CUS­TOM­IZED HEAR­ING PRO­TEC­TION

Great earpro doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

American Survival Guide - - CONTENTS - By Larry Schwartz

Those of you who are reg­u­lar read­ers of Amer­i­can Sur­vival Guide might re­mem­ber an ar­ti­cle I wrote re­cently about “in-the-ear” elec­tronic hear­ing pro­tec­tion prod­ucts. These are like sim­ple hear­ing aids that have spe­cial cir­cuitry in them to block the loud re­port from a firearm. It’s pretty in­ter­est­ing and very ef­fec­tive tech­nol­ogy, and I now have some in my range bag and hunt­ing pack. While re­search­ing that ar­ti­cle, I also found that there are sim­i­lar prod­ucts that are not elec­tronic and there­fore do not re­quire bat­ter­ies. The small hear­ing aid bat­ter­ies needed for the elec­tronic de­vices are, in my opin­ion, the big weak­ness in their de­sign. While there are a num­ber of mak­ers who pro­duce these me­chan­i­cal in-the-ear de­vices, one re­ally stands out in terms of ef­fec­tive­ness, value and ver­sa­til­ity. That com­pany is DECIBULLZ, and it of­fers a great line of prod­ucts.

THE DECIBULLZ STORY

The DECIBULLZ story is one of frus­tra­tion, per­se­ver­ance, dis­cov­ery and en­trepreneur­ship. Kyle Kirk­patrick, the com­pany’s founder and owner, was hard on his ear­phones. He used them while en­gag­ing in stren­u­ous out­door sports and hated that fact that they of­ten didn’t stay in; and, if they did, they were un­com­fort­able. He is also a techno nerd. As a re­sult, he wanted the best sound qual­ity and clar­ity from his ear­phones. For­tu­nately for us, he couldn’t find any­thing that met all of his needs, so he de­cided to make them him­self. Over the course of sev­eral years, he worked with au­dio en­gi­neers, ma­te­ri­als ex­perts and ath­letes to de­sign, pro­to­type and test hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent mod­els in his search for some­thing that would stay in his ear, sound great, be com­fort­able and not cost an arm and a leg. The re­sult, in

DECIBULLZ’S PROD­UCTS OF­FER GREAT FEA­TURES: THERE ARE NO BAT­TER­IES TO CHANGE IN THE SOUND-PRO­TEC­TION PROD­UCTS; AND, IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN KEEP THE EAR­PHONES CHARG­ING ALL THE TIME.

Fe­bru­ary 2012, was the first thermo-fit cus­tom ear­phones—and they cost less than $30!

ONE EAR­PIECE, MANY IN­SERTS

The ba­sis of DECIBULLZ’S in­no­va­tive prod­uct line is its cus­tom-mold­able ear­piece. Each prod­uct comes in a box that in­cludes in­struc­tions, a set of Easy Shape (ES) ther­mo­plas­tic ear­piece molds, var­i­ous sizes of foam ear tips that fit onto the side of the molded ear­piece next to your head and an insert that fits into the side of the ear­piece away from your head. By swap­ping out the in­serts, you can use one set of cus­tom-fit earpieces for a va­ri­ety of pur­poses. Or, if you want, you can make a set of earpieces for each pur­pose. The in­serts are color coded, so it is easy to tell the pur­pose each set is used for.

SHAP­ING THE THER­MO­PLAS­TIC MOLDS

To trans­form the ther­mo­plas­tic molds that come with your DECIBULLZ prod­uct, all you need are— • The ther­mo­plas­tic molds • Some­thing to heat wa­ter in (such as a mi­crowave-safe cup or a pot for use on a stove) • A metal spoon (don’t use a plas­tic or wooden

BY SWAP­PING OUT THE IN­SERTS, YOU CAN USE ONE SET OF CUS­TOM-FIT EARPIECES FOR A VA­RI­ETY OF PUR­POSES. OR, IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN MAKE A SET OF EARPIECES FOR EACH PUR­POSE.

spoon, be­cause it might stick to the mold.) • The ear tips • The insert for your item Step 1: Heat a cou­ple of cups of wa­ter in the mi­crowave or on the stove­top. The wa­ter should be 150 to 170 de­grees (F) be­fore re­mov­ing it from the heat. You should see bub­bles form­ing in the bot­tom of the con­tainer you are heat­ing the wa­ter in. Step 2: While the wa­ter is heat­ing, put the ear tips on your molds. Step 3: Re­move the wa­ter from the heat and drop one mold into the hot wa­ter. Let it sit for five min­utes. Do not put in two molds at the same time, be­cause if they come into con­tact with each other, they might stick to­gether. Step 4: Re­move the soft­ened mold from the hot wa­ter with the metal spoon and let it sit for 30 sec­onds to cool down. If you put it into your ear im­me­di­ately, it will be too hot, and you could wind up hurt­ing your­self. Step 5: Place the insert for what­ever item you have into the soft­ened mold and press it

THE BA­SIS OF DECIBULLZ’S IN­NO­VA­TIVE PROD­UCT LINE IS ITS CUS­TOM-MOLD­ABLE EAR­PIECE.

into your ear. Each mold has an “L” or “R” on it, so you know which ear it goes into. Make sure the ear tip is seated well in your ear canal. It should go in around the bend in the canal. Step 6: Gen­tly press on the soft­ened mold to cover the whole of the con­cha (the de­pres­sion in your ear that leads into the en­trance of the ear canal). The more of the con­cha you cover, the bet­ter the sound seal you will get and the bet­ter the prod­uct will work. Step 7: Leave the mold in your ear un­til it has cooled. This helps en­sure it will keep its shape when you re­move it. Step 8: To mold the other ear­piece, sim­ply re­peat steps 1 through 7. In ad­di­tion to be­ing easy to use to make your earpieces, the ther­mo­plas­tic molds are also re-mold­able. You just pop them back into hot wa­ter and re­peat the process. Even so, don’t leave them in a very hot en­vi­ron­ment, such as the in­side of a car on a hot sum­mer day, be­cause they might soften up from the heat.

THE DECIBULLZ PROD­UCT LINE

Over time, DECIBULLZ has up­dated and ex­panded its prod­uct line from the ini­tial ear­phone prod­uct (which is no longer of­fered). The com­pany’s cur­rent prod­uct line ranges in price from $25.99 to $119.99 and in­cludes two hear­ing-pro­tec­tion prod­ucts and two ear­phone prod­ucts. DECIBULLZ has also been win­ning awards ev­ery year since be­gin­ning pro­duc­tion in 2012. Cus­tom Molded Earplugs. These ba­sic earplugs are the sim­plest and low­est-tech item in the DECIBULLZ prod­uct line, but they are still a great im­prove­ment over sim­ple foam earplugs. They have a Noise Re­duc­tion Rat­ing (NRR) of 31. They pro­vide su­pe­rior sound iso­la­tion, will never fall out, are com­fort­able enough to wear all day and cost only $25.99. They are low pro­file and come in a va­ri­ety of col­ors: blue, black, or­ange, pink and red. They are the per­fect so­lu­tion for loud en­vi­ron­ments such as gun ranges, ma­chine shops, rock con­certs or air­planes. You can even use them for swim­ming if you don’t want to get wa­ter in your ears. Cus­tom Molded Per­cus­sive Shoot­ing Fil­ters. These per­cus­sive shoot­ing fil­ters are what ini­tially brought DECIBULLZ to my at­ten­tion. They do ev­ery­thing that the much more ex­pen­sive elec­tronic,

IN AD­DI­TION TO BE­ING EASY TO USE TO MAKE YOUR EARPIECES, THE THER­MO­PLAS­TIC MOLDS ARE ALSO RE-MOLD­ABLE. YOU JUST POP THEM BACK INTO HOT WA­TER AND RE­PEAT THE PROCESS.

in-the-ear hear­ing pro­tec­tion de­vices do— with the ex­cep­tion of am­pli­fy­ing sound or hav­ing spe­cial fil­ter­ing pro­grams for dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments. But if you sim­ply want to hear what is go­ing on around you and also want to block out loud noises (gun­shots, loud mu­sic, ma­chin­ery, etc.), this is the prod­uct for you. The NRR rat­ing for this model is 31. The in­no­va­tive per­cus­sive im­pulse fil­ters pro­tect your ears from the peak sound pres­sure of loud noises and sup­press them down to a safe level. It is ba­si­cally a valve that opens and closes based on the type of sound you are hear­ing. Un­like the bat­tery-pow­ered prod­ucts that range in price from $150 to $3,000 or more, the DECIBULLZ per­cus­sive fil­ters cost only $74.99, and they are cus­tom fit­ted to your ears. The only color it comes in is black; but if you have other DECIBULLZ prod­ucts that have col­ored ther­mo­plas­tic molds, you can use them with your per­cus­sive fil­ters. So, if you want pink or or­ange in­stead of black, buy a set of the Cus­tom Molded Earplugs at $25.99 as a backup and swap the col­ored molds for your black ones. I like them so much, es­pe­cially the no-bat­tery part, that they have earned a place in my bed­room gun safe for that 3:00 a.m. bump-in-the-night sce­nario for which I need to hear what is mov­ing around down­stairs but still want to pro­tect my hear­ing if shots are fired. Cus­tom Molded Con­tour ES In-ear Head­phones. The Con­tour ES model is the next gen­er­a­tion of the ini­tial prod­uct put out by DECIBULLZ. In ad­di­tion to the cus­tom-fit­ting earpieces found on all DECIBULLZ prod­ucts, its 9.2mm ma­chined metal driv­ers pro­vide cut­ting-edge sound qual­ity from what­ever de­vice it is con­nected to via its aux­il­iary cord. The ear­phones, them­selves, come with a three-but­ton re­mote con­trol that han­dles vol­ume, play­back and voice. The re­mote is fully com­pat­i­ble with IOS de­vices. (Vol­ume func­tions might not work with some An­droid or Win­dows de­vices.) Like the per­cus­sive shoot­ing fil­ters, they only come in black (again, you can swap out the black for the col­ored earpieces from the other prod­ucts). These head­phones re­tail for $59.99.

Cus­tom-fit Bluetooth Wire­less Ear­phones. These Bluetooth-com­pat­i­ble, wire­less ear­phones are the most so­phis­ti­cated prod­uct in the DECIBULLZ line. Be­cause they are wire­less, all you need to do is pair them with what­ever de­vice you are us­ing; you don’t have to worry about an aux­il­iary cord get­ting in the way or not be­ing able to reach to the de­vice. These ear­phones come with 9mm ma­chined metal driv­ers, which pro­vide ex­cel­lent sound. In ad­di­tion to the sound qual­ity, they are also sweat- and wa­ter-re­sis­tant, so they can be used dur­ing stren­u­ous ac­tiv­i­ties or when you are out in foul weather. They come in black, blue, or­ange, pink and red and re­tail for $119.99.

If you spend a lot of time around shoot­ing ranges or other sources of loud sound, you would be wellserved to get a pair of DECIBULLZ earplugs.

Each pack­age of Cus­tom-molded Earplugs in­cludes two ther­mo­plas­tic cus­tom molds; triple flange ear tips in small, medium and large; one set of Max Pro­tect Medium foam tips; and an earplug car­ry­ing pouch. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Be­low: Lan­yards are also avail­able for the earplugs and per­cus­sive fil­ters in case you are prone to los­ing small things in your range bag or other kit. They fit into the ear­piece, and the earplug or per­cus­sive fil­ter fits into the lan­yard con­nec­tor. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Left: Whether you are hunt­ing rab­bits with a 20-gauge shot­gun in the field or shoot­ing a high-pow­ered ri­fle at the range, per­cus­sive fil­ters will let you hear what is go­ing on around you while still stop­ping dam­ag­ing sounds when they hap­pen. (Photo: DECIBULLZ

Be­low: DECIBULLZ earplugs can help pro­tect your hear­ing at the gun range and also when you are around loud noises (such as trav­el­ing in an air­plane). (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Right: With DECIBULLZ, you can par­tic­i­pate in any ac­tiv­ity—con­fi­dent that your ear­phones will not fall out—and you will get ex­cel­lent sound qual­ity. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Far right, mid­dle: To mold your ear­piece to your ear: Put it in hot wa­ter, let it soften, take it out of the wa­ter, and press it into your outer ear. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Far right, top: With the wire­less ver­sion of the ear­phones, you’re free of the ca­ble to your de­vice, so you can put it any­where nearby—in your pocket, a back­pack or even next to you on the desk. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Near right: DECIBULLZ Cus­tom Molded Ear­phones in­clude two ther­mo­plas­tic cus­tom molds; ear­phones with a three-but­ton re­mote and mi­cro­phone; three sets of triple-flange sil­i­cone ear tips in small, medium and large sizes; and a pro­tec­tive stor­age case. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

The cus­tom ear­piece keeps out ex­ter­nal sounds so you can en­joy the ex­cel­lent sound qual­ity from the ma­chined metal au­dio driv­ers. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

DECIBULLZ Cus­tom Molded Per­cus­sive Fil­ters in­clude two ther­mo­plas­tic cus­tom molds and per­cus­sive fil­ters; three sets of triple-flange sil­i­cone ear tips in small, medium and large sizes; three sets of Max Iso­la­tion foam tips in small, medium and large sizes; and a pro­tec­tive, hard car­ry­ing case. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Be­low: The DECIBULLZ prod­uct comes in three parts: the ther­mo­plas­tic mold that goes in the mid­dle; the ear tip that makes a snug seal in your ear canal; and the insert for the type of prod­uct you bought (earplug, per­cus­sive fil­ter, ear­phone or wire­less ear­phone). (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Far right: The per­cus­sive fil­ters are or­ange with a white DECIBULLZ logo to help you dif­fer­en­ti­ate them from the plain earplugs. The other prod­ucts all have a black insert with a white logo. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Near right: Each set of DECIBULLZ Cus­tom Molded Wire­less Ear­phones in­cludes two ther­mo­plas­tic cus­tom molds; wire­less ear­phones with a three-but­ton re­mote and mi­cro­phone; a mi­cro USB charg­ing ca­ble; ca­ble clip; and a pro­tec­tive case. (Photo: DECIBULLZ)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.