UNBOXED: Reviewing Loop Earplugs
Whenever someone mentions earplugs, I automatically envision those bright orange and yellow pieces of foam that get thrown away after one use. I’ve personally never seen an attractive earplug or one that I’d actually feel comfortable wearing in public until Loop earplugs landed on my desk.
The rose gold earplugs I received look more to me like a small pair of gauges (a slang term for jewelry worn in stretched earlobe piercings). They definitely weren’t the type of earplugs I was used to. After doing a little research on their website, I found out that the circular shape of the earplugs actually has everything to do with the technology involved.
Loop's round acoustic channel is designed to mimic the function of an ear canal, for clear and natural sound. The filter at the end of that acoustic channel lowers all frequencies equally by 20dB ensuring music and speech remain clear—just at a lower volume. So the goal of Loop is not to eliminate sound, but to allow users to still enjoy their favorite activities like concerts, sporting events, and movies without putting their hearing at risk.
Since I didn’t have any particularly “loud” events in my near future, I spent a few days wondering where I might test out the Loop earplugs for a thorough review. I kept coming up short of ideas until one Monday morning when our office building started to undergo some construction. After about 15 minutes of sawing, hammering, and banging I remembered I had the Loop earplugs sitting in the bottom drawer of my desk awaiting a review.
Out of the box, the Loops came with a medium silicone eartip. I realized I needed to switch to a size small because the medium felt a little too big. Once I fastened the eartips on and popped the earplugs into my ears, the noise was significantly reduced. I was still able to hear my phone, the ping of my email, and my coworkers around me without being too bothered by the construction. The Loops were also lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for an extended period of time.
With the construction still ongoing, I decided to test out the foam eartips that came along with the Loops as well. Since I was a size small in the silicone eartips, I figured I’d also be a small in the foam version. I read on Loop’s website that the foam eartips are made from memory foam and need to be warmed up in your hands before they can put be in your ears. But after several attempts of warming and fastening, the foam eartips felt way too big and bulky so I switched back to the silicone ones.
While wearing them around, a few people did ask me what I had in my ears. After I told them it was an earplug their response was always “oh, I thought it was an earring.” And with my hair down, no one was even able to see them. So either way, I felt comfortable wearing them in public. The Loops also came with a carrying case for safekeeping on the go. The pouch is tiny enough to fit in a purse or pocket so that you can always have the Loops handy when loud situations arise.
Now that I have a pair of my own, I definitely want to make a conscious effort to use them. Hearing loss is usually so gradual that most of us don’t consider it a priority while we’re young, but that’s time when we’re probably causing the most damage. A $30 investment now is one that your future self will undoubtedly thank you for someday.