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Decibullz Custom Molded High-Fidelity Earplugs

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • August 2018
  • Top Gear
• Created: August 8, 2018

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When I was very young – after it already become painfully, regrettably, frustratingly clear to my folks that I was going to spend all my days and nights playing and listening to loud music – my father impressed upon me the importance of making use of hearing protection while making these questionable life decisions.

As friends and bandmates who are “too punk rock for earplugs” started complaining about ringing in the ears and minor hearing loss when we were all far too young for that sort of thing to be happening, I became ever-more appreciative of that parental advice/insistence.

The majority of earplugs – the foam kinds you can buy from the bartender at a club or from the local drug store – are essentially low-pass filters. You hear the bass frequencies, while the higher frequencies are attenuated (the cutoff frequencies varying with the brand and design of a given pair of plugs), so that the whole concert experience or band practice sounds as if it’s taking place nine feet underwater.

There are solutions to this problem. On the lower end of the price spectrum, but still more expensive than the cheap foam earplugs, are reusable (often silicone, with rectilinear filters) plugs, which do allow for a broader frequency range, but are still limited and don’t always reduce volume sufficiently. There are higher-end, custom molded earpieces, too, which attenuate while preserving fullness of sound, but when I say “higher-end” I mean these things can get truly expensive.

At just under $100, Decibullz Custom Molded High-Fidelity Earplugs can be seen as representing something of a middle ground.

A “thermo-fit” custom earphone, these little guys require a bit of work on the part of the end-user. Essentially, once you assemble the earpieces, you dunk them in boiling water for five minutes, wait a few seconds, and then jam them into your ear canal and shape the whole thing to the contours of your ears.

If the notion of shoving boiling hot plastic/polymer/whatever-this-is-made-of inside your skull gives you pause, I can attest that with a little common sense there’s no risk of injury of even minor pain. The company has been around for five or so years, so clearly, they’re not being over-run with litigation from customers with inner-ear burns.

And the process is surprisingly effective – if you fit the molds to your ears effectively (if you don’t, they’re easy to “re-boil”/reshape and there’s a second set of molds included in the box, too). Sound is effectively attenuated across the spectrum, and Decibullz plugs don’t muddy or color things in any noticeable way. Additionally, these earplugs work with all other Decibullz ear protection/hearing products, such as Bluetooth earphones.

A clever, effective, and fun (for me, anyway) approach to solving an age-old problem. I’m a fan.

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