Trouble with my IEMs

Hi all,

For my birthday about 6 weeks ago my girlfriend got me a pair of FiiO FA1s. I really like the aesthetic and the sound, but I noticed something weird today. So when I wear this IEMs and I take them out, it sounds and feels like a vacuum is released. Like they seal so good they actually form a bit of a vacuum. Now today I was wearing my ZSTs during gaming, and I noticed that these don’t have that effect at all. I also noticed that since I got the FA1s I would sometimes get a short slight piercing pain in my ear, not necessarily when I wear them so no idea if there’s a link there.
Does anyone have any experience with this and know whether this is a problem and how I can solve it?
Thanks :slight_smile:

Are they using the same tips?

I swapped them, it still happens with the tips swapped. Also it doesn’t seem like the FiiOs are deeper than the ZSTs, maybe it’s the angle?

It might be because the fa1 isn’t vented or ported where the kz are

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Hm could be. But should this be a problem? Does it make sense that this can cause pain or earwax problems or something?

When iems don’t have vents you just need to be careful not to take them out too fast. I usually remove them slowly. Heard that you can actually damage your ears if you just yank them out fast if they seal that good.


Check out this old post, you might find something similar to what you are experiencing:

Also, have you tried fitting a smaller eartip? It doesnt have to fit extremely tight to create a seal. If the sound doesnt change after going smaller, you might have been using one size too big.


I experimented with all sizes, doesn’t make a difference. I did notice that with some foam tips it did not occur. Problem is dat foam tips don’t play well with the eczema in my ear so they itch.
Sometimes I feel like the only comfortable way for me to listen to music is using speakers, which is very unfortunate when you live with two people with different music tastes in a 2-room appartement…

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Like others have pointed out, unported IEMs cause this problem usually. The only advice that I can give you is to use foams with the FA1, that will most likely solve your issues with them. However, most IEMs will sound different with different tips, especially foam tips, as they can reduce treble. Why foams? Because as they are expanding, they should allow the air in your ear canal to escape.

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Yeah I tried foams and they do prevent this. Unfortunately I have eczema in my ear, causing foam tips to really itch pretty fast :persevere:

This post reminded me to buy some Symbio W eartips (Silicon + Foam Hybrid).

Hmm those might be a solution, only downside is I’d be paying $24 in stead of $17 since I have to import them. I’ll definitely have a look though, thanks for the suggestion.

Understandable. I’m not keen on foams either, they’re too uncomfortable for me.