The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Perfect IEM Ear Tips

If you have done your research on the process of selecting the perfect ear tips for earphones, then you are either enlightened to what great quality earbuds can provide an audiophile with or you’re still lost in the hills of what to buy.

Either way, fear not because this article will be your most valuable tool in mapping out that last step into audio bliss.

Table of Contents

What is an IEM?

An abbreviation for “in-ear monitor,” they are inserted deep into the inner part of your outer ear (canal) and can easily create a seal by turning it inside out. This seal creates better sound isolation and more bass response than regular headphones/earphones which usually rest outside of your canal.

The build quality of in-ear monitors is quite subjective. Most companies pride themselves in following the “real” sound reproduction system of how the ear would react to bass build up or what they call “the perfect sound.”

Most companies who make true true-to-life earphones use their own proprietary ‘buds which retain some sort of memory foam that forces the ear canal to conform to the shape of your ear canal. This helps reduce background noise and allows you to hear important sounds more clearly.

Selecting Perfect IEM Ear Tips:

1. Fit:

This is the easiest one to overlook at first, because it’s usually what people are more concerned about. However, the most important factor in an ear tip is how it fits your canal.

What I mean by this is that there are different sizes for different  ears – like small, medium, large and extra large. The way these charts are done varies on your preferred model. Some companies use a “small to medium” size chart while others will use “large to extra large”.

A lot of sources say that there is no fixed rule but you can almost always find some sort of system of measurement. It is important to find an ear tip that fits comfortably inside your ear canal.

This is because it will affect how well the music is isolated since the whole purpose of this is to reduce outside noise. If you can’t achieve this, then it’s pretty pointless.

2. Noise Isolation:

This is a very striking feature of in-ear monitors that usually gets noticed right off the bat. Noise isolation is a basic concept, but it’s a lot more complicated than it seems.

In order to achieve decent noise isolation, you must fit your ear tips well, and make sure it seals at the top of your ear canal. These two things will create an experience very similar to having custom in ears made for you specifically.

The bigger you can make the seal, the bigger effect on sound isolation you will achieve. You can read more about how noise cancellation works here .

3. Comfort:

IEMs are usually used for long periods of time, so comfort is a very important factor in a good pair of IEMs.

Just like the fit, the type of ear tip will have a lot to say on how comfortable they are. Comfort is often overlooked by audiophiles who only worry about sound quality.

In-ears can be quite demanding on your ears so picking a model with high comfort can significantly expand the amount of time you can spend listening to your music without having any sort of pain or discomfort. For example, if you have a pair that doesn’t seal properly and creates an annoying pressure, then you might feel discomfort after an hour or two.

4. Review:

A great review of a product is very important when you’re looking to buy something. When reading reviews for earphones, you should look at the overall consensus of the product. If it has a very high rating but has mixed reviews, then you should make sure to read them carefully. This might be because one or two people had an issue; however; it’s usually not true for most people.

If there is only one negative review, then you should check the reason why they rated them low. The best way to do this is by reading the comments section in the review. This is because it will usually give more information on the issue they had with the product. In some cases, it could be a design issue that can easily be fixed by a light adjustment to the model.

5. Price:

Price is one of the most important factors in purchasing a pair of IEMs or earphones. It can even outweigh sound quality for some people who are more concerned about an affordable pair of headphones. I recommend you check out our best earbuds under $50 article here .

The price will always vary from product to product and will always depend on price and quality of material used for construction and etc. One of the most common questions we get asked about is, “What is the best pair of earphones under $300?”


When choosing the perfect IEMs, there are some things to take into consideration such as comfort and noise isolation. These two factors will determine if you’ll buy another pair of IEMs again or not.

It can also decide if you’re an audiophile or not; we hope this guide will help you choose the best pair of in-ears for your needs.


Q: What are the best ear tips for IEMs?

A: Silicone ear tips are available in multi-flange choices (single, double, or triple-flange ear tips in various shapes), which can offer better sound isolation, fit, and comfort depending on preferences. Some multiple flange ear tips may even work better with specific types of IEMs.

Q: What are the different types of ear tips?

A: For the most part, we make the distinction between these three types of ear tips: Single flange ear tips feature a single piece of silicon or foam to seal off your ear canal. Foam tips only ever come with a single flange, which some don’t take to be a flange at all since it can have different shapes.

Q: What is the best material for ear tips?

A: Silicone: This is the usual suspect for ear tip construction. It doesn’t isolate sound as well as foam, but it’s comfortable and washable. Plus, silicone tends to be more durable than its foam counterpart and more affordable.

Q: Is silicone or rubber better for IEM ear tips?

A: Due to these limitations, rubber is seldom used nor recommended as an IEM ear tip material. Silicone is chemically inert, thus, unlikely to cause ear irritation.