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Frequency of tip change on IEM?


How often do you change your IEM tips?

  1. Every day

    0 vote(s)
  2. Once a week

    0 vote(s)
  3. Once a month

    1 vote(s)
  4. Every three months

    0 vote(s)
  5. Every six months

    0 vote(s)
  6. Every year

    1 vote(s)
  7. Never, or when I loose one

    1 vote(s)
  1. NiceStrongArm
    Just received a pair of Etymotic ER-4XR IEM. Thanks to Mark2410's review https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ety...-response-earphone-review-by-mark2410.825419/ for pointing me to the Comply tips; ordered a set. The Etymotic instructions suggest to change the tips every three months for their 3 lamellae design, more frequently for the others. This sounds rather excessive to me. On my previous pair (B&O IEM) I still have the original tips from several years ago. What do you do?
  2. GREQ
    I stopped buying comply tips because they die too quickly (after about 3 months?) and cost too much to regularly replace.
    I go for fake jaybird tips on ebay instead as I also prefer the comfort and sound from them, not only their price and longevity, but obviously they won't fit every IEM.
  3. SilverEars
    If I'm not mistaken Comply starts out with a coating on the surface and wears off over time due to the many compression cycles. Perhaps get much spongier over time as well, and as the material becomes more porous, there would be slight changes on how sound waves interacts with the material to change the sound.

    I agree with the above poster, I think the comply brand is costlier option and they probably want you to keep buying them regularly. They even tell you how often you should replace in their video.

    Is the triple flanges uncomfortable? The key is the isolation with them, and that effects SQ quite a bit due to reduced noise level.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  4. SilverEars
    Can you link the tips? Are they high density foam?
  5. GREQ

    They are more dense than comply for sure.
    Not as dense or 'plasticky' feeling as KZ foam tips.
    Also the shorter domed shape works well for my ears, instead of the longer ear-plug shape.

    I've been using these with my KZ ZS10 with excellent results. It brings down everything from 10kHz upwards down by 10dB.
    Which is great for bringing down the 10K spike, but unfortunately kills some of the air on top.
  6. SilverEars
    What are the densest foam? The KZ? If so, you have a link? I Really like the real dense types. They comply to your canal and material properties seems less dampening than greater porous foams.

    I notice material difference in treble of course like you point out, but also bass. Bass sound most reflexive and has more compressed decay with more impact as material gets denser toward silicones.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  7. GREQ
  8. SilverEars
    Yeah, I could see that because it's denser. I think these ones lasts though.

    I have pretty tough ears. I think my head has very high pain threshold. Haven't tested in the boxing ring though fortunately!
  9. NiceStrongArm
    Thanks for the additional pointers and feedback. Re comfort, the tripple flanges seem to work fine with my ears, but the review by @mark2410 considered them beyond horrible. That's why I went out and ordered some complys. I am relatively new to this game, so try a few things. Re cost, the complys are around 10x more than the KZ, but compared to the headphones nothing serious to worry about.
  10. SilverEars
    I can see triple flanges being rough on the ears as it's shoving pressure down your ear canals as the flanges are suppose to apply pressure or adhere to your canal all arounf to seal off ambient noise in triple barriers (the 3 flanges). Probably for prolonged sessions, it can get uncomfortable. You just have to give it try to see how tolerant your canals are.
  11. GREQ
    It's all about canal size and shape for me, and comfort usually just follows whatever works well for me to get a good seal and fit. But that's entirely my own experience.
    Triple flanges just don't fit in my ear canals at all. I think I can only just about fit the 2nd flange in, and it just wants to fall out all the time.

    This is why reviewers STRONGLY mark down IEMs for not coming with a good set of varied tips, because it is so unique to the individual that companies are often banking on the customer having a canal shape that sits in the average and have calculated for a certain percentage of returns based on incompatible ears.
  12. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    When the tips get worn out, lose elasticity, get too filthy I can't clean them, etc, I replace them. That depends on the material. Foam typically wears out soonest though.
  13. Redcarmoose
    Tips are the missing link between loving or hating your universal IEM. The best advice is try as many as you can get your hands on. Silicon tips can last forever. I have had a pair for 10 years. Though I now use a pair of RHA double flange tips, two pairs of Sony Hybrids L and the ultimate tip ever made for mankind........ The Sony Triple Comfort L.

    Sadly I found Spinfits don’t last that long. I even wonder if they have planned obsolescence?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    brideshead likes this.
  14. megabigeye
    I've used Comply almost exclusively for the last eight or so years. How often I replace them really varies, though. At most I've been able to hold onto one pair for about a year (eh, probably less, really), as I recall, but at other times I've needed to replace them closer to every month. On average, I'd say I keep one pair for about six months. It'll probably vary by how much you use your IEMs and how much earwax you have.
    You should be able to tell when they need to be replaced by how good a seal you can get and how much bass is missing from the music.

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