Traditional IEMs vs New Age Hybrids

Traditional IEMs vs New Age Hybrids

If you’re familiar with what we do at WAVS, then you’re familiar with our hybrid custom IEMs—a design that’s broken the status quo and completely shaken up the in-ear market. But what really is the difference? And what’s the benefit?

The main difference is where the ear canal comes into play. With our hybrid design, the IEM is completely custom to the concha / outer ear, providing a secure hold and seal on the outside while utilizing a universal tip to seal in the ear canal. That tip or “dome” comes in different sizes and different materials, since people have different sized ear canals and different levels of sensitivity.

As humans, our ear canals are always fluctuating in size. When you move your jaw, your ear canal shrinks and expands. For example, if you’ve ever gone to an audiologist for ear molds, you likely had to put an insert in your mouth to hold your jaw open during the fitting because of this. If you’re a singer, and you’ve used traditional IEM’s, you’ve probably noticed the varying pressure and comfort in your ear canal while singing expressively. That’s because your ear canals are fluctuating in size.

"Your ear canals are a fluid passageway—they're constantly changing in size due to your movement." - Jimmy Porter, Licensed Hearing Care Specialist; Beltone

Traditional IEM companies have been fitting their in-ears the same way for 25 years, but people have continued to have the same issues. Growing up, we were always told to never put hard objects into our ear canal. Even recently, medical experts are saying we shouldn’t even be putting Q-tips into our canals.

Which leads us to the “Why?” behind our hybrid design. We’ve worked closely with hearing specialists and audiologists to develop a solution that not only is better performing, but also more affordable. A soft and flexible tip makes sense on your customs, not only for the comfort and performance, but because it actually forms to your ear canal, as opposed to being a fixed shape. In a way, the universal tips are the only “true” custom approach to your ear canal.

At WAVS, our hybrid design has been the bread and butter of our product offering, and has been the go-to IEM for thousands of users. However, we also offer traditional IEM’s for folks who are still interested in that approach, and we will gladly accommodate those users who wish to provide molds from an audiologist. Our goal will always be to provide you with the best custom listening experience available.