FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ORDERING & PURCHASING
How can I purchase your products?
We have hundreds of Providers across Canada who can exclusively supply HearSmartTM and AudiofuseTM products; therefore, you can search for a Provider near you to book an appointment for impressions. Our Providers are a network of hearing clinics, occupational health and safety organizations, and mobile industrial hearing testing companies. Please note that pricing will vary from location to location, so it is best to contact the location close to you for pricing info.
At the impression appointment, the specialist can assist you with your product selection and show you colour samples to choose from. The Provider will ship the impressions to our lab, and we send the final product back to them for you to pickup. Alternatively, you can pay to have the final product shipped directly to you from our lab.
If you’re in the Surrey area, you are also welcome to call our lab at 1-778-278-2022 to book an appointment for impressions.
How can my company purchase custom hearing protection for a group?
We go onsite for groups of 5 people or more. We efficiently take impressions of 4 people every 20 minutes; therefore, we can reduce the amount of time employees are away from their work. It is most effective if the employer schedules the employees based on coverage and shifts. Alternatively, you can send us a name list and we can schedule them for you. If scheduling is not possible, we simply have each person grab the next employee when they’re finished.
Most employers either cover the full cost of the custom hearing protectors, or provide a cost share with the employees. We can also bring a debit/credit machine onsite if the employees are paying individually. If the employer is covering the cost and would like Net/30 Terms, we require a Credit Application to be filled out to open an account. Alternatively, the employer can pay at the time of the impressions by credit card or company cheque.
Do you offer quantity discounts?
Yes we do! We offer a tiered quantity discount structure with a discount price per product based on 3 levels of how many people are being fit: 10+ people, 25+ people, and 50+ people. It is not necessary for all of the products to be the same as long as the over-all number of people being fit falls under one of the discount levels. For discounts to apply, the orders must all be placed at the same time. Please call us for details.
How will we know how to insert the custom earpieces correctly?
We include an instruction card with every order to detail proper insertion, removal, cleaning, and maintenance. We offer a fitting appointment in our office for all local customers. If we have fit a large group onsite, we can return to provide a fitting on each individual for orders that includes 10 or more sets. Otherwise, we ship the product to your facility with instruction cards as mentioned above. We are always available via phone or email for support as well.
How do I know which product I need?
We offer a variety of products for many different environments, so it can appear difficult to narrow down what product would be best, but we have a team of highly trained and knowledgeable staff who are able to answer any of your questions, and know all of the proper recommendations for the type of hearing protection needed in each environment. Our ultimate goal is to help you purchase the correct product so you are not only pleased with your purchase, but feel that you made the right decision.
There is a multitude of information in the FAQ section to help you narrow down the product based on what you’ll be using if for, for instance: motorcycling, work hearing protection, 2-way radio products, choosing between In-Ear Monitors and Earphones.
Why purchase custom fit earpieces?
Can you imagine only having three sizes of shoes to choose from? Ears come in all shapes and sizes, and a proper fit is paramount in receiving optimal comfort and retention, along with effective sound reduction. Custom-fit earpieces have a significant impact on increasing the sound quality of music products and providing the ideal ear canal resonance.
What type of payments do you accept?
HearSmart Solutions accepts Debit, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, company cheque, and cash. Please note that when ordering through our Providers, they may have different payments options available.
Can I cancel or refund my order?
Because each of our products is custom made specifically to fit the customer ordering them, we cannot offer refunds after the product has been manufactured. The product will not fit another person and we cannot re-use any components or materials due to hygiene safety; therefore, we are not able to re-stock them on the shelf. We can accept cancellations depending on which stage of the manufacturing process the product is at. We commence manufacturing almost immediately after receiving the earmold impressions in our lab. Once the custom earmolds have been made, the sale is final. We offer industry leading warranties on all of our products, and make it our utmost priority to ensure the best fit and function for each product ordered.
What is the average lab turnaround time?
HearSmart’s standard turnaround time is 15-20 business days. This does not include shipping times, and can fluctuate due to lab volume at any given time. We promise it is our utmost priority to manufacture all orders as quickly as possible. We pride ourselves in providing superior quality products, industry leading warranties, along with competitive prices. For those who simply cannot wait for their custom products, we suggest you use our Rush Services (additional fees apply).
In the past, we have been asked why our turn-around times may differ from some hearing aid or earmold manufacturers. Here are a few explanations to help clarify:
What Rush services do you offer?
If your order is urgent, or you have a gig or trip approaching that you need your product for, we offer a 3-day or 1-week rush service (charges apply). Please note that rush services include manufacturing time only, commencing from the date the ear impressions are received in our lab, and do not include the time it takes for shipping, weekends, or statutory holidays. Rushes are shipped out via standard shipping methods unless otherwise requested (additional fees apply). A rush service must be indicated on the order form at the time of the order.
What are your shipping options?
When purchasing through one of our Providers, the Provider will ship your earmolds to our lab, and we ship the product back to them for you to pick up. Alternatively, you can pay to have the final product shipped directly to you from our lab. If you do not want to purchase your product through one of our Providers, you will be responsible to ship your impressions to our lab, and we will charge you to have the final product shipped directly to you. We suggest always using shipping methods with tracking capability, and in turn, we only ship back using shipping methods with tracking abilities as well.
The Provider/Customer is responsible for shipping charges when sending warranty items to our lab. When the product is under warranty, HearSmart Solutions Inc. covers the cost of standard shipping to return the item back to the Provider. HearSmart Solutions Inc. does not cover shipment costs of either direction for products that are out of warranty.
Our standard shipping methods include:
Please note that HearSmart Solutions Inc. reserves the right to ship via our preferred courier method, but will accommodate special requests that are mutually agreed upon (note: additional charges may apply).
Do you charge for ear impressions?
When you purchase a custom product from HearSmart Solutions Inc. or one of our approved Providers, the cost of ear impressions is included with the purchase. We also take ear impressions for a $50 fee if you are sending them to a different manufacturer.
How long are the ear impressions kept on file?
We keep ear impression scans and casts on file for 5 years. It is recommended to have new ear impressions taken after the 5-year mark, mainly due to the fact that our ears and cartilage slightly change shape and size over a number of years.
Having the cast on file makes re-orders simple. Call your provider and have them put the order in.
What is it like to get ear impressions?
Having ear impressions taken is a fast, straightforward, safe, and painless process. First, the Audiologist, Technician, or Hearing Practitioner will inspect the ear canal and eardrum. They will be checking for any wax buildup, infection, perforations, and the size, shape, and direction of the ear canal. They will then insert a small soft otoblock (foam or cotton) into the ear canal to ensure the impression material doesn’t go any further than needed.
There are two main techniques that are used today to take ear impressions: 2-part hand-mix, or using an impression gun. Both are completely safe, as long as proper hygiene and practice measures are taken. The 2-part silicone is syringed into the contours on the ears, and then sets for 5-7 minutes. The earmolds are easily rotated out once the material has firmed up.
How can I ensure the impressions turn out suitable?
The ear impressions are the most essential factor in creating custom-fit earpieces that provide optimal comfort, retention, sound reduction, and/or acoustics. Inadequate impressions can cause discomfort, seal issues, insufficient attenuation, or inferior sound quality for music products.
Aside from ensuring you have your impressions taken by a professional who has proper training and experience taking earmold impressions, we recommend the following guidelines to ensure the earmolds are satisfactory:
If an impression exhibits questionable features, it is recommended to retake the earmold. HearSmart Solutions Inc. reserves the right to reject earmold impressions that do not exhibit the features necessary to produce a quality custom product. See our document: About Ear Impressions.
What are the Earplugs made from?
The majority of our custom products are made from a hyper-allergenic biomedical grade silicone. Silicone is a safe and durable material that does not cause reaction to the skin. There are many different types and grades of silicone, and ours is designed for use with medical device components. Our silicone has essentially no shrinkage, and does not contain any of the following: peroxides, peroxide by-products, chlorophenyls, PCBs, organic plasticizers, phthalates, or latex additives. It also happens to be one of the softest silicones on the market along with a high tensile strength and durability.
Our In-Ear Monitors are available in both the silicone mentioned above, or hard acrylic. Acrylic is a durable and lightweight plastic material that stays true to form. It is cured through UV using an acrylic resin. Although acrylic has its benefits (mainly durability), we manufacture approximately 95% of our products in silicone, even when it comes to our In-Ear Monitors. Silicone is simply softer, more comfortable, flexible in the ear, and is still a robust casing that preserves internal components and wiring.
Will the silicone discolour over time?
Silicone can discolour gradually over time due to UV light, or the acidic pH level of the skin. The rate of discolouration will vary depending on the pH level of the skin of the person wearing the product, as well as how much contact the product has with UV light. We recommend always wiping them down after use and storing them in the case provided to help decelerate the oxidization process.
MAINTENANCE & CLEANING
• Never submerge any of the Filtered Earplugs, Communication Earmolds, Earphones, or Monitors under water as this will damage the filters or electronics, or moisture will accumulate in the tubing. There is no warranty coverage for moisture damage.
• Simply wipe custom earmolds down with a damp cloth or sanitary wipe. It is not necessary to use an anti-bacterial product unless you have an ear infection, or have placed your product on a surface where an infection could have come into contact with your custom product. The acidic pH level of your skin can discolour the earmolds over time, so wiping them down after use can help to decelerate this natural process.
• For products with sound bores/vents, such as Filtered Earplugs, Communication Earmolds, or Earphones and Monitors, it is important to inspect the canal tip of the earpiece(s) after each use for any accumulation of debris or wax that could potentially block or muffle the sound. To clean, hold the earpiece with the sound bore/vent facing down and use a Wax Pick Cleaning Tool (provided for all music products). Alternatively, you can use a dry toothbrush to brush away any debris, or purchase a Wax Pick. If the wax is too deep for either method, we have specialized needle tip vacuums in our lab, as a last resort. Many of our Providers (most hearing clinics) have this equipment as well.
• Always Store your custom product in the case/pouch provided or another protective container. This will help to keep them safe from damage, help you to not lose them, and also protect them from coming into contact with a surface that could potentially be contaminated with bacteria that could transfer to your ears. Storing them in a case/pouch also keeps them out of UV light, which can gradually alter the colour pigment of the earmolds.
• It is extremely important to always remove any moisture from the Earphones and Monitors by using the silica gel desiccant disk after each use. This is especially important after wearing them anytime you have sweat profusely, such as when performing, working out, or when wearing under a motorcycle helmet. TO USE, please follow the directions carefully:
How long will my custom earmolds last?
Although medical grade silicone and acrylic have essentially no shrinkage, our ears do continue growing and changing shape throughout our lifetime. Because of this, we recommend you purchase new custom earmolds every 4-5 years. This ensures you are still receiving the correct amount of sound reduction; particularly because the change happens very gradually, and therefore any sound leakage could be subtle and hard to notice. Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight, such as 30lbs or more, can also change the shape of our ears quicker.
For children who are still growing, the shape of their ears can change quicker, similar to them growing out of a pair of shoes. If a child requires custom earmolds, it is recommended to have them changed approximately every 2 years, or sooner if the child has gone through a growth spurt.
Can wearing custom earmolds give me an ear infection?
No, wearing a custom earmold cannot cause an ear infection, as long as you never share your custom product with anyone else. There has to be a bacteria or virus present in order to develop an ear infection. We seal all of our custom earmolds in an anti-microbial coating that will help inhibit the growth of bacterial; however, if you believe you may have an infection it is important to discontinue wearing your custom earmolds until the infection is gone, and ensure you clean the earmolds thoroughly using an anti bacterial sanitary wipe. Continuing to wear the earmolds, and not properly sanitizing them when an infection is present may result in re-infection.
We also highly recommend you NEVER lick or suck on your custom earmolds in order to slip them into your ears (yes, there are people who do this!). Please use the ear lubricant provided.
It is extremely important to always remove any moisture from the Earphones and Monitors by using the silica gel desiccant disk after each use. This is especially important after wearing them anytime you have sweat profusely, such as when performing, working out, or when wearing under a motorcycle helmet. TO USE, please follow the directions carefully:
If you’re experiencing a fit or seal issue, here are a few tips to follow prior to having any adjustments made under the 90-Day Fit Guarantee:
Monitor or Earphone issues
Having trouble with your audio? Most issues can be resolved easily with troubleshooting.
Loss of audio, distorted, or intermittent sound
If you’re experiencing snapping, crackling, popping, or no audio, try the following:
If the problem persists, the driver may be damaged due to too much moisture, or it could be a separate issue. Please send your product to our lab with a completed Warranty Form. We will inspect the product and diagnose the issue, and will call you if there are any repair charges prior to completing any work on the product. Please see our Warranty Page to see what is covered under the electronics warranty.
Moisture damage can be avoided by using the silica gel desiccant disk supplied in the kit anytime you’ve worn the product and sweat a great deal (such as when performing, or when wearing under a motorcycle helmet).
2-Way Radio Communication Earmold issues
Sound is muffled, distorted, or low volume
EARPLUGS & HEARING PROTECTION
As per Worksafe BC regulations, all workers who are exposed to 85 decibels (dBA) or higher for an 8-hour period must wear hearing protection. Impact noises such as pile driving or hammering cannot exceed 140 dBC. The recommendations for limiting noise exposure factor in the duration of time you can be exposed to a specific volume before it becomes potentially damaging. See the table below:
The following table outlines a few common noisy situations and how long you can be exposed to them safely before requiring hearing protection:
Gas Powered Lawnmower
Chainsaw, Pneumatic Drill, Printing Plant, Farm Tractor
Wind Noise while riding Motorcycle above 96 km/hr (full face helmet)
8 hrs, down to
2 hrs 31 min
2 hrs 31 min,
down to 3 min 45 sec
95 - 116 dB
100 - 116 dB
85 - 90 dB
90 - 106 dB
47 min 37 sec,
down to 22 sec
down to 22 sec
115 - 120 dB
down to 9 sec
Will custom earplugs block out all sound?
No. There is no hearing protection on the market that has the ability to block out all sound completely. We still hear through bone conduction via the mastoid bone, and some sound waves are still able to penetrate through hearing protectors, though reduced. The purpose of custom hearing protection is not to block all sound, but to reduce the correct amount of sound based on the environment you’re using it for. At times, those working in noise can be over-protected, which can impact safety and communication, so we do not recommend simply choosing the highest amount of sound reduction possible unless that is truly what you need. We are happy to help recommend what sound reduction and/or product would work best for your environment. Please call us if you have any questions.
Although some generic fitting hearing protection may state a higher NRR (noise reduction rating) than custom-fit hearing protectors, it is very common to not receive the actual NRR of generic earplugs due to an improper fit. Since there are typically only three sizes to choose from, many people may not receive efficient sound reduction when using generic fitting hearing protection. Custom hearing protectors fit your ears correctly, and will extend deeper into the ear canal than a generic piece can; resulting in better sound reduction.
How much sound reduction do I need?
The below table illustrates the class of hearing protection needed based on exposure levels.
Hearing Protection Class
(Earmuffs plus Class A Earplugs)
(Earmuffs plus Class A Earplugs)
& Limited Exposure
What if I don’t know the dB of the noise level I’m exposed to?
We have staff members who are very knowledgeable on sound levels and the hearing protection required for most occupations, machinery, or recreational activities, and can recommend the correct product.
As per Worksafe BC, if you work in noise levels above 82 dBA Lex, your employer is responsible for having noise survey measurements taken (some exemptions apply). New measurements must be taken anytime new machinery has been installed or removed, noise levels have changed due to altered workload or equipment operating conditions, structural changes have been made to the facility, or rotations or schedules have changed the length of exposure time.
We are certified to perform formal Occupational Noise Survey’s. We can provide you with a comprehensive noise survey detailing noise exposure, and support you with accurate recommendations on the level of hearing protection that is required.
What's the difference between Class B Filtered Earplugs & HS Music Earplugs?
Our Class B Filtered Earplugs are mostly used for continuous noise in industrial settings where the user requires hearing protection but still needs to be able to communicate, such as for construction workers, mechanics, and road works. The acoustic filters allow the wearer to hear more speech sounds while simultaneously reducing more damaging high-frequency noise.
HearSmart™ HS Music Earplugs are used by musicians, concert goers, motorcyclists listening to communication systems or music, bar staff, and anyone else who requires communication clarity. The filters work by attenuating or reducing sound levels evenly at all frequencies and is otherwise known as “flat-attenuation”. This ultimately allows the user to hear music or speech clarity with a specific amount of volume reduction. Most other earplugs on the market (generic or custom) will block more sound in the high frequencies, and ultimately muffle the sound a bit.
Should I get a cord on my earplugs?
To be clear, the following is in regards to the nylon cords that are available for the Earplugs, not the wires used for electronic products:
All of our industrial earplugs (Class A, Class B, Class C, Adjustable) come with the option of a cord at no extra charge. We always include a shirt clip so you can clip the cord to the back of your collar. Some customers know for certain they want a cord, and others aren’t sure. Whether you choose to have a cord on your earplugs will be a personal decision, but also will depend on what you’re using the earplugs for.
There are two types of cords to choose from: Permanently attached or removable. Here are a few reasons you may get a cord:
Do dogs really chew up custom earplugs?
Yes! I cannot tell you how often we see re-orders due to dogs chewing or eating the Earplugs/Earphones. We always recommend storing your product in the case to reduce the chance of this happening. We hear time and again “my dog would never…” but something about the bright coloured squishy silicone screams chew toy. Likewise, they are very appealing to young children, so please keep them out of reach as they can be a choking hazard.
What is the best kind of hearing protection?
The best hearing protection is the one you will actually wear. When you’re able to find the correct sound reduction for your particular noisy situation(s), and the most comfortable fit, you’re more likely to keep your hearing protected by wearing the earplugs when you should. Hearing loss can happen gradually overtime, or in an instant from a sudden impact noise, so anytime you’re exposed to dangerous noise levels you’re potentially damaging your hearing.
It is not only the volume that is concerning, but the duration of time you’re exposed to the noise as well. Many people do not realize that even many every-day noises can be damaging, such as wind noise from motorcycling, listening to music (live, stereo, or earphones), and using a law mower, or shop tools. You can’t reverse noise related hearing loss, but you can certainly prevent it. That is why it is imperative to always wear hearing protection when exposed to noise. If you have to raise your voice over noise to be heard, the noise levels most likely require hearing protection.
How do I know which dB level to choose for the HearSmartTM Music filters?
The HearSmartTM Music Earplugs offer 4 filter levels to choose from based on how much sound reduction you need. Each number (HS Music 12, 17, 19, 25) refers to the average dB level the filter will reduce. All of the HS Music filters feature a flat attenuation response, which means they reduce almost the same amount of sound at each frequency to maintain the clarity of sound, just at a lower volume. The filters are designed to provide a large open air passage to reduce occlusion and allow for a more natural sound. This results in an earplug that is more transparent to the wearer and helps to keep the ear ventilated for optimal comfort. The filters are also water resistant for increased longevity and durability.
Although the below recommended filter levels are based on specific noise sources, actual dB levels can vary greatly in all of the environments mentioned, because sound levels are dependent on many factors. For this reason, we will change your filter level within our 90-Day Fit Guarantee if you feel you are receiving too much attenuation or not enough.
The HS Music 12 Filters provide subtle attenuation that is designed for quieter performances such as string, acoustic, and orchestral environments where hearing protection is still required. The soft rise of attenuation in the higher frequencies protects against heavily played wind instruments. The HS-12’s will keep you close to your music by allowing incredible subtlety without the risk of over exposure. Suitable for music SPL up to 97 dB.
The HS Music 17 Filters provide the flattest and most natural sounding attenuation available. The 17 dB sound reduction across the frequency range means you will hear your music the same as you would without earplugs by maintaining the clarity, only the sound will be quieter to protect your hearing. Perfect for vocal performers, moderately amplified instruments, marching bands, music teachers, recording engineers, and sound crews. Suitable for music SPL up to 102 dB.
The HS Music 19 filters are ideal for demanding environments with mid/high frequency noise that require a small amount of additional sound reduction in the lower frequencies. Perfect for machinery, road, engine noise, bass, moderately amplified instruments, marching bands, music teachers, recording engineers, bar staff, sound crews, and film crews. The HS-19’s give supplementary sound reduction compared to the HS-17’s, but still offer one of the flattest attenuation responses available. Suitable for music SPL up to 104 dB.
The HS Music 25 is one of the strongest flat attenuation response filters available; offering protection from the most challenging and loud environments while ensuring that you can hear clearly and perform at your best. The HS-25’s offer a high-frequency peak that safeguards your hearing from the most dangerous and intense sounds. Ideal for amplified stage performers, front-stage security, monitor and sound engineers, sound technicians, production and stage managers, percussion, brass. Suitable for music SPL up to 110 dB.
How do I remove and interchange the HearSmartTM Music filters?
There are 4 different HearSmartTM Music filters and 2 HearSmartTM Shooting filters that are interchangeable with each other. Simply use the small rounded side of a small paper clip, and gently slide it underneath the filter to flip it sideways in order to remove. Please ensure not to poke any objects through the canal bore/vent to push the filter out, because this can damage the filter and perforate the membrane on the bottom side of the filter, which will ultimately affect the sound attenuation.
Will the Sleeper Earplugs block out all snoring?
Our Sleeper Earplugs will reduce a significant amount of snoring sounds, or other bothersome noises that keep you awake; however, they do not block all sound completely. There currently isn’t any hearing protection on the market that has the ability to block out all sound completely. We still hear through bone conduction via the mastoid bone, and some sound waves are still able to penetrate through hearing protectors, although reduced. You may find that custom earplugs block more sound than generic fitting earplugs, not because the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is higher, but because of a proper fit and seal. Since there are typically only three sizes of generic fitting earplugs to choose from, many people will not receive efficient sound reduction due to a poor fit. Custom hearing protectors fit your ears correctly, and will extend deeper into the ear canal than a generic plug can; resulting in a more efficient sound reduction. Most people find that custom earplugs are much more comfortable for sleeping than generic earplugs, and they reduce frustrating noises enough to be able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.
For light sleepers, or those of you who suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ear), we highly recommend combining the use of custom earplugs with a sound machine or sound app from your phone that produces white noise. White noise helps to reduce the awareness of other annoying sounds that you don’t want to hear while trying to sleep. There are free white noise apps available on most mobile phones, or you can purchase plug-in or battery powered devices from most major department stores. Coming from a person who has worn custom sleeper earplugs for a decade, along with using a white noise machine, the combination of the two provides a remarkable atmosphere for peaceful sleep. You will still hear your alarm and/or baby monitor if you simply turn the volume up on those devices.
Can I use the Swim Earplugs for diving?
Although our Swim Earplugs are great for swimming, showering, or other water activities where you need to minimize the chance of water entering the ear, we do not recommend wearing custom earplugs for deep water diving. Wearing solid earplugs without venting can interfere with proper equalization. There are generic fitting earplugs on the market that are specifically designed for diving use, that include a special valve that allows for safe equalization at different depths.
EARPHONES & IN-EAR MONITORS
We are often asked what the difference is between our custom-fit AudioFuse™ line of Earphones and In-Ear Monitors. Here is the breakdown:
AFE AudiofuseTM Earphones: Our custom Earphones are designed specifically for recreational purposes such as motorsports, exercising, listening to music on flights, and audiophiles. We intentionally have the wire exiting the bottom of the earmolds to allow helmets to be pulled on and off without kinking or bending the wire. This permanently attached bottom-exit wire design allows for a little more durability for active lifestyles and enables us to use the least amount of space possible; i.e.: the earmolds are made as flush as possible to the ear so they are not sticking out. This is particularly important for those wearing full-face helmets or safety gear.
All of our AFE AudioFuse™ Earphones are made in a flexible silicone for maximum comfort. You can choose between the Standard Braided Cable (no controls), or upgrade to the In-Line Mic Cable or Bluetooth Cable if you require track controls, volume control, and voice prompts, or hands-free phone calls.
AFM AudiofuseTM in-Ear-Monitors: Our flagship AFM series of In-Ear Monitors are designed for stage performers and recording musicians, DJ’s and radio hosts, audio engineers, TV & music production, and audiophiles. We utilize top of the line cables, connectors and electronic components to create a superior audio experience. Stage performers wear IEM’s attached to a receiver to enable them to hear a high fidelity custom mix of their own instrument, vocals, and the other musician’s, while receiving hearing protection.
The cable is detachable, so it can be replaced, or switched with another colour, or upgrade cable. Because the cable sits over the ears to remain discreet for performances, the earmolds are built out of the ears to attach the cable to the front of the earmolds; therefore, Monitors are not recommended for motorcyclists as they are typically too bulky to fit under a tight helmet comfortably. We manufacture our In-Ear-Monitors in either the same soft, flexible silicone as the Earphones, or in a durable acrylic. Each have their benefits, but it usually comes down to personal preference for which material is chosen.
So, there you have it; the main difference is in the wire and where it exits the earmolds. The earphones have a permanent bottom-exit cable, whereas the Monitors have a detachable over-the-ear style cable. We use the same premium proprietary balanced armature drivers in both Audiofuse™ lines, including integrated crossover circuits on multi-driver systems; therefore, you can make your purchase based solely on what you’re using them for, and you won’t have to compromise the quality of sound.
What are balanced armature drivers?
Balanced armature drivers are an incredibly small and lightweight speaker component that use an electrical signal that does not need to displace air in order to generate sound. They are typically used in hearing aids and in-ear monitors due to their small size, significant output, and because of the excellent clarity they produce. Each armature driver is tuned to a specific frequency range, which is why many in-ear monitors contain multiple drivers. A crossover splits the sound signal into multiple frequency bands, and sends different frequency bands to each driver, ultimately creating a signature sound performance.
This is a very individual decision, and will highly depend on what you’re using them for, what quality of tracks or mixes you listen to, the device you’re plugging into, your budget, and what your personal perception of great sound is. Some people prefer more bass, while others prefer a rich and bright colourfulness to their music. All of our Earphones and Monitors are meticulously manufactured to the highest level of precision and quality, while utilizing superior materials and components; therefore, all of our music products provide excellent clarity and more volume that you could ever need. Even our Single Driver Earphones can reach up to volumes of 113 dB. So volume and clarity are not what set apart the different levels of our Earphones and Monitors.
The difference is in the sound signature and frequency response you hear. When you add extra drivers, you receive additional bass, and change the sound signature and frequency response. Our multi-driver systems feature integrated crossover circuits that split the sound signal into multiple frequency bands to change the frequency emphasis. This ultimately creates our signature sound performance.
The Single drivers have a single speaker in each earmold that produces all frequencies from that one component: highs, mids, and lows. This delivers a high clarity neutral response. The Dual Drivers have two speakers in each earmold; one is a dedicated bass speaker, and the other is a mid-high; therefore, you receive significantly more bass than the Single Drivers. The Triple Drivers have three speakers in each earmold comprising of a single low frequency bass speaker and a dual mid-high speaker. The crossover design in the Triples, and the extra mid-high speaker, allow for a wider frequency response that creates more low frequency headroom and expansion into the highs compared to the duals. Overall, the configuration of the Triples provides perfectly balanced depth with a rich and vibrant sound signature that emphasizes all of the distinctions and nuances of your favorite music or performance.
Can I listen to the monitors or earphones so I can decide which ones to buy?
Due to all of our products being custom-fit to each individual, it is difficult to “test” the Earphones or Monitors to hear the differences and intricacies between them. Not only would the product not fit in your ears correctly, but the sound quality is drastically reduced without a proper fit and seal; therefore, you will not experience a true representation of the sound by trying on someone else’s product.
We do have some samples of universal earphones that can be listened to as a comparison; however, the sound signature may vary slightly due to them not being a custom-fit.
Can I purchase a single-sided Earphone/Monitor?
Yes; for those who have complete hearing loss in one ear, and only require an Earphone/Monitor on one side, we are able to accommodate a single side. We use a single wire from the Y junction. Because our Earphones have a stereo jack, you will need to switch your phone or device in the settings to “mono” to be able to hear all of the sound through the single earpiece. Otherwise, you will miss certain parts of the music that are staged and only heard on one side or the other.
Can I upgrade the permanent wire on my Earphones after manufacturing?
We can certainly accommodate this for a fee. It is always more cost effective to choose the correct wire at the time of manufacturing, but you can have the wire switched at a much lower cost than buying a completely new set. Keep in mind, that the cost involved in changing the wire is to cover the cost of the new wire and the lab time to rebuild the wire into the earmolds. This is not a quick task, and takes precision.
How can I extend the life of my Earphones/Monitors?
We build all of our electronics with premium materials, components, and design structures while utilizing intricate manufacturing processes to ensure the highest possible quality and longevity of our products. However, there are many precautions you can take to preserve the function of your Earphones/Monitors:
If you sweat a great deal, it may be worth purchasing a larger quantity of silica gel desiccant to allow for more effective moisture removal. Silica gel is easily purchased from most major online retailers. Alternatively, many of our Providers (most hearing clinics) also sell different types of dehumidifiers.
Do you offer a remold service for universal monitors I purchased elsewhere?
While we do not offer a remold service where we remove the inner components of competitor products to build them into custom earmolds, we do manufacture AFS-1 Sleeves that adapt to universal earphones/monitors. The simple fact is we cannot warranty a product that we did not manufacture, and if anything went wrong in the process, we do not have access to their proprietary components and materials to remedy the issue.
However, if you’re looking to keep costs to a minimum and already have a high-end set of universal monitors we can build custom AFS-1 Sleeves that sit over the flange of your universal monitors. We do not glue or permanently attach the custom earmolds to your monitors, but rather make the earmolds to attach to the flange of the monitors via a pressure fit that is removable. Our Sleeves will provide custom comfort and retention so your monitors won’t fall out of your ears, and will even enhance the sound quality by providing isolation and a proper fit that reaches further down the ear canals.
We have countless templates in our lab for most of the major brands of universal monitors on the market, so most likely you will not have to go without your monitors while we manufacture your Sleeves. If we do not have the template on file, you may need to send them to our lab with your ear impressions. Please call or email us with the make and model number of your monitors and we can let you know right away if we have them on file. Although some earmold manufactures believe so, there is no such thing as one universal template that fits all monitors. If you want the earmold Sleeves to be manufactured correctly and fit securely on your monitors, the pressure fit area on the earmolds must be designed to fit your monitors specifically.
Please note that we do not recommend the Sleeves for use under helmets for motorcycle riding. Universal fit in-ear monitors typically already stick out of the ears, and adding a custom earmold may extend them a bit further out; therefore, they will not fit comfortably under a helmet, and will move or fall out when you pull your helmet on and off.
2-WAY RADIO PRODUCTS
Industrial and commercial companies using 2-way radios have countless options to choose from in the field. To simplify it, we break it down in Listen-Only or Push-To-Talk, and where you will be plugging it into.
Please note that for any of the Communication products chosen above, you have the option to have the earmold either:
Choosing the right product for motorcycling is very dependent on what type of helmet you wear, and whether you’re looking to only reduce sound, or if you also want to listen to music or a communication system.
I just want to reduce sound:
I want to reduce sound but I also want to listen to music while riding:
2. If you want to listen to music from external speakers on your
When listening to music it is important to maintain the clarity of sound and not muffle it. For this reason, we recommend the HearSmartTM Music Earplugs. The filters work by attenuating or reducing sound levels evenly at all frequencies to provide a flat attenuation response. This ultimately allows the user to hear the music clearly, but with less volume. Most other earplugs on the market will block more sound in the high frequencies, and ultimately muffle the sound. As mentioned above, the HS Music Earplugs work great for any type of helmet; open or closed-face.
Please note that we do not recommend the AFE-1 Sleeves for use under helmets for motorcycle riding. Universal fit in-ear monitors typically already stick out of the ears, and adding a custom earmold may extend them a bit further out; therefore, they will not fit comfortably under a helmet, and will move or fall out when you pull your helmet on and off. All of our custom earplugs and earphones are made as flush or thin as possible to ensure optimal comfort under a helmet.
I want to hear a communication system, such as a Scala or Sena:
If you want to hear a communication system, such as a Scala or Sena:
Your communication system will function as normal EXCEPT; you will hear high fidelity sound through our speakers that are built into your own custom earmolds. This way you have hearing protection from the wind, and can hear your communication system crystal clear without the need to turn the volume up louder than what’s comfortable. You can also purchase a wire extension at most electronics outlets for times you would like the wire longer to enable you to plug into a device such as a phone, laptop, or airplane system.
MOBILE HEARING TESTING
When should I have a hearing test?
All workers who are exposed to noise greater than 85 dBA Lex over an 8-hour period must be given a hearing test within the first 6 months of employment, and then tested annually thereafter. Please refer to WorkSafe BC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations Part 07 Noise, Vibration, Radiation and Temperature.
How many people do you require to go onsite for Mobile Industrial Testing?
HearSmart Solutions Inc. will go onsite anywhere in the Lower Mainland to test a minimum of 5 people. Setup fees apply. We waive the setup fee when the group is also purchasing custom earplugs at the same time. Please call us for a quote and ask about our quantity discounts.
Employers are asked to fill out a Credit Application in order to set up an account to receive Net/30 Terms. Alternatively, the employer can pay at the time of testing by credit card or company cheque.
How many people can you test at a time?
With two sound booths, we test 2 people every 15 minutes when completing hearing testing only, or 2 people every 30 minutes when completing both hearing testing and taking ear impressions. We understand it is paramount to have employees back to work as soon as possible; therefore, we work as quickly and accurately as possible to reduce the amount of time employees are away from their work.
It is most effective if the employer schedules the employees based on coverage and shifts. Alternatively, you can send us a name list and we can schedule them for you. If scheduling is not possible, we simply have the finished group grab the next group once their testing is complete.
OCCUPATIONAL NOISE SURVEYS
Why have an Occupational Noise Survey completed?
An Occupational Noise Survey will identify noise sources to help prioritize control measures, determine hazardous noise areas, and verify if annual hearing testing is required. In order to identify appropriate hearing protection requirements, it is essential for employers to have accurate information detailing the actual noise levels that employees are exposed to.
As per WorkSafe BC, when noise levels in a work facility may exceed 82 dBA Lex, it is mandatory that the employer have noise measurements taken (some exemptions apply). New measurements must also be taken anytime new machinery has been installed or removed, noise levels have changed due to altered workload or equipment operating conditions, structural changes have been made to the facility, or rotations or schedules have changed the length of exposure time.
HearSmart Solutions Inc. is certified to perform formal Occupational Noise Survey’s. We can provide you with a comprehensive noise survey, and support you with accurate recommendations on the level of required hearing protection.
What type of Occupational Noise Surveys do you offer?
We offer three different levels of Occupational Noise Surveys:
Provides average Spot Noise measurements (sound mapping) at specific positions/areas within the facility. Includes a baseline report. Typically takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how many departments there are to be tested. This is a basic average and is not an accurate indicator of what noise levels employees are exposed to.
To achieve an accurate noise level survey, it is important that employees are monitored with dosimeters over at least one full 8-hour shift to get a time-weighted Lex measurement. This Lex measurement is what dictates appropriate hearing protection and if further consideration should be taken in creating a formal Hearing Conservation Program within the facility. The Comprehensive Survey includes 2 hours of Spot Noise Testing (sound mapping), Lex measurements by monitoring noise dosimeters, and a full Occupational Noise Survey Report with data analysis consultation. The average testing period is between 2-3 days, depending on the size of the facility, and how many employees or departments need to be tested.
The Premium Survey includes the same testing as in the Comprehensive package (2 hours of Spot Noise Testing (sound mapping) to provide a basic average, as well as time-weighted Lex measurements), but also provides Real-time Frequency Spectral Analysis which outlines which frequencies and SPL levels are affecting each department. The comprehensive Occupational Noise Survey Report provides data analysis consultation, and includes frequency graphs that detail which frequencies are emphasized in order to assist in designing or implementing source noise controls in an area or around equipment. Includes 3 employees being fit with noise dosimeters. The average testing period is between 2-3 days, depending on the size of the facility, and how many employees or departments need to be tested.
What is your Warranty?
If you purchased your product through one of our Providers, please correspond with them directly regarding warranty issues.
Before returning your product to us for a modification or repair; please refer to our troubleshooting tips to see if the issue can be easily resolved. If you still need to send your product back to us, please include a warranty form explaining the issue, and provide us with your name, contact information, and a shipping address where we can return your product. The product must be sent into the lab in order to be warrantied or remade.
The Customer is responsible for shipping charges when sending warranty items to the lab. We do not accept Collect on Delivery (COD) shipments. When the product is under warranty, HearSmart Solutions Inc. covers the cost of standard shipping charges to return the item back. For all out of warranty repairs, re-molds, or modifications, the Customer is responsible for shipping charges both ways. Before completing any work on an out of warranty product, we will call you with an estimate for the repair to take payment and charge shipping.
Ship to the following address:
HearSmart Solutions Inc.
Unit 120 - 19140 28 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3Z 6M3
HearSmart Solutions Inc. proudly offers industry leading warranties to back our products.
90-DAY EARMOLD FIT GUARANTEE
Please allow a 2-week break-in period for ears to adjust to new earmolds prior to having any modifications/remakes due to discomfort. We highly recommend using the ear lubricant provided during the break-in period; this assists with proper and easier insertion, and helps prevent any discomfort while the ears are adjusting to a new fit.
We will modify or remake an earmold within 90 days if it does not fit correctly, is uncomfortable, if we made a manufacturing error, or if filters need to be switched to a lesser or higher sound reduction. The original product must be sent back in order to be warrantied, along with a warranty form. New impressions are required for all remakes, but are not required for modifications. The following are not available under the 90-Day Fit Guarantee: Style changes, material changes, colour changes, lost earmolds. HearSmart Solutions Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriate adjustment, modification, or remake to any warranty item.
3-YEAR EARMOLD MANUFACTURER WARRANTY
We will repair or remake an earmold within 3 years if it breaks, cracks, or splits, due to manufacturing defect, or material failure. The following are not covered under the 3-Year Earmold Material Warranty: Style changes, material changes, colour changes, lost earmolds, fit issues, cords, anchors, filters, drivers, or cables.
2-YEAR ELECTRONICS & RADIO ACCESSORY WARRANTY
We will repair/replace electronics including drivers or radio accessories within 2 years due to defects or component failure. The following are not included under the 2-Year Electronics Warranty: Earphone and Monitor cables, filters, water, moisture, or wax damage.
*Warranties do not cover damage resulting from unauthorized repair or modification, misuse, abuse, accident, negligence, or improper operation or maintenance. Accessories such as cords, cables, and filters are guaranteed to be in working order at the time of delivery.
Do you offer out of warranty repairs?
Yes, we offer repairs and/or modifications for a fee when the issue is not covered under our warranty, or the warranty period has expired. We will provide you with an estimate and take payment before commencing any work on your product. The customer is responsible for shipping fees both ways for all out of warranty repairs. We keep the costs at a minimum, and only charge for the replacement parts and/or lab time that is necessary.