This blog post is provided by an “enthusiastic QuietOn user” – Tomáš – the first QuietOn model user and a backer for the second one on crowdfunding now. When we got this, we were quite speechless. What else can you expect? As a start-up, we know that it’s a long way to reach the best of the good, we have tried to improve nonstop. These authentic feedback is endless motivation for us to step forwards. Many thanks to Tomáš!
The conventional foam plugs’ main disadvantage is the limit to their muffling effect caused by their physical properties: they can dampen noises particularly in higher frequencies – the level of speaking and upwards (1000+ Hz). In lower frequencies, the physics stands in the way; or doesn’t: foam plugs simply can’t stand in the way of the noise transmitted in longer waves. They would have to be much “thicker” — or use active noise cancelling. As QuietOn earplugs do.
Since the moment I immediately supported the fundraising campaign for the new QuietOn “noise-fighters”, I have been impatiently watching the progress of the campaign. It took an extremely long time, as is often the case with crowdfunded hardware. That is why I missed them dearly during the summer holidays (when me and my family travel and sleep at noisy places most frequently).
However, they had eventually arrived a few months ago, and I immediately started with the testing. QuietOn is an electronic device with and active noise cancellation (ANC) fitted with replaceable rubber tips for various ear shapes. Most of all, they resemble wireless headphones or a hearing aid. They are delivered in a box that also acts as a charging dock and extends the usability of the earplugs by a couple of dozens of hours. The reviews and testing results on the internet promised a significant attenuation of deep tones, such as stomping around the house, plane engine humming, surrounding noises while sleeping in the car or a pneumatic drill in the street. Therefore I was very excited and curious about their performance as well. After all, they have been rebuilding the sewage, gas and electricity pipes in our street for a few months now; and their shift starts just few minutes short of seven a.m.
The properties of QuietOn earplugs are presented in a following way:
Experience? Here it is:
QuietOn feel solid in the ear, but are reliably tight, especially if you select the right size of rubber tips; it took me some time to find out how to stick the tips on properly, but now I have automated that pretty fast;
They do not push into your ear at night (you can sleep on your side, unless you sleep on a wooden board) and surprisingly, they do not fall out of ears; at most, they rather become slightly loose and you have to push them back for optimum performance; on the other hand, that is an operation you have to get used to when using the ordinary foam plugs aw well, so no dealbreaker really;
Now to the main thing: it really muffles deep and rhythmic noise better than regular earplugs! Thumps and humming are gone, at least away from the reach of your ears (unfortunately, you still feel intense rumbling with your “whole body”); the level of dampening in the range of higher notes seems to be similar to regular foam earplugs; however, when I say “regular”, I don’t mean my favorite Hansaplasts – these muffle high-pitched noise by far the best; in other words, what you gain in the department of deep-noise muffling with QuietOn, you partially lose in the higher-range dampening (perhaps also because the passive attenuation in discharged QuietOn is lower than in foam plugs); so it really depends on what kind of noise is troubling you at the moment;
I have tried them in many circumstances: during nights, short power naps (they have served their purpose perfectly against the noise of excavators and pneumatic drills), during a long car trip (in the passenger seat of course), during work at a hipster café, on a tram, during a kids’ cartoon, at which I wanted to be present physically, not mentally :). I haven’t tried them on a train or plane yet, but I expect similar results – significant dampening and increased comfort;
A note on design: the box and the earplugs look slightly low-endish; in comparison to e.g. Apple AirPods, the design and material seem to be lacking – the tiny hinge resembles one from an egg-shaped tea infuser, the welds do not connect perfectly, the plastic is visually uneven; the lid has lost securing properties over time and tends to open on its own, because the latch is made of a metal too soft and the plugs press onto the lid – that is why I have a two-step securing – with an extra rubber band. That is my biggest reservation for the considerable investment in silence (€179). I assume that the creators will fix this over time.
In conclusion: QuietOn is a great multi-use muffling device designed primarily for quiet nights. I am sure that many of you use regular headphones or ANC headphones to fight noise during the day – you can’t use these during sleep, while you can use QuietOn. In order to ensure a good night’s sleep, granted that the effect of QuietOn against higher-pitched noise is lower, the ideal solution seems to be having both types of earplugs (i.e. foam plugs too) nearby and choose the ones that deal the “noise accompaniment” most efficiently.
UPDATE MAY 2018: QuietOn creators have launched a new version, QuietOn Sleep designed specially against snoring and adjusted to fit securely in the ear.
Get your own pair at: https://quieton.com/shop/