Lianne Herbert: I tried custom-fit earphones. Here’s what I thought

Posted on May 30, 2017

It’s #DeafAwarenessWeek2017 and I’d like to talk about how some deaf people need specialist products to hear music.

I have previously written about my quest for deaf earphones which you can read here. Snugs UK were kind enough to let me research if deaf earphones exist with their product called Snugs Only.

I wear earphones instead of other products on the market aimed at hearing aid users as I prefer the simplicity of it all. I have less gadgets to charge and wear around my neck with normal earphones. I have worn hearing aids since I was three because of my bilateral sensorineural severe to profound deafness.

Throughout my life I have always been searching for something that suited my needs at an affordable price. When I was at university I had a Phonak MicroLink FM system where the receivers were plugged into my hearing aid through suitable shoes to connect it all together. I no longer use my MicroLink FM system so I needed other alternatives. This is where custom made earphones come in.

Before buying Snugs Only you first need to check if your current earphones are compatible with it by looking at the list here.

The next step to get your custom made earphones from Snugs are ear mould impressions. Which can be made through your local audiologist. But first check if you need ear drops removal before the appointment. Especially if you’re like me, prone to ear wax build up from wearing hearing aids all the time. You then choose a colour for your Snugs Only. I chose ‘Orange Sorbet Glitter’ for both sides.

About a week or two later after sending my ear mould impressions through the post I received a professional looking box.

I was very impressed with the Snugs Only carry case too. I was somewhat perplexed at the size of the product itself as I was comparing it to the ear mould impressions made and ear buds that came with my SoundMAGIC E10 earphones. (I won’t show them besides my current ear moulds for my hearing aids as they badly need changing.) The Snugs Only also come personalised and colour coded, blue for the left ear and red for right ear, as you can see in the picture.

Here is what the Snugs Only looks like compared to the original ear buds.

I tested the volumes with and without the Snugs Only on my SoundMAGIC E10’s. I found that I can use a lower volume than before and it still sounds loud. Even when listening to Erik Satie’s Gnossienes and Gymnopedies solo piano pieces. They are also comfortable too and I have fallen asleep with them in! I didn’t use the cream that came with it as I felt I am used to wearing custom made ear moulds from using my hearing aids.

The costs of the Snugs Only compared to other products on the market is relative. Snugs Only cost around the £180 for new customers and offer more compatibility with different earphones. Unlike the ProGuard Earphone Custom Eartips, at around the £170 mark, which has limited earphones compatibility.

I think Snugs custom made earphones are more suited for adults or those whose ear shape won’t change drastically in a short amount of time. Children and adolescents ear shapes are always changing so multiple ear impressions will be needed. This will end up costing the user a lot of money when the custom made tips no longer fit properly. But that’s down to the discretion of the user.

If unsure if Snugs products are suitable for your level of deafness I would first test if you can hear with earphones before committing to buy.

I would like to give Snugs Only a 5* review. I feel my eardrums are not being damaged by excessive noise levels as they were before without the custom made ear tips.

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Posted in: lianne herbert