Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Homemade Foam Ear Tips for IEMs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Homemade Foam Ear Tips for IEMs - Page 3

post #31 of 244

MAX questions

How do the howard Leight MAX stay in? I've apperently got large ear canals and I'm working all day with Shure E4s. The stock foamies work pretty good but movement can cause issues. How were the MAXs in the picture drilled? Do they react well to the freezing technique? I've already purchased some Tygon 1/8 tubing that seems to fit the e4s nicely.
I thought I'd post some sizes I measured in the machine shop with some fairly precise instruments.
The E4's shaft measures 0.132 inches and the various inserts varied quite a bit. The foamies were 0.117 inches but that's after two weeks of use and may have stretched. I bought comply tips and they measured 0.094, the triflages measured 0.080 the Shure clear inserts measured 0.100 and the soft gray inserts were 0.080. It's as if the softer the material then the tighter the fit. I imagine that this is by design. If the MAX's stay in a big ear canal it looks like I'll try them. What's shipping costs like from the Ear Plug Store? I've played with this in my mind long enough that a "mad scientist fit" is definitely coming on. With the foamies at least 90% of background noise is removed but I think that can be improved!
post #32 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
How do the howard Leight MAX stay in? I've apperently got large ear canals and I'm working all day with Shure E4s. The stock foamies work pretty good but movement can cause issues. How were the MAXs in the picture drilled? Do they react well to the freezing technique? I've already purchased some Tygon 1/8 tubing that seems to fit the e4s nicely.
I thought I'd post some sizes I measured in the machine shop with some fairly precise instruments.
The Max plugs stay in quite well with me. The relatively smooth surface might pick up less grunge from your shop than the more porous PVC foamies.

I drilled the holes after rolling for compression, throwing them in water to absorb, then freezing. Very easy to work with frozen. These are funny though, they really expand when frozen. They go back to normal size after drying.


Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
If the MAX's stay in a big ear canal it looks like I'll try them. What's shipping costs like from the Ear Plug Store? I've played with this in my mind long enough that a "mad scientist fit" is definitely coming on. With the foamies at least 90% of background noise is removed but I think that can be improved!
Shipping from the Ear Plug Store was between $2-$3 when I ordered about 10 assorted pairs of plugs. However, I've been having trouble getting them on-line lately (hope they are still in business), so I resorted to eBay. At 10 pair of Max's for 99 cents I couldn't resist trying them out (about $3 total with shipping). I gather from earlier posts that they can also be found in your local CVS pharmacy, if you are lucky enough to have one locally.

The Max plugs worked out best for me, at least so far, but that may not be true for you. The Ear Phone Store is a really a great place to taste different flavors.

Thus far in the journey, at least for me, PVC does not match the fit, comfort, longevity or, most importantly, the SQ of the urethane plugs. I’m really quite surprised at the differences between the foamies in these various parameters.
post #33 of 244
How much bigger are the urethane plugs compared to the PVC ones? The ones that came with the E4s were too small for me and I don't get much isolation.
post #34 of 244

CVS!

Bonus! I've got a CVS about 5 minutes away. I'll go by tomorrow. The Tygon tubing I got is quite soft. Has anyone pondered drilling the holes in the plugs slightly smaller than 1/8th? This should hold tighter on the earphone shaft. I haven't checked into it but at the shop we have metric and numbered drills that don't follow english fractional sizes. One might be a little under 1/8th. Thanks for the CVS tip. I thought I might have to risk buying 200 or so MAXs which, till I decide, I'd rather not. Shure's foamies actually work well but after only two weeks they're getting stiffer and I feel something better at least for people with large ear canals could be fabricated. I also wondered if a dab of epoxy on the tubing might be perfect for holding them together.
post #35 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
Bonus! I've got a CVS about 5 minutes away. I'll go by tomorrow. The Tygon tubing I got is quite soft. Has anyone pondered drilling the holes in the plugs slightly smaller than 1/8th? This should hold tighter on the earphone shaft. I haven't checked into it but at the shop we have metric and numbered drills that don't follow english fractional sizes. One might be a little under 1/8th. Thanks for the CVS tip. I thought I might have to risk buying 200 or so MAXs which, till I decide, I'd rather not. Shure's foamies actually work well but after only two weeks they're getting stiffer and I feel something better at least for people with large ear canals could be fabricated. I also wondered if a dab of epoxy on the tubing might be perfect for holding them together.
The Max swell up if you do it the way I mentioned, absorb water and freeze. Shove the tubing in while they are still frozen- all the way through 'till it sticks out both ends. After they dry the plugs get smaller again. The first tips I made (from the top, tapered end) the hole became too small to easily fit over the tubing (photo, above drab-orange post #29).

As for glue, let me know if that works. I had bad results with Crazy Glue and E-A-R Classics (see photo, post #4) so I haven't tried it again. May be a PVC thing, dunno. I haven't had any problems with them falling off in my ears (yet), so I left well enough alone.
post #36 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n1cx
How much bigger are the urethane plugs compared to the PVC ones? The ones that came with the E4s were too small for me and I don't get much isolation.
All the plugs come in different sizes regardless of formulation. However, I have only seen urethane plugs in tapered profiles.

Take a look at post #4. The Hearos Super Soft are polyurethane with tapered tips sized for small to medium ear canals. They didn't work for me at all. The 3Ms, also urethane with a tapered tip, but denser, are a bit bigger and may be similar in size to the E-A-R Classics (yellow) and the stock foamies (black), both PVC. The Max plugs, above posts, are the only ones I've tried that are tapered throughout their profile, with a nice flare at the back end to seal off the entrance to your ear canal. The Ear Plug Store ( http://earplugstore.com/foam_plug_information.htm ) also lists an Aearo/EAR EarSoft FX that tapers throughout its profile. Neon yellow! Haven't tried them yet.

I don't know how these compare specifically with the Shure E4 tips. Hopefully feddup can get back on that after he gets his plugs.
post #37 of 244

cvs

I had to go out anyway so I went by CVS. They didn't have the max but had five of the "super leight" which has a NRR of 33. They sure look like the ones in the pictures. The packaging says allow 40 seconds for them to expand. Seems lengthy. Do you cut them to length before freezing? I think it would make the drilling easier. I know the tips will have to be trimmed. They're way too long! Maybe I have weird ears. Short wide canals? The "regular" comply tips made the E4s stick way out. These leights could be seriously comfortable with some work. I wish I knew how these "super leights" compare to the MAXs. Howard Leight's website doesn't even mention the "super leight".
post #38 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
I had to go out anyway so I went by CVS. They didn't have the max but had five of the "super leight" which has a NRR of 33. They sure look like the ones in the pictures. The packaging says allow 40 seconds for them to expand. Seems lengthy. Do you cut them to length before freezing? I think it would make the drilling easier. I know the tips will have to be trimmed. They're way too long! Maybe I have weird ears. Short wide canals? The "regular" comply tips made the E4s stick way out. These leights could be seriously comfortable with some work. I wish I knew how these "super leights" compare to the MAXs. Howard Leight's website doesn't even mention the "super leight".

Very cool!

The Max Lites & Laser Lites are on the Ear Plug Stores list (it's working again for me):

http://earplugstore.com/foam_plug_information.htm

I think these plugs, besides being a different color, were also less dense, ie, squishier. This could be a good thing for comfort. I don't know if they are as big, for us big earites. But if the ones you bought are the same color and NRR rating (33), they may very likely be the 'Max' plugs relabeled for CVS.

Yeah, these things are long. That's why I mentioned using the tapered tip for small ears and the flanged end for large ears. You can't just squish this into your ears with the Tygon tubing running down the middle.

I do all my work with them frozen. If you cut them non-frozen, my experience has been a less than even cut. These things are pretty squishy non-frozen.

Good luck Bro! Hope it works out for you as well as it did for me.

Keep us posted.

post #39 of 244

37

I thought the MAXs were listed as 37 on the howard leight website. I'm still hooked. I cut one pair in half and just tried them alone. If I can make them work it could be very comfy. I've learned to tolerate the feel of Shure's foamies but comfort could definitely be improved perhaps while improving isolation. I'm wondering about the relatively limp tygon tubing in regards to keeping the passage uniform and clear for the E4s sound to pass. I'm probably over thinking this. has anyone shaped the back of the earplug for the canalphone to fit tighter? Part of the reason I chose the E4 was it's low profile appearance. The westone comply tips which I liked in concept just didn't work and I tried shortening them. The complys also had the front end (toward eardrum) shaped almost like a parabola (like a satallite dish). I got to shut up and do it. I'm not making a violin here. I'll definitely play with it this weekend.
post #40 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
I thought the MAXs were listed as 37 on the howard leight website. I'm still hooked. I cut one pair in half and just tried them alone. If I can make them work it could be very comfy. I've learned to tolerate the feel of Shure's foamies but comfort could definitely be improved perhaps while improving isolation. I'm wondering about the relatively limp tygon tubing in regards to keeping the passage uniform and clear for the E4s sound to pass. I'm probably over thinking this. has anyone shaped the back of the earplug for the canalphone to fit tighter? Part of the reason I chose the E4 was it's low profile appearance. The westone comply tips which I liked in concept just didn't work and I tried shortening them. The complys also had the front end (toward eardrum) shaped almost like a parabola (like a satallite dish). I got to shut up and do it. I'm not making a violin here. I'll definitely play with it this weekend.
Nope, NRR is 33 for the MAX.

I don't know what the wall dimension is for your Tygon tubing, but if you are concerned about it why not just use the tubes from the Shure foamies?

If you go with the Tygon, don’t have it stick out to the end of the tip. You could scratch your ear which may lend itself to infection. If the tube doesn’t extend too far beyond the Shure’s shaft, it should be strong enough to support the foamie.

Have fun! And don't worry. You've got 10 foamies to play with before you'll have to order more.
post #41 of 244

deformed!

I tried to squeeze and soak the "super leights" or MAXs hurredly this morning before work so I could work on them tonight. They froze in the weirdest shapes. I may be showing my age but there was a cartoon called Ren and Stempy and my ten earplugs looked like Stempy's booger collection when I pulled them out of the freezer. Each one wacky and different. I let them thaw and started over. They're freezing again right now. I got a number 32 drill (0.119 in.) from work. Unfortunately I believe I miscalculated. When I put the Tygon 1/8th (I.D.) over the E4 shaft the two together measure 0.190 inch. anyway I'll attempt it tomorrow with something. A failure will cost me a whopping 60 cents. Achieving even a 5% increase in isolation is worthwhile in a machine shop. I'll never achieve perfect isolation or comfort but it's what I'm striving for.
post #42 of 244
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feddup
I tried to squeeze and soak the "super leights" or MAXs hurredly this morning before work so I could work on them tonight. They froze in the weirdest shapes. I may be showing my age but there was a cartoon called Ren and Stempy and my ten earplugs looked like Stempy's booger collection when I pulled them out of the freezer. Each one wacky and different.
I'd try working on one set at a time. But the again, I don't have a CVS down the street, or I would too.

Yeah, I noticed these things swell when they absorb water into bizarro shapes. Let them sit until they fully absorb and they should (for the 3 sets I've frozen) go to a normal shape, although looking like Barry Bonds after steroids. Don't pull them too soon unless you have mutant ear canals to accomodate these freaky shapes.

It all sounds familiar. Hope the sounds are good for you too in the end.

Later-
post #43 of 244
Not going to get into too much detail as alot of you have the Idea.. I use the back end of the plug and cut off a bit of the bottom so its not too big.. I see some of you using the tops just watch it after awhile when they might move slightly and close up on you.

The seal is amazing as most of you already know.



Duke anyone try your foamies yet? its been awhile.
post #44 of 244

progress

Just like machining the more you hurry the higher your waste percentage will be. I hadn't thought of how little time I'd have to work before they begin to soften. My first pair is drying now and, not too surprisingly, they're not exactly a work of art. With time I'll get the time involved down. If it were to take an hour to produce a couple of pairs it would soon make the $ a piece shure foamies seem more attractive. Anyway I'll see how they came out tomorrow. By the way I was amazed how much the insertion technique matters. The first night I got the E4s is when I tried and condemned the Whetstone Comply tips I ordered with the E4s. Last night with careful insertion they were pretty amazing. I'm aiming (optimistic) for something like a comply tip but wider and shorter. The MAXs are quite a bit wider and longer so dependant on what part you keep you can change the width and length you want. Although I wanted maximum width I want the E4s to go in so I removed the flanges on the back of the MAXs. This is all talk until I produce something that works and feels nice.
post #45 of 244
Why do you have to squeeze them down, just stick them in the freezer and it will make them more rigid and hence easier to drill!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Homemade Foam Ear Tips for IEMs