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Simple Earbud 'hack' for those who never get or keep a good seal


Senior Member
Forum Donor
Jul 25, 2021
This might be useful for people who find it hard to get a good seal with their IEM's. It might be just me, but with the default earbuds that have come with any IEM I can almost never get a good seal (comfortable) with no matter what tip size I use. The only exception was until recently with my Etymotics ER2XR, the Foam tips or the Comply Form tips for the ER2XR both are good, but both are design either for the Etymotics or for very small size apertures on their IEM.

I say "almost never" because I can get a good seal for a couple of minutes but Pushing it hard into my ear, so enough to judge an IEM but not comfortable but the real problem for me is "keeping" the seal. I believe this is because my ear drum is extra wide and deep, even triple flange ear tips would not give me a good seal ( no bass and even a muffled sound ), so if other people have a similar problem, here is a simple hack - inspired by the Etymotics:

I believe because of my ear shape - the triple flange stem collapses as I push them into my, so if I can re-inforce but not block the triple flange it would provide enough stability to give me a bass 'feel' and have a clear opening along its stem to let the audio into my inner ear.

A triple flange + a normal ear tip but with a large wide 'boar'.

Remove the silicone from the large boar eartip (I cut it with a scissors) so you are left with just the stem of the ear tip
Push the end of the triple flange though the large stem until you find the appropriate level to support the triple flange in your ear, I found the 2nd level - see photo.

Obviously I know this will change the sound signature but I found with the Kiwi Ears Orchestra Lite (as in the picture) it worked wonderful well (sounds very similar to the standard eartips) and similarly it works well with my Moondrop Chu's (might have lowered the treple a bit) but with the Salnotes Zero and the Truthear Zero's it didn't work so well (I believe this is because of the angle of the IEM's causes the triple flange to collapse in a different spot with those IEM's.

So definitely it will be different for everyone but for me this hack has worked very well, I can go for long walks with the IEM's staying in place and keeping a consistent (and good to my ears) sound signature.


Active Member
Oct 19, 2022
Haven't seen anything like this before, good idea. My #1 tip for Etymotic triple flanges is to buy the 'long stem' version then cut the stem down to the preferred length. Even a few mm longer allows more flexibility if you have quite bendy or deep ear canals, and your L and R ear canals might be (in fact, probably are) different.

Don't use the long stem tips without shortening them at all, however, because this will sound bad, as the IEM nozzle itself won't be deep enough in your ear.

let me know if you need some pictures to explain better.
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