If you go to clubs or concerts often, you know what an acoustic hangover is and you know it can last for hours or days. Imagine what it would be like if you owned a couple of New York City clubs known for super-loud sound and you spent most of your time in one club or the other. That’s the case with Ronnie Madra, owner of 1 Oak and Up & Down in NYC.
Because of what happened with Madra’s ears, he’s now the founder of Earos Acoustic and its eponymous Earos acoustic filtering earplugs. Earos just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the hearing protection ear plugs.
In Madra’s opinion, he got off easy with a case of tinnitus, constant ringing in his ears. He knew, however, that if he didn’t protect his ears he’d eventually have greater problems. As a club owner who lived and worked in an atmosphere where good sound (not just loud sound) and cool style both mattered, the protective ear plugs available at the time didn’t work for him. He knew they distorted and muffled sound poorly and on top of that they were unsightly.
Three years later, partnering with an audiologist and an engineer, Madra’s stylish earplugs are in a Kickstarter campaign as proof of concept and to fund production and testing prior to shipping scheduled to start in late May 2017.
There is no circuitry in the earplugs themselves. The Earos plugs work because of their design. A smartphone app, also called Earos and available for iOS and Android mobile devices, runs a 10-second sound test in your current environment to determine whether the level is high enough to damage your ears. You can save locations in the app so you will know what to expect ahead of time. If the noise level is too high, the app also recommends how long you should stay, with and without Earos.
According to the company, the Earos plugs are made of medical grade composite plastic with a passive, resonant soundbore technology and an acoustic filter that work together to allow full frequency spectrum, high-quality sound to pass through, with higher decibel levels blocked for your protection. The earplugs are marked right and left and are constructed with different orientations for each ear.
A soft external tab helps with fit and the Earos plugs come with large and small tips. Because of the design, Earos are supposed to fit more deeply in your ear than most earplugs for better filtering and for comfort. The company expects an average of 25-decibel attenuation — reduction in sound force or volume. The result is that you hear the same frequencies, just not as loud.