We met Stefan (GIGA TECH) at IFA 2017 and he was so interested in testing QuietOn to review and see if they were the best electronic hearing protection. Below are his very honest words. We continue to stay motivated for what we have done and strive to do more.
Here is the link to his review in German.
Below is the translation of the article.
QuietOn Earplugs with active and passive noise reduction are incredibly expensive – what do they do compared to cheap foam earplugs? A field report.
The two Earbuds come in a stylish small box that serves as a charging station and provides a micro-USB port. When we insert them in our ears, we sometimes notice an unpleasant squeak, probably caused by touching our fingers, which interferes with the noise cancelling technique (the sound indicates the earplugs are active and ready to use). This can hardly be prevented, because the plugs are always switched on, there is no on/off switch. You take them out of their box and put them in, the battery lasts for a hefty 50 hours. I think even half the runtime would be more than sufficient.
QuietOn field report: How to use it correctly needs to be learned.
Now to the crux of the matter, the correct fit in the ear. The QuietOn plugs should be in your ears as you can see in our photos, this also applies to the choice of the appropriate foam top. Half of the noise insulation is produced by passive insulation, i. e. proper sealing. A loose fit is fatal and the product cannot function like this.
The chic design is not exactly inconspicuous, the white-golden QuietOns have a certain size and are immediately visible from the outside. Clearly more discreet are the color of foam plugs, which, however, cannot compete functionally – but more than that.
The wearing comfort is good, although you always feel the earbuds in your ears. I wouldn’t sleep with it, but working in the office is absolutely fine. A slight background noise can be heard in quiet environments – this is unavoidable with the technology, as we have already noticed with all noise cancelling headphones.
Some people find this uncomfortable (“feeling of pressure on the ears”), while others are soothed by this white noise, similar to a crackling rain shower at a long distance.
I spent a weekend trying out the Quiet-On earplugs everywhere: in the apartment (near the airport), in the suburban train, on the street and – logically, in Berlin – in a world-famous techno club. Always with you: A pair of earplugs made of foam of the brand Ohropax, to make comparisons.
Admittedly, I was very skeptical at first, because the price difference between QuietOn and simple foam plugs is around 100 times the price, but I was pleasantly surprised to know the active hearing protection does an excellent job.
Where foam rubber plugs simply plug the ear and essentially protect it from extreme sound attacks (crackling trauma), QuietOn covering a wider frequency range and is noticeably more effective. The low frequencies that can be found in a bass drum or as engine noise in an aircraft must be mentioned. The foam earplugs have relatively little influence here, but the active noise cancelling electronics of QuietOns almost completely filters them out. They do not produce absolute silence like in an anechoic chamber, but this is not possible with any known methods. They reduce noise in a targeted manner, so that you can work undisturbed in an open-plan office, for example, or relax more easily in an airplane.
I was able to confirm my impression of the booming techno club at home: With the head in the middle between two loudspeakers far above the room volume, the foam plastic plugs could only bring a slight attenuation, but the QuietOns effectively deprive the noisy music of its power. The mighty kickdrum turned into a quiet playing mobile phone in a few meters distance. There was nothing more to be heard from the bass – very impressive. Voices in the immediate vicinity remain audible, but everything is much quieter. Adjustment of noise reduction levels are unfortunately not possible, there is only one mode.
QuietOn in the test: Conclusion
They do their job excellently and have the same effect as noise-cancelling-in-ears like the Rayz Plus or the Libratone Q Adapt we already know from Noise-Cancelling-In-Ears – only without the annoying cables and independent of a smartphone, because this is not needed here.
The high price alone could deter, because simple foam plugs cost only a fraction of the price – but these are also significantly weaker, especially at low frequencies. Whoever thinks the QuietOns are overpriced should take into account that it can also be much more expensive: the electronic ear protection Etymotic Music Pro from music stores costs around 330 euros.
The QuietOns deserve my recommendation for professionals with a need for peace of mind: business travellers and, above all, those working in the gastronomy scene who are exposed to high noise levels. There is only one hearing that needs to be protected. The QuietOns are a simple, space-saving and effective gadget for anyone who is prepared to dig deep into their wallet.
- Effective noise reduction, especially for humming bass and engine noise
- Easy handling
- Long battery life
- High price
- Don’t play music
- Wearing comfort is not optimal for every ear