Have I damaged my IEM by sucking air from it? Please help!
Apr 7, 2021 at 8:45 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Monochromatic-7

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Posts
12
Likes
11
Hi.

Sorry if it sounds stupid. Last night I was gently cleaning the inside of the left earpiece of my Audeze iSine 20s, and I saw a very short hair(possibly my cats’) near the end of the visible space inside, so I tried to get it out by first removing the eartip and then putting my lips around the edge of the earpiece and sucking the air out of it for 5 seconds which was successful in removing the hair. Then I put the tip back on and started listening to music on the phones and thought about the possibility of the loudness level in the aforementioned(left) phone being a bit lower, though I generally feel like this with most headphones, because my mild hearing loss is slightly(3-6 dBs) worse in the left ear, so I can’t, for the life of me, reach a conclusion that whether or not I might have damaged it, because I didn’t suck the air out of it TOO forcefully like a vacuum or something, but I did do so with a pulling force that is hypothetically enough to be used to hold a tiny object at the end of a straw with the pull from the air. I should also add that there isn’t any noticeable loss of level when I’m not actively searching for it and neither in low nor high levels of loudness, I can’t hear any distortion which I think implies that there hopefully might be no damage, but I’m no expert and I’m so afraid.

Again, sorry for the stupid question. Currently this is my only set, and where I live, I have no access to any authorized retailers/distributors and I also can’t afford to buy headphones right now, so this got me obsessively worried.

I thank each and every one of you ladies and gentlemen from the bottom of my heart.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 11:49 AM Post #2 of 5

megabigeye

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Posts
1,602
Likes
839
Location
Hither, Thither, Yon
Not a stupid question at all! This sort of stuff happens all the time and I always obsess over it when I do it. A few months ago I did something to one of my headphones and was convinced I was hearing distortion. Nope. Turned out it was the music and my other 'phones just didn't display it so much.

My guess is that your earphones are fine if you're not hearing an obvious problem. If you've always got -3 to -6dB in your left ear, you'll almost certainly notice it more if you're obsessively listening for it and worrying about it.
To make doubly certain though, swap your left and right IEMs. If the sound is still lower on the left, then it's your hearing; if it follows your IEMs and moves to right, then it's more likely to be the IEMs. You should do this with a test tone / frequency sweep / white noise rather than music since music sometimes pans from side to side in the mix.
You could also try any ol' cheap pair of earphones you may have lying about to see if they display the same "problem."

Best of luck!
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 12:47 PM Post #3 of 5

pbui44

Member of the Trade: Like-New Ears
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Posts
3,732
Likes
1,372
In addition to what @megabigeye said, throw a pack of desiccant (DO NOT EAT packet) into your isine 20 case and leave it for 24-48 hours, just to ensure that polarity is as even as possible along the entire plain of each side. Pressure is important for IEMs, but these are open-back, so what you did should not really matter, unless you managed to get saliva in it. :wink:
 
Apr 8, 2021 at 8:48 AM Post #4 of 5

Monochromatic-7

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Posts
12
Likes
11
Not a stupid question at all! This sort of stuff happens all the time and I always obsess over it when I do it. A few months ago I did something to one of my headphones and was convinced I was hearing distortion. Nope. Turned out it was the music and my other 'phones just didn't display it so much.

My guess is that your earphones are fine if you're not hearing an obvious problem. If you've always got -3 to -6dB in your left ear, you'll almost certainly notice it more if you're obsessively listening for it and worrying about it.
To make doubly certain though, swap your left and right IEMs. If the sound is still lower on the left, then it's your hearing; if it follows your IEMs and moves to right, then it's more likely to be the IEMs. You should do this with a test tone / frequency sweep / white noise rather than music since music sometimes pans from side to side in the mix.
You could also try any ol' cheap pair of earphones you may have lying about to see if they display the same "problem."

Best of luck!
Thank you so much for the informative reply! I truly appreciate it! I did those and it seems like there’s no perceptible decrease in loudness, so hopefully it isn’t damaged. You’re a lifesaver, kind sir/ma’am!

All the best!
In addition to what @megabigeye said, throw a pack of desiccant (DO NOT EAT packet) into your isine 20 case and leave it for 24-48 hours, just to ensure that polarity is as even as possible along the entire plain of each side. Pressure is important for IEMs, but these are open-back, so what you did should not really matter, unless you managed to get saliva in it. :wink:
Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions! After lots of testing and swapping, it seems to me that there isn’t any obvious damage. Thanks again for your precious time!

Have a great day!
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top