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Meet the Manufacturers: ACS Custom, not just Custom In Ear Monitors business, but a British Institution.

Blue ACS custom earplugs at Dakin Custom Audio

So when we started DCA, there were a few manufacturers on our list to work with and the first was ACS Custom. A household name here in the UK for their work in hearing protection, but they are also pioneers of In Ear Monitoring and the experts that paved the way for Soft Silicone IEMs being a staple on tours across the planet! So here's my take on ACS from my experiences of using their gear before DCA was even an idea, to working directly with them as a company and developing the great relationship we have now!

Clear coloured ACS custom Earplugs at Dakin Custom

My first experiences with ACS was as a working musician building my career, scraping by financially and being young and keen, taking all shows available with little regard for my own wellbeing! We've all been there and I found that after long summer shows, my ears were taking a pasting and as the tinnitus started sticking around for longer I knew I needed to start protecting them better. So as a member of the Musicians' Union, I saw they offered heavily subsidised Custom Earplugs. So to cut a long story short, after a trip to an audiologist for a check up and traditional impressions, I had my first set of ACS Custom PRO26 Earplugs. A piece of gear that would be my companion for hundreds of shows and I've not been without a set of PRO plugs since!


Who are ACS Custom?

I would describe ACS as a 'proper British business' and are people, who understand people. A small electronic manufacturing firm in an unassuming factory unit in Oxfordshire concealing a humble, yet world leading expert in it's field with it's head down and just quietly changing the industry landscape for the better!

Purple ACS custom in ear monitors at Dakin Custom Audio

ACS Custom was founded by Musician and audiologist Andy Shiach in 1994, and has earned the reputation as pioneers in the field of soft silicone manufacturing. Taking his own experiences as a mucis professional alongside personal difficulties with hearing health issues caused by work in the Music Industry, ACS Custom is now the 'industry standard' provider of custom hearing protection in the UK music world, and also builds incredible high-quality, custom-fit solutions for a variety of audio applications. Their dedication to excellence has made them a trusted partner for musicians, audio engineers, and audiophiles worldwide.

Masters of Soft Silicone Custom In Ear Monitors

When it comes to achieving the perfect fit for in-ear devices, the material matters. That's where ACS Custom foudn their feet and taking their knowledge of the ears anatomy developed their mastery of soft silicone allows for unparalleled comfort, durability, and unique acoustics.

So you probably don't know, but ACS (like DCA) set out to push the industry forward and developed the first 3D modelling process for Custom In Ear Monitors and now fully utilises 3D printing to generate the moulds that become your In Ears or Earplugs! This makes it a perfect marriage for our cutting edge 3D Ear Impressions, ensuring an incredible fit every time!

3D Ear Impressions at Dakin Custom Audio

As anyone who has ever tried to reseal their bathroom or sink with soft silicone, due to it's flexibility is pretty difficult to deal with. This is no exception when it comes to building accurate In Ear Monitors either! So by utilizing state-of-the-art moulding techniques and premium materials, ACS Custom ensures that each product meets the highest standards of quality and performance and for DCA, this makes them the only Soft Silicone manufacturer we work with.


The ACS Custom Sound

Beyond comfort and protection, ACS Custom's products are renowned for their exceptional sound quality and taking advantage of the soft silicone to deliver it. ACS' In Ear Monitors sound killer and have a great neutral, balanced sound signature! When our collaboration started we went down to ACS HQ and took a tour of the facilities, the attention to detail is incredible and the tolerances hey work to are so minute we are confident every set we build with them, is going sound amazing straight out of production!

ACS Custom In Ear Monitors at Dakin Custom Audio
My heavily giggied ACS Evolve Ambients

Also, with the construction relying on a solid IEM rather than hollow as with hard acrylic shells, ACS can achieve really rich low frequency delivery and pristine highs with a lower driver count than other manufacturers which also makes these British made In Ear Monitors a wallet-friendly option too!

I personally use the ACS Evolve Ambients regularly on shows and with such a balanced sound, no matter where I go I know I can get these Custom In Ear monitors to give me what I need without much fuss and I can get through any gig!

Changing the Game on Hearing Protection

While custom in-ear monitors are a cornerstone of our collaboration, DCA and ACS Custom are also aligned in our dedication to protecting the hearing health of all those who interact with our industry, from gig goers to engineers, bar staff to session players! In environments where noise exposure is a concern, from personal experience we know ACS Custom's soft silicone moulds provide a comfortable, durable and great sounding solution for preserving hearing integrity without sacrificing sound quality. By precisely tailoring and tuning each product to the individual's ear anatomy, they ensure optimal fit and attenuation, reducing the risk of music-induced hearing loss while maintaining clear, natural sound reproduction.

When Values Align: Education

Multi-coloured ACS Custom Earplugs at Dakin Custom Audio

As I mentioned at the top, ACS are all about relationships and collaboration to help the next generation of Musicians. That's why we have teamed up with them to deliver Hearing Health workshops in colleges and universities across the UK to dispell the myths about all things sound and hearing to ensure future generations protect the most valuable asset any music professional has; their ears!


Want to Know More?

Working with ACS is genuinely great fun and we love the partnership we've created and are proud they are DCA's UK manufacturer and soft silicone partner of choice, and there's plenty more coming form this combo in the future I'm sure!

If you want to experience ACS' custom in ear monitors for yourself and maybe see how good the fit can be with our 3D Ear Impressions, please feel free to get in touch to Demo the full line of ACS Custom In Ear Monitors exclusively here at DCA.

Thanks for reading, Miles

(DCA Founder & Musician)

Dakin custom audio playing guitar at The Guitar show in birmingham UK
DCA Silent Stage Workshops with ACS at The Guitar Show!

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