Whether it’s in a noisy industrial workplace, taking part in a cross-country dirtbike race, having a jam session, travelling over long distances or getting out in the countryside hunting, we all need a bit of protection every now and then. Thankfully, Phonak are on hand with their brand-new sets of specialized reusable earplugs designed especially to protect your ears whilst ensuring that you are still fully aware of your surroundings.
Although hearing protection has been around since the 18th century in one form or another, it was really the invention of the earplug made from wound threads around a central solid core from the 1930s that truly revolutionized the way we approach hearing health. Following plastic and rubber versions through the 1940s and 1950s, to more semi-compressible polymeric foam earplugs and silicon moulded earplugs of today, continual innovation has been a mainstay, both in terms of the materials use but also the huge variety of designs.
However, they did all benefit (and suffer) from one particular law of physics: the acoustic impedance of the acoustic inertance is proportional to frequency. Whilst a touch on the wordy side, this law has a relatively simple explanation. Put another way, an earplug only admits certain sound waves and not others. This is due to the wavelength of the sound; higher frequency sounds are easily attenuated, but other, lower bass notes are harder to block. The primary reason for this is down to higher frequency notes having short wavelengths, and bass notes have much longer ones.
The 80s Revolution
Elmer Carson developed the electrical modelling which came to change the face of the earplug. A company named Etymotic Research came out with a product called the ER15 in 1988 that would be the first earplug to successfully bypass the physics problems that previous generations of earplugs were subject to: by creating a small resonator into the custom earplug that replaced much of the lost high frequency, the ER15 became the world’s first ‘uniform attenuation’ or flat earplug. All frequencies were thereby attenuated by exactly 15dB.
Although that may not sound like a lot, it’s amazing what a difference it can make to the lives of musicians, hunters, heavy industry workers and motorsport enthusiasts. Every 3dB reduction in sound level means that you can withstand twice the amount of exposure before any damage – if at all – occurs. For musicians, the benefit is even more pronounced, as it means that they can still hear music at the ‘correct’ proportions; the sound is no longer distorted.
The Serenity Choice Experience
The Serenity Choice range is the next level in this ongoing process. Their music range, for instance, reduces noise levels by 17dB across the board, and features advanced mesh technology to ensure that the ear remains extremely well-ventilated, and moisture doesn’t build up over the course of a performance.
Indeed, each member of the Serenity Choice range is designed specifically for best results in a wide variety of environments:
- Serenity Choice™ Sleep
- Serenity Choice™ Motorsport
- Serenity Choice™ Music
- Serenity Choice™ Hunting and Shooting
- Serenity Choice™ Comfort (perfect for travel)
- Serenity Choice™ Work
Regardless of your passion, don’t forget your protection: Serenity Choice is the ideal companion.