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Foam tips vs silicone tips?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Does each kind of tip alter the sound signature at all? Or is it all a matter of comfort and fit? I'm using a pair of SE110s with the included foam inserts, and they fit excellently, but I'm wondering if I'm missing out on anything because I'm not using silicone tips.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 15

Silicone tips to me does warm up the sound alot, which I personally don't like. They are also uncomfortable and clumsy.

post #3 of 15

There is a lot of feedback regarding this question around the forums, so you can search that.

Silicone is intensely uncomfortable (for most people), but foam tips create a good seal and fit, which brings out the bass more because it is being funneled into the ear canal. People seem to agree that this increased bass effect decreases the highs. 

There's a trade-off, but my personal opinion prefers long-lasting comfort over highs freqs, which are normally to high for me in the first place. 

My two cents 

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark View Post
foam tips create a good seal and fit, which brings out the bass more because it is being funneled into the ear canal. People seem to agree that this increased bass effect decreases the highs. 

There's a trade-off


No trade-off if you adjust the length of the foam tips so they don't extend far beyond the nozzle extremity (to avoid the funneling effect), either by cutting them or using shorter ones (Comply Ts series for example).

 

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tienbasse View Post


No trade-off if you adjust the length of the foam tips so they don't extend far beyond the nozzle extremity (to avoid the funneling effect), either by cutting them or using shorter ones (Comply Ts series for example).

 


Could you please explain what the funneling effect is?

 

I find the longer foam tips, which come with the Atrio's improve the overall sound quality and provide a wider sound stage.

 

 

 

post #6 of 15

I must be in the minority, I much prefer silicone tips.

post #7 of 15

^Same. They don't alter the sound signature and they're comfy to me. 

post #8 of 15

from my experience(using westone 4) using comply alters the sound -> it kills the treble but it so comfortable. tried several tip until i settled to sony hybrids =)

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by roycantos View Post

from my experience(using westone 4) using comply alters the sound -> it kills the treble but it so comfortable. tried several tip until i settled to sony hybrids =)



yeah but using the shorter comply T series, makes the sound alteration caused by tunneling nonexistent. it's what i'm using these days until i pick up um56s.


Edited by ubercaffeinated - 12/21/11 at 7:06pm
post #10 of 15

While the foam material may soften the high frequencies a tad, I think foam tips provide a more natural tone/sound.  Silicone tips can sound steely or siblant and they constrain the sound a bit more because the hole opening is so tiny versus the open-ness of a foam tip.

 

Tunneling effect of a foam tip can't be nearly as bad as the cut-off effect of a silicone (with tiny hole opening).

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tienbasse View Post


No trade-off if you adjust the length of the foam tips so they don't extend far beyond the nozzle extremity (to avoid the funneling effect), either by cutting them or using shorter ones (Comply Ts series for example).

 

 

This. Complys in particular have an annoying tendency where the foam closes up over the sound tube when you roll it in your fingers, which muffles the treble. I solved this by trimming them slightly (P-series), now I get a perfect fit and perfect sound. It's not the length of the tip so much as the obstruction (or not) of the sound tube that alters the sound.
 

 

post #12 of 15

Silicone tips are very uncomfortable in the long run for me. They also have a nasty habit of conforming to the shape of my ears and wont go back to their original circular shape.

post #13 of 15
I tried different kinds of tips on my er4p and can confirm (via listening to sine waves via sinegen and recording the relative perceived intensities of different frequencies) that different tips alter the treble frequency response, and it‘s not just a matter of foam vs silicone. Different silicone tips alter the sound differently too, and although I only tried one kind of foam tip, I bet different foam tips also alter the sound differently too. (unfortunately can‘t confirm anymore since my etys are broken)

Besides the sound absorbing and funnelling effects of different tips there‘s also the matter of how deep in the ear canal the whole assembly ends up, which affects the frequencies at which the blocked ear canal between the phone and the eardrum resonates.
post #14 of 15

I am currently using silicone tips on my UM Mentor's and I find the sound to be preferable to the foam complies.

Yes the bass is lessened however they have plenty of that in the first place.

 

I however much prefer the comfort of the comply which is more than likely going to see me heading back to them.

I might look into trimming them up as stated above.

 

I was trying the silicone primarily because I use them at work and people asking questions, it gets frustrating pushing the foamies in and out all the time.

 

Scott

post #15 of 15

Its all about synergy with the sound signature of the IEM, the player, EQ settings and the type of amp you are using.  Its not a one size fits all right or wrong answer.

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