A few months ago I started teaching a class that was unbearably loud. Try as I may, they would not lower their volume, it seemed that they could not grasp the idea of being quiet. So I decided to take matters in to my own hands and look for something that would protect my ears. Something that would allow me to hear speaking but would take the edge off the shrill voices of the children.
Having rejected standard ear plugs for their distractive visible qualities and over protection for what I needed, and not understanding the Korean language enough to look in to more technological options, I was at a loss.
That is until I stumbled across a company called EarPeace(www.earpeace.com). They seemed to offer just what I was looking for. They promise to cut 11 to 17 decibles off the top of any noise in the area while still allowing your to hear normal voices. They are designed in a way to keep their visibility at a minimum. They are made from silicone making them washable and durable. Plus it comes with a carrying case to keep them clean while you are not using them. All this for $13.
I ordered off to a pair of them right away.
They arrived quickly and looked just as advertised. They did take some getting used to as I don't normally stick things so deep in to my ear that I wonder if they will come out. But there is a nice pull tab to get them out. They also work as advertised, doing a great job of lowering the volume enough to be comfortable while allowing you to converse at the same.
A few weeks of use the thing I feared the most became a reality. As I went to remove them, one of the tabs detached itself from the body leaving it stuck in my ear. Thankfully there is a tube in the middle of the body that I was able to pull out and with the help of a pocket knife able to pry the object out of my ear canal.
There were 3 included in the package so I was still able to use them but I promptly emailed the company to let them know what had happened. They replied quickly and positively. Letting me know that they were aware of this and had already redesigned it so that it would be stronger. They offered to ship a few my way promptly. There were a few complications in the process but I did received them. I have been using them now for the past 5 months and have been very pleased with them.
For what they are Ear Peace $13 does sound a bit steep, but they offer a lot more flexibility and repeated use than standard ear plugs. They have filled the role that I bought them for and I am quite happy with them. Plus at the moment my price per wear is $0.13 and by the end of the school year it will be down around $0.07. This is a small price to pay to be able to hear whatever you will want to hear when you are 75 years old*.
*(There is no scientific proof backing the idea that EarPeace will allow you to hear whatever you want to hear when you are 75 years old.)