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Custom In-Ear Monitors
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My first CIEMs were a pair of AAWs I'm still in love with, and price was the limiting factor that was holding me back for the longest time. As a side note I find a pair of CIEMs invaluable when flying as they cut out the noise, ease the pressure change / popping, and of course make passing the time MUCH more enjoyable!
Don't have any customs at the moment, but have been seriously considering the Lear ACM-A1d MkII as my first foray into the lower end of the custom market.
The main things that have stopped me have been the inconvenience of getting inclusions and sending them off, the price of the higher end models and the lack of resale value ( hence looking at the Lear as my first option as I like the idea of their universal version and its a small outlay in real terms of I don't get on with them).
Ok, for me these were the reasons so far (before I joined the latest AAW drop):
1) Sound signature:
I am still running through IEMs like a madman. JVC HA-FX850, Aurisonics Harmnoy, 2.5, 1Plus, Noble K10U, UE900S, LZ-A3, Sony XB90EX, RHA T20 and then plenty of Sennheisers, beyerdynamics, Ostrys, Fidues and whatnot from massdrop. I simple don't know if they like them until I heard them. I mean the Noble K10 for example are amazing, but the sound is quite tip depending, comply or spin fit, huge difference in treble delivery. What if I don't like them as customs?
If I don't like CIEMs or I want to upgrade (I am actually very bad at selling things if it comes to headphones, earphones, can't let things go but that's a different story) - I can't resell them. I am pretty stuck with them, I cannot let anyone else let them try them, re-shelling is not always possible.
3) sharing your experience:
Imagine I am blown away from the sound of my in ears. I am dying to let my wife and my friends listen to them. CIEMs don't let me do that.
4) ear impressions:
I had imagined the process to be much more unpleasant and complicated than it actually was. I was in and out of the audiologist's office in 15 minutes including a nice chat. And it wasn't that expensive either, especially since I can now use these ear impressions to order more from AAW (custom ear plugs and a custom sleeve tip for my K10s)...