This page describes in detail, our patent-pending technology and design, and why our plugs work where others have failed.

The Challenge
First, to hear clearly you need to have a clear path to the ear canal, and that means an opening in whatever you're using to block out the water and wind.   Without this opening, no matter how thin a membrane you use, you will not be able to clearly hear, plus an increasingly thin membrane becomes very fragile.   Second, if you have an opening, and it comes in contact with water, it's going to get blocked, clear and simple.   The stickiness factor of water is amazing, and even one of our initial designs using superhydrophobic materials was not enough to keep the ability to hear at a level that met our satisfaction.

Our Solution
The solution is to recognize the water will block the pathway, and come up with a solution that provides a means to unblock the pathway, and this is exactly what our design accomplishes. Our patent-pending design uses a droplet isolation nozzle to make sure that if the sound pathway gets blocked, a simple and gentle press on the outer part of the earplug will unblock the opening to keep the sound pathway clear and restore hearing.

How our Wet Plugz™ Custom Earplugs work
This two diagrams below show a sliced view of a Wet Plugz™ custom earplug in an ear, and then by itself, to provide a perspective of the remaining images in this section.

The earplug really consists of two parts:
  • the bulk of the earplug is the silicone portion that fits in the ear.
  • our special patent-pending nozzle, which sits at the base of the external cavity of the earplug.

The earplug (represented in yellow in our diagrams above) is custom made, using your ear impressions, which are usually obtained through an ear specialist (ex. audiologist or ENT).

Digging deeper, these next images show the internals flow of how our sound hole clearing design works. The flow works like this:
  1. Once water has filled the outer portion of the earplug and ear, like after duck diving a wave or coming up out of the water after a wipeout, the water will drain away.
  2. Due to the stickiness factor of water, droplets can sometimes remain, just as they do on your skin, and it's possible for a droplet to cover the tiny sound hole.
  3. With our special nozzle any blockage to the sound hole will be isolated to a tiny droplet, which can easily be removed.
  4. If the sound hole gets covered by a droplet, a light press on the earplug will cause a tiny amount of air to displace from the ear canal towards a path of least resistance.
  5. The displaced air escapes out the sound hole, clearing any droplet that may have collected on the specially designed filter.

The animation below represents the steps described above after the earplug has been covered by water, and assumes a droplet will sometimes remain after the water has drained away (you'll often find no droplet remains). It shows the technique of applying slight pressure on the earplug with your finger.

water fills outer cavity
Submerging causes the external cavity to fill with water
filter tip is clogged
Once the water drains out, a droplet may remain, occluding the sound hole
unclog sound tip
Lightly pressing on the earplug displaces air from inside the ear canal out of the sound hole, dislodging the occluding droplet and restoring the ability to hear
Animation showing the plug letting sound through; becoming covered with water; often the sound hole will remain clear after the water drains away, but sometimes it may be occluded by a small droplet; pressing lightly to displace a slight amount of air our through the plug will easily clear any blockage; once again letting sound come through.

Experience the pleasure of being both protected and able to hear, while performing in your sport.