Never liked in-ear headphones? Now you can get a custom-made pair from Etymotic

I've done some weird and wonderful things in the name of magazine research, writes Andy Clough, but nothing quite like the bizarre experience I've just had in our MP3 test room.

I've had my ears injected with a sort of blue gel which hardened to make a mould of my inner ear. Sitting on the sofa for 10 minutes in total deafness was a strange, if rather relaxing, experience, but I assure you it was all in the name of science.

The man doing the injecting was Andy Shiach, director of Advanced Communication Solutions, a company that specialises in providing protection from excessive noise. As a musician with damaged hearing, Andy knows a thing or two about the effect loud music can have on our ears.

So he's teamed up with Widget, supplier of Etymotic noise-isolating headphones, to provide custom-fit earphones based on Etymotic's ER-6i in-ear model. Given that we criticised the fit of the original ER-6is as "intrusive" when we tested them back in 2005, this should help overcome the problem.

Each set of ER-6i Customs is tailor-made for an individual customer. They're available nationally for £150, and all you have to do is order them online and enter your postcode to find an 'audiologist' in your area who can make the ear moulds.

Once you've had the in-ear impression taken, the finished earphones will be delivered to your home two weeks later.

I'm expecting mine to arrive this week, so once I've tried them out, I'll let you know how I get on. For further details, visit

Technorati Tags: headphones, hi-fi, in-ear, noise-cancelling

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.