This might get lengthy; sorry guys
As some of you may have seen, I made a post some months ago regarding Earasers and a problem that I was having with them. The filter, which is attached to the 'removal' string, had pulled completely out of one of the plugs while I was trying to remove it. I put a small dab of super glue on it and placed it back into the plug, and haven't had a problem since. However, Don Campbell saw this post and contacted me directly about the issue. He said that they have heard of that happening only a few times before, but were working on a more robust design to correct the issue. He told me that the times they had seen it were due to the plug being too big for the person's ear. While I didn't feel that I was jamming the plugs too far into my ear, or having to pull too hard to remove them, I did come to find that I had ordered a size larger than I should have. They still worked great. They just didn't quite fit my ears as would have been ideal. Despite that, Don still agreed to send me a pair of plugs after the new design had been finished. He also offered to put in a new, stronger filter. I don't know if this filter is in regular production yet, as their website has an ad for a new, stronger filter to be released in the near future.
I received the plugs on the Saturday prior to this past weekend, just a couple of days after Don had told me he was sending me the new pair. They arrived at my door while I was between two rehersals, so the timing could not have been better. Upon my initial visual inspection, I could immediately see the improvements made. The small tube which houses the filter and the 'removal string' in the original pair was a flesh tone, with small ridges to hold it in place in the silicone plug. The new design featurs a transparent tube fitted with a red filter (I assume signifying the higher strength) and what appears to be a metal ring of some sort, possibly molded into the silicone, to hold it in place. I'm not exactly sure of how the design with this ring works, but it does seem to work well. The strings on the newer design feel to be slightly larger as well, which is a good thing for longevity. What remains the same is that they use the same high quality, medical grade silicone, and the same red and blue stripes on the outside of the filters to signify right and left side.
The fit of these plugs is great if you insert them correctly. I find that the way I've been inserting them works better for me than the instructions they provide with them. I take one hand and pull up and back on the back side of my ear, and insert the plug, pushing forward on the outside edge of the plug, at the front most part of my ear. I do this, because they are designed to angle back slightly in order to conform to the ear canal, and I find that if you gently push them in this way, they slide into the canal just right and form a good seal, with great comfort. I find that there is a short 'breaking in' period for them. With both of the pairs of plugs that I have, for a short while, they didn't form a perfect seal in my left ear. I would have to reposition them from time to time, but after a short while, they seemed to 'break in' and sit in my ear just right, forming a great seal every time. So keep that in mind if you pick up a pair and aren't immediately pleased with the fit.
The original plugs I got were great. They don't cut the volume by as much as you would think, but they cut down on the harmful frequencies greatly, and that is made obvious when your ears stop ringing after gigs. The thing I love the most is how clear everything still sounds. You don't get that awful 'underwater' feeling and sound like you would from many other foam and silicone plugs. What I love the most about these, however is that you can have a regular, low volume conversation while wearing them and still hear everything clearly, which is great for musicians, or for anybody in a loud work environment. While I'm primarily a drummer, from time to time I play gigs in which I play guitar and do backing vocals. I could never do it with regular foam plugs in, so I would just take them out when I had to sing. With these plugs, however, you don't get so much of that 'all I can hear is myself' effect, and I can comfortably sing my parts without issue.
An additional point to touch on is how discrete these look. That is actually most of the reason that I made my original purchse. I wanted something that worked and was as unnoticeable as possible. Most won't even be able to tell that you're wearing plugs. I've had a few people notice the end of the string sticking out of my ear, but the majority of people don't notice it.
Now, for this stronger filter: The first thing I noticed upon using them at a rehersal was that, they did indeed cut out a bit more. Not much, but a noticable amount. What really stood out to me is that the low end frequencies are a bit more prominent with this new filter. I don't know if that is by design or if it is just a side effect of the extra filtering,
but I love it. I've been wearing them to work every day since I got them, and it has been great. When I'm not playing music somewhere, I'm working in a loud factory. The job that I do requires me to speak with co-workers and supervisors over a walkie-type radio, and I find that I can still hear them perfectly clear with the plugs in, if not clearer than before. I have a desk on the shop floor, at which I like to listen to music when I have the chance to sit at it for an extended period of time. I find that I can hear the music very clearly, but the plugs cut out much of the extra noise going on all around me. Most importantly, thought, these ear plugs are still comfortable after having them in for eight hours straight. I used to often forget that I was even wearing them.
As for the price; I have yet to see as high quality of a product for the price. They work great and they cost a fraction of getting custom plugs molded. They're a bit more than some of the other budget musicians' plugs, but they're certainly worth the extra cash.
There are a few things I would like to see in the future from this company. The only thing that I can find about these that I'm not completely satisfied with is the case they come in. It's good quality and it's strong, but it's also about twice as big as it needs to be. That's not really a problem. I would just prefer a smaller case for my plugs. I would also like to see an interchangable filter system, so that depending on the situation, you can just change out the filter to suit your needs, without having to invest in multiple pairs of plugs. One of those strings like some plugs feature (that you can drape around the back of your neck) would be a cool option to have for those people who like to have the peace of mind to know that they won't get lost. I would really like to see this company making earphones with a similar silicone plug design. I would definitely buy a pair of those if they were made available.
Overall, I think Earasers are an amazing product for the money. When I originally began looking for a good set of musicians' plugs, these fit the bill exactly. They're affordable, discrete, high quality, and incredibly functional and comfortable. They're made by a great company, and as Don has proven to me, they care about the customer and are willing to do that little extra to keep you satisfied with your purchase. I would highly recommend this product to anybody looking for good, affordable ear protection.