Xelastec by Azla is quite a new concept in iem tips. The premise is that the tip will mold to your ear shape when subjected to body temp. Good, right? Well, that’s not the only thing it offers. It also is quite sticky, that helps your heavy iem to sit inside your ear canal without falling out repeatedly from time to time. Both of these promises are impressive, but do they deliver?
Yeah, they do, to a certain extent. It does stick to your ear pretty well. But, it has a shallow fit, which might give you a sensation that it’s not inserted properly, and you might try to fix it unconsciously. The tips shape changes if you wear them for some extended period, and I’ve seen it come back to its original shape when I went to use them the next day. So, I’m not so sure how it’s benefiting us! However, it’s going to be very useful if you have any heavy iem as it has this ability to stick to your ear better than any other ear tips. Isolation is good too, better than most tips.
It’s a well-known fact that the sound quality changes with different tips for iem. What these Xelastec does is gives better representation of treble (which might be due to its wide bore shape). As a result, you might feel like the stage has also gotten bigger. On the other spectrum, the bass is less impactful than your typical narrow bore iem tips like Spinfits. What I feel like, these are very good for iems that lacks in treble section, and has boomy bass, cuz it remedies both of these pretty well. I’ve done an experiment with putting xelastics on one ear(right) and the spinfits on another(left). At first, when I listened to my iem, I thought, I damaged my iem somehow while repeated changing of tips. The sound on my left ear with spinfits sounded way too quite compared to the xelastecs. So, you can understand how different these two are in terms of sound presentation.
Comfort wise, it’s below average. Not as comfortable as Spinfits or Comply foam tips. If you repeatedly put your iems in and out, it’s gonna be uncomfortable as it has this sticky character which feels coarse to the touch. Longer session creates that discomfort too. Also, it collects dirt like crazy, you’ll have to store them in a clean place, otherwise, you’ll need to clean them regularly. One more thing, they are usually bigger is size compared to other tips; so, go 1 size down for better fit.
Overall, these Xelastecs are quite unique and has their special uses. However, I don’t think at their current price point ($29 for 3 pairs) I can recommend them. The comfort is lacking compared to it’s competition, and sound benefits are limited to specific iems (made my Thieaudio Legacy 3 worse in 0,0 settings, but made the TFZ T2 Galaxy better). They are in the right direction with these tips though, with some modifications they can be great for all purposes.