Custom IEM experience

Since my home system seems to be at a level where only silly money would substantially improve it I have been putting money into headphones etc and mobile listening.

I’m also traveling a fair bit and have been trying to find comfy IEMs but it seems one ear canal in particular is narrow and oddly shaped and even the smallest/softest tips aren’t great, leaving a choice of either a poor seal and loss of performance or an uncomfortable fit.

So I have just received my custom Jerry Hardy Audio 13hv2 Pro from the Custom IEM Co.

Great process from moulds taken by my local audiologist to plenty of advice choosing a model. Some brands and models are clearly aimed more at musicians and apparently have specific sound signatures but these seem very nicely balanced with a fairly rich and dynamic sound. Lots of nicely resolved detail. They actually have a little device on the cable to adjust the bass which I have tweaked to my personal sweet spot. I’d place their performance a good step above my Grado GR10e and they sound really classy plugged into my main system and headphone amp. Most important they fit perfectly and really disappear into the ear. Result.

If you can find comfy fit from off-the-shelf IEMs you probably won’t go down this route but if not I can recommend the process. You can have some wacky colours and designs if you want too!

Bruce

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Interesting, as I’ve never found any in-ear devices that I can wear for any length of time. I’ve been contemplating doing something about mobile audio better than my iPhone/iPad and Bose QC35 headphones, currently only used on flights, and had been thinking about a decent pair of over-ear headphones but decent ones of the sealed type that I would need tend to be rather bulky, and in-ear simply out of the question for comfort. What is sound leakage like, both you hearing external noises and people next to you hearing your music if played loud? And out of curiosity, what sort of cost are they?

I found it difficult to find a pair with good fit. I prefer the convenience of BT wireless and am not prepared to pay high-end prices for a portable device. I found Jabra Elites the best match for my requirements plus the sw works seamlessly with my iPhone.
I’ve owned them for over 2 years now.

Mine cost around £1300 but they start around £500, up to £2.5k. Getting the mould cost £50.

Some of the brands they sell can have a blue tooth ‘cable’ but not the design I bought.

Absolutely no sound leakage.

Bruce

Thanks Bruce - and only about the same price as decent closed back headphones.

Yes, a different experience in some ways but can be very enjoyable. The company I used have a good website and were very helpful.

Bruce

Even if it were to give you the same sound quality as you’re home system? (Though I Have no idea how close it can get - and will never allow you to feel the bass as well as hear it.)

In present circumstances no, I don’t like risk eg losing expensive items whilst travelling, I don’t think beach sand sea and suncream etc would do the gear any good.
If I had a permanent holiday home that would be a different matter.
I also have some Sennheiser momentum 3 that’s about the max £ I would goto. I don’t wear them when I out and about as I look like an aging cyber man they’re mainly for chilling in the garden oron the balcony on holidays.
Terry

I’ve never even thought about listening in such circumstances, rather long journeys on planes, buses, trains, or if bad weather forced prolonged remaining indoors on holiday, or in a mobile home in the evening. I know what you mean by cyberman appearance, though it is the practicality not looks that inhibit me - which is why in-ear seems attractive, something I’d never considered before due to discomfort and the expectation of inferior sound quality.

When I had my motorbike we used to go to Rykers at box hill on Sundays a popular biker meet.
One time they had an audiologist there where you could get a mould made for ear plugs which if I remember could be fitted with Sennheiser iem as an option. It wasn’t very expensive unfortunately when the audiologist checked my ears there was too much wax in them to make a mould. That was the only time I considered custom iem (I never followed it up).
I’m convinced riding a motor bike caused my tinnitus (wind noise) foam plugs never fitted properly.
The only time now I’m exposed to high volumes is the Sax band I belong too when there can 20+ of us playing together ……

I have a Vision Ears Phoenix on A&K SP2000 and i’m very pleased with this stunning setup :grinning:

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Hi Terry, i remember when i was working in the NHS there was a study of police MC riders, those that didn’t use any protection had measurably worse hearing. I always used foam earplugs. Sorry for the deviation, back on track
Martin

I had my local audiologist make custom fit ear moulds to fit my Shure SE315’s about 6 years ago and they were excellent and now still use them with Shure SE425’s as the connection to the ear moulds on the Shure’s are all the same.
All up very good value for money for the sound quality and can be used pretty much anywhere really as no sound leakage problems in or out and small so really portable.

Could you post a pic if possible please of your custom ear mould / SE425 combo.

TIA

James

I can post a photo tomorrow as they are at my work office at the moment and will bring home tomorrow and post ( never posted a photo before so will try)

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Thanks, that would be much appreciated. This thread has prompted me to take a look at getting some custom moulds for my Shure IEMs, so i’ll be interested to see what yours are like.

James



The moulds i have are made of a rubbery/slightly flexible type material so are soft on the inside of the ear and provide a perfect fit in all ambient conditions as opposed to the hard nylon type material you can get for high noise area ear protection which are sore to wear for extended periods of time.

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Brilliant - thanks for posting those pics. I will make some enquiries :+1:

Mine look more like old-fashioned hearing aids, the mould fits into the ear helices not just the canal. They are a rigid plastic, but comfy as made from the full mould supplied by my audiologist. Very snug and secure, but not as discrete. Other colours etc are available!

Bruce

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