Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Custom IEMs... Are they for me?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Custom IEMs... Are they for me?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

What I've noticed with a lot of people with custom IEMs are that they also produce music as well as listening to them. Would custom IEMs be unnecessary for me if I were to just use them for listening purposes?

post #2 of 41

I don't own customs, so grain of salt....

 

I think that your need (or desire) for customs depends on your use and environment. If you were on-the-go in a noisy area, it's a consideration. If you mostly listen in quiet areas or like to share with others (as in “listen to this”), you can't take a custom out and pass it over. That would be territory for premium over-the-ear headphones.

 

WARNING: Unrelated rant

 

I'm a good candidate for customs as I spend 8 hours (a work day) in a somewhat noisy place listening to earphones. I'm reluctant to take the plunge for several reasons. I don't like hassle and the notion of re-fit and bad customer service with these small companies in far away lands.

 

State-side, I don't know if the investment is worth the gain. To be fair, I don't know what the gain is exactly. Perhaps, if there was a demo-set up in (say) every metro-area with over a million people.... They could set-up demos in a Brookstone store, InMotion store (not guarded by airport security), or a kiosk in the mall. Logitech could put a UE custom demo in the places they sell products currently.

 

People have to ask whether they should take a $1000 to $1300 gamble and hope everything works out. I can go to 4 places within 10 miles of my house to hear Monster, Beats, Bose. With Monster, you don't even have to talk to anyone. They have a bag of tips that you throw away after auditioning the Turbine (Gold, Copper, Mile Davis, etc..).

 

As big as the headphone market is today....still with the dinosaur business model. I guess that's one way to remain near extinct.

post #3 of 41

It is not necessary for listening, but it would improve the isolation and the comfort while wearing them. Some of them will even improve the sound over their universal brothers.

 

For beginners, perhaps you can choose some more well known and older brands such as UE and Westones since they usually have more experience on making CIEM and the chance of refit would be reduced.

post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bl42ed0 View Post

What I've noticed with a lot of people with custom IEMs are that they also produce music as well as listening to them. Would custom IEMs be unnecessary for me if I were to just use them for listening purposes?

I was sceptical too but my curiosity got the better of me and I found somewhere to test some demo customs. The improvement over my universals was quite apparent. There are so many kinds of customs that there will be one to suit anybody. Some are more geared to listeners and some for producers but I very much doubt that customs intended for musicians or producers would sound bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

I think that your need (or desire) for customs depends on your use and environment. If you were on-the-go in a noisy area, it's a consideration. If you mostly listen in quiet areas or like to share with others (as in “listen to this”), you can't take a custom out and pass it over. That would be territory for premium over-the-ear headphones.

 

I think I read somewhere that you have some shure se535s? I have them and some customs and just tried using the customs while driving. I think it would be hard to justify getting them if you've already got decent universals as there is always a little low frequency background noise (me making the assumption that you are in fact a truck driver and would be using them on the roadregular_smile%20.gif).

 

Edit. Actually I'm gonna retract that comment. I think they would be good on the road for a few reasons. They would sound better(depending on how noisy your truck is) and they would be much more comfortable over long periods. Isolation could improve too.  


Edited by wahu - 8/4/12 at 8:09am
post #5 of 41

The custom IEMs with multi drivers like JH13Pro/JH16Pro, UM Miracle and ES5 are much supperior in term of soundquality (include soundstage, imaging, instruments separation and higher resolution details) than many universal highend IEMs.


Edited by ZARIM - 8/4/12 at 8:02am
post #6 of 41

I took the plunge and went the custom route when I got a pair of Westone 3s and I've been very pleased with them. For me, they make the sound more apparent and focused because they do such a great job of isolation. I even wear them when I mow my lawn and don't have to raise the volume at all and I don't listen very loud to begin with. And like someone else said, they've been making custom ear tips for a long time so they know what they're doing.

post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 

How do the JH13/16s or UMs compare to, say, the likes of the 1964-Qs? I'm interested in customs but 4-500 would be my limit.

post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahu View Post

 

I think I read somewhere that you have some shure se535s? I have them and some customs and just tried using the customs while driving. I think it would be hard to justify getting them if you've already got decent universals as there is always a little low frequency background noise (me making the assumption that you are in fact a truck driver and would be using them on the roadregular_smile%20.gif).

 

Edit. Actually I'm gonna retract that comment. I think they would be good on the road for a few reasons. They would sound better(depending on how noisy your truck is) and they would be much more comfortable over long periods. Isolation could improve too.  

Thanks for the advise.

 

For me, it would be all about the sound, if I were to go that route.

 

As far as comfort, it would be impossible to beat the comfort of my triple-flanges. I've been wearing them at least 8 hours (a work day) for 8 years now. I soak and soften them up beforehand.  I moisten them with water for a deep vapor-lock insertion. They are as comfortable as my shirt and pants.

 

On the isolation, I can usually hear the first echo behind the lead singer's voice while driving. If I notice a second (even more faint) echo in the quiets of home, --I can't hear that on the road. That's okay, because I can still enjoy the meat of the music.  Plus, I can eat and snack all day with no problem whatsoever while listening to music. A few custom owners have complained on Head-fi about fit issues (like facial movements and bone conduction).

post #9 of 41
Quote:

Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

 

For me, it would be all about the sound, if I were to go that route.

 

Well I'd say they do sound considerably better. Personally I can't wear the triple flanges for more than 5mins and the shure olives are more comfortable for me. My customs are much more comfortable then the shure olives and don't give me that sticky oily feeling. The olives also make squelchy noises while I eat and my customs make none. For me personally the customs are a massive upgrade in comfort and convenience(don't need to fiddle with them, replace tips etc). They are about the same isolation wise.

post #10 of 41

There are now a few high end universals (FitEar, AKG) that easily compete with high end customs, so don't buy the custom versus universal argument/debate.  Customs in and of itself doesn't mean better.  Buy based on financial ability, need and sound signature, wherever that takes you. There are some fantastic customs and universals.  I love both for sometimes different and sometimes similar reasons.

post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

There are now a few high end universals (FitEar, AKG) that easily compete with high end customs, so don't buy the custom versus universal argument/debate.  Customs in and of itself doesn't mean better.  Buy based on financial ability, need and sound signature, wherever that takes you. There are some fantastic customs and universals.  I love both for sometimes different and sometimes similar reasons.

Hi. I've been reading your reviews and the the akgs look interesting. They don't look to be as comfortable or durable as customs?

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahu View Post

Hi. I've been reading your reviews and the the akgs look interesting. They don't look to be as comfortable or durable as customs?

 

Hey and thanks for reading my reviews!  The AKG's are very comfortable if you get the proper fit with the single flange; in that regard it is as comfortable as the Westone UM series.  However I needed to use triple flange tips to get the proper fit.  Those are comfortable to me but do occasionally itch but not often.  As far as durability, the housings are more durable than acrylic but I do have concerns about the cable above the Y split.  AKG could eliminate this concern by offering detachable cables in the future. Only time will tell if my concern is valid or not.

post #13 of 41

Guess it's time I plug the Aurisonics AS-2's.

 

They use an entirely digital process, meaning if you have an audiologist take impressions they will be able to offer an exact fit due to scanning in the impressions and using a 3D printer to make them. They also have a special material they coat the tips with so they make a great seal every time and stay in place even when you eat (something that is weird since I have a pair and no hyper-coating, so it's weird eating with them. 

 

They have a 15mm dynamic driver and 2 Balanced Armature tweeters. They are definitely musician grade but are amazing as a normal consumer. I have enjoyed my pair like a kid is to discovering music for the first time. IT's outrageous how great they sound and I have no regrets in my purchase. I have a review in my signature to a review of them. 

 

Of course, besides the hyper-coating, a generic model will be coming out later this year. You may be able to contact Aurisonics about potentially getting on the list of people that are getting the generic model for a few days. They've been going around a lot. Check out Aurisonics' facebook page to see someones reaction to the generic model, they are definitely impressive and can't recommend them enough.

 

In order not to be biased, people have been enjoying customs for a while. I just happen to have experience with this companies process and products. I have heard UE's generic models and they are very nice. Interesting sound signatures that will suit all types of people. 

 

The thing to be aware of is that each company has its own reputation for it's care and build quality. 1964 Ears, Ultimate Ears, JH Audio, Aurisonics, and a few others in the US have some great responses from purchasers. I wouldn't hesitate or worry about fit or build quality from any of those companies or a few others in the US. 

 

The main rule around here is it's not what you spent on your rig, it's not whether or not you have the ultimate rig you want or not, it's just about a great conversation about what we all enjoy, which I believe is music, and how we get the most out of it. I see the investment into customs as simple. yea, they cost a bunch, but with a removable cable and perfect fit to your ear, why not spend that money for a product you can enjoy for years. If you have the money and are curious, email the companies about their wait time and sound signatures of their products. Make an informed decision then as you will get familiar with their customer service and which product you want. 

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenman345 View Post

The main rule around here is it's not what you spent on your rig, it's not whether or not you have the ultimate rig you want or not, it's just about a great conversation about what we all enjoy, which I believe is music, and how we get the most out of it.

 

Simply but perfectly said.

post #15 of 41

I currently own (custom) JH5 and W3.

 

I use complys with W3 and have no problem with the fit.  My JH5's also fit perfectly.

 

If I had to have them in my ears 8 hours a day I would take the W3.  Don't get me wrong.  Both are very comfortable but a custom is 3 x the weight and engulfs your entire ear cavity where a universal is just sealing your ear canal and is much lighter.

 

If you have problems with fit with universals, then by all means, customs are the way to go.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Custom IEMs... Are they for me?