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Sony EX90 Modding thread!

post #1 of 166
Thread Starter 
After owning these semi IEMs for a few days I’m convinced with a little bit of modding they are near to the same standard as Hi-end IEMs such as Westone UM2s



Problems with Unmodded EX90

No Isolation

Although great sound - its a little thin compared to the best


The isolation problems are dew to 3 small holes on the main driver unit. They both let sound out and in.

To solve this, use cling film (tape didn’t sound as good to my ears) - I find about 4 layers works best. Not only do you have isolation, but WOW THE SOUND.... Its big and punchy - the bass is superb. The sound signature is a bit on the dark side and very similar to UM2’s – but that’s not a bad thing… the only difference is UM2’s have a bit more detail, but at 3x less cost who is complaining!

Now we run into one big problem – having sealed the unit – the main drivers may be damaged by putting in, and removing the ex90’s from your ears. You may hear a little crunching sound or a pop.

To solve this you have to add a little “venting” to the headphones – put a small pin hole in the cling film where the middle opening is on the main driver. Beware don’t make hole too big or it will brighten sound too much. Hole should be about 0.5-0.8mm big and visible!



Unfortanly the vent does take away 25% of the great sound, but still a huge improvement over stock EX90’s.

I’m also experimenting with foam covers too.

Does anyone know of a way of counter acting the pressure on the drivers when the unit is sealed air tight?

The germanium mod - thanks mate - here's instructions from kramer5150 how to do it! Ive not tried it myself yet, but it improves mids greatly

"I used a dull x-acto knife and scraped the perimeter of the mesh grille cloth away, down to the bare plastic material. The remaining circle portion of the cloth pulls out easily with a thumb tack. Pull the little foam piece out with the thumbtack and set it aside. You can always slide it back in and use it a s a wax filter (I do this with my moded koss plugs). I used a damp paper towel to clean up any scrap plastic shavings from the sound tube.

Upper mids are now MUCH more in cohesion with the treble. Theres a nice smooth treble / upper midrange transition, which wasn't there previously.

Clarity seems to be improved across all frequencies too, while bass still has impact and depth. Listening to Diana Krall "Peel me a Grape", acoustic bass lines are SMOOTH and very articulate. Theres definitely a layer of detail resolution that was not there before. Same goes for her vocals... some added breath and vocal texture that was missing previously.

Surprisingly I don't notice much change to the soundstage separation. Center stage definitely seems more alive and present than before, but spatially there still is a nice sense of distance and L/R separation (for a canal-phone).

All I can say is WOW, theres some stellar detail resolution lurking in these little cans."



post #2 of 166
nice!!! thanks for the modding tip.. umm.. am wondering, what kind of amp do you pair up with ur EX-90>>??
post #3 of 166
Thread Starter 
I dont - I use them strait out of my Zen Vision:M or Sony NW-E005.

I do think amping would work wonders with this headphone too... they like the extra juice/amp my ZVM gives!
post #4 of 166
umm... have a bunch of questions.. do you use clingwrap only on the three holes the use hair dryer.??? or do you use clingwrap on the holes for the drivers too ?? am really trying to do this mod for the sake of isolation.. and where do you put the holes??? sorry for the bunch of questions..
post #5 of 166
hmmm... tried blocking the holoes with first a layer of masking tape then 3 layers of electric tape.. masking tape was used so that the electric tape wont leave their sticky residue when removed..
what i noticed was... it did become better and it did isolate... but i can still somewhat hear people talking to me.. though barely..
sq wise.. i felt that the guitars and violin sounded better.. but the drums really sucked!!!! dont know why that happened though.. ahihiihhii...
post #6 of 166
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noypi
umm... have a bunch of questions.. do you use clingwrap only on the three holes the use hair dryer.??? or do you use clingwrap on the holes for the drivers too ?? am really trying to do this mod for the sake of isolation.. and where do you put the holes??? sorry for the bunch of questions..

I just cover the main driver unit front in 4 layers of clingfilm - so that it covers the 3 vents - not the post where you insert flanges. I put a hole in the clingfilm where the middle vent is... the bigger the hole the brighter the sound will become. I have mine very small - just enough to stop the main drivers from giving a crinckling sound when inserting into the ear.
post #7 of 166
i tried this a while ago but instead of cling wrap, i used a single layer of scotch tape. it seemed to work well but imo it rolled off the top end too much and closed down the soundstage. in the end i just left the vents uncovered as i felt that they sounded best stock. what might be interesting to try is covering all but one of the vents. the foam idea sounds really interesting but it's too bad that i no longer have my ex90.
post #8 of 166
i tried removing the tapes on the vents, and wow.!!! what a difference the seals made.. without the tapes, it really really did sound thin!!! next, i tried putting a small hole on the tape.. it really did make a big difference though the drums are still not as good as compared to not having seals at all...
post #9 of 166
Thread Starter 
Thats strange - I find that the seal gives the sound a good "kick" that should suit drums very well...

I find without pin hole - the sound is VERY dark - still plenty of detail tho - but the bass is very big and tight... slighly recessed highs - but no more than UM2's and can easly sorted with a bit of eq'ing.

With pin hole it opens up the sound soo much - bass is not as good - nor is isolation... sound is so open and airy it makes my UM2s sound like they are stuffed with cotton wool.... I would say the sound is more on treble end - with extended but not over powering bass.
post #10 of 166
tried commuting with my ex-90 with the electric tape with a hole .. it did perform well.. isolation was better, but still much better than stock.. didnt hear the bass at all..
but in quiet environments.. i really really love it.. it soinds soooo much better.. whats lacking is just a little eq-ing so the drums might sound better.. i ll try the cling wrap next.. maybe its a lot better than electric tapo.. ahihihihi...
post #11 of 166
Thread Starter 
Ive got a few projects Im working on and will post them soon... What I want to do is have a compleat seal.... yet allowing the driver to "vent" while inserting etc...


But one idea Im working on for islotion - get some earplugs - yellow ones... now cut a thin slice off them where they are shinny - cut them to size of the two outer vents and put them in... cut another for centre hole but make it so that is half the size to allow a vent... cover in 4 layers of clingfilm - put a hole in centre vent where theres no foam!
post #12 of 166
damn!! still cant try the cling wrap mod.. still cant hind where our blow dryer is.. ahihihi... maybe i ll try the ur earplug mod first but i wont clingwrap it yet.. i ll try this when i get a chance to go to a hardware store.. thanx for ur efforts on modding the ex-90..
post #13 of 166
Thread Starter 
Hey you dont need a blow drier or anything - just streatch the clingfilm with your fingers over the drivers...
post #14 of 166
wow!!! didnt know that you can do it without blow drying it.. because the last time i tried it.. it was really really messy.. it didnt look as neat as yours did.. so i thought that you must've used a blow dryer.. ahihihi
post #15 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veggie_Musician
Ive got a few projects Im working on and will post them soon... What I want to do is have a compleat seal.... yet allowing the driver to "vent" while inserting etc...
Why not just try using Shure or Ety foamies? Shouldn't that work, theoretically, since they're a bit porous to begin with?
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