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Lifehack Product Review: Sonomax sculpted eers Headphones

Lifehack Product Review: Sonomax sculpted eers Headphones
    That's not ear wax, folks. Just some "fitting lubricant".

    Music and sound are very important to me. And since I had the chance to review the new Sonomax sculpted eers custom headphones that recently won the CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Best of Innovations, I had to give them a try. The eers headphones are unique in the fact that they use an expansion technology that allows them to mold to the shape of your ears. The best part about the custom fit feature is that you can have them fitted and ready to go in about 5 minutes.

    While the custom fitting aspect of the eers headphones is truly unique and impressive, I have to say that the overall sound quality leaves more to be desired, especially with the eers hefty price tag starting at $199.99 (I’m actually reviewing the $299.99 model). But, first, let’s take a look at what Sonomax got right with the new eers headphones.

    What I Liked

    There were a few things that I really enjoyed about the eers headphones. The first is that Sonomax did a fantastic job making a take home system that you can use to create custom fit earpieces that are molded specifically for your ears. At first, I was extremely hesitant to have some silicon injected into my ears to create molded headphones, but after going through the instructions a few times I knew what I was doing and became more comfortable.

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      Sonomax provides the user with a Fit System, which basically looks an over-the-head-headset that is used to inject the silicon into your ears. You lube up the tips of the Fit System with the included lubricant, put them into your ears, and follow the directions to inject the silicon. If it sounds weird to you that’s because it is; but to be honest it really is kind of cool that you can create these headphones by yourself. You are supposed to have a “animator” (basically someone else to ensure that the Fit System is in place), but if you are careful and follow the instructions you can most likely do it yourself. Once the headset is in place and activated it takes 4 minutes for the silicon to mold to the inside of your ears. If you have ever used earplugs, the kind that you roll, insert into your ears, and let them expand, then you know exactly how this process will feel.

      After the four minutes you can slowly take them out of your ears, wipe off the lubricant, and then take them off of the Fit System. You then put the provided end caps on the left and right earphones and you are done. It’s simple process but you can run into some issues if you are careful (more in a minute on that).

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      I also think that the build quality of the eers headphones is pretty great. The cable for the headphones is made of some sturdy material, not at all like the feel of the standard issue Apple Headphones. The material is definitely made to last. Also, the Ear Loops that go over your ears feel good and are comfortable.

      One last thing that is great is that the eers fit very well and for doing anything active (running, biking, whatever) they stay in the entire time without much adjustment at all. This is something that most “active” headphones can’t even do well, so it’s nice to see that Sonomax created something that could stay in your ears.

      What I Didn’t Like

      It’s hard for me to not be critical about sound quality in any headphones. I have played music for about 18 years and there is a certain quality that I expect a product to be in order for me to recommend it or use it. Sadly, the eers headphones fall below that quality of sound.

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      The sound is tinny, lacks a full depth, and sounds completely different than any other headphone that I compared it to (not in a good way). I compared the sound to the Apple In-Ear Headphones, the Klipsch Image S4, and Ulitmate Ears 700. I consider the Apple In-Ear Headphones to be the lowest acceptable sound range that I have heard, while the Klipsh and the Ultimate Ears are both excellent for their price. The eers headphones can’t hold a candle to any of these headphones. It’s a shame too, considering that the price is so high for even the “most basic” pair ($199.99), as these other headphones are around half or less than half of the price. What’s even more alarming is that the headphones that I was sent are the PCS–200 with the “Premium dual drivers with crossover” that retail at $299.99.

      I would say that for some people the sound quality may be passable, but many consumers now a days are looking for more “bass” in their headphones and make that equivalent with quality. If they looked at the eers in this regard, they would be extremely disappointed.

      Another thing that I noticed is that if you change the position of your jaw to anything other than the position that it was in when creating the headphones you will start to lose the sound isolation seal that they headphones give to your ears. I noticed that my jaw had to be slightly opened to keep the seal of the headphones. Sonomax recommends lubricating the earbuds before putting them in with the provided lubricant for a “perfect seal”. I tried this multiple times and still had the issue of the seal being broken with jaw movement. Also, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to lube-up their headphones every time they want to listen to music.

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      Final Thoughts

      I think that the idea of creating custom fit headphones on-the-fly without having to drop hundreds to thousands of dollars is a good one. But, I also think that if you are going to spend over $100 on headphones, they should have at least a bare minimum of sound quality.

      While the Sonomax eers may be innovative and are made of high quality materials (the case, the headphone cable, and the Ear Loops), I can’t recommend them for someone who wants quality sound as there are better and more affordable options. If the sound quality of the eers was on par with the more affordable options out there then I may change my tune as they would be a great way to get a nice fitting pair of custom headphones.

      Full disclosure: The contributor received no monetary compensation from the product manufacturer/company in return for this review. Should you wish to submit a product/service for review consideration, please submit via this contact form.

      More by this author

      CM Smith

      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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