Hands up if as soon as you got your first Game Boy, you were a lifelong earbuds convert.
Perhaps I’m dating myself. [/foreveralone] But earbuds have always offered a more desirable personal listening experience, unless you’re a DJ and you need those giant, hearing-test-at-school issue headphones. (Which, by the way, make you look like a total toolbox on the subway.) However, it seems earbuds aren’t totally ambient-noise free or without-cons either. The fiddly little things don’t fit perfectly in every ear, and some days just will not stay put.
While you may be irritated you didn’t think of it first, someone has invented inflatable earbuds that fit your individual ear better than stock-standard, hard plastic buds. According to DVICE, the design is not only less of a pain in the ass to use, it’s also easier on your hearing:
Your ears have a natural acoustic defense mechanism that activates whenever they encounter intense sound pressures, like those that you get when you seal off your ear canal with conventional earbuds. This defense mechanism essentially tenses up your inner ear, which has the effect of cranking down the volume of sound that you hear by up to 50 dB in an effort to protect all your delicate hearing bits. Not only does this “hearing fatigue” force most people to turn the volume of their music way up to compensate, which is bad for your ears, but it can also cause discomfort and pain.
Alas, the innovation is just in prototype stage, and not yet close to the consumer market. Would you be interested in trying balloon earbuds?