Before we continue to have a deep dive into the The Headphone Vac Jr Review by Fir Audio, let me say Happy New Year! in this new year the new rage is all about decluttering by Marie Kondo (Tidying up – Netflix), She advises one to touch and feel each item and keep it if it “sparks joy” and discard it if it doesn?t.
I believe that our IEM or earphone is one of the thing that can sparks joy and we do need to take care them really well. Cleaning IEM can be tough since earwax, dirt, and other objects can get lodged deep inside the small tubing and bores of the earpiece. Forget about using cotton bud or needle, it’s a very difficult job to do, that’s when the Headphone Vac Jr will be a very useful item for you.
VAC Jr Fir Audio REVIEW AND UNBOXING
The Vac Jr comes without any casing, it only comes with the shipping box. it’s not a deal breaker especially when everything is well protected inside the tube and bubble warp but it will be an extra point if the VAC Jr. comes with at least a simple casing for storage like the big brother: The Headphone VAC. update: apparently there’s add-on for the case for the VAC jr. it will cost you $20 to get the VAC Jr. case
What’s inside the the box?
– Headphone Vac
-12v Power Adaptor
– 3x Clear Tube for Accessories and Tips storage
– VAC Hose and Syringe
– Stainless needle
– Plastic needle
– Large Bore mesh needle
– 2x Replacement Filters
– long needle (filter replacement tools)
– 2x Needle Pins
– Syringe Brush
– User Manual
VAC jr. Build and Design
The Headphone VAC is a little bit heavy and has a small form factor. The dimension is about 12x6x4 cm, you can hold it with one hand.
The outer casing is a cast aluminium coated with smooth blue painting, at the front it was embossed with an interesting logo a bunny that’s holding a corn. There’s a history behind the logo, the VAC was supposed to be produced in Iowa and the “ears” of corn is what the bunny lives on all winter, as do people in Iowa.
At the bottom, a dense black foam is attached to the VAC, which I believe it’s to absorb the vibration during the VAC operation. The grip could be improved to hold the VAC while it’s vibrating. the design for the FIR AUDIO logo at the foam is really interesting.
There are two holes and one button at the side of the VAC Jr. one for power, the middle is a on off button made from metal (nice and shinning!) and the last one is the vent to suck the air.
The accessories made from plastic, the quality is good and durable enough. except for the tube, you need to be careful to take out the accessories out, most of the time it’s pretty hard to get them out because of the limited space and if you force it to hard it could crack the tube (which I did).
Maybe FIR Audio could replace them with tube hole on the both side (top and bottom) so it will be easier to take out when the accessories is stuck.
Overall, the build quality is superb. I can’t even see any screw on the VAC Jr. and wondering how the whole thing was assembled. All the product comes with 1 year manufacturer warranty.
VAC jr. Usability and Operation
First thing that you need to do is to read the manual. You may end up putting a wrong thing into the wrong hole :p.
Actually the operation is pretty simple, plug the power adapter. Connect the hose to the socket in the VAC jr and turn it to lock it.
Next is to connect the other end of the hose (the green connector) with the syringe (turn to lock as well).
Choose the correct cleaning needle and connect it at the end of the syringe. the stainless needle is useful for smaller bore sound tubes made of acrylic or stainless steel.
The plastic needle is for the small sound bores that are made of vinyl or other delicate material. the plastic needle able to conform to the curve of a sound bore without damaging the earpiece or the needle.
The large bore mash needle is recommended for use on large bores that contain a mesh blocking at the entrance, example is the 64 Audio Tia. It allows you to vacuum out the wax from the mesh with minimal risk of the wax failing into the other side (inside).
There’s a foam filter inside the syringe, that where all the dirt and wax will be trapped. To maintain it, you need to use the long needle to take it out and cut it a little bit (razor is recommended) where all the wax is trapped, and then you can put it back inside the syringe.
The above picture is taken while I’m cleaning NobleAudio, Don’t forget about putting the filter, else all the dirt and wax will goes inside the VAC jr directly because there’s nothing else that could hold the wax an the dirt. FIR Audio is selling the foam filter at $2 if you need more.
Oh the syringe brush is actually very useful to clean up earphone tips apart for the original use (to clean the syringe).
VAC Jr. Review Summary
The most important question: does it work? Yes, you may need a little bit patient especially if the wax somehow is sticky but it does the job. I’ve an inner peace as well because now i’ve a tool to clean up those wax in a gentle way without pocking them using a pin needle.
Priced at 149.99 USD it comes with a superb build and usability. If you’ve CIEM (Custom In-Ear Monitoring) or expensive universal IEM (Shure 846 or Kaiser Encore anyone?) this is a must have device.
Of course if your IEM is just below $200 and you only has one, it doesnt really bring you the benefit of having one, manual job will do in my opinion. I believe if it’s priced under 100 USD, FIR Audio could sell this like peanuts.
A bonus of having VAC Jr. You can clean your phone with it! FIR Audio, perhaps you want to consider selling a Mobile VAC? *wink *wink.
Perhaps the VAC system could be further improve by implementing suction control (low, medium and high suction level as an example).
Vac Jr Review FIR Audio
ACCESSORIES - 8/10
BUILD - 9.5/10
USABILITY - 8/10
Priced at 149.99 USD it comes with a superb build and usability. If you’ve CIEM (Custom In-Ear Monitoring) or expensive universal IEM (Shure 846 or Kaiser Encore anyone?) this is a must have device. Of course if your IEM is just below $200 and you only has one, it doesnt really bring you the benefit of having one, manual job will do in my opinion. I believe if it’s priced under 100 USD, FIR Audio could sell this like peanuts.