Sennheiser is looking into producing its own custom mould IEM earphones, in the vein of the ACS T2 and the Ultimate Ears custom models often used by professional musicians.
Sennheiser chief designer Axel Grell explained at an event for the new Club Orpheus range of dealers that the company was looking into making custom earphones – one of the few areas it hasn’t catered for to date in its near-70 years of existence.
“We have discusssions a lot on individual ear moulds, to do that. But it needs to be done the right way” Grell explained.
“We haven’t made (custom IEMS) because we haven’t yet found the right way to give the customer a really good experience.”
This reticence is in-line with Sennheiser’s position as a fairly mainstream headphone maker. It is responsible for some of the most popular headphones and earphones of the last couple of decades, including the entry-level Sennheiser CX300 and classic Sennheiser HD 650.
Grell says that the main problem is in guaranteeing a certain level of quality control, in something as personal as a pair of earphones.
“When you just go to your audiologists and they make something for you – it might sound good, it might sound bad.
“The holes inside must be made the right way, the right length, the right diameter – everything. Quality control is very difficult when someone else is doing that.”
Most custom mould earphones are made by producing an impression of your ear, which is then cast into silicon. Pathways for the drivers are then drilled into this rubbery material, a task normally performed by an audiologist technician.
With a well-established range of earphones and headphones, whose most recent serious addition was the almost two-year old Sennheiser IE 800, moving to even higher-end custom earphones seems like an obvious route forward.
However, Grell suggests we won’t see custom Sennheisers any time soon. “Maybe we will create a kit or something. But it’s just ideas at the moment. Nothing will come to the market in the next year.”
Next, read our best headphones round-up