Review : SurfEars 2.0 earplugs
I replaced my first version, because I lost one in a very stupid situation, I had them in my boardshort rear pocket and I tried to take them out while in the shorebreak mush. Not smart.
Ok, so the red sealing gel plug (as they name it) in itself looks thicker, I'm not sure but it does not penetrate the canal like the other one did and sometimes by pushing too hard the black core tube of the ear plug will "exceed" inside (the core tube canal should not exceed the sealing gel plug!.
With this evolution the L is kinda difficult to put in correctly, I mean at first it is but then you readjust, messes with it then it does what I just described. It's the only size that works for me though, and I tried them all, I was wearing a medium in the previous version and the fit was spot on. I read some reviewer say that the fit was perfected. I don't know about that and do not agree because I have to go one size up to fit my small letf ear canal...
A shoulder high wave just broke on my ear and the plug went off, hopefully I had the leash.
For that kind of situation, the leash (that you can take off) is great, but the leash without a hood is a misery for me. with the hood it all stays where it should and does not bother you. Without the hood however, you feel it's tension on the ear plug almost everytime you turn your head, the leash is super stretchy but the material also sticks to your wetsuit somehow, that gives you the impression right or wrong that the plug is not perfectly fitted anymore. Something you will know for certain on your next wipeout or duckdive.
The external plug shape and core tube design does improve audition, but once wet it's almost not a noticeable improvement anymore AND I think given my analysis this is where the problem is.
I mean if when wet audition isn't better and at what point does it matter ( +30%, +50%), why increase that core tube diameter? I Maybe wrong (I did not made a comparison and I will) but it does seems larger. That supposed increase in diameter makes it really hard for people with tiny canals to have a good fit because what makes the fit is the silicone plug. That plug needs to have some space to work correctly. If it's all compressed, given the design it doesn't work. So I guess the small is too compressed but not enough for a good seal and therefore I have to get the L, ultra compressed in the canal to get a better seal.
You have now guessed that comfort is not better, after 2 hours, I can't wait to take them off. Yopu don't have this problem when you don't use a hood and it depends on how large your ear canal is.
So let's recap:
- Problem 1 : The material used on the leash, stretch over length situation, I would love to try a fishing line instead to see how it goes.
- Problem 2 : and most important one is the sealing gel plug, shape, thickness, hardness of the silicone makes it hard for it to make a good seal in my opinion.
- Problem 3 : The core problem is probably in the core diameter, making it hard if you have a tiny ear canal.
I'd love to give a raving review given how great was the first version but there is just nothing to really rave about exept maybe the shape and colorway.
If I had to grab one today knowing that, I would try to grab the old version for sure. In fact I'm gonna contact them to ask if they have some replacement parts for the one I lost.
I hope the 3.0 fixes that core + silicone plug diameter and thickness and make both the core tube and the silicone earplug hold better together so you can push it inside without second thought and without it exceeding inside.
UPDATE: I've been contacted by the guys at surfears and it apears that something a lot of people miss is that there is 2 gel bud positions. Position 2, the one I've been using is for people suffering from exostosis, wich I probably have in a small way given how my left ear canal is. But it apears position 1 should offer in my opinion a better seal and fit, so of course I'll be testing that position with differents gel bud sizes over the next few days.
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! but that's it. The other problems remains.
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.