Custom Earplugs (ACS, Elacin, Etymotic, Westone, etc.)

Discussion in 'Support' started by mick1987, Mar 4, 2014.

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    1. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi everyone, tomorrow I'm getting moulds done for some custom made earplugs, the musician type plugs with the filter's in, their quite expensive (£140).

      But I am now having doubts if I should get a pair or not? The reason I wanted some custom made plugs was because they are guaranteed proper fitting, plus the filter let's in ambient noise so it doesn't amplify my T as much as the foam plugs.

      I wanted to use them for working in noisy workplaces such as factories etc..not for concerts or clubs, but being musicians earplugs would they only be decent for protecting against high frequency noise rather than the lower frequency noises such as machine noise, forklift truck horns, heavy items being dropped on the floor, industrial noises? Obviously the foam plugs would be better but I don't think I could work if all noise is being blocked for 8 hours because of the amplification of my T.
       
    2. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I went and got my ear impressions done, it didn't feel to bad, slight pressure but only took a couple of minutes for the filler to set. I had a good chat with the audiologist about which earplugs would be suitable, asked if musicians earplugs could be used for noisy workplaces etc, I was pleasantly surprised they do custom made earplugs for work, for protection against industrial noises.

      The company that make the plugs are called Minerva, they look like a well established brand.

      http://www.minerva-hearingprotection.co.uk/

      I got the work plugs, with 23db filter, get them in 3 weeks and I will let you know how I get on with them. :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      That's the best investment you can make in regards to hearing protection.

      The moulded custom made ones are so much better than any one-size-fits-all.

      Enjoy them!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks markku, I hope I get on well with them, hopefully they will give me a bit more confidence in noisy environments, allowing me to return to living normally.

      I agree there the best investment you can make regarding hearing protection, makes me wonder why I didn't get a pair sooner!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      So I got my custom made earplugs today, they have 23db filters in. Very comfortable, you could forget your wearing them!

      One thing that slightly concerned me is that normal noise such as speech and TV sounds the same volume wearing them? I expected everything to be lower? Listening to music however i notice the top end frequencies are lower making moderately loud music comfortable, which is good.

      Its weird because sound isn't muffled, perfectly clear it doesn't seem like my ears are protected!..lol...but thats the point of them. I need to have confidence in the plugs, knowing they will reduce noise by a good 23 decibels, I'll see how well I will get on with them. :)
       
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    6. George Brady
      Crappy

      George Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      bad meds
      What kind did you get?
       
    7. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I got the work plugs from Minerva, dont really know what the difference is between these and musicians type because there silicon plugs with a filter in them.
       
    8. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      I know many on this site, myself included, struggle with finding a balance between protecting our ears but not overprotecting them. One of the first things I did when I developed T was buy a bunch of flesh-colored Mack's foam plugs (33dbs). They work great, especially in loud situations where talking isn't a priority (like in a bar full of people yelling at the World Cup game, for example... ) but I think they are overkill for a moderately loud restaurant when it would be nice to hear people.

      So I finally caved and got fitted for some custom plugs, these ones - http://www.westoneaudio.com/index.php/products/hearing-protection/tru-custom-hearing-protection.html. They are wicked expensive ($20o to be exact) but I hope they will be worth it the long-run. You can get them with four different filters for various situations: 10db, 16db, 20db, and 25db. I've been wearing the 10dbs around a little just to try them out. It doesn't even feel like I'm wearing anything sometimes, which concerned me at first, but I think that's because I'm used to the foam ones that fit really tightly.

      I'll be honest, I'm a bit confused by the differences between approximate attenuation, average attenuation and NRR. Reading the chart in the above link, you can see that the 10db reduction filters actually attenuate 19.5 dbs at 8kHz but only 4.5 dbs at 1kHz. I understand the concept that the filters attenuate different frequencies by different amounts, but I'm not sure how to apply that in everyday situations. I was thinking that the 10db filters would be great to take the edge off in a restaurant that is just above my comfort level in terms of loudness. But if they only attenuate 4.6 dbs at 1kHz, are their situations where these plugs wouldn't work so great? What types of sounds are 1kHz? You see my point.

      Anyways, sorry for the rambling. I'm happy with the decision - the plugs a really discrete looking and I think they will help me feel comfortable in a bunch of different situations. I mean look at these bad boys!;) I just wanted to share my trials in case it's helpful to any of you. And I'd be interested to hear your experiences with custom plugs and when you use the different filters.
       

      Attached Files:

    9. Rhea
      Volatile

      Rhea Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      @washashore

      I have never used custom plugs so sorry I can't give any advice there! But just wanted to say......wow they look neat!

      Rhea x
       
    10. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I have bought some custom earplugs with a built-in filter and they are awesome. I can still function and talk to people but all loud noises are muted. They have a 30-40db attenuation.
       
    11. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      @Cor
      Are those 30-40 filters for concerts, or other situations? Great that you can still have normal conversation with that much protection.
       
    12. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      This brand has a whole line, for concerts, djs, motorcycle riders, people with loud jobs, etc etc. I bought a 'hobby' version. You can have a 'normal' conversation in that i can hear what people around me say, and i can talk back no problem. But a circular saw right next to me feels to be 50 yards away.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    13. Rog

      Rog Member

      Location:
      NY and Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      @Cor hey bud . Would you mind giving us the link??
      Best

      Rog
       
    14. SteveToHeal
      Insomnious

      SteveToHeal Member

      Location:
      Unknown
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I'm currently looking for ones for musicians. Those custom plugs you have are cool but they occlude the ear, taking the natural sounds out of the environment. i.e. you still feel like you have something blocking your ear canal. They don't really work fro muss because you lose the sensitivity. However, if you have T, it's better than nothing. I'm getting my vented which means they have a pressure vent put in them. If that doesn't work, i'll have to look at in-ear monitors.
       
    15. SteveToHeal
      Insomnious

      SteveToHeal Member

      Location:
      Unknown
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
    16. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Where did you get these? I was under the impression that the highest dB filters are made by ETY and only go up to - 25 db
      Thanks and be as good as you can be.
       
    17. Ken219
      No Mood

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      I'm curious about musician's ear plugs. Is it actually protect 100% or does it just delay the inevitable years down the road?
       
    18. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14
      Hello, thinking about getting custom made earplugg, does anyone have this and do they like it, please let me know. I am a bit scared to have it done ..Thanks
       
    19. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I live in NL, the once I buy are called Pluggerz. I use the softflex transparent, and according to the tables they provide 30-40db protection between 2 and 8khz.

      http://pluggerz.nl/en/
       
    20. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Many including myself have a molded pair, basically they just fill up your ears with a soft material, and then take it out.. An unharmful and productive process, no reason to worry about it :) There are many threads on it so try use the search tool and you'll get a lot of info
       
    21. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I was a bit worried about filling my ears with that stuff (silicone? I don't know), and the chance of blowing up my eardrum in the process. However, the filling up is very very gentle, feels harmless, and the whole thing comes out easily and totally.

      I got a pair of earplugs with a filter. They are very easy to insert and pull out, way easier than the foam earplugs. At first I thought they were not removing sound at all, but turns out they filter loud frequencies. I'm no expert, but they are good enough so the loud noises of the subway are of no concern to me now. At the same time, they don't block conversations. I wear them a lot.

      I also have custom earplugs without a filter that block a bit more, but at the moment I'm only using the ones with the filter.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    22. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14
      Hello , does anyone use custom ear plugs, want to get some, but not sure, little bit scared to let someone poke my ears..let me know, because I love to go to shows, but the noise level is too loud..Thanks
       
    23. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      I have two sets. It feels kind of weird to make the mold, but it is nothing special. They do not go anywhere near your eardrum, so you will be fine! Just let them take extra care when removing the mold (e.g. easy and gentle so they do not create a vacuum in the ear canal).
       
    24. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14

      Hello, thank you for the info. does it helps with loud noise?, and can you hear when someone is speaking to you? how long do they last? , I read that it last about years..still scared, do you use anything else?, someone suggested musician ear plugs. Take care!
       
    25. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @alifalijohn: I have custom musician's plugs with interchangeable filters. I LOVE them. They are a heck of a lot more comfortable than foam, and seal better. Plus nobody can really see them in your ears. Filtered plugs allow you to have a conversation, sing, make music as the filters let in some noise (how much depends on the filter, so I have more than one filter set). If you need max protection, then you buy insert plugs vs filters.

      I use Etymotics, but there are other brands, too: http://www.etymotic.com/
      Making the molds feels a little weird, as @Sjoerd said, but it is super easy and in no way impacts your T.

      The only down side with custom plugs is they are expensive (mine, with two filter sets, were about $300, plus the money for your audiologist appointment). So I keep close track of them, as I don't want to lose them. I also keep cheap foam plugs stashed in the car, at work, the house for quick, short needs (like when using a hair dryer).

      I consider custom plugs a worthwhile investment if you have chronic tinnitus. However, you still are pretty new to tinnitus. You might want to hold off on paying the money for a few months, to see what happens. There are good foam, plastic alternatives that will work on the short term. Just search TT for ear plugs and you will find several threads. Here is one but there are more:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/ear-protection-for-musicians-with-tinnitus.5420/#post-54765
       
    26. washashore
      Fine

      washashore Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
    27. alifalijohn

      alifalijohn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/14
      Hello guys, thank you guys for the info., much appreciated!
       
    28. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      The plugs themselves last very long, but you can get fitment problems within a year. Your ear canal changes with time, for some that is within a year, for others that is 5 years.

      I do not use those plugs allot (never actually because the low frequency damping is poor, as it is for must custom plug with so called "filters"). I bought them to dampen wind noise will riding my motorbike. Now I only use moldex "sparkplugs" earplugs. Those are simply easy to use, cheap and the best damping you can imagine. Although things will sound muffled. The only way to get high quality sound and reasonable damping is to get custom music earplugs --> expensive, even more expansive than normal custom made plugs!
       
    29. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Anyone got experience getting custom ear plugs?

      I've been thinking of getting some made for a long time now. The process is putting me off though, the place that does them here says they "fit deep into the ear canal" on their site. This unnerves me to no end. Is the process safe for someone with tinnitus?
       
    30. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Totally safe
       

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