Frequently Asked Questions

Are Elacin earplugs tested?

All Elacin earplugs are tested and certified and bear the European CE label. Earplugs are products that are legally covered by the “personal protection equipment” directive. This means that they must be comprehensively tested by a certified institute (such as the TNO). If all the requirements are met, a product is awarded the CE label and the full specifications are listed in a manual. Earplugs without the CE label are not certified.

Can I have the filters changed?

Yes, you can have the filters changed free of charge up to two weeks after purchasing the earplugs. Contact your audiologist or our Customer Service department to arrange this.

Can I try the earplugs before buying them?

Unfortunately, this is not possible because earplugs are custom-made to suit individual specifications. But our sound demonstrations let you
experience the benefits of the various types of earplugs before you buy.

How long do you keep the ear impressions?

We keep ear impressions for eight weeks. Heat and cold cause them to deform, so they can no longer be used to produce good quality earplugs after that point.
This is also why we do not return ear impressions.

Are Elacin earplugs also available for purchase abroad?

Yes. Under “Find a Store”, you will shortly be able to find a list of all the audiologists and suppliers in Europe who sell Elacin earplugs.

How long does a repair take?

Our aim is to return your earplugs within five business days of receipt. If we have to make new earplugs, the standard delivery time is 10 to 15 business days.

Is it true that the best filter is always the strongest one?

This is often misunderstood. Over-attenuation is as dangerous as under-attenuation. With over-attenuation, you are disconnected from your environment, which can result in hazardous situations. This can especially be the case when in traffic.

What degree of attenuation is provided by Elacin earplugs?

The Elacin range offers a variety of filters (models). You can read what type of filter is most suitable for each hearing protector in our product overview. An audiologist can provide you with more detailed information.

What is the average product lifespan of Elacin hearing protection?

Elacin earplugs have an average product life of five years. It is not determined by the quality of the material; rather, it depends on the fact that the shape of your ear canal changes continuously throughout your life. This means that your earplugs may not fit as tightly, so they do not create a proper seal and sound attenuation is inadequate. For optimum protection, you should have your ears measured for new earplugs every four years. The recommended replacement date is indicated on the grey customer details card that is enclosed with the earplugs. We recommend that children and adolescents under 16 are checked annually to ensure their earplugs still fit properly and can attenuate sound. To maintain a high level of hygiene, we recommend that you clean your earplugs regularly with a damp cloth and then dry them with a soft cloth. You can also use cleaning tablets or Elacin cleaning spray.

What is the difference between a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ hearing protector?

Soft hearing protectors made of silicone have only been on the market for a few years. They are comfortable to wear in the ear and adjust to the movements of the ear canal, as the wearer talks, for example. This hearing protector therefore seals the ear better than a hard one. Hard hearing protectors are made of acrylic. These are the oldest and most well-known form of custom-made hearing protectors and are very easy to insert into the ear canal. In many cases, a hard hearing protector is the best solution for people with very narrow ear canals.

When is it advisable to wear hearing protection?

Generally, noise levels of 80 dB(A) or lower for up to 8 hours per day are not harmful.
You can recognise a level of 80 dB(A) when at a separation of half a meter you must raise your voice to be heard. For each increase of 3 dB(A), the safe exposure time decreases by half: That is the amount of time you can remain exposed to this level of noise without damaging your hearing. So, at a noise level of 83 dB(A), the safe exposure time is 4 hours, and at a level of 86 dB(A), only 2 hours. At higher levels, or for longer exposure times, the wearing of hearing protectors is definitely necessary to reduce the risk of hearing damage.

Where can I be measured for Elacin earplugs?

You can buy our earplugs from a large number of audiologists, who can also offer advice on our range. You can find an up-to-date list under “Outlets”. A number of products are also available in our webshop, and you can be measured for earplugs at our head office in Dongen. Arrange an appointment by contacting our Customer Service department, open on business days between 09:00 am and 4:30 pm (+31 (0)162 37 25 25).

What types of hearing protectors are there?

Hearing protectors can be divided into two groups:
• Earmuffs
• Earplugs

Earmuffs surround the auricle (outer ear) and are sealed against the head with soft padding. A flexible headband (over the head) connects the earmuffs and ensures that they fit correctly.
Advantages of earmuffs:
• Quick and easy to use
• Immediately available, fit everyone
• No discomfort if one has ear canal problems
• Good attenuation of high frequencies

Disadvantages of earmuffs:
• Unpleasant weight and pressure on the head
• Very uncomfortable in high temperatures
• Loss of “hearing direction” (localisation of the source of sound)

Earplugs are worn in the ear canal or seal it to exclude noise. Earplugs are divided into three groups:
• Disposable
• Preformed
• “Custom-made”

(1) Disposable earplugs
These are made of memory foam that first has to be rolled into a compressed cylinder before being inserted into the ear canal. Once inserted, the foam expands to its normal dimensions, sealing the ear canal. They are intended for single use. It is essential that they are inserted correctly and deeply enough to ensure sufficient attenuation.

(2) Preformed earplugs
These are inserted directly into the ear canal or seal the entrance to it. They can be used several times and can be cleaned. Here too, it is essential that they are placed correctly and deeply enough to ensure sufficient attenuation.

Advantages (disposable and preformed):
• Immediately available and fit most users
• No uncomfortable weight or pressure on the head
• No discomfort in warm surroundings
• No distortion of directional hearing

Disadvantages (disposable and preformed):
• Degree of protection is highly dependent on correct insertion — practice is needed.
Because they gradually loosen, it is necessary and important to keep putting them back
in to ensure sufficient protection
• Discomfort due to pressure in the ear canal
• Limited range of attenuation levels

(3) Custom-made earplugs
These are individually custom-made to fit the user’s external ear canal. The ear canal is sealed by the earplug, and the acoustic filter determines the required attenuation.

Advantages (compared with disposable and preformed): Maximum comfort — especially for long-term use, easy to use, secure and stable seal that ensures a high level of protection certainty. A broad range of filters offers provides the best possible attenuation level, retention of perception of signals and sounds, and, what is more, continuous ventilation of the ear canal.

Disadvantages: Not immediately available (delivery time), relatively high investment in initial purchase, but pays in the long run.
Why choose custom-made hearing protection?

Custom-made hearing protectors have many advantages. First, they are comfortable. After a while, you won’t even notice you’re wearing them. At the same time, they provide maximum protection. Our broad range of sound filters makes it easy to choose the right protection. Custom-made hearing protection allows you to continue communicating with others normally, and there is no need to worry about feeling pressure in your ears.

In short: a custom-made hearing protector is the ideal solution for all noisy situations.

What about products sold before 01 January 2017?

All customized hearing protection sold by 01 January 2017 will have their warranty periods extended to 5 years after production. Hearing protection purchased before 01 January 2017 will have a 4-year warranty.

What’s included in the warranty?

Material errors and manufacturing errors
• Tear or damage
• Comfort problems
• Broken cord
• Broken filter

What is not included in the warranty?

• Loss or theft
• Exact level of attenuation
Nevertheless, for attenuation issues, our customers can contact our aftersales services, which check the Elacin HP and propose (if possible) a correction or advise to renew the Elacin pair (not included in warranty).

Why not a 6-year warranty?

The ear canal grows over time. After more than 4 years, the shape evolves such that the risk of leakage increases significantly. Therefore, new ear impressions and hearing protection must be made to ensure a proper seal.

Why a 5-year warranty?

3D manufacturing technologies applied to soft materials (silicones) provide us with better accuracy shaping the product. This means we can deliver more accurately fitting hearing protection to ensure good protection during the fifth year. This was already the de facto standard with our—to be replaced—4-year warranty. We want to guarantee this to our customer by matching the length of our guarantee with the product life.

Why does Elacin not guarantee the exact level of attenuation?

Real ear attenuation is the result of many factors, many of which are not under the control of Elacin. Misuse and quicker than average evolution of the ear canal (e.g., by significant weight loss) are such examples. Each hearing protection attenuation specification—mean value, APV, HML, SNR—represents a statistical result of extensive testing by an independent laboratory (notified body) on a group of 16 test subjects. Due to individual differences, each person is unique, and these values are, by definition, not exact for anyone. Statistical factors must be considered in selecting the proper attenuation level, depending on the noise environment (in according with EN458). Elacin can advise customers in this matter.

Does Elacin test the products?

Each filter is acoustically verified in-house with our proprietary test equipment, and every set of earmoulds passes quality control and is physically checked. We are 100% sure each filter provides the attenuation promised. Also, a large sample set is tested upon delivery, showing that a neglectable percentage does not pass the initial test. Except for Germany, fit tests are not mandatory in the EU. Where mandatory, we perform fit tests; otherwise, we do so on request of the customer.

Can we buy test equipment ourselves?

Yes, it is possible for customers to buy test equipment. We can provide a quotation on request. We also offer a seal integrity test service.