I'm sure a lot of you have seen custom earbuds that have been constructed using a mold of one's own ear canal and surrounding area to create a perfect, custom fit. If you've ever seen a musical stage performance on TV, odds are they had custom IEMs in their ears. They were likely Ultimate Ears
I just recently discovered (via head-fi) a company in China that will reassemble certain high-end universal-fit earbuds in custom shells for a FRACTION of what the UE or Westone would charge.
They wont do it with just any earbuds, so you'll have to check the site if interested. They do most Shures, UEs and Westones... and the Etymotic er6i.
I am so excited, I thought I would HAVE to share it here for anyone who feels the same way I do about their buds.
For those of you who don't feel like reading all my ramblings, I'll cut to the chase now Remold only (they transfer the drivers, etc. from your earbuds into your custom shell (must have ear impressions... more on that later) is 600rmb ( $87.78 ) plus shipping to and from China. They will also ADD ANOTHER DRIVER to certain models (which requires replacing additional hardware). That will cost an extra 1,000rmb ($146.30)
I've always wanted a pair of UE11s (4 drivers in a custom shell), but never imagined having $1,150 lying around with nothing better to spend it on. So, I settled for a pair of Triple.fi 10 Pros (3 drivers in a universal-fit shell). Having them remolded requires ear impressions be made which most people will see an audiologist for and costs anywhere from $25-100, from what I've read, but I found a site (earplugstore.com) that sells the impression kits
that are no different from the ones audiologists use and they're only $20 shipped. They come with detailed instructions and it's recommended you have a partner assist you in making your impressions. The kit even comes with an extra set of materials in case you should botch one mold. I've already familiarized myself with the process with a number of YouTube videos. There's nothing to it. It's the exact procedure and materials professional audiologists use... and you don't even have to leave your home. My kit should arrive within the next day or two.
They also do "artwork," but unlike UE and others, their artwork is limited to one color and is done by lasers, not hand. Price varies depending on what you choose, but I was told the "ue" logo on both buds would cost 280rmb ($40.96). You also have the same choices of colors for the acrylic shells.
Finally, you get 30 days to ensure the fit is perfect. Within 30 days, if not completely satisfied, they will remold them. You also get a 1 year warranty, should anything go wrong inside the buds, which is great for me, because the warranty for my Triple.fis is up this month, so this more or less extends my original warranty.
I'm planning to send my Triple.fis in for remolding, the additional driver and "ue" logo artwork on both buds which totals $275 before shipping. According to what I've read, the sound signature produced by my new buds will be about 95% of the UE11s... A $1,150 PAIR OF EARBUDS!
For those of you that may be skeptics, there's a 21 page thread
about the company at head-fi full of satisfied customers... no complaints. Those of you familiar with the folk at head-fi know they are some picky listeners, to say the least.
The company's website
hasn't been entirely translated into English yet, so don't even try visiting the "Remolding" section. email= email@example.com@uniquemelody.org firstname.lastname@example.org@uniquemelody.org/email. I've been email=ing one of their employees directly. Everyone at head-fi kept recommending him. He's goes by "Sam" and from my understanding, you'll get a reply sooner from him. His email is email@example.com@hotmail.coming one of their employees directly. Everyone at head-fi kept recommending him. He's goes by "Sam" and from my understanding, you'll get a reply sooner from him. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org@hotmail.com/email.
Here are some pics of some buds that were modded by Unique Melody.