Cold Squishy Earwax

I have Sennheiser 580 headphones – they are one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. But they are too big to take on trips, so they stay at home and I use cheap Sennheiser MX-500 earbuds on the road. I’d like to have a single pair of headphones that is as small as the MX-500 earbuds, but sound like my big 580’s.

In-the-ear “canal” headphones from folks like Etymotic and Shure are the obvious answer. Smaller than earbuds, with amazing sound from even low-powered portable devices, they do it all, and could be my only pair of headphones. The only problem is Cold Squishy Earwax. Since these slide up into your ear canal, they sponge up the yucky brown stuff. C.S.E. is so prevalent that some manufacturers include a cleaning kit. The heck if I’m going to earspoon my headphones. Yes, I look at the Q-Tip after I pull it out of my ear, but that’s morbid fascination before it goes in the trash. I’m not putting it in a convenient plastic case and slipping it in my ear again the next day. Can you imagine? Some brands have disposable covers, but earwax cools in mere seconds. Some folks hack their own disposable cover solution, but that seems like quite a bit of work. Plus, if I pull out my headphones to hear what you’re saying, that’s probably long enough for jellification, so whatever you have to say had better be worth the quarter another cover is going to cost me.

How do you people deal with this? I want to want these, but nausea overwhelms me and I feel unclean. I am weak. Must I live with C.S.E. if I want a single pair of headphones?

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