This was buried in an Instructable I made about custom-fit earbuds <http://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-Sound-with-Liquid-Seal-EarBuds-and-some-i/
> and thought this portion was "significant" since I haven't seen it published elsewhere... If I'm wrong, please let me know and I'll attribute it.
I don't care what kind of earbud you use, this one small, free preparation will change your appreciation of your MP3 music for life.
As a designer, I had to learn how sound travels through air. Sound is pervasive because all it needs is a tiny gap to get through. It doesn't have to be a straight gap either, like light. It will travel through twisting pathways with ease (engineers use sound to trace water leaks). That's why, with even the most expensive, best fitting earbuds, you can still hear the world around you... And you're being cheated of hearing the full sound your earbuds are capable of producing. Your also being cheated out of the one thing that no one expects from earbuds... "Feeling" the music.
The sounds you hear in a closed auditorium, at a live concert, are created by pressure waves. These waves are contained within the building space and why you "feel" the music vibrating within your body. The pressure waves are all around, "bumping" you, so you sense the music, in perfect harmony with your hearing... From the boom of the "I got big speakers at the stoplight" of the deep bass all the way to the drummer hitting the rim of the snare drum with his stick.
Most of these sounds and all of the feelings are lost through the microscopic gaps that exist between your earpiece and your skin when you attempt to reproduce them with earbuds.
Simply smearing the rubber seal of your earbud with a thick, slippery liquid like waterless hand soap will seal the gap between the earbud and your ear. ALL of the pressure waves will be trapped within your ear canal and you will hear - and feel - a completely new level of sound from your mp3 player.
Your own personal sound booth, right between your ears. Oh, and if you have any music that was recorded with analog equipment, listen for the tape hiss... It'll be there:-)
What you need:
1. A non-leathal, non-medicating, slippery lotion, intended to be applied to human skin. I've experimented with a large number of materials and have decided to use waterless hand soap. It's non-toxic, biodegradable and evaporates when I pull the buds from my ears to store them (it also evaporates when I see my wife's lips moving and have to pull them to hear what she's saying... Yes, the seal is that good).
2. Smear a very tiny amount onto your earbud plugs. Not too much. Just enough to make the rubber "shiny".
3. Put them into your ears and "smush" them around a bit to "close up the gap" as they'd say in the Marine Corps. You'll need to "yawn" as you do this, which opens the ear canal to your throat, so you can equalize the pressure inside your ear. If you use custom fit earbuds, you'll find they slip in easier.
4. Play your music... And this is important... DON'T PUT THEM AT FULL VOLUME. You won't need to and you can damage your ears "real good". I'm not responsible for any damage caused by non-inteligent use of this idea. The same goes for any live concert where the sound pressure can damage the delicate parts of your hearing... USE SMARTS
5. Say "Goodby" to those around you and disappear from the outside world.
6. Enjoy... Then vote for me :-)
As an additional tweak, I emptied a hotel-sized hair soap bottle and re--filled it with waterless hand cleaner which I keep in my pocket.... I can also wash my hands with it... I won't hear what you're saying, but I'll be very clean :-)
One caveat... The type of earbud shown hear (pun), once made slippery, will want to slide out of your ear, breaking the seal. This is a good rationalization to make your earbuds custom fitting. Once you do, your earbuds will "snap" into position and stay there. Here's the best Instructable I've found to guide you through converting them... It's easy: Here
If you like my stuff, you can get all of it for free on my personal Instructable app HERE
(no ulterior motive... I'm not a salesman and I'm not a politician... Just love Instructables, like to invent things, and give them away).