Chicago-based Sensaphonics introduced on April 1 a new way for musicians and others to make in-ear monitoring safer with the Excess Audio Reduction system, or EARbags™. When secured to any set of in-ear monitors (IEMs), headphones, or earbuds, these patent-pending protective devices monitor for dangerous spikes in the ambient sound around the user.
According to Sensaphonics, when threatening audio impulses are detected, the EARbags instantly deploy a sound-blocking pillow of protection around the ears–operating in somewhat the same way an air bag in a car automatically deploys upon impact to protect passengers.
Designed to provide hearing protection for users of poorly isolating devices like acrylic IEMs and universal-fit earbuds, Sensaphonics EARbags will deploy any time an impulse response in excess of a safe noise level according to OSHA or NIOSH standards is detected. The colorful silicone pillows inflate silently and instantaneously, cushioning the wearer’s ears before the excessive sound can reach the inner ear.
“As experts in safe sound for the music industry, we designed EARbags to protect people whose earphones do not provide sufficient isolation, usually due to poor fit or inflexible materials like hard acrylic,” said Sensaphonics President Michael Santucci, AuD. “Of course, Sensaphonics IEMs provide up to 37 dB of broadband isolation, so our clients are already well protected. EARbags provide everyone else with a safe and fun way to enjoy their music with the same level of hearing wellness.”
Equally effective on stage, in the studio, or just listening to MP3s, EARbags are reusable and easy to install. With earphones inserted normally in both ears, users would simply moisten the inner surface of the EARbags and attach them to the outer surface of both earpieces. Once deployed, simply deflate and re-pack the ear bags into their protective case after use.
Sold in reusable pairs and available in a range of designer colors, EARbags offer hearing protection with and comfort. Now available for pre-order via Sensaphonics online store, EARbags are scheduled to begin shipping in early summer of 2016. Final pricing has not yet been announced. For more information, visit the Sensaphonics website.
Founded in 1985 by Michael Santucci, AuD, Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation Inc designs and manufactures custom-fitted earphones and electronics designed to achieve safe, high-resolution audio in mission-critical applications. Serving a primary customer base of professional musicians and sound engineers, Sensaphonics products are used exclusively on all manned NASA missions and on the International Space Station.
Image credits: Sensaphonics