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Hand-Molded VS Lab-Produced Earplugs



High School Trap season is upon us! With all the gear required for competition, hearing protection may be a last-minute decision, often buying longer-lasting earplugs or muffs at tournament sites. Before stepping into the custom hearing protection booth or buying DIY custom earplug kits, here is a breakdown of the differences between hand-molded and lab-produced earplugs.

Hand-Molded

Custom Hearing Protection

Lab Produced

Custom Hearing Protection

Material

Hand moldable material

Acrylic, Silicone, and Ultra-Soft Silicone

Variables

Location-dependent (dust, moisture, or temperature can affect material)

Lab environment void of particles and environmental variables.

Durability

A few months to a few years

Lasts 10+ years

(Depending on material and filter options)

Other

Purchase and remold new product if lost or damaged

Use stored impression for each product purchased.

(Unless weight change, growth or trauma)

KNOW YOUR NRR AND LEVEL OF PROTECTION

Make sure to read all features and benefits of each hearing protection product, especially when using them for impulse peak reduction. NRR should be 26 or higher for solid hearing protection. Lab-produced products like WildEar have a track record of consistent noise reduction and when worn correctly, can provide even more protection than the NRR listed on the package. Hand-molded products are only as good as the initial mold and may have voids, this can cause a reduction in noise protection.


KNOW WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCT YOU WANT

Custom hearing protection is a great long-term solution for older children or adults, but keep in mind that younger children may require new impressions and new earplugs every year or two depending on growth. Unlike hand-molded products that will require a purchase of a new product if they don’t fit, WildEar has a 90 Fit Guarantee. If discomfort is experienced with proper insertion, the earplug will be remade by WildEar to achieve a comfortable fit.


Another solution is WildEar ready-fit with replaceable foam or 3-flange tips. Unlike single-use foam earplugs, a product like WildEar TruEarz™ will last well for years with multiple sizes of tips.


Read more about the risks of impulse noise and how to protect from hearing loss


Not sure what hearing protection is right for you or your child. We are here to help. Contact us at Support@WildEar.com

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