Steve Hawtin demonstrated customising a pair of in-ear headphones at the Tuesday open evening on 20th August 2019. The material he employed was some “silicone moulding paste”. This is available under the name “Gedeo Siligum” from Amazon, Hobbycraft and other retailers. The resulting material is rubbery but resilient, so it remains comfortable even after hours of use.
Steve kneaded together equal quantities of the two parts of the paste for 30 seconds, it sets 3-4 minutes after mixing. While the paste could be worked a small quantity was wrapped round each headphone and they were squashed into his ears and held in place for 5 minutes. Once the material had set it retains the shape of the ear’s folds, so it holds the headphones in place.
Moulding the headphones to your ear’s exact shape means they can remain in place for long periods, even with a lot of movement. The close fit also blocks quite a bit of the external sound. Using active noise cancelling headphones in this way makes a big difference to the ambient noise during long-haul flights. That in turn reduces overall fatigue.
The two components in the original material remains viable for long periods. Steve explained that he purchased this particular batch more than 6 years ago and it is still usable.