Impressions of the Bargain Priced "Squish Tips"
Ok, So a few days ago I posted a question about some tips I found on Amazon US called “Squish Tips”. Since there were quite a few replies, I thought I would let people know my impressions after a few hours of listening.
Just a little about my music preferences, I would not consider myself an audiophile by any means, but I own/have owned several decent headphones ranging from a Grados, V-Modas, etc, but have never owned an IEMs over $30.
Thanks in part to reading this tread several months back, I instantly fell in love with the 8320 and have since given several pairs to friends as gifts to help people improve their iPod listening experience. As for listening preferences, I enjoy a competent bass signature, but not a fan of “enhanced” bass. Coupled with the excellent highs and mids the 8320 produce, I also enjoy their neutral bass signature. I tend to use my 8320's for listening to Rock and Jazz and they do an excellent job, even if I had paid $30.
Enter the Squish Tips,,,,With Shipping, they ended up being around $6 for a set of three pairs and they came in separately wrapped plastic bags and installed with little effort. They are made of a super-soft foam, which reminds me of memory foam. As you can see from the pictures, their build quality is a bit sloppy and looked like they came right out of the injection mold without any quality check. Nothing to worry about, but worth mentioning.
When I did my comparison I used my iPod 7th Gen and the Fiio E7 as my source.
In all honesty, after using the Squish Tips, I was a bit disappointed. I never thought I would bring up “Soundstage” when talking about IEMs, but I found that the Squishy Tips created the sensation of channeling the sound directly into my ear (which to many might be the whole point of using foam tips) but as for me, I did not like the sensation it created. It became very fatiguing after only a half hour of listening.
One theory I had was that because these foam tips are too soft, they lack the firmness to keep their shape inside the ear. After installed, there is a few millimeters of foam at the sound tubes end (my word) that could potentially compress within the ear. I worried that the circular port between the driver and inner ear possibly closes up or becomes contorted inside my ear canal. Since I cant see whats going on inside my ear, I can't know for sure.
Additionally, regardless of how I placed them in my ear, the Squish Tips created an immediate reduction in bass signature and the highs become somewhat raspy and I definitely felt I lost some definition with highs and mids.
In closing, IMO, the benefit of headphone listening is the “critical listening” aspect you can experience with some high quality CD/MP3s and a decent DAC. In the end, I feel I lost a lot of this "benefit" and made an honest mistake and I definitely prefer the stock tips. (even if they don't always stay in)
In full disclosure, I have never tried any other foam tips such as the Complys, so my impressions are only about the Squish Tips and not foam tips in general.
I could spend the money for the Comply Tips, but I think I am going to quit while I am still ahead.
Wow, glad I didn't get those... almost grabbed a pair a few minutes ago... Better luck next time, my friend, thanks for the info!