A couple of months ago during a casual browse through my Facebook timeline, I saw a post to one of the audio groups regarding some new tips. Although not as glamorous as cables, tips offer a very similar value to your IEM enjoyment and they also come with a lot less pain to the bank. Like cables they effect comfort and by changing the seal quality they will also effect the sonic performance. The reason these tips caught my eye was due to them being a similar idea to some of my favourites. I have always loved the Sony EP-TC50 & Trinity Kombi tips which were a silicone ear tip stuffed with some sponge. These new tips I had come across were also a silicone on the outside but instead had been filled with a memory foam which is much dense but also more pliable than what the hard to come by Sony tips used. These new tips are branded the Symbio by MandarinEs and I got in contact immediately to get some sent over. Purchasing a box of 3 pairs costs $15 and can be done solely through the creators eBay store. You are able to add a message to your purchase to determine what sizes you want, if not you will get one pair in each size. These are small (diameter 11mm and height 9mm), medium (diameter 12mm and height 9mm) and large (diameter 13mm and height 10mm).
W & N
Loaded in a tiny little cardboard box this is a rather modest affair. There is none of that wasteful packaging tips normally come with and instead, you have a cute box with some ready to go silicone. I should mention that on top of the actual tip size, there are two variations of the Symbio which you should select depending on how big a sound bore your earphones have. Initially, they just had a standard N version with a 3.8mm diameter but with a lot of the latest flagships having bigger bores, there was a demand for the new W version complete with a 4.5mm diameter.
The main idea behind the Symbio is pretty straightforward. Combine the benefits of silicone and memory foam tips. Silicone is known for their long lasting nature while foam tips are generally quick to go a bit yuk. However many swear by the impressive seal foam tips generate due to the fact they expand to the contours of your ear. On principle, these will last you for ages and also get a great seal. To make sure the foams expansion actually effects the silicone it has been slightly overpacked to generate force, making the foam actually do what you want. This is helped along by the silicone being super thin at just 0.2mm. Because of these you should prepare them like a Comply and give them a squeeze and roll before inserting them into your ear.
I was never going to post anything too extensive on these ear tips but since I have found them to be a really great product I thought they deserved at least a few words. I have found these to be comfortable to use and on certain earphones absolutely essential to the sound quality. I think due to ears being unique to all of us certain tips will work for some while others will require different options. Because of this if you are shelling out some serious cash on a new in-ear monitor then spending a few bucks more to try some different tips like these and Spin Fits will probably get quite a bit of mileage and at much less cost than the shiny cable, I bet you have been eyeing up. It would be nice if these started to be bundled with IEM purchases to boost their accessibility as well.