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How do you know when you've got the perfect seal?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I just sent off my impressions to JH Audio.  Hopefully they'll get them tomorrow.  But anyways, once I get the earphones, how will I know when I have the perfect seal?  It's my first time buying custom iem's.

 

Will it feel like nothing's there?  If it were perfect, would I be able to wear the iem's the whole day without feeling any discomfort?  Is it one of those things that you can just tell?  The reason I'm asking is because the audiologist i went to didn't give me a block for my jaw to rest on so I feel like he messed up.  He said I didn't need it since I was young.

 

Has anyone else gotten a perfect seal w/o using a biting block?

 

Luckily he said he'll make another set of impressions if the IEM's don't fit right, for free.  Unfortunately though, I've heard that JH only accepts another pair of impressions as a last resort.  The whole biting block thing has been on my mind all morning :/


Edited by Relleish - 4/20/11 at 1:24pm
post #2 of 20


I did a closed mouth impression the first time and the fit was too loose...especially when i opened my mouth to sing.  You need to go back and get a bite block open mouth impression unless you are ok breaking your seal and reseating the monitor all day long. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relleish View Post

Hey guys, I just sent off my impressions to JH Audio.  Hopefully they'll get them tomorrow.  But anyways, once I get the earphones, how will I know when I have the perfect seal?  It's my first time buying custom iem's.

 

Will it feel like nothing's there?  If it were perfect, would I be able to wear the iem's the whole day without feeling any discomfort?  Is it one of those things that you can just tell?  The reason I'm asking is because the audiologist i went to didn't give me a block for my jaw to rest on so I feel like he messed up.  He said I didn't need it since I was young.

 

Has anyone else gotten a perfect seal w/o using a biting block?

 

Luckily he said make another set of impressions if the IEM's don't fit right.  Unfortunately though, I've heard that JH only accepts another pair of impressions as a last resort.  The whole biting block thing has been on my mind all morning :/



 

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

After spending $1,100 for the JH 13's I'm definitely not okay with that!  Blehhh I suppose I'll wait till next week to get another set of impressions after receiving the earphones.  I also remember seeing that some people gently push the molding stuff into your ear just a bit to get deeper into the ear canal.  The audiologist didn't do that so yea, I guess you guys can see why I'm worried. 

post #4 of 20

It varies from person to person.  My audiolodists has done impressions for 30 years and in his opinion the bite block is not necessary.  I did not use one and JH Audio made my impressions to perfection.  You will just know when you have a good seal.  It will feel right.  Sort of like when pressing on them to try to seal them better makes no improvement you know it is right.

 

I believe I read somewhere that custom fits get it right the first time over 95% of the time which are pretty good averages.  Not sure where those stats come from.  Perhaps it was JH Audio's own track record.

post #5 of 20
Full sound (deep bass, clean highs); even balance L/R; impact on drums, bass guitar; sense of seal and pressure even in both ears.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post

It varies from person to person.  My audiolodists has done impressions for 30 years and in his opinion the bite block is not necessary.  I did not use one and JH Audio made my impressions to perfection.  You will just know when you have a good seal.  It will feel right.  Sort of like when pressing on them to try to seal them better makes no improvement you know it is right.

 

I believe I read somewhere that custom fits get it right the first time over 95% of the time which are pretty good averages.  Not sure where those stats come from.  Perhaps it was JH Audio's own track record.


Ahaha from what I've read here on head-fi, it seems like JH gets it right 75% of the time.  Even though the audiologist didn't give me a biting block, I left my mouth open just in case.  Good thing he wasn't there to see how awkward I looked.  The anticipation is killing me so I really don't want to have a refit.    I do hope that when I try to push in the earphones, it won't sound better since I think that's what a perfect seal is?  I've always had a habit of pushing in my universal iem's to get a better sound.

 

post #7 of 20

You pee from a great hight into a receptacle in which there is water (okay, maybe an empty can) - so, this is mostly for the lads here - and if you don't hear anything (pee hitting water), then you have a brilliant seal.  The key here is to watch carefully what you're doing, otherwise.....

 

You will know when you no longer hear ambient noise that you have a good seal, is what I am trying to say.  The test I suggest does have it's merits, though.   After my second pair of JH13s, I went on a long flight and, yes, there was some background noise from the aircraft engines, but really muted,   I could not hear any PA announcements, so be careful if you're about to take a dive!  Maybe another indicator of a good seal.  Also, I have worn the JH13s for over 7 hours with no discomfort whatsoever.   I do, however, suggest you remove them before beginning any descent on a plane.   Having them in my ears prolonged the pooping of my ears until well after we landed.

 

I had a bad time at first with my seal (impressions done by Sonus - JH Audio recommended - with a bite block) and sent my JH13s back at least four times for a little bit of acrylic here, a little bit there, until JH Audio suggested new impressions.  Jerry Harvey recommended an audiologist in the LA area and she did my second impressions.  The build off those fit perfectly.  The amount of time the material sat in my ears was much less than that at Sonus.   I often wondered if given how much time the material was in my ears if I swallowed - apparently a no-no - and that ruined the impressions.  There are a lot of variables at play here and, consequently, room for error......or bad fit.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yea while I was sitting down, I kept swallowing since the secretary was eating panda and it made my mouth water. So when I swallowed, I felt movement in my ear. I don't know, I guess I'm just being paranoid. Too bad there isn't a recommended audiologist here in Reno.
Edited by Relleish - 4/20/11 at 8:01pm
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relleish View Post




Ahaha from what I've read here on head-fi, it seems like JH gets it right 75% of the time. 

 


The complainers are always more vocal than the satisfied customers.  Unless there was a dedicated thread about "who got the fit right first try", it would be hard to really know.
 

 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post




The complainers are always more vocal than the satisfied customers.  Unless there was a dedicated thread about "who got the fit right first try", it would be hard to really know.
 

 



Ah yes, you're right.  Reminds me of when I worked at Amazon.  I had to make sure people left positive reviews about the products.  People love to complain, and nobody has the time to leave a good review.

post #11 of 20

Here's the thing: The shape of your ear canal changes when you move your jaw. Thing is, there is no way predict whether it gets bigger or smaller. In fact, with some people, the left and right ears will behave differently! So the use of a bite block may help, or it may screw things up. This is not an exact science.

 

Remember IEMs were originally created for musicians. Most all of them - but especially vocalists - are changing their facial expressions throughout a show. When the seal is lost, bass response is seriously compromised through the leak.

 

It's my theory (and only a theory) that the bite block idea originated as a way to maintain seal during vocals. And it obviously helped enough people that it has become recommended practice with some (but not all) manufacturers. OTOH, home listeners are much more stable while listening. A good fit should be obtainable without a bite block, especially if you listen with your mouth closed.

 

This is the part where I sing the praises of silicone earpieces, like all Sensaphonics models. They flex with your canal, maintaining seal through a wide range of motion. They are also soft, and thus more comfortable.

 

Sensaphonics does not recommend the use of a bite block when getting impressions. Quoting from the company's "Getting Ear Impressions" PDF:

 

Quote:
When making ear impressions, start with your jaw open. Once the material has been
injected, move your jaw to replicate the facial movements you make while performing.
While the material is setting, vocalists should sing, horn players should bring a
mouthpiece and play, etc.

 

Obviously, this procedure is designed for musicians, and our percentage of refits is quite low. My point here is that pointing to bite blocks, swallowing, etc., as causes for bad fit oversimplifies the issue. Again, this is not an exact science, and what works for one person may well create problems for another. This is the whole reason that custom manufacturers offer refits.


Edited by JackKontney - 4/22/11 at 1:03pm
post #12 of 20

If when you lose a ton of bass response while lying flat on your back, then you seal is not tight enough.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusio View Post

If when you lose a ton of bass response while lying flat on your back, then you seal is not tight enough.



Why on your back?

post #14 of 20

when it brings you breakfast in bed, and opens your beer for you.  evil_smiley.gif

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relleish View Post





Why on your back?


I don't know, perhaps it mimics a jaw thrust and by pushing the jaw away from the head, it let's a bit of air in. I've noticed that with my acs tips (Etymotic), the seal is constant, lying flat on my back; but with other tips, on my back, the bass (therefore seal) decreases.
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