The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

I heart Shure SE 210

Posted by David Leslie on September 8, 2007

I found a unique way to deal with my inability to sleep when Jean is sleeping ‘deeply’. In Ear Monitors or earphones.

See, I was reading Fast Company about Ultimate Ears, the developers of the in ear monitors (IEM) that you see many musicians wearing when they play live.

The idea is that the IEM are better than noise canceling headphones since they block outside sounds like an ear plug and allow you to listen at a lower volume (since they don’t have to compete with the outside sounds).

Then it hits me, I need to block out noise and I love to fall asleep to music. But I don’t have the coin for a custom pair of UE’s. I don’t have coin period. But I was still in luck.

Both UE and Shure make consumer versions of the IEM’s they sell to the pros. The difference is that the pros get ear molds made that are then fitted to the driver. The consumer get ear foams that are pretty much just like an ear plug. The price isn’t cheep but this is sleep we’re talking about

I grabbed a pair of Shure SE 210’s from the great folks at Headroom since they have the lowest profile for sticking out of ear of the models in my price range.

After two weeks, I was having problems getting adjusted to them. See you need to get ‘a good seal’ in order for the sound isolation to work. I wasn’t getting that seal. I thought that I had a good test in that I could drop my wedding ring on my desk and not hear it. Sadly I could. I even made a video of my attempts to get this to work demo’ing the ‘ring test’

I shared the video with Shure and Headroom. Shure sent me a new fit kit (with case) filled with the gells that didn’t come in the 210’s for free. I talked to Headroom and they gave me some feedback on the video and some things to try. But nothing worked. So I sent them back to Headroom.

Just as I sent them off, I got an idea. Maybe it wasn’t the fit kit but it was how I was putting them in. So I rush to the Apple store, check their return policy and grab another pair of 210’s. Still no luck. In frustration, I call Headroom and ask what I was doing wrong. Come to find out that I had the fit right, the sound isolation was that of ‘putting your fingers in your ears’. When I did this, I noticed the 210’s blocked more of the ring drop than my fingers. The rest of the isolation is picked up by the sound produced by the drivers. I was getting a good seal after all!!!!

So I tell Headroom to send the 210’s back and I took the other pair back to Apple.

Now I had to find a clock radio to play the delta wave sleep CD and get my rear up in the morning. That is another post.


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