Earmold Australia was founded in 1984 and formed in 1988 before being purchased by current owners Aaron and Julie Dalle-Molle in 2011. Prior to becoming owners, Aaron and Julie were agents in the company from 1996, meaning the pair have been on the front lines of hearing protection for more than 20 years.
As a SSAA member and former AA-grade Trench shotgun shooter, Aaron knows hearing protection and shooting need to go hand in hand. “Many years ago, before I and a lot of other people knew better, it was common for me to go through hundreds of shells with no earplugs, glasses or even sunscreen in the middle of summer,” said Aaron.
When fired, a shotgun reaches about 130 decibels (dB), which is far above the highest safe rating. Aaron says the job of hearing plugs is to simply reduce dangerously high sound levels to within a safer range. Most earplugs will take the 130dB shotgun blast down to about 80dB, which is about the equivalent loudness of a lawnmower. “The odds are most people older than 50 who are shooters probably have some form of hearing damage,” said Aaron. “That’s all the more reason for them to protect their current level of hearing.”
As for junior shooters, hearing protection is crucial because their growing ears are the most prone to damage. Aaron says that once a junior reaches about 16 years of age, their ears are usually finished rapidly growing and it’s likely a pair of moulded plugs will suit them for life. “Even a 12-year-old can keep the same moulded plugs for at least a couple of years because ears actually grow quite slowly. Of course, later in life, body parts start to droop, but that’s a long way down the road for a junior,” said Aaron.
Aaron says hearing protection is usually needed even when only spectating. “I’ve been at the range a good distance away from the line of fire and recorded shots that are still well above 80dB,” said Aaron. “One reason why people don’t wear hearing protection is because it makes it hard for them to have normal conversations. If that’s the case, then they might want to consider getting some custom-made earplugs. Our Insta-Mold custom-made earplugs are made out of material that only blocks high-frequency noise, meaning you are protected from the noise of firearms but are still able to hear speech perfectly fine.”
Insta-Mold custom-made earplugs are Earmold Australia’s most popular product and can be moulded and then ready to use within about 30 minutes. The Insta-Mold earplugs meet all Australian hearing standards and retail for $80, which is a sound investment when it comes to the future of your hearing.
For these and many other products, or to find a local agent who can custom fit a pair of earplugs for you, visit the Earmold Australia website. Alternatively, see Aaron and Julie at the 2017 SSAA SHOT Expo in Brisbane on August 27 and 28 for a custom fitting on the spot.
Custom-made earplugs by Earmold Australia