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There are several reasons why EARasers provide amazing listening clarity. First, most earplugs, including Custom molded sets, place the filter outside the opening of the canal. Sound is then filtered and still has to travel through a narrow tiny curved tube (or canal) to reach the eardrum. EARasers patented open design was created to let sound travel farther more naturally before it reaches the filter which is strategically placed at the tip, nearer the eardrum. By reducing the travel distance, EARasers naturally achieves clarity and creates a clearer more natural sound instead of an "underwater" or "muffled" sound. No more "plugged up" feeling!
Secondly, EARasers use an innovative "V" (variable) filter. EARasers focus on the most damaging range of the ears natural resonance (around 3150 Hz) and filters approx. 19dB. For most people, this keeps concert sound and loud music underneath the uncomfortable and harmful range. While other earplugs are "flat attenuators" (which means they drop an equal amount in all frequencies, even the natural frequencies that are not harmful or damaging) EARasers take a much different approach. EARasers are the World's First "FLAT FREQUENCY" Response earplug, which means we filter different attenuations in different frequencies. EARasers filters less in the normal and natural range (1000 Hz and less) so that most of the sound can come through, and also above 8000 Hz where cymbals and "S"'s & "T"'s are in speech. By reducing less in the ranges where heavy filtering is not necessary, it may appear they are not working. It's important to remember that these are designed for the damaging ranges while leaving normal natural ranges intact. This strategic approach also allows the wearer to go from loud to quiet back to loud environments without the need to remove their earplugs. Natural sounds stay intact while damaging decibels are reduced.
Persona Medical has been developing hearing aids for 45 years, so we know a lot about hearing loss! What we know is that the majority of hearing loss we see in first time patients is between 2000 Hz and 8000 Hz. In musical terms, that’s two octaves….starting three octaves above middle C on the piano, and extending to five octaves above middle C (256Hz). 2700Hz is the natural peak resonance for humans. No wonder this is where the damage is done. Thousands of years of evolution carefully crafted our ears to focus on the unvoiced consonants of speech that are difficult to project with the efforts of the pressure of our lungs pushing air through our voice box. It was not preparing itself for the onslaught of noise and volume the 20th Century had in store. Yes, our ears naturally resonate the higher frequencies of conversational speech, but certainly were not intended to resonate a Marshall Amplifier already producing 100dB SPL+ of sound! Did our maker not anticipate the industrial revolution and the associated noise evolution, or did He merely predict the invention of Earasers?! The ear is a natural resonator...but not below 1000Hz and very little beyond 5000Hz. Again….keep in mind, that the majority of music will be below 1000Hz!
The ear is non-linear dynamically speaking, and it does not PREFER a FLAT FREQUENCY RESPONSE. The ear actual re-shapes a flat frequency response by adding its own natural resonance. As a matter of fact, Fletcher and Munson realized in the 1930's that our ears are non-linear as well. SEE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contours
So, what is the right amount of attenuation an earplug should have? As volume increases, our ears are more sensitive to some sounds than others. We know when we listen to soft music, the bass notes and the very high frequencies seem to get lost. What is definitive is that our most sensitive region for hearing (1000Hz) up to our peak resonances (primary 2700Hz, and secondary 4000Hz), are the most sensitive to loudness growth, and the most risky for hearing loss as the SPL for discomfort is achieved at high levels in this region before either the low frequencies or higher frequencies.
It would be important for high fidelity to recognize the ear is capable of "protecting" itself to some degree, even to a great degree if needed. The acoustic reflex alone can be quite pronounced in the low frequencies reducing 10dB to our cochlea simply by reducing the vibration of the ossicles (bones). So why should we adopt a linear earplug? How can we mimic the effect of a loud environment without causing damage? Maybe we should be reducing the more dangerous frequencies and take into account the non-linearity of the low and very high frequencies in our sensitivity.
Our ears are able to pick up sounds both through our skull (bone conduction) and through our ear canals. The cochlea is mounted in our skulls. When we are in a loud environment, more of our bone conduction is in use than in a conversational environment. If we apply too much reduction to the low frequencies, our own voice will sound very odd due to the increase in our "head voice" bone conducted energy compared to the energy that travels through our eardrum and into the cochlea. Our brain is constantly monitoring the comparison to the two levels (bone vs. air conduction) and making decisions about the sound quality based on this comparison. That is why you think you sound different on recordings…because the recording doesn’t have the bone conducted energy that you hear through your skull/cochlea pathway. Since there is essentially no occlusion effect above 1200Hz, we need an earplug that doesn't reduce ANY volume below 1200Hz. OK, so maybe that is a little extreme. What is the purpose of the earplug then? We must assume that the environment is significantly loud and that some reduction is desired.
Now, a study performed by National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia, (NAL) in 1999 confirmed some additional psycho-acoustic phenomenon that muddies the data even more. It appears that simply placing an earplug in your ear causes an "insertion effect" to desire 7dB more gain in the low frequencies in order to maintain the same perception of low frequencies versus 1000Hz. Fascinating! (This is not to be confused with insertion loss...the loss of naturally transmitted energy to the eardrum). Although researchers have not proven the reason for this effect, it may have something to do with the increase in bone conducted energy versus air conducted energy (skull versus eardrum) and the increased awareness of self-generated body sounds including blood flow to the cochlea. What we can say is that this is another bit of evidence telling us not to reduce the low frequencies as much as we may otherwise assume. But, it is becoming more clear to me that earplugs should not be flat attenuators…maybe flat response shape, but not flat attenuators. Even with earplugs, I don't think the goal is to reduce the volume to conversational levels (65-70dB SPL) but to make them retain the nuance of the music at a higher level without being objectionable, or destroying the ability to hear the layering of different instruments or sounds, localizing, and certainly reducing the likelihood of hearing damage (evidenced by ringing in the ears).
This is a little-understood cause and effect. A recent study showed that 75% or more of young adults experienced ringing in their ears after attending clubs or certain venues where music was playing. Yikes! Typically, ringing in the ears is accompanied by a temporary threshold shift which has been shown to be a pre-cursive indicator to eventual sensorineural hearing loss!
By studying the natural resonance of the average ear canal, we can also see a secondary peak of 9dB at around 4000Hz and gradually reducing to no additional resonance beyond 8000Hz. (Some people also experience the above mentioned "insertion effect" at 3000Hz but not as often as the lower frequencies.) What we can say is that these higher frequencies, above the secondary peak, especially beyond 8000Hz, also show an improved loudness growth function. After all....just add on another octave and you are practically at the maximum higher frequency range of hearing. Loudness growth approaches infinity. In other words, the higher frequencies also have a natural built-in attenuator. But, here is the catch. We know that higher frequencies are rarely sustained for any period of time....at least that which remains audible. The lower threshold of hearing in the higher frequencies is easily masked by high intensity, low-frequency sounds. For example, the bass drum or bass guitar will easily overtake the sustained resonance from a high-frequency cymbal roll. If we reduce the high frequencies by the same amount as the peak frequencies, we get a very unnatural sound. The higher frequencies have a wider range in which the nerves of the cochlea overlap to receive the signals. Thus, there is more power perceived for noise stimuli in high frequencies than for pure tone stimuli. We assume for this discussion, that much of the music generated above 4000Hz is a broader band and not pure tones. For relative reference, the highest piano note only goes to 4186Hz.
These very high frequencies are used for clarity of speech, the unvoiced consonants such as "th" "f" "sss." These sounds should not be over-attenuated as their ability to be vocalized is limited and thus, even with amplification, they are difficult to reach the uncomfortable levels of most humans. If they are reduced by too much, speech definition is compromised, cymbals become dull and everything that should be snappy becomes dull. The open, airy feeling is lost. Often times, we associate reverberation with a large room and the lack of reverberation with a very small, closed in container. One is rich in quality, the other lacks it. Because the ear sums the high frequencies due to the way the nerves in the cochlea operate, the equal loudness contours underestimate the frequencies above 1000Hz. In practice, with our situation being music, you can actually raise the equal loudness contours above 1KHz (Suzuki, 2002). This is the reason to let the ear do a little more of the work in protecting itself against loud high frequencies...because it has some headroom to spare.
In most musical situations, a normal listener would not enjoy, nor tolerate much more than 10-15dB's more sound pressure than other normal hearing listeners uncomfortable limit. That 10dB would represent double the volume perceptually. Thus, 10dB seems that a good place to start. If we start with 10dB attenuation at 500Hz.... where do we go at 1KHz and 2.7KHz...etc? Remember that our ears naturally resonate the most at 2700 Hz and the equal loudness contours show the ear is most "sensitive" to loudness at the 2700Hz region. When we amplify sounds, our ears have no way to notch out this region.
The real danger is in the 1K-4KHz region. Now, how much should we adjust those frequencies? Take a look at our natural resonance, about 18dB of amplification at 2700Hz for conversational levels. But, we don't need that resonance for 95dB SPL sounds! You can see from the equal loudness contours, an attempt by our ears to begin to dampen and restore a flatter response. Our ears just aren't doing enough to protect us here. Maybe pre-industrial revolution we would be fine, but the intensity of high-frequencyto sounds we generate, and the short and repetitive durations add up to trouble. An earplug which reduces 15-25dB's at the peak frequency would be desirable if simply to remove the gain from the natural amplifier we carry with us that was, for the sake of survival, intended to amplify soft sounds for hunting, and for the sake of communication, amplify the higher sounds for speech clarity at conversational levels or lower.
Research and fitting history suggest the following general guideline, however, each individual's ear canals are unique:
While we wish there were an easy chart for everyone to follow to find their perfect sized EARasers earplug, research has discovered that your individual ear canal size is not at all determined by height and weight, but rather age and gender and good ol' DNA from your biological parents. Years of fitting individuals has given us a general guideline, however, and don't forget there is the complimentary size swap out that's available to you as well. Once you're in the right size for your unique needs....you'll be all set - and we are 'hear' to help you do just that!!
GENERAL GUIDELINES: (use your past experience as well to assist you. Remember we have 4 sizes...and a billion different ear canals in the world. You do the math!) First Time Users...Keep reading below about EARasers Starter Kit so you have two sets of tips to try on side by side for one set of filters. It makes "getting it right the first time" so much simpler (Starterkit)
X-SMALL – generally used by youth, such as Elementary, Middle Schoolers, and some High Schoolers - Also a small % of the Adult population Male and Female. If you've always had a difficult time finding any earplug that would fit comfortably into your ear canal, then this may just be your perfect category for you. We always recommend you try the SMALL before attempting the X-SMALL since it is so tiny.
SMALL – typically the majority of Women and Younger Males (late 20's and younger). Works well for some Adult Males with a smaller ear canal.
MEDIUM - typically these work well with Adult Males (late 20's and up) who do well with the average earbud.
LARGE - enjoyed by a small % of the Adult population. Some Males over 60 and some Females as well. (Did you know Women, that being able to wear this size EARasers earplug is a sign of "Genius!?!" (Thank your biological parents.)
STILL WONDERING ABOUT THE RIGHT SIZE? Time to think back to your personal past experience with earplugs and/or earbuds? Any indication you may have small or tiny canals? If so, we recommend you try the SMALL size. If standard ear-buds seem to work well for you, then perhaps you would do well with the MEDIUM. We realize that a "sized" earplug is new to the marketplace, which is why are the only company to ever offer Complimentary Size Swapping (you simply cover shipping carrier costs). Once you have determined which one works best for you-you'll always know!
'HEAR' is the same info...broken down by Gender rather than Size:
Women - generally speaking, Women do well with Smalls, (again, rely on your past experience)
Young Males (late 20's and younger) - generally speaking, most younger Males do well with Smalls. Our ear canals grown our whole life. If you find that standard earbuds seem to work quite well then perhaps a Medium.
Adult Males (Late 20's and up) - Generally this group is split about 50/50 between Small & Medium. This is where your own personal past experience comes in really handy. If you have any indication that you may have tiny canals, then start with a Small. If standard earbuds seem to work fine for you, then perhaps start with a Medium. We will always do our best to help you find your appropriate size.
Once you've ordered your size, You will need to insert both EARasers earplugs (Red is Right, Blue is Left - color side indicator stripes facing you, then bring straight back so line ultimately ends up facing towards the back of your head.) Drop your jaw, and gently pull either up or down on your actual ear with one hand, while gently inserting your EARasers earplugs with the other hand. The string with the ball is simply to help you remove it from your ear, so pressing on it won't hurt it. Dropping your jaw will help to straighten your ear canal to achieve a better seal. You will know you have an appropriate seal when YOU begin to speak. While everything else will sound normal with EARasers inserted, your own voice, when speaking, should result in "a head voice" or "an occlusion when you speak". Similar to you putting your fingers in your ears and speaking. If you don't find that "head voice" when you speak, repeat the above steps to see if you can find that. First, make sure you have Red in Right and Blue in Left and that the lines are positioned properly. (Often we see people rotate their hand while inserting and end up putting their earplug in Backwards. - Be certain you've not done this.) EARasers should never hurt your ear canal, or be uncomfortable, however they do need to be able to seal your ear canal. If you are certain that you've inserted both properly, and still have not achieved an appropriate seal so that your own speaking voice sounds muffled. (Remember everything else will sound normal - almost like there is only a slight volume different.) If you are unable to achieve your "head voice when speaking", then you many need to swap sizes.
First Time User? Guess what.....EARasers STARTER KIT is designed especially for FIRST TIME Users. EARasers STARTER KIT will provide Two different sized sets of Silicone Tips with One Set of Filters. This allows the first time user to test two different size Silicone Tips Side by Side and then allows you to place the filter in the Silicone size that works best for you. Sometimes your canals might require different sizes, so this is also a helpful kit if this sounds like it might be you. Once you know your size, then future purchases, replacements, and/or Tip ReNewals using our EARasers ReNewal Kit will be a breeze.
YES! No Problem! You have 30 days! If you followed the guide and still got the wrong size, no worries. If your original purchase was through our website, and if we have collected shipping once on your original order, then the swap-out shipping is on us! If you took advantage of any specials we may have had, such as FREE SHIPPING on your original purchase, or If you purchased from another source...no worries! You simply provide proof of purchase, cover the shipping/handling costs back to you (euro 15 International areas we are approved to ship to) and we take care of the rest! Contact us for an RMA Number (Return Merchandise Authorization) before sending them back for the swap out.
EARasers can easily be cleaned following the steps below. Be certain to NEVER (say it with me.....NEVER...all together now....NEVER) stick or Poke anything down into the tip, or opening, of your earplug. Doing so WILL result in a popped, or unsecured, filter or coupler rendering your earplug "damaged" and thus voiding the warranty.
* To clean your EARasers, simply rinse off under warm water and let dry. Water will not harm the filter, however try to refrain from using soaps as they may cling to your filter and create built up.
* If you use wipes or wet towelettes, be sure to use only "Alcohol-Free" products on your EARasers. Products with alcohol will dry out the silicone over time and may compromise the integrity of your earplug. In addition, the Silicone Tip and Coupler/Filter are a "Friction Fit" and solutions containing alcohol will make them slippery and they WILL separate! No worries, they didn't break! They can be put back together again. Watch our video instructions on "ReNewal Kits" to easily see how. The cleaning products on our site are perfectly formulated to kill 99.9% of bacteria that may build up on your EARasers yet cause no harm to your earplugs.
* It is normal for ears to generate earwax. While we highly recommend you clean your ears, each time, prior to inserting your earplugs, we realize this will not always happen. If wax, or debris, does go into the tip of your EARasers earplug, it can gently be removed by simply using a "Soft Bristled Brush" such as a Soft Head Toothbrush, or a soft Baby Nail Brush, eyebrow brush. (These items can usually be found in any Grocery, Supermarket, or Dollar Store or make-up counter) Using warm water and the soft bristle brush, gently work the wax and debris out by making soft motions over the opening. The soft bristles will gently remove the wax without having to insert anything down into the tip. Remember to NEVER (say it with me....NEVER) Stick or Poke anything down inside the opening as it will damage your earplug and void the warranty.
EARasers also can be renewed to look just like new! Try our EARasers ReNewal kit and keep your EARasers looking and performing like new for years! See our ReNewal kit video (click here).
EARasers instant fit is about 75% savings from a Custom Set of Earplugs cost. How is that Possible??? Great question! EARasers are like getting 'Custom Earplugs' for a fraction of the price. We designed EARasers to eliminate the need for costly ear impressions and expensive lab work. By using soft medical grade silicone, we create a "Smart Seal." In the past, impressions were needed to get the best seal for the ear and to hold a filter. No longer is this necessary. EARasers "Smart Seal" forms to each individual ear to create the best possible seal. In addition, rather than holding a filter on the outside of the ear canal opening, like on custom sets, EARasers secure the filter nearer to the eardrum. This revolutionary patented design allows sound to travel naturally farther before being filtered, thereby removing that underwater and muffled sound that can come with other earplugs. No impressions and no lab fees, means no additional money out of your pocket. EARasers have the clarity you won't find in other earplugs!
Out of Warranty Service: Has your earplug accidentally become damaged? Is your earplug is "Out of warranty" (older than 1 year) and in need of replacement? We have made it more convenient for you. Rather than purchasing another full set - we offer you the option of getting just what you need. Now through our On-Line store, you may purchase simply one replacement earplug rather than an entire set, making it more convenient if you lose or damage just one and more economical too.
We are so confident that you will agree EARasers are the most amazing earplugs you have ever worn; if not we will gladly refund your purchase price (less shipping) within the first 30 days of your original purchase from our www.earasers.shop online store. Simply follow these instructions: Contact us within 30 days of original purchase, to obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Number. See below for contact information.
You will need to include the following with your merchandise return:
* Original Product
* RMA # you receive from us.
* Original receipt (or On-Line Store Invoice) with “Date of Purchase” circled. (Hey don't worry, we can look this up if you can't find it).
* Written notification of why you changed your mind.
---> We strongly suggest you ask your Postal Carrier about "Return Receipt" or "Tracking Options" on your package being sent in to us, for those rare occasions when an item might not reach us.