good timbre and an expanded, airy sheen. They lend an openness to the stage and provide a lightness to the overall tone. A dip in the lower treble adds a hint of softness and naturalness while maintaining accuracy and precision.
While the 112’s bass notes have some thickness, overall the tonality feels airy and light, thanks to the neutral mids and clean treble. The stage is positioned slightly back which can make vocals somewhat laidback at times. The majority of the presentation is fairly laid back with the exception of the small upper midrange boost. Dimensions of the stage are deep with a moderate width. It feels spacious and organised and has great instrument separation.
Fearless Audio S6RUI
The S6RUI is generally warmer and more upfront than the UFO-112. Its bass extension can’t quite match the dynamic driver of the 112 but it is one of the best BA basses I’ve heard in a mid-tier IEM. The mid-bass on the S6RUI is fuller, which is where the majority of its warmth comes from. S6RUI’s bass decays faster where the UFO-112 bass sounds more natural.
Vocals on the S6RUI are more forward and engaging, while the UFO-112’s vocals are more distant because of the stage positioning. Treble extension on the 112 is superior, as is its treble timbre although I’d hardly call the S6RUI a slouch in this area.
S6RUI’s stage is wider but not as deep as the UFO-112. Both share good instrument separation but achieve it in different ways; the S6RUI does it with note density and transient response, while the UFO-112 achieves its separation by having expanded stage dimensions, thus placing instruments further apart.
FiiO’s FH7 has a more upfront presentation, offering a more vivid and intimate experience. Its bass has similar characteristics but is slightly more emphasized. Both IEMs can get a really satisfying rumble going in the sub-bass.
FH7’s core midrange has a hint more body and more forward positioning, giving vocals more intimacy but at the same time reducing its stage dimensions. The FH7 does have a slight edge in instrument separation and layering, probably due to its enhanced treble.
Both IEMs lean towards being bright but neither are glaring or harsh. The FH7 does have slightly more treble presence, giving it more detail retrieval and at the same time making it a bit more intense and possibly fatiguing. These are both fantastic IEMs and I could live happily with either as a daily driver. The FiiO is slightly stronger technically but it’s also pricier.
Although there is an element of fun surrounding the UFOear 112, it is a serious audiophile-grade in-ear monitor at heart. The 3-D printed shells are robust and extremely comfortable and the included accessories are excellent.
In terms of audio quality, the 112 really performs. I love its bass extension. linear tonality, its cleanliness and instrument separation. It’s refreshing to see a more lighthearted approach in this pragmatic community and it’s even better when it does not compromise the quality of the music. So, if you’re looking for something with a linear, detailed yet smooth sound, this one is a great option.
Sensitivity: 109dB mW @1KHz
Frequency range: 3~20KHz
Drivers: One Dynamic Driver +Two Balanced Armature Drivers