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Absolute best universals for isolation w/ repleable cable?

  1. halcyon
    Looking for best isolating (passive) universal IEMs, hopefully deep inserting and definitely with a replaceable cable (MMCX preferred).

    What choices are there?

    Shure SE, Westone W and UM pro fit Comply P-series foam tips.

    I have never worn any universal that blocks more than these babies. I've tried dozens and dozens of silicone tips and flanges and none come close (for seal, wearing comfort and isolation). YMMV, of course, which is the reason I'm soliciting for suggestions.

    Is there anything else out there?

    My main use is biking, commuting, gym and lots of noisy environments, so passive isolation and excellent fit are paramount. However, as these are daily beaters, I don't want to go through the universal route, as it jacks up the price so much (locally, where I live, outside US/UK).
  2. Raketen
    You've probably tried already but Etymotic? Esp the older style grey tri-flange tips- after enduring the discomfort of breaking in they almost fit like customs. I use an ER4P in one ear (normal earplug in other ear) at work and bicycling, but I sitll use some earmuffs in really noisy areas. The newer ER4SE/XR have mmcx.

    I haven't had a Westone but their Star foam tips are the best foams for isolation IMO - I used to use them with an old Earsonics SM2, maybe isolated better than the Ety since it blocked more of the outer ear too.

    I'm a little bit curious about the Rose Mini models since they are so small, could be good for under ear-muffs (2, 4 and 6 driver models, also have MMCX I believe), but Rose's reputation for build quality is a bit dubious.

    My one experience with customs is that they don't necessarily isolate as well- mine were hollow acryllic shells and a number of my universal IEM isolated better- probably silicon ones are better but I think that increases cost anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  3. PaganDL
    HI @halcyon,

    For your needs, aside from Shure SE (not sure which model you have experience with), which you are familiar, I suggest looking into Mackie MP 240 which also uses MMCX for a good fitness alternative.

    When you say 'don't want to go universal route', do you actually mean custom?

    Also alternative good to very good passive isolation tips I would suggest & recommend in no particular order are as follows :

    Comply Isolation
    Crystalline Audio

    Hope you have a great day !
    halcyon likes this.
  4. PointyFox
    You pretty much just described the Etymotic ER4SE / ER5XR. They're like earplugs that play music, with a replaceable cable. Though, note that the MMCX cable they use isn't standard and needs to be specifically for these IEMs.
    halcyon likes this.
  5. halcyon
    Thanks for both suggestions. I've had Etys (two pairs), but the sound was always too cold, harsh and analytical for me. Also, they protrude a lot, causing wind shear noise a lot when biking. I like more the flushed style (Shure SE, Weston W, UM, etc) style shells. But they are great IEMs, so thanks for the recommendation! Not just what I'm looking for now.

    Have to look into those Mackies, didn't even know they exist, thanks!
  6. PaganDL
    Hi @halcyon,

    Happy to help.

    The MP 240 were recently released a few months ago, as they are under the pro audio category, most head fiers miss good things like that for that reason though I will say more & more are looking into pro audio on their own, for value & performance for a good price.

    Before I forget, for good isolation on the MP 240, accurate tip selection is important so don't be afraid to keep trying till you find ones which work for you.

    Anyway, hope you find what you're looking for !

    Hope you have a great day !
    halcyon likes this.
  7. VAS07
    Fiio FH5 see if you like these.

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