Earplugs can come in handy whenever people are faced with loud, irritating noise for extended periods of time –- such as on an airplane or at an especially loud concert that a heavy metal fan friend has dragged them to. But there are several problems with earplugs –- among them, that they can sometimes block out too much sound and they can also often be very uncomfortable.
ProSounds X-Pro solves both of those particular issues. They are manually switchable earplugs that have been designed to fit comfortably in any ear. After the X-Pro is placed in the ear, the user can activate its hearing protection with the push of a button. Its closed valve will protect the user’s hearing by providing 30 decibels (dB) of noise reduction with its foam tips (24 dB noise reduction with silicon tips). When the user needs to hear again, instead of completely removing the earplugs, the user can simply press the button again to open the patent-pending acoustic valve, allowing sound to pass through naturally.
X-Pro is washable and reusable to help avoid the hassle and extra expense of constantly having to replace disposable earplugs. It will ship in September and retail for $25, although Kickstarter early bird backers can get X-Pro at the reduced price of $17. Its maker set a campaign goal of raising $15,000 by Aug. 22.
There is likely a huge market for X-Pro from consumers of all age ranges. The only minor drawback seems to be that some consumers may prefer earplugs that allow them to gradually decrease the amount of noise reaching their ears, like the Smart Earplug, rather than just turning all noise on or off. It’s also impossible to tell for sure from the campaign video alone if they actually work. But the low cost will likely dispel that concern for many consumers.