AZLA SednaEarfit XELASTEC mini-review

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by philipmorgan, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    It's weird, these tips do seem to be idiosyncratic. They were fine for me with the Andromeda 2020 - and made for a nice, more neutral sound signature with the Sony ZX2 - but I just gave the same tips a try with the Solaris 2020 loaner and had exactly the same soundstage/imagining issues you described in the fifth post above. Stranger still, the tips seemed to produce a good seal, to judge from the bass response. But the overall sound all was kinds of wrong, and not just the oddball soundstage. Electric guitars sounded especially wonky, and the mids seemed recessed.

    Maybe this has to do with the angle of insertion and the width of the spout/nozzle of IEMs?
     
  2. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Very interesting! Thanks for posting this now I don’t feel like I just fucked up in my impressions. There must be something about the unique material that makes fit extremely important even though they hypothetically should be the opposite since they conform to the ear canal better than any other tip. It remains a mystery.

    I had the same impressions of them with the og Solaris. Not a good match, the Xelastic tips are too bright and bass lite. Too bad because the holding power would be awesome for the Solaris.

    so maybe for now we can say:
    • It’s a good idea to use the largest size that will fit in your ears.
    • Best used with warmer iem’s.
     
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Here’s what my Xelastic tips look like after a week of use. They still fit snug so that must be the shape of my ear canal. I’ll probably hot water them soon just to avoid permanent damage. Having to hot water them once a week is kind of annoying but worth it for the snug fit.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    So I ran the Xelastic tips under hot water and left them floating in a mug of hot water which I replaced with fresh hot water 3 times. I also tried holding them under the hot water and pinching them in the opposite way they’re currently folded and rolling them back and forth in my fingers like this a bit. They definitely softened up in the hot water. But it didn’t get them round again. It did help but only a bit.

    [​IMG]


    before and after pictures.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]


    Then I noticed that if I flip them inside out it forces them into a round shape. So next I’ll try a hot water soak with them turned inside out. Hopefully that works otherwise these tips aren’t sustainable. :(

    [​IMG]

    see how round it forces them to be.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I did a hot water soak with them turned inside out and left them in for a couple hours, refilling with new hot water 4 times or so. It worked! Look how round they came out. Strangely it discolored them though. They’re not clear anymore they’re sort of foggy. Maybe I left them in hot water too long. So maybe try 15-30 minutes if you do it.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Turns out the foggy color was just “water marks”. ie stuff in the water sticking to the tips and then the water evaporating leaving the trace stuff. It comes off with alcohol or just buy wearing them.

    The inside out hot water bath works good short term but they retain some memory of the previous shape and immediately go back to it.

    this is how mine wound up looking and I gave up on them. Folded back on themselves a day after a hot water soak.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I’ve switched back to my favorite cheap generic Penon tips.

    somehow others wear these and they stay round. I’m guessing you have to use a smaller size? I don’t know. Maybe some people have round ear canals. I clearly don’t.
     
  7. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I have the same problem and tried a smaller size. It made no difference, the tip still folded over on itself (and the size was too small to get a seal, anyway)
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Well for anyone who likes how these sound but they fold over on themselves, here’s the Penon tips I like that are super cheap and sound similar in sound signature but better technicalities all around IMO. They’re also made just as well as expensive tips despite the price and available in tons of colors including black.

    Penon Generic Tips
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  9. bobfa

    bobfa Acquaintance

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    Well, we are a year on. Has this changed? I am trying to get comfortable with my timeless IEMs, and things are not perfect. The large blue tips that come with the timeless are ok for me. I really need more knowledge here.
     
  10. JellyRhino

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    I use them with the Timeless. They stay in place and they reduce the bass bloat. I put Xelastecs on all my iems. I'm curious about the new AZLA crystal tips.
     
  11. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    I think most personal audio equipment reviews over-emphasize small differences. EXCEPT for every comparison I've read of the Azla SednaEarfit XELASTIC vs. the Azla SednaEarfit Crystal tips. Most reviewers make it seem like the Crystal tips are like 5% less grippy than the XELASTIC model. That has decidedly not been my experience. Maybe it's my skin type or pH or ear canal shape or whatever, but I find the Crystal tips lose their grip very quickly and become no better than Spiral Dots in terms of grippyness.

    I'm sure the Crystal tips have other positive attributes, but in terms of grippyness, I'll take the XELASTICS any day of the week over the Crystals (and happily deal with the well-known other downsides of the XELASTICS).
     
  12. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    I was intrigued when I recently learned about these, as I prefer the convenience and longevity of silicone but love the mold and isolation of foam. All impressions with Moondrop Variations.

    -I hear the slight bass muting thing, but subbass and slam is still present so its fine by me. The overall reduction of bass is on the level of Comply or Campfire foam tips, or even the Final E silicone, so the reduction isn't anything unheard of.

    -Not getting the strident treble some have described, if anything its smoother for me than other silicones, similar to how foam tips behave

    -M fits me perfectly (as do most M tips) but I'm finding myself going too big to ML as they just form a seal so well and still remain comfortable for a couple hours.

    If anyone in the US wants to try pair of untouched MS size I'll never use, hit me up and I'll just throw them in a letter envelope
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  13. Iron-Buddha

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    Just to second this, I ordered the Crystal Airpod Pro tips thinking they would grip almost as well as the Xelastecs on my Variations and Andromeda SS. They absolutely do not. I wear my airpods during heavy bag work (so much more activity than just chewing gum) and the Crystals absolutely suck for that purpose. I would order the Xelastecs but I hear a new AAP is coming out....

    I used to love the Shure Olives, but since developing some skin allergies inside my ear canal (yeah, it sucks), silicon hypoallergenic materials is all I use.
     
  14. edd

    edd Almost "Made"

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    For workouts (and also general purpose), I'd actually suggest looking at the Beats Fit Pro. It has the same H1 chip, so you get the same Apple ecosystem benefits there. The biggest downside is the case is a bit clunky & cheap feeling. Sound quality is good enough for me; though, I generally watch TV, not listen to music with them. They don't sound overly bassy like your classic Beats.
     

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