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Can't create seal with IEMs, even with Comply foam

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've always had trouble getting a seal in my right ear with IEMs. With stock silicone tips, I have to use the largest size - and even then the right ear will barely ever seal. My left ear seals effortlessly, but I have to pull my right ear away from my head and then mess with it for awhile to get a seal, only to have it pop out every fifteen minutes or so.

 

I heard that Comply foam tips would be a foolproof solution for my problem, so I bought a three pack of large tips. But I'm still having problems with getting a seal in my right ear. I can get it to seal if I insert the foam deep into my ear and then rotate until it's in really tight - but this gives me a constant uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the ear.

 

Is it normal to have that feeling constantly while wearing foam tips? This actually causes me pain, which doesn't seem normal. I've worn my silicone tips for 10 hours a day over the last few years and barely ever noticed that I was wearing anything.

 

Could I be using the wrong size? Weirdly, I think I have two different size ear canals - I can only get the tips to insert halfway in the left side, whereas it goes all the way in to the right. I just assumed that if I wore the largest in silicone tips, the same would apply to foam.

 

Also, I've noticed a decrease in isolation vs the stock silicone tips. From everything I've read, I thought Comply foam tips were supposed to increase isolation. What gives?

post #2 of 13

What IEM are you using?  Many are open or ported, and a few are almost impossible to get a good seal (Thinksound Rain).  Also, if the largest tips you can find still don't seal in your right ear, you must have a massive ear canal!

 

If you CAN get a seal with the Comply after inserting it deeply, you will just have to get used to the feeling of pressure -- that foam is not going to hurt you -- you just have to get used to it.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm using Nuforce NE-6s.

 

When I feel my ear canals now, my right one is conspicuously wider than the left. I wonder if it was originally like this, or if I stretched it via two years of constantly shoving IEMs in deep and rotating them to get a seal. On the average day, I would have to redo the seal at least a couple times an hour - this usually involved shoving the IEM in super deep and rotating it until it managed to wedge in at just the right angle. 

 

If this is just how the foam feels, I'm ok with that. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't screwing myself up somehow. For me, the feeling is so conspicuous and uncomfortable compared to silicone tips. The decrease in isolation is disappointing too.

post #4 of 13

What size comply tips are you using?

post #5 of 13

make your own - seriously !

 

using these http://www.dealextreme.com/p/feather-weight-memory-foam-noise-isolation-in-ear-earplugs-4-pack-21094 from here or anywhere else. Make sure they are the memory foam variety earplugs.

 

 

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Noise-Isolating-Earbud-Tips/

 

http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/4062/569976.html?1275656496

 

At $1.5 its a cheap way to experiment with size and fit, until you get them right - worked for me !

 

Happy listening.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I hate to bump an older thread, but I didn't want to leave this unresolved. If I were researching Comply foam tips for the first time, I'd be concerned if I came across too many reports of users who couldn't get a seal with them.

 

I just wanted to add that I eventually did get a perfect seal with these. It took a couple weeks of messing around with them on a daily basis before I realized the correct angle and rotation required to get a seal. Now they go in effortlessly in seconds and stay sealed no matter what. This is a MASSIVE relief after two straight years of IEMs popping out of my right ear every fifteen minutes.

 

If you can't get a seal with these, you're probably doing something wrong. My only concern at the moment is that I now owe Comply $5 a month for life or until my hearing goes out.

post #7 of 13

There are, in fact, people whose canal size is actually large enough to preclude a proper full seal when using stock universal tips. Fact.

post #8 of 13

Maybe you have extremely waxy ears line mine? I have to clean my ears each time I can't get a good seal.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

There are, in fact, people whose canal size is actually large enough to preclude a proper full seal when using stock universal tips. Fact.

 

I'm sure you're right. I have a freak ear canal myself - my right one is humongous compared to the left. It's a debilitating condition and I'm currently seeking disability. wink_face.gif

 

I guess I shouldn't generalize. I was just pointing out that other people with fit issues may have prematurely given up on the Complys, since it actually took me several WEEKS of getting familiar with them on a daily basis before I figured out how to make them fit perfectly.

 

I actually don't think I'd have gotten them to fit if I were using an IEM that lacks the little "handle" on my Nuforce NE-6s, because I have to "screw them in" a certain way to get them to seal. The T400 tips don't work for me at all on the JVC Marshmallows or any other IEM that's hard to grip.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoelse View Post

Maybe you have extremely waxy ears line mine? I have to clean my ears each time I can't get a good seal.



Yeah, wax definitely makes it easier for IEMs to slip out, especially with silicone tips. I don't have super waxy ears though... if anything, wearing IEMs all the time has kept my ears really clean.

post #11 of 13

I occasionally have this issue with certain eartips. I learned that I was actually pushing them too far in, creating a worse seal.

just my $.02

post #12 of 13

Monster SuperTips got the largest tips I've ever seen.  They should last longer than Comply, but they are also stiffer (so potentially harder to seal).

If you happen to get a chance to try them, see if that works out better for you.

post #13 of 13

Mi right ear canal is very weirdly shaped. Well, both are, but the right one much more. Getting a seal is sometimes difficult, and maintaining the seal almost impossible with most tips.

 

What I do when I cannot get isolation and good fit with the stock silicone tips is making my own foamies. Problem is that they sometimes affect sound negatively, weakening the basses or even eating clarity. But most of the time they work.

 

I buy a pair of noise isolation ear plugs (poliuretane foam). They isolate about 37dB and cost me about 0.22 EUR. Quite cheap, so it's not a great deal if I break a pair or two. Most of the time I can make two tips for each foam, cutting them in half. For big nozzled phones I use the top part, which is thinner, and for fine nozzles (A151, PL-50, etc.) I use the bottom half.

 

Making the hole is a pain in the arse, specially when you have to fit the foamies into big nozzled phones, but with some practice you can get very good results. Follow the instructions posted in previous posts.

 

Last but not least: I always get perfect isolation and fit with Comply tips. Weren't so expensive, I wouldn't use anything else. So, if you cannot get a good fit and a good seal with them, maybe the homemade foams are the solution for you, as you can make a really tiny hole and surround the phone nozzles with a good bunch of foam. That should work even if your right ear canal is too big.

 

I'm always searching for ways of making the holes centered and clean, but to date I don't have a reliable one. I'm going to try the "double-needle" method. If it works I'll post here.

 

Good luck :)

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