Published on February 6th, 2018 | by Guest Writer0
EARMOLD – WHY NOT GOING DEAF IS A GOOD THING
By Dennis Penzo
It was more than 40 years ago when I walked into a cavernous part of my then-employer’s business and saw the beast for the first time – a vast mechanical monstrosity spinning huge lead-plated drums whipping mile-long ribbons of two-metre wide paper between their spinning bulk.
The air was made of kerosene, ink and lead and the noise was deafening – and I knew ear-plugs were now a part of my life.
A newspaper’s print room is a noisy place and before us journalists could enter we had to grab a pair of these squishy little foamy things, twist them tight and jam them in our ears, and rightly so.
Eventual deafness was the alternative.
In industries across the world there has been an awareness of the damage constant noise can to do your ears.
Even entertainment can cause damage. I remember well the warnings from my parents that I should turn that Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin album down about 10 notches because it would damage my ears.
With the advent of the Smartphone, the role of earplugs you wear while on your bike has also changed. It’s no longer just about blocking out wind-noise.
You can now replace that noise with your favourite music or even to talk to your pillion passenger or fellow motorcyclists (I’d rather eat my own liver, but if you like to chat to folks while you ride, then who am I to judge – Boris).
My use of ear plugs for the past decade has been predominantly for surfing. A few blown eardums over the years means I’m more conscious of protecting my hearing, and I do like to be able to hear when I surf. Especially the attack-roar of sharks.
I also love the sound of the Staintune pipes on my Bonneville so I’m not as likely to wear my plugs for short trips around town, but on longer trips they’re a must.
What I have recently discovered, after wearing the same pair of Earmold earplugs (my plugs are the Insta-Mold on-the-spot plugs) in the surf for the best part of the last decade, is that you can get them rejuvenated and continue to get good value out of them for even longer.
So, how does it happen? And what’s the process to get a set of your very own, custom-made plugs?
You first have to make an appointment with Earmold. They have 87 agents throughout Australia, and they’re always at bike shows pouring coloured goop into motorcyclists’ ears. They are very hard to miss.
Firstly, Earmold identifies what the plugs are to be used for, ie: bike riding, shooting, swimming, sleeping, work, screaming banshees, etc.
You then, like a woman buying shoes, decide on a colour, and there are 10 solid colours and endless multi-colour combinations.
Then using an Otto scope or an Otto light the Earmold consultant does an inspection of your ear, making sure it is clean and clear and that there is nothing that could prevent the making of the mould.
A release agent is wiped into the ear – this is pretty important because you want to be able to take the ear-plug out.
An Otto block is then placed into the ear-canal at the second bend which prevents any material from going too far into the canal and also gives the injected material a firm backing.
That goop is then mixed and syringed into the ear and allowed to dry for about 10 minutes.
The plug is removed from the customer’s ear and then trimmed, buffed and coated in a clear silicone which takes around 30 minutes, and then the plugs are ready for use.
Electronics can then be fitted at this stage if required.
Earmold’s range of custom-made earplugs is huge. You can get custom-made motorcycle jobbies from $75, or Do-It-Yourself moulded jobbies from $29, or simple soft taper-fit plugs from $1 a pair.
And you can add Bluetooth capability, digital electronics – you name it.
At the end of the day, it certainly does pay to invest in keeping your hearing healthy as long as you can. Tinnitus, deafness, or the endless howling of your brain can be staved off with the simple addition of good earplugs to your riding kit.
Earmold was formed in 1988. The current owners have been originally agents themselves since 1996. Aaron and Julie Dalle-Molle bought the company in 2011 and represent EARinc, Insta-Mold, Cens Digital and Puretone with a unique range of custom hearing protection and associated hearing healthcare products. They also a distributor for Sena Bluetooth and Baehr intercom systems.
They have fitting technicians throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, who will come to your home or place of business and manufacture the earplugs onsite.
You can and should check out their amazing range of all things Ear at www.earmold.com.au or call them on (07) 3820 2533.