Ultimate Ears | In-Ear Monitors for Musicians, Sound Engineers & Music Lovers

Dr. Yoshihiro Koseki, One of Japan’s Top Audiologists

First of all, congratulations on exceeding 1,000 ear impressions that is an amazing accomplishment! 

Thank you. As of January 2018, we have gathered ear impressions from 1088 professional musicians and their associates, a total of 2176 ears.

Tell us about your background? How did you first get started with taking impressions in partnership with Extreme Wave?

Although I am an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otorhinolaryngologist) who has seen a wide variety of patients over the years, I have also been an audiophile since the age of 13 handling hearing aids since I was 14. For 34 years since I have been a physician, I have seen patients seeking hearing aids at my clinic. My current clinic opened in 2000 and as a clinic that specializes in hearing aids, Extreme Wave Inc. asked me in 2003 to collect impressions for them. For the past 15 years, I have been collaborating with them in creating ear monitors. 

What is it about the human ear that intrigues you?

Just as every face is different, no two ears are alike. In my case, when rhythm instruments like the drums and base are involved, I collect impressions for better soundproofing. With guitarists and dancers, I may ask the manufacturer to ensure that they don’t easily fall off during the wearer’s movement. It is important to know how a product will be used and to collect the most appropriate impression for that person and use. 

What are some tips that you can provide to have long-term healthy ears? What are some Ear hygiene maintenance steps?

It is important to ensure that the wearer is not exposed to excessively loud sounds over extended periods of time. Just as some people tolerate alcohol better than others, some people will suffer ear 

damage even when the sound is not that loud. Nowadays, it seems that not only rock concerts but all kinds of events blast the sound which is bad. It should be the quality, not the volume that is raised. We must improve awareness of this issue.

What are your thoughts on custom in-ear monitors? Do you have recommendations regarding the proper use of in-ear monitors? Keep the volume at a certain level?, Use them for a certain amount of time?, etc.

I have checked about 200 ear monitors but there are far too few that offer natural and high quality sound. The basic requirement should be Hi-fidelity.

You must have many stories about all the music celebrities you’ve worked with over the years. Do you have a favorite you’d like to share?

Most of those who are considered top artists are humble, well-mannered, and full of true appeal. However, younger artists who become famous overnight are often confused about their place. As the old adage goes: Stalks bearing the most rice hang lowest.

Tell us about your upcoming CD release

I have had the pleasure of playing various instruments and singing opera as a tenor with professionals. Over the course of a year, I have recorded in music hallswith musicians representing the pinnacle of Japanese music, producing a CD.

The first half contains Italian music and the latter is German. I have arranged and conducted the intermezzo for Cavalleria Rusticana which is now considered a historical performance of this piece.

I hope you will all take the time to enjoy it!

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