Do custom IEMs have to be hollow?

Discussion in 'Headphone & Earphone General Discussion' started by headphoners, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. headphoners

    headphoners Well Balanced

    Jun 26, 2013
    I have a question about custom IEMs: I know that there are IEMs that are hollow shells, with drivers and electronics glued into place inside the shell after partial curing, but I wonder if that is necessary, and I haven't read anything either way here or on other IEM sites. So, is it possible to have an IEM that is solid, with the driver embedded in the acrylic or other material it's made of? I think it would be ok as long as the curing process didn't subject the driver or crossover components to damaging temperatures, or the driver wasn't deformed in the curing process.

    I do have a custom IEM and I honestly can't tell if it's partially hollow or not. I do see seams in the material that would seem to indicate either hollowness or incremental pouring of resin, but I can't be positive. I guess the next step is to drill a tiny hole and find out. blink.gif
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi headphoners

    Most drivers have some kind of chamber which they are suspended within. With IEMs the chamber needed is obviously quite small and ultimately part of that chamber is made up of the inside of your own ear canal. I'm not a designer so I cannot tell you if there are rules for chamber size based on type of driver used but I would guess that is in part how it works. Some drivers would probably need very little chamber and the air within the sound tubes may be enough to allow them to push air effectively. This is quite deep stuff - have you tried contacting someone like ACS? They may not wish to share their secrets but you could give it a go.:)

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