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Question regarding in ear fit and sinuses

  1. PMA
    Hi all,
    My band has been using in ear monitoring for a number of years now.  I have used both UE and JH Audio products and recently upgraded from JH16's to Roxanne's.  In doing so, I gave my JH16's to my brother to re-shell them for his ears.  Prior to this, he's been using Shure SE535's with a custom sleeve made by Sensaphonics for several years and recently began having fit issues given the usual 3-4 years that is typical for a fit to change since ears never stop growing.  Doesn't recall if he had any fit/sound issues at the outset of using these.
    Did the usual bite block process for making the impressions for both the sleeves and for the re-shell.  Sent the JH16's to In-Earz for the re-shell and when they came back, he noticed a possible fit issue where he would sometimes lose the sound (would get muffled).  He has a fit warranty with In-Earz so can get them re-done but we also went back to the audiologist who made the impressions to have them examine these and the re-shelled JH16's.  Couldn't really tell if anything was made incorrectly so they offered to re-make the impressions at no charge.  In the discussion, the audiologist said that the issue where the sound sometimes gets muffled (in both ears), MIGHT be related to his sinuses and allergies.  
    So some questions:
    1. Has anyone else ever been told this by an audiologist?
    2. Anyone ever experienced on again off again muffled sound even though the outside seal seems good?
    In the meantime, he is sending the new impressions and JH16's to In-Earz for another re-shell.
    Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. Ivabign
    If the sound bores in the nozzle are aimed in a way that with movement they become blocked even partially, this could cause a muffled sound as one or more bores may be unable to direct sound to the eardrum. This is one of the reasons it is imperative to get the best impression - and the deepest one possible - as the CIEM manufacturer can see firsthand (even if they cut the impression before the 2nd bend) the entire ear canal...
  3. PMA
    Thanks for the reply.  It may be the impressions but I'm still curious about the possible issue related to sinuses and if anyone has ever heard this before.
  4. JackKontney
    "...where he would sometimes lose the sound (would get muffled)" sounds like a fit issue to me, though a lack of seal would normally manifest as thin/tinny rather than muffled. Based on your description, it could also potentially be a dysfunction in the HF driver(s). Presumably InEarz tests for that.
    If this wasn't an issue/symptom previously, there's no (hardware) reason it should be now. If this is sinus/allergy problem, it should manifest with other IEMs as well, so have him try his old Shure/Sensaphonics rig and see if the problem persists.
    Good luck!
  5. PMA
    Thanks Jack.  Yes, InEarz tests the drivers as part of the reshell process so I don't think it's that.  I think it is a fit issue as well and that the stem that goes into the ear canal has too much play.

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