I have recently received the new Jaben Foam Tips in a huge variety if sizes and bore sizes. I am going to be doing a small review and piece of writing on them and update with more IEMs I try these with along the way. As for tips I use daily with IEMs they will be stock silicone tips that I have, not always from the IEMs them selves but always silicone. The reason for this is that Comply foam tips both never did it for me in terms of sound and were way to expensive for what they are an dhow long they last. The reason I did not like the sound was because it adds to much warmth and bass as well as a loss in treble making the sound a lot darker. Shure foam tips sound better but they still never did it for me. Comfort wise however they always did succeed so I had hopes for the Jaben Foam Tips to both sound good and be comfy.
The Jaben tips come in two different varieties and each in 3 sizes. There is a standard and a plus with the standard having a plastic core and being the same size as a Comply T400 and the plus being the same size as a Comply T500. Both verities also come in small, medium and large.
Large - Medium- Small
Standard - Plus
A pack of 5 pairs of Jaben Foam Tips comes in at £6 (12 Singapore dollars) which works out very cheap, yes that is just over pound a pair, cheaper than both how much it is for Sony Hybrids or any branded silicone tips for that matter. A pack of 3 pairs of Comply comes in at a RRP of £15 but you can pick them up for cheaper with the street price being £12. So if the cost was a problem with Comply because they do get in a state and you have to replace them and that really is all Jaben boast of their tips, they do not say they sound better but are a good alternative that is a lot more cost efficient. The only reason the price could be look at as a downside is because if you like the packaging that the 3 Comply tips come in as all the Jaben tips get is a clear re-sealable bag like stock tips come in and it has a sticker on stating what they are, anyway, that’s good enough for me.
Before I start any sound testing I will talk about build quality. Comply are built better than the Jaben tips. I say this because the Jaben tips that have the plastic bore inside do like to let the plastic bore slip out when removing them from the IEMs, really this is not a problem as you will not be removing them a lot like I am and leaving them off until they need replacing. The plastic bore inside the Comply never comes out. I will mention that Jaben one can easily be put back in. The plus sizes of the Jaben tip do not have a plastic bore and I like this a lot more as it makes it a more flexible size and it fits a lot of IEMs.
With some Comply's (some are getting dirty)
Comfort between the two is very similar but the Jaben tips are softer, like a heavily washed Comply and this is comfier by the slightest but then a negative in return is that it does make rolling them before insertion a harder process as they do not like to roll up. Isolation is stellar on both and they easily do a better job than silicone.
The first IEM I tried these on was the Sony MDR-EX1000, first I listened to a song with the tips I normally use, a medium Sony Hybrid tip which after extensive tip rolling with the EX1000 was the tip that I picked. I then re-listened to the same song with the Jaben Foam Tip and finally a Comply TS (spherical Comply). This process I will do from now on with all the IEMs I test these on but perhaps with a different Comply.
Foam tips have always had a rather big appeal for me when using the EX1000 as isolation is not one of the EX1000’s strong points by any mean and the foam tips do definitely improve on that but the comply always let me down in terms of sound.
First of all I listened to the stock tips and got the sound that I am used to getting and it is great, I really enjoy it. Well I went onto the Jaben tips and what happened, not a lot, the bass response dug deeper yes but it was not made bigger or slower with slightly less warmth for sure and a toned down mid-bass and the mids were still very fresh and perhaps even in a position even further forward. Treble is a bigger worry, as that is what the Comply tips have always had a negative effect on but no big change, but there is actually a bit more, I detected the slightest early elements of sibilance and the whole clarity effect has been boosted, this would if anything be a good thing for many as the EX1000 has peaky treble. I then switched to the Comply and the sound instantly was darker, a slower large mid-bass response formed and the mids decided to slouch back into the dark dragging the highs to that same place. The Comply was the clear loser, just not matching the other two tips in sound. The other two were fairly similar, the treble and bass saw subtle differences in quantity but nothing drastic. The mids however are lusher and slightly more forward with the Jaben tips and I really like that sound. I am going to go ahead and say it, I have found a new favourite tip for the Sony EX1000 and it is the Jaben Foam Tip, isolation is better and closer to average on these vented dynamic IEMs and comfort is even better, as for sound it slightly different, similar on overall quality but better in my listening preferences.
So far with one IEM tested the foam tips are a winner and if you just want a replacement for your Complys that is cheaper then I would not bat an eyelid.
These can be purchased from Jaben and as part of a bundle with the Mini Box Amplifier Here: