Any IEM Good For Sleeping With Noise Isolation For $100 & Under That Will Last?
May 27, 2020 at 9:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

StarTreker

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I find myself on a recent hunt for a product I thought I would never buy, IEM's. For years, I have been using a pair of 100 dollar Edifier speakers to produce white noise to help me sleep, and its been working until recently. A new neighbor moved in the neighborhood and insists on feeding birds, and this brought all the birds to our area. Sometimes as early as 3:00AM in the morning, there are birds that start squawking early in the morning, that sound like crows, but are not crows. My white noise is not at the frequency required to drown out the birds, and its driving me nuts, and preventing me from getting quality sleep.

I've already done a little research into some pairs of IEM's for sleeping. But what I've turned up, are IEM's that don't seem to last very long. I don't want to pay a lot for IEM's just for the purpose of sleeping, I could care less about Hi-Fi through an IEM. What I care about is an IEM, that has excellent sound isolation, and is comfortable to wear for hours, even while sleeping on my side, and doesn't cost hundreds to a thousand dollars. So my aim is 100 dollars or less. Thanks for any recommendations that you can provide based on your own personal experience.
 
May 27, 2020 at 9:42 PM Post #2 of 22

FlowLikeWater

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I find myself on a recent hunt for a product I thought I would never buy, IEM's. For years, I have been using a pair of 100 dollar Edifier speakers to produce white noise to help me sleep, and its been working until recently. A new neighbor moved in the neighborhood and insists on feeding birds, and this brought all the birds to our area. Sometimes as early as 3:00AM in the morning, there are birds that start squawking early in the morning, that sound like crows, but are not crows. My white noise is not at the frequency required to drown out the birds, and its driving me nuts, and preventing me from getting quality sleep.

I've already done a little research into some pairs of IEM's for sleeping. But what I've turned up, are IEM's that don't seem to last very long. I don't want to pay a lot for IEM's just for the purpose of sleeping, I could care less about Hi-Fi through an IEM. What I care about is an IEM, that has excellent sound isolation, and is comfortable to wear for hours, even while sleeping on my side, and doesn't cost hundreds to a thousand dollars. So my aim is 100 dollars or less. Thanks for any recommendations that you can provide based on your own personal experience.

best i can recommend is shure se215, for isolation. Etymotics have highest isolation actually, but sleeping with their form factor will give u a lobotomy

shure se215 is my rec, extremely comfortable, durable, isolates second best in industry.....but as long as u r shure u dont need sound quality, cause their sound quality is not that good

good luck :)
 
May 27, 2020 at 9:47 PM Post #3 of 22

StarTreker

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best i can recommend is shure se215, for isolation. Etymotics have highest isolation actually, but sleeping with their form factor will give u a lobotomy

shure se215 is my rec, extremely comfortable, durable, isolates second best in industry.....but as long as u r shure u dont need sound quality, cause their sound quality is not that good

good luck :)

Well, if I truly wanted Hi-Fi in an IEM, I would be looking towards something that cost more along the lines of 200 dollars or so. I just need something that can play music or white noise reasonably well that the drivers don't distort at low volumes, causing me to fly out of bed with my face all red while saying, "What in God's green earth is this sound?" HAHA.

I was considering thte Shure SE215's BTW, I just wasn't sure if that was a good choice or not.
 
May 27, 2020 at 9:56 PM Post #4 of 22

baskingshark

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I find myself on a recent hunt for a product I thought I would never buy, IEM's. For years, I have been using a pair of 100 dollar Edifier speakers to produce white noise to help me sleep, and its been working until recently. A new neighbor moved in the neighborhood and insists on feeding birds, and this brought all the birds to our area. Sometimes as early as 3:00AM in the morning, there are birds that start squawking early in the morning, that sound like crows, but are not crows. My white noise is not at the frequency required to drown out the birds, and its driving me nuts, and preventing me from getting quality sleep.

I've already done a little research into some pairs of IEM's for sleeping. But what I've turned up, are IEM's that don't seem to last very long. I don't want to pay a lot for IEM's just for the purpose of sleeping, I could care less about Hi-Fi through an IEM. What I care about is an IEM, that has excellent sound isolation, and is comfortable to wear for hours, even while sleeping on my side, and doesn't cost hundreds to a thousand dollars. So my aim is 100 dollars or less. Thanks for any recommendations that you can provide based on your own personal experience.

The best isolation I have found in a non custom IEM is in the etymotics line up ~ 40 dB isolation, but those are deep insertion and not comfortable and not for sleep use for sure.

Something with slightly less isolation (maybe 20 - 25 dB ish) but very comfortable and of small bean shaped profile would be Westones or Audiosense T180, T260, T300.

I did try using IEMs to sleep to block out my noisy neighbours, but they do introduce ear abrasions/infections with long usages and I ever busted a cable at the cable insertion point due to spinning around in my sleep, so do consider something with a detachable cable. It might also be a better solution in the long term to have a civil discussion with the neighbour (I did end up talking to my noisy neighbour in the end, cause I don't think it is sustainable to wear an IEM to sleep 365 days 24/7, YMMV).
 
May 27, 2020 at 10:10 PM Post #5 of 22

StarTreker

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I want to take a moment to thank everybody for their time, and offering up recommendations, I really do appreciate it!

My only experience with IEM's in the past were those cheap 10 to 20 dollar pairs you could buy at Radio Shack back in the 90's lol. So, I knew technology has come a long way since then. Additionally, I was never aware of the dangers of wearing ear buds for long periods of time. I already have suffered ear infections back when I was a kid that were pretty bad. The most recent infect I got was in my right ear, due to wax buildup, that got pushed back towards the inner ear. I did not get on anti-biotics for the infection, and let it runs its course. The result, now I have tinitus in the right ear, which results in a ringing. But if I listen to music/sounds loud enough, it drowns out the ringing.

I certainly don't need more ear infections lol.
 
May 27, 2020 at 11:02 PM Post #7 of 22

StarTreker

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So, I looked at all that was shared so far. Some things are discontinued or no longer in stock. I have decided on this headphone
Shure SE215SPE Special Edition Sound Isolating Earphones with Single Dynamic MicroDriver,Blue
71WVvbKESgL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

This is a momentous event, I just bought my first real pair of IEM headphones, were making history people.

If the wires break early, I'll just return them. Amazon has excellent customer service, they often take returns even if nothing bad happens. But if something is defective, they always seem to make it right.
 
May 27, 2020 at 11:45 PM Post #8 of 22

SilverEars

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Any ENTs here? I've been looking at stuff like this on Amazon, and was wondering if it's ok to sleep with these buds for using pink noise, etc.. for drowning out outside noise. Would using them iems for so long during sleep cause ear infections in the long run? It would be no different from using iems all day in the office right?

It would actually be cool if there was wired, and powerd ANC with size of these buds for sleep.

 
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May 27, 2020 at 11:57 PM Post #9 of 22

StarTreker

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Any ENTs here? I've been looking at stuff like this on Amazon, and was wondering if it's ok to sleep with these buds for using pink noise, etc.. for drowning out outside noise. Would using them iems for so long during sleep cause ear infections in the long run? It would be no different from using iems all day in the office right?

It would actually be cool if there was wired, and powerd ANC with size of these buds for sleep.

Whats Up SilverEars? I recognize you by your avatar, cool that you have you have been looking into the same thing. Personally, for daytime listening, I have my V-Moda LP2's for at home listening for most activities. I have my Cowin E7 Pro's for use with my tablet. I have my Kinivo BTH240's for use with my phone while walking around in town, I have my 3M's for when I am mowing the lawn. The only time I am in need of an IEM, is going to be when I am sleeping. Which means, at the very most, they will be worn for 8-hours a day. We might have to do a better job of cleaning our ears in order to use these things though lol.
 
May 28, 2020 at 12:00 AM Post #10 of 22

SilverEars

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Whats Up SilverEars? I recognize you by your avatar, cool that you have you have been looking into the same thing. Personally, for daytime listening, I have my V-Moda LP2's for at home listening for most activities. I have my Cowin E7 Pro's for use with my tablet. I have my Kinivo BTH240's for use with my phone while walking around in town, I have my 3M's for when I am mowing the lawn. The only time I am in need of an IEM, is going to be when I am sleeping. Which means, at the very most, they will be worn for 8-hours a day. We might have to do a better job of cleaning our ears in order to use these things though lol.
I wonder if there is something you can use to disinfect the silicone tips after use so to suppress any ear infections. I got to say, I use iems all the time and rarely get ear infections. I've had iems on in my ears for hrs daily, and didn't have trouble with ear infections.
 
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May 28, 2020 at 12:07 AM Post #11 of 22

StarTreker

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Well, there's a thought. Just what is the best way to clean the silicone tips of IEM headphones? I have baby wipes, I would assume cleaning them with that, would not only clean the silicone, but not hurt it either. Isopropyl alcohol would for sure disinfect them, but might eat the silicone, not sure, not an expert on silicone tips. I am sure someone will chime in here. I've never worn a direct inserted IEM before, so I never received ear infections from that. I've only worn those 90's cheap 10 to 20 dollar place against ear canal ear buds in the past. I would most certainly consider these Shure IEM's to be quite the upgrade from those lol.
 
May 29, 2020 at 12:54 PM Post #12 of 22

Leryra

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I've been sleeping with IEM for almost 12 years now, and I happen to own a couple IEMs, and was looking for what was the latest news in the field of IEMs for sleeping when I saw your topic which prompted me to register an account to share my experience.

Here are a few things I experienced:
  • If you sleep on the side, then your head is lying flat on the cushion and it is super important to have a small size IEM, otherwise it makes it very uncomfortable.
  • You want to use foam tips in my experience, they definitively are the most comfortable and the less likely to leave your ear feeling like it was stabbed if the IEM moved strangely while sleeping. I usually use the Comply Foam ones from their Isolation line. The triflange from Etymotics or the silicone tips tends to get "watery" when plugged into your ear for a whole night, whereas foam tips are holding up better.
  • The smaller the tip, the better because then it means more foam between the tip and your ear. I recommend IEMs that can fit the TX100 range from Comply in general.
  • Most common problem is the fact that the cables have a problem at the Y split, or at the connector between the cable and the IEM. (But notice I'm using them every night with a timer set at 40 minutes to get asleep, that's roughly 240 hours of usage within a year, and then since I'm asleep I might be moving around and the cables are suffering, it makes sense that they get broken quicker than I wished)
  • Try and avoid cables with a mic or a remote, they tend to get in the way and get printed on your face while sleeping or so.
Now, from the IEMs POV, here are the few I tried to sleep with:
  • Phonak Audeo PFE, any model : the best I ever slept with, sadly the cables would break after a year or two, and they are now discontinued. Very comfy, you could press all you want against your ear and it won't bother you at all. I owned 3 models, I'd love them to come back :frowning2:
  • SoundMagic PL50: not the BIS gear, but these are a bit easier to source nowadays than the Phonak, sadly they also break after like a year of use. For reference, I ordered 2 pairs from a drop last year in May, and the left one stopped working last week, and I'm now using the second pair. I recommend them, especially given the price tag.
  • Jays q-JAYS: I got the first generation in 2011 and the cables sadly broke after a year or two, which is sad given the price tag. They were so small though, it was comfy. (I'm hesitant to buy the new ones, they are expensive, but you can replace the cable...)
  • Cosmic Ears BA1: I wanted to try with molded ones, and they were fairly inexpensive compared to others... But sadly sleeping with molded IEM is not comfortable. They fit tightly and isolate well, but they are too hard, and too warm, and are just not comfy for a night.
  • Etymotic HF2 & HF3: I started with the former, lost them and bought the latter out of frustration upon the loss of the first ones. I LOVE them for outdoor stuff, they isolate very well and are very comfy, with very tight fits. But for sleeping, they are useless to me. I tried a couple times, and honestly, as soon as you move around in your bed, they will be pulled or pressed in weird direction, which can fairly easily hurt after staying like that for I while. So I do not recommend them at all for sleeping, but I do recommend them as much as you want for taking the subway, the train or so. For walking and sport, they can be a bit dangerous being given they isolate even better than the molded IEM I got! (I actually bought 3 months ago the ER4XR because I love the Etymotic sound and fit, but that's not for sleeping, only for enjoying my music while standing/sitting)
Now, I've recently notice the KZ ZSA, which are very cheap and seem to have a size and form that could fit nicely, but I haven't tried them yet. I plan to order them and test them in the coming weeks. I also noticed the Shure se215, but I couldn't source them without a Mic in Switzerland and was too lazy so far to order them along with a third party Mic-less cable.

Here are my few cents, hope it helps :)
 
May 29, 2020 at 1:34 PM Post #13 of 22

mashuto

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Honestly, unless you want the highest level of isolation that you will get from something like etymotic, then I have a feeling modt other choices will be ok and comfort will likely be a much bigger factor.

And everyone keeps throwing out suggestions of these more ergonomic shaped iems, but unless you manage a perfect fit, comfort could very easily be a concern. So, my recommendation would be something like the final audio e series iems. The cheapest can be had for like 25 dollars, sounds decent enough for the price, and is a very small iem.
 
May 29, 2020 at 10:07 PM Post #14 of 22

StarTreker

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I've been sleeping with IEM for almost 12 years now, and I happen to own a couple IEMs, and was looking for what was the latest news in the field of IEMs for sleeping when I saw your topic which prompted me to register an account to share my experience.

Here are a few things I experienced:
  • If you sleep on the side, then your head is lying flat on the cushion and it is super important to have a small size IEM, otherwise it makes it very uncomfortable.
  • You want to use foam tips in my experience, they definitively are the most comfortable and the less likely to leave your ear feeling like it was stabbed if the IEM moved strangely while sleeping. I usually use the Comply Foam ones from their Isolation line. The triflange from Etymotics or the silicone tips tends to get "watery" when plugged into your ear for a whole night, whereas foam tips are holding up better.
  • The smaller the tip, the better because then it means more foam between the tip and your ear. I recommend IEMs that can fit the TX100 range from Comply in general.
  • Most common problem is the fact that the cables have a problem at the Y split, or at the connector between the cable and the IEM. (But notice I'm using them every night with a timer set at 40 minutes to get asleep, that's roughly 240 hours of usage within a year, and then since I'm asleep I might be moving around and the cables are suffering, it makes sense that they get broken quicker than I wished)
  • Try and avoid cables with a mic or a remote, they tend to get in the way and get printed on your face while sleeping or so.
Now, from the IEMs POV, here are the few I tried to sleep with:
  • Phonak Audeo PFE, any model : the best I ever slept with, sadly the cables would break after a year or two, and they are now discontinued. Very comfy, you could press all you want against your ear and it won't bother you at all. I owned 3 models, I'd love them to come back :frowning2:
  • SoundMagic PL50: not the BIS gear, but these are a bit easier to source nowadays than the Phonak, sadly they also break after like a year of use. For reference, I ordered 2 pairs from a drop last year in May, and the left one stopped working last week, and I'm now using the second pair. I recommend them, especially given the price tag.
  • Jays q-JAYS: I got the first generation in 2011 and the cables sadly broke after a year or two, which is sad given the price tag. They were so small though, it was comfy. (I'm hesitant to buy the new ones, they are expensive, but you can replace the cable...)
  • Cosmic Ears BA1: I wanted to try with molded ones, and they were fairly inexpensive compared to others... But sadly sleeping with molded IEM is not comfortable. They fit tightly and isolate well, but they are too hard, and too warm, and are just not comfy for a night.
  • Etymotic HF2 & HF3: I started with the former, lost them and bought the latter out of frustration upon the loss of the first ones. I LOVE them for outdoor stuff, they isolate very well and are very comfy, with very tight fits. But for sleeping, they are useless to me. I tried a couple times, and honestly, as soon as you move around in your bed, they will be pulled or pressed in weird direction, which can fairly easily hurt after staying like that for I while. So I do not recommend them at all for sleeping, but I do recommend them as much as you want for taking the subway, the train or so. For walking and sport, they can be a bit dangerous being given they isolate even better than the molded IEM I got! (I actually bought 3 months ago the ER4XR because I love the Etymotic sound and fit, but that's not for sleeping, only for enjoying my music while standing/sitting)
Now, I've recently notice the KZ ZSA, which are very cheap and seem to have a size and form that could fit nicely, but I haven't tried them yet. I plan to order them and test them in the coming weeks. I also noticed the Shure se215, but I couldn't source them without a Mic in Switzerland and was too lazy so far to order them along with a third party Mic-less cable.

Here are my few cents, hope it helps :)

Holy Molly guacamole, you have earned a medal in my book! Such an informative post, I'm really impressed, and very thankful as well! I ended up getting the Shure 215's cause I felt like they hit all the required marks that I was looking for. My new Shure 215 IEM's came today, talk about fast shipping from my favorite site Amazon. This marked the first day in years, that I have ever worn ear buds. Once I got them in my ears, using the stock tips, I was truly amazed at how good the sound isolation was, dude, they were covering up most of the noise from a all metal 12" desk fan!

(DING) We have isolation, thats 100-points earned!

Now when it comes to comfortability, keep in mind, I have so little experience with IEM's, I cannot really be considered an expert in this area. However, this was my first time wearing them, so obviously my ear canals need time to adjust to something new. I only wore them for 20-minutes, long enough to get a feel for them. Comfortability wise, for first time use, not too comfortable, but not really bad either.

(DING) Somewhat comfortable, 50-points earned!

Now lets talk about sound quality. My only experience with ear buds were the 10 to 20 dollar pair that you could buy in Radio shack that would also often come with mini Walkman's, back in the 90's, and they were so tiny, no mids, and no bass, just terrible. Add the fact that I could never keep them in my ears, I developed a hate for ear buds. Now the Shure 215's are much better sounding then those things by miles! I can't believe that these tiny things have sub-bass, not a whole lot of it, but its noticeable on Hip Hop music! They seem to provide a very warm sound, and seem to favor the mids quite a lot. There are also noticeable highs, but they are not very well done. So do they match up with Audiophile quality?

(BUZZER) Sound Quality is not good -50 points lost!

Now lets talk about the style. I really do like the style! I have got to admit, for 100-dollars, you do get a nice looking pair of IEM's. Best part is, you can even pick the color you want. I was about to buy the black pair, but I saw they had a blue pair, I like blue, so I ordered those. They are shaped to contour your ear, so that they are a flush mount, and thus, don't stick out, good ergonomics there I think. So survey says?

(DING) Style and ergonomics are great 100 points earned!

Final thoughts: I haven't slept with these yet, but I have a feeling that they might work for me, we will just have to see how it goes. When it comes to the sounds quality, these are going to be perfectly fine for a sleep aid, which is what I bought them for. But I wanted to be honest about the sound quality, incase an audiophile is wanting to buy these. Shure makes some much higher quality IEM's that might suit an audiophiles thirst for excellent sound, but the 215's are not it. Additionally, I didn't want to spend a lot of time taking pics, so I just took them quick lol.

IMG_1722.JPG

IMG_1723.JPG

IMG_1724.JPG

IMG_1725.JPG

IMG_20200529_180138379.jpg
 
May 30, 2020 at 6:48 AM Post #15 of 22

SilverEars

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^Wow, Shure fits you like a glove. I can't say the same about me. If you sleep on the side perhaps the cable or even the shell may cause unnatural pressure.
@Leryra interesting about canble with mic/remote and funny about getting imprinted on the face. I laughed hard. Haha.

I guess for isolation triple flanges are a must, but I's be scared of the uncomfort from pressure over night.

I've been using disposible foam inserts. Honeywell laser-lite with fantastic sleep noise isolation. Foam degrades after 2 nights of usage and need replacing (isolation degrades), but you can get a pack of 200 for $25. I doubt that I can achieve same level isolation with iems.

These are ugly mugs and look ghetto. But, once used, I quickly found out, it's not about looks, but usefulness. People tell me don't judge the book by it's cover.

I hated the neon like color on them, but come to find out they serve a function on the work site for easily noticing if people are wearing them. Hence LASER-lite? Wish complyfoam was cheap like this for disposable.

Anway, with iems, I was thinking white background noise to blanket random sharp noises since isoation isn't up there. Bose jas a product out that does that, but since for sleep usage is heavily used,battery will degrade fast. I need wired.
 
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