In-ear sound isolation

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by ayrshiredude, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. ayrshiredude

    ayrshiredude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Ok I used to have a pair of Sure E2c earphones which I liked because they really isolated the outside sound and also sounded very good. I have however lost these and so purchased a pair or Sennheisser CX 300II earphones. Now to be honest I am not really liking these too much because I can never seem to get a really good fit with them and also think the sound is not as clear as the shure's were. They also don't do much of a job when it comes to isolating the outside world.

    I mainly use my Samsung Galaxy S as my source as it really does everything and is with my all the time anyway. But I would like something better than the CX300IIs. I am not rolling in money at the moment so would have to limit to about the £70 mark give or take.

    I tend to like crisp detailed sound with decent, not ear busting, bass. But really want something with good external sound isolation. I thought about the Phonak Audeo PFE Perfect Bass 012 Earphones as they seem to be a good sounding set, however they don't appear to be that good at the noise isolating from what I have read. I have became totally confused at the huge range of earphones available. just reading reviews on some sites end up suggestions for another dozen or so phones. The other thing I am not keen on with the CX 300s is the non equal cable lengths to each ear. I would prefer something with equal cables. Also the cables tangle so easily so something better than this would be good.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Hi Ayrshiredude,

    Isolation is more a function of the fit method rather than the earphone itself. Adding comply tips to your earphones gives a much greater degree of isolation. These are a type of heat reactive foam developed by 3M for the American military.

    On average a silicone tip gives a drop of 16db in external noise but a Comply tip gives a 23db drop in noise.

    The shape and size of the headphone body also has the potential to drop noise levels, the shape of the Phonak Audeo PFE 012 is one of the most advantageous shapes for blocking noise by disrupting the space behind the entrance to the ear canal (similar to Sennheiser IE8 and Westone UM series). Nozzle (the protruding tunnel where the noise comes out) size has a slight impact too, larger nozzle = slightly more isolation as the material the body is made of doesn't conduct sound.

    Finally there is the part of the equation only you are aware of - we all have different ears and we all hear differently - the size of your outer ear, the depth of your ear canal and the frequency range of your hearing.

    Here are some suggestions / tips for earphones that both we and customers feel provide great isolation, the order is from lightest to darkest.

    Phonak Audeo PFE 012 + Comply T-130

    Westone UM1 (includes comply foam)

    Sennheiser IE6 + Comply T-400


    If you liked your Shure E2c's then these are the familiar looking replacement.

    Shure SE102

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. ayrshiredude

    ayrshiredude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Thanks for the info. If Iwent for the shure SE102 which Comply tips would I need?
     
  4. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,325
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
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