Advice needed please, Best IEM for isolation

Discussion in 'Portable Headphones & Earphones' started by duggy_fresh, May 2, 2012.

  1. duggy_fresh

    duggy_fresh Casual Listener

    May 2, 2012

    I am after a pair of iems that are really good at isolation for commuting and blocking out conversations at work, as this is the most important thing for me. i do not want noise cancelling ones as they add weight and inconvenience.

    I'm not too fussed on sound quality, i find all branded headphones are fine these days.

    I have a pair of Ultimate Ears SuperFi 4s that i picked up 18 months ago on sale for £30 (still chuffed at that!) and the wires have gone at the plug end, so each footstep breaks the contact. until now, these have been a great set of isolators they cut out loads of noise.

    I ordered a set of SoundMagic PL30s from here and whilst the sound quality was fine, the isolation was very poor. I appreciate that they cost less than the SuperFis, but I was so underwhelmed that I don't think they should be called isolating at all tbh, it was as if i wasn't wearing them when I was.

    My budget is £40 £50, if the headphones are great. I'm not bothered where i buy them from, ebay included.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi duggy_fresh

    Sound isolation is caused by the fit between your ear canal and the tips used on the earphone - although some earphones do not ever isolate well (normally vented, but even these isolate to some degree) this can normally always be improved on.

    Custom sleeves give the best isolation - and should at this price!

    Custom Earphone Sleeves for Standard Earphones

    They are a perfect fit to the inside of your own ear and stop 40-50db of noise which is a massive reduction, almot as high as you can get by only blocking your ears! (True isolation can only be achieved with a soundproofed room as the body conducts sound as well as it entering the ear via the ear canal.

    Comply Foam Tips

    Here is a cheaper but not quite as effective solution - They do isolate better than silicone everytime.

    I guess what I am saying is that even the best isolating earphone with the best silicone tips can still fit badly and let noise in.

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