Originally Posted by tlgthe4th
I have been using the small Shure olives with my hf3 for the last three weeks. Sound is fantastic and they are finally getting somewhat comfortable. Just got fitted for the custom tips last week, I'll post how that turns out.
I've had my custom fit tips for a couple weeks now, so I think I've had a good chance to get comfortable with them. It took about three and a half weeks from the fitting appointment until I received them. It took me about 15 minutes to realize I was putting the tips in upside down, and then finally I was able to put them in a slight rear angle and then twist forward about a quarter turn. The first thing I noticed was how darn comfortable they are. Previously, the only tip I could get a decent seal with is a small shure olive. Even then, it took about three weeks before I could listen comfortably. With the custom tips, I can put them in my ears quite a bit easier also, as there is no need to squeeze the foam tips and then hold in place until the foam expands.
As far as the sound goes, I immediately noticed the bass was considerably punchier, and deeper. I could hear some sub-bass, where previously I had to really pay attention sometimes to pick it up. The hf3's seemed also to be more efficient, but that could be due to break in, since my hf3's are only 2 months old.
I thought it would be fun to try the tips on the other iem's I have that have the same stem size. The first one I tried is the Ety mc5, which is a step below the hf3 in the ety food chain that I got on an Amazon lightning deal for $49. I had been using the stock foam tips. The sound was never really good enough to endure the pain in the ear canal so I usually went back to my shure se-210. Well IMO, the custom tips make a huge difference for the mc5's I must of not been getting a good seal before, because with the new tips they actually have bass you can feel, while still delivering that sparkling treble. Still not nearly at the level of the hf3, but a surprising difference for me. When I tried the new tips on the se-215's they sounded better than before, but I couldn't even make it though a full song. I can't believe that these were my everyday phones for a year and a half, until I discovered head-fi!
I think the investment of $100 is totally worth it to upgrade to the ety custom-tip program. Not only does it make the iem's way more comfortable, but improves the sound quality, although I imagine that varies when using on different iem's with the same stem size. I sure am having fun with them, and am looking forward to trying them with future purchases. When a pack of the good comply tips goes for $20 including shipping, these tips seem like a pretty good value to me.