This is my review on Comply foam tips. This will cover the Original T400s and the new (at least to me) Spherical TS 500 tips. This my first review and probably my first post as well, please bear with me. Reviews look better with pics but I dont have any on me right now so in the meantime I pasted images copied from the Comply site.
I would first like to thank Nate for sending me the round tips. It was great timing that he posted the review offer just when I discovered them on their site. The classic T400s I purchased on my own a while back.
A little more background on the test. I currently have the following iems – IE7, AKG K370ALU, Monster Turbines and Sony EX85s. I still haven’t gotten my Turbines back from Monster since I RMAd them so I haven’t tried them with the round tips yet. Source is a 4g Ipod touch with and without a Fiio E5 connected using an LOD.
On to the review:
Treble and Mids:
I tried these on all my iems and found they have a tendency to muffle the sound, good if your iems exhibit sibilance but not so good if they are already clear and smooth (or dull) to begin with. This effect was particularly useful for my AKG’s which could get quite raspy and sibilant until after their burn in period
Note: I wasn’t a believer in burn in but these headphones have really transformed over time. Almost all of the sibilance and harshness is gone. Probably another subject for review?
What does work with these foams is putting them in reverse so that the other end of the tube is what goes into your ear first. I can’t remember who posted this idea but thanks! This makes a more open path into your ear and this really helps maintain clarity.
One thing that is obvious for me with the T400s vs. silicone tips is the loss of bass. Again OK if you don’t like lots of bass, but silicone tips just really bring out the lower notes. I myself prefer to have a little more bass so I would find myself going back to silicone tips every now and then. This loss of bass I found most noticeable in the Turbines and IE7s.
This of course will depend on your ear size, I always use the largest silicone tips so I bought the Large T400s. Maybe I should have gotten the mediums because I could always feel them in my ear, even after they have warmed up and softened. This was worse when I put them on backwards, the inner tube would push against the inside of my ear and could get a little painful. A sacrifice made for the sake of sound quality.
T500 Spherical Tips
The T400s made me think that if only they were a little shorter, a little rounder and if the inner tube could extend just a hair short of the tip they would be perfect so when the review offer came up I immediately contacted Nate.
Treble and Mids:
As expected, the round foam tips still do muffle the sound but these have a much better effect. I would prefer a little more openness but it doesn’t bother me as much as with the T400s. Flipping them over did nothing for me so I used them the normal way. My IE7s are still pretty new and a little rough up top for me (I must be sensitive to sibilance) and these round tips have helped a lot. They still provide great mids and vocals while smoothing out the lower treble. I can still hear reverbs and echoes clearly. It has the same desirable effect on the AKGs.
This part surprised me. I heard very little loss in bass. In fact for the IE7s which have a tendency to shift in my ear with the stock tips, these round tips seal and hold on to my ear so the bass doesn’t fluctuate anymore like it used to. This I found odd since I would lose a lot of bass with the T400s that were larger and filled up my ear much more. On the AKG’s however the round tips made the bass a little bloated and boomy.
These are great. Its probably because of their shape and size (medium) but these do “disappear” after they’ve been in my ears for a while. The IE7 stock tips were loose fitting and uncomfortable and simple head or jaw movements changed the sound such that I had to keep pushing and turning them into my ear. These round tips just fit and I have stopped fiddling around with them making listening a comfortable experience. The effect of these tips is not as profound on the AKGs as these are very comfortable headphones to begin with.
To conclude, I like the TS 500 round tips. For me they are good at retaining the sound signature of the headphones and are comfortable to use. So much so that I have decided to leave them on my IE7s and AKGs as my permanent tips.
There you go I hope my review was clear and that it can help those who are thinking of trying out these foam tips
Edited by rv1030 - 6/10/11 at 12:43pm