Every day we're exposed to various sounds. Some of those sounds are loud and some are quiet. We're exposed to the most extreme loudness at clubs, festivals, or concerts. These consistent levels of loudness can be detrimental to your hearing, especially if you're exposed multiple times a week, month, or year.
After attending a concert or festival, do your ears ring for hours or even days after? That's a condition called tinnitus (pron. tin-eye-tiss).
What is tinnitus?
According to the Mayo Clinic, "A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear cell damage. Tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear move in relation to the pressure of sound waves. This triggers ear cells to release an electrical signal through a nerve from your ear (auditory nerve) to your brain. Your brain interprets these signals as sound. If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken, they can "leak" random electrical impulses to your brain, causing tinnitus."
Tinnitus can be brought on by a myriad of conditions unrelated to loud sounds, but it's most often associated with being exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods of time. This prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), "about 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss." Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one out of three young adults could suffer from hearing damage due to loud music at concerts, events, and clubs. Only 15% of them wear earplugs to protect their ears.
Loop's technology is innovating ear protection
Thankfully, there are companies that are innovating technology in the ear protection space. One of them is Loop. Their loudness-reducing earplug technology lowers the volume by 20 decibels, which will save your ears from tinnitus and future hearing loss.
Loop was founded by Maarten Bodewes and Dimitri O. They started Loop because they simply couldn't find a solution for comfortable, stylish, and quality ear protection after a night of clubbing. "When going out, I want to enjoy the atmosphere," states Bodewes. "Most earplugs distorted the music, were uncomfortable--not to mention downright ugly. That's why we started Loop."
The Loop earplugs have a small hole where sound enters. They then pass through the hollow acoustic channel and enter the ear while maintaining clarity, comfort, style, and quality ear protection.
There're a handful of earplugs out there, but many of them aren't focused on quality. Loop, however, worked in collaboration with Dynamic Ear Company in the Netherlands, a leader in hearing protection to develop and design the acoustic channel and filter. To produce Loop's earplugs, the company partnered with 3D Systems. Lastly, they partnered with Comply to produce comfortable foam tips for their ear protection.
Hands on test and final thoughts
I first tested these earplugs out at a Morgan Page concert at GILT Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Shortly after walking into the club, I put in the Loop earplugs. When I left four hours later, I forgot that I even had them in. The sound reduction and comfort from the earplugs was that pristine.
Loop earplugs will be the only hearing protection earplugs I'll use from this day forward.
The Loop earplugs come in eight different colors: glorious gold, funky blue, flirty rose gold, midnight black, raving red, swinging silver, electric white, and brilliant black. Each pair comes with four silicone ear tips, two foam ear tips, and a leather carrying pouch.