Top positive review
Perfect, for certain situations. Not without their downfalls, though.
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2017
I *love* these tips, aside from two things.
You've read countless reviews, so I won't go too much into the stuff I love about these tips, as it's all the same stuff as others have written/said. Comfy, sound great, seal great, etc.
But, I do have a few complaints about them. First, they're more difficult to insert into the ear than their silicone counterparts. That is kind of an "of course" statement, but it's my biggest complaint with them. Instead of just a simple stick-em-in-and-go, it's more a roll-squeeze-insert-holdfor10seconds-go, which is far more involved. It's usually worth it for the improvement in fit (and thereby sound quality), but it's still a PITA, and sometimes I just don't want to deal with it.
Second, cleaning these things is a pain, too. Maybe I have over-active earwax glands (or whatever makes the stuff), but even with cleaning my ears regularly (read: daily, and thoroughly), these things pick it up like friggin' magnets. And they're kind of a pain to clean. Whereas with silicone tips, you can just pop them off and run them under some water, these are foam, and that's not really ideal. Instead you gotta run q-tips soaked in alcohol through them, and taking them off/putting them on your IEMs is a bit of a pain, too.
Speaking of, these are far more fragile than their silicone competitors. You can't just grab them and pull them off, as that's a pretty good way to get the stem in the center torn right out, rendering the tips useless. (This is actually exactly why I bought these, because the ones included with my MeeAudio M6 Pros tore right out the first time I tried to remove them. No warning anywhere, so that was a lesson learned.) It's not impossible to remove and install even old pairs of these tips, it just requires a lot more attention paid to make sure you're not gonna tear them apart.
And last complaint, they suck when they get sweaty. I love to have IEMs in when I'm doing chores, like washing dishes (yes, no dishwasher right now), and mowing the lawn, and tidying up around the house, and washing the car, and... You get the idea. These activities, aside from doing dishes, usually get at least a little sweat going, and always within the ear canal. Maybe I'm weird like that, I've never taken a poll or looked into whether people sweat in their ears or not, but either way, I do. And once these things get the slightest bit of sweat on them, they completely lose any ability to grip whatsoever, and just pop right out of my ears, no matter what I do. Unless I carry a bottle of rubbing alcholo and q-tips around, to clean both my ears and the tips, which even if I did that, as soon as they went back in, I'd have maybe a few minutes before it was a problem again.
I know they make sport versions, which I imagine work better when sweaty, so maybe at some point down the line I'll buy those and see how well they work. One problem (possibly) solved.
All these complaints laid out like this, and I'm still giving them 4 stars? Yes. They are great tips, in the right situation. When my car has been broken down, and I've had to take the bus for 2 hours to get to and from work? Perfect. They block out the crazy homeless lady screaming at the bus driver, and allow me an opportunity to politely ignore her to the sounds of Desert Sessions, or maybe Portishead, or some Tool, depending. They are stupidly comfortable. They sound phenomenal (so long as your IEMs sound phenomenal). For certain situations, they are absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, for the situations in which I am typically wearing IEMs, they kinda suck a little.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Hopefully this information can help you make a slightly more well-informed buying decision.