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Has anyone done a custom molded IEM hack?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Isolation and comfort seems to be the big issues when it comes to IEM, I recently came across a thread on r/headphones that discusses using moldable material to create a custom mold for the IEM. The full tutorial is available here:

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/57481/how-to-make-custom-silicone-ear-molds-for-your-in-ear-monitors/

 

I am just wondering if anyone at head-fi has done it and how did it come out? is it worthwhile to do this hack?

 

 

Thanks!

 

FYI i found some for $10 on amazon.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Radians-Custom-Molded-Earplugs-Red/dp/B002XULPSQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1396807256&sr=8-5&keywords=molded+radians

post #2 of 5
Wow, for $10 that is worth a try.

EDIT-- I was reading the Amazon reviews, and one said this:

"I gave the product 3 stars because while I think there is potential, the buyer is going to have difficulty reproducing the results they would get by going to a professional. There are several reasons for this. First a professional will use a small foam piece on a tether to block the mold material from reaching the eardrum. This, combined with using a large syringe to push the material into the ear gives a much better fit to the inner contours of the ear canal. Comparing the professional version side-by-side to this product it is obvious that the inner ear part of the mold is much different - the professional version being much "thicker", better matching my inner ear and providing a better seal. Since the fit is what it's all about, that makes a huge difference in how much noise will be blocked. If you are making custom headphones the seal also dictates how good the bass response etc"

Seems like a valid (potential) criticism, but I think it's still worth a try considering the cost.
Edited by manbear - 4/6/14 at 11:13am
post #3 of 5

Cool definitely worth a try.  I have a bunch of canal phones I can't use for more than ~15-20 minutes because the silicone sleeve tips tickle the little hairs in my ear canals.  Its maddening!   Gives me chills and makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up on end.... UGH... I have some GREAT sounding canal phones I can't enjoy for more than 3-4 songs without removing them and cramming my pinky in there to alleviate the tickle sensation.

 

A mod like this might alleviate this if it can properly seal around the outer canal and not deeper inside.  The cotton/foam on a string is used to make the mold positive, for when the audiologist takes deep insertion impressions with the syringe.  Its not needed with a kit like this since they are not injecting the material deep into the canal with a syringe.  That and the fact that this kit is not making a mold positive, the impression is the actual end product.

 

One concern I would have is many dynamic driver canal phones have vent holes to alleviate pressure / vacuum on the driver diaphragm when inserting and removing them.  Some phones "crunch and crackle" when you insert them, thats the diaphragm compressing from the pressure.  A mod like this doesn't look like it has any way to allow for proper driver pressure venting.

 

Curious, does anyone else have the same problem with little hairs inside getting tickled constantly with canal-phones?

post #4 of 5

I might give this a try :) My Bose IE2's are awesome but on a noisy train i some times have to hold them in to cut out noise lol.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post

 

Curious, does anyone else have the same problem with little hairs inside getting tickled constantly with canal-phones?

 

I have a pair of Musical Fidelity EB50's and this drives me nuts too lol. think ill test it on some cheap in-ears and maybe mod the EB50's lol

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

Wow, for $10 that is worth a try.

EDIT-- I was reading the Amazon reviews, and one said this:

"I gave the product 3 stars because while I think there is potential, the buyer is going to have difficulty reproducing the results they would get by going to a professional. There are several reasons for this. First a professional will use a small foam piece on a tether to block the mold material from reaching the eardrum. This, combined with using a large syringe to push the material into the ear gives a much better fit to the inner contours of the ear canal. Comparing the professional version side-by-side to this product it is obvious that the inner ear part of the mold is much different - the professional version being much "thicker", better matching my inner ear and providing a better seal. Since the fit is what it's all about, that makes a huge difference in how much noise will be blocked. If you are making custom headphones the seal also dictates how good the bass response etc"

Seems like a valid (potential) criticism, but I think it's still worth a try considering the cost.

I think that's a very valid concern, but it's not a huge issue imo since a relatively good outer ear canal seal Will probably be much better than the regular foam or silicone inserts anyway. I am very interested after hearing everyone's comments!
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