Looking for something a bit different in terms of hearing protection? Isolate earplugs from Flare Audio not only look great, but provide solid ear protection. Check out our Isolate ear plugs review and learn more how these earplugs could protect your hearing, too.
What are Isolate Ear Plugs?
Created by Flare Audio, Isolate earplugs are created from aerospace aluminum and defer from foam earplugs in a special way. Normally, foam earplugs will reduce all external noise, but still allows low frequencies into the ear. This causes a muffle on your ear drums. Isolate works to reduce all levels of sound, including low frequencies. This means Isolate plugs essentially turn down the volume evenly.
This type of high-fidelity earplug is ideal for situations like listening to live music or earplugs for musicians. You’ll still hear external sound as it’s meant to be heard (like music) but the overall volume will be greatly turned down. This is also helpful when you need to protect your hearing in a loud environment, but also need to have conversations. With foam plugs, you would need to remove them every time you want to talk to someone. With high-fidelity earplugs like Isolate, you won’t need to remove them.
I’ve also found that these earplugs are fairly easy to insert and remove, rather than trying to pry plugs out of your ears like some other brands.
Each order also comes with extra small, small and medium earfoams, plus a carrying pouch so you don’t lose them. This is ideal when you’re not sure what size will fit your ear canal best.
And let’s be honest: Isolate ear plugs look really cool. Not only do they work great at blocking sound from entering your ears, they also have a very cool looking design. These earplugs remind us of Vibes Earplugs that have their own style, too. I know it’s not required that earplugs aesthetically look nice, but it certainly doesn’t help.
Isolate earplug stems also come in a variety of different colours. Black, grey and even silver will blend in a bit more, but if you want to stand out you could choose purple, blue or even gold.
I found that Isolate plugs were comfortable to wear, even for long periods of times like at a music festival. I didn’t feel awkward wearing them around other people, either, thanks to their design and style.
Isolate versus Isolate Mini
Flare Audio offer a few different versions of their popular earplug, both in size and material.
Isolate earplugs are the standard option. You can either get them in Aerospace grade Aluminium (the cheaper option) or you can shell out a few more dollars for Isolate Pro Titanium, made from aerospace grade Titanium which is denser than Aluminium and more effective. Of course, for a larger price tag.
Flare Audio also create Isolate Mini, which as you can imagine, is a smaller version. This would be ideal for those with notoriously small ears. Like the regular version, you can get a standard aluminum version, or a Pro Titanium version. Isolate Mini’s are 33% smaller than the standard Isolate earplugs, but still just as effective.
Problems with Isolate ear plugs?
As with any expensive earplug, the biggest issue is losing them. Of course, it doesn’t matter so much with disposable foam ear plugs, since it’s just cheap foam. However, these are definitely more pricey than foam earplugs and so it’ll matter more if they get lost.
Flare Audio does provide you with a case, so at least you have something to put them in. But it’s definitely easy to lose these earplugs.
The other main issue is the price. These are quite expensive, however it’s important to remember that they’re reusable earplugs.
While these are reusable earplugs, you will need to replace the eartips after awhile. Once the material starts to flake or tear, it’s time to replacement. You can buy more from Flare Audio directly. Typically, earfoams last about 6-8 weeks, depending on how often they’re worn and maintained.
Why not just buy foam earplugs?
If you are looking for massive noise cancelling, foam earplugs are definitely a great option. Our personal favourites are the Moldex Pura-Fit earplugs and Mack’s Ultra Soft earplugs. Foam earplugs definitely have their own purpose (especially for sleeping) but they aren’t perfect in all situations.
Live music, concerts, musicians all benefit from high-fidelity earplugs like Isolate and Isolate Mini. These earplugs are specifically designed to keep sound even, rather than muffled. These earplugs are also ideal in situations where you need to protect your hearing, but also have conversations or hear important sounds around you. Foam earplugs, or plastic earplugs with foam tips, won’t allow you to hear important external noises. That’s great for sleeping, but not all situations.
Foam earplugs are typically far more inexpensive than other types of earplugs, but they aren’t reusable, either. While you’re paying more for Isolate earplugs, you’ll be able to reuse them again and again.
At the end of the day, it really depends on what situations you’ll be in and what type of hearing protection you’re looking for.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
Since Flare Audio is from the United Kingdom, they measure their earplugs in Single Number Rating (SNR), rather than NRR. The standard Isolate Aluminum earplugs come with a SNR of 35.
Unfortunately there isn’t a direct comparison chart between NRR and SNR.
Final verdict on Isolate Ear Plugs
Overall, these are high-quality high fidelity earplugs. They’re effective, durable and stylish, which not all earplugs can claim. The main deterrent is that they are expensive, depending on what material you decide to go for.
If you find yourself in situations that require high-fidelity hearing protection often, these are a great option. If not, you could probably find cheaper options elsewhere.