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How do you achieve IEM comfortableness?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Over 5+ years I've tried a few mid to higher end IEM's, I absolutely loved the dynamics and musicality of them but for some reason they leave one of my ears sore. I've tried all kinds of different materials but the ones that sound the best tend to cause my left eardrum much soreness, almost feels like an ear ache after an hour or so of use. So I've been wondering if any of you head-fiers' have suffered from the same issue? 

 

I've thought about a custom fit but hate to waste the time and money to suffer the same outcome. From my experience the closest I've gotten to an IEM sound is my Grado RS1i's but even then it's close but no cigar. At the office I just can't jam to an open can (why I gotta leave the RS1i's at home) due to others around, so a closed or IEM is my only option. Any advice or experiences would be gratefully appreciated. 

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPaintCode View Post

Over 5+ years I've tried a few mid to higher end IEM's, I absolutely loved the dynamics and musicality of them but for some reason they leave one of my ears sore. I've tried all kinds of different materials but the ones that sound the best tend to cause my left eardrum much soreness, almost feels like an ear ache after an hour or so of use. So I've been wondering if any of you head-fiers' have suffered from the same issue? 

 

I've thought about a custom fit but hate to waste the time and money to suffer the same outcome. From my experience the closest I've gotten to an IEM sound is my Grado RS1i's but even then it's close but no cigar. At the office I just can't jam to an open can (why I gotta leave the RS1i's at home) due to others around, so a closed or IEM is my only option. Any advice or experiences would be gratefully appreciated. 


As far as customs are concerned, this is typically a question for your audiologist in my opinion. In my opinion, if your impressions are good, CIEMs do not hurt, but you might be over-sensitive. What you can do is take prints with your audiologist, and try to keep the prints in you ear for a couple of hours at home. You will see if it hurts. If it doesn't, than silicon CIEMs shouldn't hurt either. Acrylics might still hurt though.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPaintCode View Post

Over 5+ years I've tried a few mid to higher end IEM's, I absolutely loved the dynamics and musicality of them but for some reason they leave one of my ears sore. I've tried all kinds of different materials but the ones that sound the best tend to cause my left eardrum much soreness, almost feels like an ear ache after an hour or so of use. So I've been wondering if any of you head-fiers' have suffered from the same issue? 

 

I've thought about a custom fit but hate to waste the time and money to suffer the same outcome. From my experience the closest I've gotten to an IEM sound is my Grado RS1i's but even then it's close but no cigar. At the office I just can't jam to an open can (why I gotta leave the RS1i's at home) due to others around, so a closed or IEM is my only option. Any advice or experiences would be gratefully appreciated. 

I thought this was my issue as well until I started trying different types/builds.  I know Westone's main line, not the UM series, fits my ears perfectly.  Shure are okay but take some adjusting and PFE are very comfortable.  Has this been with different tips as well?  And have you been using iem's that are deep insertion, shallow or both with the same outcome? 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've tried Etymotic er-4p's, Shure 535's and Westone 3's. Far as the tips, tried foam, silicone and flange. The one that seem to be the most comfortable was the foam but could never get a good seal. The silicone seem to seal the best for me, but getting the pressure/seal seemed to irritate my ear drum after a few times, sort of like swimmers ear just not quite intense. I didn't like the flange at all, worse tip out of the 3 for me.

 

Perhaps it's time for a trip to an audiologist or even an ENT =(, they may reveal some answers. Was hoping to avoid that all together.

post #5 of 8

What happens when you earplugs? I.e. the sound blocking, non-iem sort? 

post #6 of 8

I've used many IEMs.

 

I can wear all of them for many hours, but in the end of the day they will feel sore one way or another. Some feel better, other feel worse.

 

3 years ago, I picked up a custom. I've worn by earphones for 2 days straight (transfer flight, sleeping, then more flying) and didn't have any issues with comfort. The only issue is I sometimes feel sore around my ears (where you look the cable over your ear); I think it is caused by the fact that I wear glasses, as when I use contacts (and therefore nothing else resting on my ear), I don't have this issue with soreness.

post #7 of 8
Good to have a thread discussing IEM comfort. The best earphones are no use if they cause discomfort. Actual pain surely means that they should not be worn at all.
post #8 of 8
I think your idea of seeing an ENT is a really good one. You shouldn't have pain when listening to IEM's and if you are it's a pretty good sign that something is wrong. I could understand a little discomfort - especially at first - but what you're describing is certainly more intense. If you do go, let us know what you find out!
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