In my initial review of the Surfears 2.0, I stated the ear canal was somehow bigger and that the gel plugs were also bigger & thicker but I did not had the first version to back it up with facts, it was only based on real use and analysis.
Let's see it in details with pictures now. I did not measure everything, not really relevant.
As you can see in the pictures, EVERYTHING is bigger. Sadly, that doesn't mean a better seal, quite the opposite for me. Also it gives more leverage for the water to flush it out, especially as it doesn't enter the ear canal that much.
Let's take a closer look at the gel plugs here:
YES, the orange plug is a SMALL, the white plug is a MEDIUM. Sorry the pics are not perfect...
No need to be an engineer to understand why it's not a great evolution. It looks like the main focus has been on the better earing. Better balance, yeah right, by how much percent? This is not as important as the seal.
The marketing on their website : "SURFEARS® PROTECT YOUR EARS WITHOUT AFFECTING YOUR HEARING"
Some more on their "proven performance chart" : "Independent tests show that SurfEars® have far superior performance compared to other ear plugs.
SurfEars® have close to zero acoustic loss in the frequency range of human speech while the best competitor cuts away about 20-30dB.
To give you a reference, 30dB is roughly the difference between the loudest and lowest volume setting on your smartphone."
Does this means that's how they want to developp this product? hearing first?
Given that when it's wet you don't hear REALLY better at all from first gen to 2.0, why bother? The Salt that dries onto mesh, the water repellancy of the wesh that works a very very limited time with salt water... Even with cleaning, half a session after, it's the same. Removing all the salt inside the mesh is super hard, even in hot water.
Why not focus on the FIT, rather than earing? The problem is water entering the ear, that's what you need to focus on. With surfears 2.0, more water enters.
How to fix this problem seems obvious : thinner ear canal, larger gel buds, thinner and stickier gel plugs wings to better fit the weird shape of the ear canal, whatever the angle the plug is entered... again I'm not an engineer but that looks like an intersting way to go.
I've contacted them after my initial review of their surfears 2.0, immediatly had a bunch of views on a fresh 2 hours article, so I guess they read it, and I finally got a message from customer service, and there is 2 important things in the answer:
1) NO spare parts for first gen model.
2) 2.0 has 2 positions inside the Gel bud that changes the fit and seal (you can see the 2 slots inside the red gel bud on the picture)
That translate simply in, lost one = buy the new model...
Not the kind of business model surfers like.
UPDATE: Okay so using the POS 1 Does improve the seal.
THE SEAL IS BETTER THAN 1.0 VERSION WHEN THE PLUG STAYS IN POS 1! (for me)
Of course having 2 position creates another problem, when pushing the plug into the ear canal, it pushes in a way that the plug gets into POS 2 by itself. Reajustements in the water puts the plug in POS 2 also.
IN my experience this is not a put and forget accessory like it was with gen 1. Seal is better though, I must admit.
TO avoid problems, just wash it every session with white vinegar (the inside of the gel plug) with a cotton swab, that way it's harder for it to set itself in postiion 2 when you fit the earplug into your ear.