I need help deciding on ear protection/noise cancelling IEM - work related
May 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

Scornergy

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My work requires intense concentration, and I need to essentially remove the world for both sanity and distraction reasons. I usually use monotone speeches, classical, edm, or trance like music to drown out the outside world, however recently my work environment has gotten extremely noisy from monitoring stations, background noise from equipment, and worst of all people's loud conversations. I don't want to damage my ears raising the volume, but I don't want to cause harm either. the noise isn't rated high enough to be considered dangerous in its own right, but its all incredibly distracting. I'm now using disposable industrial rated earplugs, but I'm looking for something more permanent. Something comfortable for 10 hour shifts. I'm an old Grado open headphone user, but that isn't going to work. I need something comfortable, long use, durable, and non-fatiguing, and as sound deadening as physically possible without removing my eardrums.
 
I remember the old Etymotic IEM's from my audiophile days, and I was wondering what people might recommend. I have thought of two ideas but i'm open to further options.
 
Bose QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones.
 
Etymotic Research ER•4PT earphones or the MC5 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones.
 
Thoughts?
 
May 23, 2015 at 11:08 PM Post #2 of 4

ProtegeManiac

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If you need something comfortable for long periods you might as well get a custom IEM. When the fit is perfect it works a lot better, closing your ear canal more completely than any universal insert while also spreading out pressure and friction to stay in your ears.
 
Here's one example: https://www.1964ears.com/product/1964-V3-Custom-In-Ear-Monitor
 
May 24, 2015 at 1:17 AM Post #3 of 4

Scornergy

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Lets prioritize my help:
 
1) Noise goes away
2) Long wear comfort
3) Durability
3) Acoustics
 
My end game goal, would be to hypothetically have the sound deadening isolation to perform surgery at a death metal concert.
 
May 24, 2015 at 1:37 AM Post #4 of 4

ProtegeManiac

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  Lets prioritize my help:
 
1) Noise goes away
2) Long wear comfort
3) Durability
3) Acoustics
 
My end game goal, would be to have the sound deadening isolation to perform surgery at a death metal concert. If that helps you out.

 
1. Well, based on what I said about saving up for a custom IEM, those custom units have a better attenuation of ambient noise than universal ear tips, and active noise cancelling is generally just interfering with the sound. An irregularly shaped ear canal cannot be completely sealed off, as in such an example as below, where the ear tip will only fit in a certain area that nothing larger can fit in but cannot fill in some gaps around the ear tip.
 

 
2. A CIEM shell also spreads out the pressure and friction around the ears. In a lot of cases the comfort issues have to do with the texture of the eartip (like when they are not smooth foam) or how much "give" they have, since when they compress far enough your ears will feel the bore shaft made of hard plastic.
 
3. Durability will depend on how well you care for them. If you don't drop them and keep them safe from moisture or pressure (as in like sitting on them), then they'll last a long time. Make sure you get models that come with removable cables - these tend to break even when treated with care and if you can easily pull them off and put on new ones, then no need to send them in for a reshell.
 
4. If by acoustics you mean sound characteristics, that's highly relative. If you want something that sounds like the ER4, I'm not familiar with the sound of that IEM but others might have a better idea of what sounds like it.
 
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Now if you really want to just use a universal IEM, I could think of a few at that price range (and well below) but not the same kind of sound as what I remember reading about Etymotic. In any case look up the VSonic VSD3 and VSD5 and RHA T10i - just use the search function and threads on them will come up. I think the latter will sound closer to the ER4 since the VSonics have a fair bit of bass boost.
 

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