What CIEM do you own?
Care for them like you would with any piece of expensive audio equipment!
Let's look at possible modes of failure:
- Physical damage
- Moisture related damage clogs up the filters or wicks water into the sound tubes/drivers, which is very difficult to remove
- Wax clogs the sound tube
- Driver failure (and other manufacturer related issues)
- Cable failure (cable failure is one of the top causes of IEM failure
- For physical damage, don't put them in your pocket, use the case (or a case) when not in use. While acrylic shells are tough (if yours is acrylic), the drivers inside do have g-shock limits depending on how they are built, so try not to drop them. Dropping them every once in a while on your desk, for example, should be fine, but from your head to a hard floor is another thing.
- Moisture is the enemy of small sound tubes and tiny filters. Either store them with a desiccant pack when not in use or use a hearing aid dryer from time to time.
- This is what the cleaning tool and hearing aid dryers are for. Make sure wax isn't entering the sound tubes, and if it is, gently fish it out with the cleaning tool while holding the sound tubes downward so wax will fall out vs getting logged deeper in the sound tube. Also, I would avoid cleaning the canal often as a build-up on the canal will help with ease of insertion and achieving a proper seal.
- Can't do much about driver failure, but it is fairly uncommon and can happen to anything, not just CIEMs.
- If you have a detachable cable, no issues. If not, treat your cable like gold and remove it carefully from your source. Try not to put strain on the plugs and don't get it caught on things (common sense!).