The difference between unfiltered, tube and pill filtered earplugs
If you have the choice between tube filtered or pill filtered acoustic earplugs, always go for pill filters!
Tube filters introduce that extra bit of resonance as sound travels through the tube, muffling speech. This might not seem like a lot, but makes a huge difference when you’re communicating with other people while wearing hearing protection.
Remember that just 15 minutes of exposure at 100dB causes hearing loss, so removing your earplugs for a just quick conversation in a noisy environment is extremely costly to your ears.
All White Cat Earplugs are pill-filter type earplugs. We believe that hearing protection should not impede your ability to communicate in any environment, and we have chosen the best filters to reflect that.
You can see from the picture on the left that it's quite easy to identify the difference between pill and tube acoustic earplug filters, once you know what you're looking out for. You'll also notice that most custom earplugs use pill filters. That's because they're worth the little extra cost, which is insignificant if you're already spending $300-$400 on making a pair of custom earplugs.
Pro-tip: White Cat Earplug filters are the same filters as those in your custom earplugs - Sometimes better! So you can renew your custom earplug filters with White Cat filters when they have worn out. Dirt, oil and dust gets caught in the fine membrane over time, so our recommended best practice is that you change them yearly to ensure sound quality doesn't degrade over time.
When should you go for custom earplugs?
When you have very oval and/or irregular shaped ear canals, or exostosis (bony growths in the ear canal). 90% of our ears can have a great fit with off-the-shelf earplugs, provided they have a range of eartip sizes for you to choose from. (White Cat Earplugs come in 4 different eartip sizes)
When you need a very secure fit. Custom earplugs are made to the exact shape of your ear canal, curving past the first bend. This means it reaches deeper into the ear canal and "locks" in place. It does take more time to put these earplugs in, but once they fit, they should be comfortable and secure.
Psst! Unsure if White Cat Earplugs can fit your ears? Well, if you're in Wellington, you're in luck. Book a fitting appointment with the Wellington Hearing Association to make sure that you walk away with a great fit.
Earplugs that are completely unfiltered are easy to identify - There is no eartip opening to allow sound to pass through to your ear canals. These are generally meant for maximum attenuation, and sacrifice sound clarity as a result.
Most foam earplugs have no filters. White Cat Filtered Foam Earplugs are currently the only foam earplugs that have a high fidelity acoustic filter inbuilt into high grade memory foam earplugs. Because of their closed cell memory foam technology, they are good for 30 uses, making them as affordable as regular foam earplugs!
Word to the wise - With acoustic filters, you really want to make sure your earplugs come from a reputable source. We have noticed too many knock-off filters on the market, which don't provide sound clarity and worse, might not actually protect you from the right levels of sound! It just isn't worth saving a little money and damaging your hearing in the long run.
PS: Every single White Cat earplug filter is acoustically tested, so you know that you're getting the best sound quality, with the right levels of attenuation.
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