Are YOU protecting YOUR hearing?

Are YOU protecting YOUR hearing?
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Are YOU protecting YOUR hearing?

This is a question you should be asking yourself. According to studies, 1.1 billion people (that’s billion with a B) are currently at risk of permanently damaging their hearing. The effects of hearing loss cannot be reversed so we should all be taking extra steps to ensure that we’re preserving our hearing so that we can enjoy it for many years to come.

We recently sat down with Jono Heale from ACS Custom to talk about how ACS got started in the world of custom hearing solutions, why preserving your hearing is so important and why custom-fit in-ear monitors are the superior choice for any musician.

Who Are ACS?

Founded by Andy Shiach in 1994, ACS Custom has been passionately dedicated to hearing conservation and the production of custom-fit products for hearing protection. With the introduction of the world-renowned ER-Series hearing protectors, specifically designed for musicians, and its first in-ear monitor, the T3, ACS quickly gained a reputation among musicians and music enthusiasts alike.

Going above and beyond, ACS developed its own range of hearing protection filters and introduced the PRO Series, which has become the industry's go-to hearing protection product. Worn by thousands worldwide, the PRO Series extends beyond the music sector into industries such as military and motorsport.

Continuously evolving and growing, ACS has expanded its in-ear monitor range, offering an unparalleled combination of excellent fit and sound quality for all. By introducing consumer and pro-audio-specific models, ACS has been able to cater to the unique needs and desires of their customers more effectively.

Driven by an unwavering commitment to product innovation and customer satisfaction, ACS is renowned for its exceptional products and services. The company understands that each product is a one-off item, and every customer is unique.

ACS's international reputation has flourished through a network of dealers, manufacturing partners, and dedicated ACS facilities. Today, ACS operates in over 24 countries worldwide, solidifying its position as a leader in hearing solutions.

Custom Vs Universal Fit

Custom in-ear monitors (CIEMs) are tailored to fit an individual's ear shape, providing a comfortable, secure fit with enhanced sound isolation. Manufacturers like ACS Custom create CIEMs using impressions of the user's ears, resulting in a personalized fit that is ideal for professional use. In contrast, universal fit in-ear monitors (UIEMs) are designed to fit a wide range of ear shapes and sizes using interchangeable eartips, making them more affordable and accessible but potentially less comfortable and secure.

The main differences between CIEMs and UIEMs lie in their fit, comfort, and sound isolation. CIEMs, such as those offered by ACS Custom, provide a superior listening experience due to their personalized fit, better seal, and reduced likelihood of slippage. UIEMs, while more readily available and less expensive, may not offer the same level of comfort and sound isolation due to their generic fit, making them more suitable for casual use rather than professional applications.

The Benefits of Using In-ears

ACS Custom in-ear monitors (IEMs) offer numerous advantages, such as a custom fit for optimal comfort and superior sound isolation, exceptional sound quality, and personalisation to suit different preferences and applications. Built with durability in mind, these IEMs are designed to withstand the rigours of professional use, ensuring reliability and longevity.

Additionally, ACS Custom IEMs help reduce stage volume, enhance communication during live performances or studio sessions, and provide a consistent sound experience regardless of the venue. Catering to the specific needs of musicians, audio professionals, and audiophiles, these IEMs deliver an unparalleled listening experience in various settings.

What Is the Occlusion Effect

The occlusion effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an object, such as an earplug, in-ear monitor, or even a finger, blocks the ear canal, causing low-frequency sounds to be perceived as louder. This effect is most noticeable when speaking, singing, or playing a wind instrument while wearing hearing protection or in-ear monitors.

When the ear canal is blocked, the vibrations from the person's voice or instrument are trapped inside and reverberate against the walls of the ear canal, which amplifies the low-frequency sounds. These trapped vibrations are transmitted through the bones and tissues in the head, leading to the perception of increased volume and bass.

The occlusion effect can be disorienting and uncomfortable, especially for musicians who rely on accurate audio feedback while performing. To minimise the occlusion effect ACS Custom has designed a range of IEMs (The Ambient Series) that are vented to release the pressure build-up that causes the occlusion effect. during the R&D of these IEMs, they realised that if you vent a closed system like an IEM you lose a lot of bottom ends so to combat this, they fit a filter that allows the monitor to better without letting the bass out which makes for a completely flat listening experience.

Is Hearing Protection Just for Musicians?

Hearing protection isn’t just for musicians! It’s already been widely adopted in building and construction due to the high levels of noise that go hand in hand with those types of jobs. However, it’s not so widely adopted in a social setting which ACS Custom think needs to change. Jono exclaims in the video that in this modern world “we’re exposed to more noise and sounds than ever before” be that from portable listening devices or even public transport. Jono continues to say, “I use ear protection on the train, and it makes me feel a lot calmer.” He's not alone. New studies have shown that using ear protection can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. So why not give it a go next time you're travelling?

Have you ever wondered how Custom fit IEMs are made?

 If you’ve ever wondered how custom IEMs are made, you're in luck! While we were at ACS HQ, Jono ran us through the process and explained in detail for each step what was happening.

The Range Of ACS Custom Products

ACS Custom offer a custom product for everyone’s needs from full-on isolation to on-stage communication!


Classic Series

The Classic Series continues to provide the same pro-audio high-fidelity listening experience developed from thier T and Studio IEMs. This together with custom fit soft-silicone comfort.


Ambient Series

Combining a high-fidelity listening experience, soft silicone comfort and awareness of your immediate surroundings – the Ambient series IEMs are the only precision tuned vented IEM on the market that features a dedicated patented ambient filter.


Hearing Protection:

PRO Series

The custom-fit PRO Series earplugs have been designed from scratch to ACS Custom’s very own specifications. The soft silicone earplugs are custom-made to fit your ears perfectly, combining a comfortable fit with a perfect seal to prevent sound leakage.
The PRO sound attenuating filters reduce sound to safe levels rather than just blocking it out, and they have seven different filters available to provide you with the most appropriate level of noise reduction.


Universal Fit

The range of universal fit hearing protection shares the same filter technology as their custom range, with the convenience of instant fit tips in an off-the-shelf package in ranging levels of protection.