March 2015 editorial

Protect your ears from bad sounding HiFi systems!

[Ear Peace high fidelity earplugs]

Author: Lucio Cadeddu
Published: March, 2015

You know the situation: a friend of yours, who claims (or pretends!!!) to be an audiophile invites you to visit him and enjoy his listening room for an oustanding HiFi testing session. We, real audiophiles (aren't we all?) know pretty well that friends' systems will usually sound horrible. Until now we had just two escape plans:

  1. Put on the best smile we could afford and say Kudos! to our friend: “Bro', your system sounds just awesome!” hoping the torture would stop quickly;
  2. Tell the truth and lose our friend forever. Audiophiles are usually very sensitive, when they hate someone, it'll be forever. Sometimes for good reason.
Thanks to the guys at Ear Peace (what's in a name???) we now have a third escape plan, their new high fidelity ear plugs! With these tiny devices, inserted deep into our ears canals, quoting Ear Peace, “You'll hear clearly, feel better, and play longer. EarPeace is comfortable, reusable and stylish. No more ringing ears! EarPeace are the best ear plugs for any fan who wants high quality sound and great hearing protection. The high fidelity design delivers crisp, clear sound [...] EarPeace is your best choice when it comes to ear plugs for concerts. And nightclubs, car racing, sports events, movies, rodeos, monster truck rallies, weddings ”.
No, it's not a hoax! These ear plugs have been designed to protect our ears from loud music, such as nightclubs, live concerts and, what mostly matters to us, friends' HiFi systems!

You can also choose between two flavours: a clear one that delivers a medium level of protection and a red one for highly noisy environments and applications. In the chart below you can see how many dB's of attenuation, at different frequencies, are achievable with these two different models. Remember that an attenuation of 20 dB is very strong. At live rock concerts you might be exposed to sound pressures as high as 110/120 dB (peak), but with these ear pugs installed you'll still hear loud but at comfortable (and safe!) levels.
Moreover, attenuation varies slightly depending on frequency, this means that the sound you hear is more or less similar to the one you're listening to, just lower in level. Standard ear plugs, instead, deliver a muffled and confused sound, because they cut certain frequencies and let others pass.

[EarPeace performance chart]

If the guys at Ear Peace would be kind enough to send test samples (yes, pretty please, with sugar on top!) I'll be wearing them at the next HiFi Show I'm going to visit. Certain demo rooms are simply ear-splitting!

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