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Noise cancelling headphones! Oh Joy! (and other ways to block sound)

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance Reactions' started by Unable, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I can't wear headphones either, so I use Flare Audio's Isolate ear plugs. Once they're in, you can't hear anything at all except bone-conducted sound.

    I saw the original crowdfunder to develop them a few years ago, and was so desperate to have some really effective ear plugs that I chipped in £20 to the appeal! It takes a bit of practice to get them in so that they're both blocking your ear canals and at a comfortable angle, but once you've sussed it, they really are very good. They're made of metal, but have a comfortable silicone surround to cushion them.

    One advantage is that they do cater for people with absurdly small ear canals. I can't even get standard ear buds into my ears at all, but Isolate Minis are perfect. They seem to be on sale at the moment at £8.50 plus postage.

    https://www.flareaudio.com/collections/fb_ear-protectors
     
    Oni, Hutan, mango and 6 others like this.
  2. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Can you lie on your side, like one ear on the pillow, with these in?
     
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  3. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought not to begin with, they were really uncomfortable.

    But then some neighbours had people round in their garden, I needed an early night, and so I decided to try them again. This time I obviously got them in at the right angle, because I slept in them all night. I can only sleep on my side, and I do use both sides – I had no problem at all.

    Everyone's ears are different, of course, and it's hard to know how someone else will experience it. They are a tight fit, and feel hideously uncomfortable when they're not in right, so it partly depends on whether you can tolerate a bit of experimentation, perhaps over several occasions with a break in between.

    They're not the only ear plugs the company does, but I think they block sound more totally than some of the others. I noticed they've introduced a set designed for sleeping last time I bought new foams, but I've no experience with them. They also do some open ear buds that just soften sound rather than blocking it, which an autistic friend uses.
     
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  4. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    thanks. Ive been trying to find some earplugs that I can actually tolerate. I bought some Moldex plugs (might have been on advice of @Invisible Woman?), but I can’t get them in or figure out how to put them in without it hurting a lot. Same thing keeps happening with any that I try. I want to try something for night time that will be comfortable.

    I looked at the night time ones in the flare audio website - calmer night - but it says it doesn’t muffle sound but just reduces the frequency of certain sounds. Not sure if that’ll be enough as for me all frequencies will still stress me out I think. Edit, they do have a 100 day money back guarantee though.
     
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  5. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Some notes on putting in earplugs (may be TMI for some)

    First make sure you don't have any handcream or moisturiser on your hands.

    Take the earplug and roll it between the thumb and edge of the forefinger on each hand. A bit like rolling a roll your own cigarette. You're basically elongating it and making it slimmer. When it's at least half as long again, if not longer, you're ready to insert it.

    Sometimes moistening the ear canal by sucking the tip of the little finger to the first knuckle and inserting it first into the ear canal.

    Follow the path of the ear canal. This is almost diagonal upwards towards the too of the skull and backwards and into the skull. If you get the angle correct it will go in really easily.

    Don't insert it too far. Inserted correctly part of it will stick out a little way beyond the ear canal opening and, as the plug regains it's shape inside the ear canal, the slightly flared outer edge seal the ear canal opening.

    Inserted correctly you should be able to lie comfortably with them in.

    If they feel uncomfortable then they may not be in right. Try taking them out and have another go.
     
  6. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Location:
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    Yes, I returned my first set because I couldn't get them into my ears! That's when I got the Minis instead.

    Getting them right is a skill, especially as ear canals can differ a lot between people. I got advice similar to that @Invisible Woman quotes above, but actually found that mine go in best parallel to the ground and then immediately backwards, there's no real upward slant.

    The Isolate type are also unusually small and go a long way into your ears, which is why you can sleep in them when they're fully inserted. There's nothing sticking out into the open part of your ear entrance, which would make metal earplugs impossible to sleep in because they're so hard. The plugs have a little lip on the end, which you use to hook them out with your fingernail. Even though I have severe hand arthritis, I don't have trouble getting them out.

    Some photos below. I couldn't focus the camera at the same time as holding the ear plug and pressing the shutter, but it's good enough to see how small they are in relation to my fingers!

    ETA: I took two pics to show the different parts: the metal plug, and the washable, replaceable silicone tip.

    Earplugs 1.jpg Earplugs 2.jpg
     
  7. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It took a lot of practice to get it right for me. Naturally, my ear canals aren't the same shape as each other. Having lived in this body for so many decades I really don't know why that came as a surprise. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :laugh::laugh:
     
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  9. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you @Kitty for the photos and advice and @Invisible Woman too!

    so today I tried the Moldex earplugs. I seem to have bought 3 different types - one of them was a “small” version. Tried the other two and they really hurt. The small one was much better, and after it expanded to fit my ear it does block out sound a little however it is still very painful for me. In general the amount of pain I was getting vs the sound reduction, definitely wasn’t worth it. I did try inserting it different ways etc. I am sensitive to touch so I guess it’s not a surprise.

    I then tried the silicone plugs which I also had, they don’t go into your ear but are supposed to lie just on top of your ear - and they don’t block out anything much. I did follow the instructions on the pack.

    Ive tried other earplugs before that also go into the ear, which were perhaps slightly more comfortable but hardly blocked out anything (used them in hospital once - but still became very unwell as it didn’t make much difference).

    I might try the mini flare isolates still as it’s got the money back guarantee. But I think it may hurt me too.

    edit having to roll the earplugs into shape is also so so tiring and painful! They really need to come up with a better way of doing it
     
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  10. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm sorry to hear that @lunarainbows :hug:.

    I took me ages to get used to them. Literally months. Eventually I found the moldex spark plugs good but maybe I just, finally, got used to having something in my ears.

    Like you, I didn't find the silicone ones much good.

    I found any ones that had a hard bit hurt.

    If there's a money back guarantee then the isolates are worth a shot.

    The only other option might be ones specifically custom moulded for you.
     
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  11. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Location:
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    If small moulded ones hurt, it will probably hurt to put in the Isolates – it hurts me to get them in, but once they're in place, it subsides. I can eventually forget about them enough to sleep.

    At least the silicone on the end is so incredibly soft and squishy that you don't have to mould it at all!
     
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  12. Diluted-biscuit

    Diluted-biscuit Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’m a side sleeper and I used to use the flare isolate minis before I got Bose sleep buds. They were comfy for me and they do some specifically for sleeping now. They are the best earplugs I’d ever used and I tried a lot.
     
  13. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes I just had a look - flare isolate minis are out of stock on their site. But I read some reviews on Amazon and had a closer look at the pictures. I think even they are going to hurt because in order to block out sound they will need to lie against the ear canal and press on it somewhat - and that itself is hurting me. (If I put a finger in my ear canal, it hurts). I’m still having quite severe pain now quite a time after taking them out!

    I just came across something by Bose: noise masking ear buds. They don’t go right into the ear, they’re just like normal earphones. But soft so you can sleep on your side. they don’t have noise cancelling technology, instead it plays sounds while you sleep. I think I’d struggle with the sounds? The noise cancelling tech in their other earphones does also have white or pink noise I think - but I can tolerate it and it’s a lot lot fainter than the sort of noise you hear when you listen to a white noise video on YouTube.
     
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  14. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Diluted-biscuit oh you just posted at the same time, about the thing I wrote about above! How do you find the Bose sleep plugs?
     
  15. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's exactly the trouble I had with a lot of earplugs. Even if they feel fine at first sitting up, when I lie down there must be pressure somehow on the lower part of the ear canal and it can really hurt and carry on hurting for a long time after.

    I did double check they were in as far as they were supposed to be and they definitely were.
     
  16. Diluted-biscuit

    Diluted-biscuit Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They are really incredible at blocking noises such as snoring or other annoying sounds but they obviously play white noise to do that so it could be an issue if they are for noise sensitivity. They are very comfy though and they don’t irritate my ears as they don’t go into the ear canal. One of the reasons I switched was because I was getting ear infections from ear plugs.

    Perhaps you could try listening to some YouTube videos that play the sounds available and see what you think. Make sure you search for sleep buds 2 though, the first generation had a critical flaw and they were withdrawn from sale.

    Bose offer a 90 trial period if you wanted to give them a go.
     
  17. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  18. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I listened to the sounds on Bose and I think they will be too much for me. When I listen to anything with sounds eg audiobooks, it has to be a certain narrator at a certain pitch etc but also can only really cope with it in one ear in. Having two ears in is too stimulating so I think the Bose might be too much.

    However I have just found these:

    https://quieton.com/shop/quieton-sl...2DmCh0HxQW_EAAYASAAEgJH1fD_BwE&v=79cba1185463

    Noise cancelling earbuds for sleep - and it says it can be used by side sleepers - I think I might give these a try as they are also money back guarantee
     
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  19. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I use moldex & also hearos brand, BUT i have to always cut the pointed tips off to make them much shorter, otherwise they are pure agony! So i cut about 1/4 of the length off, so the tip becomes flat & 'blunt' instead of rounded - which turns into pointed when you roll them up to insert. Think i must have a short canal.

    The bose OVER ear ones have no white noise at all, the in ones do but its minor

    Do let us know how you get on, sound makes my life miserable so always looking for solutions, i hope they work for you hun.

    Just in case you not aware @lunarainbows Those Quieton ones are shipped from finland & are over the £135 limit so as i understandit since brexit we now need to pay VAT + customs duty, during delivery, i dont know how that happens, but it's 20%VAt +2.5% customs duty = £169 + 22.5% =£207 total. info here Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad: Tax and duty - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  20. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh thank you for telling me @JemPD! Better to get from a U.K. shop - looked on Amazon - but then when reading the reviews there are at least 3 reviews with people saying it’s not good for side sleepers and is uncomfortable and not soft enough. If it’s uncomfortable for (presumably) non ME people, it’s very very unlikely to be comfortable for me.. not sure whether to try or not.

    I will cut the Moldex and see if it makes any difference for me.

    someone needs to make some very soft noise cancelling noise blocking ear plugs!
     
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