While noise is all around us, sound is what we want to hear; sound is what our ears filter from all the unwanted noise around us, and one such sound is the sound of music.
The difference between sound and noise, however, is subjective and depends on the listener and the circumstances.
Loud music is, well, music to the ears for many; a pleasurable sound; but, others may find it an annoying noise.
However, the truth of the matter is that both noise and sound can cause serious damage to our hearing, sometimes irreversible if they happen to be too loud and too frequent.
Tinnitus is an ear condition that affects one in every five people and can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to loud noise.
Mayo Clinic says that a common cause for the affliction is damage to cells in the inner ear, where tiny, delicate hairs “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,” says the Mayo Clinic website.
The common symptoms of tinnitus include weird phantom noises in the ears, such as ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, and hissing.
According to WHO, about more than a billion people are at risk of impaired hearing because of exposure to noise/sound from personal devices and loud events like musical shows and concerts.
While most of us are aware that earplugs have the potential to protect our ears from the effects of loud noise, we avoid them because they are uncomfortable to wear; they distort the sound they are supposed to be muffling; and, generally, look ugly.
Loop’s new earplugs not only protect your ears from the ill-effects of loud noises but they look good, too.
The company’s innovative decibel-lowering earplug technology reduces the incoming sound volume by as much as 20 decibels, which will go a long way in protecting your ears from tinnitus and the resulting hearing impairment.
Loop’s founders, Maarten Bodewes and Dimitri O, launched the company with the sole purpose of finding the best possible answer to the issues of comfort; sound-reducing quality and effectiveness; as well as style that a current lot of earplugs were unable to address.
“When going out, I want to enjoy the atmosphere,” says Bodewes. “Most earplugs distorted the music, were uncomfortable–not to mention downright ugly. That’s why we started Loop.”
So, needless to say, the Loop earplug is custom-designed for listening to music, not that it can’t work in other scenarios where you’d like to reduce the noise levels.
Based on the functioning of our ear canal, Loop’s earplugs have a small hole through which sound enters and passes through the acoustic channel to a foam filter at the end, which brings the sound level down by 20 decibels.
While the sound is reduced to a comfortable and harmless level, the quality of sound remains good with no distortion, whatsoever, simply because the 20-decibel reduction is across all frequencies.
The Loop earplugs cost $30 and are available in a myriad of color options, including midnight black, swinging silver, raving red, electric white, glorious gold, brilliant black, funky blue, and flirty rose gold.
In addition to a pair of earplugs, also included in the box will be two foam ear tips, four silicone ear tips, as well as a leather pouch for carrying.
In order to get the desired results, Loop partnered with Netherlands-based Dynamic Ear Company, experts in hearing solutions, to design and develop the acoustic channel and filter, which were so integral to the success of the system.
Loops collaborated with 3D Systems for the production of the earplugs, while the comfortable foam tips are the result of Loop’s partnership with Comply – specialists in that area.
Tests indicate that Loop has delivered on its promise.