Jerg pads make a difference. A measurable one, in fact. But, I could believe that some people wouldn't pick up on the differences. Worth it to some, not to others. Depends. Mine was very much a plug and play experience and I had no issues with the cell interference. As for the open design, a can of compressed air should have you covered. YMMV. If it's too intimidating, then an Asgard 2 might fit the bill. There's also the Lyr 2, but that's getting up higher in price.