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Earphone Fitting Guide

"In order to get the best fit the key is to get a seal between the ear tip and your ear canal, this provides the isolation and creates a friction that keeps the earphones in your ears. Experiment with different size ear tips until you find a size that blocks out external noise and fits your ear firmly and comfortably."

Earphone Fitting Guide

Why is fit important?

Fit can be one of the biggest problems for several simple reasons. If your earphones don’t sit firmly in your ear canals, or do not seal, you may experience a significant drop in audio quality, particularly from the bass frequencies which can often make you think that your earphones are broken or are just poor quality. This is down to a lack of isolation which means the sound is leaking out rather than staying in your ears and unwanted noise is being let in.

Another common problem is that your earphones just keep falling out or do not stay in properly which means you’re constantly adjusting them or pushing them back in. However, this can usually be solved by something as simple as using a different sized ear tip.  Every ear is different meaning you may not get the perfect fit with the ear tips that are on your earphones straight out of the box - this earphone fitting guide will explain a number of options available.

How to get the best fit

Typically, most earphones will come with silicone eartips in three sizes, small medium and large. Sometimes you will also get flange ear tips, and less commonly some earphones will come with comply foam tips, but we’ll talk about that later.

 

Eartips

 

In order to get the best fit the key is to get a seal between the ear tip and your ear canal, this provides the isolation and creates a friction that keeps the earphones in your ears. Experiment with different size ear tips until you find a size that blocks out external noise and fits your ear firmly and comfortably. It’s also not uncommon to have a different size ear tip for each ear. You should be able to hear a clear difference if the ear tip is properly sealed. If the earphone is fully isolated you will hear a much richer sound, particularly in the bass with minimal external noise. You should also feel a slight suction of air in the ear canal where the ear tip is successfully sealed.

 

Cable Fit

 

One other thing to consider is how the cable is worn. Most commonly cables are worn down from the ear but many models are now designed with an over ear fit and some can even be worn up and down – check your manufacturer instructions for further information on how your particular earphone should be worn. The best way to find the most comfortable fit for you is to experiment with using your earphones under and over the ear, also try having the cable hanging over your front or back, which can free up space and avoid tangles. Typically when the earphones are worn correctly the manufacturers logo should display the right way up.

Other options

There are many options available from different ear tip designs to full custom moulds but here are a few we would recommend for different budgets.

 

Comply

 

Comply

The first and most affordable ear tip solution is Comply. Comply is made from a heat activated memory foam that when heated in the ear conforms to the shape of your ear canal for a dynamic custom fit. Comply changes with the movement and temperature of your ear canal whilst using your earphones. This true fit seals in low frequency energy and provides optimal friction, so the tips stay put. Comply is also available with built in filters that give added protection against wax, debris and even sweat. As an affordable alternative to standard silicone tips Comply gives you a much more natural and comfortable fit as well as sustained isolation, even when active. Comply make ear tips for a huge number of earphone manufacturers, to find out if Comply make tips for your headphone head over to their website and use their easy pairing system to find what fit you need. The size of the standard silicone tips that you currently use with your earphones will be the same as the Comply size you will require.

Fitting comply

Firstly remove the current tips on your earphones and then add the Comply. To do this put a third of the earphone nozzle just inside the lip of the plastic Comply cylinder and then firmly push the rest of the earphone into the cylinder until the Comply sits firmly on the earphone nozzle. Sometimes this can be a very tight fit.

 

Comply Fit

 

To fit Comply simply squeeze the eartips and then insert them comfortably into you ear. Once the memory foam expands and heats up the tip will conform to the shape of your ear to create a comfortable fit and completely seal your earphones.

 

Earcandi

 

Earcandi

Earcandi is for those that want a custom moulding system for their current earphones that won’t break the bank. Earcandi is made from a medical grade silicone polymer that produces a soft, flexible and durable custom moulded ear tip, which you can leave in your ears for hours without noticing. Noise isolation is greatly improved due to the exact fit you get with Earcandi, allowing you to play your music at lower volumes without being able to hear less, which reduces the chance of damaging your hearing by having to blast the volume. The process of fitting Earcandi is very easy and only takes about 10 minutes. The unique Earcandi moulding polymer comes in two parts. When the two parts are combined the silicone begins to set and will be fixed to its permanent shape in only 10 minutes.

Fitting Earcandi

Remove both portions of Earcandi material and knead together until you have an even colour. Split the material into 2 equal portions and roll into a cylinder approx. 5cm long. Loop around the stem of the earphone, bringing the Earcandi together on the outside and insert the earphone into your ear.

 

Earcandi Fit

 

Mould the Earcandi over and around your earphones until you achieve a good seal and the desired finish. Wait 10-15 minutes for the Earcandi material to set and carefully remove from your ears. And that’s it.

 

Snugs

 

Snugs

Snugs are fully custom moulded eartips that can be made for any earphone. Snugs use state of the art 3D scanning and manufacturing based on your exact ear, which means you get a perfect seal and a comfortable fit. No matter how active you get your Snugs will stay put, fit like a glove and will never fall out even when exercising. Unlike other custom mould manufacturers Snugs are made from soft silicone which means even after long periods of wear they are still comfortable. This great fit ensures external sound is kept out even in noisy places and your music doesn’t disturb others.

How it works

A Snugs scanologist will pay you a visit with a state of the art 3D ear scanner to quickly and painlessly scan your ears. Once you’ve chosen from a wide range of colours and optional unique twists like glitter, your Snugs impressions will be manufactured in a lab which usually takes a few weeks. Snugs come in both half and full shell options which can be made to fit any earphone.

 

Snugs Fit

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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