[JPL] hearing protection

Bradley M. Stone bstone at science.sjsu.edu
Thu Mar 31 09:09:27 EST 2005



Thanks so much for posting this on the JPL.  I was about to write and ask
Bobby and others where they got their custom ear plugs.  I've been using
some of the "off the shelf" protective ear devices, but the notion of having
a custom pair appealed to me.  After attending hundreds of concerts, as well
as having played in a couple of bands back in my college days, I feel very
fortunate indeed to still have excellent hearing.  I'd like to keep it that
way, just in case I end up living into my 80s - music is just too important
to me (as I know it is to everyone else on this list!).  If anyone else has
any contact information on how to get a custom pair made, please post it!

Brad Stone
San Jose

My two cents worth, too: 

The subject line may seem like I'm trying to be humorous, but protecting 
ones ears is a serious matter. I'm just trying to call attention it. I've 
played in several high volume groups as well as countless listening 
experiences as an audience member. I've been using ear valves since 
1970-something. I'm not sure of the company carrying/making them now, but 
they were called Norton Sonic II ear valves back in the day. They've got a 
fairly soft rubber outer shell with three flanges and a metal cylinder 
contained inside. The cylinder is removable so the rubber part can be 
washed. There's a baffle system in the cylinder that closes off when sound 
pressure becomes too high. Otherwise they stay open so air (and good,tasty 
sound) can pass right thru. You can even hear someone whisper when wearing 
them. I used to test them by having my trumpet player start playing a few 
feet away and walk closer ending up blowing right next to my ear....NOT 
recommended, but they worked like a charm. I could feel the baffles close 
and thus, did no harm at all. I bought my latest pair several years ago at 
a chain sporting goods store in the gun department. They're most likely 
still available at any gun shop as target shooters use them as well as 
the  earmuff type of protection. They're great on stage and as an audience 
member (some people tend to look at you funny if you put on earmuffs at 

I just did a quick Google for them and here's a place to 
start:   <http://www.earinc.com/p1-filtered-sonicvalve.php> 

Yes, there are no doubt better products out there and that link even lists 
some, but these do work and have saved my ears more times than I can count. 
I take a set with me to ALL concerts, now. As the boy scouts say: "Be 

Still Hearing After All These Years, 

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