The other day I reviewed the ETY•Plugs HD earplugs. (Read the review.) What stands out to me, when thinking about this excellent approach to protecting one’s hearing, is the fact that the earplugs are based on the design Etymotic employs for their headphones. In other words, someone who finds Etymotic headphones comfortable will find the same to hold true with the ETY•Plugs HD earplugs. Turns out Etymotic isn’t the only company to leverage their headphones by offering a pair of earplugs that look and feel like something you might use to enjoy your audio; V-MODA had the same idea and the result is their V-MODA Faders.
Guess which are the earplugs and which are the headphones
Look at the actual earplugs quickly, and you may well think you are looking at a pair of the company’s in-ear headphones. Your assumption would be wrong, but that isn’t a bad thing since I love wearing my V-MODA in-ear headphones. Let’s take a closer look.
The V-Moda Faders come with a plastic carrying case, a detachable cable and four sizes of universal fittings (XS,S,M,L). The latter is something that is quite common with V-MODA’s in-ear headphones, and it made it simple for me to immediately know which size I wanted to use. I just pulled out my trusty V-MODA headphones- they are the pair I permanently keep in my “Gear-Go Skooba Design Cable Stable Mini” and chose the same-size inserts for the Faders.
What is so striking about the Faders is that they don’t simply block out noise from the surrounding area, but rather they prevent hearing loss by reducing noise levels by 12 dB across the entire spectrum. That may not sound like a lot, but it makes a huge difference. It also means that once you are wearing them while you are able to continue hearing the music or conversations around you. The company went to DJs, producers and doctors when designing the earplugs because they sought to find the right balance between hearing protection and continued interaction with one’s surroundings. As they explain –
Conventional earplugs often sound muffled and others, including customs, can be positioned too deep within the ear canal compromising the overall sound.
In addition to the earplugs and the various sized inserts, you get the aforementioned detachable cord and a carrying case. The detachable cord is an interesting accessory because it allows you to hang the earplugs around your neck and simply reached down and insert them when they are needed. At the same time you can quickly and easily unscrew the cord and simply put the earplugs in one at a time as independent earplugs.
Why would you want to do this? First and foremost, when wearing the ear plugs with the detachable cord attached it actually looks like you are wearing a pair of headphones. That could easily interpreted as you being rude if you are interacting with someone else. Personally, however, I like keeping the cord attached because it makes it less likely I will lose the earplugs.
The earplugs also come with a plastic carrying case, which makes it easy to keep it in your pocket or, you can put the plugs in the plastic case but have the detachable cord free from it and wear the entire unit around your neck.
V-MODA explains the importance of the Faders noting that,
One in five teenagers has incurred noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) due to the increased usage of personal music players, smartphones, loud speakers and more. Millions of people permanently damage their hearing every year. Faders VIP will help preserve your hearing for life.
The Faders are rather expensive – about $20 a pair. But for that $20 you not only get a high-quality product that works quite well, but you will also be making a donation to help save the hearing of others. Yes, for every pair of Faders they sell, V-MODA makes a donation to the “In the Loop Foundation”, a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate and promote “safe sound”. I like that by purchasing the Faders I helped myself and others!
These were a personal purchase, and I’m quite glad I bought them. In fact, I plan on purchasing an extra pair that I can keep in my gear bag all the time just in case I need them unexpectedly. I think that pretty much sums up my feelings about these earplugs. They are comfortable, they work and they help others as you help yourself. You can learn more here on the product page, and you can purchase them through our Amazon Affiliate Store by clicking here.
What I Like: Comfortable; Comes with 4 different-sized inserts; Includes a carrying case; Detachable cord lets you wear the plugs around your neck; Work well but still allow you to hear music and conversations
What Needs Improvement: People will think you are listening to music instead of them; $20 a pair
Source: Personal purchase