Hi all :)
Some time ago I was lucky enough to receive a pair of the new-cabled M9s from Meelec, but unfortunately the left driver presented a horrible crackling noise. They were usable at rest, but any movement which caused a pressure difference in the ear canal (even swallowing) led to the crackling noise.
Since they were unusable to me, I asked some friends to test them and, if the cracklings didn't annoy them, I would give the phones to one of them.
All my friends had the same problem with the noise: it was tolerable at first, but with time it became obsessive.
Finally, an acquaintance of mine that considers himself an "audiophile" because he prefers vinyl records played on a cheap turntable and never, ever listens to lossy formats, asked for the phones to test. I gave him the phones happily, just to see the results.
That was a couple of months ago. I met him yesterday and asked him about the phones. He told me they were absolutely usable, that the sound was very good but a bit lacking in the bass department. The M9 are not lacking at all in the basses, at least in my experience, so I asked him to show me how he used them: tips, insertion deep, etc. because usually fitting affects bass response. He agreed because he has another problem with them: they were not very comfortable...
Well, here comes the good point. He showed me how he used the phones: without any tip. I gave him the phones after cleaning, so they hadn't any tip on, and all the tips were on a little bag in the box. He had not seen the bag with the tips! He was using the phones without any kind of tip, and to solve the "comfort problem" (the bare nozzle against his ear canals) he just put a fine strip of duck tape around the nozzles.
Obviously, without seal of any kind, the crackling problem disappeared, together with basses!.
But, you know, if you're a real audiophile, wear IEMs without silicone tips!