How And Why to Protect Your Ears
Did you know that once your hearing is damaged, there’s no natural way to restore it?
That’s right. Read that again.
While advanced solutions like hearing aids and surgical interventions can help improve hearing damage, most hearing loss is irreversible. This poses a genuine and terrifying threat to club, festival, and concert attendees.
Maarten Bodewes, co-founder of Loop earplugs, is an avid concert-goer himself. Maarten and Loop’s other co-founder, Dimitri O, met as teenagers and attended their first big parties, concerts, and festivals together. After years of enjoying live music, motorcycles, and watching car races, the ever-present ringing in Maarten’s ears was diagnosed as tinnitus. It was then that Maarten and Dimitri tuned into the importance of hearing protection and founded Loop.
“Our mission at Loop is to empower people to live life to the fullest by giving them control over how they hear life in style and comfort,” says Maarten.
Maarten and Dimitri have engineered a stylish, high-quality solution for life’s loudest experiences. Maarten hopes that by introducing an entirely new earplug aesthetic, that Loop will help normalize wearing hearing protection and inspire others to wear earplugs more often.
Why Hearing Protection Matters
Protecting your hearing matters for obvious reasons (general health, verbal communication, listening to music - the list goes on). Losing one’s hearing also poses a threat to you and your home’s safety and security.
Hearing protection devices shield your eardrums from intense and potentially damaging sound vibrations. If you forget your earplugs and find yourself at a loud event, try to sporadically give your ears some rest by stepping away from the main sources of sound. Hearing damage is determined by volume and duration of exposure, so limiting your proximity to loud noises is just as important as being mindful of decibel levels.
One misconception about earplugs is that wearing them will reduce sound quality or take away from your experience. In reality, quality hearing protection enables wearers to be more comfortable in loud situations and protects their ears from hearing damage rather than blocking out sound.
If you find yourself without earplugs at a festival, you might have luck buying a new pair from one of the vendors at the event. Some forward-thinking festivals are even teaming up with earplug companies to create co-branded products to promote hearing protection use. This year, Tomorrowland and Loop have kicked off a new partnership and are offering a limited edition design of Loop earplugs in a full circle moment for Maarten and Dimitri.
“We’ve attended the festival every year since it started with just a few thousand people, dancing in the front rows,” Maarten says about him and his co-founder. “When Dimitri and I started Loop, it was always our dream to collaborate with Tomorrowland.”
The Loop x Tomorrowland Experience earplugs are being sold on-site at Tomorrowland 2022 and online for a limited time.
Choosing The Right Earplugs
When it comes to choosing the right earplug, Maarten says, “if you don’t get the right fit, nothing else really matters.” Fit and effectiveness go hand in hand with comfort. All of which impact one’s likeness of wearing them.
Although fit is the most essential factor, Maarten also strongly recommends considering several other factors when shopping for earplugs.
First, every quality pair of earplugs has a set of instructions on how to insert them the right way. Read these and follow the steps for maximum comfort and protection.
Second, make sure you purchase a pair of earplugs that are officially certified as hearing protection (there are many seemingly convincing options out there - don’t be fooled!)
And finally, make sure to purchase high-fidelity earplugs with flat attenuation. They are best for concert-goers as this kind of earplug reduces frequencies equally, so the balance of sound is not affected.
Loop offers two different styles of earplugs, each designed for unique purposes. The Experience and Experience Pro earplugs are for people who like going out to concerts and designed to replicate the ear canal’s shape so that the audio coming through sounds natural but at a lower volume.
Alternatively, the Quiet earplugs are for those looking to block out sound entirely in a cute and comfortable way. There is a quiz on the Loop website that you can take to help determine which pair of Loop earplugs would be the best fit for you.
Fashion trends and music trends come and go, but hearing protection is in, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Think of earplugs as a timeless, must-have accessory that will never go out of style. Not only will wearing earplugs help protect you from hearing loss but at the end of the day, wearing them will allow you to enjoy loud and larger-than-life experiences for longer. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality pair of earplugs that you feel good and look good wearing. Your future self will thank you for it (and so will your ears).