2016 has given us a surge in the development and release of a huge amount of personal audio solutions.
From ambient noise cancelling bluetooth speakers to wireless headphones that incorporate wearable biometric monitors to measure fitness performance, the audiophile market seems to have reached peak innovation in terms of the sheer variety of new gimmicks available to the consumer.
Leveraging new technological breakthroughs in the application of recently developed acoustic materials, the sound quality offered by these new audio devices allows consumers access to never-before seen quality and performance in sound technology.
One important market neglected by recent developments in acoustic materials, however, is the creation of noise cancellation and sound protection products.
While many noise cancelling headphone solutions are now using specially designed sound dampening materials in combination with waveform cancellation to deliver perfect silence for keen audiophiles that want to listen to crystal-clear audio playback without interruption, these acoustic materials haven’t been incorporated into a product solely designed for noise protection until now.
The Isolate Micro Ear Plug is a revolutionary, brand new ear protection device fresh out of the gates of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, promising unparalleled protection from the damage that can occur from excessive noise exposure.
The Isolate Kickstarter campaign has been wildly successful, with tens of thousands of backers from all over the world contributing almost one million US dollars to launch the ultimate ear protection solution.
Offering the smallest, most effective sound protection solution ever designed, the Isolate Micro Ear Plug is the brainchild of Flare Audio, founded by leading audio engineer Davies Roberts.
In this article we’ll tear down the design, construction and effectiveness of the Isolate Micro Ear Plugs to help you decide whether they’re the right sound protection solution for you.
About Isolate Micro Ear Plugs
Noise induced hearing loss, or NIHL affects over four million people across the United States every day.
Every year almost twenty thousand people report occupational hearing loss due to exposure to excessive sound levels in their working environments that has caused them to experience irreparable hearing loss, and with occupational hearing loss making up more than 14% of the total amount of occupational illnesses every year, ear protection devices are one of the most important tools for anybody that is exposed to loud noise sources for extended periods of time.
NIHL can take effect almost immediately in some cases, or can build up slowly over time as the ear is exposed to continuous long term damage. People of all ages are susceptible to noise induced hearing loss, which can be caused by an extremely wide variety of sources.
Loud concerts, industrial machinery, hunting or repeated use of firearms, and vehicles such as motorbikes are all common sources of noise induced hearing loss. Hearing loss occurs when sound travels from the outer ear and enter the ear canal, vibrating the eardrum.
The eardrum then transfers these vibrations to three tiny bones in the inner ear, which then causes fluid vibrations in the cochlea, exciting tiny hairs that form upon an elastic partition in the middle of the cochlear.
Loud noises cause excessive vibration to these microscopic hairs, creating irreparable damage that then limits the frequencies an individual can hear.
Hearing damage and NIHL is caused by sounds that are 85 decibels or louder. For comparison, the humming of a refrigerator sits at around 45 decibels, a normal conversation at 60, heavy city traffic at 80-85 decibels, and loud noises such as motorbike engines at 95 decibels.
Music concerts and loud sirens can be as loud as 120-130 decibels, causing damage that the ear can never recover from.
One of the hardest types of sound to block using noise protection gear is low frequency noises, as they travel through the materials typically used in sound protection devices.
The Isolate Micro Ear Plug solution blocks all sound from entering the ear in a different manner than other noise cancelling solutions.
Where other sound protection devices use foam or silicone to dampen high frequency noise, they often allow high volume low frequency noises through to damage the ear.
The design of the Isolate Micro Ear Plugs blocks all sound equally, allowing users to listen to music at massively reduced volumes, sleep soundly in high noise environments such as planes and trains, or even block out the noise of snoring partners.
Isolate Micro Ear Plug Design & Construction
With a unique patent-pending design created by professional sound engineers, Isolate Micro Ear plugs use an innovative and highly effective design to block out all incoming noise, acting as an “off switch” for the ears.
Consisting of a solid titanium metal body that hold an isolate acoustic ear foam cap in place with proprietary Isolate tip-locking ridges, the Isolate solution takes advantage of the unique acoustic properties of titanium in order to block out incoming sounds.
Without the need for batteries or chargers, the Isolate solution uses metal to block out external environmental sounds.
While metals are typically not used for sound protection applications due to their propensity to conduct vibrations through to the ear.
The Isolate solution, however, isolates the sound blocking barrier of the titanium earplug with a cushion of air between the ear foam plugs and the metal, dramatically reducing vibration conducting and offering far more efficient sound blocking than any other solution on the market.
At just 17.5mm long and 8.5mm in diameter with a weight of just 1.76 grams, Isolate Micro Ear Plugs are the smallest sound protection device available on the market and offer more than double the attenuation of any other solution on the market. Clean, ergonomic design presents a sleek and stylish yet durable appearance, with replaceable foam tips in the case of damage.
Isolate Micro Ear Plug Review Summary
Isolate Micro Ear Plugs are available from the Isolate Kickstarter page, available in standard and pro models.
The standard Isolate Micro Ear Plug model is priced at just $28 USD and has begun shipping already.
If you’re looking for a battery-free noise protection solution that delivers results far higher than anything else in the market, the Isolate Micro Ear Plug solution is the best way to protect your ears.