I was wonder if anyone has enjoyed their ciems with ambient vents? (not performing on stage, just for listening)
How much isolation do you lose by going with ambient vents?
How much bass do you lose by going with ambient vents?
Can you plug the hole for increase isolation?
How much isolation can you achieve by plugging the hole?
Do you feel getting ambient vents is a good idea?
// Information about my situation:
I recently snapped an ear piece and need a reshell. Since I have had my ciems for a little over a year now I've found a few issues that I hadn't thought about (when I first pulled the trigger) regarding isolation.
Firstly, since I don't usually just sit still and listen to music ( I like to clean the house, walk around, etc.) I notice all sorts of bone conduction noise; just turning my head side to side can be very disrupting since I listen at low volumes. Walking around with customs pretty much guarantees using very high volumes in an attempt to over power the booming of my footsteps (I walk very softly by the way). I think losing some isolation would help quite significantly with this problem. As I write this I am listening to my customs (one is perfectly fine and one is cracked but still provides a full seal) deliberately loosely sealed (loose enough to hear my environment well but still provide bass) and it isn't all that terrible. I don't know how much isolation I lose if I go with ambient vents and so I don't know how much worse the sound becomes. As a side note, I've been developing a dislike for bass recently and on my UM Miracles I like to eq the sub-bass down 2-4 db.
Secondly, 25 db reduction is too much for me. In one situation, I often miss people talking to me even when they're right next to me. At home I occasionally have to watch over someone who is special needs now and doing some chores with some quiet music can't happen because there's too much isolation and bone conduction makes the quiet music inaudible anyway. I'm not usually in loud environments and wouldn't actually listen to music in loud environments anyway since I would be more interested in leaving the area instead. I carry around acoustic earplugs as well so I can whip those out instead of using the customs as earplugs. Even my acoustic earplugs are kind of inconvenient and I'm thinking of getting new earplugs that have different filters so I can lower the dbs of isolation. I think as little as 10 db may suit my needs quite well but I'll try ordering some before I reshell my ciems. Listening with one ear just doesn't work because I always invariably turn up the volume since I can't hear the music clearly with just one ear. Also, the increase in volume ends up making my other ear unable to hear ambient noise very well anyway. Trying to listen to music with one ear and environment with the other is a fail in both ways.
Thirdly there are sounds that I would prefer to hear like typing on the keyboard and not prefer to hear like my heartbeat. On the bus I get paranoid when I can't hear the speaker since I'm afraid of missing announcements about route changes and things like that. Sitting in the office and not being able to listen to music because I the isolation is inconvenient makes having customs fairly useless as well. Same deal with my current earplugs to dampen some sound when conversations get loud and I need to focus; the dampening is too much (although the absence of music makes 25db a fair bit more tolerable than on iems. Still can't hear the person next to me when eating at a restaurant though). When washing dishes I prefer to be conscious of how much noise I'm making. If I listen to music (again, at low volumes), I tend to clang the plates and bowls much more frequently and much more loudly then if I wasn't listening to music.
Lastly, if ambient vents are essentially just a hole in the iem can I not just plug this hole when I want increased isolation? I realize that a piece of tape or some sticky tack isn't going to provide the isolation levels of a few centimetres of acrylic but again, I don't need the whole 25 dbs.
In summary, I can't really use customs at home nowadays and I can't really use customs outside. Lower isolation values would seem to go some way towards solving my problems and ambient vents would seem to be a solution towards achieving that.
I've been feeling like pulling the trigger on a pair of uerms for some time now and could get the miracles vented and the uerms unvented as a possible solution for being in both worlds and satisfying my curiosity for vents and the uerm vs miracle. However, I can't make a fair comparison between the two then (which is the point of getting the uerms).
I've read the few posts about ambient vents here and they all pretty much deprecate the ambient vents as a useless feature except for use with stage performers (even then it's a dodgy solution). No one seems to have real experience with ambient vents though.
Thanks to anyone who can provide some insight.