According to statistics more than 48 million Americans experience hearing loss with 60% of those below retirement age. Whether it’s loud noise from the subway, work related, during a game or concert; repeated noise exposure can cause permanent hearing damage. However, these risks can be mollified with proper protection.
In the past earplugs we’re designed using foam and basically muted outside noise. Now the folks at Doppler Labs have released an advanced tech earplug that is engineered to reduce volume without sacrificing the audio experience; all while being designed to be stylish and comfortable.
The Dubs are a compact size acoustic filter, which includes 17 individual parts made with material such as stainless steel, polymer foams and silicone. Housed within a discrete minimalist form factor the Dubs are something most people would mistake for wireless headphones other than earplugs.
Specifications and Features
The Dubs are available in four colors including teal, blue, white and pink. For today’s review we will be looking at the white version.
These earplugs are designed to fit most adults 16 years and older. In addition they’re designed for numerous uses without losing their effectiveness.
Looking at the Dubs we see they resemble headset earplugs on the part that inserts into the ear. The other end of the Dubs has an apostrophe shaped filter, which is designed to capture and filter external noise. The Dubs use dynamic attenuation to protect the users ears while preserving the fidelity of the sound. They reduce audio levels by an average of 12 dB that provides protection from loud environments.
To give you an idea what kinds of noise exposure we face on a daily basis here are some average noise ratings:
60 dB Normal conversations or dishwashers
80 dB Alarm clocks
90 dB Hair Dryers, blenders, and lawnmowers
100 dB MP3 players at full volume
110 dB Concerts, car racing, and sporting events
120dB Jet planes at take off
130 dB Ambulances
Exposure to any loud noise (over 85 dB) can lead to permanent hearing damage, known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).
Inserting the DUBS is no different than using a pair of in ear headphones. The narrower part of the filter is pointed towards the back of the users head. Once in place you will notice the world is slightly quieter and external noise has a muffled quality to it. You are still able to hear outside noise but the volume is definitely decreased. Obviously you would not use the DUBS at time when you need to hear low volume noise but when exposed to loud noises, they easily do their job.
For testing I use the clubs to see the Jack White concert at Madison Square Garden this past weekend. I was lucky enough to get tickets close to the stage making this a good test for the DUBS.
The opening act was a hip-hop band which featured a lot of loud bass, while Jack White’s band had a wider aural presentation. With the DUBS in place it was quite comfortable to be standing near the speakers. When I took them out for a moment, you definitely noticed a difference. If I went to this show without the DUBS in place my ears would have been ringing for a day or two.
The sound quality was definitely different with the DUBS in place as they attenuated certain frequencies more than others but they did not take away from the music listening experience. Carrying the DUBS in the provided case was convenient as I could slip them in the pocket of my jeans without taking too much room.
Hearing loss is a problem that does not go away; once the ears sustain noise damage there is no going back. Thus protecting one’s hearing should be a priority. Doppler Labs created the DUBS to help with this protection without sacrificing too much quality. For the price, the DUBS ($25) are a great deal as they can be used repeatedly. Plus they look much better resting in ones ear than the colored pieces of silicone alternatives. If you are an avid concert goer like myself or just exposed to loud noises on a regular basis then the DUBS are a must own!
+Easily to insert
+Includes a carrying case
+Superior sound quality
-Easy to lose
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