In-ear audio monitors from JH Audio


This probably falls under the "too much information" category, but I have weirdly-shaped ear canals. Instead of being roughly circular, the cross-section is pinched and narrow. As a result, in-ear buds don't fit well. My ear canals push them right out. I like wearing old-fashioned headphones, but they aren't always practical.

So when JH Audio offered to make me a pair of its PRO series custom-fit, in-ear audio monitors, I happily accepted. I've heard good things about these monitors. They're cast from your own ear shape, so they fit the contours of your ear bowl perfectly.

 Images AngelanelsonThe first thing I had to do was visit an audiologist to get a casting of my ears made. I visited Angela Nelson, a clinical audiologist in Burbank, California. She was very nice and even let me take photos of the process, explaining what she was doing every step of the way.

She mixed together two goopy substances and spooned it into a syringe. Then she squirted the blue goo into my ears.


For the next couple of minutes, while waiting for the goo to cure, I couldn't hear anything. (Thanks for taking this photo, Dr. Nelson!)


Dr. Nelson then gently removed the hardened molds from my ears, put them in a cardboard box and sent me on my way. If you click the thumbnail image on the left, you will be treated to a view of my earwax.


I mailed the ear molds to JH Audio, and a couple of weeks later they arrived in what seems like a bomb-proof plastic case.


The first time I tried using them, it took about 5 minutes to figure out how to fit them into my ears. It's like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. (Now I can get them in without effort).


The sound quality is superb, and I can keep the volume of my iPod very low (in fact, I've learned to turn the volume down before putting the JH5s in my ears to avoid a shocking blast of sound). They do a better job of blocking outside noise than the noise canceling headphones I've tried. They fit snugly in my ear, and they are supremely comfortable.

JH5 Pro in-ear audio monitors starting at $399.00