Earos One HiFi Acoustic Filters Hearing Protection Review

 
Earos One HiFi Acoustic Filters Hearing Protection Review

Buy it at Amazon: Earos One HiFi Acoustic Filters Hearing Protection [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Small, lightweight, and compact. Comfortable for short sessions, effective and protective.

In the box you’ll receive the acoustic filters, extra silicone ear tips, a carrying case, an instruction manual, and a quick start card. Acoustic filters are not earplugs because they’re designed to let sound through, not block sound entirely. These filters reduce the overall volume level of sounds around you while still retaining the sound’s fidelity, that is, how accurate it sounds compared to the original sound source, in order to protect you from hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud noise or music. It does all this passively, without batteries or electronics, by limiting the amount of sound that passes through them that can reach your inner ear.

The earpieces are made of plastic and are lightweight and compact. Each ear piece measures 7/8” x ½” and the triple flange is about ¾” long. The earpieces are marked with a gold letter so you know which earpieces goes in the right or left ear. The filters come with the small silicone tips installed but you’ll also receive a set of large ear tips which have a slight large diameter. The flanges are also marked with the letter R or L, so you can match them to the correct filter, though the lettering can be hard to see. The curved portion of the outer piece is wrapped in a soft silicone as are the edges all-around so that any part that makes contact with your skin is a bit softer and non-abrasive.

To change the ear tips, flip up the lowest flange, then carefully pull the stem of the flange off its post. Take the replacement ear tip, and push the stem of the filter into the rubber sleeve until it is fully seated. Be sure to align the lettering on the ear tip with the gold letter on the filter. Compared to another set of musician’s filters that I have, the Earos one are more sculpted/ergonomic in their design and less bulkier. My musician's filters also stick out of your ears a bit more and are somewhat heavier, all while looking like you’re wearing hideous ear plugs. The idea of these devices is that they allow you to still hear and enjoy music and conversation in loud situations while reducing the damaging effects on your hearing and protecting you from hearing loss. However, my professional ones are clearly designed for a purely utilitarian purpose and leave much to be desired visually.

To properly don the Earos One attenuators, pull up on your outer ear, insert the appropriate side filter into your ear canal, and twist the filter towards the back of your ear to lock it in place. For me, the small size tips didn’t create a good seal and the large ones felt a bit too big, so I kind of wish there was a size in between. However, I’ve been using the large ones with success but occasionally will detect sound bleeding and find myself pushing them in every once in a while. Comfort-wise I think they’re okay, but felt some fatigue after about 90 minutes, so I wouldn’t wear them all day, but that’s long enough for a typical music concert.

As everyone is aware, with the Coronavirus, all large concerts and gatherings have been suspended until further notice, so while I haven’t been able to test these filters in their intended setting like a loud concert, bar, or club, I did try to approximate their effectiveness using a set a headphones. With the sound turned up to the max on my phone, I was able to comfortably listen to music using headphones at their max output of about 100 dB, which is about as loud as a construction site. I would never attempt to listen to music at that volume level without hearing protection as exposure at that level for more than 2 hours could cause permanent hearing loss. However, with the Earos One filters, the sound is attenuated by about 17 dB, placing them well into the safe listening range, about as loud as a busy street in New York City and would be safe for your ears up to 8 hours. The other thing I found them useful for is as hearing protection when working with loud tools. Keep in mind they do let sound pass through with high fidelity, so you can still hear music and conversations fine. As soon as we’re able to go back out to noisy bars and crowded restaurants, I’m sure these will come in handy, and I can’t wait to try them out in the real world. Overall I found them to be effective, decently comfortable if you can find your fit, and low-profile in that they kind of just look like a normal set of earbuds, rather than hearing aids.

Buy it at Amazon: Earos One HiFi Acoustic Filters Hearing Protection [Affiliate Link]

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