Noble Audio universals isolation?
Feb 20, 2015 at 3:34 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

Earbones

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Does anybody have experience with one of Noble audio's universal fit IEMs? Trying to get some info on their ability to isolate... Is it basically Shure/Westone levels of noise blocking? Or less?

Also, if anybody has experience with Noble 5 Wizard (or the regular Noble 5 for that matter), I'd love some opinions...
 
Mar 5, 2015 at 4:17 PM Post #2 of 16

Young Spade

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Does anybody have experience with one of Noble audio's universal fit IEMs? Trying to get some info on their ability to isolate... Is it basically Shure/Westone levels of noise blocking? Or less?

Also, if anybody has experience with Noble 5 Wizard (or the regular Noble 5 for that matter), I'd love some opinions...

 
Well all the universals have the same build so you'll get the same isolation. I'm running a Noble 4 right now, and isolation is pretty poor unless you use Comply tips. The housing is quite large (to fit the drivers) so you aren't going to get Ety-level insertion depth. Overall insertion is shallow. 
 
However, with Comply tips, you can get some really, really good isolation; with the music going I can't hear anything. 
 
Apr 12, 2015 at 8:58 PM Post #5 of 16

Chodi

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If isolation is of key importance customs are probably the only reasonable solution. The Comply foam tips do isolate a lot better than silicone but still will not rival the isolation of a custom. Then again if you are outside with a high degree of isolation depending on your activity you may be putting yourself in danger.
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 2:15 AM Post #6 of 16

Earbones

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Not really interested in the customs. In my experience, customs offer many advantages, but aren't the final word when it comes to isolation... The best isolation is afforded by foam tips and universals- assuming the universal is of a design that allows for a good angle of insertion, like Shure or Westone. It's the way the foam expands inside the ear to create a barrier that blocks out everything. Coincidentally, I spoke with a guy over at Noble about this when I was on the fence between customs and universals... He was of the same mind.  
 
I'm talking about silicone customs versus universal foam of course... Hard acrylic customs are another few levels below in terms of isolation... 
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 9:09 AM Post #7 of 16

uchihaitachi

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Has there ever been solid data proving that sound quality is worse on a universal vs a custom of the same model?
 
Can tips make as much difference as some people indicate?
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 10:12 AM Post #8 of 16

Chodi

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  Has there ever been solid data proving that sound quality is worse on a universal vs a custom of the same model?
 
Can tips make as much difference as some people indicate?

It varies by make and model. In general if you can get a good seal with tips you get the same sound. Tips can make a huge difference. It is a very personal thing. What works for my ears may not work at all for you. You have to experiment with some of the well known brands of tips. Memory foam tips can present better isolation but to me often muffle the sound. The most reliable tips I've found that work accros several iem's are the Spinfits and the JVC Spiral Dots. 
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 10:21 AM Post #9 of 16

uchihaitachi

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Do you have any actual data?
 
So given that you have a proper seal, you have to experiment... Thanks!
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 10:41 AM Post #10 of 16

Chodi

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  Do you have any actual data?
 
So given that you have a proper seal, you have to experiment... Thanks!

Not sure what you mean by data? I own three high end universal iem's so it is based on personal experience. Everyone is different. It begins by getting a good seal. You should use the Sensaphonics test, you can download it. http://www.sensaphonics.com/test
 
That test will tell you if you really have a good seal. Then there is the comfort issue. You may have a good seal but bad comfort. That is where the experimentation really comes in to find the most comfortable tip with a good seal.
 
I should have mentioned that I have seen it on said on the forum that Dr. Noble uses the universal K10U.
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 10:48 AM Post #11 of 16

uchihaitachi

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I was wondering if anybody had actually done proper measurements with the respective tips, to see whether they make a difference. (Controlling for the notion that an effective seal is achieved.)
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 8:27 PM Post #12 of 16

Earbones

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  I was wondering if anybody had actually done proper measurements with the respective tips, to see whether they make a difference. (Controlling for the notion that an effective seal is achieved.)


None that I've seen... 
 
I think tips definitely make a difference in sound quality, if I'm inferring what you mean, correctly? That is, assuming a proper seal is achieved across the spectrum of shapes and materials, will there be quantifiable differences in sound between tips? I tend to think about this in terms of full size speakers... An IEM essentially works with your ear to form a speaker box, which would make the tips roughly equivalent to the baffling and cones
 
I tend to agree with Chodi that foam, while providing the best isolation in my estimation, can definitely muffle the sound if improperly applied. I don't like foam tips that don't have a non-compressible structure at the end, for instance... Otherwise I feel the bore can become smushed shut in an ear, resulting in a muffled or muddy sound. Proper fit is also essential to prevent the bore from smushing shut... A foam tip can't be too large. I'm not referring to the seal here, but whether or not the end of the tip will impact against the wall of the ear, and be smushed shut.
 
Silicone tips are the simplest way to achieve terrific, clear and impactful sound while also achieving a good seal. They are also faster to insert and listen, as foam must be compressed, inserted, and then allowed to slowly expand in the ear. Again I agree with Chodi that Spinfits are an excellent option. I also highly recommend picking up the Westone STAR fit sampler if one decides to go silicone. However the best isolation with foam is still superior to the best isolation with silicone in my estimation...
 
Apr 20, 2015 at 11:22 PM Post #13 of 16

Saraguie

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Well all the universals have the same build so you'll get the same isolation. I'm running a Noble 4 right now, and isolation is pretty poor unless you use Comply tips. The housing is quite large (to fit the drivers) so you aren't going to get Ety-level insertion depth. Overall insertion is shallow. 

However, with Comply tips, you can get some really, really good isolation; with the music going I can't hear anything. 

I have 100% different expierances then you. Different Universals isolate differently. Look at jokers' reviews of 100s of IEMs for example where he talks about each individual models' isolation.
 
Apr 21, 2015 at 4:19 AM Post #14 of 16

uchihaitachi

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I have 100% different expierances then you. Different Universals isolate differently. Look at jokers' reviews of 100s of reviews of IEMs for example where he talks about each individual models' isolation.

I found the Shure SE535 trumped isolation against all the customs I ever owned.
 
Apr 21, 2015 at 4:26 AM Post #15 of 16

Saraguie

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  I found the Shure SE535 trumped isolation against all the customs I ever owned.
 
Can tips make as much difference as some people indicate?

 
It is my experience as well as almost every other H.F.-ier I know that tips make a big difference on the same IEM.
 
I agree when I used the triple flange as tips against all Universals. Its been many moons since I listened to the 535s but I still have them and when I get a chance I will do a test against the 2 Customs I have.
 

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