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Mark Atwood
noise, noise, stop all the damn noise!
I want earlids, damnit.

The HVAC system here is constant a heavy low rumble. There are conversations going on at all times, and every hour there is someone who either *must* use their speakerphone, or has the habit of yelling into their headset.

Headphones make my external ears hurt after only an hour or so (they mash my ears against the side of my head, and against the earhooks of my glasses).

I have a genetic quirk that kinks my ear canal, so I can't tightly fit in either disposible foam earplugs, or earplug style headphones.

I've heard that an ear specialist can *cast* me a custom pair of earplugs. I wonder what that would cost...
10 comments or Leave a comment
tonyawinter From: tonyawinter Date: March 1st, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
My friend carljparker has a special custom made pair of earplugs, maybe he can help you figure out where to get some.
tugrik From: tugrik Date: March 1st, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go to a motorcycle show. Find one of the audiologists who man a booth to make custom earplug castings while you wait. It'll run $35-65 depending on the doc ... *far* less than going to an audiologist's ofice for an appointment ($100-300). The reason is that they can sit there at the show and sell 200 pair in a weekend, so they drop the price and assembly line 'em through.

Additionally, for $150-400 (depending on which transducers you buy) and a 2-3 week wait, they can make you custom-castings with very high quality headphones in 'em. I have a set and absolutely love them.

There truly is nothing like a custom earmold plug for comfort and sound reduction. I use mine not only for motorcycling but for driving (yes, it's legal, in CA) and working in the server rooms/colocation centers here at my job.
mauser From: mauser Date: March 1st, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! There's a name I haven't seen in ages!

I've often wondered about making the opposite of a hearing aid. An earplug with active noise reduction in it. Then you couldn't even hear youself chew....
kespernorth From: kespernorth Date: March 2nd, 2006 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I doubt it would do much for bone conduction.
mauser From: mauser Date: March 2nd, 2006 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, it was hyperbole, but I think some kind of ANR earplug would be more effective than plain earplugs.

The alternative would be a diving helmet lined with anechoic foam....
mauser From: mauser Date: March 1st, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Less than your sanity?

If you have any friends who do art casting of live people, they could probably come up with something using some alginate and eventually arrive at a silicone positive. Which is what the ear doctor will do.

Call around. My guess, between $25 and $50. Get extras made.

From: pir Date: March 1st, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a pair of custom earplugs made in Boston by someone around the motorcycle mailing list in the area. I don't remember details but could probably find out.

If you want top of the line though: http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/erme.aspx
You can also get them with headphones.
solomoning From: solomoning Date: March 1st, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
In the short run, there are these white, slightly sticky, highly malleable discs you can get in a drugstore in the earplug section. You roll them into a pear shape, stick the fat end over your ear canal, and mush it about until it works. They're made for swimmers; completely airtight and comfy, once you get the pressure figured out. I doubt you'll pay more than $6 for a pack of four or five pair.

I wouldn't do it long term, just to be cautious, but if it's a matter of doing something NOW so you don't go postal, this is a cheap and functional patch until you can get the fancy pair.
wendolen From: wendolen Date: March 2nd, 2006 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep -- I was about to reply "You could get those wax things," but this comment is more descriptive of them, and therefore useful. :)
lady_equine From: lady_equine Date: March 2nd, 2006 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure if it would make a difference for you, but I use the earphones that completely envelope the ear, nothing actually pressing against the ear. I like this style *much* better that the more modern style of having something smashing your ear.

Additionally, the problem with earplugs is that most of them only block up to 30 decibles...much too little in loud work environments.

Good luck!

I once got a pair of noise canceling earphones, just so I could deal with working full time in a lab. Yet another reason why I don't like Microsoft.
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