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Great price/performance custom in-ear monitors (CIEMs) by Perfect Seal - appreciation &...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

As some of you may know, I have heard a good number of custom IEMs ranging from top-tier to entry level.  With ever-increasing competition, we are all benefiting from better price/performance ratios.  Perfect Seal is a new brand started by Mike Martinez, who has been in the industry since 1996.  After some conversations with Mike, I wanted to convey his experience and depth of knowledge, so I asked him to provide me with some of his history, and paraphrased it below.

 

It all started in a hearing lab in a dental office, and the company he worked for was most likely the 2nd CIEM company after Future Sonics.  The lab made monitors for Sensaphonics and Fireside, and everything was a dynamic driver CIEM.  He really enjoyed CIEMs, which kept him motivated, and he started playing around with hybrid designs.  Unfortunately, no hybrids were ever released and the company he worked for went out of business in 1997 due to mis-management.

 

In 1999 at age 22 Mike started his own lab but quickly realized he had to work on hearing products to make money.  With his passion still being CIEMs, he developed the first small custom ear mold for the new style one size fits all hearing aids and his business exploded as most major manufacturers sent their audiologists to him for the custom molds.  Being so busy in the hearing aid market, he missed the CIEM evolution, but wants to pursue the part of the business that drives him.

 

Perfect Seal has two different series of CIEMs, the Sportbud series and the PS series.  The Sportbud series is available in canal only or full shell if desired and made to be used during physical activity.  The PS series is his regular CIEMs that are designed for audiophiles and musicians.  There are many differentiating factors for his products, with the price/performance ratio being the first.  He also offers soft canals and has made full silicone. 

 

 

 

 

 

I have heard the Sportbud Silver, which I mentioned in my Sonion 1723 AcuPass article, and offers excellent performance for the price of $250 (see the link for a discount in May 2014).  Features are as follows:

- Sonion 1723 AcuPass dual-balanced armature driver

- Soft canals

- Canal only or full shell options

- Cable down, over-the-ear, or rotating options

The rotating connector is a permanent cable that allows the cable to rotate 355 degrees so the cable can be worn with the cable down or with the cable over-the-ear.  I use the cable down, with the cable under my shirt and experience no microphonics.  A detachable cable version is in the works.

 

The PS series is comprised of 6 models ranging from dual drivers through 8-driver versions.  I have heard the PS4 and just received the PS6 for audition.  I have spent much more time with the PS4 and think it brings good value at the price of $450.  The sound signature is balanced with a bit of a deep bass bump and good imaging.  The overall soundstage isn’t huge, but it is well proportioned.  There are some interesting faceplates available if you check out the Faceplates section on the website.

 

If you are looking for a great value in CIEMs, Perfect Seal is worth checking out.  Shoot Mike a message for inquires and questions.

 

Update 10/4/14:

 

Perfect Seal has the first hybrid CIEM in silicone, the Fusion 11, which sounds quite good!  Check it out!

 

SportBud Silver full review


Edited by average_joe - 10/4/14 at 1:50am
post #2 of 29

Cute container!

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Yep, it is something different and is still protective and water proof.

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Image of the detachable cable prototype can be seen here.

post #5 of 29
Wrong Link --- goes to an internal post that the public can't access. :normal_smile :
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post
 

Sorry, fixed.

post #7 of 29

Honestly, the non-detachable option looks a little more appealing. Is there a cost difference between the two? (Hooray for the two-person party)

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Lol, yes, hooray!  

 

I am not sure if there is a cost difference yet.  The detachable cable is the same as was used for Livewires and I don't recall any complaints about the connectors (the service, yes).  The cable is good, so I don't suspect it will be problematic, but IMO a detachable cable is always a good idea, especially if something is going to be used for working out.

 

I wonder how it would compare to the Aurisonics Rockets from a SQ and durability standpoint, considering they are both made for the same thing and have the same price.  Just looking at the Rockets, they would seem to be more durable, but a detachable cable could compensate, and other than a housing coming apart, I really don't think the housing/shell durability is a huge issue, at least while in-ear.  Maybe in the weight room if you yank it out, but that hasn't happened to me (knock on wood), but then I also wear the cable in my shirt.  

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

Lol, yes, hooray!  

 

I am not sure if there is a cost difference yet.  The detachable cable is the same as was used for Livewires and I don't recall any complaints about the connectors (the service, yes).  The cable is good, so I don't suspect it will be problematic, but IMO a detachable cable is always a good idea, especially if something is going to be used for working out.

 

I wonder how it would compare to the Aurisonics Rockets from a SQ and durability standpoint, considering they are both made for the same thing and have the same price.  Just looking at the Rockets, they would seem to be more durable, but a detachable cable could compensate, and other than a housing coming apart, I really don't think the housing/shell durability is a huge issue, at least while in-ear.  Maybe in the weight room if you yank it out, but that hasn't happened to me (knock on wood), but then I also wear the cable in my shirt.  

I've destroyed so many gym IEMs I couldn't imagine using expensive customs in that space (or better quality hardware to feed them).

 

The Perfect Seal pricing looks very competetive and since Cosmic Ears doesn't seem interested in responding to my requests to open their shop for me I'll probably look here for an in canal option.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

I agree, gym earphones should be something that you are ready to accidentally destroy.  I think the Sportbud Silver is a great deal (even now with a 10% discount instead of the 15%) for just listening.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I believe joker will have some impressions of them in the near future.

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviltooth View Post
 

I've destroyed so many gym IEMs I couldn't imagine using expensive customs in that space (or better quality hardware to feed them).

 

The Perfect Seal pricing looks very competetive and since Cosmic Ears doesn't seem interested in responding to my requests to open their shop for me I'll probably look here for an in canal option.


Pm Sent

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Review posted of the Perfect Seal SportBud Silver

 

If there are any Perfect Seal owners out there, let us know your thoughts.

post #13 of 29

Would love impressions/review on the Fusion 11 if any owners would like to come forward :) am trying to decide whether perfect seal's sound is the one for me!

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Have you had a chance to read this?  The Fusion 11 has presentation perspective that is more forward than neutral (I define something such as the UE IERM as a neutral perspective) with a brightness to it, and the interchangeable bass ports allow for different amounts of bass.  Overall it is fairly neutral.  If you like the GR07 sound, the Fusion 11 should be a good choice.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

Have you had a chance to read this?  The Fusion 11 has presentation perspective that is more forward than neutral (I define something such as the UE IERM as a neutral perspective) with a brightness to it, and the interchangeable bass ports allow for different amounts of bass.  Overall it is fairly neutral.  If you like the GR07 sound, the Fusion 11 should be a good choice.

 

Yes, I had a chance to read that, thanks for the impressions! Ah I see, yes, I quite like the gr07 sound. I listen mainly to instrumentals/ female vocals and church bands. How do you think the Fusion will fare in these genres?

 

What do you think of the comparison between the Fusion 11 and the PS series? Which soundstage would you say is wider? 

 

Also, how would you compare the Perfect Seal CIEMs against other full silicone iems like Noble/Custom Art?

 

thankss!

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