A roaring turboprop plane ascends above the clouds. Thousands of feet—above the birds, above the skyscrapers, straight to the top of the world. The ripping of the engine shakes the flying tin can as one man sits inside the cabin preparing for the descent of a lifetime. Clad in a suit akin to the spread of a flying squirrel, Joe Ridler, wingsuit athlete, plugs in his Comply earbuds, secures his helmet and prepares to deploy.
As a wingsuit athlete, Ridler encounters a lot of noise. Imagine cruising down the Autobahn. Once the speedometer strikes 150 miles per hour, you roll down the window and stick your head out in the elements. The howl of the wind wrapping around you is deafening. You can’t even hear yourself scream (because of course you scream when this happens, right?). That’s the sound Ridler meets face to face with at every jump—overwhelming wind noise with every descent.
Success and safety for Joe relies on his ability to hear beyond the wind. So, how does he do it? Sound salvation came to Joe as two small memory foam earbuds. A solution so simple, he’s mad he didn’t think of it sooner.
The Noise Isolation Every Aerial Competitor Needs
Some might think soaring through the sky in a winged suit simply requires the ability to navigate at Mach speeds via the nuances of your foot or hand. However, Ridler’s success in competition truly relies on his ability to hear subtle audio coming from his altimeter. Through varying beeps and tones, the altimeter and other devices sounding within his helmet alert Ridler that he’s entering competition zones as well as tell him how high he’s flying. Missing a single beep could mean the difference in deploying his canopy on time and deploying it too late.
The wind, however, crowds Joe’s valuable ear space. The sound of the environment inherently makes subtle audio tones incredibly difficult to identify. The constant question of, “Was that a beep or wasn’t it?” left Joe focusing on sound quality instead of, you know, everything else you need to pay attention to when soaring thousands of feet above the ground. This battle with a noisy environment compromised his safety, forcing him to finally seek a safe alternative.
The wafer-like audio tech most wingsuit athletes rely on don’t cut it. Their shape and how they sit on top of the ear instead of within the canal allows even subtle ambient noise to cloud critical audio. Ridler tested earphone after earphone on his quest to find a set that could compete with the wind. After amassing an impressive mound of rejects, he turned to a brand he knew he could trust; Comply Foam.
Joe had already been using Comply’s earphone tip replacements in his day-to-day life. His commutes to and from work in Chicago grew unbearably noisy when he’d cross under the EL. Once he popped on a set of Comply Isolation Series tips, the train rumbling overhead wasn’t heard from again. Realizing the potential of these bad boys on his aerial excursions was an “AHA moment” for Joe. It was time to take complete and utter sound isolation from the city streets to the great blue skies.
Who Said Earphones Can’t Be Heroes?
The difference between pre- and post-Comply earbud eras was monumental. Before Comply, Ridler had experienced the pains of not being able to hear his altimeter’s crucial tones and alerts. Since implementing Isolation Series foam tips, he’s left his hesitation at the door. He now flies with full confidence that Comply will ensure he can hear the sound he needs to and not the sound he doesn’t.
Specific to wingsuit competitions, the enhanced sound provided by memory foam earbud tips let Ridler know when the game was on. That is, once his airplane soars into the competition window, he’s signaled to begin his wingsuit flight via an audio alert. Miss this signal and your competition suffers tremendously (i.e., you lose).
Additionally, Comply’s tips helped Ridler gain confidence while in the sky. Instead of being mentally distracted and second-guessing the existence of a sounding tone or not, he is now able to focus on the task at hand. By getting out of his head and leaving the worry of wind noise and phantom audio behind, Joe expertly filters out the environment and hones in on having a successful flight. Plus, since these tips work to isolate sound in every environment, Joe pops them in for every ascent to avoid losing his hearing to the blaring whir of propellers and plane engines.
The Tech Behind Sound Isolation
Your ear canal is an ever-changing piece of anatomy. The shape and opening of your ear canal depends on your weight, age and level of hydration, and it changes as you open and close your jaw. Standard silicone rubber earphones sit statically, resting in your ear carelessly. The gaps between your ear and the ill-fitting rubber leak sound and let the outside world in. Comply knew that earphones could be better, more dynamic and exactly what music needs.
Noise-isolating earbud tips don’t just happen overnight. Developing a replacement tip that could trap in superior audio while simultaneously blocking out the white noise of the world took years of research and development to perfect. The ideal culmination of proprietary viscoelastic memory foam and ergonomic design resulted in a foam tip that creates the perfect seal around your ear canal. Activated by body heat, Comply developed Isolation Series earbuds to sit securely in your ear—exactly where it belongs.
Thick memory foam plays a critical role in isolating sound. The walls of each foam tip supply you with twice as much decibel reduction as compared with silicone rubber earbud tips, allowing you to listen at safer volumes, too. This decibel reduction in conjunction with a glove-tight fit makes Isolation Series foam tips the ideal solution for those who need to hear the audio they’re piping in without it being bogged down by ambient sound.
Hear What Matters
Sometimes you need to hear what’s piping through your earphones. In the case of accomplished wingsuit athlete Joe Ridler, his audio is what he counts on to compete with confidence and stay safe. Even if your audio isn’t your lifeline, you still deserve to hear every thud of the bass or tweet of the amp. Comply’s Isolation Series foam tips finally make it possible for you to get lost in your music—or stay focused on soaring through the sky. Have your own “AHA moment”; have a taste of total noise isolation.