OK, so last week, after much anticipation my brand new in ear monitors (headphones!) by 1964ears.com arrived all the way from Portland, Oregon, USA. After being manufactured over what seemed like an age they finally arrived after around four weeks of waiting.
What’s so special about them I hear you ask! Well, first of all I had to go and visit Gisele at Aid2Hearing who was kind enough to make moulds of the inside of my ears for me. Yes, she had to get a giant syringe with some green gooey substance and squeeze it into my ears. It was totally painless even if it felt a bit strange. These headphones, once they were ready would be a perfect fit for my ears, and my ears only. One of a kind!
Gisele was fantastic, informative and clearly had loads of experience doing this, she made me feel really comfortable during the whole process. Superb! Once she had removed the now solidified goo from my ears she even sent them off to 1964 Ears for me. Amazing service!
So, after a wait of a couple of days I checked the order status on the 1964 Ears website which told me that they had in fact received the moulds of my ears. This was just the start of a very exciting process!
Before all this had begun I ordered the headphones online. The best thing about these headphones is that you, the customer, are in charge of every aspect of how they look and sound. All you need to do is pop into the designer area of the 1964 Ears website and you can choose colours, finishes and even add your own custom artwork onto the headphones so you’re getting a really personalised set of earphones,
Anyway, so they had now received the ear moulds, what next? Well it was time to be patient whilst they made each earpiece from scratch. Once they had created the outer shells of the headphones it was time to put all the components in. I chose the V6-Stage model. As a keyboard and trumpet player I am going to have a pretty wide variety of sounds going through my headphones so I wanted to make sure my headphones were going to be able to handle it all comfortably. Without getting technical, the V6-Stage model seemed to cover everything I needed.
The wait went on and on, I knew 1964 were doing a good job, I could see from the detailed updates I was getting on the website. After the tenth and final step of the process was complete they were on their way to the UK. In fact, they flew twice in 24 hours from Portland via Memphis and finally onto London, Stanstead. Under 24 hours after they shipped they were in the UK. Devastatingly for me, the weekend arrived and they sat in a hangar at the airport for two days before they were finally moved on again!
Monday morning arrives and at a few minutes after 9am the door bell rung. Nearly falling down the stairs and with a T-Shirt on back to front I opened the door to be greeted by a rather surprised looking delivery man. I grabbed the package and ran upstairs, I couldn’t believe the moment I had waited six weeks for was finally here.
I ripped open the package which revealed the 1964 Ears mini flight case containing my new headphones. The next challenge was here. The case was really sealed shut. I guess two flights on a plane meant the air pressure inside the case was much different to the outside. I reckon it was a good twenty seconds before I managed to prise open the box!
Thankfully it opened and I finally managed to get my hands on my headphones. I wasn’t disappointed. The finish and artwork on the headphones was the best I have ever seen. The care and attention to detail in the manufacturing process was clear to see and it was obvious that 1964 Ears had done a great job. They even supplied a cleaning tool, a shirt clip and a jack adapter all in the box, awesome!
After a bit of fiddling I manged to get them in my ears and straight away I could see they were going to do a great job. I could barely hear anything, the custom fit had blocked out all the sound from the outside, wonderful.
So the fit was great, it was time to test them. What was the first thing I was going to hear through these new earphones? Well, International Naughty Boy’s as yet unreleased new album of course!
What did it sound like? Well, I’m not technical but to cut to the chase, they sounded amazing. Everything was really clear and I could hear things on the tracks I listened to that I had never heard before. I knew then that this bit of equipment was the real deal.
What am I going to use them for? Well, I’ve been transcribing a lot of music recently. Being able to hear absolutely every detail in crystal clear clarity meant that I could get all my writing done that much quicker. Another plus point!
My main reason though for getting them is to help me during those long and loud International Naughty Boy gigs. When the volume is cranked up to 11, the party is really going, everyone’s having a great time and I’m, well, I’m getting a horrific ringing in my ears!
Yes, the custom moulding of the headphones means that all that extra noise is going to be cut out. I’m going to have all the instruments and vocals sent through my new headphones and into my ears but at a much more comfortable volume, all controlled by me. It’s going to be easier to hear and my ears aren’t going to be damaged every time I play a gig.
So that’s the real reason I got them, to save my hearing. I’ll be playing with INB on Thursday November 20th at the Mulberry in Chiddingfold and I’m looking forward to testing them out for the first time in a gig situation. I’ll let you know how it goes, in the meantime a big thank you to Gisele at Aid2Hearing for sorting out the custom moulds and of course thanks go to 1964 Ears for their incredible service and care. Highly recommended!
Here’s to preventing hearing loss!