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#2011635 - 11/12/08 09:43 PM Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering…
Frank Wells Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/27/00
Posts: 94
Loc: Murfreesboro,,UNITED STATES
I recently had a set of custom in-ear-monitors and the experience got me wondering how many musicians and engineers are using custom fitted earphones. Dropping in here to my sister publications (I’m from Pro Sound News and Pro Audio Review) for a decidedly unscientific informal survey—anyone have experiences to share?

The new 2X-S earphones I got were made from molds taken back at summer NAMM time—I went through the audiologist fitting routine when I picked the earphones up. Fitted earphones make a big difference in the ability to keep the earpieces seated properly—I have some universals and I like the way they sound, but the fit, with the various plastic inserts, are susceptible to breaking the seal with movement. The foam inserts are better in my experience, but maybe I’m best suited by some fit in between the sizes, as the mediums don’t keep a good fit for me, but the large one get uncomfortable quicker. Getting a good initial fit is a bit more fiddly with the foams though you get better at it with practice. I don’t have experience with the hard plastic inserts, but the silicone that Sensaphonics uses are certainly comfortable and seal well (and they sound good).

Sensaphonics currently has an “economic stimulus” program running (through the end of the year)—trading in any other brand of custom earphones nets a $250 price reduction (http://www.prosoundnews.com/article/18580 ).

Getting the 2x-Ss is also letting me try another new device from Sensaphonics, the dB check. Inserting this Nano-sized device between source and earphones let you know what levels you are actually listening at (they know the sensitivity of their products, so the readouts are based on measuring input voltage and converting that reading to an at-ear dB SPL reading). In-ears are often touted for hearing conservation, but if you are listening too loud, you can still damage your hearing, and finally there’s a practical way to know how loud you are really listening (and the readings you get can be averaged across a user defined time window, then the results are shown not only in dB, but are correlated to hearing protection standards, the readout showing safe listening time in minutes). Yeah, that sounds like a commercial, but I’m jazzed to know how loud I really listen (and to get confirmation that I’m pretty reasonable with my levels). We did a bit on dB Check in PSN in Sep, if you want to read more see:
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/prosound_200809/index.php?startid=43

I look forward to hearing your experiences and preferences.
_________________________
Frank L. Wells
Editor, Pro Sound News
Editorial Director, Pro Audio Review

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#2012404 - 11/14/08 02:50 PM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: Frank Wells]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
Frank,

Off to read the piece, but I can tell you that I try noit to use in-ears at all, and I see many users using them incorrectly and in a way desitined to cause hearing damage. I'd love to see more written about safe and sane ways to use them.

I still use molded ear plugs... like you, I get fitted at NAMM every couple of years. I find that a little petroleum jelly improves comfort and seal.

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#2013348 - 11/17/08 09:21 AM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
Frank Wells Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/27/00
Posts: 94
Loc: Murfreesboro,,UNITED STATES
Hi Bill,

molded attenuators (plugs) are excellent for protection at concerts and such--with the attenuators, you can actually still enjoy the show.

Yes, quite often the use of in-ears is done in such a way that the potential benefits are negated. That's why the dB check is so intriguing--a practical way to stay "safe and sane."
_________________________
Frank L. Wells
Editor, Pro Sound News
Editorial Director, Pro Audio Review

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#2013386 - 11/17/08 10:17 AM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: Frank Wells]
audiorulez Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/20/07
Posts: 745
A properly set up IEM system will not allow them to get loud to the point of damaging.

If you're serious about getting some custom molds and the best IEM system, talk to Marty Garcia at Futuresonics. Marty invented IEM's in the 70's, and is the industry leader in them. His list of clientele is like a who's who of the industry. He's a great guy, and will talk to you personally and guide you to the best system money can buy.

http://www.futuresonics.com

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#2013467 - 11/17/08 12:39 PM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: audiorulez]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
yeah, all that is wonderful, but it does not account for the boneheads who are setting them up in the field. That is where the danger lies, and I see it more and more, as more no-nothings get the jobs.

Bill
_________________________
"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

Steve Martin

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.


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#2015456 - 11/21/08 10:32 AM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: audiorulez]
Frank Wells Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/27/00
Posts: 94
Loc: Murfreesboro,,UNITED STATES
FutureSonics Atrios universals are most excellent, in my experience, and there's a lot of folks indeed that swear by their molds. Another good resource.

That said, all of these drivers are capable of damaging levels and most end users don't avail themselves of the good advice available from folks like Marty and Daniel and the FS gang.
_________________________
Frank L. Wells
Editor, Pro Sound News
Editorial Director, Pro Audio Review

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#2163576 - 02/11/10 06:52 AM Re: Getting new Sensaphonics IEM’s got me wondering… [Re: Frank Wells]
coltfourty5 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 34
I have known Marty Garcia from FS personally for a few decades, and no one is more dedicated to hearing safety than he is.

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