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

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

    1. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      What will you be using them for @Snake?

      If you think you'll want to reduce the level of attenuation later down the line, for the purpose of better hearing conversations etc, then you'll want the 26s.

      However, if you don't envisage yourself spending time socialising in cafes or classrooms (for example), in the near future, and are just wanting the highest level of protection available, go with the 27s.

      I used the 27s for a couple of years and they were fine, until I began coping better and started needing to hear teachers in classrooms and people at restaurants.

      As for the grips, I've never requested them with my moulds, and I seem to remember my first audiologist dissuading me from getting them; something to do with making them less effective (this was over ten years ago though, so I don't remember all that clearly what his reasons were).

      But more importantly, they'll make them more conspicuous (something to consider if being seen with hearing protection in/on makes you feel self-conscious).

      With that in mind, I think @ZFire might have gotten grips on his, so maybe he can answer your questions about their usefulness. Still, I've never had any trouble getting my silicon moulds in or out without them.
       
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    3. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      Thanks for your reply!

      I will use them mainly to socialize with my friends, go to a little (4-8 people) meetups, maybe go to a bar with them too down the line depending on how I will feel in them (as they have less attenuation than foam earplugs, I don't know how much they can take before it's too loud). I'll be talking in them and listen to people while needing the protection from potentially loud environment or some random shouts or loud laughs at the same time.

      In foam earplugs I can't hear people when they're not near my head or talk really loud and socializing is the main reason why I want custom earplugs with filters.

      I saw a review of Pro 26 on YouTube where reviewer compared them to Pro 17 and thought he will have similar protection as in foam earplugs and said he would want a little more protection, but his use-case were clubs, the loudest possible place someone can be. My potential maximum would be a bar / city traffic / home meetup with a little alcohol in the background (so people can get louder with time but they're close friends, they respect my illness and will adjust accordingly but sometimes things just happen and that's why we use earplugs).

      For city traffic I could take a hybrid approach and change to foam earplugs but I would love for the Pro 26/27's to be strong enough to allow me to go to a bar or a little home party. In foam earplugs I'm safe and deaf at the same time.

      ACS Pro Custom Fit Earplugs Review
       
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    4. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      You don't need the grips with ACS. They are easy enough to get out without them, and they'll be much more low-profile.

      You need to look at the attenuation charts of each earplug and decide which provides the protection you desire. The Pro27 and Pro26 are both rated at SNR26, but their attenuation is different at various frequencies.

      I originally bought my molds with the Pro17 and ordered the Pro10 and Pro26 on the side. I only use the Pro26. I can have conversations decently okay with them. The Pro17 just makes everything sound really harsh to me. They attenuate way too much low frequencies vs high frequencies.

      I recently ordered the Pro20 and Pro27. I really like them the best, but I have not been able to get that suction-like seal with them in. If I place my finger over the filters then I get a seal, but it releases once I remove my fingers. I wonder if it's because I don't have the Pro27 "molds." I need to contact them and ask what is going on with these two filters because I like their attenuation so much better than the others.
       
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    5. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Pro26/27 are probably around 16-18 NRR while foam earplugs are usually 32 NRR, so there is quite a big difference between them.
       
    6. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      To be honest I don't know which I'd like more, I don't have any decent comparison :(

      I want to freely interact with my friends and go to meetups with them and small parties (without blasting music).

      I don't want too little protection to make my tinnitus worse or too much so I don't hear anyone again like in foam earplugs.

      Pro27 isn't compatible with Pro26 molds so it's a hard decision.

      Would you choose Pro26 or Pro27 considering I want to talk in them, hear people clearly and still meet and "party" (no clubs or concerts or something like that, just at home)?

      The worst thing is I have 2 days to decide.
       
    7. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      @Snake, my advice would be to go with the PRO26, because it sounds to me like you might want to experiment with lower attenuation filters in the future. And if you purchase the PRO27 you'll be stuck with that level of attenuation, unless you order new moulds.

      My honest opinion is that the difference between PRO26 and PRO27 won't be significant enough to warrant that level of hassle, should you decide to experiment with the lower ranges.

      These are just my thoughts, but I'm sure whatever you decide, you'll finally be able to enjoy spending some time out with your mates, and engaging in some clear conversation.

      Good luck and all the best my friend.
       
    8. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      @Damocles @kingsfan Big Info from ACS DE partner which I order earplugs with:

      It says on the internet that you can't switch to the Pro 27. However, that is no longer true. At that time, a different hole was used in the hearing protection for the Pro 27 filter. All hearing protectors are now designed identically. This means that you can also switch to the Pro 27 later without any problems. Conversations are also possible with the Pro 26 or 27 with others. If these restrict the conversation volume too much, you can always switch to a lower filter.

      That means now it's a simple filter swap :) It must have been a recent change because ACS websites aren't updated yet.

      Then I'll take just both.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    9. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I haven't read the whole thread, but have any musicians here got observations on custom earplugs plus over-ear headphones for monitoring, versus custom in-ear monitors?
       
    10. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      So another update:

      Yes now all the filters are compatible between Pro 27/26 and below as the filter hole is now identical, the problem is that the sound tube inside is still different in the Pro27 mold which affects high frequencies (Pro26 is wider and lets more high frequencies through, Pro27 is thinner and lets less highs through).

      German ACS Partner told me that the attenuation difference is not that big but couldn't say if the thinner sound tube affects the occlusion effect which would be the deciding factor, they think it shouldn't but can't give me a definitive answer.

      A question to people that used ACS, @kingsfan, @Damocles, @Liam92:

      Would you go with standard wider Pro26 style sound tube or go for Pro27's more thinner sound tube? It's impossible for me to decide when I can't just test them how it feels, it's a wearable. As I said, all filters are compatible in both molds. The thing with thinner sound tube is as less air will go through, which means less ventilation, shouldn't the occlusion effect be bigger?

      I search for maximum protection with the lowest occlusion effect and the ability to have clear conversations preferably without asking people to repeat themselves, but aren't we all? I will mainly use them to socialize with people.
       
    11. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I like the Pro27's much more than the 26's, buuuuuut... if you can't use any other filter than the 27's, that makes the decision difficult, because the Pro20 filter is really nice.

      Can you ask them which of the two molds, Pro27 or Pro26, is compatible with the Pro20 filters? I have the non-Pro27 mold and the Pro20 filter doesn't seem to create a seal for me. I'm wondering if I need the Pro27 molds.

      So if the Pro27 mold is compatible with the Pro20 filter, I would tell you to get the Pro27 molds.

      Am I making sense at all?
       
    12. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      If we are looking to block sound, foam earplugs would be better than musician earplugs.

      In terms of comfort, from my personal experience, earmuffs are more comfortable than earplugs.

      I bought Phonak musician earplugs years back and I didn't use them for long. Uncomfortable, the cord they bring is just annoying and useless. You can easily lose musician earplugs. Plus, the filter came loose and popped out. So a bad experience overall.
       
    13. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      From what they're saying, both Pro27 and Pro26 molds are compatible with Pro20 now. With Pro27 mold you will attenuate more high frequencies as it has a thinner sound tube inside.

      Something is wrong with your mold if Pro20 filter doesn't fit tight.

      I'm curious how's the occlusion effect on the Pro27's mold with the thinner sound tube, that's my main concern as it allows for less air circulation. They don't think it will be that much different but can't say for sure.

      To summarize, all filters are compatible no matter what but I have to choose between wider (normal) and thinner sound tube. The thinner tube attenuates more high frequencies but allows a little less air to go through.
      It's impossible to have a conversation in foam earplugs as they block all of the other person's voice. I want to talk with people and finally somewhat socialize :(
       
    14. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Having hyperacusis I could always hear with no problem through any earplugs (and earmuffs!)

      Later on, I have developed some hearing loss, and I still manage today to talk with anyone through earplugs, although now sometimes I miss bits of what is said.
       
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    15. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      On which website did you order these please?
       
    16. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      For me, everything sounds much more comfortable when high frequencies are attenuated most, as that's what I am most sensitive to.

      I have no idea how it will affect occlusion unfortunately. It already isn't great on the molds I have, but it's workable.
       
    17. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Do you need to send your molds to the company so they can make them based on your ear canals?

      The Pro27s are something like the foam earplugs, offering more protection?
       
    18. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      @Snake, my opinion: get the wider tubes, as it will reduce occlusion (as you say), but also lower air pressure on the ear drum when inserting the plugs.

      One of the worst feelings is when my ear canal is already moist (from sweat or wax) and I insert the plugs to an instant seal; giving you that feeling of taking off in an airplane, or going through a tunnel on a train. I have to wiggle the plugs in my ears for a couple of minutes until I finally manage to break the seal, and then it automatically reseals with the pressure alleviated.

      I think the wider tubes should reduce this occurrence for you.
      I'll check if this update to the PRO27 filters being interchangeable in the same way as all the rest, is the case in every country, next time I make an order (should be next month).
      ACS - Earplugs | In-Ear Monitors | Hearing Protection (acscustom.com)

      I don't know if you can get these in Romania though.

      You guys may have a different set of brands over there.

      Just search the internet for custom musicians earplugs.
      That is correct.

      In most cases you will visit an audiologist who will take impressions of your ear canals, and then send the impressions to the company you're purchasing from. Although in some cases there may be companies that do both (take impressions and sell you their own brand).

      Waiting time is usually two weeks before they arrive, once the impressions have been sent.
      No earplug is as good as a foam earplug for noise protection.

      But silicon moulds with something like PRO27 filters come a close second, while also offering the ability to hear conversations more clearly, and being comfortable to wear for long periods of time (because, I don't know about anyone else, but for me foam earplugs begin to give me an excruciating earache after about half-an-hour).
       
    19. Ela Stefan

      Ela Stefan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Those are very weak. Can you take impressions of your ear canals here, and then send them to the company who can make the earplugs and send them back to you?
       
    20. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Bad news @Ela Stefan.

      ACS have (roughly) 19 locations around Europe and none of them are in Romania.

      Also, I've checked and the UK site will only deliver to UK addresses.
       
    21. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      https://www.scheinhardt.de/ - You should contact them via e-mail.

      You need to send them your ear impressions but before you do, you can send them photos of the ear impressions so they'll tell you if they're looking fine or should be redone.

      Here are the guidelines for your audiologist that will make your ear impressions:

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/...ouid=104957156337325444976&rtpof=true&sd=true
      That's not correct, UK will send them everywhere as long as you pay for shipping and import duty. I went with their DE partner because of cheaper shipping and no import duty as they're in the EU, I live in Poland myself where there's no local ACS partner.

      You just need to send them an e-mail and ask :)

      As for the sound tube, I think I'll end up with both with time no matter which I choose :(
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    22. bobvann
      Vegged out

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      I have custom OTOs.
       
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    23. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      A lot of conflicting information on the website then.

      acs.PNG

      When you click on the Europe and Worldwide orders link, it just takes you to the homepage again, which then links you to the 25 international locations they have.

      Anyway, it seemed strange to me that they wouldn't ship to other parts of Europe.

      Seems like you're sorted @Ela Stefan.

      Also, hope the earplugs work for you @Snake, I'm sure they will though.

      Worked great for me in the early days when I was struggling hard.
       
    24. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      They probably mean that ordering via their webshop, which is an automated process, is only available to UK customers and they encourage you to go with your local ACS partner. They're happy to help if there's none.

      BUT you need to remember about Brexit, it would mean import duty and it's a long way from Romania which means expensive shipping. From Romania I would contact ACS partners from the European Union, I chose ACS DE Partner because it's closest to Poland but Austria would be even closer to Romania which means cheaper shipping and no import duty.
       
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    25. ZFire
      Movie buff

      ZFire Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      You summoned me master? How kind of you. But crap, you posted this a while ago and I missed it.
      Hey Big Boss,

      For me, grips were a matter of preference. Prior to my ACS with grips, deeply inserted foam earplugs would be almost impossible to pull out with my hands. I don’t know what the heck the problem was, whether my ears were oily, making my fingers slippery, I dunno. But I had carry tweezers with me at all times which was beginning to turn into a hassle. So I opted for the grips. I was not going to take any chances with having immense difficulty taking them out.

      If you’re have trouble pulling out earplugs, then I would recommend you add grips. But now that I take a closer look at them, it does appear that they be a bit more easier to remove without the grips as opposed to foam earplugs. I like them a lot though, makes my life easier. But they do kinda stick out a bit for me. I don’t care about that though.
       
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    26. Snake
      Heartbroken

      Snake Member

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2011 - Gaming on headphones. 2020 - Severe by breaking glass
      As an update I bought both ACS-26 and ACS-27 with their respective molds (both thinner and wider sound tube) so I'll test all of the 4 combinations possible with them, I just don't want any "what if?" questions. Thankfully I secured a job this week (100% remotely!) so I just bought them both.

      I don't have issues with pulling out the foam earplugs even when deeply inserted so I went without grips. I'll let you all know my first impressions when they arrive :)

      It's going to be somewhat stressful, I started to really hope that they're going to be good and give me a little more options when it comes to living a life. We'll see, I hope they don't disappoint.
       
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    27. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I wish I was employed right now, because I really want a second pair of molds as I switch filters often and it's a pain in the ass.

      The ACS molds are larger than other molds I have seen, so you can just grab the plug from the Concha and pull it out. Smaller molds, like the Westone ones, absolutely require the little antenna pulls to get them out. Problem is, those little pulls fall apart quickly.

      Also, the red and blue dots on my ACS plugs wore off in just a couple of weeks, but luckily it's really easy to differentiate the left from the right without them. I wonder if yours will do the same.
       
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