Pinpointing custom IEM "fit" issues
Apr 26, 2005 at 11:17 PM Post #16 of 29

digihead

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WMCAMUS I agree, sounds like a couple of layers of acrillic should take care of your issues. You are actually very lucky to have a pair that is that close to fitting. Took me many refits to even get that close.
 
Apr 27, 2005 at 1:44 AM Post #17 of 29

Wmcmanus

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Thanks guys!

I'm sure this a stupid comment, so blast away at my idiocy... but if all they need (probably) is another coat or two of acrylic, why can't I do this sort of thing myself?

Obviously, UE can put on the acrylic professionally with precision equipment, but I would think that a coat of any kind of clear nail polish would give me a "feel" for whether the seal is improved. Isn't nail polish easy to remove? Where are our girl-fi members?

Anyway, I'm only half-serious. If this is what they need and I need to give them up for a while and pay for shipping back and forth, then so be it. I'm not going to mess around with them if it could cause any damage.
 
Apr 27, 2005 at 2:07 AM Post #18 of 29

digihead

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wmcmanus
Thanks guys!

I'm sure this a stupid comment, so blast away at my idiocy... but if all they need (probably) is another coat or two of acrylic, why can't I do this sort of thing myself?

Obviously, UE can put on the acrylic professionally with precision equipment, but I would think that a coat of any kind of clear nail polish would give me a "feel" for whether the seal is improved. Isn't nail polish easy to remove? Where are our girl-fi members?

Anyway, I'm only half-serious. If this is what they need and I need to give them up for a while and pay for shipping back and forth, then so be it. I'm not going to mess around with them if it could cause any damage.



My local UE recommended audiologist said he could put the acryllic coats on for me if I wanted. He uses the same material as UE. If it was me, I would have UE do it however. Might as well get it done right. Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
 
Apr 27, 2005 at 3:00 AM Post #19 of 29

toaster

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wmcmanus
I've read with interest over the past several months about various Sensa and UE owners who have sent their custom molded IEM's back in to be "refit", but have always wondered:

1) How do you know that your custom IEM's don't fit properly?

2) How do you pinpoint why they don't fit properly?

3) How do you know where, precisely, on the IEM the fit issues reside?

4) How do you know how much to instruct Sensa or UE to add or subtract from the molds to make them fit right?



1) They simply will not go in your ears. After first receiving the iem's, the right phone hardly even fit in my ear. It was also clear after i did finally squeeze the thing in there, that it was not fitting correctly.

More subtle however, would be a decent fit, but pain and pressure in certain spots after a short amount of time.

2) In my case, there were specific pressure spots, for example, the bottom bend of the sound tube was digging into my ear. Also the bulge that sits in the big concave part of my ear, was creating a pain spot.

3) Pretty much answered in number 2.

4) Sensa uses their best judgment based on your communication with them by phone. Also, seeing the audiologist who took the molds will allow you to point specifically to the spot on the iem that is causing the trouble. I brought my iem to vicky and told her my problems. She actually put a little dot on the iem with a pen, where the pressure points were. Sensa basically just kinda widdled down these spots, alleviating the problem. I also had the length of the sound tubes reduced, as they were scraping against my inner ear after the initial fit. (Be careful not to reduce the sound tube length too much, as the ability to attain a decent seal may be lost.)

Every time the issue of custom iems and fit comes up, i always feel compelled to express the importance of not expecting a perfect, bionic fit. The whole business of custom iems involves meticulous construction processes that simply will not result in our idealized hopes of "the perfect fit."

that being said, my sensas fit VERY well and can many times hardly be felt sitting in my ears.

if you're in the market for custom iems, stop waiting, and go buy some now.

they're super cool.
 
Apr 27, 2005 at 4:31 AM Post #20 of 29

Wmcmanus

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Nice post, toaster. This was the kind of thing I was looking for. I'll play around some more with them to see if I can identify any particular trouble spots, but I think in my case, it's mostly what others have said about needing a little more width on the stems to get a better seal/isolation.

You're right about not being able to expect a bionic fit. My only issue, really, is the isolation factor. The comfort and sound are both superb.

Too late to go back to the audiologist. He's in San Diego and I'm in Cayman! It was the oddest thing. I was heading there for a head-fi meet and looked up who UE recommended in the area. I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. So I show up in the guy's office, and immediately notice his "shingles" hanging of the wall, and sure enough, he and I went to the same college as undergrads (Illinois State). When I asked him about it, he said "Ya, but I'm from this little place upstate. I'm sure you've never heard of it... Peru, IL." Crazy! I'm from Oglesby, IL, 5 minutes away, and his dad has been one of my dad's insurance customers for 30+ years! As Steven Wright would say, "It's a small world... but I'd hate to have to paint it!"
 
Apr 27, 2005 at 4:59 AM Post #21 of 29

PhilS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by random person
Where the hell is Irvine?
tongue.gif



It's about 5 minutes from my office. Woo hoo!!!
orphsmile.gif
orphsmile.gif
 
Aug 26, 2010 at 2:20 AM Post #22 of 29

cooperpwc

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Bump for an old but interesting thread about custom IEM fit issues. I wonder if Wmcmanus ever did have the acrylic layer added to his IEMs? This was a long time ago...
 
 
Aug 26, 2010 at 8:32 PM Post #23 of 29

Wmcmanus

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This was a long time ago, and there is more to the story now.  I think the answer is no.  I'm not sure though.  I gave my UE-10s to a UE rep (who no longer works for the company at this point) who as in attendance and working at their table at the San Jose CanJam.  I didn't get his name at the time, but did have him write his Head-Fi name on one of my losing raffle tickets.  He said it would take a week or so, and then I'd get them back and chances are they would fit just fine.
 
I'll bet it was at least a year before I stumbled across that raffle ticket again, and then suddenly I did a face palm!  "Dang!!  That's what happened to my UE-10s!!!"  I can't remember now if I thought that I had lost them, or if I just plain forgot I ever had them, or if I was just in zombieland.  So I sent an email to the same guy at UE, and of course, no reply.  Then I called and explained the situation, was told that he no longer worked there, and that they "would look" for my UE-10s.
 
At that point, I figured they were long gone and that it was my own dang fault, but sure enough, I got an email the next day from someone at UE saying, "They're ready to be shipped back to you..."  Well, ya!!!  They had been sitting there for over a year.  I would hope they would be ready by then.  So I paid them whatever the shipping costs were, maybe $15 or so, and my UE10s came back all cleaned up and new looking.  Thus, I figured that they must have done something with them.  But when I put them in, they still fit pretty much the way they always did.  
 
My guess is that they probably added a couple of layers of acrylic, but so much time had passed, so I really have no way of knowing for sure.
 
I've since gravitated much more so to my JH-13s, but do use the UE-10s from time to time.  I pretty much have the same fit issues with both pairs, so maybe one day I'll pay a visit to UE's offices in Irvine or go to see Jerry in Florida and have them tweaked.  Until then, I'll leave well enough alone.
 
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM Post #25 of 29

viveksaikia22

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Extremely sorry for waking up this RIP thread from the dead but I am facing fit issues after multiple refits, same as what's being discussed here.
 
I have my Westone AC2 remoulded by Dream Earz recently. The service was great and it was great to deal with Mitch. The product quality and finishing is top class though I am not quite able to achieve that perfect fit.
The CIEMs when pushed a little inside my ears sounds very good but after some time it just looses that fit and clarity drops down a notch or two. I am not sure if it is due to the shape of my ears or due to the fact that my ears are extremely "oily" the CIEM comes loose after some time. After getting tired of sending back and forth for refitting, I thought of treating the CIEM myself to improve the seal. I applied some silicon ear impression material around the girth of the earphones and worn them while it was still setting and that was the time when I heard the best sound out of these CIEMs but it was only temporary. Once I removed the earphones out of my ears, the silicon ear impression material shifted from it's position as the CIEM is quite smooth and slippery and when I worn it again that perfect sound was gone, although it was still an improvement over the "bare" earphones.
 
Now I am searching for some alternate material which will hold the shape as well as stick to the acrylic material of the CIEM. In one of the posts in this thread someone mentioned using dental wax to improve the seal.
Is it a good material to start with? Would definitely help from the suggestion people might be having here in carrying out this DIY effort.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM Post #26 of 29

Happy Camper

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Seems the moral to the story is to not custom mold IEMs. Ears change over time and what you mold today aren't gonna keep the seal. Now if the molds were made with a material that would contour to your canal and hold in place, then the mold would make sense. Like a foam or flange, but you're defeating the purpose of the mold.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM Post #27 of 29

viveksaikia22

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Quote:
Seems the moral to the story is to not custom mold IEMs. Ears change over time and what you mold today aren't gonna keep the seal. Now if the molds were made with a material that would contour to your canal and hold in place, then the mold would make sense. Like a foam or flange, but you're defeating the purpose of the mold.

 
Sounds true.
Now I am wondering if there is any service to convert the CIEMs to universal IEM....just pondering....
rolleyes.gif

 
Mar 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM Post #28 of 29

malifact

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I recently had custom tips (rather than IEMs) made and I am currently having fit issues.  I could insert the tips fine and the sound quality was very good, but the isolation was disappointing.  In fact, it was so bad I knew that something was amiss.  I'm convinced after reading this thread that the stems need to be thickened.  What has more or less confirmed it for me is the OP's comment about the seal being broken when he moved his jaw.  I have this same issue at the moment with even slight jaw movement.  Fortunately, the company I purchased the tips from have been helpful so far and worse case scenario I am still within their 30 day return period.
 
Sep 30, 2014 at 11:13 AM Post #29 of 29

Comply

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Hey everyone, sorry to wake a dead thread but I thought you all could find this information useful! Comply recently launched a new product called Comply Custom Wraps. They are essentially strips of memory foam with adhesive backing so that the CIEM user can fix their fit issues, comfort issues, and seal issues. We are currently giving anyone with CIEMs (and living in the US) a chance to try these out for free! (keep reading for link)
 
Here's a video on how they work:
 
Here is a recent review from another fellow Headfier on the Custom Wraps:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/comply-custom-wraps/reviews/11649
 
For more information on the Wraps and how to try them completely free, go here:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/736199/having-ciem-fit-issues-try-comply-foams-custom-wraps-for-free
 
Thanks for your time!
 
-Comply
 

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