Originally Posted by DavidMahler
I'm going to make this post pretty short even though its a mod. I was having a bit of trouble achieving really good isolation with these IEMs. It wasn't just that the tips didn't fit me right, its also because unlike the typical IEM, these don't really enter your ear canal.
I did some thinking about how to achieve better isolation. I came up with what I feel is a very simple and effective solution, and it actually made the monitors sound considerably better in the process. (better meaning less grainy).
This is all I did:
Step 1: I took out a pair of Shure Olive Foams. I chose large size for me especially since they are not really entering the canal.....if your ears are really small then maybe medium will work better for ya.
Step 2: I "cored" the plastic center out of the Olive foam. I was able to do this by screwing the sleeve onto an old 1/8 inch headphone jack and just pulling the olive foam off. The plastic center eventually separates from the Foam itself, but the foam SHOULD remain intact.
Step 3: The foam will temporarilly look deformed for a few minutes. But it will come back to its normal self. Once it does.......screw it gently onto the appropriate place on the IE8.
Step 4.....BEFORE putting it in your ear compress the foam with your fingers. This is especially important and effective because the foam no longer has the plastic center and therefore will easily fit your ear.
Step 5: After putting it your ear, hold the monitor there for about 10 seconds till the foam expands. Don't expect the monitor to enter your ear canal like it does with armature driver IEMs.
Step 6: Enjoy the IE8s with superior isolation now and better seal. The sound will have more of a clear centered midrange and less grain around 8Khz...........I suspect this is what the IEMs are supposed to sound like when fitting the ear 100 percent.
I will attempt to take pictures tomorrow.
Your mod increases isolation, or mainly works for a better fit? To me, there is a difference. I had the IE8s and with the Sony hybrids, the fit/seal was fine (though it always felt loose in a weird way), but the isolation wasn't. Now, with this mod, the IE8s can basically overcome any and all ambient sounds? Such as planes, trains, etc.? If so, good for the IE8 owners. With the W3s and the tri-flanges, I am sealed off from the world, which is what I want in an IEM for travel (and at home too). And that is one reason, not the only one, that I chose the W3s over the IE8s. I also preferred the, as Soozieq puts it, "wow" impact of the Westones, more than the upsides of the IE8. But as you noted, they are both excellent IEMs. Now I just want to hear the UM3X as well, just out of curiosity.