I've covered a bunch of PPE in the past: body armour, rain and weather wear, helmets, goggles and buoyancy gear. What I haven't really covered before is ear protection.I have always worn earplugs when out at clubs and concerts, sporting events (RollerDerby all the way!) but also for power tool work and for industrial noise. Generally I have worn the squishy foam earbuds, but have resorted to rolled up cloth, wadded paper and even Blu-Tack in order to preserve my hearing in loud environments. Mostly nightclubs.
The problem with all these kind of earbuds is the loss of clarity. Or you go to over-head ear-muffs and lose even more.
When I saw the Sure Fire Sonic Defender EP4 on Platatac's website, I thought I'd take the plunge with something more professional.
These hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer framed plugs fit into the contours and folds of the ear, in ways that are both comfortable AND secure. No more foam popping out, these suckers stay in place, regardless of how much I am enjoying the PWEI reunion concert I am at, or rattling myself with a hammer-drill fortifying "the bunker". The triple flange design incorporates a patented Hocks Noise Braker® filter, lowering potentially dangerous noise levels above 85dB by upwards of 24dB whilst the little stoppers are in place, but allow for near-normal range of hearing when out.
I also noted that the high and mid-range loss was quite different to that with regular foam plugs, there was much more clarity in human speech, without the sharp high-end sting that naked-earways might expect, around loud sources. Removable lanyard lets you pull them out have them draped around your neck, or gear and not drop them in the muck, should you need to.
The soft, durable, and long-lasting plugs were comfortable wearing for hours, and I was able to answer a call on my phone with no problems. Being a low-profile design that allows you to keep them in place while wearing a mask, helmet, hat, headphones, or supplemental ear muff means you can wear them without being caught with unprotected hearing for those unexpected noises in non permissive environments ....