Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between ISOLATE® MiNi & SLEEEP earplugs?
ISOLATE MiNi earplugs are made from alloy metal, either aluminium or titanium. There are two sizes of Isolate, Isolate or Isolate MiNi. From our customer feedback we have found Isolate MiNi to be more suitable for more customers, so we suggest you buy the Isolate MiNi and exchange to Isolate if they are too small.
Isolate are certified as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) as a hearing protection aid.
SLEEEP earplugs are a newly launched version that has ear foams on both ends. The SLEEEP come in two versions, SLEEEP made from aluminium, and SLEEEP Max made from titanium. SLEEEP and the ear foams are a very similar size to Isolate MiNi.
SLEEEP are not a PPE product, they are only sold and to be used as a sleeping aid.
What is the difference between Aluminium and Titanium earplugs?
Both the aluminium and titanium are fantastic ear protectors! However, titanium is a denser metal than aluminium and so attenuates more lower frequencies. This makes Isolate Titanium ideal for protecting against high impact sounds, but still enables you to enjoy listening to loud music without damaging your ears.
How does the Titanium Pro version improve sound quality when listening to loud music?
Bass frequencies are best felt on our bodies, not in our ears. When bass frequencies hit our ears with loud music the bass pressure damages detail perception, we lose our ability to hear refined, higher frequency details. By isolating our ears from low frequency pressure our bodies still feel the bass but our ears hear more detail through bone conduction.
What does SNR dB mean?
Signal-to-noise ratio (abbreviated SNR) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels.
To understand more about SNR please read the Wiki page via this link:
Do the earplugs come with a case?
Yes, ISOLATE MiNi & SLEEEP earplugs include a pro-weave soft pouch to suit all uses, it’s breathable so that your tips will stay dry. There have been some enquiries about a metal case, but currently this isn’t feasible due to the costs of precision production and the Isolate price point, but it is something that Flare have taken on board and will perhaps consider in the future.
How much reduction do you get from Isolates?
Isolate ear plugs have been tested and certified to EC standards, Certificate Number: 2982
H = 35dB; M = 33dB; L = 31dB
SNR = 36 dB
H = 35dB; M = 32dB; L = 29dB
SNR = 35 dB
The above test results show the difference between Titanium and Aluminium from the tests that all earplugs are put through.
Although on paper there doesn't seem to be much between Titanium @ SNR36 and Aluminium @ SNR35 this is very different in actual practice. Due to how our hearing works, with a combination of sound through our ear canals and vibrations through our bodies, there are limits to how far the test can demonstrate the effectiveness of an earplug using humans.
From the manufacturers test not using microphones and speakers, it was found Titanium outperformed Aluminium by 8dB, which is a further reduction of 4 times.
If you are looking for an earplug that scientifically turns off your ear canal hearing more than any other, then Isolate Titanium is for you.
How much reduction do you get from Sleeep?
SLEEEP earplugs, although a similar design to Isolate earplugs, are not certified as a hearing protection product. SLEEEP earplugs are sold as, and to only be used as, a sleeping aid. As such the test results are not available for publication, only earplugs certified as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) display the reduction results.
What's happened to Snoozer earplugs?
SNOOZER earplugs have been replaced by a new version called SLEEP.
There is very little difference, SLEEEP are just a little bit shorter than Snoozers, by 3.5mm to be exact.
If you require foams for your SNOOZERS then you can buy SLEEEP foams, they are exactly the same just rebranded.
If you have any questions about this then please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to help.
Ear Foam Questions What are the foam sizes?
Everyone's ear canals are different sizes. However, we have found they tend to be smaller than we realise. So we suggest starting with either ISOLATE MiNi or SLEEEP earplugs.
ISOLATE® MiNi and SLEEEP® all come with three sizes of foams for you to try and decide which suits you best. You can tell the difference by their overall size, but also by the colour of the internal plastic tube that connects them to the metal earplug.
ISOLATE® MiNi - Medium (orange), Small (green), Extra Small (blue)
SLEEEP® - Medium (orange), Small (green), Extra Small (blue)
The original range known as ISOLATE use different foams to the ISOLATE MiNi earplugs.
ISOLATE® - Large (red), Medium (orange), Small (green)
This size of earplug is discontinued, however, the ear foams for ISOLATE are still available.
Isolate, Isolate MiNi and Sleeep ear foams are not interchangeable, you need to buy the correct foams for your earplugs.
If you have the older SNOOZER earplugs, then you can buy SLEEEP Earfoams to use with your SNOOZER, they are the same.
If in doubt, please contact us for help.
How long do the ear foams last?
The nature of the material that the ear foams are made of means that they do degrade over time. How long they last will vary per individual.
Here are some tips for extending the life of your ear foams:
i) don't wear a foam that is too big for your ear canal. Larger foams do not increase the effectiveness of the earplug. In fact, it does the opposite. The ear foam should gently push sideways inside the ear canal, which applies less pressure on the material.
ii) don't over-squeeze when inserting into your ear canal, if you have to squeeze them a lot try a smaller foam.
iii) don't wash the ear foams, you can gently wipe the outside with a wipe or a clean damp cloth.
If the ear foam outer layer shows signs of splitting it is time to replace them.
Are the ear foams washable?
The foams are quite delicate so washing them might be too aggressive and is not recommended, however we have found wiping them with an antiseptic wipe has prolonged their life. We use ours all the time and have managed 3 months on a single set of foams. The foam does need to be kept clean as you don't want to be putting dirt into your ears.
Troubleshooting Video showing how to wear Isolate earplugs.
Why can I still hear when wearing the earplugs?
It's not possible to turn our sense of hearing off, using any earplug you will always hear something.
Our hearing works in two ways; the first is through our ear canals, which can be controlled using products such as earplugs. The other way we hear a lot is through our bodies as they pick up sound vibrations. Try scratching your head, it isn't loud enough to hear through your ears, but we still hear the scratch sound. We can hear more through our bodies that we realise.
Traditionally the effectiveness of earplugs has been gauged by how muffled and unintelligible everything sounds once you stuff your ear with foam, plastic or even cotton wool. However, this muffled effect is a sign of a poorly performing earplug, as all you are hearing is low frequency content through the foam.
Using a metal as the material to block sound means all frequencies are prevented from entering the ear canal. Without the low frequencies getting through to your eardrums you no longer have the muffled effect. It also means that by effectively turning off sound to your ear canals you can intelligibly hear the sound of bone conduction, which was always there before it's just no longer being masked.
Strangely, by using ISOLATE MiNi or SLEEEP earplugs you are blocking more sound to your ears yet hearing everything else more intelligibly, just much more quietly.
In order to know you have the most control over what you are hearing, you should choose Titanium earplugs, as they block more than aluminium.