I've had to resort to taking a needle and scraping out the gunk that covers the timy pinhole on the left earpeice driver; otherwise, the sound is almost completely muffled. I *do* have an abnormally high amount of wax build-up............has anyone else had such an imbalance with their EX71's? Annoying as hell!
People produce ear wax at different rates. Environmental factors and stress can affect ear wax build up.
My EX-70 SP pinhole got clogged with ear wax. I tired poking something into the whole to open it up, only to accidentlly punching the hole larger than usual. After that, my EX-70 never sounded balanced between the left and right phones, so I threw them out.
My ear wax problem is so bad, I have basically given up on isolation earphones. I pretty much stopped using my ER-6 and I am not in any way interestd in buying ER-4's. If I had to choose a new type of earcanal phone, I may go with a product that doesn't require new filters such as the Shure E3.
I try to clean my ears when I shower, but it seems that it doesn't help that much. As you say, there are a variety of factors that precipitate this problem. A good analogy seems to be the plaque build-up on one's teeth; some people have no issues with it, but, others, like myself, have trouble with this nuisance and need to floss more often.
That little pinhole on the EX71 driver covering is VERY delicate and I will be extra-careful when cleaning it out.