Improve Your in Ear Monitors




Do you love music, DoomMeister does. Here DoomMeister will show you how to improve the isolation and inter-aural coupling of your In Ear Monitor type headphones.

One of the benefits of in ear monitor of type headphones is that they offer better isolation, better sound and less spill other types of headphones (especially those evil white ones, the ones that are louder on the F###### outside than the inside).

In this Instructable I will document how I improved my Sennheiser IE4, the same techniques will also work for Sennheiser CX300's, the Sharp, Sony and Creative models that are all very similar to previously mentioned models.

Let me also bring your attention to some other Instructables in a similar vien
1) Improve-In-Ear-Headphones-Ear-Buds
2) Poor-Man-Noise-Canceling-EarBud-Headphones

Step 1: Why Do This

These IEM's typically come with two types of insert. An expanding foam type disposable tip and a rubber tip.

The expanding foam tips offer improved sound quality and better isolation due to the improved seal and better coupling they offer, however if your ears are as Mingy as mine they need to be replaced quite often. These tips due to their expanding nature fit most sizes of ear perfectly.

The rubber tips come generally in three sizes and are a lot easier to clean. However finding a good fit can be difficult, I have also experienced that these tips loose some of their elasticity over time and as such the seal deteriorates.

In this Instructable I offer a middle way.

Step 2: You Will Need

Some In Ear Monitor type headphones (IEM's).

A hole punch (1/4" Diameter).

Some foam ear plugs (I used E-A-R classic).

Rubber ear tips of a suitable size for you ear.

Step 3: Dismantle Your Eartips

Dismantle the existing tips from your headphones and save them for later.

Step 4: Punch Out the Earplugs

Compress the earplug lengthways between thumb and forefinger (or whichever one pleases you most).

Place the compressed earplug in the punch taking care to centre the earplug on the punch.

Punch the earplug, repeat this step leaving you with two punched earplugs.

Step 5: Combine the Rubber Tips and Earplugs

Take the rubber ear tips and roll them so that they are inside out (see photo).

Insert the small rubber cylinder of the rubber ear tip into the hole that you punched in the earplug. Repeat once again.

Step 6: Reassemble

Now reassemble the combined earplug and rubber ear tip onto your In Ear Monitors. Now fold the rubber ear tip back over the earplug, I will most likely not cover the entire ear plug but this is OK.

You are now ready to try your newly improved headphones.



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    15 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Not to degrade your choice of earbuds, but those are not IEMs. IEMs are intended for performing or mixing music, and will literally ALWAYS include foam tips, since (most) performers don't want to go deaf.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 months ago

    IEMs are for the pure enjoyment of music, used by millions. Foam tips can lose music detail, too.


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Where did you get the foam plugs? All I can find are the pink and yellow rubbery ones.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    They are the type we have at work. I am not sure the type of plug is critical, choose one that is comfortable.

    You could always try a shopping search on the mighty G.



    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    cool thanks. i found some at canadian tire so as soon as i can find a hole punch i'll give this a try.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Really works! Earlier used those ones (made by myself od course) as you can see on the first photo. Good, but not practical and reduces high frequency energy. Before a few minutes ago tried your solution dear DOOMMEISTER with my MEElec M9 and M11+. Great ! Thank you!
    Regards from Hungary!


    8 years ago on Step 6

    i bought one of the 32 dB NRR and now all i can hear (aside music) is the wire noise, works like... i don't know, can't think of anything else in my life that actually works (lol), it just work.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I just got some cheapo skullcandy in ear buds and I think I'm going to try this considering it's reversible and hopefully improves isolation of the sound. Sadly, it probably won't improve the bass... How I miss my sony high bass earbuds... may they rest in peace.


    9 years ago on Step 6

    I used this method on my cheapo 20$ skullcandys to improve their noise cancellation, and boy does it do alot.....thanx for the great 'ible, you saved me 80$ (thats what it costs for the good noise cancellation pair)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    They are for punching holes in leather. Look at leather suppliers sites. Also, the type you hit with a hammer are sold in craft stores - look in scrapbooking areas of a store.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I do believe this might be the easiest sound blocking ear bud tutorial.