I wanted to put together all of the videos concerning the production of CIEMs behind-the-scenes (there’s an additional Engadget feature on Westone, but I found the other videos more informative; there’s also an old video with ex-UE/JH lab manager Noy where he talks about the curing process in a pretty detailed fashion, but I can’t seem to find it anymore — if anyone has that link, please do let us know!).
From the videos, it’ll become evident that the basic steps are as follows:
- Receipt and trimming of the ear impressions
- Wax dipping
- Negative impressions from the colloid duplicating gel
- Acrylic pouring and UV shell timing
- Shell trimming and electronics/tube assembly
- QC measurements
- Faceplate production and UV sealing
- Final trimming, buffing, and polishing
- Final check and packaging for shipment
Other steps go into the actual design of new models and readying the production line, such as testing all drivers to be used, experimenting with different types of acrylic pours and mixtures, etc. but for the most part, these details aren’t discussed in the videos. Nevertheless, they should still be pretty revealing.
This is the “original” behind-the-scenes video from UE, from way back in 2009. Nevertheless, it’s pretty complete, and should probably be the first video anyone watches if they’re interested in the CIEM production process.
1964Ears also made an excellent video this year, in high-resolution glory. While it doesn’t outwardly show anything more than the UE video, take a deeper look and you’ll see some little details that can’t be found in the UE video.
This is a recent find; produced by Apple Insider Russia, this video isn’t a video per se, but a photo slideshow that snaps every step of the production process of the Ukraine-based Ambient Acoustics AM4.
For those that can understand (Mandarin) Chinese, here’s a video from China’s BK (now Gu Yong Hua Custom Earphones). It does a good job of showing the BA quality control process, the impressions trimming process, as well as the acrylic pouring process.
For those that understand (Cantonese) Chinese, here is a production video from LEAR (aka Forever Source Digital) that gives a good look at the impression trimming process: