Three Common Issues With IEMs & How To Rectify Them!!
In-Ear Monitors, commonly known as IEMs have now become one of the best ways to enjoy music both portably and on desktop gears. Over the past few years, we have seen drastic improvements in the technology for them. Earlier we were limited to only single driver sets, but with time we have developed the technology to implement multiple drivers in a single set of in-ear monitors. In-Ear Monitors also offer easy driveability where they can be powered straight off a hi-res player or even a smartphone without the need for any extra amplification. Though we have seen people discussing some common issues in using IEMs, that can be identified and rectified easily. Are you also among them? Have you also recently bought an IEM and facing any issue with it? So today, we will be discussing top three common issues that users face with their newly bought IEMs and ask us. Before wasting anymore time, let us grab some popcorn and begin.
What are the most common issues while using IEMs?? Well, just to name the top three here,
1. Channel Imbalance.
2. Fit Issues.
3. Defective Cable.
Channel imbalance is an issue where you hear one side louder than the other. There can be multiple reasons causing the Channel Imbalance, like product manufacturing fault, loose cable connections, or even a damaged headphone jack. First and foremost, if you buy a new set, it is very rare to get a manufacturing fault as most products undergo heavy Quality Checks before shipping for the customers. Most commonly this issue is caused by either the cable adapters or a damaged headphone jack.
Loose Adapter Connections:-
I myself faced imbalance issue very recently with Kinera Norn where I didn’t plugged in the adapter fully. Most of the IEMs now a days come bundled with a balanced cable as stock accompanied with multiple adapters for easy connectivity with different sources. Kinera Norn as we all know comes bundled with a 2.5mm balanced cable and 2.5mm-3.5mm and 3.5mm-4.4mm adapters. I used it on my Cayin N6ii where I plugged it in the 4.4mm port. I was getting sound only on the right side, the left side was completely blank. I checked the connectors on cable and ear pieces which was perfectly intact, but then I noticed the 2.5mm-4.4mm adapter goes one step more in with the cable. Just pushing the adapter slightly more with the cable made a clicking sound and rectified the issue for me.
How to rectify:-
Kindly refer to the image above. The one with the wrong sign looks fully locked but it still lacks a last push. The one with the right sign is fully locked and works perfectly. We should always check the connections whether it is between the earpieces or between the termination plugs and adapters. Simply checking on the adapter connection rectified the issue I was facing with Kinera Norn.
Damaged Headphone Jack:-
Headphone jacks are not very delicate but they are prone to get damaged over time. They only create issues when the pins don’t connect properly with the termination plugs. If all the connections between the cable, adapters, and earpieces are perfect, headphone jack might be the culprit here. It is very easy to check, simply try your faulty pair with any other source, if it works perfectly fine, then you have to get your player checked.(you can also check any other IEM with the doubtful source here to check its headphone socket).
How to rectify:-
This can be caused by dirt inside the headphone socket, try to blow air inside the headphone socket to see if it works again. But most commonly, this issue is technical and has to be administered by a professional engineer. Try contacting the brand or store where you bought the said device from to claim the service under warranty.
This is very rare to get a manufacturing fault in today’s time as the quality check standards for every brand is at an all time high. Every brand wants to provide best customer support for their users. But if your product still have channel imbalance issues even after checking on the cable connections and headphone jack, the product might have some issue. For this scenario, you have to contact the brand or the retail store from where you got the product. If you have bought any product from HiFiGo store, feel free to contact us on our support email at email@example.com, we would be happy to help you out.
How to rectify:-
Contact brand or store for replacement under warranty. Do note that you can also contact us in case of any other manufacturing defects such as IEM body shape or anything.
Imbalance Caused Due To Ear Wax Buildup:-
One of the biggest issues that cause channel imbalance in IEMs is usually ear wax build-up on the nozzle filter or the ear tips. We have seen many units which users think are defective, but they just have ear wax build-up on the nozzle filter. Ear wax usually gets built up on the nozzle filter that blocks the incoming sound signal hence affecting the overall output signal.
How to Rectify:-
Simply check and clean both the ear tips and filters on the nozzle of your earphones. A simple clean-up with a soft cotton bud will solve this issue.
If you still can’t confirm what is causing the imbalance issue in your IEMs, you can ship it to us by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send it back to the brand to test and rectify the issue. If the issue is not covered in the product warranty such as cables, filters, or cleaning of the IEMs, the brand may ask for some minor charge. If the problem is found in drivers, the brand will repair or exchange the damaged unit free of any charge. (Do note that most brands provide 6 months of cable warranty and 1 year of IEM warranty).
Cables play an important role in our beautiful audiophile journey. A high-quality cable is always recommended for best performance with our HiFi IEMs. But like every good thing in our life, Cables are prone to get damaged. If you hear channel imbalance in your newly bought IEMs, we suggest you try the pair with a different cable. Most of the IEMs in the market today use either MMCX or 0.78mm connectors, and we usually have extra cables in our collection. If not you can ask a friend and try the defective set with a different cable.
How to rectify:-
Usually it is extremely rare to get a damaged cable in a brand new set, but if that’s the case and your new set works perfectly fine with other cables, contact us at email@example.com to claim warranty on the set.
Most of the IEMs in the market today are equipped with multi-driver configurations. It is possible for one or more drivers to go bad that results in channel imbalance with the pair. It can be easily recognized by hollow sound from the defective side. Again getting a damaged driver is an extremely rare case scenario.
What to do if you think your IEM has a damaged driver:-
The pair needs to be replaced in such cases. You need to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you claim the warranty on the damaged product.
Fit Issues, The Worldwide Problem For Audio Enthusiasts:-
In order to enjoy your IEMs to their full potential, a comfortable fit is a must. Comfortable fit with best possible isolation for an immersive, remarkable experience. Obtaining such a fit is always cumbersome for the users. But achieving such a fit is not difficult, you just have to explore multiple options in ear tips. Now a days, brands are including multiple sets of high-quality ear tips both silicone and foam with their IEMs. If your ever have any issues regarding fit, be open to try out different ear tips, different sizes. There are even some aftermarket brands such as Azla Sednafit, Spin Fit, JVC, and many more that make excellent ear tips. Do note that sometimes the shell size of the earphones are big and might not be a perfect fit for small ears. Do check the dimensions of the IEMs before making a purchase.
How to rectify:-
Keep your arsenal of ear tips ready to try and find your best fit. I personally have Spinfits, JVC Spiral Dots, and plenty of more ear tips to explore fit with different IEMs. Eartips also bring slight changes in sound quality, we suggest explore and find out more yourself. Do note that sometimes in hurry we mistakenly apply different sized tips on the IEMs(like bigger on the left smaller on the right, or vice versa). Be sure to check that too otherwise that might cause channel imbalance issues.
Similar to manufacturing defects, it is very rare to get a defective cable out of the box as quality check by brands are impressively good. Cable defects are usually very rare but they are not impossible to happen. There can be any issue like broken connector, damaged termination plug, or more. A damaged cable can cause no sound or one side sound, one side silent.
How to rectify:-
If you think that the cable is at fault here, you should try with other cables you might have in your collection. If the pair works fine with other cables, you can contact us at email@example.com to claim warranty on the product.
Accidental Damage Repair Requirement:-
In case you got an imbalance issue after some kind of accident like falling of the IEMs, getting hit against a hard surface, or any kind of water/dust damage. The pair will have to get repaired and for that, you will have to ship the pair to us. We assure you we will try our best to arrange the repair as quickly as possible from the brand directly. We suggest you don’t try to open or tear the IEM looking for any kind of repair as that will void the warranty and you might damage the product further. So, if you find any issues with your IEMs after some kind of accident, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you out.
Accidental damage might incur some sort of repair fee by the brand depending on the amount of damage to the units. We will keep you updated on the same during the repair process.
We hope we were able to help you out if any issue you are facing with your newly bought set. For everything else, we assure you we are here to help you out, if you have any more concerns or questions to ask, feel free to contact us at email@example.com, we would love to hear from you. Have an amazing music session with your favorite gear!! Keep shopping with us at HiFiGo.