My main use for earphones is to listen to audio books while on the bus or walking down noisy streets of cars with superchargers, or the supermarket with screaming kids, store announcements and shopping muzak.
So super hi fi quality where I can discern the precise timbre of a triangle as the timpani rolls to a crescendo is not my primary concern.
What I am looking for is a really really good seal that provide maximum noise blocking. My experiences so far have been mixed.
I have been using a pair of phillips she9550 because they were only $20 but I have found them to be surprisingly good. I thought I'd move a bit upmarket and bought some sony xba-30. Surprisingly the sound was not very much better but the comfort and noise isolation was appalling.
Another problem is ear wax, it seems no matter how well or often or diligently ear was is cleaned from the ear, somehow it still manages to get all over the silicone.
Therefore I am leery of compressed foam type seals as the ones I've tried need to be thrown away pretty quickly or are very uncomfortable.
The she 9550 seem to have a very fine silicone and this has proved to be the best but I'd like to get even better noise isolation if possible.
I found the sony idea of having foam under the silicon to not work any better than the same silocone without the foam, the foam just added to the discomfort.
Another problem with the sony is that the silicone is much more firm and does not seal as well as the finer silicone. And the shape of the Sony required them to be inserted uncomfortably deep into the canal.
So that sort of covers the areas of concern. I have never tried the etymotic style flane silicone and I wonder how that compares.
So with all those problems on the table can someone suggest a solution that would be comfortable and block out as much noise as possible with those two considerations more important to me than maximum hi fidelity sound.